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This Sporting Life

by This Sporting Life

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    Comes in a cardboard sleeve featuring portraits of the band by Matthew Hopkinson.
    Includes two bonus tracks: Autumnal Adventure and Cold Snap.

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1.
We’re afraid of becoming them We’re afraid of being like them Afraid of living their lives We have hopes that we’ll be something more With the fear that we’ll be nothing more We’ll leave this place tonight I don’t know where we’ll go but it has to be better We can leave this place tonight Or live out our lives... in terror As the train speeds away Beyond the limits of the town We see the houses tumble And turn into rolling hills Then we look in each other’s eyes And see a nervous smile arise 'Cause I'm here with you and you're here with me Leaving the town in search of the city Leaving the town in search of the countryside We arrive in the city See the scale and the splendour The crush of the people The rush of a new life Trains towards new lands Of Britain Of Europe Can we live among them? Yes, we are not dead We are not dead Now life is so much better We can forgive all the pain of our lost years And as the sun is beating down Reflected in the river There's something to be said for The hills and the fields There's no escaping the things that we've seen But we'll fight for this life and we'll live 'til we're dead
2.
I wasn’t paying attention To the droning of your intentions I was a thousand feet above Lands End I was battling with the crosswinds I’m in the rattling and the tension Between gravity and the engines Flying even closer to heaven It’s beyond all my comprehension All the boys are sailing and they’re never seen again They’ve gone diving for the sirens in the waves All the boys are sailing and they’re never seen again You can keep the silver pennies for my eyes Now I see the Thames, its glistening The sky is slowly falling in Another continent drifts below me A compass points to my destination I never thought that I’d feel this lonely I never thought I’d feel so alive Amy of the Skies Now I see the Thames it’s glistening The sky is falling down
3.
How much time will I waste on you tonight? Waiting at the side of the room With all the other fools Hoping once you’ll meet my eye Like that time before When the band struck up You and I danced across the floor I’ve pictured the moment so many times How you meet my eye Oh, the restless nights I’ve spent Straining in the sheets We’re waltzing My hand slips down your waist You don’t even notice You just love the dance When we’re spinning across the floor I don’t know which way is down anymore And I’m consumed by the belle of the ball I’ve been standing under streetlamps for hours outside your house I don’t think you’re home I don’t presume to know The yellow fog sprawls about the town And I wander for hours I keep practicing my steps Don’t want to go home to my small room Covered with pictures With pictures of you But when we’re spinning across the floor I don’t know which way is down anymore And I’m consumed by the belle of the ball
4.
Hand over hand we climb Into the sky above, No one to welcome us, no cheering crowds to see; Just the clinking of bells, the sound of our breath, Laboured and forlorn we watch the sun setting Watching TV; a fat man with asthma has climbed the same peaks as me Seemed so easy No one knew what we knew; now there’s nothing to cling to Hand over hand we climb Nothing up there, just an inhuman sky and a chill in the atmosphere Now everyone knows there’s no reason to rise from your chair or go looking for the sadness of the peaks There’s nothing up there but the clean and frozen air On the dreary streets, it’s hard to get around now that I’m older
5.
Skyline over the rooftops is the colour of milk The calm of an early evening Watching planes slide through the sky You wear a floaty dress I’m lounging in my workshirt We can sit like this for hours before the cold drives us away One of us is going to have to leave When nature runs its course, I’ll leave you with a houseful of car boot bargains Let’s not talk about it now Let’s not talk now All the things that we do With all this time on our hands Keep busy mixing cocktails for our friends And waiting for the spring to rush through us again So we can dance like we’re animals at the disco And you can write your novel while I comb my hair And I can sings my songs into the mirror Or else we spend our evening staring blackly into the fire Maybe it would make it easier to part right now We’ve got our lives ahead of us Lots of time to get used to being alone With all the things that I’ll do With all this time on my hands Keep busy mixing cocktails for my friends And waiting for the spring to rush through us again So I can dance like I’m an animal at the disco And you can write your novel while I comb my hair And I can sings my songs into the mirror Or else we spend our lonely evenings staring into the fire
6.
We said our goodbyes, to all the things that used to trouble us And finally I got to feeling good about that, But now they start to creep back in again. Right here Right now You keep your eyes down, oh but we know These things will worm back to our lives So on we struggle Won't turn away And I'm not sure we'll run this time. The idle day passed away They lay on beaches bleached by the sun On this hilltop, Through the still night Our eyes grow red and sore A night at the Observatory Into the infinite we fly Beyond the moon and back in time Back to the place we left behind On all those nights with the television Into the infinite we fly Beyond the moon and back in time Back to the place we left behind Back to the place we left behind Lost on the high street, drifted so far from our old lives We shuffled 'round with our eyes tied to the ground And now we watch another library close It's a win For the marketplace When we were young, we dreamed of something beautiful, It faded with routine So on we struggle Out on our own But we can't run away this time As the last rays of light Take their leave of the town While they sit there Watch the wrong stars Our eyes grow red and sore When there's a life in the observatory! The nights all alone The nights with the mirror The beauty before you The knowledge of sinners Away from the darkness Of poor received wisdom Away from the nights When time just drags on and on...
7.
I sent you letters by facsimile It was cheaper Paid for our luncheons with the petty cash So much neater I lie to the wife like she’s my client Dazzle with promises Let’s feign some work and then it’s play All the times that we spent in Paris – Champs Elysees All the grand imperial lines Reflect my love for you Confound my trust in you We will last as long as the bubbles rising up inside our glasses of champagne I am a master of the universe These things I understand I’ll sell you my love like a treasured brand I’ll have your loyalty Just leave your details with my secretary What could be simpler? We’ll leave our problems in hotels All the times that we spent in Berlin - Potsdamer Platz All the glass and the polished lines Reflect my love for you Confound my trust in you We will last as long as the bubbles rising up inside our glasses of champagne We sit above them in the royal box How it suits us The music bores us but the wine tastes nice. You’ve never dressed finer No one suspects us but word gets around Don’t get them started A minor issue I must solve Devolve Convenient resolve All the times that we spent in New York – Madison Square All the glass and the polished lines Reflect my love for you Confound my trust in you. We will last as long as the bubbles rising up inside our glasses of champagne Now the money has been spent, The way that money’s always spent. The end of the affair The end of us
8.
March Hare 03:14
You’ve got your boxing gloves on And your fighting shirt If no one comes to take you away Someone’s going to get hurt You see the moon is lit up Like a silver plate And you see faces everywhere You’re ready to fight them If they get too close And baby that’s the way these things occur It’s just the thrill of the springtime It’s just the pull of the moon Another drop in the ocean Another flower that’s in bloom We all know that seasons will change And this burning madness will fade But oh, the sun it shined down once Between the rains On your parade Now you’re up on your hind legs And you're boxing clever! We love it when you show some sport The origin of the species It gets us every time Cause we’re excited by the sight of drawing blood It’s just the thrill of the springtime It’s just the pull of the moon Another drop in the ocean Another flower that’s in bloom And Newton's apple will fall... We all know that seasons will change And this burning madness will fade But oh, the sun it shined down once Between the rains On your parade
9.
Drinking to the depths of despair Where was I? Adrift in Brighton Nothing beats the sting of the waves Nothing beats the sting of the waves Do you think we could go somewhere remote? I don’t like it here, I’m frightened I I don’t want to drink anymore Why raise a glass to abject failure Hangover Square is where you’ll find me waiting for you Why must you be so inhumane All I’ve ever done was for you In a cottage, together in the country And nothing but the sun in our eyes Why do you keep bringing me here I don’t like these types you cling to Your friends look through me drinking my gin Oh what’s the point? So raise your glass to Hangover Square is where you’ll find me waiting for you Walking to Hove The feel of death in my bones Needing some warmth The rain is cold and cruel Her laughter brings on the tears Abused for too many years How could this have happened When my intentions are pure I climb the stairs broken and cold To the room on one would visit I hatch a plan to make it all right That wretch and friends will pay their debts in Hangover Square
10.
We took the side road to the sea You didn’t speak and hardly breathed While I listened to the sounds of the road you made patterns in the steam We lit a fire by a fisherman’s boat And sat down to watch the sea I still hoped for a change in the weather but you wanted just to leave Well, that’s you and me. Stay for tea tonight, We won’t be back here again some other time. And you can say just what you like And then we’ll float away upon the tide Why don’t we stay at home tonight And then we won’t be alone this final time After all we’re not machines eating coals and breathing steam Stopped at a café, read a dirty magazine, These things once learned will soon enough become routine We couldn’t fade away into the sand and salty sea Lost little robots from the city Well that’s you and me But stay for me tonight, We won’t be back here again some other time. And you can say just what you like And then we’ll float away upon the tide Why don’t we stay at home tonight And then we won’t be alone this final time After all we’re not machines eating coals and breathing steam
11.
His Last Bow 03:49
Vain little man, hours at the lathe, In the shed at the foot of the drive, Weeping to the sound of the gas, Yet again. What is in his mind, thinking of the times, After school, so long ago, When nothing seemed to fit Behind the bikeshed – no one came, He went On the mournful branchline, Bradshaw in hand, No one saw his last. Working in vain on a new idea, Whose zeal only houseclearers will see, Rummaging for goods, On the mournful branchline, Bradshaw in hand, No one saw his last bow. A shamefaced meal in a frowsy room; Irish stew. Standing for hours behind the bikesheds, The one thing he remembers at this time. On the mournful branchline, Bradshaw in hand, No on sees him, no one understands. On the mournful branchline, Bradshaw in hand, No one saw his last bow.
12.
Behind us the branch lines are closing fast, They leave scars across the country where they wade knee-deep in grass The roads were crammed with tired men who used up all their chances We stole aboard the carriage to indulge in this romance. Through the glass things are peaceful; nothing seems as hard, but when we’re home at last We will sleep in fits and starts and wake up tired It’s always better when you’re leaving Always smiling back at something Objects in the mirror getting smaller and more rosy tinted. Cranes rise through the dusty sky Like hogweed on the riverside - But you and I are happy as the train flies through the summertime; Past oceans, trees and factories, we're basking in the peoples' glee On daytrips to the reservoir we're lunching in the buffet car. The endless lines of city blocks; The ticking of the mournful clock - They fade into the pictures of our sleep And they’re lost under the silence of our dreams. As the train rolls past another town of redbrick, ashes, tears and frowns you and I we sleep, while young girls till furrows in the ground - They're dreaming of a place they'll never see, Like mudlarks scrounging on the estuary. All those foolish dreams, Well we don’t really believe in them But we hear the hiss of steam, And the shadows on the platform wait for us Birds of Oxford, Birds of Gloucestershire. And all those things we left behind Falling in love and wasting time We leave shadows on the branch lines That won't know this life again.

about

This Sporting Life began out of a dream to make ambitious, dramatic music; of great swooping productions and to touch upon something out of the ordinary whilst living ordinary lives.

It became clear early on that we would have to do this independently on a next-to-nothing budget. We recorded in our homes and in rehearsal studios at various locations in London, bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece, using cheap home recording equipment, laptops, plug-ins and quantities of stress, lapsed deadlines, tardiness, overworking, bad luck and arguments.

Now, after a year of writing and five years of recording we finally release our debut album.

The songs are set over the grand imperial backdrop of strings and theremins, vintage synths and sleigh bells, bass and drums, multitrack vocals, even a Trautonium. They vividly touch upon 1930s Brighton, the Beeching Report, Amy Johnson, staring at the stars, tattered copies of Penguin Classics (orange, green AND blue), the mournful branchlines, the joy of the city and of the country, the tedious netherworld of the town, Edmund Hillary, taking the sad road to the sea and mixing cocktails for your friends, all in under 60 minutes.

The album includes all of our former releases as well as three previously unreleased tracks. We have also remixed and remastered Sadness of the Peaks, Time On My Hands and Romance of the Skies.

credits

released October 21, 2013

Produced by Andrew Small
All songs composed and arranged by This Sporting Life.

Recorded and mixed between Winter 2008 and Summer 2013 in several London flats and Z1 Rehearsal Studios, Camden.

This Sporting Life are:

Andrew Cooper : the bass guitar - keyboards - shaker on 'Peaks' - acoustic guitar on 'Bow' - piano on 'Romance' and 'Affairs'

Matthew Hopkinson : the voice - other voices - sleigh bells on 'Peaks' - synthetic organ on 'Hangover' - acoustic guitar on 'Affairs' - guitar solo on 'Hare' - keyboards on 'Dissolution'

Andrew Small : other voices - piano - keyboards - electric guitars - the bass guitar - drum and sequencer programming - synthetic orchestrations - acoustic guitar and percussion on 'Dissolution'

Mastered at Abbey Road
Paintings by Matthew Hopkinson
Sleeve Design by Jenny Doggett

Copyright © 2013 This Sporting Life – Andrew Cooper, Matthew Hopkinson, Andrew Small. All rights reserved.

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