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Read (Discography): 12 Nov 1978 SO36, Berlin

(Please note: lyrics taken from studio albums, where available. Live versions may vary.)

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect, yes I can prove it
Business or pleasure, the more that you do it

Please dress in your best things, this course was unplanned
'Cos you see up in my bedroom I've got Sarah Bernhardt's hand

Practice makes perfect, I've done this before
Never for money, always for love

Please dress in your best things, and don't make a fuss
'Cos you see up in my bedroom Sarah's waiting for us

Two People In A Room

Two people in a room
Facial movements betray
A private display
Of nervous disorder
And mutual torture

Two people in a room
Bloody image is conjured
But no one is injured
The weapons are chosen
But the action is frozen

Two people in a room
Positions are shifted
The ceasefire uplifted
The lighting is fierce
It's intended to pierce
Any cloak of deceit
And encourage retreat
And God they're so gifted
My God they're so gifted

I Feel Mysterious Today

Always cause for concern
When you're feeling quite bright
And your filament burns

I feel mysterious today
Everything is humming loudly
I feel mysterious today
Everything is coming this way

Is it ever appealing
To stand on a ceiling?
Observe the tension grow

Going walking abroad
Minus hat before dawn
Bats in profusion there

Did you ever conceive
That you too can leave
Exactly when you like?

Being Sucked In Again

A dorsal fin breaks the water
Salted meat a sudden relapse
Inference drawn from every word

Being sucked in again

Feeling numbed from anaesthetised flesh
Avoid disgrace, ideas still fresh
The gaping mouth, a fish-wive's dream

Bound and gagged your labour's saved
The cost minute, the rules are waved
No hand, no step, your labour's in vain

Once Is Enough

It's sinister

I'd attempt a casual structure
Preceding interaction
Symphonic in persuasion
Noblesse oblige

Each minister

Is just a drop compared with
Having double vision
It's desirable in part
Refuse the ruse

Deciding each devise
If you don't think twice
Once is enough, once is enough
Preparing its demise
It's something you'll devise
Once is enough, once is enough

In passing

You sprang a leak instead
You'd sooner see its piety
You'd replied in its course
Before you

Resume transmission

You retiring

I'll respond with curtained thought
A pause for intermission
My advise is simple

Blessed State

Closing doors
Opens eyes
To the fatal gift
Of a well timed lie
Loved in the flesh
And (but) butchered in the mind
Oh what a pearl
What a well made world

Holy globe
Eternal home
Sacred sphere
So glad I'm here
Oh what a pearl
What a well made world

A Question Of Degree

Once a question of degree
Now circumstances corner me
Demanding my attention
Leaving little choice
Posing several questions
Distilling in one voice
Confusion not in words

I didn't want a problem
I didn't simply fall out
I was thrown at great speed
From a passing car
I didn't touch the ground
Till I landed at your door
Oh don't touch my luggage

I can easily (surely) manage
To struggle inside

I hide my shaking
Thus protect my pride
I can surely manage
To tremble/struggle inside
Gathering myself
And spreading it around
Rivers are submerging
Flowing underground

Can I really manage
To survive outside?
Can I really manage
To survive outside?
Can I?
Can I?
Can I?
Can I?

Single K.O.

I've found something
No one else is looking for
I've found something
That there's no use for

And what's more
I'm keeping it to myself

I'm leaning over backwards
Shoulders pressed to the floor
I'm leaning over backwards
Shoulders pressed to the door

Two falls or one submission
Or a single K.O.
Two falls or one submission
Or a single K.O.
But what's one submission
Amongst friends?


Crooks lay in a weighted state
waiting for the dead assassin
while the rust pure powder puffs,
a shimmering opaque red.
Papers spread, no-one driving,
we hurled direct ahead

the windows dark-green tinted,
the hearse a taxi instead.
Snow storms forecast imminently
in areas Dogger, Viking,
Moray, Forth, and Orkney.
Keeping cover in denuded scrub,
the school destroyed raised the club,
panic spreading with threat of fire.

Crowding beneath a layer of foam,
refugees intertwined, alone.

Within the institution walls,
in pastel blue, clinical white,
slashed red lipsticked walls, mercy nurse tonight.

Seems like dark grey stockings
in the raking torchlight with 4 AM stubble,
a midnight transvestite.

40 Versions

I never know which version I'm going to be
I seem to have so many choices open to me

It's not hard to see another unique event
When you miss the beginning and you miss the end

I've got forty versions all dying to get the part
And so with a change of mind comes a change of heart

A total eclipse arrives now and Niagara Falls
No loss of blood yet and no further calls

I never know which version I'm going to be
I get the feeling my mind is deceiving me

In between are where only edges can be seen of the spaces

Former Airline

When you reach the point
Is it different enough?
Tell me what it's like when you reach the point

When you draw the line
Is it straight enough?
Tell me what it's like when you draw the line

When you go too far
Is it near enough?
Tell me what it's like when you go too far

When you've seen too much
Is it almost the same?
Tell me what it's like when you've seen too much (jump in the flames)

When you know it all
Is it really there?
Tell me what it's like when you know it all

When you've had enough
Is it just the start?
Tell me what it's like when you've had enough

A Touching Display

With all the front
And more besides
Bitch, thrust, and parry
And a few asides
With considerable charm
You chose not to decide

I really like you
Becomes my massage
I really want you
Becomes my message

But how long can we sustain
Ourselves apart?
The pressure's increasing it
Squeezes my heart

I bought a ticket
You took a walk
So much to say
We're unable to talk
Suffering in silence
Our eyes give it away
So close as we part
A touching display
Colouring my thoughts
Predominately grey and

Fighting bravely
Will she save me?
From what or who
I do not know

French Film (Blurred)

I didn't understand your plea to live
Or the guy's wish to take or give
However, as backing away,
he fell and lay dead amongst the fireworks display

It's not quite the way to say your goodbyes
It's not quite the way to behave
Secured you a concrete grave beneath a motorway

Gold scissors cut the ribbon and set them loose
On the opening day the vibrations will shake your bones
I suppose that's just the disadvantage
Of not speaking a second language

(The problems of bad reception resulting in blurred perception)

Map Ref 41°N 93°W

An unseen ruler defines with geometry
An unrulable expanse of geography
An aerial photographer over-exposed
To the cartologist's 2D images knows
The areas where the water flowed
So petrified, the landscape grows
Straining eyes try to understand
The works, incessantly in hand
The carving and paring of the land
The quarter square, the graph divides
Beneath the rule, a country hides

Interrupting my train of thought
Lines of longitude and latitude
Define and refine my altitude

The curtain's undrawn
Harness fitted, no escape
Common and peaceful, duck, flat, lowland
Landscape, canal, canard, water coloured

Crystal palaces for floral kings
A widespread waving span of wings
Witness the sinking of the sun
A deep breath of submission has begun

Men 2nd

Sailing under a false flag
We're crossing the IDL
Becalmed where no creature lives

Lost, forsaken, cursed

Holed below the water line
A shift in the plimsoll line
Pumps in the engine room

Women and children first

Hysterical, no humour
Sabotage, a rumour
Captain-less and captionless

Injury, hunger, thirst
Reptile, prehensile, servile, editorial, gentile, fatal


I feel icy
I feel cold
I feel old
Is there something there behind me?
I'm sublime

I feel empty
I feel dark
I remark
I am mesmerised
By my own beat
Like a heartbeat
(In it's own beat)

Pink Flag

I was sold up the river to the red slave trade
The stores were gathered, the plans were laid
Synchronised watches at 18:05
How many dead or alive in 1955?

The pink flag was screaming, bugle boys sucked and blew
No time for confessions, orders given
Books were cooked on the 4th of the 3rd
How many seen or heard on the 12th of the 3rd?

How many dead or alive?