This is a solo album so as for states of mind etc there was only one to deal with and I suppose like everyone else at that time (lockdown) it was confusing, contradictory and mentally exhausting. I have to be thankful that I have a guitar in my room and I can lose a day or two just strumming. This strumming sometimes leads to songs and almost always has the rhythm of how I feel at that time. Y’know, happy, sad, angry or chilled. I also write shit down when I’m either inspired or fed up… It’s cathartic. Lockdown cultured the perfect environment for me to write this record. I suppose it could be biographical or just stories but it has a start (the 2nd song) and an end and talks/sings its story all the way through… I’ll give you that info in the track by track….
There were windows of opportunity and escape in Lockdown and one of those was the chance to get up to Scotland and record with Edwyn Collins again. I’d met Edwyn on ‘Nevermind the Buzzcocks’ and I think he is a genius so it was just so amazing to get the chance to see him and his gang again and spend 6 days capturing the sounds I wanted to make the album. It was just so great to be able to pick up all these classic guitars and chose one to play for the album. When we had chosen, Edwyn would just tell Jake the engineer which mics to use for that particular one and what to hook them up too because he knew from just loving his gear and knowing it all inside out and it saved us hours of trials and errors. I chose a 1947 Gibson Southern Jumbo which in itself was humbling to think of the song it had played and the people who had played them… I think the strings were from the 70s though. It suited my playing as I don’t need notes ringing out and grassing up my ability…
I have tried to give the music a cinematic feel and visualise the lyrics… Kind of story and emotion mix. I kept the production really minimal to leave the space to hear and experience this more… I hope I did anyway 🙂
This is actually the ending of the journey but at the front of the album. It is about the end game, when we’ve had enough and now it’s time to turn out the lights and sleep and yet the sun rises the next day and we wake up again to a place where nothing has changed. Pain hasn’t stopped, scars haven’t healed, a reminder that the good times have gone and are far behind… Almost like waking up when you don’t want to and realising you’re in some crappy nursing home in someone else’s clothes, being fed when you’re not hungry and sat to rot in front of the naff daytime tele … It’s the story after Gamble drink and Smoke.
Nothing to write home about
The mundanity of how so many of us just survive our existence rather than living our lives because of the costs, stresses and strains of life … It’s the story of three people at a school reunion chatting, bragging, and being nosey. Each verse is a different person but the song puts them together to show how they have lived the same life. Sold a dream that was to control them and their ambitions. It’s a go out and grab life by the neck call to attention kind of song 🙂
Get It Wrong
Maybe a bit of a confessional… I am just very clumsy, dozy and feckless and though I try not to be and try to get things right I quite often just dig the hole I’m in deeper and get it wrong…. I hope that this album is the start of a big cathartic change for this… I’ll go for the honest approach but I am aware that honesty doesn’t mean I’ll get it right.
Buried you Deeper
When I wrote this I thought the lyrics were maybe too dark. Too much for those who would recognise the sentiment of the song and maybe not want reminding of that so I put a twist through the words. A twist that should give an image of cowboy times, cold weather and dark nights trying to hide the problems. Unfortunately, the coyote doesn’t just dig up the problems again but actively screams them from the mountaintops for the world to hear… That feeling you get when you just want to go back to sleep.
Dreaming I’m in Love
The words tell the story of an inability to appreciate all that we have and worse. I could just write them out again as a description but probably best to listen as you get the tune as well.
All In Our Heads
I’ve always felt that we don’t write songs but rather that songs make themselves known to us. If we keep an open ear and mind they are there for us to have but if we close our minds then these stories will pass us by and belong to someone else who took them… We don’t always all walk around singing popular songs, sometimes you just have to sing your song that you hear in your head
Light hearted story of a Bradford lad at the gates of heaven. Explaining to St. Peter that it was just a visit and I’ll be going back in a bit cos I have stuff to do. Ignoring the angels as they explain that there is no going back and asking for selfies with the big man and signed pictures. Where’s the souvenir shop up there?
Hearts And Minds
OMG, this is a proper sitting in the bedroom feeling sorry and sad. I wrote it in lockdown and the worries of how being locked down were going to have some awful consequences when we ever got our freedom back… we can always find something to moan about (especially at the moment with so much greed and corruption) but we have to remember to look after each other as it’s quite obvious that the people appointed to look after society have been so glutenous in the way they have looked after themselves at our expense. Let’s help each other, count our blessings and try to not let the bastards grind us down 🙂
Cannonball is so simple that it has to be listened to because describing it takes a lot longer. As with all the songs I’ve tried to write music like the theme tune to the story it tells.
Gamble Drink and Smoke
This is inspired by a miserable old goat in our local paper who had received a telegram from the queen to congratulate him on his hundredth birthday and how he put it down to basically be debauched and pickled. It’s fun but true and not what the doctors want you to hear.
Check out the track ‘Buried You Deeper’, below:
The Anti Album is available in the usual CD and vinyl, plus an exclusive limited edition red vinyl album, here
To celebrate the release of the Anti Album, Tony will be playing 19 shows starting on the day of the album release at the Victoria Hall in Settle on 7th October and finishing on 11th November at The Jericho Tavern in Oxford.
UK dates in full
- Fri 7th Settle Victoria Hall
- Sat 8th Scunthorpe Cafe Indie
- Sun 9th Todmorden Golden Lion
- Mon 10th Sunderland Pop Recs
- Tue 11th Edinburgh Bannermans
- Wed 12th Glasgow The Hug and Pint
- Fri 14th Isle Of Man Colby Glen
- Wed 19th Scarborough Vibe
- Thu 20th Hull Welly
- Fri 21st Doncaster Imperial
- Sat 22nd Blackpool Compass Cafe
- Wed 26th Hertford Corn Exchange
- Thu 27th Plymouth Junction
- Fri 28th Newport Le Pub
- Sat 29th Stafford The Ship Aground
- Thu 3rd Milton Keynes The Crauford Arms
- Fri 4th Wolverhampton The Giffard Arms
- Sun 6th Bradford Nightrain
- Fri 11th Oxford The Jericho Tavern
Tickets available here