Live at the Bassline, Johannesburg

by Colin Vearncombe

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about

In September 2001, Colin played three nights at the Bassline in Johannesburg, accompanied by Concord Nkabinde on bass and vocals, Barry van Zyl on drums and Lady Black on additional vocals.

This CD captures Colin’s new acoustic concert sound, placing classic early album tracks like ‘Everything is coming up roses’ and ‘You’re a big girl now’ against more recent releases ‘Better letting go’ and ‘Alive’.

It captures the spirit of the concerts, with an enthusiastic audience cheering the songs as they get going and ‘Sweetest Smile’ finishing in a thrashy acoustic guitar solo with Colin yelping over the top. Is Colin having fun yet? It sounds like it.

Recorded at The Bassline, Johannesburg, South Africa on the 23rd September 2001

credits

released 23 November 2001
Produced and mixed by Martin Green and Colin Vearncombe
Mastered by Martin Giles at Alchemy

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Track Name: Alive
Listen to the silence growing louder
A whisper can sometimes be louder than a scream
Even in your wildest dreams
Oh growing louder
But I am
Never more alive than when I am
Lying in your arms again

Some say that each and everyone of us is dying
They don’t admit that they have never really
Lived at all
And swung it at the big ball
Oh I don’t fight it
‘cause I am never more alive than when I am lying in your arms again

Some people act like love was just a kind of guessing game
So when they want you what the hell are they responding to?
And some people act like they’re immaturing
I don’t know if I am growing younger
But I am never more alive than when I am lying in your arms again
Track Name: You're a Big Girl Now
You’re a big girl now
With a big girl’s needs
And a big girl’s dreams and promises
Why don’t you accept yourself?
Accept your desires
Meet your needs
Deny your problems

And don’t cry, cry, don’t cry you’re a big girl now

It’s so hard to be humble
When you know you’re worth more
To live and learn
Is all we can hope for
An attraction of pasts
Like the blindness of the summer sun
But what will you do
On when the rain comes through?

And don’t cry, cry, don’t cry you’re a big girl now
Track Name: Everything is Coming Up Roses
You don’t believe me, I can tell it by your eyes
There’s a kind of magic, to be had from your lies
I used to say that today
Is like tomorrow
Don’t sell it short for truth

I should have known should have known should have known how
I should have known I should have known by now

You don’t understand it, I can tell it by your smile
There’s a kind of freedom, to be had from your lies
I always said that today
Is like tomorrow
Don’t sell it short for truth

I should have known should have known should have known now
I should have known I should have known by now

But everything’s coming up roses, coming up roses, coming up roses
But now everything’s coming up roses, coming up roses
Track Name: Feel Like Change
Everything changes when you think about it
There’s not much you can do about it
But another broken Irish sat on a park bench
Feels his life like a gut wrench
Like it’s passing him by

So I feel like change
I feel like walking out and standing in the rain
I feel like change, feel like change

Everything changes as you stare at it
We’ve all learned to live with it
But another bag-lady, beggar man, thief
Another low-flyer came to grief
Can barely stand

So I feel like change
I feel like walking out and standing in the rain
I feel like change, feel like change

I never wanted to write this song
It won’t help what’s going on
When we look at what’s going on
Two rights could make a wrong
This is such a pointless fight
Two songs won’t make it right
Three songs won’t make it right
Maybe a hundred songs might make it right
Track Name: Too Many Times
There’ve been too many times
When I never said what was on my mind
How was I to know you’d go so soon?
Your God will come to take you home

Leaving me stumbling over
These stupid lines on a shabby page
Daddy, sometimes I’m filled with rage – I lost the only thing that was really mine

So Daddy, can you hear me?
Oh Daddy, do I still make you laugh?
And I know just what you’d say
Is this really the time and place?
To say all of those things that we never said

There’ve been too many times
When my head was filled with stupid pride
I hope you’re laughing now that all these words have been set aside

Oh Daddy, can you hear me?
Oh Daddy, do I still make you laugh?
And I know just what you’d say
Is this really the time and place?
To say all of those things that we never said

It seems so long since I saw you
Yet it seems like yesterday
There’s no need to make amends for I look on us as friends

Oh Daddy can you hear me?
Oh daddy do I still make you laugh?
Track Name: Leaving Song
Hand me my five and dime
Pass me my shirt hung on the line
I’ll polish up my boots and then take the first plane stateside I can find

It’s a handicap to try to see this far
When this place seems so cramped and small
In these streets they whisper legends
And it seems that I’m riding for a fall
I’m leaving, I’m leaving

All of my sense is shot
The streets are like a premonition of a crime
I wrote without you and I took the first plane stateside I could find

If they could they would have stopped me
They’d say I’m gaping at a dream
I’m leaving, I’m leaving

So I polish up my brand new car
Then take my tunes from door to door
I try not to see their faces as I’m dealing out my aces
The horizon seems so far away

From a penthouse for a king and queen
I expected more of the stuff of dreams

If they can they like to get their man and cut him right down to his knees
And I’m leaving, once again I’m leaving
I’m leaving, once again I’m leaving
I’m reeling, and once again I’m leaving
Track Name: Better Letting Go
Lately we’ve been acting like strangers
We never show our feelings
Or say the things we mean
It’s hard to admit
But maybe it’s time to quit pretending
cause we both know

it’s better letting go
there’s no point hanging on
to what used to be
why can’t we see
it’s better letting go

It’s crazy to sit here in silence
Counting off the seconds
The beating of our hearts
When there’s no more to give
There’s no easy way to live together
We both know

It’s better letting go
It’s time to walk away
And start again
This makes no sense
It’s better letting go

No matter how we fake it
This love has faded
The feeling has gone
It’s time to move on
It’s no good looking back
It hurts but we both know it baby

It’s better letting go
There’s no point hanging on
To what used to be
Why can’t we see
It’s better letting go

It’s better letting go
It’s time to walk away
And start again
This makes no sense
It’s better letting go
Track Name: Don't Take the Silence Too Hard
All the way from America holding out your hand
You pinned your colours to the mast
Pinned them high up in the sky
Look what you do to me
My hands keep thumping waltz in triple time

So she wrote
All the way from America
Arriving just as planned passing through the blocks and alleyways
The avenues I’m crying
Look what you do to me
Look what your tender hands have done this time

And I say
Don’t take the silence too hard
Don’t take the silence too hard
Your absence lasts through every passing year
Don’t take the silence too hard

All the way from America
Straining with my eyes to see the hours stretched out before me
As I cross the ocean line
Look what you do for me
My hands are ruby warm and I feel fine

And I sail
To the home of erotica
Pictured on the stand kneel down and pray you take no burdens
Out of the Promised Land
Into the mystery
Your eyes are full of tales of idle hands

She says
Don’t take the silence too hard
Don’t take the silence too hard
Your absence lasts through every passing year
Don’t take the silence too hard

All the way from America
Holding out your hand
You pinned your colours to the mast
Pinned them high up in the sky
Look what you do to me
My hands keep thumping waltz in triple time

Don’t take the silence too hard
Don’t take the silence too hard
Don’t take the silence too hard
Don’t take the silence too hard
Track Name: Wonderful Life
Here I go out to sea again
The sunshine fills my hair
And dreams hang in the air
Gulls in the sky and in my blue eyes
You know it feels unfair
There’s magic everywhere
Look at me standing
Here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh or cry
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

The sun’s in your eyes
The heat is in your hair
They seem to hate you
Because you’re there
And I need a friend, oh I need a friend
To make me happy
Not stand there on my own
Look at me standing here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine
No need to run and hide
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh or cry
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

I need a friend, oh I need a friend
To make me happy, not so alone
Look at me here, here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh or cry
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
Track Name: I Can Laugh about it Now
I can laugh about it now, but couldn’t then
You made me ache, so I went for a run
In the driving rain
Through your neighbourhood streets
And there you were, a silhouette in the wet night air
Me in my pumps in the pouring rain
A kind of despair upon finding you there
Couldn’t whisper your name

Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, sha la la la, we’re all in trouble
Is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?

And the very next day, through the shrieks of the crowd
Came your careless self, your oh-so-couldn’t careless self
And you just pass me by, your friends catch my eyes
“We know you love her, we saw you dancing with her shadow”
And I couldn’t disagree, and for the life of me
I could call out your name, and call out your name,
And call out your name

Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, sha la la la, we’re all in trouble
Is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?

Sha la la la, oh, we’re all in trouble,
Or is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?

I can laugh about it now
I can laugh about it now by your side

Oh, sha la la la, we’re all in trouble
Or is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?
Track Name: Sweetest Smile
I think my heart must be made of clay
Cause everyone said it would be broken some day
And now I’ve come to that fateful day
So I sit on the floor with my head in my hands
And don’t tell me how to make it pay
I write a new song every day
I just wish I was made of wood
I might not feel pain even if I should
Even if I should

The sweetest smile that ever did
Melt the pats in the butter dish
And if you could have believed in me
I swear to God I’d have made damn sure
Our hearts were warm, and glad with wine
I’d keep the doors locked all the time
I just wish I was made of wood
You might not seem glad, even if you should
Even if you should, if you should

I think my heart must be made of clay
Cause everyone said it would be broken some day
Seems that I have come to that fateful day
So I sit on the floor with my head in my hands
With my head in my hands
Even if I should, if I should
Track Name: Fly Up to the Moon
Gonna fly up to the moon
Raising all of my money
Can’t make it too soon
I am sick of it down here
Gonna fly up to the moon

So this is how the world ends
Not with a bang but with a Wimpy
Don’t laugh too soon, I am sick of it down here
Gonna fly up to the moon

Who needs all the troubles of today, what’s the difference anyway?
I feel out of focus but what can I do there’s only you?

Gonna fly up to the moon
Raising all of my money, can’t make it too soon
I am sick of it down here
Gonna fly up to the moon

When they open the borders where will you be?
I’ll climb the highest tree to avoid the stampede
And if I should fly there’s only you
You
There’s only you that would say
Goodbye