Little Black Classics

by Duncan Batey

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a lovely gatefold card sleeve, featuring on the outside cover a photo of the artist in performance by Bradley Moogan, and on the inside cover, credits and photos of the main players, plus full lyric booklet in pastiche design tucked into one side, with the compact disc featuring the same design in the other.

    Includes unlimited streaming of the album via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Little Black Classics via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Digital download also includes PDFs of gatefold sleeve art, including player photos and album credits, and pastiche lyric booklet.
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about

Long-awaited debut album from Glastonbury-based singer-songwriter Duncan Batey (winner of Somerset Songwriter 2012, finalist in Glastonbury FM's Songwriting Competition 2016).

"The music is a wonder, with some great lyrics - a real warm and honest album." (Russ Hepworth-Sawyer, MottoSound)

"....a distinct blend of old, new it works well. Like an old friend it has a feel that immediately hooks me in - 8/10" (Joe Lepper, Neon Filler) www.neonfiller.com/wordpress/?p=13540

"Duncan Batey's voice has huge range and variety of tone.. It's a sensitive voice that can deliver a lyric with real intensity and conviction... ...an album of deeply emotional and sometimes dark feelings, ... balanced by both the wit, intelligence and quirkiness of some of the lyrics, the clarity of musical delivery and above all by the sheer variety in musical style and tone." (Greg Hancock, Fatea Magazine) www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/reviews/DuncanBatey/

Half of the album was written while holidaying in a solitary caravan at the far corner of an apple orchard in the middle of nowhere in Herefordshire in August 2016, sometimes sat by a blazing fire gazing up at the stars, or over at the silhouette of the Black Mountains beyond the River Wye. The rest of the songs on the album were written at various points before and after, back in Glastonbury.

Recording mostly took place in fits and starts from the Spring of 2017 to Autumn 2019, in Daniel Shaw's exclusive Grapevine Cottage Studios in Somerset.

For the curious, the album's title is that of its second track, Little Black Classics, and that title and the song's lyrics, as well as the design of the lyric booklet and disc art, are all clues as to its unlikely origins, in that solitary caravan, in deepest darkest Herefordshire.

credits

released January 18, 2020

All songs written by Duncan Batey
Produced by Daniel Shaw & Duncan Batey
Engineered and mixed by Daniel Shaw at Grapevine Cottage Studios
Mastered by Russ Hepworth-Sawyer at MOTTOsound

The Players:

Duncan Batey – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, cajon, backing vocals

Daniel Shaw – upright bass, electric guitar, dobro, harmonica, drums, percussion, programming, backing vocals

Gerry Barnett – cello, backing vocals

Caelia Lunniss – violin

with Special Guests: Noah Roach - drums (track 1); Isabel Cressy - accordion; (track 2); Sarah Griffiths - backing vocals (tracks 4 & 6);
Steve Ross - cajon, Wild Willy Barrett - slide guitar (track 6)

Photography: Duncan & Daniel – Bradley Moogan, Caelia – Michael Jones, Gerry – Unofficial Gig Photographer

Design by Robert Franklin & Drew Fletcher

Many thanks to: all at Grapevine Cottage, Alan Miller Guitars, Nathan Lewis Williams (for the Faith), Karen (Vidyadevi) & Andy Johnson, Stephen Parr (Ananda), Simon Sturt at Hawthorns Hotel, Ian Liversidge and Georgie Robbins at Glastonbury FM, and everyone else credited or uncredited (sorry) for their contributions and support in the making of this record.

In loving memory of Rebecca Fryer-Clarke 1960-2019

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all rights reserved

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about

Duncan Batey Glastonbury, UK

Winner of the 2012 Somerset Songwriter competition, Duncan released his first EP, ‘Blindsided’, in February 2013.

Accompanied by Daniel Shaw on upright bass, Gerry Barnett on cello, and Caelia Lunniss on violin, his beautifully crafted 'epic acoustic' songs explore love and hope in the face of adversity.

His debut album 'Little Black Classics' was released 18th January 2020.
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Track Name: Cleanskin
1. Cleanskin

You work so hard it breaks my heart, bathed
in sound and naked in the dark. Oh this bag of
bones feels carved in stone, and you long for
a clean skin.

You've banged you heart against this world
too long, pissed in your own swimming pool
for too long. Some days you ride dark horses,
some nights you howl at the moon - a hall full
of case files in boxes, but you never sue for
a clean skin.

You're grinding hard on sunlight, straining to
catch hold of smoke - a slow-burning fuse for
a handhold, a primer in knots for a rope. All
the drawers are full of ritual.

Some days you ride dark horses, some nights
you howl at the moon - a hall full of case files
in boxes, but you never sue. Oh this bag of
bones feels carved in stone, and you pray for
a clean skin.
Track Name: Little Black Classics
2. Little Black Classics

Lips too chilled, O Cruel Alexis
It was snowing butterflies
The Terrors of the Night, Wailing Ghosts
The nightingales are drunk

How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing
I Hate and I Love, Circles of Hell
The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows
How Much Land Does A Man Need?

The Old Man of the Moon, A Pair of Silk Stockings
Femme Fatale, The Tinder Box
Mrs Rosie and the Priest, A Modest Proposal
The Tell-Tale heart, Come Close, To-morrow

Well, they are gone, and here must I remain
On the Beach at Night Alone
Woman much missed, The Beautifull Cassandra
Remember Body... A Simple Heart

Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls
The Night is Darkening Round Me
As kingfishers catch fire, The Old Nurse's Story
The Meek One, The Reckoning

My Dearest Father, Leonardo da Vinci
The Fall of Icarus, The Nose
The Life of a Stupid Man
Goblin Market, Socrates' Defence
Olalla
Track Name: Mixed Messages
3. Mixed Messages

Your body told me a secret last week, and
mine responded with the customary heat.
Friends is okay, but sometimes it's hard
when your boundaries are all over the place
and I'm not on your dance card.

Mixed messages, mixed message hey yeah
I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed
messages hey yeah

This problem is not unique to you - there's
another, and she can't decide what to do.
Hiding behind someone else's rules, she
left me high and dry without a word – I
call that unnecessarily cruel.

I fall into your eyes when you look at me -
ah, shoot me now, put me out of this misery.

I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed
messages hey yeah, I'm picking up mixed
messages, mixed messages hey yeah

Ah but look around, I think I'm being unkind,
maybe I do it too - the blind accuse the blind.
But I fall into your eyes when you look at me -
someone shoot me now, put me out of my
misery.

I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed
messages hey yeah, I'm picking up mixed
messages, mixed messages hey yeah

I'd commit to you if I could draw you in,
but this moment-to-moment thing, oh darling
it's doing me me in...
Track Name: Stoney Ground
4. Stoney Ground

I don't want to sleep with you while you still
sleep around. You say “all men want this”, well
I say all those you've found up till now.

I've taken time to realise that my heart is sound
and my heart is telling me my love would fall
on stoney ground

So where's the rub, and what's the deal?
Why do you hide the way you feel?
Where's your heart, and where's your soul?
You're a male fantasy, but I want reality

I've taken time to realise that my heart is sound
and my heart is telling me I don't want to fall
on stoney ground

But there's a girl on a hill, and her soul is singing
still, as she moves to and fro.

I've taken time to realise that my heart is sound,
and my heart is telling me I'm not going to fall
on stoney ground. I don't want to fall on stoney
ground. My love won't fall on stoney ground.
Track Name: Strange Disease
5. Strange Disease

Stealing glances, too late for advances - you're
spoken for and I'm a coward. I'm always falling
for a pretty face, and I know I don't really know
you, but I'm in outer space and I want to come
down - I'm sick of flying. I want to come down,
I'm so sick of flying

The air gets thin up here, this rarified atmosphere.
The middle of the night, just cold philosophy.
I wondered if you might become my wife, but
these fantasies and dreams cut like a knife. Oh,
I should know - I destroyed my life with it, this
strange disease, I destroyed my life with it. Yeah,
I've destroyed lives with it

The way your hair falls around your face, and
your smile lights your eyes – well, here I go again.
You'd think that I'd be wise to this by now, but
I'm swallowing the hook and I'm in anyhow. It's
a strange disease, it feels like dying. Such a
strange disease, I feel I'm dying a little bit faster now.

Stealing glances, too late for advances - you're
spoken for and I'm a coward. I'm always falling
for a pretty face, and I know I don't really know
you, but I'm in outer space and I want to come
down - I'm sick of flying. I want to come down,
I'm so sick of flying. I want to come down now.
Track Name: Old Dog Fast Car
6. Old Dog Fast Car

Hot girl in a red top, blonde hair in a braid
Red roses are blooming, nineteen in the shade
Just give me the barmaid and no-one gets hurt
I'll give you my credit card, I'll give you my shirt

The things the mind takes hold of, the body too
An old dog chasing a fast car – if he caught up
with it, would he know quite what to do?

There's something in New York, there's something
in Rome. There's something all over the place, by
the scent of my phone. Well I ain't going easy – I
want back to the feast, shake of this collar, slip the
leash (swipe RIGHT...)

The things the mind takes hold of, the body too
Like an old dog chasing a fast car - if he caught up
with it, would he know quite what to do?

There's life in this mongrel yet, new tricks to be learned
Plenty of fuel to be lit, dry tinder to burn
So hand over the barmaid, and the keys to that car
I'm sure it'll come back to me when I've remembered
where all the levers are...

The things the mind gets hold of, the body too
An old dog in a fast car - head out the window,
looking for mischief to do. Ah, the things the mind
takes hold of, the body too, like that old dog driving
his fast car - head out the window, looking for more
mischief to get up to. Head out the window, baby,
looking for more mischief to get up to...
Track Name: Home By Now
7. Home by Now

We didn't mean to run away to sea, only to seek
our own place and identity, but the currents are
strong, the tide and the undertow, and lost in the
waves, and the deep blue...

No ghost from the grave needs sent to tell us this -
in over our heads, we're in one hell of a fix. Staring
at screens for retail therapy and for the homes of our
dreams, with no hint of irony

But if you lived in your heart you'd be home by now
If you knew what it wanted, it could be in your hands
All this flailing and fighting it leads nowhere
If you lived in your heart you'd be home by now

The call of the sea, harsh and inviting -
the foam and the spray, the farthest horizon.
Ah but sail with me for an inland ocean -
your body's the key, the seat of emotion

And if you lived in your heart you'd be home by now
If you knew what it wanted, it could be in your hands
All this flailing and fighting it leads nowhere
If you lived in your heart you'd be home by now.
Track Name: Desire Is A Nameless Rose
8. Desire is a Nameless Rose

Desire is a nameless rose
She curls, unfurls, and she burns

Our hunger birds, they feed on thorns
They seek the teeth to match our wounds

So many shades in bloom
Desire is a nameless rose
Track Name: Coming Undone
9. Coming Undone

Still life in black and white - a fallen star,
you cower in the dark. Too much to put to
bed, but not enough space to heal your heart
inside your head

And you're coming undone, falling apart at the seams
And you don't understand what it means

Small hour, 3 a.m., awake again, too wired
and tired for sweet dreams. It's too late for
ways and schemes, there's only love can open up
and let life out and in

When you're coming undone, falling apart at the seams,
and you don't understand what any of it means

You're coming undone, falling apart at the seams,
and you don't understand what any of this means –
only love.
Track Name: Run
10. Run

It would have been safe to declare this thing
to me, you don't have to face this on your own.
You don't have to sleep alone, but I know
the overwhelm - and you run

And you run through halls and rooms of
shadow, from one who should have loved
you most. This should not come to anyone,
don't give up upon this ghost - but you run

And you know, yeah you know that I know
because I run too – but I would've held you.
I would've held you.

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