Where the Stars Will Give Way
to the Morning

The Curator

 

Alistair Murphy: Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Jez Salmon: Guitars and Percussion
Mark Fletcher: Bass
Laurie A'Court: Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxes
Steve Bingham: Violins, Violas & Octave Electric Violins
Lindsey Mackie: Vocals
Diana Hare: Vocals
Ian Burrage: Drums and Percussion
Pat Mastelotto: Involuntary Drums and Percussion
Rachel Dunlop: Oboe on Chloe

Strings and Horns arranged by Alistair Murphy

Written, Arranged and Produced by The Curator

All Songs by Murphy except The Winter Sun (Murphy/Salmon)

Inner Sleeve Photograph by David Kirkham
Planet Paintings by Mark Bartlett
Mastered by Jeremy Carroll

 

Reviews

Sounds and feels like work of a lifetime. Teeming with musical variety, flourishes, insight and warmth. Already an album of 2018. Greet the new dawn ***** Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror

The Winter Sun, the de facto title track is a beautifully orchestrated piece that richly evokes Robert Kirby's work with Nick Drake. The jazzy overtones of It Crackles (And it Spits) sound like Harold McNair. Where the Stars Will Give Way To The Morning is a grown up record for infantilised times.**** Daryl Easlea, Record Collector

...{a] maverick, but a compelling one - whip-smart, brilliantly melodic but off the wall too, and with a nice shot of menace Grant Moon, Classic Prog

You need to Lay Your Burden Down, pour a drink and enjoy this record - it's like Samuel Pepys set to music for modem times. Just wonderful
Postmaster Flash, Holt Vinyl Vault

...a fascinating listen, best enjoyed in solitude. For this is not light nor fluffy, this is thought-provoking, reflective and explorative. With a subtle hint of Peter Gabriel to his vocal, it is fair to say that Murphy could have tackled a far lighter and more mainstream sound and pulled it off flawlessly. A prime example is the tender and touching Chloe, which could easily be transformed into a mainstream radio hit.
However, that is not the function or intention of Murphy's craft. While this may not be a reconi that appeals to everyone, it is one that is rewanfing to those who return to it for repeated listens. This is not one that you will listen to everyday, but one you should listen to anyway,
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers - The Yorkshire Times


On first acquaintance with Where The Stars...you're engulfed with a torrent of words emoted convincingly and draped with often startling accompaniment fluctuating from what amounts to at least the effect of a full orchestra, adventurously scored and unafraid to fly in the face of harmonic concord — to the rock instrumentation that dominates the culminating 'Chloe'
Alan Clayson RnR

 

LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN

You look up for a moment from your desk at their faces
And you're surprised by their expressions as they're looking at you
There's madness in their eyes and you're shaking your head
More out of confusion than sadness
A growing sense that something's going wrong
You've taken what they once had
A sense of belonging, of community, a reason to believe
You've bought them off with toys and smart phont and dumb bells
And they're ringing round their heads like the chatter of the dead
And though they smile they long to lay their burden down

And you come home to your wife or your husband
It's been a hard day, tough on the nerves and you've had to let some people go
And trouble on the tube, a man with madness in his eyes
Some issues unresolved, it’s hard enough without the nutters coming through One day you'll take the family and go, taking the savings that you've saved You'll all head out into the world
In a garden by a stream beneath a calm and gentle sky
It's taken years to find, this quiet place to hide
And now you smile and seek to lay your burden down

And I'm standing here and I don't know what to say
It’s all behind me, it's all getting in my way
It's cost the world and I don't know how to pay
I've done my time and I'm standing in the queue
You’re reaching out for me and I am looking back to you.
And as we shuffle through the gates we look from side to side to side
But what if it's you that's the problem,
And all the time you've had your head down

You've missed what's really going on
On the other side of the curtains that hang down upon your life
The flickers on the wall that you can hardly see
Are cast by flames that crawl into the town beyond
Where the ragged and the stray have turned their eyes towards the dawn
And as they reach your gated street with their sore and weary feet
They'll be coarse and indiscreet in the manner they entreat
You with a smile that you should lay your burden down

 

THE WINTER SUN

The sky is bright but the sun is old
And the shadows stretch out for the living
Was it always this way, when the shortest of days
Would give way to the night and the grieving,
And in the bright city streets
Where the counting men meet
And the beat in their hearts is the craving
For the silence to fall on the graceless and poor
The strange, the unworthy and crazy
The winter sun burns cold in our eyes
As we look to the skyline before us
It reflects on the glass and the steel in their hearts
As we patiently wait for the solstice
But it’s not on its way, it's not on its way
And up in the office of state
The lights will burn late into winter...

And out on the plain, in the cold and the rain,
The stones stand out like a warning
And the people are here for the turn of the year
And their arms are outstretched to the dawning
And in the bright city streets
Where the cheating men meet
And the beat in their hearts is the yeaming
For a life they once knew where their instincts were true
And their hopes and their loves are returning
The winter sun burns cold in their eyes
As they look to their lives and feel nothing
A moment of calm, in a song or a psalm
Something to drown out the loathing
But it’s not on its way, it's not on its way
And out on the lightening plain
The stars will give way to the morning

 

IT CRACKLES (AND IT SPITS)

Something's got to give, it’s always come and go
Incapable of life you had a lot of dreams
With all of this in mind and like we used to do
I swear you wore the smile that you're smiling now

No matter what the day might bring
The light may never fall on you
Mumbling to some inner self
Throughout your life won't bring you through
It just won't do
You know it’s true

And if I turn to look you in your eye
To tell you what you've done to promise you will burn
And sometime soon you will come to realise
There's no kindness in your life and no-one wonders why

And you can hold, hold it in your heart
Where it calls you by your name
And it whispers in the dark
Oh it will burn, burn you like a flame
It always ends this way
When only ash remains

It crackles and it spits, it crackles

 

TOM-ALL-ALONE'S

The path is still haunted with anger and pain
It's been quite a while but they're back here again
And they're restless indoors and
They're laughing in their sleep
The dogs in the manager, the wolves chase the sheep

In their hearts beating, there burns such a fire
You can't hold back the tide, can't stand by your door
Offer your view 'cause you're wrong and they know it

And all across the land they are putting up their barricades
Searching out non-believers for the common good
Breaking our bones and demolishing our houses
And we're wrong to protest and we're wrong to be wrong

What is that made you stray from your reason?
Bringing down the curtains on the truths you could perceive
And when did you awake to find it so important
That everyone around you should believe as you believe?

There's a crazy old lady at the end of the town
In a house of broken windows, wearing a dirty old gown
She looks at the fire, or the shadow of the flame
Sees a world in her image
But no longer remembers her name

And in the street they're putting up the barricade
A nod to the old days and the victories of the past
Here's to the Lady and the chinking of the glasses
The pat on the back and the deaf and the dumb and the blind

What childhood slight made her stray from her reason
What fear or grief; foolishness or pettiness of soul?
And now surrounded by the fruits of her nonsense
Still waiting for her man in her threadbare camisole

Meanwhile back in the back streets
In the narrowest of lanes, in the dark, in Tom-All-Alone's
Cower the people without faces without hope,
Without voices, without sound

You can keep your tomes you can keep your theories
Keep your shouting in the street and your missiles underground
Your symbols and signs, your wings and your prayers
The catch in your throat and the fire in your hearts

And if we could we'd be tearing down the barricades
Turning our faces to the warming of the sun
Trying to forget all the nonsense that we're stewed in
We here, irs now and our lives have just begun

What was it made us stray from our reason?
What fear or grief; ignorance or pattern in the sand?
There's no answers to our callings, there's no-one else to hear them
Just you and me and the witless chatter of our fear

Meanwhile back in the back streets
In the narrowest of lanes, in the dark, in Tom All Alone's
Cower the people without faces without hope
Without voices, without sound

 

ANGLE OF REPOSE
Something's changed, the floor falls away
The crooked walls, the splintered door
That holds the hounds at bay
All our certainties are growing cold
And here in the space between
Our hopes and fears, those left who dream
Of something better, are better not to dream

Here come the clouds, the water teaming down
All the world's a slide, a crazed fairground ride
On the rain soaked ground
Out in the darkness not so far from here
A ghost, a queen, a fool
Her army's coming after you
There's always something coming after you

 

THE RIVER

Across the river the trucks still come and go
On the mountainside the lights will shine
A necklace down the road
We're sitting here a million years away from home
Thinking where we been
And where we've are and where we've still to go.
Do you remember how we
Almost didn't get to be here?
The river flowed and you were
Swept so far away from me
The water's runs as it always runs
Down the valley and on to the sea
We'll play the game until the winter comes
But no matter how you change the rules
The river and the fish belong to me

Up on the roof the lights begin to fade
The fire's burning low
But the world seems bright and so newly made
They're all asleep except for you and me
And ringing strong, cicada song comes
Drifting from across the way
Do you remember how we
Almost didn't get to be here?
The river flowed and you were
Swept so far away from me
Now the light is gone as it always goes
A last brief glimmer upon the mountainside
And we'll be hanging on until the winter comes
Looking over bridges, quaysides, harbour walls
Until it's time for us to leave

 

WALKING AROUND THE WORLD (Alberts Song)

You've read all you can read
And learnt all you can learn
Some travel abroad to broaden your mind
Before you earn what you can earn
He's placing stone upon stone and life upon life
As he walks through his garden
He's raking leaves up again
As the judge in his head
Still refuses his pardon

A boat and a train and a train and plane
And a bus on a highway
And a girl with a child with a lingering smile
And a car going your way
He's walking around the world
Though the door is locked and bolted before him
Albert stares at the small patch of sky he can see
And his shadow rises
Across the land
Across his family and friends
Across the dreams that he had

You've flown to the East and hiked to the West
And you've shopped 'til you've dropped
Now you turn to your home, your wild oats all sown
You climb to the top
But Albert was there before you
He tasted the world and he lit up the night sky
At the shoulder of a hero or two
But never was minded to question quite why

And now you sit, moving down through the pit
As the people around you stare out of their eyes
Their lives passing by In the tunnels they rush through
But Albert can hear in the night
The sounds of delight, another year passing
The ringing of old and the chiming of new
And nothing has changed but the voice still keeps asking
Where is he now?
Where are his family and friends?
Where are the dreams that he held?

 

CHLOE

When everything's done here then you can go.
With a shrug of a shoulder and a cry of "That's so unfair"
It won't be long before you're not letting us know
Coming and going like a porter on a hotel stair
But 'til then we'll be watching over you

When there's that look in your eye
It's like travelling in time
Back to your mother explaining how I was wrong
And now you're slamming the door
And giving me a piece of your mind,
Longing for freedom and wishing that I were gone
But so soon, so soon, you'll be here
And then you'll be gone

There's a-shouting on the quay
By the whispering ships tonight
In the doorway of the tavern
By the harbour wall Strangers meeting, laughing
Fighting in the flickering light
Carrying stories of another world
And while you're there you might catch the eye
Of a passer-by, just passing by

There's a black flag flying at the edge of the bay
It's offering you a life
That you've been dreaming about
A stateroom on a voyage out to the end of your day
A ticket to the future, a current to wash you away
And now the sands are shifting, time's counting down

You've got the wind in your hair and the light in your eye
You're rounding the headland
And your home is slipping from view
Your heart's in your mouth and your soul's in the sky
As if all of the world and all history's
Been waiting for you
And now the breeze comes calling
It is comes calling your name

At night you hear the laughing, mocking
Cruel voices at your door you don't like
Or even understand the things they say
The fury of the water scares you
As it rushes past below
But you're still glad
You're on your way
For now you know
Why you caught the eye
Of that passer-by
Just passing by

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