Riven

by Nick Harper

supported by
Richard Smithston
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Richard Smithston Could this be Nick's best album so far? I believe it certainly is his most accomplished and well rounded effort. first It highlights his upbeat and happy material. Next we are treated to the title track 'Riven' which acts as a centre-point. The second half of the album contains Nick's darker more political material including a very Tom Waits inspired kick at the odious figure of Kelvin Mackenzie.

If there is justice in the world 'Riven' should make Nick Harper a superstar... Favorite track: Juicy Fruit Girl.
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about

Nick's epic 8th studio album - 15 tracks - 75 minutes.
A collection of songs from the light and dark side of Harperspace, split down the middle by the title track.

credits

released October 1, 2013

Mixed and Produced by Tchad Blake
Also featuring: Jeremy Stacey-drums / Jakko Jakszyk-guitars,vocals / Lily Harper-vocals / Jon Leveller-violin / Dave Graney-vocals and Ben Jones-vocals, keyboards.

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about

Nick Harper England, UK

Hi Harpernauts.

To celebrate a great 2016 Nick has put together a band for a mini-tour this Autumn - check out all the dates over at harperspace.com

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Track Name: This Is The Beginning
Way way back in the early hours of time
The girl got up to the top of the tower in the dead of the night
Somewhere the still air still scatters
Her voice and the yellow flashes bright
Reflections in the bell she was swinging
In what there was of the light

And the moments pass so fast somehow
This is then and that was now
It’s a long way there and back again
When that was now and this right now is then
When I see that bell I know full well that bell is there for ringing

Here we go
This is the beginning

Those scissoring light beams and those scattered atoms swell
As they meet again and make a little pool
In a heart fit for bursting ‘cause it has her tale to tell
Yet what am I , but a hopeless fool?
I will always remember her singing
Just 'cause she liked singing
It gets me there, right back
Like this is the beginning

Here we are
This is the beginning

I have started forgetting lots of little things
And my powers aren’t always what they were
But in repeating echoes whenever any bell rings
I swear I hear something of her
I will always remember her singing
Just 'cause she liked singing
I can hear her

now in the echoes ringing
Singing this is the beginning

This is the beginning
Track Name: Juicy Fruit Girl
Up the stairs, drop the trapdoor, lower the ladder, put on the light – Oh what a sight…

Clackers in the attic, first day covers
Knievel pump-o-matic, littered letters from other lovers
Postcard from Spain, rosette from Wembley
Ribena stain on the Gazette from the jubilee
Red dice white pips escaped Colditz do or die double six
Action Man's gripping hands, grabbing hold, holding on to Barbie bits
Esso coins on a pair of old flares,
brown sellotape joins on the Subbuteo players
On a stack of Look and Learns I see the reel to reel recorder
Still turns still squeals in the general disorder
And like a drop of water colour in a coloured water beaker
A tiny little voice comes from the tiny little speaker
I know that voice
And I dip my brush in my memory’s cup and the colours swirl
The colours swirl

It’s the juicy fruit girl - I remember the juicy fruit girl
She used to chew it all day long and if she kissed you - She’d slip it up beside her gum
This memory got me excited - I start thinking of looking her up on Friends Reunited
Oh I’d definitely tell her I was married - Otherwise my wife wouldn’t like it
Oh no you’ll never see that girl again
Oh no, not the juicy fruit girl

A 20 year tear's drawn up from the torn up little naughty boy
I flick a black jack wrapper at a red steel wonky wheeled Tonka toy
It hits a royal wedding mug with a glued up araldite handle
Stops in a web and bugs and a blue and white cup cake candle
Where the blind teddy lies by some buttons in a bag
He would have got for eyes if a moment could be had
Then I’m aware today is waiting down the stairs and far away
And I haven’t got a clue what I came up here to do anyway
So the bakelite light switch switched off leaves the past in the past
The bakelite light switch switched off leaves the past in the past
And the light the dark dismembers rushes down to the world
The light the dark dismembers rushes down to..

The juicy fruit girl - I can’t forget the juicy fruit girl
She used to chew it all day long and if she kissed you - She’d slip it up beside her gum – yum yum
This memory got me excited - I start really thinking of looking her up on Friends Reunited
I’d probably definitely tell her I was married - Otherwise my wife wouldn’t like it
Oh no you’ll never see that girl again - Oh no, not the juicy fruit girl

As you know this chewy little story's run by the fates
Couple of hours later in the cornershop with my mates
Lady drops a fiver on the floor and we all recognise her by the size of her jaw
Elbows in my sides couple of ribs couple of jibes couple of fibs
Funny vibes
She looks up says, “Hi”, so do I, “Nice to see you, to see you, nice to see you too”
Everything alright a couple of smiles in the aisles and then I...just walk by..doh!

The juicy fruit girl – I just walk by the juicy fruit girl
She still chews it all day long and if she kissed you - She’d slip it up beside her gum – to free her tongue
The fantasy's exciting – the reality's a tad more frightening
So I settle for buying my wife a pack of Orbit, because it’s kind to your teeth and that ain’t bad
Oh no you’ll never see that girl again - Oh no, not the juicy fruit girl
Track Name: Love Is Due
A suitcase pushes through at the sound of the bell
On the journey going round on the carousel
But the figure walks away and leaves it circling there
Light on his feet, no burden to bear
A spring in his step, to the airport bar,
A jug of water, a bottle of Ricard
And then he starts to sing a tune called 'Love Is Due'
Could he be you?
Could it be you singing 'Love is Due'?

The weary waitress washes a glass
He raises his, salutes and laughs like a fool
Nothing to lose
So the glass goes up on its shelf
But her eyes let something of herself come through, Something comes through

And the muted news loops on the screen
There's noone else there to be seen
So she says, "Hey Elvis what're you singing and who you singing to?"
He looks around, flicks a brow, curls his lip up and down, swivels his hips around and says , "You baby, I'm singing to you and I'm singing 'Love is Due'"

Well they laugh like the best of friends
She works through her break until the end, she works through, straight through
Cool and wise she understands
Like only strangers can yeah she's cool, she's cute too

As they make to say goodbye with not a little tenderness
She takes his arm and starts to confess she is charmed and
She says,"Yes, I believe it's true most things are better shared and I could share with you, and love is due
For me for you (I mean timewise.)"

And she says, "So…this suitcase
Are you going to go back and pick it up?
You know you're drunk – what if you drop it and it spills all your private stuff?
Sending all your secrets spinning
All across the concourse floor
There could be hundreds looking at this baggage of yours
As they wait to be called to board at the gates
To fly to the white cliffs and the blue water round the cape
Leaving you slightly stiff, truly slaughtered and agape
Giving off a mighty whiff of aniseed breath
And all abashed from your involuntary confessional, Trashed,
Knowing you more..knowing you know they know you more
Knowing you know it’s true
Knowing you know it’s true
That you carry all this stuff around with you and you don't need to - it's not something you need to do - it's so heavy you're going to get a limp and you're going to stoop
Ah, You know you’ve got to love yourself first
Love is due"
She said, "Love is due"
(It was quite a speech)
She said, "Love is due"
And then she said, "Ooo"

There's a rainbow as he walks into out the day
It's warm, it's wet and it's grey, but there's patches of blue With the sun coming through
And you can't tell if it's tears or the rain falling on his face
He throws his empty arms out into the space that she walks into and at last they embrace and then he says, "This is how it starts - let me carry you always, I'll carry you always, Love is due, like a train, I'll carry you, always"
Track Name: Holiday On Earth
I've got a feeling in my bones
That I’ll see you at the stones
And after all we’ll get to say
That we spent one sunny day
Of our precious precious time
With the other-worldly wise
Stood on sacred dirt
On holiday on Earth

I've got a feeling in my bones
That I’ll see you at the stones
And we’ll join up all the lines
That ley between our busy lives
And hold the magic in this land
And cup that spirit in our hands
To know the real reason why
We pump our fists up to the sky
Holding sacred dirt
On holiday on Earth

I've got a feeling in my bones
That I’ll see you at the stones
We'll feel other souls arising
Inside out and up above
Beyond our mind’s eye’s horizon Sending back a little love
By the metaphysic postman
The genetic messenger
In a letter from forever
To the sacred sacred dirt
On holiday on Earth

I've got a feeling in my bones
That I’ll see you at the stones
And we'll stride a wider circle
And ride this life just like a cycle
There will be no pain, nor hurt
‘cause after death there comes a birth
And it’s not about the destination
But the sweat inside your shirt

And we’re all coming from
And we’re all going to..
The sacred sacred dirt
The sacred sacred dirt
We are sacred sacred dirt
We’re all sacred sacred dirt
And we’re on holiday on Earth
Track Name: Pop Fiction: Origins
Music changes her clothes and does her hair
New bells ring on her twinkle toes as she goes up the golden stair
The beat my heart well knows though no senses guide it there
Because an elemental force shows the way, the why, the where
Music full of drunken promise offers up her open hands
Naked bare and honest to come to be the only plan
Sheets shift like endless underwater seas of sand
Oh so slowly bearing other gifts from other lands

All of this time
Dancing out of my mind
All the kisses I sent you
From the heart of every song
In the hope you know life loves you
And that we haven’t got long

Music lies undressed and adorns the bed that’s never made
She was ever blessed and graced the places that we laid
Silence breaks and confesses to the sound she makes
And turns to song and festival wherever the Piper plays

Music looks me in the eye and sings the infinite song
That played way before my time and will play way beyond
To the resolution of pi from the biggest bang of the biggest gong
I’m going to take that ride if only for a moment long
Track Name: Sunshine
You came down from the sky
Riding a blinding light
You know I pity the darkness
Not to see such a sight

You don’t even seem to be trying
That’s the way your happiness should be
Sometimes I feel like crying
That’s the way your happiness gets me - sunshine

And I don’t want to know your secret
It’s for you to cast the spell of life
These old hands would surely break it
And leave us running out of time
Track Name: There Never Was
There never was

I travelled worlds to meet you
Through the cracks in the ticks
Of the classroom clocks
On an island hanging in the sky
Made of fine hourglass sand

As I journey on
I try to be where I am
Let it all follow on
And do the best that I can
But of all the places I go
I've only really been where we played
And I hope you know
I want to come and stay
Hey babe
There never was
Will ever be

Imagination feels you
Sees the smack of our lips
Through the keyless locks
In a parallel eternity
In between each sweep
Of the second hand

As I journey on
I try to be where I am
Let it all follow on
Do the best that I can
But of all the places I go
I've only really been where we played
I know you know
I want to come and stay
Hey babe hey
There never was
Will ever be
Track Name: Riven
The show will go on in troubled times
She'll get through
She's going to set the world alight
Broken in two - Riven

The party goes on all around
The jester in tears - Riven

First they learned of the birds and the bees
Then sent out incendiaries

Treading water in the dark
Feeling it move because of the shark - Riven

This dream could cost the Earth - Riven

Summer green to autumn leaves
In the orchard of the tearaway trees
As watery eyes see the landfill abide
On the site set aside for the psyche to breathe
And the only living space you'll ever need
Is buried there waiting to set you free

Objects of desire
Instruments of torture - Riven

So the hunter-gatherer returns
Cities to loot, cities to burn - Riven

This beautiful dream - Riven

When everyone looks to the crack in the sky
I'll remember the gaze in the old man's eyes
Weeping for the water of life
All there will be will be what you can cry - Riven
Track Name: Here Comes The Gun
Crack in the obelisk - Free the basilisk
Ransack Atlantis - Choke the metropolis
Mass hallucinosis - Facts without basis
Statistical sophists - Doom in the profits
False analysis - Ordnance in excelsis
Fantasist catharsis - Move in to the darkness

I tied these words up
I cut them down dead
I ripped them from the pages
They were still in my head
I meant to move my mind a million miles or more away from here
And play the song on the sonic waves a way away beyond the stratosphere
But every time I get that high I see the world is just a tiny pale blue tear
And here comes the gun

Viral oasis - Infected stasis
Car sin o' genesis
Art eyrie - o' sclerosis
Praying man - ‘tis plastic gnosis
Moral paralysis - Drastic prognosis

Oh there I go again
Spreading the joy and the happiness
Should I be sexing up the mess?
As the Earth revolves around (the gun)

I meant to move my mind a million miles or more away from here
And ride the song on the sonic waves way way beyond the stratosphere
But every time I get that high I see the world is just a tiny pale blue tear
And here comes the gun

It's just another little echo of the empires coming home
Lionhearts in the heart of the battle-zones
Blood brothers spilling blood brothers' blood's how we're known
As the chamber music smokes,
There's murder in the jokes,
One for oil and oil for one!

I meant to move my mind a million miles or more away from here
And play the song on the sonic waves a way away beyond the stratosphere
But every time I get that high I see the world as just a tiny pale blue tear
Here comes the gun
Little darling
Track Name: X By Your Name
Drawing lots in a hot air balloon
Basket cases losing height
Heavy questions all thrown overboard
Still coming down too soon
What're we going to sacrifice for the flight?
I Pick up the paper
I put a X by your name
I'll be the one to blame

Warhol’s children Orwell’s heroes
TV sofa teary careeroes
Supermarket tabloid celebrity breakdowns
through the keyhole defenses,
Over the moat,
All on expenses along with your vote
15 minutes to the global meltdown
All that hot air up there
I'll put a X by your name
I'll be the one to blame

If a tree falls in the forest
And no one’s there
To stand against it
You can bet your life
That they're all going to fall
And not a single one
Will make any sound at all
Pulp them to paper
On that very same paper
I'll put a X by your name
I'll be the one to blame
Track Name: Reality Check
I got voted off today and I never felt so free
Time I made my getaway
I've got places to go, people to see
Yes I tried to stay to play if not to win
But try as I may the votes kept pouring in
But it doesn't mean anything
As if it ever meant anything

Reality check in the green room
Bag up the rider, hugs in the wings
I've got my girl I've got to get to
Supercolliders in our sofa springs

Two kisses for my little stars
They take away the worry lines
I never dreamt that I would get this far
In these hard, gladiatorial times

Where am I going?
With these thoughts inside my head
Where there was stomach for the fight
Is there yet only cheese in there instead?
But does it mean anything?
Could it ever mean anything?

I got voted off today and I never felt so free
Time I made my getaway
I've got places to go, people to see
Yes I tried to stay, but just to play
I don't want to win
But try as I may the votes kept pouring in
Got to go
But it doesn't mean anything
As if it ever meant anything

God, man and the Earth
Fighting for places on the show
Countless Emporer's thumbs
Get repetitive strain texting who's got to go

Three crosses up on high afar
With their names on signs
It must really matter who they are 
In these hard, gladiatorial times

Where slaves fight slaves
In the pantomime decline and fall
Lust turns on love
As if there's nowhere near enough to love us all

And the lines are now closed
To the public at large
You will not count
But you will still be charged
The results are in
And who leaves can be revealed
In no particular order, here's the deal:
Corruption, greed and robber banks - it's not you
Ignorance and intolerance - it's not you
Cruelty and torture from above - it's not you
Peace, freedom and love - it might be you

We've got talent for teasing and training the hounds
Talent for fixing all the battlegrounds
Merciless mercenary moral makeovers
And waging war on the weakest pushovers
Come dine with me Come dancing come killing
Come see the world for the blood-stained shilling
Snog marry avoid compassion
Embarrasing minds are back in fashion

I got voted off today and I never felt so free
Time I made my getaway
I've got places to go, people to see
Track Name: The Incredible Melting Man
Here’s a simple cautionary tale
Of how the vanity of a man
Turns the heat up on himself
The Incredible Melting Man

He kept his enemy too close
Til he himself believed in the evil plan
He washes down a fatal dose
The Incredible Melting Man

He thought he'd have his say
Moderate the new program
And now he literally runs away
The Incredible Melting Man

Cuts and lacerations
Too deep, too far and too fast
Betraying generations
The Incredible Melting Man

The riots were predicted
All across Engerland
And you know who was nowhere to be seen
The Incredible Melting Man

You cannot hide the basic facts
From the people of this land
Who know damn well he’s only made of wax
The Incredible Melting Man

He becomes more disingenuous
And he thinks that we don’t understand
'cause he's a bullet point genius
The Incredible Melting Man

Three word mantras with fist half-closed
Index finger slightly open from the hand
Manicured and briefed like nobody knows
The Incredible Melting Man

"Let me make this perfectly clear.."
Is what he says as the truth gets the pan
The saddest leak from parliament
The Incredible Melting Man

No one ever remembers
The kingmaker's hand
‘cause the King always fans the flames just below
The Incredible Melting Man

And the riots were predicted
All across Engerland
And you know who was nowhere to be seen
The Incredible Melting Man

He's forsaken his ideals
To join Lord Snooty's gang
He stands in the light, but he sweats and then he peels
The Incredible Melting Man

And the riots were predicted
All across Engerland
And you know who was nowhere to be seen
The Incredible Melting Man
Track Name: Plague Of Toads
Plague of toads at my door
1000 eyes looking up from the floor
They follow the stars on the muddy moor
And the shutters flap like never before

I've been down to the crossroads the deal is getting worse
Than in any bible code or the
heavy metal curse
And the headless horseman heads a hell-bound hearse
Hacking, whipping, slipping souls into the Devil’s purse

Plague of toads at my door
Don’t want to see no toad no more
Out in the night of a red top storm
The presses crush like never before

Down at the crossroads the deal is even worse
Than in any bible code or any heavy metal curse
And the headless horseman heads a hell-bound hearse
Hacking , whipping, slipping souls into the Devil’s purse

Plague of toads at my door
1000 eyes looking up from the floor
Where will it end do you suppose?
This plague of toads

Wheresoever that coach was made to go
From the Dark lane to the Kingdom below
Whatever a man did scatter to sow
Nothing good did ever grow
Track Name: The Beginning Is Nigh
Where are we?
We're on the edge of the desert looking up at the reflection of the sea
Some journey we're on you and me
Better to share it with a friend
This is not our journey's end
It was a nice ride, but lets stop the car
You and me can roam afar
Better the countless sights to spy
Cause for us,
The beginning is nigh

I was hanging with the Flat Earth Society
Til we fell out
It was a spectacular fall
Granted from a precarious position
On the most precious cosmic dartboard of them all
But it's hard to believe in gravity
When you're so high
Where the burning boulders collide
Never mind
We're not gonna cry
It’s not like it’s the end of the world
No. For us the beginning is nigh

Look up see the Sun chase around the Earth
Not so long ago they’d have you killed if you’d said otherwise
It was judicious to agree
Even if you didn't.. sympathise
Anyway we’re gonna to leave all that behind
You and me found a way to survive
Like they’ve been saying all along
For us
The beginning is nigh
Track Name: Start Again
Time wore on and now it's late
The mad professor calibrates
Machines that calibrate
Machines that keep the missiles stood up straight
So we can play around
With the calculations of our fate

And the moments pass so fast somehow
This is then and that was now
It's a long way there and back again
When that was now and this right now is then
And as the echoes are ringing
I know full well
That this is the beginning