SFF Song of the Week: Keith Brooke

At the recent NewCon convention (run by the wonderful multi-tasking talent Ian Whates) I had the pleasure of meeting a fabulous writer and darned nice guy – Keith Brooke. He’s a friend of Tony Ballantyne and Chris Beckett, and together we painted the town of Nottingham red – in the way that somewhat middle aged chaps do.¬† In other words, we went for a pizza.

Keith is the author of a wide range of SFF books of the adult and younger adult variety ¬†including The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie and Genotopia, and also writes as Nick Gifford. Here’s a cool interview with him.

And here’s his song choice:

Keith Brooke writes:

The Coral
Time Travel
Hidden track on their debut album The Coral

Some authors have music playing while they work; others need absolute silence. I used to be the fussy kind: one of my fondest memories is the moment when my young son finally understood that if I was upstairs with the door shut it meant I was working and didn’t want to be disturbed. The way he conveyed this? He came and stood outside the door and shouted, “I’m being QUIET, Daddy!” He was so proud. And so was I, really.

I’ve mellowed since then. Now, I can sit in a coffee shop — or better, a pub — and write, regardless of all the distractions.

Music, though, can be a distraction too far. As long as I can’t hear the words I’m fine. And being part-deaf, it’s quite often that I can’t quite make out the words (they just don’t sing clearly these days: such poor diction). But when I can hear the words… Like reading a story, I get carried away. I’m following *their* words, not mine.

Even when I’m not trying to write, songs tap into that part of my mind that might otherwise be writing. Some do this more than others: for example, if I listen to Lloyd Cole, Kirsty McColl or Ben Folds (love the new album he did with Nick Hornby) I often find I’m itching to be writing – so many stories to be told!

The Coral’s first album did this for me. The songs aren’t necessarily as story-based as someone like Kirsty McColl might write, and I wouldn’t claim to understand them, but there’s something about them that fans that creative spark. Hidden at the end of the album is a song called “Time Travel”. “Time travel will be the death of man” apparently. No idea what they mean by that, but hell there must be a story in it! There’s a wonderfully dystopian undercurrent to the lyrics, but it’s not just the words that get through to me, it’s the lazy, jazzy, ska backing. It’s a dark, twisting dream of a song, and it sets my mind racing in all the best ways.

Time travel will be the death of man
Only the devil fools with
the best laid plans
The best laid plans best left unplanned
Time travel will be the death of man

What’s done is done
So you must see
You can’t bring back
What’s already been
Technology’s tempting the public eye
Do you wanna know why when who and why
We’re cloaked in indecision
Concealed by lies
I wanna know why we’re really alive
Well you might say we got no proof
There’s one thing I know
Is that I’m younger than you
And I can see through your eyes
And I can see through your lies
hypocrisy is your only disguise
Better tell us why we’re really alive

Time travel will be the death of man
Only the devil fools with
the best laid plans
The best laid plans best left unplanned
Time travel will be the death of man

In my darkest day
I thought this through
A change in the weather
Could be made by you
And all the information
You’re holding back
Is it hidden in the water
That runs from my tap
When few had the proof
That Jesus Christ
Was no more of a man than you or I
Would you tell the people?
Would you try to deceive?
For fear of undermining
Their religious belief
Well there’s a war going on!
It’s obvious one!
It’s between magic and medicine

Time travel will be the death of man
Only the devil fools with
the best laid plans
The best laid plans best left unplanned
Time travel will be the death of man

Never give up the fight!

Sharing and Bookmarking:

If you enjoyed this article, please consider bookmarking it or spreading the word via your favourite social media channel:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • Posterous
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS

Keyword-Matched Posts:

If you enjoyed this post, you might find these others interesting:

  1. SFF Song of the Week: Jesse Bullington
  2. SFF Song of the Week: Jon Courtenay Grimwood
  3. SFF Song of the Week: Mike Cobley
  4. SFF Song of the Week: Richard Morgan
  5. SFF Song of the Week: Paul Raven