My favourite spoken word track in the suite by a country mile; this was one of the last tracks to be recorded for the album and as such it was recorded entirely on the band’s new Pro Tools 8 system. For me this section just shines simply because of a tour de force performance from another of our guest artists, writer and stand up performer, Iain Houston. Iain is a master of regional accents and although you only hear a fraction of what he is capable of on this track (he did all of the spoken word sections along with Robert and my father and we simply chose the most appropriate people to play the small cast of characters that appear in this sequence of songs), Iain nailed the character of the Refugee on the run from the followers of The Big Red Spark. It’s a very dark but inspired bit of writing from Robert too. The piano part is me trying very hard (and failing naturally) to be Mark Hollis from Talk Talk.
This is one of a number of pieces I wrote to show the different worlds of the Big Red Spark. Simon’s right; it’s the best one. And Iain is awesome. It was originally called “The Invasion of the BRS” but luckily it isn't any more.
There’s only a handful of us left now. It was easy in the beginning; all we had to do was nod and smile, as everyone we knew babbled happily and incessantly about this thing they’d found, this great idea, this awesome machine that would provide the answer to everything.
They’d wait for us to contribute our insights, and then confusion and disappointment would set in when, backed into a corner, we’d finally had to admit we had no clue, not even what it was called.
Sometimes there was sympathy, but as the factories roared to life, there was more and more resentment, guarded talk about “not pulling our weight” until finally we were openly treated like morons, not fit to perform even menial tasks for the “Cause”.
When it became obvious (to them, at least) that the construction required human sacrifice – then we were fair game at last.
Some of us escaped the camps, living in ditches and begging where we could. Unable to bluff any further, we could at least recognise each other and join up, whilst the rest of the world went to hell in a handbasket.
So now it’s dark. The house I’m in with four others has no water or electricity, but we should be safe for the moment – I don’t think the patrols come out this far. But I keep wondering to myself – what will happen when they’re done? I asked my wife once, near the beginning – “What does it do? What’s it for?”
All she did was look at me, and I never got an answer. I don’t think they know. The whole world is building this thing, and I don’t think they have the first clue. God help us all.