Under the bonnet of Big Blue Car's album 'Let's Radiate!'

Under the bonnet of 'Let's Radiate!'

Let's Radiate! album cover by Big Blue Car

Let's Radiate! is a collection of songs inspired by an incomplete collection of diary entries from incomplete people.

When writing a character, I don't like to use the names of people I actually know or have come into contact with. Not only does it make people think the song is about them, it makes me think about their personalities rather than those of my imagined character, so I'll often obscure names or maybe even reduce them to capital letters. The dates are accurately listed though - they really did exist and I remember them all very well.

These individuals, like their short-lived thoughts, fell off the radar when no one was looking. Read back; the little broken passages can only generate speculation and further questions as to what they were talking about, or thinking.

Diaries can be flicked through in minutes, while rushing through a complete life takes time, until you realise that time is in fact in short supply. It's only then that the words worming from the pen become an habitual test of worthiness at the sight of impending mortality and the orderly writing down of an unordered life. Why do we, the underwritten, write our stuff down?

Perhaps it's to pass on some small historical nugget of wisdom or sense. Or maybe just to say: "This was me. I was here and I meant something once, to someone".

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Track info: 

Opening a book or diary which lets the sun in, filling the room with a scent of fresh print and autumnal static.

Fish Hooks
Saturday 29th July 1984
In which 'C' dreams of being lifted by a solid silver shark hook embedded in his chest. The following week he gives up on personal ad columns and late-night goat's cheese sandwiches.

Better Days
Monday 6th October 1986 
Guilt pursued 'M' throughout her life like an unmerciful lover.

The stoical side of breaking a bond but never leaving properly. Putting it down to a life experience is all well and good but the past gets forgotten easily enough when you can find a replacement.

Action Man
He does it all 100 and 10 percent. You can't keep a good man down. He performs all the action others won't or can't do, and seems to enjoy it.

Angels' Food
Friday 13th February 1960
Some decisions are hard to keep when you are continually reminded of what you did.

Destiny and Fate. The unheard scheduling of the heart by the angelic. It's not yours to keep unless you're prepared to own both the sorrow and the joy.

Happy New Year
Saturday 31st December 1977
There are key days and moments in our lives that will make it worse to be on our own such as Christmas, a birthday or other shared occasions or celebrations. On New Year's Eve he thought of his ex and tried to picture where she was and what she was doing - and with whom. He was torturing himself under the spiritual guidance of alcohol, which made him less sharp but more instinctive. As he watched the fireworks on TV he remembered her phone number and called her - just to wish a 'Happy New Year', that's all. At the second or third ring he caught himself in the mirror, just in time.

T and P
Tuesday 6th March 1951 
In moments of post-vodka induced solitude, 'B' searched the walls of the kitchen and found profound answers to life 
in his cookery books.

It was like an alchemist's cellar but full of light. His food books provoked thoughts that were deeply hidden until a particularly revealing recipe for rabbit rillette suggested a way in which he could improve himself.

Tuesday 11th October 1993 
A low bough scratches the dusty air and lets loose its burnt hands as an offering to the Humming God. We, of course, know nothing of this until it's too late.

Industry doesn't have a conscience but you do.

Monday 14th February 1994 
Exposed by his emotions, 'L' could do little more than offer the sun and moon to a half-amused crowd of strangers who had now gathered around the kebab van.

We Radiate
Wednesday 21st August 1996
Sometimes a little sun is not enough.

We are magnetic to others and at times we will repel. Sometimes we will radiate a light which is felt and often we suck the light from those around us - how many times have you got burnt?

Big Blue Car
Sunday 22nd June 1997 
The vehicle by which we have no ultimate control, and yet can be steered by sheer will. 'K' only wished he could afford the full year's tax.

Freedom is not gained by forever wishing it. That is real disablement. Action is required where small freedoms are as important as the large - maybe this has nothing to do with cars at all?

The book gives up its last few words where you find yourself as empty as the end sheet in front of you. Your eyes are tired and the radio seeps back into focus. You need to stop its waspish chatter and go outside for a while - maybe it's time to check the beehive again.