DOWN IN THE VALLEY

by The Gatekeepers

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about

These songs weren't on Running Late for a few reasons but mostly because they didn't really belong to any of the bands I was in nor had much of a chance at being recorded or played live. In some cases by the time I could present them to bands they felt outmoded or too derivative at the core.

A friend reminded me of Down in the Valley, saying he missed it from the Running Late songs. I spent a week mulling this over and fleshed out the sketchily remembered lyric and kept all the music as it was.

I could have just put that up here as a kind of single around rather than on an album (like Paperback Writer and Revolver) but then thought that was too wanky even for me. So I kept looking and found In Excelsis, Soldiers' Lives and We Are the Enemy. So, it's an EP.

A strange sensation occured while I was finishing these and recording them. While there had been a fair bit of nostalgia in the Running Late set all of those songs were soon reduced to songs with chord progressions, vocal harmonies, guitar parts and bass lines etc. Any visitng the past had evaporated by the time I started the recordings.

This time, though, I was dealing with songs that had no presence as recordings in my memory (Soldiers' Lives had only ever been a home cassette of the organ part) the only nostalgic sense I got from them musically was what they wore their derivations on their sleeves. That took me back to the influences rather than the songs.

All of the lyrics are, to varying degrees, modified. Some edited to get rid of clunky place-holding rhymes and lines but others reconstructed from a flimsy few lines. The latter had to be fleshed out with the other kind of nostalgia that haunted me and that was revisiting the way I thought at the time. Sometimes this left me uneasy, recalling various dodgy politics I had espoused but at other times I was pleased to note the mass ingestion of history in my reading of the time (1980 - 1982) and the effect it had on lyrics that were really tightly packed short stories like these.

I've kept arrangements sparse but informed of the versions I heard in my head. Mostly it's what the kind of band I was in would have been able to do. Mind you, none of these songs would have sounded like this if I'd done them in 1981.

credits

released December 12, 2013

Words and music Peter Jetnikoff 1980/1981/2013

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The Gatekeepers Melbourne, Australia

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