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Devil Take Me Down / Deptford Broadway

by Zen

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Tracks are £0.59 each or buy all 3 for a bargain £1.50!

Recorded early 2004

Review:

ZEN Devil Take Me Down/Deptford Broadway.

Zen's debut single wears its influences very firmly on its sleeve while still managing to sound highly fresh and contemporary. Like all the best musicians who pay homage to the work of previous artists, Zen don't simply replicate the sound of their influences they build and expand upon them. What they've produced is a heady blend of folk, punk and psychedelia for a 21st century audience.

The first track Devil Take Me Down revives the talking blues form. It's an up to the minute take on a style of blues that goes back to the 1920s. Bob Dylan made it popular in tracks like Subterranean Homesick Blues and he in turn was inspired by the 1930s folk artist Woody Guthrie. The catchy chorus is interspersed with a witty spiel in which singer Christy talks us through his search to find himself. He starts on Oxford Street and his spiritual quest takes him all over the West End before delivering its moral: "steer clear of doing wrong/Listen to what your mother says/And never sing this song."

The flipside of this double A side is Deptford Broadway, a wistful ballad that celebrates and laments the passing of what, for a brief moment, was an important address for musicians in South East London: 51 Deptford Broadway. For nearly two years practically every musician in the area either lived, played or partied there. This could make it an exciting place to be as well as a chaotic place to live. The song marks a moment of turning in singer Ceri's life as he wrestles with his decision to leave. The tune has the sort of tender melancholy, tinged with a dark underbelly, that Arthur Lee achieved on Love albums like Forever Changes.

The back up track She's So Demanding is a raw, straight for the jugular slice of psychedelic punk pop. It's an angry and angst ridden wail of misunderstood male frustration. A pounding drum track adds huge weight to the fuzzed up screeching riffs and hoarse vocals.

This is an impressive first record for Zen which manages to convey a great deal of musical accomplishment while promising much greater things to come. An impressive feat. It's worth making sure you buy this record so you can say you were into Zen before everyone else finally got on board.

Jaspre Bark
(Music Journalist for NME, Mixmag, The Independent and many other publications.)

credits

released June 12, 2004

Track 1 & 2 recorded in feb 2004 at the Distillery, Deptford using portable recording equipment in a warehouse space and then overdubbed, vox, solos etc at the Drezone Plant, Lewisham. Track 3 "She's So Demanding" was recorded live at Alchemia Studios, Islington during a 2 hour session in late 2003.

DEVIL TAKE ME DOWN
Music & Lyrics by Christy

DEPTFORD BROADWAY
Music by C. James & Christy, Lyrics by C. James

SHE'S SO DEMANDING
Music by C.James & Zen, Lyrics by C. James

Zen in 2004 were:
Christy - Vocals, Guitars & Harp
Andre St. Clair Dyer - Drums, Keys & B.Vox Ceri James - Vocals & Guitars
Hamid Halbaoul- Bass

Drums on She's So Demanding (demo) by John Hartley

Mixed & Produced by Andre St. Clair Dyer, Christy, Zen
Arrangements on track 1 & 2 by Christy, track 3 by Ceri.

tags

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all rights reserved
Track Name: Devil Take Me Down
DEVIL TAKE ME DOWN
Music & Lyrics by Christy

I'm walkin' down Oxford Street
I just got off the tube
I came down here to find myself
I had nothing to lose
I tried so hard to make a friend
But didn't know what to say
I spoke to a man
He laughed at me
And then just walked away

The devil'll take me down
If I don't get some help here right away

I walked into a pub on Soho
I thought I needed a drink
Some woman whispered in my ear
She asked me how to think
I spun round to look at her
But there was no one there
Then I woke up in the alleyway
With vomit in my hair

The devil'll take me down
If I don't get some help here right away

So I walked out east to find St Pauls
I thought I needed a church
But a thousand voices echoed there
And only made me worse
So I founf myself a reverend
And asked him what he taught
He told me God's inside of me
I told him that's what I thought

The devil'll take me down
If I don't get some help here right away

Well I tried to keep a clean nose
But found it had turned numb
Now I make my money performing tricks
For tourists like a circus bum
The moral of this twisted tale
Is steer clear of wrong
Listen to what your mother says
And never sing this song

The devil'll take me down
If I don't get some help here right away
The devil'll take us down
If we don't get some help here right away
Track Name: Deptford Broadway
Deptford Broadway

I hear the gulls at dawn when I’ve been up all night
How many times must I fall asleep and leave on the light?
The drunks who sit on the anchor will start to gather

And it’s another market afternoon on Deptford Broadway
I’m here with the ghost that haunts my room
How Long will I stay?

Pigeons nesting in my wall wake me up sometimes
I write down lines and I talk about leaving it all behind
When the landlord calls here I say I won’t stay much longer

And it’s another market afternoon on Deptford Broadway
Here with my friends Bohemian how long will I stay?

How long will I stay
What will it take to make me leave this place
Who’ll move in today on Deptford Broadway?
Track Name: She's So Demanding (demo)
She's So Demanding

I got, i got, i got a call
It came out of the blue
She said it's been 3 years
Since I saw through you

Sometimes she's so demanding
Her lows are so outstanding
Yes they are

She bought, she bought, she bought a ticket
I put her on the train
And then she told me
I'm gonna see you again and again and again

Sometimes she's so demanding
It feels like I'm drowning
Yes it does

Here she comes
Here she comes
Here she comes now
Here she comes...