The Old Fox of '45

by Calamateur

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    Original 2004 CD release of 'The Old Fox of'45' on Autoclave Records. Packaged in a shrinkwrapped gatefold card case.

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1.
04:03
Sound my name, sound it out You heard what I said, I don't give up You've been ignored for far too long The time is close, it might have come I can't be assed with your half truce Go lose yourself, let me fill your shoes You've been ignored for far too long The time is close, it might have come This is all I know This is all I know This is all I know This is all I know This is all I know This is all I know Waiting just for you Waiting just for you Waiting just for you Waiting just for you This is all I know This is all I know This is all I know Just wait a while Just wait a while Wait a while
2.
3.
And any time now your eyes Will look this way or retreat to the side And infiltration is impossible As long as I'm guarded inside And I can feel this That I can beat this That I will see through You and I never done And under covers as one And someday soon I will hold your stare As long as I am alive And I can feel this That I can be this That I will see through you And I can feel this At last I can know this That I will see you See you through Yeah anytime now your eyes Will look this way or retreat to the side
4.
I know it's so hard Yeah to know where you are When all you can see Is our hearts don't agree And I've been running away Yeah from all of the things that I think you will say And I am not gonna do that anymore And this won't last forever This won't last forever This won't last forever I know So let's give it a name Because it can't do us harm when we know it's just pain And I am not gonna leave you in the lurch And this won't last forever This won't last forever This won't last forever I know And I know And I know And I know
5.
Sunday morning, I am mistaken 'Cause I am nothing, you are nothing And you don't see my flight through the skylight And I am falling, not fallen If you are the son of everyone Then we are the lost and lonely ones You are there and you are not silent So say something useful Don't say that sequence is not important And that you live and work in slow motion If you are the son of everyone Then we are the lost and lonely ones I'm so tired of all your mistakes And of you laughing in my face So tired of this disgraceful world I'm so tired of all my mistakes And you living in my father's face I am so tired of living in this world If you are the son of everyone Then we are the lost and lonely ones If you are the son of everyone Then we are the lost and lonely ones
6.
04:26
I care a lot I don't care at all My heart is hot My heart contains nothing at all And I have been frozen Since you said this is not a game But you know my problem Has always been the same It's when the educated guess Is all that's left, is all you've got And I'm still terrified of pain And of the cost, the risk of loss I'm giving up Never giving in I'm backing out I'm backing myself into a corner that I Can never escape from That I can never choose to leave It's the only way that I'll grow To move myself that I know 'Cause even after all this time It's you and I and we're still on our own With the educated guess That's all that's left, is all you've got And I'm still terrified of pain And of the cost, the risk of loss And when investigation ends Will I be blameless in your eyes Will you be here beside Me tonight Don't say you won't say a word when it's over Say that you'll stay here beside Don't say you won't say goodbye when it's over Say that you'll stay here beside And when investigation ends Will I be blameless in your eyes Will you be here beside Me tonight Here Beside Me tonight
7.
06:39
And I am tired beyond belief Of hearing you inside of me Of your quiet critique Yeah all that you've made me is weak Yeah and if you And I see passionate displays That you are pleased to strip away You analyse how we behave But all you've made us is afraid Yeah and if you Fall down Yeah and if you Call out Yeah well who would hear you And come to your rescue I saw the longing in your eyes To mock what makes me burn inside But in naked flame you see no truth, no use So I've learned to hide my fire from you Yeah and if you Fall down Yeah and if you Call out Yeah well who would hear you And come to your rescue And come to your rescue And come to your rescue
8.
This is my Universal Plea to you Not to leave me This is my Rehearsal I know you're not Ready to go I'm caught up in Starlight I'm drowned out in Daylight This is my Confession That sometimes I don't love you at all I'm caught up in Starlight I'm drowned out in Daylight Are you anywhere to be seen Are you anywhere to be seen
9.
I want to run away with you Out of this low-lit smoke-filled room I want to leave let's make it soon Open a window let the air through And we'd wait for desperate days Before we'd shake ourselves awake And we'd talk through endless ways Until the smallest change we'd make Nicotine lights have left me cold Car stops at my side of the road I wanted to leave but it was too soon I'll walk away if that's OK with you And we'd wait for desperate days Before we'd shake ourselves awake And we'd talk through endless ways Until the smallest change we'd make I'm getting tired of you complain You've been lost and found and lost again Eyes closed I rarely felt the same Eyes closed I'll stay this way I'll never change
10.
I can't wait Until the final showdown And cut that wood Good And put away your knives 'Cause I can't be Your only friend Take twelve stones Reclaim the throne And build a wall To surround it all And soak that wood Good And quench your thirst And dry your eyes 'Cause I can't be Your only friend And I won't leave You alone again And I can't be Your only friend And I won't leave You alone again

about

The debut album from Calamateur, originally released on Autoclave Records in July 2004.

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No.15 in the 'Top Scottish Albums of All Time' poll - Is This Music? Magazine, April 2005.

"...stunning...a work of beauty...what took Snow Patrol's 3 albums and 4 people to accomplish, Calamateur's Andrew Howie manages straight off with songs of desolate beauty underpinned with a savage hope. Buy it. 8/10" - Planet Sound

"...the aim is true and the heart is strong in this beautiful little record. 4/5" - The List

"simply another triumph... an enthralling listen" - Is This Music?

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ORIGINAL AUTOCLAVE RECORDS PRESS RELEASE:
(written by Richard Vernon)

I'm trying to get my head around a press release for Calamateur’s latest offering. It sounds awesome, and typically Andrew - which is to say an eclectic and effective mix of pop sensibility, avant-gardism, noise, prettiness, acoustic fragility, electric muscle, harmonies and crackly samples. Let’s try this on for size…

Autoclave Records (Brooklyn and Beauly) is proud to announce the imminent release of the debut album from Calamateur:

'The Old Fox of ’45' is the 5th and most recent collection of songs from Calamateur, the band’s 3rd release for Autoclave Records, and it's debut full-length album. Released under his Calamateur moniker, 'The Old Fox of ’45' is publicity-shy Andrew Howie’s most assured and accomplished offering to date. This time he’s even allowed us to see his name on the credits and a relatively distinct photograph of what (we can only assume) is the man himself looking at a CD booklet. The stylistic range is just as eclectic as ever, taking in underground rock, experimental electronica, post-folk and distressed pastoralism; but there’s no hiding behind effects, no posturing. This is the sound of a man coming out of seclusion.

'The Old Fox of ’45' follows the release last year of the double-length EP 'Son of Everyone' and marks a departure from its predecessor’s delicate acoustic stylings. The music sweeps assuredly from all-out rock ('Half Truth') to acoustic guitar strummery ('Desperate Days') to far gone and out electronic experiments (a cover of The Blue Nile’s 'Automobile Noise').

The album art is mostly derived from the family crests of the Lovats and the Frasers, two historically significant families in Beauly; the place Andrew and his wife call home.

The Songs:

'The Old Fox of ’45' kicks off with the post-Pumpkins rock of 'Half Truth', a gloriously catchy song with a monster riff, and the dying trace of a sample from a comedy album of prank calls. In a sane world we’d be seeing this live on Top of the Pops next Thursday. This is the kind of song that makes kids want to start bands.

'Automobile Noise' is a blistering cover of one of The Blue Nile’s most accomplished moments. Howie doesn’t stray much from the original’s polished/raw vocal delivery, but the arrangement is an entirely new beastie. Lush orchestration is totally replaced by combative layers of vicious industrial noise swathed in the best and scariest use of digital distortion we’ve yet heard. A winner.

'Hold Your Stare' blends acoustic guitar, treated vocals and electronica to produce a poignant atmosphere of distressed pastoralism. An acoustic version of this song appeared on the 'Son of Everyone EP' (CLAVE004).

'Won’t Last Forever' is words of advice and wisdom to a troubled heart from a troubled heart; a tartly sweet confection served on a bed of keyboards and static.

'Son of Everyone' is a reworking of the lead track on last year's EP of the same name. This is a much poppier take than the EP version and includes ‘80s keyboards, synthesized strings and a chunky electric guitar.

'Here Beside' is shinier than the “quick and dirty version” heard on last year’s 'Son of Everyone EP' but retains all the quirky charm of the original which, you have to admit, is a pretty cool trick to pull off.

'Your Rescue' swings the mood down again; weary and somewhat resigned, yet spurning bitterness for hope. Musically the song lunges unexpectedly from a soft and wistful acoustic into aggressively loud electronica and back again. It’s also one of Andrew’s best vocals, with a gorgeous falsetto and harmony.

'Universal Rehearsal': imagine you live on Sirius and like to listen to earth-style hard rock. By the time the radio transmissions make their way across the light years and through the ion storms, it probably sounds like this.

'Desperate Days': “I want to run away with you” says it all really. One of the great songs of love/fear of action.

'Your Only Friend'; fear, anguish, pretty guitar, distorted drums, ominous rumblings, great tune. “I can’t be your only friend”. What a way to close an album. Genius.

Bio:

Andrew Howie lives in an abandoned portastudio on the muddy banks of the Beauly Firth in the north of Scotland. He makes up songs using pieces of driftwood and the corpses of dead birds. Strange men steal them away in the night while he’s digging for scallops or sleeping on the old couch behind the eight-track. In the morning he has no songs and has to start all over again. Sometimes he dreams that he’s actually married, living in a nice two storey flat over a mini market and has turned the spare bedroom into a high-tech recording studio. Since it rains a lot in Beauly and the roof of the portastudio leaks, he usual wakens from these dreams to find his face is wet and the song stealers have left the door open again.

When he records as Calamateur the dance is always along that line of tension between intimacy and distance. The emotional territory mapped out is an exploration of the longing for safe harbour constantly at odds with the desire for self-protective independence.

The fruits of Calamateur’s previous labours have been heard on BBC Radio 1’s John Peel show, Late Junction on BBC Radio 3, Madrid’s Cielo Liquido as well as local radio the length and breadth of Scotland. Reviews are found liberally scattered across the web and in various high falutin’ music journals. There should be a sheet of impressive quotes attached here, but if you bother to look at the calamateur dot com website, or read online reviews at Amazon, Norman Records, Rough Trade, and so on, you can read them in context and realise we weren’t just extracting the juiciest lines. It really is fair to say “Critically Acclaimed”. So we do.

Andrew has the knack of building songs from apparently disparate parts; delicately picked acoustic, soft harmonies, feedback, distortion, electronics, montages of samples, thunderous bass, rock guitar, and found sound; which make sense as satisfying, haunting wholes.

--------------------

As heard on Beat 106's The Beatscene, Cielo Liquido, Radio Magnetic's Fallout, BBC Radio Alba's Rapal show, Lord Litter, the Jimmy Possession show, CyberStormRadio, Radio Marabu & Alooga Radio. Record of the week on Radio Ceredigion's Phil Olyott show.

REVIEWS:

"Based in the Scottish countryside, released on the miniscule Autoclave label, Calamateur's stunning album is a work of beauty that deserves to make Autoclave very rich people indeed. What took Snow Patrol's 3 albums and 4 people to accomplish, Calamateur's Andrew Howie manages straight off with songs of desolate beauty underpinned with a savage hope. Shivering, yearning epics, as sublime as his Blue Nile cover is it's not the best song here by any stretch. Buy it. 8/10" - Planet Sound (Channel 4 Teletext)

"Eclectic and more than occasionally brilliant, Calamateur is the work of one Andrew Howie, a lo-fi Scottish songwriter of no little talent. This is his first full-length release and it is peppered with great moments, from the Mogwai-meets-New Order of opener 'Half Truth' to the achingly fragile Sparklehorse crackle of 'Won't Last Forever'. Throughout 'The Old Fox of 45', Howie blends inventive instrumentation with simple melodies and a dreamy vocal to create a record which is both atmospheric and intimate. The pace is lethargic, but the aim is true and the heart is strong in this beautiful little record. 4/5" - The List

"It's hard to find superlatives to describe the music of Calamateur. Not because they're hard to come by, they've simply been used up in previous reviews! This, the first full-length album from Andrew Howie, is simply another triumph. With Calamateur less of an Oldsolar side project now, the stripped-down sounds are still as thrilling as ever. The album actually starts with a full band - 'Half Truth' creates a massive sound driven by pulsating New Order-style bass and an almost singalong chorus. There's a cover of the Blue Nile's 'Automobile Noise' here too, with an overloaded beatbox driving what's almost a one-man dance remix. The Blue Nile comparison was one I'd never made before but whether it's the voice, or the at times sparse production I can't be sure, but at times The Old Fox seems like it might contain some long forgotten/destroyed demos from the legendary Glasgow trio. There's a couple of songs from their previous album - the title track from 'Son of Everyone' is given more bells and whistles in the new production but 'Here Beside' retains the starkness of the original. The jarring percussion on 'Your Only Friend' slowly drags an enthralling listen to a close. I can only echo the words of Jim Bowen : "Super smashing great"." - Is This Music?

"Calamateur's CD album, 'The Old Fox of '45', is a lot less strange than 'Tiny Pushes Vol. 1', the only other work I've heard from them. Having said that, it's still pretty strange, if for no other reason than the incredible diversity of styles it encompasses. The first three tracks take in assured and polished REM-style melodic rock, noisy and glitchy vocal electronica and effortlessly swooning acoustic sadness. So it goes on, swinging from style to style, but never losing the core qualities of a confident voice, tuneful compositions and sharp, clean production. At times that clean production threatens to sap the soul from the music at times, but that's just the view of somebody with a slightly twisted and illogical view of independent music." - Diskant

credits

released July 5, 2004

All songs written, played, recorded, produced, mixed & mastered by Andrew Howie, except 'Half Truth' (written by Calamateur & Mark Russell. Drums: Pat Fagan. Guitar: Mark Russell) and 'Automobile Noise' (Written by Paul Buchanan & Robert Bell)

All songs recorded at Fertility Doll Studios (Glasgow & Inverness) except 'Half Truth', 'Automobile Noise', 'Universal Rehearsal' & 'Desperate Days' recorded at Badass Studios (Glasgow). Drums on 'Half Truth' recorded by Dochan & Andy at North Glasgow College.

Thanks to Lindsay, Richard, Mark & Heather.

For all I know.

Design by fatbetti.

© 2004 Calamateur under license to Autoclave Records
℗ 2004 Autoclave Records

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Andrew Howie Stirling, UK

Andrew Howie (ex-Calamateur) is a Scottish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer & prison/community group music tutor. He combines confessional & empathetic lyricism with acoustic instruments, noisy electronics & ambient textures to create introspective, hook-laden songs about uncertainty, doubt & love. You'll find him either holed up in his home studio or playing in your living room. ... more

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