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Rollmo! No. 17 - Knights in Armour


Rollmo! # 17One of Paddy's projects which has started to see the light of day is Knights In Armour (or Billy Midnight, which was an alternative working title) - a collection of songs described by Paddy in August 1992 as "Elvis-free, death-free, in the way that Jordan wasn't - quite classic. Unashamedly ravishing." Although it was hinted as a collection of romantic, modern love songs, Paddy had a twist of a theme - those days of old when knights were bold!
The title for this collection of songs comes from the song Girl I'm Here: "and as for knights in armour, we know they don't exist." - a subtle play on the words "nights in amour"?
The song was originally recorded with 'The Producers' production management company in January 1992, however George Di Angelis, who was producing the track left the company before the track had been satisfactorily completed. The intentions of producing three or four songs stopped short.
"Love can cope with demons, love can cope with dragons" continues the Arthurian theme, which may go back as far as Paddy's pre-Prefab days in Avalon, his band from the 70's, whose name probably derived from the old Celtic and medieval influences of nearby Lindesfarne - Avalon thought as being the resting place of the Holy Grail which King Arthur tried to find, in the process fighting all demons and dragons which stood in his way.
A spate of accompanying material was released last year, along with a new version of Girl I'm Here, as B-side bonus tracks on the four CD singles released during Andromeda Heights.
Never Trust A Spell  uses the fairytale Frog-Kiss-Prince framework to introduce a Merlin-induced theme - all just an allegory as McAloon suggests "This is no fairytale, no, this craft is happening to me". Being under someone's spell is not the same as loving that person for who he/she is! And musically - such a complex arrangement put together by Paddy himself, who has now become extremely adept at self-production - comparable with Brian Wilson in my books.
Dragons, previously recorded by Jimmy Nail, and now released as a solo performance by Paddy, also for this collection, epitomises the theme in full body armour: "the forces of darkness may mobilise one hundred million demons - an army to keep you far from me. dragons may guard your door, devils wage unholy war. but I'm on my way to save you".
Just Because I Can  plays on those mythical Middle Ages beasts which were so readily slayed by brave knights, but turns the table and says that anything is possible, given the right backdrop/circumstance: "Just because: the rhythm's right; the moon is white; you fit the bill; a look can kill". After all, music soothes the savage beast!
Other songs from other projects have probably surfaced with 'new identities', such as The Sound Of Crying, which was written to the tune of Only The Boogie Music Won't Let You Down, a song which Paddy claims Michael Jackson played to him in a dream. Paddy, you're smoking too many Henri Winterman's cream puffs! In the same dream, Jackson demanded more "Rollmo!" in his production - Paddy intended to use the word as the name for his home studio. The studio ended up being called Andromeda Heights, at his mother's home in Brooms in Leadgate, County Durham and these tracks are testimony of that.
Another new offering, The End Of The Affair has a musical arrangement that just captures the imagination. The classical arrangements of this track and Never Trust A Spell (whose instrumental piece towards the end is reminiscent of Paul McCartney's Frog Chorus!) are indicative of Paddy's move to create the mood as the genesis of the song rather than just a means by which his songwriting can be purveyed. What was it Paddy wrote way back when?
"Words are trains for moving past what really has no name."

John Birch