The lyrics to this song by frustrated singer-songwriter Tim Brooks are stunning poetry in themselves. Perfectly summing up the complicated lives of musicians in London, who are frequently forced to play free gigs, or worse 'pay-to play gigs.' It has become an epidemic.
There's a millimetre crust of demerara
A sprinkling of sugar and a seabed of sweetener
On my morning coffee
Designed to stop me
From falling asleep on the third floor office seat
And I don't give a shit about a balance sheet
I've got a pay to play commitment to meet
In the belly of the beast
Of 93 Feet East
But I'm sprinting my down Liverpool Street
Cos that dickhead promoter
Stuck me as the opener
In the graveyard slot at 7 o clock
And "Kelly's Absent" she didn't make the show
Guess she only really cares if she gets her dough
You can be a star
C'mon Tim you could really go far
Just gotta work on your P.R.
And try to change who you are.
And on Denmark Street I'm an Alleycat
The screen outside will attest to that
I got a pocket full of cards and a bag of CDs
Don't you worry sir that one's on me
But wontcha check out my social scene
That's timbrooksmusic, without the 'e'
And if you'd drop a like that'd be terrific
I'm all about my motherfucking analytics
But that card disappeared inside his wallet
By tomorrow he'd have forgot' it
It's wedged in hard
'tween a Next giftcard and his old rail ticket
Cos this is the ballad of me, my friends of everyone
Who stood up'stage and wrote a song
And wondered when their time will come
And this is the sonnet
So pin your hopes upon it
And grab yourself a getaway
And turn tomorrow into today
And this song won't save my issues
And it won't get me right
And it sure as hell wont save my life
But it might just get me out of here tonight.
And I'm 2 songs down at the Apple Tree
And Romeo says that I might get 3...
If I stick around to closing time
We'll have another round at the end of the night
And there's a guy with a guitar that I just met
Who says "..Nice one mate, I enjoyed your set"
And I know what's going through his head
He's saying, "Don't fucking leave cos I'm on next!!"
Well there's glasses on the tables plenty
This place is kinda empty
This Thursday night won't go down in the realms of history.
And I'm 163 miles away from home
Wondering the streets of Leeds all on my own
And there's 17 people in the room downstairs
It's kinda themed up like the Day of the Dead
And I'm thinking..."It's just the start of the road"
And if I had a pound for every musician
Who ever found himself in this position
Well I'd be loaded, I'd be rich and I
wouldn't have to sing this song.
I said I wouldn't have to sing this song.