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This is the first release by me and my backing band, The Wandering Boy Poets. Some of these songs are nearly identical to previous recordings because we were playing these songs live in a near identical fashion to how they were recorded and essentially wanted to use this EP to document what we were playing live at that time.


released December 1, 2008

All songs written by Andrew Hirst

Performed by:

Andrew Hirst
Neal Heppleston
Eddie Venison
Gemma Ferguson
Fliss Webb



all rights reserved


The Contortionist Sheffield, UK

The Contortionist is me, Andy Hirst; usually alone, but sometimes with friends. We even had a proper band for a while (The Contortionist and The Wandering Boy Poets).

I've been in a load of bands over the years playing various things: drums in Nixon, The Broken Chairs, and The Purgatory Players, guitar in Situationists, guitar/keys/vocals in Japanese Sleepers and Fall Forwards.
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Track Name: Like Paper Plates
Now these days are ours with a vengeance
The steps that we take are doubly sure
Our joyousness caused revelations
Our sadness caused nuclear war

Scarred like the night, crumpled like paper plates
The distant blur of the city lights
The aching call of the city lights

As we step out into the ocean
the water laps at our knees
The biting cold has lifted for now
We replaced it with a moderate breeze

Scarred like the night, crumpled like paper plates
The distant blur of the city lights
The aching call of the city lights
Track Name: Death, And A Mother's Arms
The shape of our new morbid dreams
Compressed into this space where we rest our tired feet
This we will never recognise
As the alternating patterns of these lights blind our tired eyes.

Our words; ambiguous
Drenched in monochrome
Our intentions saturate themselves in dialect.

Now I see I've wasted so many hours of dialogue
Waited on this sentence more than once in monologue
Until the elegant simplicity would evaporate
Into distant patterns that these eyes will never see
Pieces of infra-red;
Pictures in waves.

And all I see is death, and a mother's arms.

And cold silence, drenched in monochrome
So unambiguous in this skeletal home.

Where were you on the night we lost,
Caught in farcical dialogue?
You were inside your mother's womb
While we just got up and cleaned our wounds.

Cupping our burning hands
With circles round our eyes
Waiting for water to drown the pains of our last fatal weaknesses.
Track Name: Regiments
We salute with our shattered fingers,
Our symphonies of terrified cries.

(And I'll always be watching out in the night for them,
I'll always be there)
Track Name: Makeshift Cat's Eyes
My mouth is open with smoke pouring in,
My hands are shaking with a steady unease.
The clips of phonemes cascading into the mutilations of where we used to agree.

We won't tell our children of this great divide.

My eyes are open to wave upon wave,
As the torrents of threads of non-existence pour in.
And to these trinkets of our assumed need,
We will never celebrate with our new meanings.

And so we'll be gone before this statement repeats
For our regression and our protection.

We won't tell our children of this great divide.
We won't tell our children how we make cat's eyes.
Track Name: The Sounds Around Us
The air in here is filled with a sense of forcing movement
I hear avoided questions inside these hollow spaces.

Beneath the lights the dead can come alive
With bright young eyes
But still, they're dead inside.

Your lips are forming words that I cannot hear
But I understand every word.
Their expressions are hidden by the distance
With intentions as stale as the air we breathe.

And now I have lost my tenuous sense of self-control
Everything I want to say escapes with no struggle at all.

Beneath the lights you have beautiful eyes
The sounds around us become harmonious.

Your lips are forming words that I cannot hear
But I understand every word.
The shallow waters I tread are turning black
As they evaporate from beneath my feet.
Track Name: The Brightest Daylight
This new polarity to the dead ones has some subjectivity
We met them on the beaches in our sunscreen smeared productivity
This isn't the thread of a story or some larger narrative
Just the scent of the dead ones, bathing in the sun-spots that burnt us alive

The sun that burns us alive.

This new polarity to the sea-scapes, under such influence
As the tides we are shaking through the coldness and the ties of gravity
Holding onto my stature in the burning streets of the dying hour
Just the scent of the dead ones, bathing in the wide oceans that burn them alive.

The sun that burns us alive.
Track Name: Through Monolithic Lines
And while we're passing time to sit and waste away
I'll say I have no time to waste
Setting my movements by the coldness of the clocks
Pressing on it unison through these protruding lines

Was I dreaming or have I false memories of some past personal time?

Numbers and numbers, synapses firing
Hours of empty, idle emergencies
Pen onto paper, ink into vacant eyes
Marching to progress through monolithic lines
That reach across the sky
Carving echoes in our eyes.

Pressing on through tired streets
That sigh under the weight of the angles and numbers
Of which we speak in unison
Of the songs about which we talk only of their function

And then these mistakes have no precedent
Only progress creating them.