Posted by: David Harley | September 17, 2019

Diverse Brew sessions (80s recording)

These have been available elsewhere for a while, but these are lightly remastered versions. Three songs recorded in the 1980s for an album by myself, Don MacLeod, Bob Theil, Bob Cairns and Pat Orchard. Unfortunately, the album was never released because of a contractual issue (nothing to do with me!). I believe the master tape is somewhere in Antwerp, but all I had to work from for remastering was a cassette mix, so the recording quality is erratic. All tracks engineered at Hallmark, London, by Steve Hall.

  1. One Step Away (From The Blues) by David Harley
  • Vocal, acoustic guitar, electric slide guitar – David Harley
  • 2nd acoustic guitar – Don MacLeod
  • Acoustic 12-string guitar – Bob Theil

As this version is now being released as a single, it’s been removed from this site. But here’s a rather different demo version. Just me on guitar and (occasionally double-tracked) vocals.

He never wanted her love, just a piece of her time
A loving night now and then, and no loving lies
Just a tender glance from distant eyes
But he learned too late to recognize
That he was far, far away – he’d missed the alarm
Drowning far, far away in other arms
He hadn’t noticed her changing till daylight broke him the news
Far, far away, one step away from the blues

He never wanted to stray far away from himself
He never thought he’d rely on anyone else
For a light in the window, a knock on the door
Somewhere to keep warm when the nights turned cold
But she was far, far away when the blizzard set in
The door stood silent and locked, and he was soaked to the skin
He hadn’t noticed her changing till she left him with nothing to lose
Far, far away, one step away from the blues

He only wanted to give a small part of himself
But she took his heart then found someone else
She never thought he’d give her more than a thought or two
When she packed a few bags and cut herself loose
And went far, far away in search of herself
Never thinking to leave her new address
Neither of them knew he was changing
Till he woke up with nothing to lose
Far, far away
Far, far away
Far, far away
One step away from the blues…


2. True Confessions (David Harley and Don MacLeod)

  • Vocals, acoustic lead and electric lead guitars – David Harley
  • Acoustic guitar, piano – Don MacLeod
  • Percussion – Richard Davy
  • Additional vocals – Anna (Lin) Thompson

Backup version:


You don’t have to talk, you know it’s really not a case
Of finding words for filling in our time and space
I’ll still be here tomorrow, if that’s what you want too
Who else could take me where we’ve been?
No-one else but you

The day was a river of darkness
Till you brightened up the night
And that’s the best of good reasons
To come close and turn down the light

There’s a lot to say, a lot I guess we should discuss
But surely later would be soon enough
I’ll still be here tomorrow, if that’s what you want too
Who else could take me where we’ve been?
No-one else but you

It’s not the time for true confessions
Lying here still aglow
With all your warmth and softness
God knows there’s nowhere else I’d want to go

We could talk of time and changes, good trips and bad
And just for once time is on our side
But now’s the time for loving and resting so close
And yesterday is dreams and nursery rhymes
I’ll still be here tomorrow, if that’s what you want too
Who else could take me where we’ve been?
No-one else but you
Who else could take me where we’ve been?
No-one else but you


3. Heatwave (David Harley)

This one proved impossible to remaster adequately, which is a pity in that it’s probably the best of these songs, though there’s one verse I’ve rewritten since that recording (hence the multiple versions).

  • Vocal, acoustic and electric guitars, banjo – David Harley
  • Piano – James Bolam (no, not the actor)


Backup copy on another blog:


Solo [demo] version: more recent, but the vocal needs work or replacement

Backup copy of solo version:


And here’s the 1980s version messed about with to omit the lines I didn’t like. Garageband is a blunt tool for such detailed editing, but I quite like hearing the ‘right’ words. Unfortunately, the remastering of the remaster introduced some noise.



There’s a heatwave in the city and the day drags on forever
The tarmac burns through patent leather
Clear through to the sole
Ice tumbles through glass as the temperature soars
And the dayshift leaves the nightshift to take over for a while

The city sings at midnight to the well-fed and the civilized
While waiters mop their faces in the kitchen, out of sight
Small change pours in torrents over counters in the bistros
And the moon hangs red and sullen in the dustbowl of the sky

The city is on heat, bare-legged girls in summer dresses
Dodge the lechery of workmen laying cable through the day
But the night turns on the body to sweet pornography
Passions feed on darkness and the body mutes the mind

The city squeals at midnight in its pain and ecstasy
The life-force surges through the veins and soaks the sheets
The couples claw and couple and feed upon each other
And still the hunger rages through the streets

I saw a refugee from Galway with a faceful of stubble
Singing sentimental songs in the underground today
He’s going back to Mother Ireland and the Mountains of Mourne
And he only needs a bob or two to help him on his way

The city whimpers at midnight in its apathy and squalor
From a bench on the Embankment, from a derry in Barnes
From a squat in Deptford, from the winos and the junkies
From the homeless and the helpless, the hopeless and the lost

A refugee from Calvary is preaching anarchy and anger
Through his multi-megawatt PA
And when the concert’s over he packs his guitars and prophecies
And goes back to his hotel to drink the night into the day

But out there in the streets the word is out all over
The heat are out for action in New Cross and Ladbroke Grove
The temperature is dropping but the tempers are at flashpoint
And no-one lingers on street corners if they’re walking home alone

The city screams at midnight in the agony of anger
The rocksteady revolution pays its homage to its dead
Where dreadlocks meet deadlock the shock tears up the flagstones
And on their righteous anger the riot squads are fed

The Klan charts fiery crosses cloistered in an upstairs room
The architects of reaction spin their bitter webs
Black and white scrawl their frustrations in blood across the charge sheets
And no-one dares explain the chaos in their heads

The city burns at midnight and the blood runs down the sewers
In the ghettoes and the side-streets where the patriots have been
Squad cars and an ambulance cut through the aftermath
And tomorrow’s front pages unfurl to set the scene

David Harley

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