New Studio Album –
“A Record of the Unworldly and the Strange
An Ingenious Man …”

Long awaited studio album from progressive rock outfit Gil Galad, formed in County Durham in 1979.
Inspired by John Walker, entrepreneur and chemist credited with the invention of the friction match, the album weaves a wonderful story of truth, myth and legend.
This limited edition CD launch version comes in beautifully presented packaging featuring original artwork with lyric booklet.

Please click the CD image to preview tracks or buy.

We have been overwhelmed with requests for a downloadable version of the album so if you prefer that format you can buy a download on our Bandcamp site here

Track Listing


(Click track names to skip to lyrics for each track)

1. A Record of the Unworldly & the Strange

2.  Restless River

3. Welcome to the Show

4. Like a Ghost

5. Turn on the Lights

6. I am the Fire

7. Too Late

8. Empty Space

9. Bright Light Leaving

10. Walker’s End ?

Track 1.

A Record of the unworldly and the strange
‘If there occurs an emergency at night
it may take some time to make a light
to light a lamp.
But an ingenious man devised the system
of impregnating little sticks of pinewood with sulphur
and storing them ready for use.
The slightest touch of fire, they burst into flame.
This marvellous thing was formerly called
a ‘light-bringing slave’
but afterwards when it became an article of commerce,
its name was changed to ‘fire inch-stick’ (From Tao Gu)

A thousand years and more lie in-between what was known and what was lost.

John Walker could not understand how the knowledge of the past could outweigh the knowledge of this inventive, industrial age.
Had we not just travelled in carriages pulled by engines driven by fire and steam,
built machines to make work more efficient,
conquered the world in ships built by craftsmen far superior to any the world has ever seen?

And yet…this simple thing…
In a book by Tao Gu, resurrected with tantalising hints, John Walker looked for answers Answers he hoped to find In The Records of the Unworldly and the Strange .

 

Track 2 – Restless River

Spars and ropes cross the skyline.
Sloughing on a lazy river
Ripples eddying,
disappearing as easily forgotten memories.
Driftwood with more purpose than discarded oak
Moulded into icons for an Empire.
Hoist sail and set course for plunder and pleasure.
Each with a price
The future is wrapped in gold and lined with scarlet.
And brick by brick the town will grow beyond its gentle means.
Merchants call for more.
And give more for empty marble talismans.
Fore and aft, port and starboard
The river though still is never quiet.
And generations know it true worth…

Memories fade like tears in the rain
Open doors, an endless pain
I get so lonely, I am so tired
I just want to be far away
From here

Born of hills the river runs by
Haunts my thoughts, I don’t know why
I’m not the man I hoped I would be
I’m not the same man at all

It’s restless river
It’s a restless me
That restless river
That restless me…
Restless river…

Give me time, time to think
The future is dim, it’s not what it seems
Mist cloaks my vision, the days are unseen
Nothing is clear…not at all

Show me a life where waters run clear
Show me a day, a week, or a year
A fragment in time, just a small glass of hope
A sample of something that’s real

It’s a restless river
It’s a restless me
That restless river
That restless me…
Restless river…

The colour and clamour alerted him to the fact that change was in the air. It was a change he welcomed. Strange tongues and stranger, outlandish behaviour passed him by and secretly he envied their flamboyance and the care-free attitude to life. The barkers and tellers, performers and tumblers excited him in ways he could not express with their willingness to face danger in the name of entertainment.
His quiet world was so different and the occasional utterings he would mumble would belie his desire to be like them…to allow himself to let go. They danced on wires and swung between overhanging branches of the open ground at the fringe of the town as gaudy tents and brightly painted boards were built into a small, transient town of unfamiliar smells and sounds he welcomed every year…

Track 3 – Welcome to the Show

Different people everywhere
Sparkling ribbons in their hair
Dancing in the streets tonight
Bright light colours taking flight

What are you looking for?
(Show, show show)
What are you dreaming of?
(Show, show show)

Sound of laughter
fills the air
Smiling faces have no care
All the senses taste delight
Ghostly forms will leave this night
Alone…

What are you looking for?
(Show, show show)
What are you dreaming of?
(Show, show, show)

Little children stand and stare
Caught within the shining glare
Lovers holding hands so tight
All their worries out of sight
Tonight…

What are you looking for?
(Show, show show)
What are you dreaming of?
(Show, show, show)

John Walker was a man not prone to idle flights of fancy. Enmeshed as he was in the accurate measurements of miniscule proportions, he was a man steeped in hard facts and immovable truths that could be quantified, checked and verified without doubt. So, when his world stopped, when time stood still and the scales of reality slipped from his vision, he was shaken to his very core. Dreams upon dreams…light upon life…

Track 4 – Like a Ghost

All is quiet…

Colours fade to monochrome as mist devours the certainty of light.

He walks, head bowed, past grey figures moving with unknown purpose, gliding on eddying swirls of cloud.

Muffled sounds resound and fall at his feet.

Fleeting glimpses of bright gold, phosphorescent luminescence flash in his mind:
Flickers of hope remembered.

She

A light, lilting laugh through open smiles
Half alive moments of hope
He felt…

And then, one turn
As diamond prisms become
mere drips of dew

He drifts through shapes of isolation

Alone

And does not yet realise that it is he who is the phantom…

He wakes to a new dawn. Sun streams in through dusty windows illuminating his room in the reflected red, yellows and blues of the many potions and chemicals caught in a dazzling light of possibilities. His breath is shocked in anticipation of all he could achieve whilst dizzy thoughts danced through his head. His mind racing beyond the stretch of the wildest wind. John Walker had roused himself from a stagnant torpor of longing and bent into a whirlwind maelstrom of potential. He had seen a new light…felt its heat and basked in its warmth. Today, he thought…today…

Track 5 – Turn on the lights

Turn on the light
Turn on your life
Turn on the light
Turn on your life

Looking for some way to survive
Day to day goes on
Looking for ways to be alive
Finding it in your song
Searching for truth behind the lies
Nothing makes much sense
Searching for answers in disguise

There’s a world at my door
What am I waiting for

Turn on the light
Turn on your life
Turn on the light
Turn on your life

All in the light and life of life
Day to day goes on
All in the light of endless strife
Things that go right and wrong
Searching for meaning, look for truth
The answer’s in the sky
Searching for reasons to survive

There’s a world at my door
What am I waiting for

Turn on the light
Turn on your life
Turn on the light
Turn on your life

Looking for some way to survive
Day to day goes on
Looking for ways to be alive
Finding it in your song…

Turn on the light
Turn on your life
Turn on the light
Turn on your life

Track 6 – I Am the Fire

Records of the unworldly
Records of the strange
Powder glass and chlorate
Chemically change

Phosphorescence friction burn
Sticks of pinewood light
Ancient alchemy remain
Tortured flame ignite

Looking for the answers
Searching for a clue
Brilliant flames of Vespa seek
Yellow into blue…
Records of the unworldly
Records of the strange
Open up my febrile mind
Chemically re-arrange!

Nothing…for days. No improvement, only failure. Repeating experiments with fine margins, finely tweaked and charged: Nothing. Customers to his pharmacy noticed the lines etched on his face clawed deeper than usual, his shoulders knotted in fatigue and frustration. He barely lifted his head to greet them and chuntered around his business distracted by a million motes of elusive thoughts. Nothing! He would not allow himself to be taken off into another world of dreaming until his dream had been fulfilled, and every hour that dream escaped him filled him with tiny drops of despair until his frustration began to wear upon his scowling features. Nothing!

Track 7 – Too Late

I see my life passing me by
remembering what I’ve done
I’m working it out, hmmm
Is this the life I’m wondering
Do I see the man I want to be

Too Late
Too Late
Too Late
Too Late

A new day dawns and I am old
I long for the days gone by
I’m working it out, hmm
I turn my head and look around
fear surrounds (like night fog)

Too Late
Too Late
Too Late
Too Late

Too late to be with you, I hear you say

Throw caution to the wind, will that make you stay?

Wish I could love like my thoughts, running free

Too Late
To be with you
Too Late
To be free
Too Late
To be with you
Too Late
To late for you and me

After all his research, his hours and days spent searching and reading and mixing and failing, when the answer finally came it was not expected. The detritus of his labours lay neglected around his study: Mixes and concoctions labelled and filed for further investigation at a later date. Some he had already rejected as useless or dangerous or too combustible. Whilst others he marked as ‘shows promise’.John Walker was at a point where he was giving his time to something that always seemed out of reach and was wondering if all his efforts were truly worth anything. He was comfortable, he didn’t crave fame or fortune and he provided a good service to the town: Why then could he not let this thing go?
The circus had reminded him, as it did every year, that there was life outside his study, beyond the confines of his emporium. And every year it lit a spark in him for adventure…change…a life beyond…
The wind blowing in from the sea rattled the door and startled him from his thoughts. He swivelled and ground his foot onto the hearth to steady himself. There was a scratch, followed by a flash and a smell of sulphur. He looked down. It appeared as if his foot was on fire. Another gust…another rattle. He jumped up and stamped his burning foot in rhythm to its insistence. But it wasn’t his foot that was burning.
The door suddenly flung open, a harsh draft blew out the dying hearth-light and on the tail of the wind he could hear the raucous beat of drums and cries of showfolk…John was lost between two worlds…

Track 8 – Empty Space

There’s a light in the universe
The glass is empty but the bottles always full
I been thinking ‘bout a lot of things
But I can’t see through a vision thick with wool

There’s no one here but me
There’s no one here…

There’s a space in the living room
An empty chair and a coffee going cold
There’s a hole in the universe
The day is dawning but the light is just too old

There’s no one here but me
There’s no one here…

There’s something strange in the neighbourhood
There’s something strange…

Some lights burn bright… Their embers illuminate the dark days of unseen futures, stretching beyond the bounds of our own shimmering notes that tell we have been here…in this moment. To touch another’s life is to reach out into infinity with hope of nothing more than remembrance. John Walker did not patent his invention of his ‘friction lights’ believing it was something to benefit all mankind… His life’s work, to break free from the shadows was always a desire to light the way for others. He could neither dance nor juggle nor walk a high wire in death defying performances, but for his part, his legacy burns ever brighter…His life’s work, to break free from the shadows was always a desire to light the way for others. To touch another’s life is to reach out into infinity with hope of nothing more than remembrance.

Track 9 – Bright Light Leaving

Midnight calls
In the evening of all I’ve become
Echoes of bright lights
Shadows of all I never was

Days growing shorter
Darkness draws near, I am home…again
Sleeping with sweet lies
A memory is all I ever was

There’s a quiet in your soft voice
There’s a smile I never leave
There’s a hope withing your sweetness
There’s a love was ever real

Light the way for the other ones
Lost in the dark…still
Open your mind to the future
See where you are now

Eyes growing dim
I can see in the think veil of gloom
Circles of life flowing
Endlessly, endlessly, endlessly, endlessly through

There’s a quiet in your soft voice
There’s a smile I never leave
There’s a hope withing your sweetness
There’s a love was ever real

Track 10 – Walker’s End?

Instrumental

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