I’m always amazed whenever Abigail’s Party is shown on TV at how it still captures the tension of middle class dinner parties (not that I have been to one for a while, or even go to many anyway). The needs of the participants, their desire for everything to be wonderfully perfect and the frisson of flirt in the air. So that was my inspiration for this song, to capture that experience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail%27s_Party
The hosts are described by the guests in the verse, I see it as both negative and positive. They see that they are a bit pompous and self interested but at the same time they are charismatic and engaging hosts prepared to grab the limelight and make a real evening of the proceedings. The guests make fun of them talking about what they see as their ‘wonderful lives’, but don’t get off scott free. They’re at the party in the first place and by the end the drinks are flowing and everyone is very pleased with themselves and where they have got to with their lives. Does this sound mean? It’s not meant to be, just exploring things.
The bridge then kind of pulls back the curtain to reveal what is at the core of the relationship. The first half is precisely about the events at the party and the last 4 lines are what happens when everyone has gone home and normality sets in again. I quite enjoy the “we’ll talk about this afterwards” line as it can apply to both the hosts and the guests, the hosts putting aside differences for the good of the evening and the guests spotting cracks and interested to see if their other halves spotted the clues on the way home.
I really like the visual image of a couple avoiding eye contact at the breakfast bar, and I enjoyed the melody of the bridge in total. If I had been easily able to (stupid 4 track cassette recording) I would have raised the tempo on the bridge so it really takes off. With the drum beat I find it might drag a bit.
I’m still working out the finer details of the melody and think I could maybe move it so it sounds more natural for my voice, it’s either too high or low, but I can’t really sing loudly at the moment so this will have to do.
Tascam Porta 03
Drums - Yamaha RX21 into Electro Harmonix Ocean’s 11
Vocal with realistic Electronic Reverb
Guitar 1 - TC Electronic Cinders and TC Electronic Tailspin
Guitar 2 - Red Witch Ivy Distrotion (and clean DI)
Bass - guitar with Boss OC2
She don’t lie
At least that’s what she’s telling us
Framed by the bay window
For what it’s worth
We hope she continues to thrive
Living in her wonderful life
He don’t cry
Just not in his make up (profile?)
Worries about maintaining his posture (image?)
He’s revealed enough to make a breakthrough
Prescription for a wonderful life
But there’s tension at the dining table
Clipped tones in the corridor
Raised voices heard through the serving hatch
We’ll talk about this afterwards...
Colour coding the bookcases
Drawers slam in the second bedroom
Walking past the family portrait
Avoiding eye contact at the breakfast bar
They don’t fight
At least not in close company
Takes all my might
Not to point out the obvious
Over dessert we talk about our wonderful lives
Walk off drunk into the night