Haze - The Last Battle CD, artwork by Jilaen Sherwood

After a wait of over 20 years, Haze are finally back with a brand new studio album, featuring the classic line-up of Paul Chisnell and Chris & Paul McMahon, with the addition of Ceri Ashton and special guest Catrin Ashton. 

The CD features 14 new recordings, totaling over 72 minutes and was released jointly by Cyclops Records and Gabadon Records on 25th March 2013.

With fantastic original artwork from Jilaen Sherwood.

The CD is also be available at our concerts and through Amazon and Bertus distribution via Cyclops/GFT.

I've put edited versions of the tracks online here and on ReverbNation. It is now also available for download from itunes & the like, including Amazon.

You can order by sending a cheque for £10 plus £1 p&p (UK), or plus £2 (o'seas) to Haze, 25 Fir Street Sheffield S6 3TG, or order online here.

Price inc postage

FULL TRACK LISTING:-
(follow link to instrumentation, description & lyrics)

  1. The Last Battle (7.15)

  2. Grey To Blue (4.25)

  3. Over The River (5.54)

  4. For Real (3.04)

  5. Dragon Fly (5.32)

  6. Classic Rock Bar (5.06)

  7. Long, Long Gone (4.04)

  8. The Barrister And The Bargast (5.41)

  9. Train (4.10)

  10. Silent Water (1.42)

  11. The Edge Of Heaven (5.36)

  12. Is That It? (7.37)

  13. Balder And The Mistletoe (5.21)

  14. The Red Room (6.43).

Total time 72.42

PERSONNEL:-

Paul Chisnell - percussion, vocals.

Paul McMahon- vocals, electric, acoustic & classical guitars, bass, mandolin

Chris McMahon - bass, keyboards, 12 string acoustic guitar, bouzouki, vocals

Ceri Ashton - whistle, flute, clarinet, viola, cello

Catrin Ashton - fiddle, flute

Equipment used:-

Recoding - Rode NT-2 mic, Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster, MAudio Delta 1010 soundcard, Sonar 4 on PC, Alen & Heath GS3 16:8:2 desk, Samson Rubicon R5a active speakers, Sennheiser HD 650 & Beyer Dynamic DT100 headphones.

Chris Mc - Sei custom 5 string lefthanded bass, Aria Pro II fretless bass, 12 string acoustic, Ozark bouzouki, Hammond T500 tonewheel organ, Alesis QS7, Roland JP8000 & Roland D-20 keyboards, Roland U110 & MC505 sound modules.

Paul Mc - Yamaha SF1000, Patrick Eggle JS Legend, Encore Mandolin, Antoria Strat Copy, Fender Stratocaster, Yamaha Nylon String CG-40A Acoustic, Patrick Eggle Linville Acoustic, Aria ST1512 twin neck, Epiphone 335 Dot, Albatross 4/6 twin neck, Schecter  Diamond series 6/6 baritone twin neck, Fernandez Strat Copy, Roland G808 & GR300 guitar synthesizer. Pod FX and Line 6 combo.

Paul Chisnell - Pearl Export double bass drum kit, Mapex kit, yambu, tambourine, congas, talking drum, shaker, rainstick.

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The Last Battle (P McMahon, Ceri Ashton) 7.15

Paul Chisnell - drums, Paul McMahon - slide & lead guitar (Patrick Eggle), mandolin, vocals, Chris McMahon - 5 string Sei bass, bass pedals, 12 string acoustic & electric rhythm guitars, Ceri Ashton - wooden flute, Catrin Ashton - fiddle.

This was the first song written after the Haze 30th anniversary gig. We were trying to come up with a set of folk/rock original songs for our ceilidh band The Outlandish Knights in the hope of breaking into the festival circuit, but most Outlandish Knights gigs remain weddings & private parties, where original material is not really welcome, so we added the song to the Haze repertoire. I think we played it live first at the Polish Club, Barnsley on 4th October 2008.
Paul had been working on the song for a while, this was about his third set of lyrics & the song originally included the guitar tune "Hitchhiking" which appeared on the 30th anniversary CD as an intro to "Ophelia" and is often played by the Knights as a polka for ceilidh dancing. The fiddle/flute tune in the middle and at the end is one of Ceri's. 

The Last Battle (P McMahon) 2008
My life has been a long one with many a song to sing
I gave my heart, my sword & shield in the service of the King

But when my soul grows weary I climb up on the hill
And gaze across this land I love the place I know so well

When war calls again I am sworn to answer
All I ask is that when the fight is done

I want to come back to the place I love
I want to end my days here
I want to lie back while the stars above
Wash away the blood and the tears
And if I should fall on the blood red field
Carry my bones back home
Lay me down underneath the ground of home

I never feared the battle never feared the pain
But now I fear to fall before I see this place again

The years take their toll I grow slow and old
All I ask is that when the fight is done

Chorus

The Saxon tide is rising The beacons light the sky
And I must take up arms again to fight Ė perhaps to die

So here on this hill I leave my soul waiting
All I ask is that when my life is done

Chorus

Back to Top

Grey To Blue (P Chisnell, C & P McMahon) 4.25

Paul Chisnell - drums, vocals, Paul McMahon - guitar (fender strat & antoria strat copy), backing vocals, Chris McMahon - 5 string Sei bass, 12 string acoustic guitar, Ceri Ashton - wooden flute, Catrin Ashton - fiddle.

From the same rehearsal sessions that spawned "The Last Battle". Paul Chisnell brought the lyrics & we jammed some chords to them in much the same way as we had with "Fallen Leaves".
Paul (Mc) added the middle 8 chords & I came up with the lyrics for this section. We've not played it live often as Paul Chis struggles to sing & play it at the same time.

Grey To Blue (P Chisnell) 2007
I can see the snow falling, it's gonna be an icy day
I can hear the wind howling, there's gonna be a storm, better lock the door, but

I'm OK cos I am here with you
You can make the sun come shining through
If my life takes on a tarnished hue
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
turn to blue

I open my eyes and see you you, it's gonna be a better day
I can't believe that I have found you, when you're within reach, I lose the power of speech, but

I'm OK cos I am here with you
You can make the sun come shining through
If my life takes on a tarnished hue
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
turn to blue

When I'm travelling far away
Think about you every day
When my skies are cloudy grey
I'll come home to you to stay


All around the world is changing, there's gonna be a better way
You can make a start by finding someone nice to say, have a good day, and

I'm OK cos I am here with you
You can make the sun come shining through
If my life takes on a tarnished hue
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
turn to blue

you can make the grey
you can make the grey
you can make the grey
turn to blue. 

Back to Top

Over The River (P McMahon) 5.54

Paul Chisnell - drums, Paul McMahon - Yamaha classical guitar, lead & rhythm guitar (Patrick Eggle), lead & backing vocals, Chris McMahon - bass pedals, piano, string & choir synths, Ceri Ashton - wooden flutes.

One of the great things about computer recording is how easy it is to layer up multiple tracks, Paul came up with six harmony parts, each of which he sang many times, to give the big choir on the choruses.
Paul wrote this in 2002 & we were playing it live by the time we toured Italy in 2003, it was featured at the 30th anniversary shows & is a classic Paul song with unpredictable chords & lyrics about death.

Over The River (P McMahon) 2002
The breath of life laid bare
The faintest flicker burning
Worn beyond repair
By the years of love and learning
Over the river you go before me
Strong in faith, spirit clear
Full of purpose free of fear
This I tell you

A life that numbered days
A gift so precious but so fleeting
I never saw your face
A heart too frail to keep on beating
Over the river, way beyond me
For all the things you'll never see
All you'll never grow to be
This I tell you

Every day I know you walk beside me
Now and then I hear your voice inside me
I know there will always be a part of you alive in me
And I will keep it there forever

And now it comes to me
As I am growing older
To set my spirit free
Lift this burden from my shoulder
Over the river no returning
For all the things I've left undone
Battles lost and battles won
This I tell you

Every day I will walk beside you
If you need me I'll be there to guide you
I hope there will always be a space inside your heart for me
And I will be with you forever.

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For Real (C McMahon) 3.04

Paul Chisnell - drums, Paul McMahon - electric 12 string (Aria ProII) & fender strat guitars, vocals, Chris McMahon - 5 string Sei bass, bouzouki, vocals, Ceri - wooden flute, viola, cello, Catrin - fiddle.
I wrote this in June 2004, demo'd it myself with help from Ceri on flute and a drum track stolen from Manic Street Preachers & put it on myspace
We played it a few times with Treebeard & brought it to the Haze set in time for the 30th anniversary. Originally sung by me - we have a "you wrote it, you sing it" philosophy - Paul wanted to have a go at it, so we alternated lines, harmonising the last line of the verse & the pre-chorus. This is the first song on the CD to feature the Ashton string section (the other is Classic Rock Bar) I scored a four part harmony for cello, viola & two fiddles for them to play.
The song was inspired by the disappearance of Richey Edwards (Manic Street Preachers) in February 1995 and his presumed suicide, as his car was found abandoned at the Severn View service station, near the Severn Bridge. The title comes from an incident recounted here on Wikipedia "On 15 May 1991, he gained notoriety following an argument with NME journalist Steve Lamacq, who questioned the band's authenticity and values...... Lamacq asked of Edwards' seriousness towards his art, and Edwards responded by carving the words "4 Real" into his forearm with a razor blade he was carrying. 
We used to spell it 4 Real, but it just didn't look right in the CDs medieval font, so we reverted to 'proper' English. As Paul said, "if he'd have meant it, he'd have spelt it properly"!

For Real (C McMahon) 2004
This is for real this is my truth
We swore weíd never write love songs
And if youíre trapped by stage & song
I never thought Iíd lose
My cynics mind as I drive

Iíll park up underneath the bridge
Walk a mile along the ridge
I'll leave everything in place
Of my guitar theyíll find no trace
Iíll keep my silence to the end
You can say I was a friend
Iíll start again somewhere new
Where no one knows me or you

Donít ever doubt your faith in me
Iíll never lose my trust in you
And if they ask you where Iíve gone
You can say whatever you like

Iíll park up underneath the bridge
Walk a mile along the ridge
I'll leave everything in place
Of my guitar theyíll find no trace
Iíll keep my silence to the end
Tell them I was just a friend
Iíll walk out onto the sea
To wash away whatís left of me
And then Iíll look back home
Just one last time and Iíll cry

I parked up underneath the bridge
Walked a mile along the ridge
I left everything in place
Of my guitar they found no trace
I walked in silence to the end
Loved you like you were a friend
Iíll start up on the isle of green
Where no one knows who or what Iíve been. 

Back to Top


Dragon Fly (P McMahon) 5.32

Paul Chisnell - drums, talking drum, Paul McMahon - semi acoustic guitar (Epiphone), lead guitar (Patrick Eggle), vocals, Chris McMahon - bass pedals, piano, lead, drone, strings & choir synths. Ceri - wooden flute.

Paul had a number of "work in progress" songs leading up to the 30th anniversary, but this was the only one with a complete lyric so we worked to get it finished & debuted at the show. Need I say unpredictable chords & lyrics about death?

Dragonfly (P McMahon) 2008
We will dance across the fields the reaper and the grinding wheel
The blood that falls onto the fields will bind us
As water falls onto the seed across the silent soil we bleed
We will be together when they find us

We will dance across the sea let the breakers set us free
The power of the untamed sea will grind us
You can be the air I crave I will be your tidal wave
We will be together when they find us

We will dance across the sand the prophet and the burning man
The light reflecting from the sand will blind us
The blazing sun will burn our skin and bring to life the flame within
We will be together when they find us

We will dance across the sky the eagle and the dragon fly
blaze a trail across the sky behind us
You will be my healing flame I will be your final frame
We will be together when they find us

We dance across the universe a silent scream an ageless curse
we will leave this barren earth behind us
The poetry and timeless grace the beauty of your bloodless face
We will be together when they find us.

Back to Top

Classic Rock Bar (C McMahon) 5.06

Paul Chisnell - drums, tambourine, Paul McMahon - electric 12 string (Aria) & lead (Patrick Eggle) guitars, backing vocals, Chris McMahon - 5 string Sei bass, 12 string acoustic, hammond organ, piano, Ceri - clarinet, cello, viola, Cat - fiddle.

This was my favorite haunt 2002-2005, I played at practically every Monday night open mic, plus gigs there with The Toastplant Project, CRF, Silverwheel, Treebeard, Haze & Strongheart. "Mad" Sass ran Tuxedo Blue & The Yorkshireman with partner Buffy before taking on the Jolly Buffer on Ecclesall Road and turning it into the Classic Rock Bar. It was a great place, often hosting all day barbeques and charity concerts for Bluebell Wood. In 2005 the landlords decided to demolish it & build flats. The demolition date kept being put back & Sass became stressed, mixing heavy drinking with the tablets he was on to counter the damage due to drinking. I played the last open mic on 4th April 2005, Sass was hospitalised soon after and on 9th June we were playing at the White Lion with Treebeard when Birley Mick told us he'd just come from the hospital where Sass had died earlier that evening. The rest is in the song.

Classic Rock Bar (Chris McMahon) 2005
I was playing on stage when i heard the news the night that mad sass died
Took the boys out the back ran through the chords of free electric band
And we played for the lives, played for the times, played for the memory of the big man, 
I donít think weíll see his like again, no not again

There was Buffy there was Toastie, the Ginger Twats, Birley Mick Bona & Martin, Hippy Phil, Slodge, Rob Tarana, Spider, Wolfie & Sarah.
Little Chris, Fred, Lez, Anna & Ed, Sergio & Paul Pearson too!
And a little old lady from the flats round the back, just donít tell the kids sheís down the Classic Rock Bar.

There were Chavs with bags of stolen booze, in black & yellow carriers
Friday night kids heading for the coop, stop by for a shandy or two
Music playing every night sass at the helm with a pint or eight of baccardi & coke his bike stood in the corner, hey youíd better not touch! 

We had all day barbeques and charity gigs bikers from the Long Riders, folkies, hippyís goths & druids, even Morris dancers too
A sign that says no suits allowed, but warning, may contain nuts
misfits, bikers, dreamers, musos, poets, & drummers too in the the Classic Rock Bar.

Every Monday night weíd go the good the bad the ugly
Easy Rider £1.50 a pint at the open mic
And some cant sing and some cant play, but no one really cares
And the greatest stage that I ever played, was on the sticky carpet at the Classic Rock Bar.

A derelict bar made home for the homeless, The Buffer made jolly again
From tuxedo blue to the Yorkshireman killed by the people who shut him down
And I donít think weíll see his likes again no not again 

In the summer of 2005 bikes roared across the city, 
from Ecclesall road to Grenoside stopping for a pint on the way
Harleys, Triumphs, Trikes & Hogs you could hear Ďem from afar
Standing room only in the chapel of rest and Eoin Teather played Moon River, 
So raise a can of special brew for Sass, Sass and all of the crew down the Classic Rock Bar

We gathered there by candlelight a vigil for the past
Guitars & bikes & cans of booze, wrote tributes on the walls
But now thereís just a pile of bricks and weíre a poorer quieter town
Coz we lost the man who brought it all together, brought us all together at the classic rock bar
We've lost more than I think we'll ever know, but you never know, not down the Classic Rock Bar.

Back to Top

Long, Long Gone (P McMahon) 4.04

Paul Chisnell - drums (Pearl Export kit in the Laundry Rooms, Mapex M kit in the Cellar), Chris McMahon - fuzz 5 string Sei bass, Paul McMahon - Schecter twin neck baritone, Yamaha SF-1000 & Patrick Eggle guitars, vocals, Ceri - cello.

This was one of the "work in progress" riffs Paul had kicking around before the 30th anniversary, but it never got finished. When Dave "Wedgie" Hadley offered us a cheap week in his Laundry Room Studios in February 2011 as "guinea pigs" to try it out before they opened commercially, I insisted that we added it to the list of songs we aimed to record. We roughed out an arrangement & me & Paul recorded it to a drum machine guide, with lead guitar taking the proposed vocal melody, so Chis had something to play to in the studio. Later Paul came up with the lyrics & we started playing the song with Danny (McMahon - Paul's son) on drums. Paul liked the John Bonham-esque tom-tom pattern that Danny played better than what we'd done in the studio, so we re-recorded Chis playing the verses on Paul's kit in the cellar & spliced it onto the choruses he'd played in the Laundry Rooms. Paul plays baritone guitar to get down to the low B's on the solo section (he even detuned it on one take to get the Bb on the chorus even lower).

Long, Long Gone (Paul McMahon) 2012
I was there at the dawning, saw the birth of the day
Found the road so I shouldered my load, and set out on the way
I was young, I was young, I was young

Wandered on through the morning, felt a change in the air
Learned to choke on the bitter black smoke, felt the shape of despair
I was strong, I was strong, I was strong

Cos there's nowhere in this long forsaken work where I belong

In the heat of the noonday, at the height of the sun
On the grass there was no shadow cast, as I started to run
I was lost, I was lost, I was lost

I believed in the music, I had faith in the world
Thought the song was the place I belonged, thought that I would be heard
I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong

Cos there's nowhere in this long forsaken work where I belong


On the cusp of the darkess, on the edge of the night
Turned away from the death of the day, walked away from the light
I was gone, I was gone, I was gone

And there's nowhere in this long forsaken work where I belong

I was young, I was strong, I was lost, I was wrong, I was gone
I was long, long gone.

Back to Top

The Barrister And The Bargast (P McMahon) 5.41

Paul Chisnell - drums & vocals, Paul McMahon - Albatross bass, guitars (Fender strat & Patrick Eggle), vocals, Chris McMahon - 12 string acoustic, backing vocals, Ceri - wooden flute, Catrin - fiddle.

One of the oldest of the new songs, it was originally conceived as a comic folk parody. We started playing it with Treebeard, but were dissatisfied with 13 verses all the same (it might work for Bob Dylan...) so introduced a key change every 2 verses & alternating vocals between Paul & Chis. Treebeard never really got it, so we dropped it from the Treebeard set & tried it with Haze instead.
The song is based on the legend of the Bargast of Paradise Square (where Paul & I have day jobs), who was reputed to have so scared a man on crutches returning from the Three Tuns pub, that he dropped his crutches, leapt the stile & ran for home. Paul was working late one night & postulates what would happen if the huge ghostly dog met the current inhabitants of the square.

The Barrister And The Bargast (P McMahon) 2006
Across Paradise Square in his suit & bow tie
The Barrister strode with a gleam in his eye
His morals were low, but his fees were sky high
For he knew how to cheat & he knew how to lie

He worked late in the evening so he could charge more
For his time and his knowledge of old English law
The shadows lay deep as he walked from his door
Through the old cobbled square from a time long before

The Bargast awoke in the depths of his lair
Hidden from mortal eyes under the square
A huge ghostly dog with red eyes and black hair
He lifted his nose and he scented the air

What manner of man can give off such a smell?
The stench of corruption and Old Spice as well
It was worse than the stench in the bowels of Hell
A smell which the Bargast knew only too well

The Bargast came forth and the man stopped dead
He looked as the size of the beast and he said
"You better be licensed or woe betide you,
I'll have you put down and your master I'll sue"

The Bargast looked back with his red eyes aglow
He said "My master is no one you'd know,
I round up the guilty and I take them below,
Now it's your turn to feel my teeth in your soul"

The Barrister turned and he fled with some vigour
But expense account luncheons had fattened his figure
So the Bargast soon had the man pinned to the deck
And he opened his jaws to rip out his neck

The Barrister pleased and begged for his life
He spoke of his children and his greaving wife
The Bargast just stared the man deep in the eyes
And said "This World has heard enough of your lies"

"your children despise you they'll be glad when you go,
Your wife left you three and a half years ago,
You have all the appeal of a three week dead Cod,
And you mistress loves only the size of your wad.

"There's none that will mourn you I bid you farewell
You soul is now forfeit, your place is in Hell,
For justice and mercy you care not one Groat"
And the noble beast ripped out the Barrister's throuat

So hear me you Lawyers and learn from my tale
With your nose in the swill and your thumb on the scales
Beware of the Bargast and his sniffling snout
Or be sure that you sins will rip your throat out!

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Train (C McMahon) 4.10

Paul Chisnell - drums & congas, Paul McMahon - Fender strat & Yamaha SF1000 guitars, backing vocals, Chris McMahon - 5 string Sei bass, vocals, Ceri - wooden flute.

Well on the way to becoming one of our most over recorded songs, albeit in several different forms. I wrote it in 2000 & we recorded it for the "Forged In Sheffield" folk compilation CD in 2006. I then came up with a slow 6/8 version of the song for a performance I was asked to do in a short film, so when we got round to recording it for "Reel Ale" (the 2nd Treebeard CD) we combined the two versions. We then started playing it with Haze, and me swapping 12 string acoustic for bass, Paul swapping bass for electric guitar and Chis swapping Djembe for drum kit changed it from a folky number into a loose jamming funky piece. Also featured on the 30th anniversary CD.

Train (C McMahon) 2002
I woke up early with the sun in my eyes and the dream still clear in my mind
I walked out of my life and out of town, with my bags just as it started to rain 
I sat right down by the railroad track just like it had been in the dream 
I laid down my load, with nothing to lose and waited for the train

Now after a while my friend came by just to see what I was going through
And we talked about the way everybody seemed to be waiting for something new
to come along and change the way we are & what weíre gonna do
and after a while she sat right down there and started waiting too 

A few days later folk were stopping by and some of them would stay
we had tents & fires & music & stuff the biggest party that you ever saw
soon we were getting organized building homes & growing our food/
I thought weíd really found a new way to live, a blueprint for a better way
& I got so busy that I almost forgot just what I was waiting for

A year has come & gone and you wouldn't believe just how things have changed
everyday thereís more people here I never knew so many felt the same
But still sometimes I think about the dream & how my life would have been
on a rainy day in summertime waiting for the train

Now our kids have grown old and Iím getting tired as I look back on what we've done
weíve schools & shops & doctors & things and a sense of who we are for sure
But thereís still no sign of change in the world or the things that weíre hopingíll come
And sometimes I think maybe itís all inside what weĎre waiting for

In the dead of night I sat by the track all alone as the stars unfurled
I felt younger as the world grew old and I donít think Iíll be coming back
put my ear to the ground and I heard a rumbling sound like thunder from another world 
then a blinding light and a screaming steam and the last thing I saw was the train 
coming down the track. 

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Silent Water (P McMahon) 1.42

Paul Chisnell - yambu, tambourine, shaker, rain stick, Paul McMahon - Patrick Eggle acoustic guitar, mandolin, Chris McMahon - contrabass balalaika, bouzouki, hammond organ, Ceri - wooden flute, Catrin - fiddle.

The newest piece on the CD. I wanted a short instrumental, perhaps on classical or echo guitar to replace the new-age-ish intro to "The Edge Of Heaven", which I didn't want to do on the CD as we'd already recorded it in this form twice - on the 30th anniversary CD (with Chis) and on the World Turtle "Haze" CD (with a drum machine). Paul showed me three pieces he'd written, a fast & complicated slip jig (9/8), a very melodic major key waltz, and this piece. This one seemed to suit the medieval mood we were going for, we messed with different time signatures, settling on 11/8, & ran through it & recorded it in one evening.

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The Edge Of Heaven (P McMahon) 5.36

Paul Chisnell - drums, Paul McMahon - Yamaha classical, Aria 12 string & Patrick Eggle guitars, vocals, Chris McMahon - Aria Pro II fretless bass, Hammond organ, string & choir synths, Ceri - wooden flute.

Another contender for most recorded song. Written by Paul shortly after the breakup of Haze, it was first featured on the World Turtle "Alien Shore" cassette in 1989 with Fudge Smith (Pendragon) on drums and Alen Shaw (bass). We re-recorded it on the World Turtle 'Haze' and Haze 30th anniversary CDs. Chis double tracked the drums, first playing the 3 against 2 rhythm on hi hat & ride cymbals, then playing the rest of the drums over it.

The Edge Of Heaven (Paul McMahon) 1988
Gently falls the night through my window on the world
Diamonds in velvet skies shine in heaven for you
As you sleep tonight starlight finds you
I don't know where you are but I want to be there
I need to be there

You have been my inspiration 
You will be my rainbows end
At the edge of heaven we shall stand

Soft as angels wings deeper than the ocean
Footprints on sacred ground side by side
Side by side

You have been my inspiration 
You will be my rainbows end
At the edge of heaven we shall stand

Lead me by silent waters stay by my side
I can't deny this feeling it will never die
This will never die

You have been my inspiration 
You will be my rainbows end
At the edge of heaven we shall stand

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Is That It? (C McMahon, B Arechiga, W Hess) 7.37

Paul Chisnell - drums, congas, shaker, wood block, Paul McMahon - wah-wah guitar (Fernandez), Chris McMahon - bass sequencer, 12 string acoustic, fuzz 5 string Sei bass, Hammond organ, various synth effects.

Perhaps the least typical Haze song on the CD, we came up with the bass riff, groove and chords during a Strongheart session at Wilburs house, trying to come up with material for a third Strongheart album. The session wasn't very productive, we found we enjoyed cooking too much with Wilbur's Deep South Soul Food, Bob Mexican Cuisine & my Authentic English curries! Strongheart played a formative version at my 40th birthday concert at the Boardwalk, then Haze premiered the finished song at the Haze 25th anniversary concert in 2003. It was rarely played live as the sequenced bass part requires exceptionally good, preferably headphone, monitoring for the drums. I took the opportunity to experiment with the mix & sound effects on this one. The great guitar riff that comes in after the breakdown about 6 mins in was improvised by Paul on his guide guitar take, but I thought it was so good the song needed restructuring to feature it more heavily.

Is That It? (C McMahon) 2004
If I sold my soul would I get a good price? If I told you lies would it make you think twice?
If I pretend to be, something Iíll never be, if I make out like that's even who I am
Thereís no excuse to be normal thereís no reason to try, no truth but now, no better life you can buy
Iím too old to grow up to young to know why, too smart to act dumb and make believe in the lie

Do you wonder what youíre doing here Well I wonder too
Another day another year waiting here for you

And we talk of the future, like we've escaped the past building castles like we think they're going to last
when it all goes up and the ship goes down, do you think it was me who sold your crown

Some say the sinners saved his soul, by repenting
But we know heís only saved his ass, reinventing

Your doctor's smoking your critics can't write songs Your futureís sold and it wonít be long

Is that it? is that all you get 
Is that it? is that all you get 
Is that it? is that all you get 
Is that it? is that all you get?

Thereís a rockíníroll moon dogs are howling your tune, so much choice, but itís all the same
I donít believe in Ghosts but they believe in me Demons rising free 

If I sold my soul would I get a good price? If I told you lies would you maybe think twice?
Iím too old to grow up to young to know why, too smart to act dumb and make believe in the lie
and make believe in the lies

Do you wonder what youíre doing here Well I wonder too
Another day another year will I wait for you?

Is that it? is that all you get? 
Is that it? is that all you get?
Is that it? is that all you get? 
Well what more did you expect?

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Balder And The Mistletoe (Trad. Grenish arr P Chisnell, C & P McMahon, Ceri Ashton)

Paul Chisnell - drums, congas, shaker, Paul McMahon - echo guitar, lead guitar (Patrick Eggle), Chris McMahon - 12 string acoustic, bass pedals, mono synth (Roland JP8000), Ceri - whistle, Catrin - metal flute.

A tune introduced to us by Canadian Christopher Rowan, he assures us it is part of the folk tradition of Greenland. We'd played a fairly straight folk version in The Outlandish Knights, but for Haze progged it up with our characteristic guitar & synth interplay. Everything after the false ending 4 mins in is completely improvised. Cat plays the metal flute on this one, with Ceri on whistle.

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The Red Room (P Chisnell, C & P McMahon) 6.43

Paul Chisnell - drums, Paul McMahon - Roland guitar synth, Fender strat, vocals, Chris - Sei bass, Hammond organ, Roland JP8000 synth. 

It was always a Haze tradition to include one old song on each of our albums - Mirage on "C'est La Vie" and The Vice on "Stoat & Bottle". The Red Room is the only 80s Haze song not to have a studio recording released (unless of course you delve back into the pre-Cellar Tapes days, oh dear are there some old songs from back then!). It was released on the 10th anniversary cassette, reissued on "In The End", and recorded again at the 20th anniversary (on the bonus disc).
Towards the end of the recording process I was kindly offered an old Hammond Organ by Jarrod of iMonster, which I used on this track as well as Classic Rock Bar, The Edge Of Heaven & Is That It? It's also the only track to feature Paul on the guitar synth, which remarkably, still works after all these years!

The Red Room (Paul McMahon) 1987
By the light of reason, all the world seems clear, what do we have left to fear
And in the eyes of science, each obeys the rules, those who doubt are worse than fools

Nightmare vision the language of dreams, heeds no law
Oh in the dead of the night you never know what will grow
Dead eyed specters remorseless and cold, walk the room
Here in silence they watch through the dark windows of the soul

We live by our assumptions, some of them are true, but most of them we never prove
The guiding force of intellect, gave us all it knew, but it only asks the questions it gives answers to

Older instincts have gone underground, undisturbed
How can you deny what you don't even know is here
In the Red Room we see what we are, and what we were
Here in subconscious refuge we dance to the pulse of fear, the pulse of fear

We are the nightmares you can't escape, 
we are your childhood fears you've locked away
We are the dark thoughts left unspoken
We are behind that door you fear to open
To the Red Room
To the Red Room

Here in the Red Room, we feed on hate
Here in the Red Room, we wait, we wait
We wait

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Last updated 01 December 2013  

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