The Beggars Opera

by A Band Called Quinn

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Beggars Opera Album on CD in lovely digipack with liner notes from Ian Rankin and photos by Lisa Devine Sloan.

    Also includes immediate download of 11-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
    ships out within 1 day

     £5 GBP

     

  • Soundtrack to award-winning Scottish theatre company Vanishing Point's adaptation of John Gay's 18th Century masterpiece.

    Immediate download of 11-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.

     £5 GBP

     

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about

A BEGGAR’S BANQUET

I only went to see ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ in Edinburgh because of A Band Called Quinn.

Well, that plus the decidedly mixed reviews.

The show had picked up everything from put-downs to plaudits - one paper gave it five out of five, another (The Times) one star. People seemed unable to have anything but a strong opinion about the production. So, okay, I was intrigued. But I’d also been listening to A Band Called Quinn’s album ‘Sun Moon Stars’ a lot. I knew they were providing music for the show. What I didn’t know was that they would appear onstage throughout - in character and in costume. (Ever tried playing guitar solos in a World War One gas-mask? I doubt it’s straightforward.)

All you really need to know is, the show was a blast. Vanishing Point Theatre Company took John Gay’s original eighteenth century story and droppered a hallucinogen into its eyeball. The action shifted to the future. MacHeath (played to the hilt by Sandy Grierson) was all shaven-headed menace and chisel-jawed seduction. The underworld was represented by a huge mound of sand; a ladder led upwards to the overworld. MacHeath and his gang prowled like Clockwork Orange terrorists, when they weren’t being led by the nose by a posse of S&M hookers. The story, the set, the costumes, the acting… they all drew me in. The director, Matthew Lenton, had done a hell of a job.

But the music…. The music was everything. Singer Louise Quinn dressed the part and proved herself no mean actor, especially when MacHeath came to call. Guitars, drums and keyboards churned and writhed. The lyrics added layers to Gay’s original theme. I left the theatre stunned and wanting to experience it all again.

The show went on to tour Coventry and Glasgow, and then someone had the idea of capturing A Band Called Quinn’s performance for posterity, which is why I’m writing this and you’re reading it.

In fact, stop reading and get listening. Close your eyes and you could almost be there, aiding and abetting the arch-criminal MacHeath, or maybe even betraying him. Climbing a ladder towards fresh air and starlight, or stuck underground with cut-throats and stolen booty for company. Hero or villain: you decide.

Meantime, I’ll give it five stars.



Ian Rankin

Edinburgh 2010

credits

released 08 May 2010
Performed by Louise Quinn, Bal Cooke, Robert Henderson, Aly MacRae, Steven Westwater
Guest Vox on 11: Guy Richards Smit
Produced and mixed by Bal Cooke and Louise Quinn
All Songs By Louise Quinn (copyright control)
Photos by Lisa Devine-Sloan
Costumes by Eve Lambert
Lighting/set by Kai Fischer
Visuals by Finn Ross (Mesmer)

Thanks to: Matt Lenton and all at Vanishing Point; Claire Williamson and all at the Lyceum; Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Tramway Glasgow

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Track Name: Here's To Us
The wares from your five year plan
Another trip to a foreign land
And the hand made suit in which you stand

Your wife’s pearls; your daughter’s gems
A trophy for your excellence
And when we’re all gone
What will it have meant?

So Here’s to us
Victorious
And what was yours
Well now it’s ours

So Here’s to us
Victorious
We’ll take the world
And make it ours

Some folks work and save
But you’re a long time in your grave
So let’s seize the day
Come what may

While you’re not old and frail
Or rotting in some filthy jail
Come on charge your glass
Make that pass

There’s no time like now.
Track Name: Virgin, Mother, Psycho, Whore
Virgin, Mother, Psycho, Whore
Virgin, Mother, Psycho, Whore
Know you want to take us all
disappear into a big black hole

Virgin, Mother, Psycho, Whore
Virgin, Mother, Psycho, Whore
Claim it’s woman you adore
So why do you screw us up when you screw us all?

When he turns it on you hear that old love song
Start to believe
Six months on when the thrill is gone you start to see
He wants her and her and her and her AND me

Something shiny caught your eye
Something shiny caught your eye
Couldn’t let it pass you by
Now you’re swooping in like a magpie

Flatter flatter to deceive
Flatter flatter to deceive
Don’t care if I’m sitting here
know you’ll always get a last reprieve
Track Name: We Are The Scum
I wasn’t looking for a permanent thing
And though you screwed me; you still gave me a ring
The city said forget it
And you gave me no credit
Stuck in this hell forever
We’ll go out in a blaze together now…

We are the scum
We are the ones who wash up on the street
Now we’re making a tonne

I wasn’t looking for a permanent one
And in the darkness you gave me the sun

So let them think they’re better
They still till take it where they get it
Politicians; wage slaves; beggars
We’re all in it together now….
We are the scum….
Track Name: The Fuse
First the water then came rats
We prayed that God would take us back
They said we’d be better off

No rescue planned; no Noah’s arc
They would have let us rot and starve
They said
We’d be better off dead

Tonight it’s time to change this story line
The thieves the freaks we’ll take what we need
Uh huh huh Uh huh huh
Now you’re really gonna get it….

Well we'll smash & we'll grab & we'll take what we need
We are laying down the gauntlet to the man on the street
And we will tear down the walls of all your mansions & villas
In your eyes we are scum but we are shaking the pillars
Of your society, an earthquake, a tsunami of fear
A bonfire of the vanities of all you hold dear
And our tounges are like blades & we will carve on your face
Our demands our manifesto all the sins of your race...

Tonight it’s time to change this story line
The thieves the freaks we’ll take what we need
Uh huh huh Uh huh huh
Now you’re really gonna get it….

Disconnecting CCTV feed it back on itself
A staring blank eyed mirror to reflect your mental health
You call it thought crime to question the status quo
Our modus operandi is to drag you all below
Within each beggar's heart a revolutionary cell
Awakening the sleepers in this place we call hell
This nightmare created by the ones up above
Amassing pointless objects now they're drowning in that stuff
So we will throw them all a lifeline; rehouse all their shit
What's left of capitalism's gonnae take a fatal hit
They always want more and we are just some bastard slave
Fuck all right to reply from your tired early grave
They can lock themselves in every gated recluse
Will get a harsh reminder that we are the fuse...

Tonight it’s time to change this story line
The thieves the freaks we’ll take what we need
Uh huh huh Uh huh huh
Now you’re really gonna get it….
Track Name: Closed My Eyes
Closed my eyes, he kissed my lips
Then I loved him
Though my heart were frozen ice
He thawed it

And I did everything I thought you'd think that I should do to protect family honour
Track Name: He's A Dog
Too much choice is a terrible thing
When the gold feels old on a wedding ring
From a little girl running to the sound of the bell
And a Grandmother’s eye like a wishing well

He’s a dog
He can't help himself x2

There’s no kind of woman
There’s no kind of breed
That he couldn’t foresee some possibilities
From the darkest Princess to the whitest Queen
And all those magical places that lie inbetween

He’s a dog
He can't help himself x2

So all you dear ladies
He don’t care if you bathe
He’ll show you a good time
If you come his way
He's just a little boy lost in a big sweetie store
Gotta let him in
To climb on your shore
Track Name: History
Somebody should have warned you
About the woman scorned
And when the party’s over
You sing the saddest songs
With all the words to say
I don’t waste my breathe
It’s too late
You’re gone
And it is history now
And it is history now

One of the bold and lonely
Feel like I’ve lived too long
Because you can’t own me
You want to do me harm
With all the words to say
I don’t waste my breathe
It’s too late
You’re gone
And it is history now
And it is history now
Track Name: Consequence Waits
The kids are tripping car alarms
There's drunks still propping up the bars
And no-one up there gives a damn

That the greatest chase is over now
And the papers said you took a bow
That you played a good game anyhow

But what did you think?
That you could escape?
Consequence waits


We could blow this place
We stay like this forever
And run run run
Let the satellites
And the city’s eyes ignore you
And run run run
Track Name: Another Thin Girl
Another thin girl
Thin thin lips painted red
Take another draw of your cigarette
And put it out
Put it out
Put it


Tonight darling we'll fight for him
Tonight darling we'll fight for him

Another thin girl
Thin thin hips placed on a bed
Take another draw of him
Take another draw of him
Take another draw

While we shoot he wins
While we shoot he wins

Another thin girl
Thin thin bits blown apart
He's got it down to a fine art
He's got it down
He's got it down
Track Name: Wolf Cries Boy
You saved my life
You saved it twice
When all the crocodiles were snapping at my feet
And I was like a child
Running round with nowhere to hide
But I was old inside
Yeah I was old inside

And something’s gone and changed the way I feel
Something’s gone and changed the way I deal
I knew the wolf that cried boy
I knew the wolf that cried boy boy
There’s something in the way won’t let me be
There’s something in the way that I can see
I knew the wolf that cried boy
I knew the wolf that cried boy boy

And days go by
And there are times
When I feel satisfied and everything seems right
But then the world outside
Comes tumbilin’ inside
I see the flash lights shine
I see the flash lights shine

A noise annoys ohoh oh oh oh

I can hardly breathe
When you lie steal cheat and you’re down on your knees
There’s no end to your need
And the star crossed lovers dream on
And you know it’s never enough
And gets you though you try to act tough
They can crush us but we’ll never give up
They’ll never get our love; they’ll never get our love
Track Name: He's A Dog (featuring Maxi Geil)
Too much choice is a terrible thing
When the gold feels old on a wedding ring
From a little girl running to the sound of the bell
And a Grandmother’s eye like a wishing well

He’s a dog
I can’t help myself x2

There’s no kind of woman
There’s no kind of breed
That I couldn’t foresee some possibilities
From the darkest Princess to the whitest Queen
And all those magical places that lie inbetween

He’s a dog
I can’t help myself x2

So all you dear ladies
I don’t care if you bathe
I’ll show you a good time
If you come my way
I’m just a little boy lost in a big sweetie store
Gotta let me in
To climb on your shore