Songs & Stories (Special Edition LP)

by Fergus Maximus

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    An actual thing to hold in your hand and put on your shelf. Featuring cartoons by the immensely talented Rhys Hewett (the special edition characters are, of course, wearing party hats)

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 3 Fergus Maximus releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of One Gaslit Night (EP), Songs & Stories (EP), and Songs & Stories (Special Edition LP). , and , .

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about

Fergus Maximus has been a frontman for 20 years but until late 2014 hadn’t performed solo. The Adelaide-based singer/songwriter (known to his mother as Andrew Ferguson but more commonly simply as “Ferg”) explains, “I was perfectly happy singing, playing sax and performing random acts of percussion but felt I didn’t have the guitar skills to be a solo artist”.

So what changed his mind? Maximus attributes it to a chance encounter with an old friend. In July 2014, the day after he and his a cappella gospel quartet had sung with Clare Bowditch at The Gov, Maximus bumped into irrepressible local legend Ronnie Taheny. Singer/songwriter Taheny had recently returned to Adelaide after 20 years of relentless touring around Europe and she reportedly urged Maximus to consider performing solo. “Bullied” is the word he uses but Ronnie is having none of that, saying, “Ferg’s songs are full of intelligence, wit and surprises. I just reminded him that for a storyteller it’s not about the guitar; it’s about the stories.”

“And she was right,” adds Ferg. “I really needed to change my mindset about solo performance.”

Despite that acknowledgement, "Songs & Stories" is not the album he planned to make. “This EP happened quite accidentally during preparation for the first Fergus Maximus studio album. It was recorded live at my first ever solo show—a SCALA [Songwriters, Composers & Lyricists Association] set at the Austral Hotel in November last year”.

While he’d originally planned to do the gig with his band, Ferg claims he heard a Taheny-esque voice in the back of his mind, telling him it was time to take the solo plunge.

That SCALA show proved two things:
1. 20 years as a frontman only goes part way to preparing someone for sitting on stage alone with a guitar for the first time
2. Noni Espinosa is a terrific sound engineer—the live mix went straight to Noni’s hard drive and when Ferg heard it back he realised he had serendipitously recorded his first album.

After some minor post-production edits by Noni and Ferg, the songs were mastered by Pete Maher in London (“because The Internet”).

The Songs & Stories EP has six songs. The Special Edition LP version has the whole, hour-long SCALA show (“with twice the songs and at least 33% more mistakes”).

credits

released May 29, 2015

Fergus Maximus told some stories, sang some other stories and bashed the guitar

Noni Espinosa did the live mix and some minor post-production

Peter Maher did the mastering

Daniel Ralph directed cameras on the night and then used magic and electrons to create the video for "Derek" that you can find on YouTube

Deborah Ralph ran cameras on the night

SCALA (the Songwriters, Composers & Lyricists Association) hosted and promoted the gig

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about

Fergus Maximus Adelaide, Australia

Fergus Maximus is that guy with his headphones on long after the playlist has finished, completely oblivious because there’s always music in his head anyway. Ferg's unapologetic pop songs encompass all the important things: love, loss, mistakes, surprises and people’s astonishing capacity to miscommunicate. In these songs and stories you'll find some extraordinary snapshots from an ordinary life. ... more

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Track Name: Myself Again (Live)
Myself Again

She got something in her shoe
But she can’t stop
Too much for her to do
And it’s so hard
Trying to remember
All the details of the emails
That she should've sent but hasn't written

Presentation’s due at ten
But it’s not done
And it won’t be done by then
And so she joked
(or maybe she was serious)
She’d just wing it likes she always does
And hope nobody’s concentrating

But as she left her desk that day
Sure they heard her say

I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
Be my … be myself again

Do do do do do do ... da da ...

They seemed to be all right
Got on okay
Maybe they just didn't fight
In a public place
But she was always yearning
Till the moment when she wandered off
On restless legs that wouldn't settle

And as she closed the door that day
Sure he heard her say

I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
Be my … time to be myself again
By my … time to be by myself again

Do do do do do do ... da da ...

She wasn't ever really sure
Exactly what she’s looking for
Who knows what she’ll find?

I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling that it’s time to be myself again
I've got a feeling
I've got a feeling

She got something in her shoe but she can't stop
She got something in her shoe but she can't stop
She got something in her shoe but she can’t stop

Do do do do do do ... da da ...
Track Name: One O'Clock (Live)
One O'Clock

It’s always one o’clock
When I start the car
It’s always one o’clock
When it’s time to go
It’s always just a little bit later
Than I expected it to be
Maybe that says something about me

It’s always one o’clock
Grinding through the gears
It’s always one o’clock
Driving home to you
It’s always just a little bit after
What I told you it would be
Baby you know plenty about me

You know that I’m …
Always late
Always late
Always have been
Always will be, I suppose ...

It’s always one o’clock
Stumbling up the drive
It’s always one o’clock
Fumbling at the door
And like always I’m
Surprised when I find
That you've been waiting up for me
Baby you should really get some sleep

You know that I’m …
Always late
Always late
Always have been
Always will be, I suppose
You know that I’m always late
Always late
Time’s like money
I don’t know where it goes
Time’s like money, honey
I don’t know where it goes
Track Name: My Heart (Live)
My Heart

Effigy’s just one of
Many places I've been burned
I left my love there somewhere
But it never was returned
My heart was on my sleeve
When she took me to the cleaners
They even got the stain out
With some shots of Mr Meanor's*

But that’s all right
It’s okay
’cos I didn't really need it anyway
Well that’s all right
It’s okay
’cos I never really used it anyway

My heart
My heart

Once upon another time,
Back when I had my shirt
She rolled my heart in honey
Then she stomped it in the dirt
I asked her why she treated me
So good and then so bad
She smiled and said that
It was just this hobby that she had

But that’s all right
It’s okay
’cos I didn't really need it anyway
Well that’s all right
It’s okay ’cos I never really used it anyway

My heart
My heart

My heart
My heart
My heart
My heart

Every now and sometimes
When I think I’d like it back
My memory repeats for me
Her signature attack
She’d throw down the gauntlet
And when I bent to retrieve it
Her knee would meet my mouth
Encouraging my teeth to leave it

But that’s all right
It’s okay
’cos I didn't really need them anyway
Well that’s all right
It’s okay ’cos I never really used them anyway

My heart
My heart …

* Mr Meanor's Patent Tonic and Stain Remover
Track Name: Regrettown (Live)
Regrettown

Coming back to Regrettown
Might not have been my smartest move
Looking back on it now
Don’t know what I was tryin' to prove
But the Want Ads were so enticing
And I missed my favourite beer
Settling back into Regrettown
I can see your house from here
I can see your house from here

Shouldn't be too surprised
How little things have changed
It’s only been a dozen years
Since I went away
All the same familiar faces
Trapped in the same old fears
Cobwebs grow in Regrettown
I can see your house from here
I can see your house from here

The place we hooked up
has burned down
The one where we disengaged
is still goin' strong
And I find I’m kinda glad
it’s not the other way around
’cos even the waffles in Frankie’s Diner
don’t taste like home …

Getting out of Regrettown
Take Frankie’s menu as a souvenir
Glancing back in the mirror
I can see your house from here
I can see your house disappear
Track Name: Derek (Live)
Derek

I keep getting phone calls and letters
People knocking at my door
Can you pass on a message?
Tell him that we called?
His pile of bills
Spills onto the floor
But all that I can tell them is
Derek doesn't live here any more

We haven’t spoken in ages
He left late last year
No idea where he’s staying
Somewhere else but here
I think that Jenny
Got a postcard from Nepal
But Derek doesn't live here …

Haven’t seen him for months
and I don’t know where he’s gone
But the rest of his stuff
is clogging up the hall
And I wish that he’d come back again
’cos Mr Mittens is costing me a fortune

On the weekend in the city
I met his mother in the mall
She said, “I think that you knew Derek”
Then I saw her face just fall
Didn't talk about the details
Guess the memory’s too raw
But Derek doesn't live here
He doesn't live here
Derek doesn't live here any more

(Mr Mittens misses you but he’s gonna be ok ...)
Track Name: Under New Management (Live)
Under New Management

He been staring at the screen
’til the numbers don’t mean
Anything
Any more
And he been listening to the clock
Waiting for the final 'tock'
Sending him
Out the door

Well there’s rumours of war in the boardroom
But he just doesn't care any more
’cos it’s the same old, same old
It’s the same old, same old
And who can tell that we’re
Under new management?

Was just the start of her career
But somehow she’s still here
Seven years
Slipped away
Another client on the phone
But she’s thinking of home
Struggling to
Concentrate

Well there’s rumours of war in the boardroom
But she just doesn't care any more
’cos it’s the same old, same old
The same old, same old
And who can tell that we’re
Under new management?
Yeah it’s the same old, same old
It’s the same old, same old
No way to tell that we’re
Under new management
Track Name: The Megan Washington Story Part 1 (Chat)
It’s All Wrong

It’s all wrong
And I tell you
Disassociation’s got me reeling
It’s all wrong
As we go through
The motions of emotions without feeling
Maybe you’re hurt
How would I know?
’cos you’re not really here
And I don’t know where you've gone

It’s all wrong
It seems now
My company’s become unappealing
It’s all wrong
Yeah I've seen how
In intimate embrace you watch the ceiling
Maybe I’ll stay
Maybe I’ll go
Well would you really care?
Would you notice that I’d gone?

Can you tell me why
You turn away?
’cos it’s all wrong ...
It’s all wrong ...

Running late
For dinner at your parents’ place
I’m pacing in the passage
While you’re fixing up your face
When I see the reflection
Of my bitter self-obsession
In the mess of your mascara ...

It’s all right
It’s ok
Honey, I don’t know just how we got here
It’s all wrong
But I want to
Find a way to navigate this nightmare

Can you tell me why
You turn away?
Is there something
I can do or say?
’cos it’s all ...
Track Name: It's All Wrong (Live)
It’s All Wrong

It’s all wrong
And I tell you
Disassociation’s got me reeling
It’s all wrong
As we go through
The motions of emotions without feeling
Maybe you’re hurt
But how would I know?
’Cos you’re not really here
And I don’t know where you've gone

It’s all wrong
And it seems now
My company’s become unappealing
It’s all wrong
Yeah I've seen how
In intimate embrace you watch the ceiling
Maybe I’ll stay
Maybe I’ll go
Well would you really care?
Would you notice that I’d gone?

Can you tell me why
You turn away?

'cos it's all wrong ...
It's all wrong ...

Running late
for dinner at your parents' place
I'm pacing in the passage
while you're fixing up your face
When I see the reflection
of my bitter self-obsession
In the mess of your mascara ...

It's all right
It's ok
Honey, I don't know just how we got here
It's all wrong
But I want to
Find a way to navigate this nightmare

Can you tell me why
You turn away?
Is there something
I can do or say?

'cos it's all ...
Track Name: This Time (Live)
This Time

I saw you meet him at the bus stop
The way you used to meet me
Okay, okay, I know it’s over
I have to just let it be
Good thing … that’s easy for me
Deep breath … count 1, 2, 3, 4 … 73

I’m not gonna let it get to me
Not gonna let it
I’m not gonna let it get to me
This time

I’m stuck here idle at the stop lights
Willing them to turn green
I can’t, I can’t, I can’t stand sitting watching
The lovely romantic scene
But I … just ... can’t turn away
Deep breath … count 1, 2, 3, 4 … 108

I’m not gonna let it get to me
Not gonna let it
I’m not gonna let it get to me
This time

Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 …]

The idiot behind is beeping
Hurling abuse at me
And then of course I stall the engine
Hope that you didn't see
As I … tear off down the road
Deep down … I know … I gotta let go

I’m not gonna let it get to me
Not gonna let it
I’m not gonna let it get to me
Next time …
I’m not gonna let it get to me
Not gonna let it
I’m not gonna let it get to me
Next time …

Maybe next time …
Maybe …
Maybe …
Track Name: All Around The Room (Live)
All Around The Room

Babies floating all around the room
Disconnected, adrift like balloons
Always wondered if one of them was you

I remember how bright colours hid the clouds
Your heart fell off your sleeve
And wandered through the crowd
Your eyes and ears were open wide
And all you seemed to want
Was just a quiet place outside

Babies floating all around the room
Disconnected, adrift like balloons
Always wondered if one of them was you

I remember muted colours creeping in
How China changed your palette
As it seeped inside your skin
Your eyes were sometimes screwed up tight
And all you seemed to want
Was just a quiet place inside
Somewhere you could hide ...

Babies floating all around the room
Disconnected, adrift like balloons
Always wondered if one of them was you

And we missed you at the gallery
That day you caught the train
We missed you and we’re missing you …
What else is there to say?

Babies floating all around the room
Disconnected, adrift like balloons
Always wondered if one of them was you
Babies floating all around the room
Disconnected, adrift from the womb
Always wondered if one of them was you

Can’t help thinking maybe that was true
Track Name: Just A Minute Or Two (Live)
Just A Minute Or Two

Another pair of feet go past me on the city street
And I’m sitting and I’m singing to the knees as they go by
I sing to shopping bags, to briefcases and black umbrellas
And every now and then someone will look me in the eye

But I won’t get on your case
If you don’t cross mine with silver
And between us anyway
I’m sure we’d agree gold would be better

I know … those shoes are made for walking … and
I know … there’s so much that you've got to
Do do do do do do …
Take one … look at this here glorious day … and
Come on … stay for just a minute or two

Do do do do do do …

Well you should hear the band
That’s rocking out inside my head
Maybe you might pick them up if you listen in real close
Bass is pumping and guitars are getting funky
I hope you catch a little of that rhythm before you go

I won’t get on your case
If you don’t cross mine with silver
But unfortunately
My EFTPOS machine is at the repairer

I know … those shoes are made for walking … and
I know … there’s so much that you've got to
Do do do do do do …
Take one … look at this here glorious day … and
Come on … stay for just a minute or two

It’s not just about the money
Although I never would reject any generosity
This is one way to connect the dots between us
Still trying to change the world one song at a time

So if I see your feet go past me on the city street
I’ll sit and I’ll sing to your knees as they go by
I sing to shopping bags, to briefcases and black umbrellas
And I won’t object if you look me in the eye

I won’t get on your case
If you don’t cross mine with silver
But seriously
Notes are okay if you fold them up small

I know … those shoes are made for walking … and
I know … there’s so much that you've got to
Do do do do do do …
Take one … look at this here glorious day … and
Come on … stay for just a minute or minute or
I know … those shoes are made for walking … and
I know … there’s so much that you've got to
Do do do do do do …
Take one … look at this here glorious day … and
Come on … stay for just a minute or two

Do do do do do do …
Track Name: Fish (Live)
Fish

A fish with colours that dance in the painter’s eye
Saw a fish with patterns that make the dressmaker sigh
This fish, been swimming along, alongside of me
This fish … it turned and, gazing quizzically,
Said, ‘This is my tail, these are my fins
Just doin' the best, the best that I can’

‘Tell me what you’re lookin' at
Tell me what you’re lookin'
Ain't no secret mystery
I’m just a fish’

Met a woman with a welcoming laugh and a twinkling eye
A woman with a generous heart but I don’t know why
This woman, been living along, alongside of me
This woman … one day she turned and, gazing quizzically,
Said, ‘This is my heart, these are my hands
Just doin' the best, the best that I can’

‘Tell me what you’re lookin' at
Tell me what you’re lookin' for
Ain't no secret mystery
I’m just a woman’

But I know
She’s a fish
Track Name: My Baby (Live)
My Baby

My baby, she don’t sleep
It’s enough to make a grown man weep
My baby keep me up all night
Come on, baby, won’t you treat me right

My baby, she don’t sleep
Seven days really makes one weak
My baby wants to play all night
Come on, baby, won’t you treat me right

It’s not that I don’t love her
No, she’s a beautiful child
And I would never leave her
I just wish she’d let me get some rest for a while

My baby, she don’t sleep
It’s enough to make a grown man weep
My baby keep me up all night
Come on, baby, won’t you treat me right