The Trope Troupe

The Vocaloid Male Voice Choir

50 year-old songs resurrected


Work in progress!


Play: "FNB-dev-045.mp3" 01/06/24


045: More nuanced ...


040: Better balance. Still a few things to get right ...


040: I should probably stop fiddling with this and do something else.


030: Difficult.

Day after Trevor's funeral (best friend of 45 years) - he'd hate this song, though it is improved by his voice in my head.


020: Difficult.

I'm trying to push past depression, and do sound balancing stuff. Volumes and EQs.


018: Black Dog.

I'm not sure I can do much today, I'm going to get drunk, things are really gloomy.


015: Clear the air.

Another old chum dies. Star of one of my ancient videos. Vince was tutored by Trevor, both played in the band 'Monsters', hey ho. I've stripped it bare. Simpler and simpler - until a mad organ solo - the weekend?


011: A short session.

I've been using too many keyboard soundfonts, so I've been pruning them on this delightful sunny day. I can't really replicate the sounds from the tape - a really crappy Hohner Pianet with RF noise and effects pedal, and a Phillicorda GM753 organ, almost always sounding 'churchy'.

I reckon this issue of the instrumentation will take some work. It might keep changing. A mix of something from UK Punk (harsh, simple, guitars, thrashy, repetative, really short!), and something from Canterbury Prog Rock (my fan root, ninths, rich harmonies, changing time signatures, instrumental sections, organ solos, really long!).

Ha! - it is what I originally wanted to do, but it never happened: 'Math Punk'. Except it is probably not 'Math' enough, nor 'Punk' enough for that matter.

*** Regarding what I said earlier about the origins of the song. The earliest historical reference to AIDS is AFTER this song was written (1981), but there were stories in Gay publications about mysterious illnesses in gay communities in the states before 1981 (later to become 'Gay-Related Immune Deficiency'), but 1979?. Apparently, AIDS had been 'incubating' in the States for twenty years ...

Otherwise, I thought it was related to a news story about smallpox - the last case of naturally contracted smallpox was in Somalia 1977 (so this is the RIGHT SORT OF DATE), and the "South American" reference is to cases of Typhoid in the UK contracted from Argentinian corned beef (1964), but that seems way too early. Did we all stop eating corned beef - for more than a decade? Perhaps.

Certainly this is all jumbled up in my 69 year-old brain, and it was also, playfully, all jumbled up in my 24 year-old brain. I will continue to try to pin down what, if anything, triggered the writing of this little ditty. I did get NSU around the late 70's, so that's fairly germane, I suppose ...


010: A pleasant, busy day.

Building many of the drum parts from scratch - swapping what I like to call "received", stand-in drum parts (from transcribed instrumental parts) for new ones. Constructing a window for a solo (a daft mock-up in place), changing some words and adding harmony vocals for choruses.


006: very rough first audio mixdown

Another old demo recording revived. A song about getting venereal disease, (not celebrating being a "paedo"!).

I don't usually share the "originals", the singing and tape noise are usually, really awful, but here is a link: Play: "FNB.mp3" 01/01/79

Music-wise this is what I'm calling "Math Punk" (ridiculous concept, my mate, Trevor laughed at this), I was fascinated by Sid Vicious (I found him quite sexy and followed him to a barge party on the Thames after a gig in Camden, then got chucked out), stupid words, lots of repetition. Not to be taken too seriously, but I really like it - and hope it will develop interestingly ...

The song is really about the perils of getting sexually transmitted diseases. There was some sort of outbreak of smallpox in South America, and were there early AIDS stories? I'm not sure.***


There are f**king nice boys,
Hanging around this place.
May be if I squeeze them,
They'll smash me in the face,
Kiss me in the face,
Kiss me in the place.

Ejaculation, inoculation
Smallpox and semen in my face

There are bloody strange spots
Along my arm
Along my legs
Along my arm
Maybe if I squeeze them
They do me some harm

Ejaculation, inoculation
Smallpox and semen in my face

XXXX, Tom, XXXX, Tom,
You f**king bore,
XXXX, Tom, XXXX, Tom,
You f**king whore

Ejaculation, inoculation
Smallpox and semen in my face

A note about the title!

It's supposed to be funny and provocative. This is a joke based on the shock value (is this Dysphemism?) of the use of English words and their colloquial and proper usage, also the questionable inequality of gendered words in sexual contexts. Trevor used to tease me about this, too gauche. Me, post-modern, I didn't care.

In South London there is a colloquial use of the words "... fucking nice [noun]", meaning the speaker is enthusiastic about the object, so it might respectably be expressed "... really nice [noun]", so, in this case it turns out that "f**king" is a "Degree Adverb". "There are f**king nice boys around this place"

Sometimes in the song "F**king nice boys" is sung without "There are", therefore it can simply be heard as a the verb (and swear word) you thought it might be - in other words "having intercourse with"!

In the UK "girl" is used often to mean young woman, sexually mature, sexually active and attractive to men. "Boy", however seems, traditionally, to have got stuck, for some, rather meaning "young boy". As gay culture has grown since the law change, gay men have begun to use "boy" in the same way as "girl", (my boyfriend is 76!). In the 70's, I felt this inequality needed challenging. Protesting too much? Well yes, but, right now, the BFI's "Boys On Film" series is still mistaken by some to be 'dodgy'. I'm old school, I'm embarrassed by the idea that someone might conceivably believe that I might write a song glorying in the raping of little boys, but the confusion IS still amusing.

And, as the song took shape and we performed it (1979?), I realised that, as a title, the word "F**king", could also be understood to be a gerund, a verbal noun, 'The F**king (sexual penetration) of nice (appealing) boys (men)'. I liked this confusion, a third meaning.

I'm not sure about the *'s ...


Play: "MOG-dev-062.mp3" 14/03/24


This is about life in Islington in the late seventies. The National Front (a right-wing political party) used to assemble at one end of Chapel Market, and various oppositional groups would congregate at the other. At around the time of performing the song, my partner and I got 'gay bashed' while walking in nearby Kentish Town.


A couple of afternoons looking at this one. I may transpose down, the vocals are a bit high. I think my digitizing tape recorder runs a tad fast.


Another old song revived through WeiLe Ng's ( From a tape of a rehearsal for a performance at Action Space, the group was called the Volunteers (we were all workers at the centre, but we were told this was not "work"). 1979 (?)


Play: "OACF-dev-080.mp3" 16/12/23


Importantly, in case anyone misunderstands, this is about sexual experiences - and near misses - happening to me during or before 1976. Not about anyone I currently know! I was thinking of using other people's experiences, and jokes, and tried to make some of them work, but the lists just go on and on - there's no point. There will be re-writes.


Another old song revived through WeiLe Ng's ( transcription of my old tapes. My performance on the tapes was not good - the singing, off-tune, the notes, uncertain! I have spent a week or so trying to decide the 'proper' tunes. What did I mean them to be? They are generally not in a single key, perhaps even a single mode. They are not ignorantly random, just really perverse and 'young-person' difficult. I was listening to some interesting, earnest, music at the time.

Original 1976 Lyric

It's quite odd
Who I fancy
Very strange
I seem to pick the wrong ones ...

Straight blokes
It hadn't crossed their minds
Gay girls
Who don't appreciate
My feelings - towards them

There are those people
Who cannot achieve their desires
The pin ups they like
Are scornful of their ugliness

There are those people
Who through the fashion of the day
Do not allow themselves to follow their wishes
(because of what people might say)
So we must learn to get together
... learn to get together
But not like that!

Help put us at our social ease
We want to do it at sixteen please
It''s not about feeling pricks in bogs
Buggering boys, or raping dogs

Its just Love Romance and Sex
You naive idiot



It's quite odd,
Fancy ...
It's quite odd,
Very strange,

It's quite odd,
Who I fancy.
Very strange,
I seem to pick the wrong ones

Straight blokes,
They'd kick me in the face,

A school mate,
It hadn't crossed his mind.

Older men,
For them I was an angel,

A beautiful boy,
Who gave me NSU.

A German guy,
Not really like his photo.

A pederast,
Who said I was too old.

Size queens,
Who said I was too small.

A pretty lad,
Who said I was too old.

A serial killer,
Who said I wasn't dead.

That sexy chimpanzee.

A Gay girl,
Who said - nothing to me.

They don't appreciate, no.
They don't appreciate, no.
They don't appreciate, my feelings,
Towards them.

There are those people,
Who cannot achieve their desires.
The pin ups they love,
Are scornful of their ugliness.

There are those people,
Who, due to changes in the law,
Are not allowed to feel,
Their pain, as they need to feel their pain.

There are those people,
Who cannot achieve their desires.
Collections of strange rare things,
Nocturnal activities.

There are those people,
Who through the fashion of the day,
Do not allow themselves to
Follow their wishes,
(Because of what people might say),

So ...
We must learn to get together.
Get together.
We must learn to work together.
Work together.
We must learn to fight together.
Fight together, now!
Whatever sex you are.
Whoever you are, or,
Whatever you're into.
We can fight as one.

But not like that!
But not like that!
But not like that!
But not like that!
But not like that!

Who do we love?
Who do we love?
Who do we love?
Loving is a thing we can't control.
I have tried - it does not work!

Help put us at our social ease,
We want to do it at sixteen please.
It's not about groping pricks in bogs,
Buggering boys, or raping dogs.
It's just "Love", "Romance" and ...


You naive idiot

It's quite odd, quite odd ...


Play: "GayAbandon-092.mp3" 06/10/23

Just to be clear - the lyrics in the "Contamination" section ARE extremely negative - they reflect the anti-gay sentiments of the sixties and seventies in the UK. They are not my opinions! They are a collection of old school ideas from people who hadn't a clue about other sexualities (and in many cases, hiding from their own 'otherness'). Whilst the law had changed, it was still a challenge to be gay, and I didn't really put myself through any kind of 'de-contamination' process. At school all those words were used, in the press, all those words were used, in psychology books, all those words were used. "Homosexual" wasn't a particularly desirable group to belong to. At the time I started to "be gay" - look for sex with men - I was not convinced that the "identity" of gay was me - with all the negative associations. Gay men I met - had sex with - were still not my kind of person, I didn't want to be friends with them, was doubtful about being "one" of "them". People I liked, didn't want to have sex with me (another song, another struggle)!

Meanwhile, I felt quite disturbed, I strived to stop being what I would call being 'unconsciously gay' when I was 14 or 15 - I knew (mistakenly) I had to go straight, learn to find girls/women interesting - be mature - grow up. THIS is part of what I call "Deprivation", I did not allow myself (society did not allow me), to have positive thoughts about fancying my male peers, encouragement even (as straights get), so if I had those thoughts, they were BAD thoughts. So when I started to explore, at nineteen, I hadn't experienced the joys and sorrows of being consciously in love, being rejected, flirting, being encouraged to find a boyfriend. Just a lot of bad dates with girls, deceptions, confusions - I had been deprived of an essential process of emotional learning. To this day I feel OTHER than most people in society, wrong, a misfit. I couldn't see that, THAT had been DONE to me and that it wasn't really my fault. The scars continue to affect the way I think to this day.

New lyrics: 'contamination' section

Unbalanced and
Social shame,
Constant lies,
Caught in bogs,
Catch VD,
Not real men,

Deprivation and contamination.

Limp wristed,
Lisping lads,
Skirt wearing,
Shirt lifting,
Just for laughs,
TV fags,
Up in court,

Deprivation and contamination.

Beaten up,
Blackmail plots,
Butt of jokes,
Anal tears,
Touching boys,
Sick old queens,
Secret lives,

Deprivation and contamination.


Is it true, what they say?
Are we sad, are we mad?


Trying to sort out "Organasm" - repected good friend - threw a well intentioned spanner in the works - that we (Weile and me) had got the position of the bars in the wrong place. This is brilliant, because I hadn't given it a minute's thought. Pugnaciously, I've worked through that section re-asserting the bar structure and attempting to learn about syncopation and how not to do it (drums - NO, instruments - YES). It isn't finished. Getting there. I'm sort of exploiting this now.

I have named some sections:


Now - 12/09/23 - Re-trying old 1950s gay-as-illness, new text-to-speech samples, fewer words, in "Organik!" section ...

Now - 12/09/23 - Trying some new lyrics - deprivation and contamination ... annunciation none too good, Yohio/Vocaloid needs lots of fine tweaking and tuning

Original Lyrics

Have you heard the news,
This 'ere bloke's got a lot to say.
He doesn't know how,
In fact he hopes it'll go away.

Oh yes I am fed up,
I want to be one hundred miles from here.
But I must face the truth,
Which over the days and nights becomes so clear.

Mucking out my mind,
What an unstable lad I find.
Nothing so clear cut,
Things I say will always end in "but".
Will I ever accept so simple an idea,
Or is there so much more to this than first it might appear?

All my words, things and music,
Are the methods of externalizing,
Than being able to ...
Relax and give everything,
(or whatever I've got ...)

Why do I believe, things I think, are so precious?
Why be so afraid of criticism or dislike?

Instrument solo

And so I'll just be gay,
And put the answer off.
Soon I'll have to face myself,
To see what I fear.
In search,
In search,
In search of another problem,
The real one will always remain ...

Now (29th August 2023). After a discussion with a 'listener', I've ditched my attempts to use found 1950's texts about homosexuality, it was depressing me, and it wasn't working. Now I've reinforced the section musically - there is more detail with the various organs used ...

This song, also digitised during UK Covid lock down, from 1/4 inch, 'bounced' tape recordings, and transcribed in July 2023, by WeiLe Ng at, is now also being recovered!

The song is in sections, the first is an expression of a young man's confusion - pondering on his mental health. Part of the reason to resurrect the song is the fantastic joke-line "Mucking out my mind, What an unstable lad I find!". These tapes were attempts to construct songs without other musicians, with a limited range of instrumentation. Now with Cubase (DAW), Sforzando (VST Sound Font Player) and Vocaloids (VST singers), the song can become something else.

Interestingly, it seems, I am not trying to reproduce the song on the tape, I want to take the songs to another level. This includes correcting mistakes - I have wondered what WeiLe might think after he has meticulously transcribed a section with time signature inconsistencies - only to find I've added beats, regularised it, because I know I just played it wrong!

It is very much a collaboration between a young-self and my present old-self. The young one cannot answer back, as I ride rough-shod over his puerile ideas, with my fuddy-duddy life experiences. He really wouldn't understand using the tabla, and the correction of his inelegant, styleless word repetitions.

The last section contains two good things - a solo - which I can't believe is so good (on the tape it has foot pedal Wah-Wah), I think there is just one note I want to change, but won't until much later. I've known this solo for most of my life, I cannot disentangle it from records that I've known and loved, is it possible that I stole it AT THE TIME? It is so like an Elton Dean, or Jimmy Hastings solo (sax), or Dave Stewert, Dave Sinclair or Mike Ratledge (keyboards). If I did steal it - it was unconscious - and pretty amazing - as I'm NOT that good at picking up tunes and playing them. And the song, easy to sing, Ratledge/Sinclair style electric piano, all very "Canterbury".

The song is not really about being gay, or coming out, though it starts as if it is. It does pin it down date-wise - the struggle of coming out to old school chums, who thought they knew me ... At the time I didn't really know what I was trying to say. I know now! I see it as about three parallel issues.

Firstly, my personal confusion about my mental health, there is often a sense that people think these types of problems will be fixed by coming to terms with their sexuality - I was finding this to be far from the case.

Secondly; "Contamination", some of my mental health problems were CAUSED by the society I grew up in. No supportive education about being gay, the idea that it was illegal and a sickness, that it is something to overcome, to mature through, decide to change against, also something to be laughed at, ridiculed, creating an inner narrative of weakness, self-loathing, leading to secretive behaviour, self-delusion, denial - to name just a few. Oh and self-criticism and Pure OCD ...

Then, thirdly, there is "Deprivation", the lack of supporting behaviour around you as you grow up. The loss of young, try-out, approved-of, relationships AND the micro-slights, thousands of undisguised negative slurs ... missed positive learning.

So, the line "So, I'll just be gay and put the answer off" is a very telling phrase, I'm touching on an issue, which at the time, I didn't understand. At the time, I didn't see people like myself in gay pubs and clubs, I felt like it was joining a club to which I did not really belong (no longer generally true, but it comes and goes, with fashions and venues! I like to dance). This makes the last lines "In search of another problem, The real one will always remain ..." all the more poignant.

On gay songs: what we had back in the day, was Tom Robinson's (not now gay) "Glad to be Gay", I always sang along, I still would - I wonder how much I am channelling my inner Pollyanna though! Don't get me wrong, I'm 'glad' I've had my life, meeting my partner of 40 years, I've done exciting things, had great experiences, but I'm discovering, more and more, that I'm angry about my early years, and the kind of lives gay men have had to live. Law changes and institutional wokeness can't fix that. "Gay Abandon" isn't an anthem!


Play: "Ambigamor 130" 21/07/23

Darkness coming earlier
Cold through the doors and windows
Looking to the time of fires and gloves
And the warming of the stomach with food and drink

Footprints in the snow to our door
Two piles of clothes on the floor
In the oven there's a casserole of stew
And by the records a bottle of whiskey

I stood watching you there
While you brushed your hair
Sitting by the blazing fire
With a towel wrapped round you

What a bath that was what a bath that was

Now as your young body moves
The towel drops and I see flesh
The glowing colour of your skin
Is now revealed to me once more

I sit down beside you
While you throw back your head
You looking at me we laugh
I feel the glow inside

I lie back on the towel
And think of what we did
You looking at me we laugh
I feel the glow inside me

I reach out to feel your face
You turn and stroke my thigh
Later I watch you walk around
Looking at everything strange

This song, digitised during UK Covid lock down (after buying a old Sony TC-252 on Ebay), from 1/4 inch, 1/4 track tape recordings, and transcribed recently by WeiLe Ng at, is now being recovered!

Written by an 18-year-old (me, then) who is contemplating a new sexual identity. Disappointed with heterosexual activities, on driving back to his parental home from a fumbled experience with a female lover, late at night, he imagines picking up a long-haired male hitch-hiker in the rain ... Could I write a song, but avoid reference to the gender of the lover? (And make it impossible to sing, and difficult to listen to?) Of course you can. It is really perverse, and not at all perverted.

The harmonies are really difficult, no discernable key, I've kept most of that aspect, but changed a great deal of the song, the chorus was too jarringly crass for my current taste, so that has been slowed down to fit the prevailing mood. I've used a short snippet of a riff to become a long section of, what I am calling, 'KeChatter'. Funny, I've allowed accidental references to the life that has happened between 'our' writing to creep in (no rules), my ears have become accustomed to these sounds, the mass chatterings are like Balinese Kechak, and one of the Vocaloids 'Tonio' sounds like the Kathak dancer Pratap Pawar (who I worked with for many years) counting beats at the microphone in a 'Jugalbandhi' with his tabla player, all yet to come for the somewhat blinkered, narrow-minded, scared and over-protected 18-year-old, bless!

I like the song though, at the time I wanted to compose something that was like a pop song, but that was written more as 'serious' modern music (as I perceived it). My music taste of the time; bands, Soft Machine, Gong, Caravan, Egg, Hatfield & the North and Henry Cow, but curious about Riley, Glass, Reich, Messiaen, Pärt and Ligeti. The recordings are more sketches than demos, they are quite difficult to listen to, scratchy due to loss of oxides off the tape, warped, therefore not playing at a constant speed. I sang off key, I didn't actually know what notes I was singing (one section has three different attempts, the tunes are not the same - but the 'vibe' is). It is only now that I can try to set the notes in stone - not finished yet. There aren't the typical chord progressions to pin the notes down to. Just a few notes are still not quite found.

I didn't give enough time to it (back then), and I was quite an inept performer, and had no reason to finish it. I believe I was in my first year at art school, Foundation, where making all kinds of stuff ('plastic arts') was THE central, and continuous activity.

There are some good musical lines, sung words that have stayed in my mind for 50 years, and choice of words sometimes, just seem really good - mostly by accident - I suppose. I don't think I tried very hard, but we have to imagine that the subject is incredibly potent to the young writer at the time (ending at least six years of struggling to be heterosexual, pretending, being in denial, hoping to change, not wanting to be pathetic, being pathetic) and there's interesting symbolism in the rather warm prosaic scene suggested in the song (a bit like home, but MY home, my door, my fire, my home, my special visitor, my imagined future). The dark, difficult harmonies, make me remember, that, for me this was a dangerous experiment, I was looking for a kind of moody magic. Is this what will colour the rest of my life? This is what makes me different, this is what changes everything. Oh well, he was blundering around, on his own, struggling really, poor dear. I could kiss him.

In a way, I regret not having had a 'bi' phase, I went for the somewhat binary identity option, rather than the 'self-discovery option', joining campaign groups, plunging, albeit shyly and incompetently (never could cruise) into the 'scene', pubs, discos, later, working for a gay theatre company, not realising that what I really needed was something in particular - a bath with a bloke ...


Play: "Flow" by Dave Hewitt

Date: 25/04/2023