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Magic Theatre (Jan 2024)

by Mint Biscuit

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  • Digital Album
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  • Full Digital Discography Full Digital Discography

    Get all 24 Mint Biscuit Sounds releases available on Bandcamp and save 90%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Crème De Menthe (Feb 2024), Under Cathedral Skies, The Blue Box, Magic Theatre (Jan 2024), Unheralded Classics, Back To The Wall (Nov 2023), Acoustic Ones, Fire And Flood, and 16 more. , and , .

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  • Compact Disc
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Single CD-R in colour printed cardboard sleeve.
    Artwork by Richard Thomas.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Magic Theatre (Jan 2024) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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1.
2.
Stiffneck Blues Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin' Watch his hair baby turning grey He's been working and slaving his life away, away He's been working and slaving his life away His legs don't fit in his trousers His feet don't fit in his shoes Yeah he's got the stiffneck blues The stiffneck blues The stiffneck blues He's got the stiffneck blues Yeah The stiffneck blues The stiffneck blues Man and boy, we learn together We are cut from the same cloth too Yeah we've got the, the stiffneck blues Well no-one asks to live forever But just another day will do When you've got the stiffneck blues Yeah he's paid his dues He's got no more to lose It's not the way that anyone would choose He's got the stiffneck blues The stiffneck blues He built his house upon the rocks Now he can't put on his socks My old man He's got the stiffneck blues He's fighting to stay alive Stiffneck blues yeah right down inside My old man He's got no more to lose My old man He's got the stiffneck blues He's got the stiffneck blues The stiffneck blues
3.
Uncle RicRic's Blues (For Sprouty) Said I was born in South Glamorgan In the year 1981 Well yes I was born in South Glamorgan Way back in the year 1981 Well I crawled out of the hospital And went out looking for some fun Well we moved to Welsh St Donats In the year 1986 Oh yeah we moved to Welsh St Donats Back in the year 1986 Well there wasn't much to look at But a house made of yellow bricks No there wasn't much to look at But a muddy house made of yellow bricks Well I went up to school at Monmouth In the year 1992 Oh yeah I went up to school at Monmouth In the year 1992 Well I put my suit and tie on And I grabbed my calculator too That's right, gonna go and do some Maths, baby! Alright When I went to the University In the year 1999 Oh I went up to University In the year 1999 Well I packed my amp and my guitar And I set off for a real good time Oh yes I did, I wanted a good time baby When I married my little sweetheart And I moved up here to Cockermouth Well I married my little sweetheart And I moved up North to Cockermouth Everybody said "boy are you crazy" "Man, you should've stayed back down in the South" Well I didn't know what they were talking about, look out now C'mon baby Oh yeah Woo! C'mon That's right Bring it back now Now I've got my home and family And another little nephew on the way Now I've got my home and family And another little nephew on the way Well for that I should be thankful So I pray five times a day Yes I do, alright now Goodbye
4.
Rachel: "Sweets?" Richard: "Sorry darling?" Rachel: "I just can't sleep, it's too loud" Richard: "Okay chick, I'll turn it off" Rachel: "It's nice playing..."
5.
A Country Jaunt Ok Right on Give it to me One more time Said we're going up the country Gonna have ourselves a time I said now you got yours and I got mine We're going up the country On a country jaunt We're gonna find ourselves A jaunty count We're gonna find ourselves A country gent Maybe from the county of Kent We're going up the country Go relax and unwind Gonna find A better state of mind We're going up the country Go relax and unwind Gonna find ourselves A better state of mind We're going up the country We gotta get away Maybe tomorrow Or maybe just today Said we're going up the country Gonna have ourselves a time I said now you got yours and I got mine We're going up the country We gotta get away Maybe tomorrow Or maybe just today
6.
Laguna Bugera Moving... Out into the country for a hoedown, yeah Grooving... Up into the alley for a showdown Losing... Out of my mind 'til I feel the comedown Proving... All the doubters wrong when we get down Using... All the different notes I know in my sound Choosing... All the right words to tell my tale now We're going up the Laguna Baby I think that you should come too Tasting... All the different colours in the rainbow, yeah Feeling... Sorry for myself because you say so We're going up the Laguna We're going to see what we can find We're going up the Laguna Baby you should come and lose your mind Aaah aaah Aaah aaah Feeling... Sorry for myself because you say so, yeah Tasting... All the different colours in the rainbow Using... All the different notes I know in my sound Choosing... All the right words to tell my tale now Proving... All the doubters wrong when we get down Losing...Out of my mind 'til I feel the comedown Confusing... Where do you think you're going after sundown? We're going up the Laguna Baby I think that you should come too
7.
Nightshades 04:25
Nightshades From about quarter to one Until the early morn Dogs are barking Right down the street The winter wind so warm Brings a feeling forlorn I lie back My work complete Pull the nightshade down Block out the noise of the town The only sound is your breathing So sweet Sweat moistens up my toes Spiders crawl across my nose The clock is ticking Its steady beat The radio on low Well there's no place to go I might as well Admit defeat Pull the nightshade down Block out the fear of the town The only reason to worry now Is the rain Well it's at moments like this That you contemplate your life Did you make the right choices Did you marry the right wife? If you spend too long You can worry yourself wrong But I think, man, you're doing okay You're doing okay
8.
Aaaahh
9.
Here's Another Thing You offered me everything You looked into my eyes You allowed me the chance to sing You took me by surprise You loved me for who I am A genius maybe, but flawed You had one hand for the tiller, man And one for the Lord You put up with my weaknesses You didn't stand for my lies Your loving arms were my buttresses As we reached up under cathedral skies And now look where we are So near and so far You gotta love who you are... You didn't follow my lead You knew what it was all about Yeah I just wanted to bleed To scream and shout What's that all about You should have kicked me out You didn't ask me for much I gave you everything that I had Until I had nothing left at all And it drove me mad And now our love is in bloom As fresh as it was before The happiness fills the room We're not keeping score any more And here's another thing I hope we both recognise You can't be a bird that sings If you're reliant on a network of spies And another thing You've maybe heard it before I love the ground that you walk upon Yeah the dirty floor You offered me everything You looked into my eyes You allowed me the chance to sing You took me by surprise You loved me for who I am A genius maybe, but flawed I wanted to be adored I wanted to be adored I wanted to be adored, oh oh And now our love is in bloom As fresh as it was before The happiness fills the room We're not keeping score any more And here's another thing I hope we both recognise You can't be a bird that sings If you're reliant on a network of spies You offered me everything You looked into my eyes You allowed me the chance to sing You took me by surprise You put up with my weaknesses You didn't stand for my lies Your loving arms were my buttresses As we reached up under cathedral skies And now look where we are So near and so far You gotta love who you are You gotta love who you are
10.
Gathering Flowers I’m gathering flowers to help me get by One more for the river, one more for the sky I’m gathering flowers to help me get high You’d better believe that it keeps me alive I’m gathering flowers for the one Worshipping flowers under the Sun I’m gathering up in a state of joy Gathering flowers for a girl and a boy I’m gathering flowers, and I’ll tell you why I do it to cherish the ones who have died I’m gathering flowers, wrong or right See how the flower catches the light I’m gathering flowers, up at the dawn Gathering flowers out on the lawn I'm gathering flowers for the ones who are born And for the ones whose hearts get torn I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers to help me get by One more for the river, one more for the sky I’m gathering flowers to help me get high You’d better believe that it keeps me alive I’m gathering flowers for the one Worshipping flowers under the Sun I’m gathering up in a state of joy Gathering flowers for a girl and a boy I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers for the grave Sprinkle them on the mistakes we made I'm gathering flowers for the feast Gathering West and gathering East I’m gathering flowers, for you my dear Gathering flowers to draw you near Gathering flowers for our love Gathering for the Lord above I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers I’m gathering flowers
11.
Moebius Strip Moebius Strip goes round and round Where is the end? It cannot be found The bottom rests upon the ground And the other half it does confound It's got its place in three dimensional space And to the end we all must race It ties a knot but it's not got no face Moebius Strip, you're a big disgrace Moebius Strip Moebius Strip Are you newly hip To the Moebius Strip? Well Escher did try and Da Vinci too To draw in ways that would confuse you To trick your eye and to peck your head Well what a surprise they both ended up dead Follow your heart to the Moebius start You'll never return to where you began A man never steps in the same river twice And a river never twice washes the same man Moebius Strip Moebius Strip Are you newly hip To the Moebius Strip? You'd better go and put some clothes on then Moebius Strip Moebius Strip It's like Huw Edwards's curly lip Moebius Strip Moebius Strip It's like a tub of garlic dip It's like your cat when he goes for a kip It's like the Enterprise space-time rip It's the Moebius Strip Moebius Strip goes round and round Where is the end? It cannot be found The bottom rests upon the ground Ain't nothing like the Moebius Strip
12.
Wrink Lay 03:57
13.
Ned's Blues 02:13
Ned's Blues Pick your battles, son Pick the ones you should have won If you wanna go hide in the shed Why don't you do that instead Don't bang your head against the wall Lift up your chin and man stand tall Always be the better man Let your mother make the plans Life is hard, but death is worse Always get your aggression in first Only take what you really need Make sure to come from depth at speed Tackle low and you won't get hurt Sew the buttons on the shirt Let the weight of the axe do the work And never trust a rotten Turk Look after your lady wife Make sure to love her all your life Take care of your little bro You know that he looks up to you so Drive carefully in your car A German one will take you far Look after your lady wife Make sure to love her all your life Don't believe everything in those books you read You only get one shot and then you're dead And that's what he said
14.
Dubrovnik Rooves You know we've found the most fantabulous place A state of mind, a state of wonderful grace And now you can't keep the smile off my face I think I'm beginning to belong You know the days of running scared are done You see me waking with the morning sun We may be old but we can still have some fun And sing our getting older song You love it, you hate it You want to recreate it And that's a line that I've been told You choose it, you lose it Best take the chance to use it And that's another one that I've been sold You shake it, you make it What ever you do don't break it A beating heart cannot grow cold You know it, you show it Don't go out and blow it And now if I may be so bold... You know we've found the most beautiful space A state of mind, a state of wonderful grace And now you can't keep the smile off my face I think I'm beginning to belong Rachel: "That was really good!" Richard: (laughing).
15.

about

The Magic Theatre, a place where strange shapes and colours come to life.

In truth, the content of this album has little to do with anything theatrical. But, it is a family affair, for sure - my wife, my brother, and my Mum and old Dad all feature heavily. And my little niece Annabelle (star of Annabelle's Driving Song on the last album) loves going to the theatre. So maybe she will enjoy this, along with nephew Aidan (Sprouty), one day.

It's a sentimental ride.

Update: It has been a very sad New Year for us Thomas's. My old Dad, Neil Thomas, gave up his five year battle with prostate cancer just before New Year. And my Aunty, Kay Whittle, who had ovarian cancer, died shortly after. Add this to my Grandmother, Elizabeth MacGregor, plus Rachel's Aunty, Gweneth Monaghan, and family friend Brian Taylor, who all died earlier in the year - and you have the end of a very sad period indeed.

This album is dedicated to them.

credits

released January 1, 2024

Mint Biscuit: Magic Theatre
Review for herecomestheflood.com, by Hans Werksman

"Welsh guitarist Richard Thomas has had to come to terms with five deaths - four in the family and a close friend - so it is no wonder that the blues is the dominant genre on Magic Theatre, the new album by his one-man project Mint Biscuit. Recorded quickly even by his own standards, Thomas offers a mixed bag of instrumentals and tracks with soul-searching lyrics.

If anything, it has made him contemplate his life and count his blessings in the midst of grief. In "Uncle Ric-Ric's Blues (For Sprouty)" he leads you through his youth, university days and marriage in classic storytelling fashion. It was painful to see his dad getting locked up a bit inside his own body ("Stiffneck Blues").

He managed to find some solace by "Gathering Flowers" and paying tribute to some of his heroes (no bonus points for guessing who inspired him to write "Wrink Lay"). Music is not a cure, but it sure is a way to make one feel a little better when life is handing out blows in quick succession".


Total running time: 58:05

Words and music by Mint Biscuit (Richard Thomas), with thanks to R.E.M. (Berry / Buck / Mills / Stipe), and the Animals (Burdon / Price / Chandler / Valentine / Steel).
Artwork by Richard Thomas, from an original photo of The Magic Circle Theatre in Euston, London.
Produced by Mint Biscuit
Published by Mint Biscuit Sounds.

Guitars: Squier Jazzmaster, Ibanez Artcore, Gretsch Electromatic, Fender Telecaster, Tanglewood Odyssey, Epiphone Dreadnought.
Amps: Marshall Origin 50C, Marshall DSL40CR, Fender Super Champ X2, Bugera Infinium V5.

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Mint Biscuit Sounds Cockermouth, UK

Mint Biscuit -
Richard Thomas (Cockermouth, UK)

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