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This Time I've Done It, (Album, 2005)

This Time I've Done It I Need So Much To Be Loved
Awkward Teenage Girl
The Hard Way
Noone Else Will Do
You'll Never Stop People Being Gits

Out On My Own
This Time I've Done It

She Must Have A Sensitive Side

Don't Make Me Think About Life

Love Is Blind
Away For A Day

Luke’s epic third album took him no less than eighteen long months to complete. So really, after all that hard work, you’re pretty much obligated to like it now, let’s face it. Recorded on vintage eight-track analogue equipment in a makeshift studio by the sea, and featuring an augmented line-up of musicians (The Feelings), this was forty minutes of lush, audacious Lukepop like it had never been heard before.


Review from fRoots, 2005


To precis a forthcoming thesis, it's funny how much truly English modern music has come from places beginning in 'Ca': Syd Barrett and Robyn Hitchcock from Cambridge, Dr Feelgood and Will Birch from Canvey Island, and Caravan, Ian Dury's Kilburns and the Oysters from Canterbury. (Come on, Cannock and Caterham!) From Canterbury also hails pub pianist and songwriter extraordinaire Luke Smith, whose third album sees him with a full band, though the piano is still to the fore, not forgetting the mighty Dave the Drummer.

'The Feelings' is a very apt choice of name, too, as it's emotions and feelings that occupy most of this album - but not in a mawkish or sentimental way: Smith has a way of laying himself on the line that is quite disarming, whether it's the painful honesty and self-knowledge of I Need So Much To Be Loved, an anthem for the shy and sensitive, or the heartfelt No One Else Will Do. But of course there's much more-who else could write Awkward Teenage Girl, where the subject's rudeness and foul moods are linked to her nervous energy and edge, or fall for someone "so bitter... so dour" in She Must Have A Sensitive Side? And if the title alone of You'll Never Stop People Being Gits doesn't twang your synapses, you have no soul.

None of this would matter if it didn't sound good, and the music is a cunning blend of music hall, tea dances (Don't Make Me Think About Life) and Ronnie Lane-ish rackety folk 'n' roll (Out On My Own, complete with whistling solo). The backing vocalists add a smooth texture, while the brass Feelings alternately provide lounge-lizard sax or Tijuana Brass trumpet-sorry for another comparison, but Muswell Hillbilliesl Everyone's In Showbiz-era Ray Davies comes inescapably to mind musically, and that was pretty damn good. Even the spoken interludes fit well, as when introducing the lovely childlike (not childish) liberation of the closing track, Away For A Day. 'Englishness' in a musical context is often equated with cult eccentricity; I really hope Luke Smith doesn't just get classed this way, as he's a genuine breath of fresh air. Great stuff.
Ian Kearey -fROOTS


I Need So Much To Be Loved

I need so much to be loved,
It distracts me from everything else.
I have to confess, it makes my life a mess,
And it makes me embarrass myself.

I need so much to be loved
That I scare them all off one by one.
I long for affection in my direction
So much that some days I get nothing done.
I need so much to be loved
That it stops me from having much fun.

I crave so much tender care
That if I ever win a girl's hand,
She'll loose her love for me when, slowly but surely,
She finds out how needy I am.

I ask for more than my share.
Oh I know I bleed everyone dry.
I must have been cursed to have such a thirst
That no one can quench it whatever they try.
I need so much to be loved
That I end up just making love die.
I end up just making love die.

And I can't get to sleep
'Cos I'm too busy wandering who liked me today,
And who didn't.
I can't stop once I start; I just pull things apart,
'Til the day breaks, and the world wakes,
And I rise, knowing still in my heart..

I need so much to be loved.
It's no good me pretending I don't.
And each time I say, "I'll act different today",
I know all too well that I won't.

I need so much to be loved,
And I will do as long as I live!
Oh if I could just stop and enjoy what I've got
I'd be fine, but I can't, so I 'm hell to be with.
What sad fate's in store
For the man who wants more
Than anyone can give?
('..Who wants more.
..than anyone can give?')

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Awkward Teenage Girl

Awkward teenage girl, there's magic in your scowl.
I still want you though you're rude and your moods are foul.
Aggressive and tough; screwed up and angry as can be.
Oh, I just can't get enough of your nervous energy.

Awkward teenage girl, so brooding, so intense;
So in touch with all the angst this old world presents;
It's getting hard to hide how scared I am to watch you grow.
Oh, I just love your surly side. Don't loose that edge now! Don't let it go!
Oh, my awkward teenage girl, I love you so.

Down the pub the other night, I looked at you and saw the light!
So many people were struggling to be heard.
Through the din though, I could feel your every word.
And though I couldn't explain this mix of joy and pain,
I just knew something so deep within me stirred. Oh, and now.

Awkward teenage girl, I must seem weird to you.
Who am I to play the older man obsessed by something young and true?
But just a few short years of seeing what life can do to dreams,
Oh, and it's just unreal how brief the thrill and the fire of youth all seems.

Sitting here with you, life has such an urgent feel!
I just wanna say these things while they still seem real.
And if we never kiss, just telling you this means so much to me,
'Cos I can see you years from now - polite and grown up, but not so free -

So before that day; before you change, let me say.
Awkward teenage girl, right now,
You're just as perfect as anything can be.

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The Hard Way

No easy road have I known.
Never taught, never shown.
I learnt the hard way.
No bed of roses for me.
Nothing came easily.
I learnt the hard way.

Well it was cruel, it was hell.
But it taught me so well,
I learnt the hard way,
Well thete was pain, there was strife,
But it set me up for lift,
And you can bring it all on, Anyway, anyhow,
'Cos me, I learnt the hard way, And nothing scares me now.

Well, I wanna laugh, I wanna scream,
And I want all that's in between
Before my time's up.
I don't wanna learn it from a book.
I wanna take a look myself, and
Then make my own mind up.

You can't live life to the full
All wrapped up in cotton wool.
You've got to just dive in there, every time.
So that's the life that's for me; I
've got to do, I've got to see,
And say, "I've been there!"
And that's why I'm still.

Learning the hard way in all I do.
Learning the hard way my whole life through.
Never passing up, or missing out.
Oh, me, I learnt the hard way
And I know what life's about.

Well, there's so many things in life we could be afraid of.
This is a point I understand.
But we'll never really know
just what our dream are made of,
Unless we learn..Unless we learn first hand.

Well, I wanna love, I wanna fight,
And yes, I wanna do what's right,
But also what's wrong.
I wanna live and take some knocks,
Be on the rocks, and then rise up again
And move on.

So here's the score: here's the deal -
If you really wanna feel
All that life's got,
Just take the laughs, take the strain,
Take the joy, take the pain.
Take the whole lot, I say.
Don't just sit there and yearn.
Oh, me, I learnt the hard way, and.
What a way to learn

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No one Else Will Do

No one else will do
Since I got to know you.
I don't need to see the options.
I can't take a wider view.
No, the deal is done.
The search is through.
You're the one
And no one else will do.

No one else can see
The things you see effortlessly.
No one else knows me that way.
No one else has a clue.
And I could try to start with someone new.
I could play that part, but it's just not true.
'Cos my weary heart was black and blue
'Til you lit the spark where only darkness grew,
And I'm blind to the others now,
'Cos no one else will do.

Oh, I know in the old days
Happy couples just made me feel sick.
I'd watch them and say, "God! - If I act that way,
Someone tell me, and I'll get out quick."
Only now do I see what the fuss was;
Why they glowed with such maddening fire;
Why they'd cry when I wouldn't, and laugh when they shouldn't.
These things, only love can inspire.

Oh, and there's so many more
Girls I could be longing for,
But I'm sick of the chase now. I mean it!
I can't believe it myself but it's true.
And I'm proud of my love, though it's scaring me,
And it makes me feel trapped, and it makes me feel free,
And I need you to feel it, and I want you to see
All my pain and my fear, and all my ecstasy,
And I must say these things to you..
'Cos no one else will do.

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You'll Never Stop People Being Gits

I hate to say but it's plain as day -
You'll never stop people being gits.
You might feel great but if you just wait,
Someone'll come and blow it all to bits.
Some things, I've found, there's just no way round,
And some people in life are the pits!
So cling to what's good but let it be understood
That you'll never stop people being gits.

It might sound bleak but if I don't speak,
You might make the same mistake as me.
I thought - 'If I'm smart, and there's love in my heart,
The world'll just embrace me tenderly'.
Suffice to say the truth is far more grey,
And despite all the brilliant bits,
I had to learn fast that perfection can't last,
'Cos you'll never stop people being gis.

They won't revere all the things you hold dear.
And what's close to your heart, they'll just pull apart.
Sometimes they don't mean to.
Sometimes they're just being thick.
But it's hard to forgive when the world where you live
Seems determined to just make you sick.

Some say - 'to win, you've got to have thick skin,
And treat every stranger as a foe!'
And some, once they're burnt, think their lesson's been learnt,
And toughening up's the only way to go. But no! -
If you ask me - Open up; be free.
Just prepare for some misses and hits.
Don't turn life away. Just remember, I say,
That you'll never stop people being gits.
It can't be done.
No you'll never stop people being gits.
It's part of us.

So however uncomfortably this sits,
And through you're mind the odd despairing thought still flits,
Take time to see how beauty into all of this still fits,
And then relax,
'Cos you'll never stop people being gits.

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Out On My Own

Me, I'm out on my own.
Got no club that I'm in to.
Nothing to cling to.
Just what I feel inside.
Feeling I refuse to hide.
Me, I'm out on my own,
And that's the way it's always been.

Me, I'm out on my own.
They gave up trying to involve me.
Years back they told me:-
"You're not one of us you know"
So I learnt long ago -
Me I'm out on my own,
And that's the way it's always been.
I've given up trying to get in.

At least I get to know myself really well;
Really thoroughly.
On your own you either curl up and die
Or begin to enjoy your own company,
And so you see now that
Me I'm out on my own,
And I like it!

Me I'm out on my own.
Got no gang to belong to;
Code to hold on to;
Never fitted in with the rest.
Maybe it's for the best.
Me I'm out on my own,
And that's the way it's always been.
I've given up trying to get in.
Oh, I've given up trying to get in.

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This Time I've Done It

This time I've done it.
I can't take it back.
This time I've done it.
I let it all out. I let it all out.
This time I've done it.
Now my future looks black.
This time I've done it.
I'd come so far but I couldn't go on,
So I tried to be subtle but it all went wrong.

This time I've done it.
This time I know.
This time I've done it.
I let it all out. I let it all out.
This time I've done it,
And I regret it so.
This time I've done it.
I let myself slip into a mode of attack,
And now I've done it. Now I've done it, 'cos I couldn't hold back.

Impulse took me over.
I couldn't fight it,
And this was rare!
Impulse took me over,
And so I told the truth right then and there.
I didn't care.

This time I've done it.
This much I can see.
This time I've done it.
I let all out. I let it all out.
This time I've done it.
What'll happen to me?
This time I've done it.
I wish I'd held my breath and counted up to ten,
But now I've done it and I know some day I'll do it again.

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She Must Have A Sensitive Side

No one can be that cold, I know it.
There's a light, deep inside, though she hates to show it.
She talks tough. Ah, but what's behind it!
There's a glow, I just know, and I'll look 'til I find it.

Oh, that hidden passion! Oh, that pent-up feeling!
She can freeze me out. That only makes her more appealing.
There's something in her eyes harsh words can't hide.
She must have a sensitive side.

She's hard to crack; she won't be caught out,
But there's love in her heart that's just longing to be brought out.
No one's immune to being touched now.
She can say what she likes. I just know she cares so much now.

She's so bitter! She's so dour!
But I get closer with every hour.
She can't hold out forever, though I know she's tried.
She must have a sensitive side.

When I catch her stolen glances it thrills me.
They're what life's all about.
She acts so off with me sometimes, it nearly kills me>
But still, this fire won't go out!

I sense that deep in her there's yearning.
I can see it's not just me. I can feel the tables turning.
It seems we've reached the final chapter.
She's about to submit, and her heart's all mine to capture.

Come what may now, any day now,
She'll reveal the feelings that she tries to keep at bay now!
She'll unlock the doors and fling them open wide,
And I'll see her sensitive side!
Finally, I'll see her sensitive side,

And I'll say.

"I knew it was there, even when the search got tough!
Somebody just had to want to find it enough."

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Don't Make Me Think About Life

I'm just trying to have a good time here.
Don't make me think about life.
I'm just trying to switch off my mind here.
Don't get real. I don't feel I can deal with the strife.
Let's keep it light for just one night.
Can't we just shift down a gear?
Don't get profound now. Let's mess around now.
Don't make me think about life - Not here!

Oh please don't ask me where I'm going.
Don't make me think about life.
Don't ask 'cos there's no way of knowing.
Is it adventure I want or two kids and a wife?
Don't tell me we'll find the answers.
They're not there. I don't care how deep we dig.
No one's impressed now. Let's give it a rest now.
Don't make me think about life - It's too big!

All that 'why are we here?' stuff does my head in, you see.
I can't face the big scary questions.
I admit it. It's true.
I don't even know why I got up this morning.
What do you want from me?
Don't put me through this! Why must you do this?
I can't confront things. I'm not like you!

Oh, maybe on some other good night
I could talk seriously.
Ah, but my mood must be just right.
I'd have to feel pretty brave to face reality.
Oh, let's make a pact; let's agree now.
Let's give ourselves both a break.
Forget all the theories, questions and queries.
Don't make me think about life - It's more than I can take!

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Love Is Blind

This feeling in me's wild.
I know. You needn't tell me.
I'm not a little child,
But I might as well be.
This fire that ignites me,
It's so primitive and raw!
When she's mean, it just excites me.
I don't see it as a flaw.
No! - It's not to do with thinking!
I can't fight it with my mind.
Surely everybody knows -
Love is blind! Love is blind!

That common sense which they spout -
It just does not apply here.
We're in love and there's no way out.
We'll all live and die here.
We don't know when the pain will come.
That's what scares everyone.
That's what makes it tense and nervous,
And it's also half the fun.
No one understands - come off it!
The truth is not out there to find.
Give in to it. We all do it.
Love is blind! Love is blind!

Oh, and it's really no good trying to explain love,
Or the strange sensations that it brings.
Awkwardness and grief; joy beyond belief..
These are a few of love's favourite things.
These are a few of love's favourite things!

Oh, and it's all just so confusing,
And I'm a mere beginner.
I'm happy to be loosing,
If that makes her the winner.
They said "Love? - It often fails!"
And I just could not deny it.
They told loads of tragic tales,
But I knew I'd got to try it.
So I'm here, and though it's clear
Most of what they said was true,
What can I say? - Love is blind,
And as such, I am too

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Away For A Day

I'm packing my bags.
I'm going away for a day,
just to see what it's like,
On my own, all alone so to speak.

I'm saying 'Goodbye'.
I'm gonna fly far from here,
Where the air is clear and I can breathe,
On my own to get my fill. What a thrill!

I'm moving on out,
To see what life's about;
To shout, to scream,
To live out the dream -
Living free like I've seen on TV.
'Where ever I lay my hat' - things like that.
Going here, going there, going everywhere!

Without the pressure of maternal love,
And maternal unease, and 'thank you' and please'.

I've gotta see what's out there for me now.
I just wanna be able to say:-
"Yes! I've been alone for a day in every way.
I went away for a day and I liked it.
And now I say - 'Come what may I've seen that day'."

Don't wanna be stifled.
Family life is so dull.
I'm for the high life.
I'm for the high life with the low-lifes!
That'll annoy Mum.
I wanna be free!
Just me.

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© 2016 Luke Smith