Stop

Stop is a very old song. 

I used to be in a band that practised in a shonky scout hut at weekends. We spent most Saturdays turning amps up too loud and singing til we were hoarse (with frosty breath in the winter and pouring sweat in the summer - it was, essentially, a glorified portakabin). 

I was fortunate enough to have the keys and so would trek down there during the week on my own, after work. Without the searing daylight through the windows and the constant noise of the others, the scout hut was weirdly eerie. I would run scales and practise solos through my amp but the roar of silence that followed always unnerved me. So I took to sitting in a little carpeted side room on dusty chairs with my acoustic, doing my best troubadour impression. 

Stop came from one of those nights, sitting alone in the scout hut, when it felt like to make any noise at all was somehow violating that heavy silence. The version on the record is full and warm, but the song will always remind me of half-whispering the original demo recording in the cold.

The lyrics are the second part of a three-song cycle, which is probably the most pretentious thing I've ever done. Medals, later on the album, is the first part. The final part was on my first record. (See, they're not even in order. I did say it was pretentious). But it's an important story to me and one that needed telling in full.