INTRODUCTION

There we came and lived for eight months. The holy town of Kettering, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom of Great-Britain and Northern Ireland. The singing paradise of white trash and decadence, the perfect place for the death of the mind and the burial of the soul.
Pierre Alexander, that's I, and Sebastian Stelzer, that's him, explored each pub and shop of the spot, mingled a bit with the locals, met a few nice ones and too many bad ones. But life is about mixing the good and the bad and make the all cocktail a drinkable one. I hope you'll enjoy the one we prepared for you. 13 songs we wrote during our spare time and recorded within a month. We'll call this period of our lives: winter 2008.
We were the Bank, a rock band. Hanging around in the streets and sharing thoughts in the pub. I wish I hadn't met him and he wishes he hadn't met me, because that would mean we'd never come there. But we did come there and so we met. We didn't have sex together because we both prefer girls. So we just played music and that was kind of fun.

Pierre Alexander

This is England

The modern world is about globalization. Globalization means immigration. Immigration brings controversial thoughts, and controversial thoughts need controversial songs. You only realize what nationalism and xenophobia are really about when you leave your country and put yourself in the shoes of the foreigner. The one with an accent. The one with bacterias. The one who wants to take your land and rape your girls. But don't worry too much: despite the mass arrival of migrants from eastern Europa, the british flag still flies pretty high in the sky. It's just that the sky looks a bit more threatening each day, and the storm should break soon enough.

This is England, and that for sure is our country
This is England, so make sure you spell it properly
This is England, you may call it wild and ugly
This is England, but we'll never give it for free

This is England, hey mate, what's wrong with you?
This is England, three quids will not let you go through

I know you sort of think that we should make some space
There are so many jerks around, mate, we don't own the place
They drink around and mess around, i wish some would just die around
So let's make sure we always find them a spare room underground

This is England, and that for sure is our country
This is England, we like it with rice and curry
This is England, where do all these people come from?
This is England, all the roads must lead to London

The indian tribe in Leicester makes it look like a yank' western
Brighton, Sheffield, Manchester, which city should be first to burn?
This store in town sells winchesters, let's find some crooks and shoot at sight
I love my land, this is my pride, let's get the job done overnight

Cash in the machine

UK, like most countries in the world, is about money and cash. You need cash to buy cigarettes. You need cash to drink in a pub. You need cash to get a full english breakfast on sunday morning. You need cash to fuel the beast. And where do you get cash? From the cash machine of course. The trouble is, there isn't always cash in the machine, and the ominous combination of our outrageously high rents and miserable wages made it sometimes difficult for us to achieve what we started to be good at: destroy our bodies and souls in downtown Kettering with tobacco and alcohol.

She's sweet, so sweet, she has a thing for me
I have some needs and nothing is for free

I have some trouble understanding what she does
But she's always there for me and she gives me stuff
I can perfectly rely on her, she's the one i trust
Yes my friend i love this girl, i love her so much

She gives me money, my life is funny
She's there for me
There's always cash in the machine, and I need it so bad
I need some cash

She's sweet, so sweet, she has a thing for me
I have some needs and nothing is for free

The first time that i saw her i was as broke as your mother
But she's not like all the others, doesn't judge books by their cover
I gave her my number and she fulfilled my dreams
Yes i'm so in love with her, in love with the machine

She gives me money, my life is funny
She's there for me
There's always cash in the machine, and I need it so bad
I need some cash

Glamorous glow

There are two escape ways from the town of Kettering: the plane for Luton to reach the continent and the East Midlands train to London. London may not appeal to you, but when you've spent two weeks in a row in Kettering, it feels good to go there and enjoy some sort of life again. I remember the feeling of well-being we had when we took off to London for the first time, sitting in this holy train and looking ahead like if something good awaited us. Well, in fact it did. The view of Picadilly and the pubs in Soho, the roaring of the red buses and the crowd on Oxford street were enough to make us feel alive for at least a couple of days.

Sit on a bus to London
What am i doing there
I wish i could turn the light on
'wish i could breath the air

Watching the cabs on Holborn
Calling up to nowhere
'wish i wasn't in Brixton
'wish i didn't end there

For when i'm looking up at the glamorous glow
Flashing above this strip-show
I cry and i don't know what is wrong and what is right
Jenny will you find me tonight and please take me home

Slept on the bus to London
dreaming of love affairs
'wish someone had turned the light on
To finish my nightmares

Lost in the streets of Dalston
Ending up underground
Picking up a distant station
Getting it all so wrong

For when i'm looking up at the glamorous glow
Flashing above this strip-show
I cry and i don't know what is wrong and what is right
Jenny if you ever find me tonight please find me now

The Wind

We're a punk band, and like early punk bands we give an ear from time to time to reggae music. This song is about the wind. Wind is the flow of air or other gases that compose an atmosphere. When a difference in pressure exists between two adjacent air masses, the air tends to flow from the region of high pressure to the region of low pressure. On a rotating planet, flows will be acted upon by the Coriolis force, in regions sufficiently far from the equator and sufficiently high above the surface.
Of all the (many) inconvenients that come with living in Kettering, the wind is among the worse. Walk up Bath road everyday for two years and you'll never have to prove your courage again to me. It's like trying to keep on your feet in front of a gigantic electric fan. This place is a real nightmare.

I get up in the morning and make a cup of tea
I drink it in the garden and then i grab my key

I open the door and the sun isn't shining anymore
There's wind, so much wind blowing in my face

I'm working in an office everyday from 8 till 4
Then i shut down my computer and open up the door

I open the door and the sun isn't shining anymore
There's wind, so much wind blowing in my face

And on my way i'm calling at the next first pub
I drink a pint of Carling until my head is stun
And when the night is falling i can feel the wind
I'm standing in my garden and that's where it begins

Lazy girl

We were both spending money on rent, beer and disgusting food, so we had to make money first. We did that by working for the British Council, as language assistants in Northamptonshire schools. The only thing I can say about this sweet experiment is that the Pink Floyd line "We don't need no education" has been very well received in this part of the kingdom. At first, I thought the fact they all had uniforms made them schoolboys and schoolgirls more keen on learning and behaving properly. That's bullcrap. The list of adjectives that applies to them pupils covers the All Trash Dictionnary from letter A to letter Z.
One more thing: girls are worse than boys. A lot worse.

It's half past ten and i'm still in my bed
A billion dreams still inside my head
I must find a reason to get up this morning
I must go to school, that's what my mother says
But then in school it looks like trouble to me
They talk of things that look all shitty to me

They say "we'll teach you something, that gives you skills for life"
I say they'd better try to make my dog skate on ice
For when it comes to living i only know one saying
We all get fat and old and we're all going to die

It's half past ten and i'm still in my bed
A billion dreams still inside my head
I must find a reason to get up this morning
I must go to school, that's what my mother says
But then in school it looks like trouble to me
They talk of things that never happen to me

She says it's pretty useful to speak german and french
"If you meet one of them you'll find it so handy"
But then dear Mrs Froggy, as blind as i can be
I've never seen any turning up in Corby

It's half past ten and i'm still in my bed
A billion dreams still inside my head
I must find a reason to get up this morning
I must go to school, that's what my mother says
But then in school it looks like trouble to me
They talk of things that look all shitty to me

I've come to this conclusion, let's talk of resolution
I just can't spend my life in front of the TV
I guess it's time for me to move my candy ass
To dive into my bath and stay in there for the day

The birds are back

It was already winter when we both arrived in Kettering in October, and it was still pretty much like winter when we left in May. In the meantime, we were desperately waiting for spring to come and bring some light on our pale faces and warmth to our frozen bodies. One night in February, we were sitting in the back garden of the Peacock, a pub for angry retarded teenagers and white trash apostles, with a beer in our hands, and we heard birds singing somewhere nearby. We thought it was it: springtime would come and bring us some relief. But it was a might-have-been. The birds got it wrong with the timing and went back to England too soon. Even the birds are fucked-up there.

The birds are back way to early
I'm walking homewards in a hurry
I hear their sweet singing, i see them gather
Around stinking puddles rinsing their feathers

The birds are back, back in this country
December's called springtime
They're in for the money
Let there be nature, let's do what we do
Birds do it, bees do it, i don't have a clue

Let there be birds, let there be girls
Let there be boys, let there be words
Let there be art, let us be smart
Let them be something, let's call it a start

The birds are back way to early
I'm walking homewards in a hurry
Let them be singing, so let's get the talking
Birds are you bringing the dawn or the morning?

Let there be birds, let there be girls
Let there be boys, let there be words
Let there be art, let us be smart
Let them be something, let's call it a start

The birds are back way to soon
They are singing all in tune
The choir is admirable, the concert is on
I reach my aviary, the audience is gone

Sunday

Sunday, in Kettering. "Not much to do", as Sebastian put it. And not much to say either, apparently. Sunday is the day you really realize what it is to be stranded away from home, on an island made of bricks. Rainy, windy, chilly island. The options on sunday were quite clear: english breakfast or not, going to the pub or not, commiting suicide or not. We were both against suicide because we wanted to live and we knew the curse wouldn't last for ever.
More generally, sundays in Kettering were all about recovering from hangover, meeting in the town center around 3 PM and ask eachother: "what should we do now?"

Sunday, not much happens on sunday
Apart from the elections
Every now and then
Sunday is waiting for a monday
Even if you hate it, it will come

Sunday, sunday, not much to do

Sunday, i'm lazy on a sunday
I go out to smoke
every now and then
Sunday, I get a call from mummy
I listen to her on the phone

Sunday, sunday, coffee in my bed
Sunday, sunday makes me feel so bad

Sunday, i waste another sunday
I listen to music
But not very loud
Sunday, today I dont waste money
Because I don't go out

Sunday, sunday, not much to do

Christmas Day

I hate Christmas, I really do. I hated it even more up there in Kettering because it meant more people buying more christmas cards in a country where the birthday & christmas cards business already counts for half of the gross domestic product.
Apart from that, I apologize for the excessive reverb on the piano, I thought I was Keith Jarret in Köln when I played it, it sounds more like Keith Jarret's paralytic copycat when I hear it now in my cosy parisian flat. But Sebastian's backing vocals are great (I think he had 1 litre of whisky in his blood that night) and it's always amusing to make a song last longer than it should.

The tree's golden needles
Strewn on the floor
All dying and feeble
Is it still Christmas behind the door?

The bottles are empty
The kitchen sink is full
Of plates and cutlery
Like floating corpses in a pool

For everybody feels for Christmas since everybody looks for joy
Will there be anybody here for us once everybody breaks his toy

Daddy's gonna wear his Bugs Bunny tie for the next two days
Jenny's gonna fly her new pretty kite in the morning grey
I guess Johnny and I will walk away

The garden's white carpet
It snowed during the night
Is waiting for my footsteps
To draw a pathway through the brambles

My heart is empty
Going through the day
Seems to hard for me
Johnny will you join me all the way?

For everybody feels for Christmas since everybody looks for joy
Will there be anybody here for us once everybody breaks his toy
Yes everybody longs for Christmas as everybody fears for love
But who will be there singing for us when everybody loses his tongue

Mummy's gonna dream of a better life near the chimney
Jenny's gonna fly her new pretty kite in the morning grey
I guess Johnny and I will walk away


Mother Belly

Early pregnancy is well spread throughout the UK. It's a common thing to go to Sainsbury's and meet a 16 year-old girl pushing a buggy along with her food & beer trolley. Well, you don't actually meet her because you avoid talking to her, for your own safety.
The interesting thing is: if you decide to murder an underage british girl, there's 50% chance you'll commit a double crime, since you'd kill her and the baby she hides in her belly.

When Mother Belly came to my bed
She wrapped a flag around my head
She told me "listen, little boy, we'll make a man of you"
"The Union Jack will always be looking after you"

Then Mother Belly went out for a party
And nine months later she had a new baby
I told him "listen, little boy, i'll have a fight with you"
"If you dare only once to catch the Irish flu"

Mother Belly watch your head
Mother Belly go to bed
I am a man now

We were always short of milk and bread
So little baby grew on beer instead
I told him "listen, little boy, you have to drink a lot"
"If you want to become one day the usual idiot"

Mother Belly watch your head
Mother Belly go to bed
Baby's a man now

She told me "listen, little boy, we'll make a man of you"
"The Union Jack will always be looking after you"

Town Center

Good old Sebastian used to love good old town center. There you had a bus shelter with "Fuck you all Corby scum" written on it, a shopping center with seventy-six Birthday & Christmas cards selling shops, a bum yealing "Big Issue" every ten seconds to get rid of the pile of newspapers he had in his hand and a couple of off-licence shops to provide the British army with cheap food and alcohol. This holy paradise has a name: Kettering (apparently not to be pronounced like 'catering', but I have no clue how it should be pronounced)

This is the town center, it's just like hell
I've got big issues and stories to tell
What language are you speaking?
Where are you from?
I am from the train station
I'm lost in translation
I'm not attention-seeking, that's my bloody job
Man i've got big issues, yes i've got a lot

You can find me in the town center, this place is just like hell
I've got big issues stories and stories to tell
You can find me in the town center and if you have the guts
You can fight me in the town center, everybody does

I was heading for some newlands
Now I'm standing in the moor
I think i make a few prints by the end of fall
They call it arthur when ever i surrender
It would feel like another dead november

This is the town center it's just like hell
I've got big issues and stories to tell
You can find me in the town center and if you have the guts
You can fight me in the town center, everybody does

What language are you speaking, you crazy nowhere man?
What God do you believe in? What is his name?
What issues do you bring with? Tell me: are they really big ?
I wish someone would ask for them
But they don't give a shit

A simple life

The Cherry Tree was a lovely pub located a few steps away from the town centre. Opposite the pub, there was a church, and inside the pub there were people. Among these people, sitting at the bar at night, you could be pretty sure to meet Michael "no coat". Why was he called Michael "no coat"? Because even in the coldest evenings of winter he was wearing nothing but a (purple or red) shirt, but he never got ill. I honoured him with a song, trying to figure out his life, based on what i've heard from him.

I never cried as a child
Never looked at the sky
Wondering why
I was a simple lad
Never happy nor sad
Neither angry nor mad
About the world around

Ten thousand days are gone
How many more to come?
Two nephews and a son
Not many girls to phone
And then at night when the house is mine
I'm falling years behind

Catching up with my wife
Spending hours on line
To get her back
Harping on through the night
All that used to be fine
All that used to be mine
Before i turned blind

Ten thousand nights are gone
Still many more to come
Two nephews and a son
That keeps me going on and loving on
And then at night when the weather's fine
I'm walking and walking and leaving tears behind

I never cried as a child
I never looked at the sky
Wondering why
I ran a simple life
Never happy nor sad
Neither angry nor mad
For if i look around, there's nothing to be found

I have never been to Kettering

Have you heard of autosuggestion? Autosuggestion is when you train yourself out of pain or trouble by denying the truth. This is accomplished through self-hypnosis methods or repetitive, constant self-affirmations, and may be seen as a form of self-induced brainwashing. I guess for Sebastian, to keep singing "I've never been to Kettering" was meant to produce some kind of placebo effect and get him out of the town.
Apart from that, the voice you hear along Sebastian's punky vocals belongs to the most peculiar animal to have ever walked this planet: the screaming frenchman. He briefly escaped from his cage to add his own contribution to the song and was shot a short time afterwards by a british policeman. His body has been sent back to Paris.

Sigmund Freud has never been to Kettering
And if he had people would be sane
Jesus Christ has never been to Kettering
And if he had people would be safe
Steven Hopkins has never been to Kettering
But if he had people would have brains
Napoleon has never been to Kettering
But if he had people would be slaves

I have never been to Kettering
But i was recently in Corby
It was really nice there
But that's a different story

Jean-Jacques Rousseau has never been (once) to Kettering
But if he had people would be educated
Godzilla has never been to Kettering
But if he had it would be devastated
Michael Scofield has never been to Kettering
But if he had there would be a lot of holes
Elvis Presley has never been to Kettering
But if he had there would be no rock n'roll

I have never been to Kettering
But i was recently in Corby
It was really nice there
But that's a different story

Al Capone has never been to Kettering
But if he had people would be even more corrupted
Derrida has never been to Kettering
But if he had people would be deconstructed
Charles Manson has never been to Kettering
But if he had a lot of people would have been stabbed
Mother Mary has never been to Kettering
It wouldn't be like that

I have never been to Kettering
But i was recently in Corby
It was really nice there
But that's a different story

I have never been to Kettering
In fact i don't know where it is
And late at night i wonder
If it actually exists

Video clip: Sunday

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Video Clip: This is England

Video Clip: Town center

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What the album cover looks like

























What the album cover doesn't look like


Bring your money to The Bank


The official CD "England for sale" is now available right there:
www.musicsubmit.com/CDsaleArtist.cfm?BN=44124&RS=14065
http://cdbaby.com/cd/thebank

... and downloadable on Itunes and Amazon MP3.

Alternatively, you can break into my flat and steal the one I intended to give to my 6-year-old cousin for his birthday