Angel In Reverse

by Ian Bland

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    Ian Bland's latest album, backed with an outstanding lineup of local and international musicians

    Includes unlimited streaming of Angel In Reverse via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

     $16 AUD  or more




Twelve evocative songs from Ian Bland's repertoire emerge from this much anticipated new CD; and it’s been worth the wait.

The rich and varied collection of themes includes a sprinkling of murder ballads such as “The Man They Couldn’t Hang”, lands gently on the joyful “Bella and Charlie”, loops through to the light-hearted “My Father’s Ashes”, careens off the epic “Jesus of Hollywood” and concludes with the poignant “The hour Before Dawn”.

All this and much more, delivered with the assistance of the very talented Lamington Drive Orchestra and some special guests


released September 7, 2012

Ian Bland Acoustic Guitar & Vocals

The Lamington Drive Orchestra
Ed Bates - Pedal Steel, Lap Steel, Electric Guitar
Greg Hunt - Violin, Viola, Cello & Mandolin
Pete Anderson - Accordion
Alan Brooker - Bass Guitar
Mark Stanley - Drums & Percussion

Additional musicians

Simon Imrei - Piano & Keyboards (1,3,5,6,8,11)
Robbie Melville - Electric Guitar (1,2,3,5,6)
Julie Buxton - Vocals (1,3,5,6,9)
Lucy Anne Sale - Vocals (2,5,11)
Wes Finch - Vocals (11)
Peter Hayes - Vocals (11)

Engineered by Mark Stanley at Red Room Records
Melbourne Australia

Lucy Anne Sale and Wes Finch recorded by Drew Coleman
Coventry UK

Mastered by David Odlum at Studio Black Box France

String arrangements Greg Hunt

Cover layout - Jools Thatcher
Website, internet and all the black arts

Thanks to Thatch & Jools @

For Nic

© 2012 Ian Bland



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Ian Bland Melbourne, Australia

Ian Bland - Melbourne based singer songwriter - musical influences include country, celtic, and folk with stories drawn from rural and urban Australia

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Track Name: Jimmy O'Hare
jimmy o’hare

it was blowing a gale, maria was alone at the store
the neighbour's heard a noise, thought it's just the wind banging the door
later that night they found maria dead on the floor
a little money was gone - a robbery gone wrong

trouble was never a stranger to jimmy o'hare
he was hated by most of the town, but he didn't care
the night maria was killed he vanished into thin air
they tried to track him down - but he’d gone to ground
and the rumours began

you see what you choose to see
sometimes the truth is what you make it to be
twist things round bit by bit
you make the pieces fit

jimmy’s girlfriend cried as she told how they'd had a fight
they’d argued over money early on in the night
jimmy took off swearing he would make things right
turned his car around -- headed back to town

two years on, the police, they’d run out of clues
no-one was shy to say jimmy was the one they accused
his mother couldn’t walk down the street without being abused
packed her car one day - just drove away
and she never returned

when the rains hadn’t come, farmers didn’t bother to sow
no-one remembered the river ever being as low
some kids were swimming down by the old bridge road
they saw a bumper bar - it was jimmy’s car

when they hauled out the wreck they found jimmy’s remains
the river had hidden him well, while they searched in vain
his watch had stopped an hour before maria was slain
he didn’t kill her they said
cause jimmy

he was already dead
Track Name: Bella & Charlie
bella and charlie

bella first met charlie
on a bus up to alice springs
charlie had all these big ideas
and bella, she had the wings
he wrote her a poem on a serviette
at a cheap roadside café
when the bus rolled into the alice
they were half a world away

bella called up her parents
arranged for her things to be sent
her father said she was crazy
she took that as a compliment
they travelled all over the north end
working every now and then
bella said “charlie, we’ll never be rich”
“but we might never be this happy again”

picked grapes round margaret river
cairns when the weather turned cold
worked the fishing boats out of lincoln
went searching for lassiter’s gold
birdsville for the races
though they had no money to bet
charlie said “bella it’s a beautiful day”
“i guess luck isn’t done with us yet”

the last time anyone saw them
they were working as crew on a yacht
headed for the south pacific
no-one knew how far they got
till a postcard came of a sunset
a star for every place they’d been
said this picture was started by charlie
and bella, she coloured it in

i’ve never got around to counting the stars
but i’ve seen enough to know there’s a lot
i’m not really certain what love’s all about
but i know enough to know what it’s not
if a picture’s worth a thousand words
they don’t all mean what they say
you and me bella, can paint our own picture
add a little every day
Track Name: My Father's Ashes
my father’s ashes

i stood on the end of the pier with my father
said “how bout a swim?” - he didn’t reply
my sister suggested a little persuasion
for once in his life, seemed unusually shy

prodded and shook him, but nothing would move him
i felt his delight at the trouble and strife
the harder i pushed him the more he resisted
he finally surrendered to a swiss army knife
my fathers ashes scattered all around me

all the world’s problems we solved in his kitchen
the stories, some true, though most were made up
he clung like a dog with a bone to his freedom
and kept finding drops when he’d emptied his cup

the twelve string guitar for my twenty first birthday
the thousands of times he wound up in the rough
the terrible jokes, with the forgotten endings
when one was too many and ten not enough
my father’s ashes are scattered all around me

we stood on the end of the pier with our father
each took a handful to cast on the breeze
a westerly wind was waiting to claim him
it suddenly swung round one eighty degrees

he swirled and then hovered, what seemed like forever
like the pause in a joke, before they sell you the line
then swept through my hair, up my nose, in my eyes
ran circles around us one final time
my father’s ashes are scattered all around me

the laughter, the love, the joys and the sadness
ultimatums, the losses, the strains
the fights and forgiveness, the walks and discussions
sickness and strength and the odd growing pains

the poems, the letters, advice and reflections
the pleasure we found in cheap bottles of red
the loyalty and patience, pig headed opinions
the wisdom to know when enough had been said
Track Name: The Man They Couldn't Hang
the man they couldn't hang

a policeman was murdered, the jury wasted no time
the prisoner faced the judge and he bowed his head
“i sentence you joseph samuels, for this terrible crime”
“to be hung by the neck till you are dead”

he cried out “i'm no murderer”
“i didn't beat that man to death”
“i swear to god, with my dying breath”

he closed his eyes and began to pray
the rope pulled tight, then the rope gave way
the crowd was hushed
for the man they couldn't hang

a man called simmonds, shared joseph's cell
he confessed one night he did the constable in
but they swore an oath, swore they'd never tell
said he'd see 500 hang to save his own skin

now joseph lay there dazed
as they dragged him from the ground
held him till another rope was found

then they hauled him high in the morning breeze
the rope unravelled, he slid to his knees
the crowd begged mercy
for the man they couldn't hang

they arrested simmonds, found blood on his clothes
he was charged with murder along with joseph his friend
but he convinced the jury, the blood came from his nose
once you're acquitted, they can't try you again

but they made him watch poor joseph
as he dangled from that noose
the rope snapped, for the third time he dropped loose

“set the poor wretch free”, the governor cried
“where man has failed let god decide”
the crowd they cheered
for the man they couldn't hang
Track Name: Angel In Reverse
angel in reverse

somewhere close to nowhere - down a track they call a highway
where the dust can nearly blind you - and the silence leaves you deaf
an old shed does for a hotel - a few sheets of rusting iron
no doors to shield the north wind - that blows hot as satan's breath

she was sitting by the window - gazing at the sunset
with a look that told of comfort - with her own company
we shared a beer and conversation - guess she knew what i was thinking
she said 'don't start seeing angels - you won't find one in me'

you can leave the world behind you
think love will never find you
fill your life with strangers
it's both a blessing and a curse
loneliness and drinking
they can cloud your thinking
you might find your angel, or an angel in reverse

we lay there all night talking - about how the world was crazy
but not one word or question - of what we'd done or where we'd been
out here the past don't matter - no-one talks about it
that way you can't be burdened - with what you don't know to begin

the firelight was dying - as the sun rose on the desert
i scratched around for words - i thought might make her want to stay
she said a heart's too easily broken - by words too easily spoken
what's promised in a moment - can haunt you all your days
Track Name: Once We Were Kings Of The World
once we were kings of the world

a car hit a tree, was all the paper said
gave a name and precious little more
a number in a box, at the foot of the page
like they were giving a football score

been a while since we’d last spoken
always something seemed to get in the way
we used to think we’d live forever
even forever ends some day

we used to play on the cliffs by the water
looked up through the clouds to mystical lands
we sailed our dreams to the end of the rainbow
together - we held the gold in our hands
together, once we were kings of the world

took a walk around our old neighbourhood
there’s nothing much left to see
a new housing estate filled with luxury cars
on the site of the old factory

all that we knew is long gone now
things change and i don’t mind
it just seems strange things that once meant so much
can disappear and leave not a trace behind

we used to play on the cliffs by the water
looked up through the clouds to mystical lands
we sailed our dreams to the end of the rainbow
together - we held the gold in our hands

we stood with the gods and looked out from their mountain
together we pulled the sword from the stone
we ran with the devil and we soared with the angels
together, we’d never have done it alone
together, once we were kings of the world
Track Name: Jesus Of Hollywood
jesus of hollywood

the messiah had returned was the word out on the street
it swept across the city like a flood
he was fair, blue eyes, he was tall and he was handsome
not a hint of jewish blood

first on his list, was to find a publicist
she told him “jesus of nazareth sounds no good”
she pondered for a while, then gave a clever little smile
we’ll call you jesus of hollywood

the studio heads, like the wise men of old
said “we think this boy is worth a look”
there’s sex and corruption and they loved the violent ending
it cost nothing for the rights to the book

that movie was a smash, pulled two billion dollars cash
that’s more than even swartzeneger could
a new chapter had begun for the prodigal son
jesus of hollywood

jesus had a manager, judas was his name
and he knew he had to make his money fast
like superman, gilligan and luke skywalker
it’s all over once you’ve been typecast

they did “jesus does jerusalem” and “jesus rides again”
signed him up for everything they could
aftershave called “divine” and a range of alter wine
by jesus of hollywood

next they filmed a thriller, “jesus meets godzilla”
but box office sales began to slow
they were even less enamoured, with “jesus meets mohamed”
that dud went straight to video

jesus said “i don’t care, i’ve still got things to share
about sister and brotherhood”
but the only work he had, was a television ad
jesus of hollywood

the press began to skirt, they were hungry for some dirt
there were rumours he’d been indiscreet
his parentage was shonky, and he liked to ride a donkey
and a fetish for anointing people’s feet

he had communistic roots and hung with prostitutes
ran around the place like robin hood
they said “when this hits the news they’ll think he’s stranger than tom cruise
jesus of hollywood

judas he was cunning, he hit the ground running
he gladly sold out jesus to the press
critics love to ruin lives, they were waiting with their knives
when they smell blood, they’re merciless

even walking on water couldn’t save him from the slaughter
no-one cared he’d been misunderstood
before the ink had dried, they had him judged and crucified
jesus of hollywood

jesus he was reeling, judas said “no hard feelings
i’m just trying to keep my family off the dole”
jesus eyes they burned, he said “judas i’m concerned”
“it’s not about the money but your soul”

judas went to speak but jesus kissed him on the cheek
“i forgive you son, no-one else here would”
“if you think a little scandal’s, to hot for me to handle”
you don’t know jesus of hollywood

careers they can falter, just look at john travolta
then years later magically revive
stars you thought were dead, come back to life instead
unless they’re female and they’re over thirty five

jesus said “i’m well connected, i’ll be resurrected
round here they protect their livelihood”
“you can take my name in vain but i will rise again”
jesus of hollywood

with that he disappeared, was he dead as many feared
or lying low away from sunset strip
there were sightings in hong kong, peru and lebanon
and on the set of a madonna music clip

with elvis rolling dice, in a club called paradise
others say this time he’s gone for good
but they believe in tinsel town, he’ll be back to claim his crown
jesus of hollywood
Track Name: Long Way From Home
long way from home 1

there's a saying they have in the town i come from
“a train always follows it's tracks”
trust they hold with virginity
once you've lost it you can't get it back
i've made some mistakes, i'm the first to admit
and god knows they won't be the last
i could have stayed in that town till jesus returned
and still not break free of my past

i recall my first views of the city
the postcards my grandmother framed
after two years living out there on the streets
i can tell you it's not all it's claimed
too many live without hope or respect
hell they don't even know what it means
some don't care if they live or they die
and they're only just into their teens

lived for a while with my sister
it began as i stepped from the train
three months preaching what i already knew
and didn't need reminding again
i'll always live with the things i have done
but sometimes you tire of that weight
all her words spoken with love and concern
sometimes love does more damage than hate

i'm heading northwards next winter
i'm told you'll find work if you’re keen
too busy working out where i’m going
too worry about where i've been
a girl i know moved there last christmas
maybe i’ll give her a ring
if i never set foot in this city again
i won't feel i'm missing a thing

let the wind blow me
and carry me slowly
i’m breaking free of this trap
this city's a long way from where i come from
much further than it shows on the map
Track Name: Next To Fall
next to fall

heard you were back in town - round the usual traps
thought you might have been in touch – next time perhaps
i’m told you’re looking tired - darling aren’t we all
there’s a whisper - you could be the next to fall

you told me once that moving round - was an aphrodisiac
the thrill of leaving - fed the joy of coming back
you never stopped believing - just sometimes you’d stall
now i’m hearing - you could be the next to fall

winter’s blown in early - gets colder every year
everybody sends their love - nothing’s changed round here
they said to say your picture - is still hanging on the wall
now they’re hearing
you could be the next to fall

no-one could keep up with you - when you were on a roll
you took your chances - your chances took their toll
doesn’t make it easier - at least it was your call
now i’m hearing - you could be the next to fall

i’ll grab that whiskey - i’ve been saving on the shelf
thank you for the kindnesses - you could not show yourself
here’s to all the good times - and the one’s we can’t recall
i think you always knew - you could be the next to fall
Track Name: King Of The Singles Bar
king of the single's bars

i've been sitting here watching you
what you drink, how you’re dressed, the way you walk
you can throw me any line you like
actions speak louder than talk
i know you're looking for something
or you wouldn't have walked through the door
maybe a dance or a few compliments
maybe a whole lot more
everyone wants to be flattered
just got to know how to sell
i'm good at massaging egos
and a few other things as well
out on the streets i don't mean a thing
but down here at night i'm a king
i come out with the stars
i'm the king of the singles bars

i've been laughed at and spat on
had drinks thrown back in my face
i've been knocked back
more times than the pope's said grace
my feelings are armour plated
nothing can't dent my pride
for every woman who knocks me back
there's a hundred i haven't tried
lonely hearts and party girls
wall flowers and flirts
housewives from the suburbs
sick of making beds and ironing shirts
some come to play, some for romance
each has a reason, and each one’s a chance
i come out with the stars
i'm the king of the singles bars

i'm no valentino
i'm no great catch
i dress like a used car salesman
i’ve got the tongue to match
if you're hoping for a movie star
well it's time to cover your bets
take a look around this dump baby
i'm as good as it gets
the tank's full and the engines running
times ticking down on the clock
don't wanna drive onto the sunset darling
just once round the block
you could do better and maybe you will
but i love the chase as much as the kill
i come out with the stars
i'm the king of the singles bars
Track Name: Another Man's Name
another man’s name

working the mines in the north country
i never knew trouble, it never knew me
till i found a body by the back of my claim
deep in debt, i was a desperate man
what i did next, i hadn’t planned
i took his wallet and i took his name
his purse of gold, was no use to him
where i stood that made me next of kin

the sun comes up, the sun goes down
i see no shadow and i hear no sound
i’m lying six foot down
cause i took another man’s name

bought a horse and i headed west
a fancy suit - a silk vest
i looked pretty good for a man who was dead
troopers bailed me - i had nothing to hide
took my papers - seemed satisfied
next thing i felt was a gun at my head
wanted for murder, the man who’s name i bore
robbed a bank, left three dead on the floor

i told the truth - they only laughed
i threw the body down an old mine shaft
knew i was dead before the trial had begun
my innocence was a hopeless task
though the killer he wore a mask
ten men swore on the bible i was the one
i wore the noose for someone else’s crime
first man to die a second time
Track Name: The Hour Before Dawn
the hour before dawn

adventure we thought when we answered the drum
not the journey to hell shortly to come
how proudly we marched in the king’s uniform
we sailed on the tide the hour before dawn

colours were raised and banners unfurled
vainglorious shrines to the sins of the world
how we long for our families from who we are torn
never so much as the hour before dawn

both the living and dead share the mud of this trench
no words can been penned for the horror and stench
what god allows evil like this to be sporned
still i pray for my life the hour before dawn

a young british corporal deserted his gun
two years in this war and not yet twenty one
they called him a coward and held him to scorn
then shot the poor bastard the hour before dawn

come light i will kill as many i can
the same flesh as me no different a man
tell me who is the righteous and who is the pawn
what difference it makes the hour before dawn

should i make it home to the loved ones i yearn
the boy they farewelled, he can never return
he was lost on these fields with the thousands we mourn
another who fell the hour before dawn

when you tell of our courage and the hardship we faced
speak first and speak loud of the terrible waste
pass down our stories to those not yet born
pray they be spared the hour before dawn

there’s no glory here, the hour before dawn