Phantoms Of The Opera House

Roy Brown's alternative lyric to the Pete Atkin / Clive James song 'Apparition In Las Vegas'

When the king of chat'n'droll sang in the spa town
He didn't take the stage like other men
To Buxton came the ranks of Midnight Voices
Agog to see the duo hale again

To Buxton came the men with spreading paunches
The ones who daily looked more like their father
The ones who forced a smile at product launches
But deep down knew that they would rather
Be listening to 'Road of Silk' than all that dull and meaningless palaver

To Buxton came the ranks of younger brothers
Who'd studied to be lawyers who attaindered
And long ago, then curfewed by their mothers,
Had thought their dream to ever see Pete playing, dead
He wrote and bound the book in which such early aspirations were remaindered

When the king of chat'n'droll sang in the spa town
The prince of diffidence was at his side
The wine of fame was Clive's and he had drunk it
Modest Pete seemed just there for the ride

To Buxton came the seasoned ticket holders
6-album men who'd suffered market forces
The ones who looked like 'wiser now but older's
But still inside staunch patrons of lost causes
Their Atkin albums lost perhaps, but never divvied up in their divorces

When the king of chat'n'droll sang in the spa town
They sold no discs they hadn't sold before
To Buxton came the ranks of Midnight Voices
It was them, not always Pete, who knew the score
And knowing this, unprompted, loved him more

To Buxton came the wives whose eager spouses
Would shyly offer Pete for their inspection
As if his voice had never filled their houses
Nor nearly caused an in-car insurrection
About the one cassette that seemed to have no earthly means for its ejection

To Buxton came the die-hards made uncertain
By the promise that had somehow not ignited 
The space-time fabric folded like a curtain
To simpler days when dreams were all requited
The first bar struck, the duo couldn't fail - to leave them all delighted

Reviews of Pete and Clive's concert at Buxton Opera House, 20th September 1998.
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