Some time ago, I posted some tapes from the Witton Gilbert garage rehearsals. In the same stash was a bit of other material, but even given the garage tapes weren’t exactly hi-fi, the remaining material was worse, virtually unlistenable in fact.
But as it contained some very interesting recordings, I’ve done a bit of audio restoration work, and the result is this scratchy but listenable version of “Hunger” (Paddy also seems to refer to it as “Hunger Like Me”) apparently recorded during some sort of gig. The recording had some big problems, with the left channel very crackly but with all of the high and mid frequencies lacked by the right which was very muffled. So I did some decrackling, and mixed the stereo together as mono with a bit of equalisation. Credit to Björn Wahlberg for identifying the song, which had been listed as “What You Started”.
The song’s backstory is interesting, inspired by Knut Hamsun’s debut novel “Hunger” (“Sult” in Norwegian), initially published as a partwork and then gathered together into novel form. It’s a dark, impressionistic, account of a young intellectual’s solitary struggle in a forbidding metropolis, hungry and lonely and unwilling to bend to the humiliation of work he deems beneath him. He vows to become a “foreigner in life”, someone standing apart. It’s not difficult to draw parallels with Paddy nor to understand why he found the book striking.
The song is a wistful, melancholy and ultimately rather catchy piece. There’s more to come from this source too.