The Big Red Spark

click for lyrics

The idea behind the concept for the album came from a really strange dream I had (I must have been eating a particularly mature cheese the evening before). I’d been watching a programme on YouTube about parallel universes and dreamt about a doomsday device that could effectively topple the first domino (so to speak) and end existence in every universe. I told the dream to Robert and it captured his imagination so much that he started writing little character vignettes from the point of view of the people that would be instrumental in inventing such a machine. From that idle conversation, the seed of the concept behind the album was born. That’ll teach me to open my mouth.

I think this track is the perfect example of how Tinyfish work together to create a good song. My contribution is usually to thrash out the chords, arrangement and vocal melodies at the beginning and then hand it over to the guys to polish it up. Because we’ve known one another for so long, it’s a safe bet that each person will come up with something that compliments (and often exceeds) what I had originally intended. A good example of this is our current drummer Leon Camfield. Even though he joined too late to play the drums on the album, in performing the material live, he left a big mark on how I chose to record the drum tracks. In a lot of cases, I simply copied what he played on stage because his parts suited the songs much better than mine.

Jim and Paul also took my blundering demos and whipped up much better guitar and bass parts, then threaded them effortlessly into the main body of the song. A real collaborative effort.


Of course, this is where it all began. The machine to enact the human death wish that ends up uniting all intelligent life in a non-corpereal entity. This is the “revelation” part of the piece, just after Iain has told us that “they have no idea what it’s for”. Well, this is what it’s for. I'm very grateful to Simon for swapping the verses over in the first place.


Many wishes have been made
Many granted, many just mislaid
Only one wish joins us all
To greet the boatman and to think no more
So the paint on strange machines
Build a god to grant our wish

It’s the Big Red Spark
Safe in the knowledge of the Big Red Spark
Soon we’re united in the Big Red Spark
Safe in the knowledge of the Big Red Spark
Hail to the coming of the Big Red Spark

Walls go up as trillions pray
Many worlds are linked in hope/despair
Diplomats have meetings planned
With the blueprints in their sweating hands
To gather all the dreams to die
Work that takes the countless years


Is this the thing we planned
Almost like drops of light
Transparent shards of will – reunite
Everywhere up and down
Built from our own design
We switched off the universe
We’re still here…

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