Brian Ralston

Brian Ralston

BandFolkAcoustic

"Shades of Dr John and Eric Clapton, with hints of a full gin soaked gravel sound of Joe Cocker and with lyrics that show an emotional life, lived to the max...you have it!" - Nina Vox

Biography

Brian Ralston has been recording and performing solo under the name "Self Tort". In July, 2013 he decided to turn Self Tort into a band and invited Lilo Blyton (fiddle) (who had previously provided fiddle on 4 Self Tort tracks), Ben Hewson (guitar) with whom Brian had jammed with on a number of occasions, Chris Stafford (bass) whom Brian had met at the SongsAlive Australia 2012 Song Comp Awards night (at which Brian won two awards, and at which Chris, amongst other awards was declared "Songwriter of the Year") and Graham Doust (drums) with whom Brian had played in "Sirrah" in the 1970s.

Self Tort entered the ABC's "Exhumed" competition which was designed to find Australia's "best bands you've never heard of" and were chosen among the five finalists of the Sydney region of the competition.

On 15 August, 2013 Self Tort were declared the Sydney winners of "Exhumed 2013".

Lyrics

Time To Train the Horses

Written By: Brian Ralston

Crusty eyes wakened by the first rays of sun
In a new town
Brakes of the van grip the dirt of the road
Here we are
Watch as the props of the circus unfold
Breathe in the air, touch the dew feel the cold
It must be time to train the horses

See the young kids with the thrill in their eyes
Like I once was
Colourful tights on those muscular thighs
Where'd they go
Rope ladders I climbed all those years as a child
Now seem to stretch
For mile after mile
It must be time to train the horses

Could I be happy settling down
Have some time on my hands
Or would I just get lost alone in one town
So much for well made plans

The sound of the crowd, the rush to set up
For the next show
Taking more time to make myself up
Here we go
The roar of applause as we run to the stage
The cramps and the pains
The baggage of age
It must be time to train the horses

Crusty eyes wakened by the first rays of sun
In a new town
Brakes of the van grip the dirt of the road
Here we are
Colourful tights on those muscular thighs
Like I once was
Taking more time to make myself up
Here we go

Oldest Roadies On The Earth

Written By: Brian Ralston

It’s looking grim, there seems no doubt I’m going to get there late
There’s still set up and sound check before I start at 8
Its seven now, they’re still not here, I’m standing on my own
Jack’s no doubt doing 20k in a sixty zone

And I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I pay them with a beer or two
It’s all they’re bloody worth
But I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth

At last they’re coming down the hill at speed just like a snail
Imagine what would happen if these blokes delivered mail
There’s clearly been an argument, Jack’s got a look to kill
But I won’t say a single word, they might send me a bill

And I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I pay them with a beer or two
It’s all they’re bloody worth
But I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth

Maybe I should buy a bigger car
Or perhaps a small PA might suit
Anything would clearly be better
Than two old beer-guts
Stuck in the front of a ute

When finally we reach the gig, the roadies smell the beer
They head themselves off to the bar and leave me with the gear
But Ringer, Garron, Zulu, there’s help from other boys
Except for Groom who shouts to me “Turn down that bloody noise”

And I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I pay them with a beer or two
It’s all they’re bloody worth
But I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth

I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I’ve got the Oldest Roadies in the universe
You look at them from side on
You’d swear they’re giving birth
But I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth

I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth
I’ve got the Oldest Roadies in the universe
I know if they were groupies
Things would be a whole lot worse
But I’ve got the Oldest Roadies on the Earth

Copyright Brian Ralston June, 2006

Holding Court In King Street

Written By: Brian Ralston

Steven never knew a family, his childhood spent in cold and grey State homes
Earmarked to fail, in and out of jail, released, then left to fend alone
He wanders lonely through the city, checking rancid bins, in ragged clothes
Cadging fags, his whole world in two bags
And he swears at unknown foes
But as black skies cloud St Marys' spires
And streetlights start to flicker in the dark
He takes his nightly trek, past the benches in Hyde Park
Cause they're holding court, in King Street again tonight
The wretched and the homeless, huddle out of sight
They laugh and joke, they squabble and fight
They jostle for position under fag-end light
They're holding court, in King Street again tonight
Janie once had a family, hasn't heard from them for years
Just an old photograph, firmly in her grasp, tattered, torn and stained with tears

So she takes another swig
Tries to drown the screaming demons in her head
Shuffles past the pin striped suits, on the way to her tiled bed
Cause they're holding court, in King Street again tonight
The wretched and the homeless, huddle out of sight
They laugh and joke, they squabble and fight
They jostle for position under fag-end light
They're holding court, in King Street again tonight
We head out for the comfort of our homes
We leave the human scars behind
Not only justice is blind
Cause they're holding court, in King Street again tonight
The wretched and the homeless, huddle out of sight
They laugh and joke, they squabble and fight
And we walk past and we avert our eyes
They're holding court, in King Street again tonight

Get It Right This TIme

Written By: Brian Ralston

Get it right this time
(Brian Ralston)

I walk into a darkened room
Any light just filtered dust
And I’d really like to break the ice
Kind of wished you’d get in first

So silence gathers round us now
The situation’s bleak
After years of love and laughter, girl
How can neither of us speak

Both torn 'tween love and anger
I wish I knew my crime
I sense I'm on my last chance now
Better get it right this time

I feel the need to hug you girl
To try to stem the hate
But I feel your flinch before the touch
Too late, ah too late

Both torn 'tween love and anger
I wish I knew my crime
I know I'm on my last chance now
Better get it right this time

I’m trying to make some sense of it
But it makes no sense at all
Do we fall into each other’s arms
Or do I, do I walk out that door

Both torn 'tween love and anger
I wish I knew my crime
I know I'm on my last chance now
I’m gonna get it right this time
I’m gonna get it right this time
Gonna get it right this time

Copyright Brian Ralston

Discography


Self Tort:

"N.I.C" released May 2006
"Tortology" released June, 2010

Both releases predate the formation of "Self Tort" as a band. A CD tentatively titled "Stripped Bare" is due for release in late 2013.