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The book of Saint Alto, 7:23 Once upon a time there were four boys called Philip, David, Alex and Thomas, by name christened. They decided to get together because they were the getting together type. When they were together they wondered what for, after all, what for? So all of a sudden they grew guitars and fashioned a noise. Funnily enough, no one was interested. Philip offered miserable words, average guitars and much singing. The boys were mildly moved and played along. David played all things and offered wondrous sounds. Alex, too, followed; telecasters, mandolins and a string of 80s keyboards chimed in glorious harmony. Thomas brought pianos from the heavens and some from the piano shop nearby, others he got from home. He too was very bloody good. Soon there was a sound, by group designed and sculpted. The boys did say ‘lo, let us play for the peasants’. Funnily enough, no one was interested. But, relentless, like an office bore describing their troubled weekend, they played on to two, three and as many as seven paupers at once. A man doth query; what calleth thou? Philip did say unto him: Saint Alto. ‘Why?’ Quibbled the man. And lo Philip had not thought that far ahead and offered some explanation or other. The boys played their music to anyone who would listen and a fair few who would rather not but were sticking around for the band on afterwards. Disciples at the beeb dutifully played each new release and for some reason vaguely liked the cynical sing-songs. Soon the cropped-trousered depressives had as many as eleven listeners. David saw a light in the sky and, dismissing living under a flight path as coincidental, decided that this was a sign. In no way a plane. David said unto Philip, let us travel to Vale. Alex affirmed, the Vale contained strange powers. Alex, Tom and David had seen them with their own eyes, speaking of splendiferous tones and amps what you couldn’t get at home. Philip, in quiet awe and slightly louder agreement, agreed. And so to Vale Studio they travelled, emerging later in cropped- trousered suits as if falling out of a hotel bar at 3am, worse for wear, and sounding more betterer. Much more betterer than before.