"You’re probably holding this book because you’re a fan of Six By Seven and you want to know more about the band’s songs: how they were written, and why. Well, to paraphrase something Neil Young said to me, “If you’re looking for that kind of thing, this is the place to go.”
The first Chris Olley lyric I ever heard was: “It’s good to be someone/To feel like you belong.” Easier said than done, but those sentiments are eternal. Anyone who’s ever obsessed over music and puzzled about life will find some companionship herein.
Chris is a brave writer, and the real deal. He writes a song about addiction, and then receives an email from Mark Lanegan telling him he’s nailed it. Between the lyrics and the explanatory notes, there’s a lot of beauty and chaos, ugly truths and no easy answers. But like he says in Colder: “I won’t ever give up…” The Things I Make is worth the journey. They do have the most beautiful shape."
Keith Cameron - Mojo Sub Editor.
released September 6, 2018
Although trained as a photographer Chris Olley is an artist who primarily deals in music. He is a lyricist and the frontman of British rock band six by seven.
When reading about six by seven or looking at comments about the band on the internet, the most common thing said about the band is usually: “Why weren’t this band bigger?”
Nobody knows, but ultimately, who cares?
six by seven did three albums on Beggars Banquet, 5 Peel Sessions and performed on Later with Jools Holland before Chris Olley formed his own label and continued in his own way, unimpeded by any commercial constraints.
To this day he has carried the six by seven flag with various members coming and (mostly) going.
He once turned down a phone call with David Bowie, a million pound record deal and hitched from Nottingham to Italy in just two lifts. He lives in Nottingham with his wife and two kids and a budgie called Lemmy.
20 years on, Olley’s targets have only become more firmly entrenched. The lacerating invectives of “Eat Junk Become Junk” leave fresh wounds at a time when a trash-TV huckster has moved into the White House, and while “Sawn Off Metallica T-Shirt” may deal in white-trash caricature, its dirtbag protagonist’s delusions of grandeur (”Lenny Bruce Lee Marvin Gaye - I’ve got style, and I’m misunderstood!”) ring all too familiar in an era of toxic, #GHBTP-grade masculinity and #alternativefacts.
Chris Olley’s lyrics hold out hope to commune with the masses, sometimes with anger but always with a flair for the melancholy and an impassioned appeal to the heart.
What makes his lyrics more than just a delirious dive through modern life’s rubbish is his desire to forge an emotional connection with those who feel weighed down by it.