The Overflow

by Humphreys & Keen

supported by
dmtunes thumbnail
dmtunes My route here was a lifelong obsession with "The Free Life": music that has haunted me for more than 40 years. The interpretation is stunning and captures that strange mix of loss and hope. It radiates into the far corners: cathartic piano chords in Bright Shining Star, summer poppies from that drought of '76. The golden storm that pulled a village into the North Sea and we all had to grow up. You think you can't get some things back but in art you can. Favorite track: Eyes Of A Blue Dog.
patient_ot thumbnail
patient_ot I've been looking for this album on CD for a number of years, typically it was only available as a pricey import. Glad to have found it here at a very fair price. If you liked Able Tasmans, this is similar but a bit more stripped down and mellower. Great album, highly recommended if you have any interest in Chamber Pop-esque music.
oscdrift thumbnail
oscdrift This album is a bonafide classic; mops the present day competition. Favorite track: The End of the Golden Weather.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    "12,000 Miles" also includes the hidden track "Timber", featuring legendary NZ Flying Nun artist Chris Knox. "The Overflow" is also now available as an 88.2k/24-bit download.

      $7 USD  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Lovingly mastered specifically for vinyl by Don Bartley, cut at the legendary Abbey Rd Studios, pressed on solid 140g vinyl, and housed in a glossy sleeve, this individually-numbered (001-500) record is THE way to listen to The Overflow.

    Also includes immediate download of 13 track album in your choice of 320k mp3, 24-bit FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. Sorted!
    ships out within 5 days
    edition of 500 

      $25 USD


(free) 02:36
(free) 02:10


Graeme Humphreys and Peter Keen were the primary songwriting partnership of the critically acclaimed Able Tasmans, a New Zealand band in the Flying Nun stable that produced 4 albums and one EP from 1986 to 1996.

The imminent departure of vocalist and lyricist Peter Keen to an oceanographic research vessel hurling about on fearsome oceans over 5km above the seabed for the next 2 years drove the two to complete the project before he left.

Recorded in November of 2003 at Helen Young Studio with the assistance of Andre Upston.

Former Able Tasmans Jane Dodd and Craig Mason feature on this record as well as Tasmans Ron Young assisting with synth set-up and Leslie Jonkers, who provided the cover artwork. Peter Scott provided double bass on the majority of the tracks. Other selected musicians completed the picture. Victoria Kelly realized the string components and Kingsley Melhuish the brass.

Peter and Graeme collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and this is an album that focuses on the potential of the studio to refine and shape ideas. Recorded in 2003 with Andre Upston at Helen Young studios and completed after Peter left to work in England the album might well be enjoyed by former followers of the Tasman ethic but presents new work in a new way by this song writing duo.

The album takes it’s name from the A B Paterson character Clancy of the Overflow. Patterson’s work being long admired by both Graeme and Peter, but the ideas are drawn from many sources; Australian outback poetry; magic realism; a train between Bologna and Firenze; and our dark little rainy island.

Until 2006 Graeme worked at Radio Sport in New Zealand as the afternoon host and compiled sardonic sports highlight video packages as well as appearing on Sports Café on TV2 in New Zealand under the name Graeme Hill. He continues to write for satirical television productions Eating Media Lunch and The Unauthorised History of New Zealand and is a weekend Radio Magazine-Show host on Radio Live in New Zealand as well as hosting talkback on Monday and Tuesday nights.


released February 20, 2006




all rights reserved


Humphreys & Keen Auckland

Graeme Humphreys & Peter Keen were the primary songwriting partnership of the critically acclaimed Able Tasmans, an NZ band in the Flying Nun stable that produced 4 albums & one EP.

Named from the A B Paterson character Clancy of the Overflow, the ideas are drawn from many sources; Australian outback poetry; magic realism; a train between Bologna & Firenze; & our dark little rainy island.
... more

contact / help

Contact Humphreys & Keen

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Bright Shining Star
Bright Shining Star, you go too far, and there's no turning back.
You think too hard and then it starts to crystalise as fact.
Through the days once distant dreams unfold before your eyes,
they call you from the distance, and that's the reason why...

I just want to hold you as if you would stay for ever.
I miss you,
Bright Shining Star

Bright Shining Star though we're apart, please don't turn your back.
The future flies on fragile wings, is open to attack.
I hold in trust the sacred flame that burns for us alone.
And so ensure that come what may, you'll always have a home.

But just like I told you it's best if we stay together.
I miss you.
Bright Shining Star.
Track Name: Eyes Of A Blue Dog
Remember, when, remember when you wake,
remember, when, remember when you wake,
when you wake, will you remember...

And so it goes, totally independent of how I feel.
Totally independent, without appeal,
I find just I, try as I might.
No great plan,
I see no-one,
and I stand in the rain.
King of "all I see".

Still clipping heads off tall poppies,
Full armed,
waiting for the right to shoot,
for priviledge and charm.

The world so far.
Has flickered suggestions of broad plans,
a wild chance to see them through.
To pull up short, to falter in plain view.

Half of my life given away, given away.

You see four walls that surround me.
Speak to me in my sleep.
And when I wake I can't remember.

Wake, cold sweat, tall foreign shadows,
falling down on me.
Down on me! What's that for?

Remember, when, remember when you wake.
Track Name: Calshot Spit
Wishing I was not the sole subscriber to the pool.
Spoiled for choice, the clean, spare, lot and only the option to choose.
Misty rain and foreground, hands reach up to the sky, each drop is caught, held to the light, I can't begin to say why.

Heaven sent. I told you. Now the time to depart has arrived.
Filling with dread. Feeling light, and ahead. Keeping one eye to the shore. And I play through the days that I smuggled away for just such occasions as these, and I reckon on being up most of the night thinking where, in all this, will it lead.

I come from the bottom of the world.

Maybe they'll say how wonderful, how wonderful you are.
Then again, maybe, just like the rest of them - made for keeping your mind in a jar.
And if the same choices came, if they could come again, they'd suggest that we stay as we are.
Reason came after everything.
Just stay as you are, everyone stay as you are.

Think of all that is possible.
Think of all that's happened so far.
Think again carefully of all the friends you have and the times you've spent with them so far.
And if a tragedy came, carried half them away, do you think that you'd get very far.
Reason came after everything, sniggering, just stay as you are, everyone stay as you are.
Track Name: You Smiled
Oh see the road in front of you!
Observe the breaking day!
I’m glad with you as company.
I could keep on all day!
You smiled, that changed everything.

Come now in the world of possibly.
You feel your decisions sway.
Hold tight to the integrity one small little action gave.
You smiled, that changed everything.

Now, with certainty find you way, and all who surround you, come inside.
One things for certain, whenever disturbed or whenever you’re frightened, this is yours to have and ever hold.

I feel so alive!
Must be the pouring rain.
Found life right here in front of me,
Now nothing can be the same.
You smiled, that changed everything.

Like no-one else and just like you.
Find the strength to see you through.
With the gift of laugh and levity, with sang froid the daring play.
You smiled, that changed everything.
Track Name: You Too
Dream, all dreams are free.
But they don't all go as we planned.
I think of you always, can't forget the warm touch of your hand.
I dreamed life babe, followed all the shifts in the sand.
Spoke the same words, that you say.
This end I don't understand.

Stay here with me.
Rest in my arms.
Lay down and sleep.
Stay here with all your qualms.

Now try to explain, why this turns to dust in my hands.
Why it runs like sand through my fingers,
can't retain one grain of sand.

Stay here with me.
Rest in my arms.
Lay down and sleep.
Stay here with all your charms.

I want you too.
Turn to me and say this is not true.
Track Name: The Free Life
It's just that, you see, we're been looking for days and days
But he's lost in the last set and haze

If there was a half chance, a little something, like a new idea, well I'm sorry, there's no more and nothing at all can be done.
Its not looking good but what can we do

The sunset is final and here
It's the end and we all had agreed

Tail lights are faded and the free life to never sleep again, like before, if I could have done more, and the phone just rings cold,
I'm old

Where am I now, alive
Are you OK?
Someones arrived
Track Name: Point Of No Return
What do I do now?
Now that you're gone and so far away?
Things have come to a ripe old stage

I looked in your eyes
All for nothing
This songs too full of meaning,
with fast closing shadows
Was it all for nothing?
Well how can I say

What is a dream without you?
Without you all my ghosts come out and play

Hold me safe and tight
Hold me close and calm me down
Before I crumble, beneath the weight of ages
Will nothing hold you and is nothing sacred?
Track Name: La Vie!
Deep late in the night.
The pull of dark,
the chance of flight.
A chance to steal back to the light.
It nicks and burns,
You twist and turn.
Can I be brutally frank.
Let me be perfectly clear.
If it's not blinding obvious,
don't wait no longer.
Don't wait your turn.
La Vie.

Uplift the sign, in point of fact and right on time.
Force not and refine, the truest path makes it's own line.
Can I be uncomfortably close.
Starlingly near.
Waste not on fantasy.
It's never better.
Watch your purse.
La Vie

Life rich, divine, the fullest glass, the neighbours wine.
At one with calm, peace, and serenity.
How clever can you be?
When you take charge it's electrifying.
Give me a break, for heavens sake, stand back I will demonstrate, it's somehow never too old, and it is never too late.
La Vie
Track Name: Clancy
The overflow.
A big white box.

He looked them through, pick on you, you’ll fall the harder, slight and thin.
Altercation, one round kid, that was me.

You should have heard the whipcord crack.
Tall shearers thunder by…
In vain fetch him back.

Only a pound and I’m standing here, selling this animal gain or loss.
Chickens, time, policemen, and space. Words to be said

By the old Compaspe river where the breezes shake the grass there’s a row of little gravestones where the stockmen never pass. For they bear a crude inscription saying stranger drop a tear. For the Cuff and Collar players and the Geebung boys lie here
Track Name: The Liquor Talking
I'm living with my bags packed, living on borrowed time.
Friends call me a sad sack since you said you weren't mine.

And I've had quite enought of this city.
And the jokes worn out my jacket and I freeze.
And I'm asking you, Sweet Lord, why is the joke on me?

I've got some small change in my pocket,
and a bottle in the car.
Sometimes a man relies on things he knows won't get him far.
But when a friend becomes a stranger then it's plain to all but me,
why you won't reconsider, Lord, why is the joke on me?

And if I said I wasn't hurting,
I'd be lying.
If I came back tomorrow, the end I plainly see.
And I realise that nothing comes in this world without trying.
Well I tried
And now I find
My best
Was not the best it seemed.

Perhaps I phone you up, phone you some way down the line.
But it's the fourth room in a week and I am not sure that it's mine.
By the time this bottles over and before the day is done,
I'm on my knees, I'm praying, Lord, am I the only one?
Track Name: The End of the Golden Weather
If everything that I say,
means nothing, what can I do.
There's something I can't explain,
that's hidden but in our way.
If nothing that I say and do...

Will bring you an ounce of pleasure.
When I see your bright smile fading away,
it's the end of the golden weather.
Other plans, probably, have been made.

I give my life away.
There's nothing else I can do.
You say no. What can I do?
I feel the world turning blue.
I feel the world turning blue, again.

It's the end of the golden weather.
It's the sound of the last gasp fading away.
It's the end of the golden weather.
Other plans, probably, have been made.
Track Name: 12,000 Miles
I'm lost in your electric stare,
touch the ground and all around you,
heaven for a moment,
you're just too good to be true.

Now you know I'm leaving,
and 12,000 miles of open air,
won't stop me believing that that faint foot fall is you.

And if you come around this evening,
if you come around, for certain,
you'll know just enough to break my heart,
in every single way.