From the recording COUNTERBALANCE

“We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” Chuck Palahniuk
Most of us fortunate enough to live in a safe part of the world are nonetheless subject to the most intense kind of injustice at least once in our lives: the injustice of losing someone. In December 2011, one of the greatest supporters of acoustic music in London, Andy Ropek, died very suddenly, depriving London’s folk and singer songwriter scene of its John Peel. Andy’s habit for wearing a black Trilby hat whenever he introduced acts on stage at his Icarus Club in South East London gave the title to this affectionate tribute to a special man and the sparkling impact he had on The Portraits, along with many others striving to be heard in a music industry where so often, you are “too young, too old, too hard, too soft, too breakaway, too done before”. We will most definitely keep the hat on stage with us, Andy: it is already working its magic.



They say there’s little left to smile about
The daily race to hammer out
Fears, drowning voices out
Listening takes too long to think about
In the void of twenty years
Where are the open ears
To share our sonic souvenirs
When story telling disappears?

A musician’s lot is not a happy one
Cut through a million voices on
Line, on eighty-eight to ninety-one
It flies, another singer gone
Are we ever going to
Find a crowd so overdue
Left to major labels you
Know you’ll always be a little

Too young, too old, too hard,
Too soft, too breakaway
Too done before

The Trilby man
Whose heart preceded him
Took us in, gave us a vitamin
A shot of self-belief, a grin
Reviews to make them think again
We’ll keep the hat on stage with us
When competition’s vigorous
We owe so much to Icarus
There’s no

Too young…

No time to lose, no choice to fail
So fly we will, you’re in our trail