The Shoestring EP

by XMenBTeam

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price




The story of about six months in my life, starting just after i was dumped, ending with the realisation that I'll actually be alright, and the various ups and downs in between. Enjoy!


released January 6, 2013

Sam Parry – Vocals/Guitars
Steve Pycroft – Drums, Shakes, Whistles and bells
Pete Robinson – Keys
Alex Timewell – Bass
Alex Dee – Saxophone
Adam Seed - Trumpet

Written/Arranged/Produced/Engineered by S. Parry
Mastered by Ben @ Condate Audio



all rights reserved


XMenBTeam Manchester, UK

'Formed from the ashes of a ska/punk monstrosity, XMenBTeam consists of Sam and his fellow BTeam. Nursed on a diet of pop punk and ska, Sam grew up singing about not understanding girls and life. Now twenty something, Sam still doesn't get it, and his songs reflect this. Infectiously singable and always with a smile.' ... more

contact / help

Contact XMenBTeam

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: From Heartstrings to Shoestrings
So apparently I've just turned 25,
A quarter dead but I only just feel alive,
Here we have a tale of a boy who never grew up deep down inside,
It prays on my mind that Maybe I should've tried,
Shoulda got a job with a salary and a suit and a tie,
Blind my eyes and soul and lick the soles of the shoes of some random guy,
Sycophantic smiles, put up with jibes and jibes
And let my soul die, cry myself to sleep at night...


I'll never let my life just pass me by,
Never forget to climb and dream of life at night,

Shoestrings pull me out into the light,
The b team's here, come Ans have a listen if you like,
Grab a knife and come and get a slice of pie,
From me and mine,
It's all a joke but take the time and enjoy the stories of six months of my mind,

Ups, Downs, side to side things,
Never quite on top of it, never quite win,
Never let a moment pass without a brief sing
gonna make you smile in our brief fling,
Let the record spin,
From tears to grins,
From jeers to kings,
Beats to swing,
With words and sins
The freedom of doing your own thing,
Xmenbteam tugging on your hearts and shoestrings...

Now let it begin.
Track Name: Too Strong
Hello! How are you?
My name’s Sam and I’d like to know your name too
I’m smooth but I’m cute,
Not threatening but confident with nothing to prove,
I saw you from across the rhumba,
So I zumba’d over to you to ask for your number
Swapping over details, I even get a friend request,
Chatting right up to my ear with a hand on my chest and oh!
This is great, I can say what I want to right to her face
And she’s cool; I think she likes me too,
I even got her laughing at my jokes, smoking my smokes,
Are we gonna make it to the real world? Man I’m stoked!
I know, don’t wanna jump the gun,
But me and her are working out and we are having fun,
But I gotta take a toilet break and when I get back she has gone off and left me and I am squashed FLAT…

Oh Beautiful lady, you don’t know how long I’ve been waiting,
For someone like you and,
If I’m coming on too strong, it’s only cos I don’t want to wait too long and
Oh beautiful lady, come home with me tonight

She’s gone and I don’t know what to do,
So I take my friends’ advice and I just play it cool
But unfortunately alcohol’s a lot like rocket fuel
And I’m knocking back enough of it to send me to the moon
6 Jagers, 8 pints I’m hitting my form
So I give her 9 missed calls, 10 texts, a Facebook and more
I figure every time I’ve had a bit to drink
I throw everything at women but the kitchen sink
I’m standing on the precipice I’m nearly on the brink
Then I get a bit obsessive and I fall off and I sink and
Oh no! I’ve come on too strong and
Oh no! I’ve proper scared her off and
Oh no! I think it’s time to go and drink some
H2O! And maybe just go home…

I wish this wasn’t so one sided, cos baby if you felt like I did,
Then you’d be calling me back, I wouldn’t feel like a bit of a twat
I’m sorry that you feel this way; maybe I didn’t play the game
Quite as well as I might.
Track Name: Awkward
I’m the personification of fingernails grinding down a chalkboard
The moment when you’ve got to tell your girlfriend why she just got a cold sore
Walking into doors or in love with your mum in law
Almost as frustrating as your team drawing 4-4
Every time I try it with a girl it’s the friend zone
Fumbling the pass in the Superbowl end zone
Tried to pay by cheque to sell my soul to the devil
But it must’ve bounced cos now I’m the equivalent of Phil Neville
And this is what I’m saying, every day I’m praying
‘Please get me laid before I’m in the ground and I’m decaying’
Playing on my mind in a way that’s a sign
I’ve got to do something worthwhile with my lifetime.
I’m commando on the day you’ve got PE,
Weeing in a pool and it going bright green
No tact, pure fact, what the hell is that?
I got a hard on in my speedos at the swimming baths

Doesn’t it make you go…?
Doesn’t it make you just cringe?
Don’t you just want to tear your eyes out rather than watch me try to win?
I’m the king of ‘almost, but not quite there’,
The prince of ‘oh well, that’s life’,
My crowning achievements are just thin air
And yet I still wonder why I’m awkward…

I suffer from the malady of verbal diarrhoea,
Word that won’t stop coming pummeling into your ear
But I’m silent once I find that there’s a person to impress,
I just acquiesce into this aggressive stress.
My foot’s in my mouth cos I’m just too loud,
Formulating sentences and just letting it out
As a little indication of what’s making me so crazy here’s a prime example of a conversation with a lady:
‘So hey! How’s it going for you?
Not bad? Oh yeah, well, yeah me too,
Apart from the fact that I’m obsessed with this girl,
Yeah she’s great, oh it’s not you, but you’re similar,
So what do you like, oh cool, just like her,
Yeah she’s awesome you know, do you want to see a picture?’
And just like that all my chances are gone,
In a flash of spectacular failure and I’m done.
Back to my bedroom, back to my chair
Where girls don’t say no and my left hand’s always there.

I’m the elephant sitting in the room; I’m the atmosphere you cut with a knife,
I’m the one that comes and says your daughter’s fit and then tries to cop off with your wife…
Track Name: Same Story
I played the fool and once again I woke up with a face full of cotton wool
And am I dreaming or did I…
Did I call you again? Did I try to make friends?
Cos I can’t remember very much past 10 and,
Who’s this stranger lying next to me?
I’m sorry there love but if it’s all the same,
Could I ask you some things including your name?
And how and when and where did we meet?
I’m sorry I don’t normally do this,
Sleep with a stranger when I’m pissed,
But I’m going through a very hard time now,
That girl just turned around and shot me down…

The more I drink the more that girl looks like you
And I’m sorry love but I don’t know what else to do,
It’s the same story again, but booze takes away the pain.
This hell won’t seem to pass,
So I’ll find salvation in the bottom of this pint glass.

I’m out of luck, I get to the pub and I press self-destruct
And what have I got left to go home to?
I know I’m being melodramatic, but it’s hard to be pragmatic,
When you’re face down in a pool of tequila,
I’d love to hold her one more time…
For the moment I’m happy where I am,
Toilet in my arms…

I know I’m lost, but I don’t mind,
I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Self-serving song, indulgence is key,
Written for no one else but me.
She was everything I wanted…
And the search goes on tomorrow, but now I’ll sing a song of sorrow,
The song that’s been sung time and again
By a lost, abused, obsessive compulsive and used,
Alcoholic loser with no friends…
Track Name: Amnesty
I close my eyes and see the time that we spent,
Waiting for the day when we can just be friends again.
Cos everything I say shoots arrows at you,
You’re no better yourself slipping me poison with everything that you do,
So take care not to step there because,
That nerve is exposed and will blow up in your face.
It seems we’re a minefield
And we recklessly endanger ourselves every time we’re in the same place

Is it not time for a breather in this war of words?
Wave the white flag and say you’re sorry for the sake of us?
Is it not time to forgive each other for the things we haven’t done?
I just got out of a relationship with you and quite frankly I’m not having very much fun.

Cos she’s the best and the worst that I ever had,
The bullet holes on my soul will tell you that,
Scars on my heart and pain on my brain,
I’m out of this one and I’m not quite the same
And if you can’t take this amnesty then it’s goodbye to you and me.

Your battle cry breaks the silence once more,
You’re two pints of white wine down and I just called you a whore.
Send a warning shot by slapping me round the head,
Throw grenades by making reference to my prowess in bed
Followed by a red face, what a waste of energy and public pride as everybody stares
A casualty of our fighting is that I can’t pull and you look a fool and no one really cares,

Is it not time for a breather in this war of words?
Wave the white flag and say you’re sorry for the sake of us?
Is it not time to forgive each other for the things we do?
Aggressive physical contact’s not as much fun when it’s not in the bedroom

What a surprise, we’re ruining lives,
Conscripted our friends to pick sides and join the fight
It’s like we can’t abide each other and out of spite
We forget what we should do and use our might
To try to make each other cry whenever we’re in line of sight, it’s useless, why?
Why am I suddenly feeling like I’m out of time?
Can we draw the line? My flag is white

Is it not time for a breather in this war of words?
Wave the white flag and say you’re sorry for the sake of us?
Is it not time to forgive each other for the things we’ve done?
I’m getting so upset about all this I think I’m just going to go home and write a song!
Track Name: OK
I’ve ridden the storms of yesterday,
Pitched and rolled about in the waves,
Shaved my head and tried to pray,
It’s time for change I think I’m gonna be OK

It’s been a long road I took my time,
I was all at sea but I found a lifeline,
Thinking about me, life is fine,
Feeling free, yeah, I’m gonna be alright

And even though I’ve been down,
Thinking about all the ways I’ve been messed around,
There’s no time to dwell on the games we play,
From today I think I’m gonna be OK

I’ve driven the highway of self-doubt,
Got a flat tire and broken down,
Felt so trapped I just wanted to shout,
I’m back on track, I feel better now.

Once a slave, now a master,
Making triumph from disaster,
Sowing seeds in a brand new pasture
The dawn is brightest on the morning after
And it feels so bright it’s the morning after

I think I’ll chill with a beer in the sunshine
Stepping off the ride for some QT
And maybe just realign, redefine,
Till I’m ready to be picked up chewed up spat out
Crying about some girl who doesn’t even want to know me anyway,
I’m OK
Track Name: Festival Man
Paradise fields of green are not quite what they seem
The weather won’t hold out for me
But that won’t change my plan I know everybody understands,
In a muddy world of our own, the festival man…

Wake up at 6 in the morning so that we can get started
7 in the morning and the train departed
Could take the car but the rainclouds gathering
Looming up ahead soon it’s gonna be hammering
Cos who wants to wake up in the morning on Monday
After heavy downpour from the skies on Sunday?
Dragging out your mate’s car, don’t even know where you are
Queuing for the exit with your lungs full of tar
Cos yes it’s back, it’s the festival season
As if the British public needed any more reason
Going on your jollies in your own back yard when you paid for your tickets with your dad’s credit card.
Girls look buff in bikinis and wellies
After days they’re still fine, if a little smelly
We pray for sun, as the journey’s begun,
Five hours on the train to the destination and…

Off the bus! Come on everybody let’s get
Off the bus! Swarming to the gates there are
Loads of us! Ready to get in with a
Massive rush! Of festival goers with their
Tents, booze, beer, fags, weed, drugs, sleeping bags
Jonnies if you get a shag, double if you bed a slag,
Baby wipes, toilet roll, ponchos, charcoal,
Funny costumes rave paint, out a sinner in a saint
Trekking through the campsite knackered from the train ride
Five days left till we all can go inside
Mates wait with a crate, same place, same date,
Bags down, tents up, let’s all get fucked up!

Mud fights, late nights, drunk and lose your eyesight
But it doesn’t matter cos we’re all having a good time
Memories that keep you going.
When everyday life gets too much to take
Just go to a field for a weekend away
I don’t want to go home…