Simpy Travelling Around Reality

by S.T.A.R.

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In 1995 Jane O'Brien was approached by the composer and programmer Uwe Haas. Together they formed the trip-hop project "S.T.A.R.". On the wave of bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead S.T.A.R. is very much in the Trip Hop genre but proudly carries Hass's jazz giant influences, such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, while O'Brien's voice is full of the cry of her Irish Folk roots and 40's swing timbre. Along with singing, O'Brien wrote the lyrics and melodies to Uwe Haas's atmospheric sample and sound compositions and in 1996 the album "Simply Travelling Around Reality" was released under the PIAS Germany label with distribution by Rough Trade. The album was recorded by Uwe Haas. To back up his multi instrument compositions he brought in guest musicians Christian Ribas, Mag S and Andreas Vos all on guitar, Guy Saldanha on bass and Christoph Richer on keyboard. Around the time of the album release the duo played a number of legendary gigs with a full live band around Hamburg, notably in Die Rote Flora, Ludwigs Lust festival and in St. Pauli clubs such as the Lounge.

The press reaction to the album and concerts was good including a write up in Der Spiegel but this S.T.A.R. slowly faded out in 1997 as the two began to move in different directions.


released October 3, 1996

Jane O’Brien: Vocals and lyrics
Uwe Haas: Vocals, programming, keyboards, guitar, trumpet
Christian Ribas: Guitar on tracks 7 and 13
Mag S: Guitar on tracks 1 and 10
Andreas Voss: Guitar on tracks 9 and 12
Guy Saldanha: Bass on track 1
Christoph Ricker: Keyboard on track 12



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Jane O’Brien Hamburg, Germany

Dubliner Jane O'Brien cut her teeth in Barcelona as a singer in an all female acapella band. She began writing songs in earnest in Hamburg where she has lived and played for many years. The yearning soul in her voice comes from her Irish folk roots (Boreen) but the warm velvet overtones arise from her jazz diva alter ego. (Jane O'Brien and Band, S.T.A.R.) ... more

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Track Name: Sleepless

Sleepless, sleepless
Full moon’s rising
Sandman’s gone away

In the middle of the night
Hours since I put out the light
Brain is working overtime
Trying to solve the riddle of this love of mine

I’m the kind of girl who likes to get things straight
I’m not so good at wait and see
I should be cool and distant
But that’s not me

Another minute has gone by
And it feels like, it feels like an hour
I’ve gotta find a way to empty out my mind
I’ve gotta find a way to get those thoughts so clear inside
I’ve gotta find a way to empty out my head
I’ve gotta find a way to clear those thoughts away instead
You see, you see me twisting, twisting, twisting and turning
Go away, go away, leave me alone, leave me alone,
Let me be, let me be

Looking up I see the paint begin to flake
Yes I know that love is give and take
I’ve got to keep away because he needs a break
And maybe I should paint this room magnolia
Track Name: My Time
My time

The cheek of you to try and follow me
On this dark deserted street
I can hear your footsteps coming close behind
You were hiding in the doorway and watching me
I caught a glimpse of you, you tried to catch my eye
And with the ties you wear, I’d never dare to stop and stare
Or care to share a minute of my time with you
Cos it’s my time, my time, my time

A million eyes follow everywhere I go
It’s no surprise round every corner that I know
They lie in wait for a golden opportunity
To pull me down and take away my liberty

The cheek of you to look me up and down
And to spread my name all over town
You’ve been following me for days, yea
Don’t think I don’t see you
I know that you’ve been looking in my window
Seeing what I do when it’s time to close the curtains
It’s early in the evening, and it’s Friday
And it’s my time, my time, my time

What a cheek you had to call me
And you told me you would come
What a cheek you had to bring your friend
And suggest we have some fun
You said I thought you needed cheering up
You said I thought that you were ill
You said you’re always so strung up
And now it’s time to chill
But it’s my time, my time, my time
I close my curtains yea
Pull down the blinds
I lock the windows
And bolt the shutters
Track Name: Mr. Armani
Mr Armani

Mr. Armani has come to tea
With his hair greased back and he’s looking at me
His shoes are all shiny, all glistening and black
He’s mincing right over to launch his attack

He’s so self assured
Thinks he’s got it made
But Mr. Armani
You’re only a suit

You try to impress me with your sports car
A flashy two-seater to show who you are
You offer me the best ride in town
A chance to be with you or just ride around

Your ego is bursting right out of your pants
You slither right over and ask me to dance
Your girlfriend is watching with flashing steel eyes
She looks pretty angry, she’d like you to die
Track Name: Stupor

I'm lying on the floor like a doll
Can't tell where I am, someone slams the door
Don't give a damn, white walls seem to move
Don't know if I'm alive, don't know what to do
It's so cold, I'm shivering, can't gain control
Scary, I want to move my head
It's too heavy, I feel dead
I'm lying still, my body's cut off from my will
Paralyzed I feel, I try to analyze what has happened to me
If I continue to be, thoughts flowing, no I cannot think
Cos the floor is rolling to recall nothing

Cramps in my stomach, oh I'm sick
I wanna throw up but lie still like a brick
"Get up" I think
Black fog is crawling through my brain
Try in vain to move my head
I'm in nowhere land , which lies in myself
Strange voice talking, is it in my head?
Cannot concentrate, I forgot what it had said
It's persisting and now I'm listening
Someone's asking "Tell me your name, who are you?"
Gregor Samson, might well be true
"Open your eyes", the voice says, which is, what I try

Depression had turned its face to me
I was falling deep just endlessly
Then there was this wave, no way to escape
It was growing and growing, so big, rolling closer
Suddenly turning into a monster
It would drown me, eat me, gnaw on my flesh
Terrified I felt my body defiled
I ran and ran, couldn't face it again
Grab more pills, hope that it kills, the monster, inside
Track Name: Sanctuary

I’m high on the hills, the grass beneath my feet
I’m high on the heather in a fragrance oh so sweet
This morning dawned like any other another troubled day
I felt the city closing in so I made my getaway

And now I’m free, I’ve found my sanctuary

I’ve climbed to the top of the mountain
Cos I’ve come to drink from the brimming fountain
Alone up here in the silence
I’m in a trance or a dizzy dance

And now I’m free, I’ve found my sanctuary

I’m free as a child in my cotton summer dress
I’m free as a bird and I often stop to rest
I feel the wind’s caresses softly on my skin
I stop beside a rippling stream and I jump right in
Track Name: Party Talk
Party Talk

Standing there and staring glasses in their hands
Listen to their empty talk
Wasting precious hours, spoiling day for night
Wonder what I'm doing here
Try some conversation, but I#m sticking all the time
My mind is far away and it goes on and on
There's no start there's no end and it's so easy

It's so easy to belong, like a square peg in a round hole
Track Name: Soul to Soul
Soul to Soul

I could live without you, I wouldn't die without you
I'd still be me without you, I would survive without you
But you, you give me more of what I am
Not like before with other men

My fingers long to touch you
So much I want to tell you
The time has come to trust. you
How can you know how much

You mean to me
I want to tell you how it is
This is the place I want to be
Soul to soul, soul to soul

You touch me deep inside
No longer do I want to hide
I've let you get to know me
I want the you you've shown me

But you, you give me more of what I am
Not like before with other men

This moment's not forever
We linger here together
I know so much about you
I put my arms around you

Here, here in your arms
I want to tell you how it is
This is the place I want to be
Soul to soul, soul to soul
Track Name: Shadows

We had to get up early so as not to miss the show
Looking out the window at a movie we all know
Suffering from a headache that was caused by too much wine
Turn the TV on, the latest signs of crime
We have to venture out just to take part in this dance
This is not so easy cos it mostly makes no sense

Shadows scare me half to death, we're all by ourselves
Talking to a friend of mine, I plead a little help, I plead a little help
That's not fucking true (he said) it never stays that way
I really want to learn to trust in what I have to say
Never fall behind your dreams, we gotta stay awake
Watching out for tainted love cos this is only fake

I'm crying, crying, crying
The rain is pouring on my head
I'm still alone here
Track Name: I’ve Got You On My Mind
I’ve got you on my mind

Alone in the night I can feel you close beside me
Warm breath on my hair

I’ve got you on my mind almost all the time

You’ve found your way inside my heart
Without my knowing
A seed that’s growing
And it’s out of my control

Creeping underneath my skin
Slowly seeping in
My defences wearing thin
This is not what I expected
I thought this didn’t mean a thing

You warm me like wine
You warm me like my mothers arms

I’ve got you on my mind almost all the time
Track Name: Goodbye

There's a bare light burning in your window
I can see it from the street below
There's a father calling, there are some children crying
There's your voice from sometime long ago

I said I'd be here on this Monday
To take all of my things away
But now that I'm here I know that it's clear
I can't see you so out here I'll stay

I’m gonna stay out here all night long,
Till the sun comes up and the moon is gone
Cos I can't get you out of my heart baby
And I know that you'll always stay with me
I just can't get you out of my heart Baby

The birds are singing so merrily
The sun is rising up so high
But I'm far from home I'm out here on my own
I just came to say Goodbye
Track Name: What Are You Waiting For
What are you waiting for

Nothing wrong with that
You don't need to wait for any supernatural manifestations
What are you waiting for?
I was thirsty and you gave me to drink
Foundation of relationships lacks something so strong
That most of us go through problems and burdens
and heartaches and circumstances - Alone
What are you waiting for?
Angels to appear!
Some of us are waiting for angles to appear

American TV Evangelist
Track Name: It’s Over
It's over

Telephone rings in the dead of night
Rips me from sleep
I sit bolt upright
Cold sweat cos it’s him again
I’m by the phone I can’t stop myself

I’m never coming back to you

Your soft breathing and blaring stereo
Coming down the phone line
Oh don’t you know it’s over
Why do you phone me what do you hope to gain
From this insane behaviour
What are you thinking don’t you ever get tired
Don’t you want to sleep tonight

I’m never coming back to you

Play with yourself, talk to yourself
Stay with yourself, alone with yourself

You tried to possess me but I got away
You tried to control me but I wouldn’t stay
You tried to destroy but I fought you hard
You tried to pursue me now I hold the cards

I’m never coming back to you
Track Name: Soldiers and Dolls
Soldiers and Dolls

When you were playing with your soldiers
And I was playing with my dolls
My mother told me 1 was gorgeous
Your mother told you, you were god

You used to think you had the power
You were the master of this house
You used to issue out an order
You were a man and not a mouse

And now 1 look for all the reasons
Why you can hold your head up high
You stamp your foot and then the earth roars
You say the word and then we die

Soldiers and dolls

And then one day there was a shake up
And things got mixed around and round
And no one knew how it would end up
The rules were lost and never found

Then you began to ask some questions
To look for who you really are
You dropped the mask of hard unfeeling
You dropped the mask you always wore

And then you saw what you'd been missing
The right to cry and be unsure
And not to blindly give an order
To hide the pain that you endure

Soldiers and dolls