'Pram Town' was an affectionate name given to Harlow, Essex in the early 1950s. It was coined to reflect the sudden influx of young families to the 'New Town'. New Towns were built in the aftermath of the Second World War. New Towns were designed for modern and future life and intended to be the antidote to the city.
I didn't grow up in Harlow. I grew up in nearby Brentwood. I lived on a late-1960's housing estate designed with the same Le Corbusier/Bauhaus aesthetics and ideals. I love and loathe these places. When seen on paper they are the streamlined epitome of the past's future vision. When newly built, their pristine simplicity made homeowners glow with pride.
But towns aren't designed; they evolve. Concrete crumbles and plastic cracks and all the civic amenities in the world couldn't put a heart into Harlow. As everybody on my street put faux Tudor leading on their windows and dreamt no longer of modernity, I escaped to London.
'Pram Town' is a set of songs about someone who doesn't escape. A big fish in a little pond who is thrown a lifeline whilst fare-evading in a first class train carriage.
This record is about good ideas gone bad. It's about how pride can lose you love. It's about high and low ambition and the gap between.