Penned: Breakfast at Sylvia’s

Let’s Get Lost w/ Skint & Demoralised

Penned (Hand-Written Lyrics by S&D): Breakfast at Sylvia’s

S&D talk about the inspirations behind their latest track Breakfast at Sylvia’s!


This is probably one of the simplest lyrics I’ve ever written, and for several reasons I think it’s probably one of my favourites because it’s very personal to me. I genuinely used to head to the Kingsway Café every Saturday morning to treat myself to a good English fry-up after being paid for my paper round, and if ever I’m in Ossett centre with time to spare and a few pounds in my pocket I’ll be sure to pop in for old time’s sake.

The idea to actually write this song came as a result of two separate sources of inspiration.

First of all, John Braine’s 1957 kitchen sink novel ‘Room at The Top’. I’d just finished reading the book on one of my writing trips to the Northumberland coast, and at the time I’d just been sent the instrumental to what is now ‘Breakfast at Sylvia’s’. On top of that, it was a fantastic BBC4 adaptation of ‘Room at The Top’ that had led me to purchase the book, so for that entire week I had a constant stream of the book, the TV film and the instrumental floating around my head.

Now at this stage of course it only seemed natural that the instrumental in question would end up either being inspired by or having something directly to do with ‘Room at The Top’. The book is wonderfully well written and the protagonist Joe Lampton is a character that I was able to really vividly relate to. There’s a moment in the book where he experiences something of an epiphany whilst dining in his favourite local spot; Sylvia’s Café.

Second of all, over the summer of 2012 I became good friends with a couple called Jacqui and Ralph, who in turn have introduced me to other great friends and generally improved the artistic and creative side of my life tenfold. One of the events that really grabbed me was Jacqui’s ‘Flock to Ossett’ event in June. Now to most, this sounds irrelevant, but let me put it in context; Ossett is a relatively tiny market town where I’ve lived since I was 11, and barely anything interesting or exciting ever seemed to pass through in the entire time that I had called it my home.

So when Jacqui (Twitter: @OssettObserver) staged ‘Flock to Ossett’, which featured a whole host of wonderful artistic talents and even a world exclusive reading of John Godber’s recent production, it really struck a chord with me personally. Ossett suddenly meant a lot more to me than ever before. One evening I had a random conversation with Ralph about the simple pleasures in our town, even though he’s from Essex way down south, and one of the spots that came up was Kingsway Café.

So through a literary nod to ‘Room at The Top’ and a familiar exchange of homely nostalgia with my good friend and talented poet Ralph Dartford (Twitter: @Dartford), the track ‘Breakfast at Sylvia’s’ was born.

Take a pinch of inspiration from a writer you admire, make it your own, and you should have something you’re half pleased with. Or at least I think so, anyway…


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Alicia Atout

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