Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate: Often explore scientific themes.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate - The Confidence Trick

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate award winning band recommended by Steve Hackett (Genesis). The track Back Where I Started is a video by Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate. I really enjoy this track!


And when I find myself,

I find myself back where I started,

I let the same mistakes make me again

Come from another place

Another chance to write the story

And every redrawn path leads back to the start

Such misplaced confidence

In my ability to earn from experience

Such humility, against all the evidence of 50,000 years

The technology changed, but the principle’s the same

The past as the draft for today, I get the narrative

What could possibly go wrong I thought as I strapped myself in

But the machine was so seductive


I’ve been round I’ve been round I’ve lost count

I’m cycling time

I’m changing lanes in my spiral

Each fix in the past, trips me up

The changes I make don’t work out the way I’d intended

New problems to solve, dig me out of new holes

And I’m and I’m getting nowhere slowly

And when I find myself

I find myself back where I started

I let the same mistakes make me again

Come from another place

Another chance to write the story

But every redrawn path leads back to the start”

The song will be included on our next album, The Confidence Trick, due for release in 2022 by Glass Castle Recordings. (The music is a pre-release version and might be slightly changed prior to release).

Music by Malcolm Galloway (vocals, guitars, keyboards/synths, producer), Mark Gatland (bass, guitars and keyboards, co-producer), Kathryn Thomas (flute/backing vocals).

Lyrics by Malcolm Galloway

Video by Malcolm Galloway

Video animations made with the Nightcafe Studio’s artificial intelligence art creation app.

The video was made by singer/multi-instrumentalist of the band Malcolm Galloway using animations of video art created using the artificial intelligence art generator NightCafe Studio. The AI uses text prompts to create new images. The band have explored issues relating to artificial intelligence in previous albums.

«The song is sung from the perspective of a time-traveller who is trying to correct a past mistake, but keeps going back and making things worse», explains Galloway.

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate are Malcolm Galloway and Mark Gatland on their own or with Kathryn Thomas (flute).

They combine prog/alt-rock, funk, metal, ambient, contemporary classical, minimalist, and electronica elements, and often explore scientific themes.

Galloway says much about the new album so it is crystal clear the music and the lyrics mean a lot to him!

 This album is a collection of tracks on the theme of cognitive errors, particularly overconfidence, and our failure to learn from the consequences of repeatedly following the overconfident. The individual tracks approach the subject from a variety of perspectives, including fictional and historical. Back Where I Started and End Of The Line are based on my own short story ideas. In one someone fails to learn from repeatedly making the same kind of mistakes, despite the benefits of a time machine. In the other a society has developed in which basic questions about their existence can’t be asked, because historically those certain of the answers have slaughtered each other. Perky Pat and World War Terminus are inspired by Philip K Dick novels. Perky Pat refers to a doll with a glamorous but fictional lifestyle used to distract from reality. World War Terminus was another ‘war to end all wars’.

Another Plague is about our tendency to dehumanize those who seem different. Refuge follows the story of my great-grandmother’s escape first from anti-Semitic mob violence in the pogroms, then later from the industrial scale genocide of the Holocaust.

The world has repeatedly been led into devastation by those excessively certain in the inevitability of their own victory. This is explored further in the title track of the album. The penultimate track, ‘All Empires Fall’, is a defiant acknowledgement that even the most powerful empire will crumble, and the most brutal dictator will eventually die. The album ends with a quiet reflection on our failure to learn enough from the viral pandemic planning exercise Operation Cygnus to save the lives of the health and social care staff who died from infections caught while caring for others.

Although the album explores some dark aspects of our psychology and history, I think there is also a more hopeful element as well. ‘Silence Is A Statement’ says that we can choose to stand with each other. Although my great-grandmother’s story was brutalised by a murderous regime, she herself was never broken. An earlier draft of the piece spent more time on the parts when she was in hiding, but I felt that didn’t reflect her personality, as I only ever knew her as cheerful and loving. The heroes of her story are the people who risked their lives to protect a stranger.

This album is unusual for me, in that it combines themes that have been of interest to me from two different aspects of my life. Until I had to stop due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (a genetic collagen disorder) I was a diagnostic neuropathologist and a medical school teacher. One of my areas of interest was in how doctors learn to make diagnoses, and how they might improve. I taught about how overconfidence and excessive certainty can be important causes of misdiagnosis, and how we might challenge this. As I explored this issue in my professional work, it became increasingly clear to me that this is a problem more widely in society, with potentially horrific consequences.

Our society glorifies confidence, and we mistake confidence for competence. As long as the benefits are accrued by the miss-calibrated individual, and the harms inflicted on others, this puts the over-confident individual at an advantage, and everyone else at risk. I am not arguing that we should all be pessimistic all the time – I think a range of views is healthy, and that optimists, pessimists, and realists all have important perspectives. But I think the fetishisation of optimistic overconfidence and excessive certainty is damaging to society as a whole, even if not to the individual overconfident person. We have evolved to admire competence, which is entirely reasonable. Unfortunately we have also evolved to mimic competence, and outside our areas of expertise we are not good at distinguishing between confidence and competence.

Overconfidence can be divided into two broad concepts – excessive certainty, and excessively positive views of ourselves and our favoured groups. Dunning and Kruger were important pioneers in this field. They showed that in most ways, most people think that they are better than average, which while it may be true for individuals, mathematically cannot be for the group. One study for example showed that 93% of motorists thought they were better drivers than average. Worryingly, the least competent may be the most overconfident, although being educated alone doesn’t protect us – 94% of academics in one study thought they were in the top half of their profession.

Both kinds of overconfidence can be dangerous. Leaders may start wars erroneously certain of rapid victory. The warmonger may have an excessively positive view of his tactical prowess and be dismissive of his opponents. Many tyrants start with good intentions and the belief that the ends justify the means, convinced that the change they wish to see is inevitable, and the costs limited. The company director may risk the livelihoods of their staff and creditors to make risky debt-laden acquisitions, excessively certain of their outstanding performance. Rock music is sometimes associated with confidence.

To get up on a stage or release music must take some degree of self-belief (and the potential irony of writing this is the album notes for my own release is acknowledged), but if we are wrong there is a limited downside. If I play a wrong note I may feel a bit silly, but no-one dies. In wider society, self-belief beyond rational bounds has consequences. How many leaders have led their followers into ruin through their own self-delusion, and their followers’ commitment to the over-confident?

We all might be better off if we sometimes paused to ask ourselves, why might I be wrong?.


Om Ulf Backstrøm (6832 Artikler)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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