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The Chocolate king

by Dictafone

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French press quotes for The Chocolate king: (Translations below)

Les Inrockuptibles
Un disque chic. Digne de Neil Hannon ou Rufus Wainwright. Quatorze titres délicieux, de la mousse de ce niveau, on ne peut pas s’empêcher de s’en mettre plein les doigts et lécher la casserole.  

Open Mag
De la pop anglaise élégante, touchante et envoûtante. Les chroniques et articles de presses ne tarrissent pas d’éloges sur ce groupe Anglais et cet ovni sonore diablement séduisant à ranger soigneusement entre Divine Comedy, XTC et Crowded House.

Dépeche du midi.
Une œuvre résolument magnifique, et intemporelle. Luxueusement orchestré, subtilement composé, riche en harmonie, gracile et enlevé.

SK8 magazine (et Presto)
La classe anglaise mélangée au romantisme français. L°instrumentation est splendide: hautbois, xylophone, piano, guitare, ensemble de cordes.... Cela est parfaitement fait. Soyez certain que votre esprit se laissera prendre aux pirouettes musicales de ce génie en herbe.

Nouvelle vague
Tantôt symphonique tantôt minimaliste, Dictafone propose 14 titres, maîtrisés de bout en bout. Le groupe s’est visiblement donné les moyens de ses ambitions faisant de The chocolate king un disque qui ne passera pas inaperçu. Dictafone est à découvrir et à écouter sans modération.

Rock you
Le nouvel album recel d’un grand nombre d’ambiances : des petites pièces de musique délicates, des mini symphonies pop, le fond sonore d’un cabaret fantastique ou l’atmosphère d’un film de mafieux. Drôle de planète que celle de Dictafone…

Yahoo music
Les arrangements de cordes, de cuivres et des instruments à vent sont particulièrement soignés et font de ce disque un opus à la fois pop et baroque très agréable.

Patrick Haour - Oui FM
on retrouve toujours les influences classieuses et très british sur ce The Chocolate King, à savoir The Divine Comedy, Richard Hawley ou, bien sûr, les Beatles. C’est dans une longue tradition de songwriters à la voix chaleureuse et aux sonorités boisées que s’inscrit Dictafone

la deuxième livraison de Dictafone est indéniablement un coup de petit maître d’orfèvrerie pop-rock lettrée. Quatorze perles réhaussées par une production léchée et des refrains imparables qui vous collent au cerveau toute la journée. Servie par de beaux textes la musique de Dictafone sait jouer sur les ambiances et les sentiments avec une très grande classe.

Abus dangereux
Un disque magnifique, précieux, conseillé aux amateurs de Divine Comedy et Japan.
Site web de Universal music
Je vous conseille ardemment le nouvel album de l'anglais exilé à Paris Duncan Roberts, alias Dictafone. Son nouvel album The Chocolate king est un pur régal oscillant entre chanson dépouillée et pop symphonique, à déguster sans craindre la crise de foie !


Les Inrockuptibles
A Classy CD, right up there with Divine Comedy & Rufus Wainwright.

Open Mag
Elegant & bewitching, current music press reviews are not holding back in showering praise on this English band and their latest album. Beautifully written & luxuriously orchestrated this CD is to be put on the shelf next to XTC, Divine Comedy & Crowded House.

SK8 magazine (& Presto)
Classy English pop with a good dose of French romanticism. The arrangements are superb: oboe, xylophone, pianos, guitars & string quartets.... all beautifully done.
Let yourself be taken in by this little gem.

Nouvelle vague
From symphonic to minimalist, Dictafone offer up these 14 songs, all perfect from start to finish. The band have obviously spent a lot of time on this one making The chocolate king a CD that will not go unnoticed . This is an album to cherish.

The 2nd album from Dictafone is a masterstroke of intelligent pop-rock. 14 pearls polished with fine production & choruses that stick in your head all day long.
It’s certainly Very atmospheric & moving at times (with great lyrics !)
Dictafone are a classy outfit.

Abus dangereux
A magnificent album. Highly recommended for Divine Comedy or Japan fans.


released March 24, 2016

Duncan Roberts: Lead & Bvox, Guitars, Drums & perc, Piano, Glock, Bass (Slide rule), Mandolin
Vincent Guibert: Bass, Piano, Keys, Acoustic guitar (Stop the big..., Bill the cowboy)
Karim Benaziza: Drums, bvox
Nicki Ross: bvox
Remi Decoudenhove: Lead guitar
Didier Leroux: Piano, Accordeon, keys

Orchestral arrangements by Vincent Guibert.
Played by The University of Sheffield orchestra and recorded at the University of Sheffield sound studios.

String quartet recorded at Pelleport studios.

The album was recorded & produced at Pelleport and mixed at Spozzle studios Paris by Vincent Guibert & Duncan Roberts.

Mastered by Hubert Marniau in Paris France.

All songs published by Space party publishing.



all rights reserved


Dictafone Paris, France

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Track Name: Eel race road
Eel Race Rd

Arthur Rimbaud let himself go and sailed off to his doom
Erik Satie embraced crazy and hardly left the room

So you see I’m living off coffee dregs and my socks are on their last legs
I’m feeling so authentic, it’s all been done before

You are averse to my winding stairs and bridges doomed to nowhere
and a chorus of I told you so’s
You’ll have me ironing out my flannel flares and buying up some blue chip shares
and a little house on Eel Race road

Yes my dancing looks like crashing, ancestors to blame
My bad timing had me hoping you’d come round and say…

That we can make some champagne from coffee dregs and then
dance on our 2 left legs, well it’s oh so, so romantic when it’s all been done before

You are averse to my winding stairs and bridges doomed to nowhere….

More ice cream, more ice scream.
The more I scream the more I hear the seagulls…
Track Name: Stop the big fat babies
Stop the big fat babies

Stop the big fat babies ringing all the changes
Heading for the mainland rowing two by two
Forget all they told you, they can bend and fold you
They can knock you out with a mother’s union jack

They want home, they want house, they want everything that’s ours
They’ve adopted our identities and lifetimes
They compete, they contend & in case we want revenge
they’ve been filing down our fingernails at nightime.

They are out to beat us, they know centimetres
with their balanced ego, swagger in their stride
I propose reaction, drop in every sanction
make ‘em realise we never had so good

Spot the big fat babies swimming in the gravy
Breaking on the coastline heading for the scene
They can have the mainland, I just want an island
I can colonise it with a head of steam.
Track Name: The Chocolate king pt1
The chocolate king pt 1

Well sometime in the night, he wakes to hear the sound
of rain against the window.
It doesn’t take him long to pick up on the dream he left.
Miles and miles of wafers and cream
He drools and he twitches at the climax of the dream
where he’s up on a podium somewhere in Belgium, smiling as the Queen
presents the Chocolate king with a glass to put his teeth in.

Climb down all of your steps to me, I’ll be here with what’s left of me
a junkie sucking the sugar from stars

He crumbles into space, but things are taking shape
his throne is made of leather.
It doesn’t take him long to figure out that he is wrong.
Dentures & a crowbar are laid out on a dish
He cries out, recognises the dentist & the drill
Who’s pulling & poking, crying & choking
Waking with a scream, all hail the chocolate king in bed
with all his teeth in.

Climb down all of your steps to me…
Track Name: The Chocolate king pt2
The chocolate king pt 2

Well the timing was right for the rest of his life
in a tangerine gown and his leather football boots
he looked like Stanley Mathews in drag as he set out to search for a substitute life.

Locking all the windows and the doors,
the Chocolate king stands on his porch and walks away now.

Tell me, knowing what you know now, would you do it again?
Or would you maybe change one or two things.

On a north country bus, paid the driver in fudge.
got as far as the lakes and he waded across
There was a town but he didn’t hang around
he was airlifted off, there he goes on Look North.

Waving at home counties countryside,
the Chocolate king’s in black and white, flying southward.

Tell me, knowing what you know now, would you do it again?
Or would you maybe change one or two things.

Star bar, Dairy Milk, Freddo frog, Picnic, Bourneville, Wispa, Ticket, Twirl, Flake.
Caramel & Crème Egg, Buttons in a big bag, put away that Kit Kat here have a Break.

Waving at home counties countryside with no sea for a hundred miles.
An easy sell, a chocolate coated pearl.
Track Name: Certainty

Some days when the wind is right, I can tell you absolutely
the colour of the next car coming round the bend will be blue.

There’s no doubt about it, it’s such a certainty
which is so much more than your belief in me.
The pressure of my wallet, against my outer thigh
pushes on a nerve in my mind.

With the aid of alcohol, I can tell you absolutely
The colour of the next car going round the bend will be me.

There’s no doubt about it, it’s such a certainty…
Track Name: Queen coming home
Queen coming home

Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
You’ve smoothed the cover down but the imprint has remained
For every hour I’ve been away I see
some harsh words hanging round from conversations about me

So hold that paranoia take an aspirin call a lawyer
Get your top and tails out, dust ‘em all down for the coming home

Yeh the queen’s coming home
& she likes a passion play and a well turned out parade
& she bends and turns away so the millions in the shade
can see what kind of sun she’s selling.

Who’s been crying my sleep?
That bitter chocolate sound melts away when I turn round
I swear I’ll pin it down one day
when you no longer take my off-hand comments the wrong way

So hold that paranoia take an aspirin call a lawyer
dig your Cuban heels in drag yourself down for the coming home…
Track Name: Lobster

A man three times your age is frantically popping pills
for his inappropriate Lolita-like ills
& I’m inclined to believe your figure is on the wane
and not eating seafood on this Paris bound train.

The waiter watches as you pick your Lobster up and toy with it
You tease and taste the flesh.
While every man here imitates the lucky beast upon your plate
Their hand all turn to claws; I wait for applause.

In the silverware I play spy on the crowd behind
The female waiting staff are all in a line
And they say girls are immune to visual stimulee
but when you start on the mussels they all fall to their knees

They’re moaning now in unison and though they never learnt the song
They always knew the words.
They sing of temptress magazines, of miniskirts and office flirts
libidos fit to burst…well, well, well

Mr Potter has a lot to answer for
teaching us to all burst into song on cue
what was it like before this life?

And as we roll on in the dark it’s clear that no one’s getting off
this side of purgatory.
Brakemen in their uniforms are flashing smiles and growing horns
it slowly starts to dawn; I pray for applause.
Track Name: Bill the cowboy
Bill the cowboy

It’s a lonely way of life if you do it right my friend
The cockerel starts your day in the dead of night
and the radio announces the end
Oh ho oh ho oh ho …

The burning alarm clock sings to the evergreens and plains
Saddle up all your things in a panel van
and keep turning the circular reins
Oh ho oh ho oh ho …

File your claim, your life is in a rut
and it’s not your decision when to turn the intermission music off.

It’s a lonely way of life if you do it right my friend
Oh that ice cream tub of change is a river bed
and the street is your home on the range
Oh ho Oh ho Oh ho Oh ho…
Track Name: Shrinking

You will come undone, you’re so tired of opinion
Welcome to a world where they give it to you
You can celebrate while they cry in their millions
why do you care when tuppence wouldn’t buy them a world
where you could live or die .

And believing in your own solution is getting you nowhere
Like breathing In your own pollution and their recycled air
well come on, come on and grind yourself down to the core
well come on, come on and grind yourself down to the core
Go shrink some more, go blame it on the brain

Just so you know, for months now I’ve been taking daily doses
Ten milligrammes of white paroxetine.
And just so you know, for weeks now I’ve been shaking
from no doses, no milligrammes of stitching in the seams.

And believing in my own solution is getting me nowhere
Like breathing In my own pollution and their recycled air
well come on, come on and grind yourself down to the core
well come on, come on and grind yourself down to the core
Go shrink some more, go blame it on the brain
Track Name: The slide rule
The Slide rule

If 60’s were a revolution then how’d it ever come to pass.
That we alone in our solution, are sleeping on a bed of…
Glass & Stone little brother.
Slide back down
Break your back for another’s
flesh & bone

Welcome to the calculation of hanging on a comets tail.
Of waiting for a transformation, of coming all this way to
Slide back down little brother.
Glass & stone
Build your house with another’s
flesh & bone

You’re not that big, you’re not that strong, you’re only older than me
You’re always gone & now you’re here just throw your arms around me.

Years from now I’ll keep my medals in a drawer, with all my drugs and watches
some horizons never change.

If 60’s were a revolution…
Track Name: The gambler's suite
The Gambler’s Suite

Morgan Stick was a professional winner who’d lose from time to time; deliberately
Through some hard times and some molehill mountains emerge the other side; triumphantly and when he did badly he did very well, and when he did well they cried, and mumbled softly, One day Morgan in his finite wisdom will fall off the winning side.

I’ll take the Gambler’s suite it’s on the 14th floor
But I don’t want it known that I am here at all
For there are those feel that I should be betrayed
and you can’t be too careful these days…

Drowning headfirst in my own just deserts I’ve had a bellyful (So sick of it)
An old dog barking at the futures market, devoid of dignity (Be rid of it)
I want to so badly I’d do anything, but ego has grabbed the key (I swallowed it)
Come storm this palace where a lonely tsar is unable to walk free.

Come take the Gambler’s suite, it’s on the 14th floor
We’ll change the locks ad put your name upon the door
and that will be the price that you will have to pay
And you cant be too careful these days.
Track Name: The short straw society
The short straw owner’s society

Members of the short straw owners society
welcome to the luncheon do
Pick another long shot give it more than you have got
and grumble ‘bout a curse on you
Just as long as you’re wasting your time that’s fine.

Barricaded indoors, weather’s bad and what is more
it’s shitty for the time of year
Spent all day and all night both hands ties behind my back
wondering what I’m doing here
Just as long as I am wasting my time that’s…

So damn fine, lets celebrate with some dandelion wine
All your life you’re counting down to your next lemon faced line.

Members of the short straw owners society
come a little closer do.
If you came along here for some tea and sympathy
have I got a surprise for you.
Give it up you’ve all been wasting your time

It’s so damn fine to celebrate with a dandelion wine.
Track Name: Welcome back around
Welcome back around

Scream as the lady slaps you hard
As good as it gets for a birthday card
That hand on your arse is a members mark for…

Life inside you
Coming to terms with the hell of a view and you
Feel your blood race
Venus is rising to take up her place in your
Thoughts of empire
Two seconds after you open your eyes and you’re
Left in no doubt
There’s seventy odd years to figure it all out again
They’re singing welcome back around.

You wake up on a Monday and sign on in a daze
Your innocence is working for you
And all those clever questions they just get in the way of saying grace
and you know it’s late by the hungry screams of the…

Life inside you…

You come to on a Friday and feel misunderstood
You’re overdosing on a schoolnight
You rummage through your pockets for that decade you misplaced
You can’t recall where you put it down last
You feel you’ve ripped off the life inside you…
Track Name: Riverboat
Riverboat song

Out in the woods where the riverboats go
Out in the woods where the riverboats go
You say you’ve got no river
You say you’ve got no river
Out in the world where the river won’t flow
Bring your riverboats, bring your riverboats
Out in the woods where the riverboats go.

Out in the woods where the riverboats go
Out in the woods where the riverboats go
You say you’ve got no river
So I will bring it to you.
Out in the world with the river in tow
Bring your riverboats, bring your riverboats
Out in the woods where the riverboats go.