About Love – the tricky third album

I know it’s old fashioned but I like to make albums. I’m not exactly prolific, the last one came out in 2013, the one before in 2005 but every now and then I accumulate an album’s worth of new songs that seem to need their own exhibition space and the next one is finally on its way. The recording is done, the mixing is well under way and the plan is to release it in mid October.

The thing I’ve enjoyed most about making this album is working with the many incredible musicians who live and work in the small part of England I call home. Since I got back from my travels a few years ago I’ve been privileged to share the thriving local music scene with a wealth of fabulous songwriters and performers; fresh and optimistic, oozing with talent and class. I crammed as many of these lovely people into the studio as I could fit to help me make the music and I couldn’t be more proud of the result.

My humble thanks to you all, particularly Seán Anderson, the long suffering producer/engineer at Parousia Productions who mediated my grand plans and crafted a thousand fragmented ideas into 12 coherent tracks.

Triumph Over Obscurity

I’m standing on the terrace of this fabulous house overlooking the ocean, the sun sinking into the blue horizon on a perfect Spring evening. I’m playing my guitar, wailing out some tunes to no-one and nothing but the scenery by way of a rehearsal for a forthcoming gig and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m floating away on this pink, fluffy cloud of romance halfway through the second chorus of Fire and Rain, when a guy from the house next-door steps onto his terrace and asked me if I can keep the noise down because he’s trying to get the kids to sleep.

It would be different if I was famous. If I was famous the neighbour would have  blustered and apology, called his wife, got the children out of bed and they’d have all stood there, videoing me on their phones and tweeting their mates. But I’m not famous. I’m just that irritating bloke with a guitar they have the misfortune to be staying next door to on their holiday. When it comes right down to it famous people are a statistical anomaly, this is the reality most musicians have to deal with.

It’s been my life from the age of ten when I saw A Hard Day’s Night and wanted to be a Beatle. Driving my parents mad thrashing out chords on my first guitar, loud rehearsals with school friends in our garage obsessing about how many watts our PA could deliver, pub gigs, bad demos, bad hair, dodgy studios, disappointments with record companies, accidentally shagging the drummer’s girlfriend, road trips, tribute bands, folk clubs, working man’s clubs, weddings, bar mitzvahs and the occasional embarrassing media exposure.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t reach for your dreams but it might take a while so it’s better to enjoy the process than suffer from it. And here I still am; still writing, still playing and still loving every minute. I’m not famous but I just don’t care.

Of course some royalty cheques would be nice.