Writing a new song is a bit like getting to know someone new. You start with only little superficial details and gradually get to cut the crap and find out what they’re like deep down. What are their true motivations? Where have they come from? Are we going to get on?
For example I’ve got a new song called Falter. For months the music evoked something in me, a sort of sadness, but I ignored that and wrote the lyrics about other things like the joy of repetition or people who don’t stop to think before they act.
Eventually as I got to know the song more, I realised all this was like putting a suit on a surfer dude, or a hippy tie-dye t-shirt on a goth – it just didn’t fit the personality right. I stopped fighting it and let it be who it wanted to be, which was a song about insecurity and loss of confidence. Now it’s one of my favourites.
Touring together has been a great chance to get to know some of these new characters better. I’ve been surprised how different they feel on a stage. For example I’ve got a song called The Floods which sounds epic as a demo but hasn’t sounded right live so far. That’s fine though – I want to be like a scientist – all results are important, even the ones that aren’t what you hoped for.
Right then – onto the next gig… a lovely venue in Leeds called Oporto.
People sometimes ask me if I ever get nervous. The answer is no, unless I think my gear might break, which kinda happened last night. So my guitar might not have sounded its best, sorry about that. But we made up for it with a lot of love instead right? Love and magic tricks.
I get plenty of messages about Ghostess, one recently from a magician in Leeds who wanted to learn how to play it on guitar. I said I’d teach him if he taught me a magic trick in return, and last night we completed our trade. It was only this old classic, but I like that kind of thing.
Also playing were Broken Fences…
and Tom Morris, both excellent. Thanks also to host Gary Stewart, who looks and sings so much like Paul Simon he’s even got a gig this Saturday fronting a 10-piece band that re-creates the Graceland album. As well as playing in Ellen & The Escapades and Hope and Social he’s working on his second solo album. He’s a great songwriter and a top bloke. Thanks for putting me up mate.
Biggest thank yous go to everyone who came to Oporto. There were some very familiar faces from previous gigs there, you know who you are and you’re the best.
Next up is Nottingham at the Guitar Bar. I hope some of you can make that