The sound you will hear can be broadly characterised as Easy Listening for Difficult Times. It all began when I realised that there were plenty of ageing people who, like me, maybe in their younger days, might have been punks, or skins, or mods or grebo's or rude boys or part of some other youth tribe, or not even, and now, their dotage approaching, here they are, still wanting new music, but probably preferring it vaguely familiar, still wanting to hear music that spoke directly to them, but spoken a little more slowly and quietly, a little more toe-tapping and less ass-shaking. Who was gonna making that sound? The first thing I wrote, on a rainy day, in a caravan in the Malvern's, was A Song For Older Skins.
There was music and then a plan to write and release a new easy listening 'single' each month throughout 2018. Each fairly obviously informed by the musical greats like Harry J & The AllStars, Jackie Mittoo & Timmy Thomas, the Clash, all old men are allowed to like something about the Clash a friend once told me. Oh those those lovely late 60s Quincy Jones things, Jonathan Richman and Lauryn Hill, all the music imbued, absorbed into the blood over decades, but this particular paean affected, and tired out, burnt out. A working class empty nest star for the early retirement set.
2018 saw the release of A Song For Older Skins, in January, in February, It's Been A Long Shift and towards the end of March, Remember Anton From the Factory, He Was Alright. Oh my God, that's a great one. The height of the summer saw the release of When I Open My Mouth I Wish the Sound of Someone Great Came Out. Suddenly 2018 was over and I hadn't done enough. I'd once been told that "people like me never want to die because we always think we are about to do something..."
2019 came along and I began working with independent film maker, Lewis Tulpa to add videos. His first two videos were for There Was No One Else I Could Tell, a song featuring my supremely talented friend, Sonny Pine on guitar. The first time I played a mix of that song to someone, which I think is sort of archetypal Ancient Champion, they freaked out and called SP's guitar playing "perfect," which is kind of how I feel every time I hear that tune. Lewis Tulpa's video for There Was No One Else I Could Tell generated a whole new kind of interest. And then there was his super noir-ish film for Sunset Conversation, Early in the A.M., which featured Jason Lewis and the amazing painter, Guilaine ons ome sort of caper. Both videos were brilliantly conceived and written by him, they contrast starkly. Entertaining.
Frisky (September), featured my fiend, Magic on the cover. Brilliant picture. One of the best holiday snaps of all time. What Mods and Skins Mean to the Minecraft Kids (November) completed the musical output for 2019 and happily the artist Lorna Rose let me use one of her Bus Sketches for the cover art. I love her work.
A Song For Damian Marquez The Tailor was the first single of 2020 and featured a video by Lewis Tulpa. A hit of some description in France I think, or some corner of France I am unreliably informed. I am thinking about a full length collection, or some EPs, or something for 2021 incorporating a few new tunes I have been working on with the guitarist Sonny Pine, one I really love is called L.A. Proved Too Much For This Man.
The calamatous pandemic came in 2020, and to fit the mood, there is the more edgy easy listening of Getting Ready For Nothing which of course is a pandemic reference. That's all I've done. And, thrilled by little victories, I was amazed to see that it was played on an influential New Zealand radio show. Wow! I think geographically that is as far away from here as I have got.
In 2020 I managed to get around to collaborating with the poet, Jason Lewis on a several tracks which are on Soundcloud, The Kingfisher, and The Hopsice, Christmas 2010.
My collection of short stories, Stories About Motoring Nowhere, could finally be ready in 2021.
I have an interest in hiding out. I occasionally contribute to music, arts and pop culture fanzine, outsideleft.com (my contributions can be found here) and they in turn say they will write something in return. I'm waiting.