I have spent the last year writing a folk gazetteer of London of stories and songs. It’s a continuous immersive piece lasting nearly an hour which I fine tuned until I was satisfied with it and recorded it over a 2 day period in September. You can hear it on the link above. I will be making it available to buy very soon. I plan on performing this piece and out and about in 2014. I am collaborating with artist Jane Millar on a book to accompany the performance which we hope to have ready by April 2014.
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Thursday, 28 November 2013
I consider myself to be a child of the nuclear age. I grew up with Cold War paranoia and movies like Silkwood.
And The Day After
Then along came Chernobyl.
The workers who ran onto the roof of the reactor to clear the radioactive debris were known as Bio-Robots.
I wrote a song about Chernobyl a few years ago called “Overload”
I revisited the topic after watching an Adam Curtis documentary on atomic energy.
So I wrote “Falling With The Rain” which you can hear at the top of the page….
Friday, 18 October 2013
Spring Heeled Jack, a phantom, travelled widely. Initially sighted in London his range increased with his infamy. Isleworth, Hammersmith, Jacobs Island, Peckham then Aldershot, Sheffield and Liverpool. This Victorian bogeyman had an extended heyday: 1838-1904. He was a tall man in a white coat with cloven hooves and claws for hands with flames coming out of his mouth. He was extremely agile and able to leap great heights. He assaulted women and it was said that he murdered Molly Davis in Jacobs Island. Sometimes he wore a tight fitting leather bonnet. He was bulletproof. Some folk think he was a demon, other folk think he was a vindictive baker from Hammersmith, others still, an alien. We will never know.
I have a wonderful event on All Hallows Eve coming up called Mystic Gazetteer. You would be most welcome to attend.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
I have had food poisoning this week, which has been delightful. Vanessa made me chicken soup, which helped hasten my recovery. I was able to play the guitar yesterday after being unable to sit upright for a day. I got out the songbooks and played through a bunch of my favourite songs and this one leapt out. What a great writer Bowie is. I am feeling weak and feeble today and thought recording a cover would cheer me up and it has. I’m going to eat more chicken soup now.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
I am looking forward to running the Bournemouth Marathon in a couple of weeks time. I have been running marathons for 3 years now and love it. The obsessional training, the solitude on the long runs, the eating of vast amounts of carbohydrates, the sense of achievement when you complete a race; it’s the sport for me. The only person I am running against is me, I’m not especially fast but I don’t really care so long as I do a good time for me.
The last marathon I did was the New Forest in 2013, it was a difficult one. Not because of the terrain (challenging) or the weather (torrential rain) but because my Dad had fallen ill the day before with heart trouble and was in hospital. I was going to pull the race but he didn’t want me to on his account. So I went into the race with my head totally out of the zone. I wanted to stop from around mile 3, but I’m stubborn like my Dad and finished the race before visiting him again in hospital. I’m glad I ran, and I’m glad my Dad recovered.
I wrote a song about it
Friday, 23 August 2013
Some rivers work hard before they re overtaken
& the Wandering Wandle is one of them
Ninety mills in eleven miles
Till water power went out of style
From Coulsdon Bourne to Bell Lane Creek
The wandering Wandle once mighty & now meek
But the river still flows into a bigger river
This water course goes on forever
From Ruskin’s terraces, the red rooves of Croydon
The sand and the minnows danced about in the springs of the Wandle
Past Henry’s palace which became a mill for calico
Past the Surrey Iron Railway
& the beetle mills for cardinals
Further down to Merton & her Liberty
The Brown & Root building scowls her modernity
Through Summerstown onto the creek
The Wandle dreams her way now she is asleep
But we can walk with her and remember her
Friday, 26 July 2013
Close to here but far away
We cross the bones to another place.
If you are at a loose end and in the neighbourhood, this may be just the thing for you…
Monday, 15 July 2013
Friday, 12 July 2013
Friday, 28 June 2013