Today, somewhat out of the blue, I’ve decided that instead of my lyrics and songs existing purely on other platforms (like Soundcloud and Reverbnation) or being held in an A4 folder in their own individual sleeves, that they should have a life of their own; sometimes with their back-stories, or with other media; sometimes with the music that has been written to accompany them.
I’ve known for many years that deep down, I’ve had a lyrical calling in one form or another – either in the form of poetry or songwriting. This is something that has been in gestation for a long time but only in the last four years has it found its natural outlet and only in the last two years have I learned to develop my own style and my own lyrical voice.
Like many other writers, I have been inspired by those that have gone before. The observational style of Jarvis Cocker and Chris Difford; the story-telling ability of Neil Peart and Gerry Goffin; the imagery and emotive word-play of Steve Hogarth, James Grant and Neil Finn. Among many other legendary writers who’se works have been the soundtrack to the lives of millions (Graham Gouldman, Paddy MacAloon, Jimmy Webb and countless others), I am starting to find a way to articulate what I’m trying to say.
Taking part in a BASCA songwriting retreat in Wales in 2014 was a formative experience – being the first time that I had written collaboratively outside of the comfort zone of friends and fellow band members, especially against the clock and to a brief and with people I’d never met before. I found the experience liberating and empowering and highly productive. Watching an idea of yours grow quickly from a planted seed and take shape and through the efforts of your own hands and others, within hours not only reach a recognisable form, but one that has the capacity to make a complete stranger smile, think, cry or even just sit there in silence and absorb the message or the story, is something that I will never tire of.
While turning a latent desire to write into something with a tangible output was originally born of a need for catharsis, the intervening three years have seen the perspective change. Nowadays, I find my inspiration in so many different places. It can be mis-heard words or phrases on a radio or TV broadcast, it can be from watching a film, it can be from a real world experience, it can be a narrative. It can take the most innocuous spark to start a fire of ideas or conversely, it can be an idea that just pours out in minutes, as if born fully formed. I’m sure that this is a lyrical journey that is not a unique one and that many others who have trod the same path would feel the same and continue to experience the same as I do.
This blog is a record of my journey along that road.
I hold the copyright in all of these works as the sole writer, unless indicated otherwise. I am also open to licensing either songs, lyrics or music to other interested parties.
I hope you enjoy what you read.