Love Me Or Leave Me Alone

“Grant my last request and just let me hold you
Don’t shrug your shoulders, lay down beside me
Sure I can accept that we’re going nowhere
But one last time let’s go there, lay down beside me”

© Nuitini/Duguid/Benbrook, “Last Request“, from the album “These Streets“, 2006

This is another song that I thought that I had already added to this collection; as with another one relatively recently (specifically Without You and “relatively recently” in this particular case was actually 2017, LOL), this proved not to be the case.

It was actually written during 2015, as were a lot of the others and was initially recorded by my close friend and collaborator David Barnes as a ballad… which was not necessarily how it was originally conceived. His version is a very nice interpretation and I’m honoured that he chose to take the lyrics (as that was all that I had at that point) and put his own music to it

Like a lot of my works, it is based on a dream sequence… and it is based on a relationship that never was with one of the three important women who changed my life between 2011 and 2016 and whose inspiration features very heavily on No Expectations and also to a lesser degree on London Road…

By virtue of most of these songs being written during that same period these same women also feature very heavily as inspiration for songs that are slated to feature on the Monochrome and Mondegreen EP’s. The fact that they didnt make the cut for the London Road and No Expectations albums doesnt mean they were any lesser, per se. Just that they were not thematically right to be included with those works at the time.

The big difference in this case was that the dream sequence was one that was encountered completely separate to getting the music, which came later. Much later, as a matter of fact.

The gist of the dream sequence itself was that I had travelled a long way to be close to this particular person, but unannounced (and before anyone says it, no, not in a stalk-y way, thank you very much) but to be in her proverbial orbit. Anyway (for, as usual, I digress)… in the dream, I was in what could loosely be described as a walled garden which had a bar and a lot of tables and a lot of plants and flowers growing around it. Walking around in this walled garden/bar, I see her at a table with a lot of her friends and our eyes meet, fleetingly but in that second she looked right through me as if I wasnt there. Which is never a good thing when you’re trying to play it way too cool, LOL.

Moments later in the dream sequence, she walks up to me, takes my face in both of her hands and kisses me. I’ve heard women, but never men, describe some particularly intense kisses as being that much that their knees go weak… Well, call it projection, call it wishful thinking/dreaming/whatever, thats what it was like in the dream. It was the most intense kiss I had ever had, real life or otherwise. There was nothing vulgar or overly sexualised about it. It was just that intense that I thought my knees were about to buckle from underneath me. I have no idea at all whether this person who it is about could kiss like that in the first place, but the imagination can play funny tricks on you.

And, as the lyric states, out of nowhere, she said to me, sotto voce… “if you are going to love me… then love me all out… or leave me alone” and then she walks off, back to her friends leaving me standing there wondering what the hell just happened. The message quite clearly being, if you’re going to do this then you have to be absolutely all in or theres no point.

Or to put it in a different way….in todays vernacular, “s*** or get off the pot”.

Also: an explanation of one of the lines in the Middle 8:

I’ve broken all my addictions, every one except for you“,

This refers to the fact that in 2014, I gave up smoking after 30 years and a whole slew of other things as well after a minor health scare. Most of those things, especially smoking, remain off-limits to this day.

Well, as an aspiring lyricist, in a bit of a purple patch at the time, that was enough… that gave me something to build on, so I just wrote what I’d seen and felt in the dream sequence.

At the time of writing, I did kind of borrow a particular meter to write it around and the notes from the first draft of the lyrics say: “like an Ed Sheerin structure but with a Nutini style vocal/bluesy“… so I had a point of reference.

And in some ways, that has been kind of how it evolved; Conceptually, musically and melodically, it was thought of as Paolo Nutini sings an interpretation of Thinking Out Loud, which at the time was a huge smash around the world.

But the longer the time went on, although I didnt do anything with it, the way I was hearing it in my minds ear did evolve; From Thinking Out Loud, to also including the guitar and piano feel of Eric Clapton’s Old Love and also the three part male harmony backing vocals from Paul Young’s 1980s single, Tomb Of Memories from the follow up album to No Parlez which no one can remember the title of. Especially me, right now LOL.

Fast forward to 2023, because nothing interesting happened with this set of lyrics between those two points, of 2015 and 2023. In the meantime, while I had been working on the tracks for Mondegreen and Monochrome, I had also been reinterpreting a couple of old Silent Edges era songs and once these had got to the point where they needed vocals (more of that in another post though, I’m not going to talk about that here) something about this song forced its way into my conscience and appeared to be telling me I had to do something with it.

So, having learned to trust this instinct, it is something that I have been spending the first week or two of 2023 trying to write/develop proper music for it and have been crafting my interpretation of it and it is starting to emerge from the January fog into the light of day.

… and so far it is nothing like I conceived it to be.

Although, there are elements of the Nutini style about it, more along the lines of Iron Sky than any other of his works, there is also a very different feel brought about by use of a Rhodes piano and a 5 string bass part and a very loose drum track.

So, less of Thinking Out Loud and more Old Love meets Iron Sky. Its a lot less grandiose and much more sparse than a lot of things I’ve tried to write music for and this one I guess is going to lean very heavily on the vocal melody to sell it. Not that I’m making a rod for my own back where the vocals are concerned. Perish the thought

It wont feature on either of the coming EP’s as it isnt thematically correct for them… but, if it reaches its full maturity, it is likely to feature on another EP some way into the future that conceptually has the title of Abcission… but that is going to be some way away yet.

Love Me Or Leave Me Alone

Maybe there really is no fool
Like me… an old fool
Every time I get back on my feet
I cant wait to fall all over again
But only for you

pre chorus/hook
I seem to have spent a lifetime
A lifetime with my faith in fear
So why is it only you
Who makes my heart leap whenever you’re near?

I dreamed of you in a garden
Surrounded by all your friends… but I could feel you near
You looked at me with those big brown eyes
As if I wasnt even there

Then out of nowhere
You took my face in your hands
And kissed me like. you’d never kissed no other man
Aint nobody else, only you
Can hold my heart so tight
That I can barely stand

(and you said)
Come on and love me (all out, all out, all out, all out, all out)
Or just leave me alone
Why did you fly a thousand miles just to say that you love me
(Are you just scared of being alone?)
So if you’re going to love me, then love me love me all out, all out
Love me or just leave me alone

Middle 8
Now I’ve broken all my addictions
Every one that is except for you
In my mind, our time replays my heart cant erase
And I need to find a way to decide if I still love you…


Solo over Chorus

Instrumental pre-chorus hook


© Lyrics and Music, Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2023


Leave On An Outwave

We had no way to see eye to eye
Through all the walls in their mind
These were the pleasures that terrified
We left them behind

© Gary Kemp 1986, from the album ‘Through The Barricades

This song is another that is intended for the Mondegreen EP and was written in late 2020.

Unlike a lot of its kith and kin, it was a track that just walked in completely fully formed and unprompted and I have no idea where it came from – as there wasn’t really anything going on in my life at the time which would have given my subconscious any reason to come up with it. All i know is what it sounded like in my minds ear as a production; In this particular case, its vision was not so much of a music video in a vivid dream (like how a lot of songs come to me) but like watching a live performance in a rehearsal room.

With this song, the vocal melody and the structure of the song (and the words as well for that matter) were very clear, even if I didn’t really understand who/whatever sent me the song was getting at; the structure struck me as being very simple and straightforward and in a lot of ways it is very much like the song that is at the head of this page (namely Spandau Ballet’s Cross the Line, which was the opening track on the Through The Barricades album from 1986). The vocal melody was very much a Tony Hadley style “dramatic warble” as he himself has been known to describe it.

With the structure being as simple as it is, it was a very easy song to write lyrically and thematically. Those familiar with Gary Kemp’s writing from that time period will probably recognise the songs roots when they hear it – but as usual, the song no doubt reserves the right to end up sounding like something completely different to its inspiration by the time it is finally completed as a) I’m not Gary Kemp as a writer and b) as a producer, I’m definitely not Gary Langan.

The song is intended for the Mondegreen EP and I hope it will be completed later this year.

And, I’m afraid I don’t really know what an “outwave” is. I think the only way I can make sense of it in the context of the song is like a surfer heading out from the beach into the sea. Not that I’m even remotely familiar with surfing speak or whether such a thing as an outwave exists in surfer parlance. I have tried looking at a different set of words or a different lyric with the same vocal melody and that would end up ripping the entire thing to bits and it wont work like it does now.

So, if Steve Miller can get away with inventing words like pompetus, I’m sure an unknown like me I can get away with an outwave once in a while, LOL. The rest of the lyrics are essentially simple breakup word-play lines. Thats the way they were sent to me by heaven knows who or why and I’m not going to question it; it is what it is [grins]

Leave On An Outwave

It seems that
You’re leaving
We aint got moments to save
We’re breaking
No mistaking
Nothing left I wanna say

{Pre Ch}
Thought we were heading for somewhere
But in the end it was nowhere, baby

The memories
You owed me
Things you promised but you never gave
Just tell me
What you wished for
For love or luck or just to make this go away

{Pre Ch}
Thought we were heading for somewhere
But we ended up nowhere, baby

(Our paths Crossed) but we leave on an out wave x 2

{Verse & pre ch/instrumental with guitar solo}

(Our paths Crossed) but we leave on an out wave x 2

I see that
You’re leaving
We’re a calendar that ran out of days
Its a shame, girl
But its your world
And I live to love in another place and another day

{Pre Ch}
What became of our somewhere?
Never thought we’d end up nowhere, darling

{Ch x 2}
(Our paths Crossed) but we leave on an out wave x 2

© Words & Music Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2020

Hate/Bond XXIX

Am I a God or am I Jesus?
Am I a man or am I a boy?
Do I feel love or just possession?
Do I feel holy or nothing at all?

© Paul Draper, 1997 from the album ‘The Attack Of The Grey Lantern’

This is a song that came along early last year around the time of the first lockdown, completely unprompted, as the best ones usually do. And, as I’ve learned from seeing interviews with other writers (namely Barry Gibb who said that the same happened to him with How Deep Is Your Love and You Win Again), the only bit that I had when this one came along, was just one section of it.

In the case of Hate, it was the Middle 8 and nothing else, which played on a short loop but was distinctive enough to be unforgettable.

But, while it was just the Middle 8, in the same way as Manhattan Lullaby, it was like hearing a fully produced record or seeing part of a fully produced music video in your minds eye. And whereas Manhattan Lullaby‘s vocal melody was a Matt Munro vocal and Let It Go was a Peter Skellern vocal, in this case the vocal was a George Michael one.

Not only that, but the feel of the track seemed to be very James Bond-ish in terms of its arrangement and orchestration; when I woke up and started writing down what I remembered of it, it struck me that George never got the chance to do a Bond theme when he was alive.

Given how big a voice he had and considering how talented a writer he was and how he understood orchestration and arranging, I was somewhat surprised that the opportunity never came his way.

So anyway, after the usual digressing, thats how this song came about.

It is, I must admit, certainly since Manhattan Lullaby anyway, the most musically and vocally ambitious thing I have ever written, certainly in terms of what it needs musically to do it justice and there is a lot for me to learn in order to bring it to life, much less get anything even close to the vision I have for the vocal melody.

I mean, how many others have had a punt at trying to write something that could viably be the intro theme for a Bond film and given it a really serious go? But, having said that, there have been a number of songs that came to me as one thing and ended up on No Expectations or London Road sounding somewhat different. So, while this one is kind of tongue-in-cheek subtitled Bond 29, by the same measure, when it comes to having it down on disk, it may well end up being entirely different. But that is the vision for it that I have right now and thats what I’ll aim for.

Lyrically, with the exception of the Middle 8 which came to me fully formed, the rest of it has been compiled from the reserve of lines that I have from other ideas and also from a couple of stream of consciousness writing sessions that I had between 2017 and 2018; mainly late 2017 when I very nearly found myself being cat-fished (whole other story, most definitely not for this blog).

As it stands at the moment, this song is intended for the Mondegreen EP and will hopefully be produced later this year.

Hate/Bond XXIX

As I hear your footsteps down the dark hall
Deep down I will always wonder if it meant anything at all
When the novelty of beauty fades what becomes of it all?
Is it all too raw to say that your pride will go before your fall?

Too precious to tolerate making a mistake
And being seen as the one to blame
Should learn to ride the mood and just not be afraid
What you deigned to fall for not who I was, but what I wanted to say?

(Middle 8)

Now I hate that you’re mad
And I hate that we are through and I hate the fact
That all the things I once loved about you now make you hate me too.
And all we’ve got left is hate…

V3/{Build up to coda}
And now I watch another guy who was fond of you and turned your head
Dont put anything else into my mind, I haven’t forgiven you yet.
Looking brave on the outside, living your life’s lies
But inside you’re dying with every step

Every single day I try to suppress it, second guess it, Jesus its all such a damn mess, isnt it…

And Id’ forgotten how amazing the tension can be
When someone teases out your vulnerability
Leaves you exposed, pulls you out into the light
Right out of the comfort zone and into the choice of flight over fight

But something’s not right
And you’ve given me proof
You gave away pictures of skin that made you cheaper than the truth
Where did you stay?
When you coming home
Cant help but have the feeling that you’re werent really on your own
I could sense the danger but couldnt help being drawn right in
To a web I never knew I was getting into


As I hear your footsteps down the hall
Deep down I know it meant nothing at all
When the novelty of beauty fades nothing becomes of it all
All proof that your pride brought about your fall…

© Words & Music, Steve McCarthy-Hunt, 2021

Latest Update

It has been, I must say, probably the most upside down year that I have ever experienced in my life. That is probably the case for most of us, particularly those either the same age or younger than I. Our parent’s generation, particularly those in the UK and Europe who grew up during wartime and rationing and the Cold War may have experienced things that would not be a million miles removed from what we’re seeing now, but I think it can be safely observed that these are times that are alien to the vast majority of us.

I have, like many other non-professional musicians been somewhat financially fortunate to be able to have had a day job to be able to fall back upon and this has occupied the vast majority of my time over the last twelve months or so. The initial lockdown kept my partner and I apart for three months and this certainly allowed me to concentrate on the remix of the tracks for the AlterZero The Road Less Travelled EP; but beyond that, I have to admit that musically, it has been a very quiet time.

Now we have come to what is being sold as the end of the Lockdowns (time will tell whether it actually is or not, but I’m not going to get into that in this blog), and as I am between professional assignments, I have had some more time to come back to both writing and recording and making some progress on the KOAS tracks. Slowly but surely, the lumbering beast that is the KOAS Monochrome project is getting back on its feet and the writing and recording is inching forward. It is still likely to take some time to finish it because as much as I have some spare time to be able to devote to it, the necessity to earn a living and the machinations that go with that have not allowed me to allocate a block of time to exclusively work on the music. And, given how much the world is changing around us on a daily basis, particularly as it changes in a way that I have to admit that I am not really at all comfortable with, there are other things that I must prioritise. One of which is being able to sustain myself financially and the other is my elderly parents.

I cannot explain why I feel on almost a subliminal level as to why I am being guided and reminded by my spirit guides to look after my mother and stepfather and prioritise them above everything else, but that is the message that I am getting. I am lucky in the sense that they are both alive, both are in reasonably good health and neither have what have become known as co-morbidities. But, because of their age, I cannot lie, I am keeping a very close watch on them at the moment, particularly because of their enforced isolation over the last 12 months and the effects that it has had on them and how they see the world these days. As a result, while I am pushing to make progress on the music, by the same token, when they need me, I must prioritise them, while I am fortunate enough to still have them in my life.

Despite that, I have also found time to write and also to consider another project once the Monochrome EP is done. This work, I anticipate, is going to be a half self-written and half cover version EP; the working title is Mondegreen, which is, as I’m sure you know, something that you think you have heard clearly… but you have not heard quite what you may think you have. “Theres a bathroom on the right“, “the girl with colitis goes by”, and so on and so on. The title I think is appropriate more for the three cover versions that are going to be on the EP, which is not something I have done before. The covers that have been selected are… somewhat unexpected, shall we say. But, all three of them are songs which mean a great deal to me and always have done. This is a chance for me to try and do these songs justice and to reinterpret them in my own way.

And, it is not a great leap to announce as well that if half of the EP is cover versions, then the other half has to be self written or collaboratively written. To that end, so far there are three new songs that have come along, which I will detail further on with their own song notes over the next few days.

The most important thing about the Mondegreen project is whether that is going to be the end of the musical line or not, so far as I’m concerned. As I’m not in the flush of youth any more and the opportunities to collaborate as a writer and producer are also shrinking and not least, the way the changing world is ravaging the music industry and how people consume music these days, I have to consider whether I’m reaching a watershed in what I have to say, in a musical sense at least.

But that is a conversation for another day. As it stands for now, I’m back… and these EP’s will be done. Eventually…

New KOAS Project coming soon…

I normally start off my blog posts with an appropriate stanza of a song that either means a lot to me or is pertinent to the post I’m about to make. Naaah. Not this time.

Well, it has been pretty much two years since the last project was completed and was made available to the world and thank you, if you are one of the original readers of the blog for sticking with me. I did say it might be a while before I came back to music again and that much is certainly true. It has been a while, but given the very strange circumstances we find ourselves in now, this is definitely the time to do something constructive with it.

The new KOAS project does not involve writing any new songs as such, but the creation of the tracks for six that already existed. It is an EP project as opposed to an album one and the project is going to be called Monochrome.  It did have several other working titles that were under consideration, but Monochrome was chosen partly because of the artwork that was picked; all of the pictures used were taken in and around my home town of Coventry and all taken around the time and place where I spent the first formative 8-10 years of my life. At the time Coventry was recovering still from the events of World War 2, and was at the tail end of the swinging 60’s but still had a lot of the old housing, bomb damaged properties, wastelands and even more destructively, the machinations of the town planners who thought they could create something and magnificent to rise phoenix-like from the ashes of war, but in the end destroyed what was left of its history to end up fashioning an albatross that the city still has around its neck to this day.

So, it is about transition from the old to the new, but you dont know quite where the new is going to take you yet, but you’re only seeing it in one colour, through one set of eyes anyway. In the same way, London Road and No Expectations were about abandonment and were about drawing a line under the past, these songs are ones that thematically were not right for either of those projects but are still good pieces of work in their own right that deserve to be made and that to my mind anyway, say what I need to say at this point in time, despite only two of them being relatively recent writes.

The projected track listing is:  The Last Dance; Birds & Butterflies; Scarlet & Gold; Come Back To Me, Money; Hunters Moon; Tomorrow Too Soon and (lastly) The Last Word.

All songs were written between 2014 and 2018.

Im sincerely hoping that it isnt going to be another two years before the completed Monochrome project sees the light of day, but I’ll not stake my mortgage on that, given how strange a world it is that we live in these days, LOL.

I’ve included the artwork in this post so you can see what kind of feel I’m going for.

KOAS Monochrome Album Listing

KOAS Monochrome album cover


Oh and incidentally, the first part of the lockdown that has been going on this year was used to remix and re-release six tracks that my dear friends and former bandmates Robert Pearce and Tony Jukes recorded back in 2012 for the Alter Zero project. These tracks date back to the 1990s and have always been great, unacknowledged works that should have been professionally recorded at the time, but were not, because…. reasons *wry grin*… Well, now they have been recorded and remixed to the best that I can get them to be and they are available for downloading from the same Soundcloud site that I used for London Road and No Expectations. They’re great songs, truly they are and all of them hold a special place for me as a Producer and player, as opposed to a writer and it has been a privilege to try my best to do these songs justice. it sure as heck as taken long enough, as it does when normal life tends to get in the way.

Strange then, how it should take virtual house arrest to change that perspective, but (for a change), I digress.

The AlterZero tracks are part of a project called The Road Less Travelled and they are: My Long Distant Past; Silently, Another Broken Dream, Extinction, A Different Meaning (The Deception Of J) and Lost Your Memories.

I hope you like them. They can be found here:

Thank you all for sticking with me and I’ll bring you more developments soon.

Album Release Day

London Road and No Expectations are now released and out in the wild and available to listen to on this website, in both wav file and mp3 formats, depending on your available bandwidth. They should also be downloadable too.

This draws the creation stage of this project to a close and it is almost time to start the next one which I am looking to get going around early June; there are some other production tracks which I have been recording and working on for friends for some time but have been on the back burner while this project has been in gestation. These can now be brought back to life before the next KOAS album project starts.

I’ll start a new series of blog pages as the new tracks are all being recorded and in some cases written and the journey will begin all over again.

Thank you for your patience in waiting for these songs to be brought to life; it was a long old road, but the objective has been reached; a musical legacy to the important people in my life which immortalises their contribution to who and what and how I am.

I hope you like them and are also going to join me on the next musical journey when it comes along.

Latest News on Project KOAS

You are far
I’m never gonna be your star
I’ll pick up the pieces and mend my heart
Maybe I’ll be strong enough
I don’t know where to start
But I’ll never find peace of mind,
While I listen to my heart
You can never change the way they feel
Better let them do just what they will
For they will…. If you let them….” 
© George Michael, Kissing A Fool, 1988

Well… its 9.45 in the evening in the UK and as it stands right now…. the mastering work on the albums is now finished.

Its been quite challenging and educational for someone who has largely been a hands-off engineer and aspiring Producer  – when it comes to putting together demos of both my own work and those for others, at least… I’ve had the ideas but there has always been someone who makes a living from engineering or mastering or producing to put that final fairy dust on the finished product.

When it comes to putting together something in your own name though, the goal was always to make it as good as I could with the experience that I had. And…. as I’m the closest one to the project, I can hear all the lumps and bumps and imperfections and things that make me think “… yeah, I should really go back and fix that…” So, it’ll never be perfect. Such things very rarely are. Indeed, some figure that all the lumps and bumps make it a bit more honest and… real. FWIW, I think the jury is out on that.

But, with respect to the other old adage which goes along the lines of  “there are never any finished mixes, only abandoned ones”, I can honestly, hand on heart, listen back to the final 2 track masters and be glad of what I have and I’m happy for them to be let loose on the world as they are… They are as good as I can get them to be (and believe me, I’ve tried, LOL), with my level of expertise as a player, a singer, a writer and a producer… at this stage of my career, that is. Next time… now that might be different. But more of that later.

There certainly were some interesting challenges along the way in trying to get the completed .wav files to sound as good as I could when mastering them into “lossy”/compressed formats like m4a, MP3 and so on. That took quite a lot of test pressings to get right and finally getting hold of Mastered For iTunes tools from Apple as well. Once that particular hurdle was out of the way, the rest of it was pretty much a downhill run to the finish line although it did take quite a few late nights, which I think have started to catch up with me recently!

As per the last blog update, the albums have been sequenced, they have all been put through a good mastering package (Izotope Ozone 7) and then treated with another very handy vst, Waves Abbey Road Vinyl which gives them that kind of old vinyl warmth and fuzzyness around the edges, taking off some of the harshness.  They were all recorded, mixed and mastered on headphones (Beyer DT770 Pro) –  the intended listening medium for these songs has always been headphones, never monitors and I would venture that a lot of people who may well listen to this music will do so over earbuds or headphones; it has been mastered with them in mind. I’ve also very consciously made sure I’m on the right side of the loudness wars as well and everything has been mastered very conservatively, peaking at no more than -8.2db, to ensure that if it gets submitted to the likes of iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc that the songs can make sure they’re within the loudness restrictions that these providers have stipulated.

Ah yes, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. There comes the big final question and the one that I have not yet decided to answer: After having waved my own flags so hard for the last two years on this project, its not lost on me that I have to make a decision (always a bad thing, LOL) about what to do with these songs now I’ve given them life. Do I keep them locked up in the proverbial basement on a diet of bread and water (obviously not, I’m not that creepy) or do I let them fly with the best chance they’ve got of reaching new shores, but charge them a Club Class ticket price for doing so?

Or…. to be less cryptic/obtuse…. “Do I give them away for free, or do I sell them?”

I’m kinda torn where this is concerned. London Road is and always has been a calling card, almost like a demo album to advertise my ability to to other musicians, writers, producers, etc as a marker of my ability as a songwriter and lyricist, proving that I can play nicely with others, LOL. No Expectations was always a musical legacy to not only my late father (who kept on sending me damned jazz music to write, from the other realm… I used to hate jazz. You’ve no idea how much, hahaha…), but also to three very, very important women in my life who came into it and when they left it, they left leaving huge footprints on my heart that no rainstorms will ever wash away. It was never, ever going to be about money. It was about doing something that I hoped would be remembered, so that neither they nor what I thought of them would ever be forgotten. It is much more thematically coherent than London Road and that was always the intention.

So, I’m in a bit of a quandary. Part of me wants to go the Radiohead way and just put it out there and invite people to just take it and if they want to make a donation, they can, but if they dont, then so long as they give the material a listen, I dont mind. In the most recent distribution from PRS4Music that I’ve had, songs that I have co-written are starting to earn me some royalties, which is great. It’ll never be enough for me to retire on, but I never expected it to. All of the material is registered and if it ever pops up anywhere and gets played where the collection societies get to know about it, a few cents will roll into my hat. And thats fine. I’m happy with that. Limousines, the devils dandruff and private jets are all so passe anyway, LOL. 

The other part of me says that if I’m to put the material where it has the best chance of being heard by not only the wider public – ie, aggregators like Tunecore, CDBaby and so on – there has to be some kind of concept as to how much it is going to cost. So, I have to bring money into it, whether I like it or not. I can distribute it myself via this site or a similar one, but the reach is not going to be as good as what it would be through an aggregator.

Lots of food for thought then, while I go to Florida on holiday to see the family for a week…

Ultimately, what it boils down to is that both albums, regardless of which way they walk out of the front door of my life, to find their place in the world, should be released digitally in early May 2018.

And then onto the next project. I’ve already got half an idea as to what I’m going to call it (but thats for another post) and I’ve already got some tracks that are in gestation that I would like to feature on it and the overall musical direction it will go in. And this will be something that I will record with the motivation of selling it, as opposed to being so open to the idea of giving it away.

The big difference this time, I’m not going to be so dumb as to chain myself to a timescale. It’ll be ready when its ready. When I’ve returned from Florida and that final decision regarding distribution has been made, then I’ll put up another post announcing what it is, and where the material will be available from and so on and so on…


Project KOAS Album Track Listings and Running Orders

The decision has been made on the track listings and running order for the upcoming album and EP that have formed the KOAS project. As per the original goal, one album will be comprised exclusively of collaborative material (London Road) and the other will be self written (No Expectations).

As mentioned before, there is always an exception to every rule and the exception in this case is Five Years, which is a collaborative track between myself and Robert Pearce, but is thematically much better placed to be on this album than London Road.

Track Listing and Running order for No Expectations:

The Fear Of Missing Out
Let It Go
No Getting Over You
Doesn’t Matter Now
What Became Of Love
Castles In The Sky
Five Years

Track Listing and Running order for London Road:

Escape From The Shadows
Come Talk To Me
South To The Sun
Without You
This Time

I don’t expect any changes to be made to these listings following final mixdown and mastering; I’m confident that this is going to be the finished running order in both cases. I also expect both to be completed and available by early May at the very latest.

I’ll share more detail when it becomes clearer.


Update on Project KOAS

I normally post some lyrics from a famous song at this point, but right now I’m pretty sure that what I was going to use, I’ve used already somewhere else. Much as I might repeat myself thematically for now where my songwriting is concerned, I try not to make a habit of it when citing other songwriter’s works, LOL.

It has been a long while since I posted an update though, so without further ado, I’d better get to it.

The mixdown of the KOAS albums is going very very well and in a couple of cases some of the tracks are at the pre-mastering/test final mix stage which I’m finding quite encouraging. Much as I’ve done this kind of thing before with either a band or as a Producer/Co-Producer for friends and others, doing it with your own material is a new experience for me and one that I’ve learned a lot from and am continuing to learn. Elia and Five Years are both at a very advanced stage now, pretty much at the point where they just need final balancing/eq’ing before mastering which I’m very pleased about. Others are following close behind, like Manhattan Lullaby (although it does need a new lead vocal), The Fear Of Missing Out and No Getting Over You (both likewise) This Time and Talk To Me. Some I’ve re-done the vocals for several times and as a non-singer, finding a point that you can settle on and decide that you’ve finally captured what you’ve set out to express can be quite an elusive thing. FOMO, NGOY and Manhattan all fall into that category. They’re achievable and the guide vocals have been OK, but are some way short in my estimation and still need another big final heave to get them over the finishing line. All should be happening within the next two weeks though. The music for all of them, I’m completely happy with. Its just the vocals that are requiring of a little more work.

The whole project then, these minor jobs notwithstanding, for both London Road and No Expectations is on course for mixdown and mastering to be complete by early April with a prospective release date very shortly after that. As mentioned before, I will do my best to try and produce a very limited run of physical CD copies of both but the main release is going to be electronic.

So, as opposed to my usual thousand word ramblings, this post is quite a short one. After having moved to Warwickshire in Autumn last year, it has been a long process of getting settled in, having to concentrate on the day job and getting the studio space set up and whatever remaining tracking needed to be done for these projects, but pretty much every spare moment since the turn of the year has been spent on inching forward with this project and it is starting to bear real proper fruit, not just the low hanging stuff. The goal of this project in the first place was to put together a personal musical legacy that my late father didnt really get the chance to do, inspired by both him, my late wife and other significant people in my life and that objective is emerging out of the fog to be realised in its own right. Its taken the best part of two years tracking and mixing and learning and many, many takes and heaven knows how much editing and comping.

But, I can actually put up an album cover on social media these days with the words “Coming Soon” as a strapline and actually mean it. And for someone who started all this as a somewhat accidental bass player nearly 30 years ago, to realise a goal of releasing works that he has singularly and collaboratively written, played and produced pretty much completely in house in either a garage in Aylesbury or in a spare bedroom… Its a personal milestone and for the people who follow my efforts and my writing, plus for posterity, it is only right that I show my face above the parapet from time to time and prove that both I and the goal are still alive and breathing – and even though the day job is still the main earner, it is possible to have a personal musical dream, chase it and make it happen.

I’ve already got half an eye on the next project after this one and its hoped that some of the other tracks that are on this site will see the light of day too, maybe in more than their first iterations – Birds & Butterflies, Last Dance may get brought back to life too, plus others. We’ll see how it goes.

Meantime, thank you all for your patience. Not much longer now and all will be revealed. I promise I wont keep you waiting for much longer.

Been A Long Time…

Well, I’ve duly noted that my last post was back in late July after the day job problem had been solved. It has been a long old time since I last put down my thoughts on what was going on.

In that intervening time, I have indeed taken on a new day job, which is going well and allows me the time and resources to be able to devote to my musical passion; I have moved house from Wiltshire, to the county of my birth, Warwickshire. I have downsized massively and decluttered on a scale I never would have got round to had I had not had the impetus brought on by the move. They were all things that needed to be done anyway and my stay in Wiltshire had come to its natural end and it was time to move on.

Having been surrounded by boxes for the first few weeks, it took a while for the Cubase/iMac rig to be unboxed and set up, but this has now been done and the studio is up and running and functional. I would say “working”, but finishing off the last parts of unpacking has meant that I have not yet picked up on the remaining work on the KOAS project yet, but the intention is to do so, starting this weekend, as there is still quite a bit to do and also some re-recording as well of some of the vocal cuts which after a listen back during the August Bank Holiday proved that the first attempts were not up to scratch. Which means that the lead vocals for Manhattan Lullaby, Stay and Stars will be re-done at some point in the near future. And considering that December will be upon us soon and that I was targeting January and February as the months in which the mixing would be done, time is of the essence.

I also have to admit that I’ve not been doing any new writing in the meantime either – I’ve not really exposed myself to the kind of subject matter that has led to the tracks that I’ve written and recorded so far. There are a few ideas floating around generally, in terms of themes, atmospheres and the such like, but nothing that is taking any real form yet. I’m hoping that the new year will bring the opportunity to carry on working with my collaborators and get back to writing again, but in the meantime, London Road and No Expectations remain the bigger fish to fry.

But… I am back and the goal remains the same. To make music from the heart that speaks to someone and tells a story. Hopefully after this weekend has been and gone, there will be more developments.

Oh, before I go, there is one thing. A couple of years ago, in the run up to Christmas, I was invited to contribute a 2 page of A4 piece to a book that was to be published about one of my great songwriting heros, Neil Finn. The work was being put together by three ladies from the MidWest of the USA and even though it was written to a very short deadline, my piece was one that I was very proud of, it told my story very well and I was very happy when they told me that they’d like to use it for the book, which was due to be released in both paperback and electronic versions. Well, the ladies have gone all the way through the publishing process and are on the verge of the first print run starting in early December for worldwide shipping. And, one of the first copies is to go to the man who inspired the book in the first place, Neil Finn.

I dont think I need to say what a wonderful, once in a lifetime opportunity it is for not only people, complete strangers across the world, who love the same music as I do, to be able to read my story and engage with it, but also for one of my greatest songwriting heros to read the story as well and see what an incredible print his work has made on my life. Part of my story is about to be immortalised in print… I’m extremely happy about it, its the best Christmas present I could ever ask for.

Oh and I got my first PRS cheque as well. Its only from the annual distribution, but its still something. Maybe now, that makes me a professional… doesnt it? *grins*

Life has definitely turned a positive corner and the pathway looks very interesting. Its up to me as to what pace I take down this road, but I think I’m finally on one where I can look around, take time to smell the flowers and not wish I was somewhere else, or waste my time wondering whether somewhere else would be better. Thats a place I haven’t been in for the best part of seven years. It has definitely been worth waiting for.

Back with more news soon.