2/7/06 Songs

Mostly a weekend of chores and a couple of hours work, with a quick trip to Livingston to buy a rucksack for next weekend’s trip to Vienna.

Today, the sudden need to learn a song – a traditional song from a Richard Thomson album. How easy it is to memorise a song when that need is there, and how hard otherwise. With very little effort I know all the lyrics, but have not yet tried the guitar.

Tonight, a hasty and unrehearsed performance of the Innocents for Fritz’s birthday bash at the Canon’s Gait, in the fine company of Etrangere and Shock and Awe (‘ I’m Tommy Shock and this is Freddy Awe!’). We got up on stage, Mary, Lynsey, Karen and me,  and it all happened, the songs came to life and the singer, at least, felt like he could do no wrong. (Did he do wrong? – I don’t know!) It showed that there is still life in these familiar ‘Wolf’ songs, if we want to invoke it. Followed by my giving guitar accompaniment to the unlikely vision of Rosie Bell possessed by the spirit of Shane McGowan for her song City of Alcohol. Her new band is called Rosie and the Death Threats – lovely!

On the way home, intimations about what the Innocents might become but no idea how to get there. The spirit must still have been with me, because a song-skeleton, languishing unloved since the early 90s, suddenly started developing muscle and skin, and lyrics too. After the pavement, the car is my number two venue for songwriting.  I wonder how long it is since I’ve written down new lyrics when I got home after such a visitation. It must be years, not months.

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Free to download - Stories My Killer Told Me: Five surreal story-songs from my Edinburgh Fringe show.



  • I Am Not The One For You
  • The Ever Open Door
  • New Eyes
  • A Forest Trail in Autumn
  • The Portobello Slam

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