About

Here are a few details, not my entire life story, just so you know who’s behind this site.

I’m a native of Ayr, the birthplace of the poet Robert Burns. Although I love his work, that’s about all we have in common. Like so many others, writing songs and posing with a guitar were my chosen (and only) routes to social acceptance as a teenager. My first taste of band life came at Glasgow University, but it was a let-down in some ways – a year’s rehearsal followed by one gig. No tour, no records, no girls, no glory. See Window Bill.

Songwriting

I’ve been writing songs since I was 16. My inspirations then were the folk-rock-psychedelic singers and bands that clustered around the Island Records label in the early 70s.  I’ve written about a lot of them on this site.  Although I played my songs here and there, it wasn’t until I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 that I took it seriously. I’d been living in Staffordshire with my wife and children but had six months alone in Edinburgh starting a new job while she sold the house in Staffordshire. That period of writing, recording and networking laid the foundation for the albums that followed and for many of the songs I still play.

Instrumentals and composition

I also dabble in instrumental music. I love Fripp and Eno’s soundscapes and have created many of my own from that inspiration. Recently I’ve learned to read and write music and have been studying classical composition styles, although I’m not ready to go public with that yet!

If you’d like to join the mailing list and get a free album with lyrics, chords and behind-the-scenes action, go for it!

Albums and bands

I’ve worked with many more skilled and talented people as band members and producers, and come up with quite a few albums starting in 2004 with The Wolf Who Snared The Moon. For the last few years I’ve gigged and recorded with Norman Lamont and the Heaven Sent. You can get a taste of that band here.

Recently

My last album was an acoustic one in 2019, Ten Objects. Since then I’ve still been writing and recording, fulfilling a promise to subscribers to my mailing list that I’d release a new fully arranged and recorded song each month in 2020.

Songwriting themes

  • Surreal stories – ‘surreal’ in the sense of dream-like, with only their own internal logic holding them together
  • Relationship songs that nail an unspoken feeling with disarming honesty
  • Zen – trying to express the occasional and hard-to-verbalise insights of meditation and mindfulness
  • Seasoning all of the above with a good sprinkling of  humour.

Reviews and articles