… in which I attempt to account publicly for professing on occasion to be a 'musician' or 'songwriter' or 'performer'. How can this be when I go for weeks without performing, months without writing songs and years between albums? Is it just wishful thinking, an affectation or a bid for false popularity?
Well, no. I'm a well-intentioned one of all these things. It's just that I get sidetracked. So this will be an attempt to diarise my actual work on these things, my deviations (hence the title) from my stated intentions and, I hope, my successes in the hope that there will be some. It may amuse you and you're welcome to mock, or to say 'that's me too'.
So here I am in May 2011 with a band of friends, about to do a gig at a charity night/party. And at the same time wanting to push forward with the plan to record songs I've never recorded. I listed a few weeks ago songs that are probably not band songs, but which deserve a shot at the light. There were about 20, written mostly in the last ten years. Putting a bunch of the ones I'd already worked on together for a friend last week I realised I may have the ingredients of an album – a Norman Lamont album not a band album: about seven songs that seem to sit well together, the recordings of which are not too excruciating for me to listen to, and which, being a mere seven, make a package that isn't too long. Most albums now are way too long.
Music-making for me is a late evening thing – after 8, till I feel the Sleep Signal at about 11. And that's a few nights a week only. Many things, from family matters, to 'V' or some such dip-into TV or a phone call can easily sabotage. So I have maybe a good 2 hours.
Usually the first hour is taken up with 'Why isn't Cubase/FL Studio/my guitar/my PC doing what it's supposed to?' or with ' I'll just check my email before I start.' or with ' I can't find xxx on this damn computer''. Which is where we find ourselves tonight. Having moved two hard drives into a new computer with a fast new exciting companion, and having moved to Windows 7, what used to be a comprehensible file structure is now chaos. Cubase and FL files are all over the shop. I could move them into one sensible structure, but I know from previous experience it can cause Cubase files in particular to not work, causing aforementioned distraction number one.
I'll leave it there for tonight, but not before giving myself a challenge. I shall produce said Norman Lamont solo album by the end of August. Or I will stop altogether. Just stop. And I'll keep up this diary, since tonight it's helped me escape from actually doing anything.
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
Just let me send you an occasional email!