Looking back: ‘Only The Sea’

Today’s video goes way back. I’m not exactly sure of the year but I think it’s probably 2001 or 2002 and is from a Sunday night session of The Listening Room at the Blue Blazer pub.

My friend Graeme (‘The G’) gave me a collection of footage from three gigs he’d joined me for during that time.He himself is a great pop singer-songwriter and guitarist. He no longer puts out albums but all his albums are listed with some streaming songs at theg.co.uk.

With the greatest respect to him, the star of this performance is undoubtedly Alison Tunnicliffe on violin. I don’t remember how we started playing together but it may have been through a mutual friend. She was a classically trained violinist who played mainly folk and was able not only to improvise but also to compose a part and play it faultlessly every time.

The violin theme that repeats through the song was the work of my previous violinist, Stephen Malloch in the band Hungry Ghosts. The solo Alison plays here was her composition which we all loved so much that when Alison left the band and Mary Robbs took over, Mary used it as the basis for her solos.

So this song always reminds me of three great violinists who have honoured it. Why don’t we do it now in the Heaven Sent? Simply because we don’t have a violinist. (Applications welcome!)


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1 thought on “Looking back: ‘Only The Sea’”

  1. This is a beauty of a song. The weighty instrumental presence seems to build in a layering style, like several coloured threads coming together- I can see fishermen repairing nets on the quay side- it takes the listener away. Lucky punters there that night.

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