Continuing my musical life story with one of the stranger episodes- how attention-seeking ended the first band I led. By the middle of the 1980s, in Manchester, I’d got over the novelty of multitrack recording and begun to take songwriting seriously. Solitary songwriting I’d been writing songs since I was 16 but I’d always tended … Read moreBeing in a band – attention seeking behaviour
This past weekend I was at the Glasgow Songwriting Festival 2017. A weekend course rather than a festival. Here’s what happened and what I got from it. Govanhill Baths The course was held in one of strangest venues I’ve been in. A hundred-year-old building housing several swimming pools, rows of private bath cubicles and a … Read moreGlasgow Songwriting Festival 2017 – swimming in the air
I remember a quote attributed to Bob Dylan about songwriting although I’ve never been able to verify it: Q: How do you write a song? A: Take a song you know, change the words then change the tune The weather’s been glorious and I heard it’s going to break tomorrow so I decided to put … Read moreSongwriting on the hoof – take a song for a walk!
This is one for all the performers among my friends. Tonight I wrote a song. The first time in a year, during which I thought I either couldn’t, or didn’t need to, write another. So I’ve written one, and I think it’s good. Big deal. Why is that such a bitter sweet feeling? The myth … Read moreIt’s just a song, after all …
Sometimes when something’s difficult you can manage it by making it a different kind of difficult. I’ve been confounded for most of the year by a big ‘ol baddie that sits on my shoulder saying ‘ You can’t write anything, certainly nothing as good as you used to, nothing as good as <name anyone>, and … Read moreRestrictions make you work better
Some thoughts on songwriting, from the first blog I kept, written in 1997, but I’m still behind most of this. Magic It’s just magic! It feels that way anyway. Writers may disagree about the proportions of inspiration and perspiration that go into making a song, but everyone recognises that leap of the heart when you … Read moreSongwriting: the juice and its flowing