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Breaking Rocks In The Hot Sun

May 7, 2007

has it really been a week ?

So. Sunday morning I woke to the dawn chorus. Every one of those birds was singing as if their lives depended on it. I suppose they were happy that the sun rose again. Being human I’m lucky enough to know that no matter what happens today the sun will rise tomorrow. Sunlight was streaming into the room and I had left the window slightly ajar the previous night. Dave (my roommate) had not objected which was kind of him … but then again I didn’t ask… I can be a cheeky sod sometimes. Now I do sometimes have a rather thunderous snoring problem that would probably preclude me from sleeping in a listed building. If I kept the poor guy awake the previous night he didn’t complain.

Armed with my mug of tea I walked barefoot around the house and into the grand room where we had spent the previous evening singing our heads off. Trying the ‘morning pages’ for the first time was neither strange or uncomfortable.Curling up on one of the sofas I wrote and wrote and wrote. Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup they … and you know the rest 🙂 I don’t know if anything will come from these first pages of writing. I have read them back and sure enough I wonder where is this stuff coming from ? A couple of lines inspired me to write something about sunshine.

The sun was ever-present during our stay in Bore Place. Dublin has had some glorious dry warm weather for the past couple of weeks putting us all in good humour and making the mornings a more pleasant experience for anyone around me.

Morning grouch ? Me ? In these shoes ?

The previous evening Danny had approached me and asked if I’d like to collaborate on some writing Sunday morning. Fucking sure pal ! What a buzz to be asked by someone who barely knows you. We had been told to write a crap song. Heh – that’s easy. No evaluation no self-criticism allowed. Given a loose schedule for the day we were able to relax and enjoy being creative.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much. I still have the Dictaphone tape of Danny & I working out the first song ‘Dive’ and quite a few takes of us routining ‘Perfect Crime’ that end with me laughing and saying ‘fucking hell that’s great stuff’. For a song-writing partnership that was thrown together by fate we were on fire ! ‘Dive’ came together in what seemed like minutes. I played a D major chord at the 5th fret (inspired by Macca’s “Mother Natures Son”) and sang ‘dive right in…’. What followed was magical: Danny mentioned he had just started diving and we bounced ideas words and chords off each other.

A few minutes later we had a song. Very simple: Dive right in feel the waves over your head now see what you’ve made Dive right in you’re safe and sound. No-one can hurt you, no-one can hurt you. We remembered arriving on Saturday, standing on the edge of the pool and jumping right in. We did more than get our feet wet ! ‘now see what you’ve made’ kinda summed up what was happening on Sunday. Writing with Danny was very easy – I’d throw out an idea for validation and felt comfortable doing that. It was funny listening back to the lo-res Dictaphone recordings we were making. Our voices are very similar.

Feeling pleased with ourselves we wandered around the gardens and soaked-up the sun (I had my ever present herbal tea with me – either I’m getting old or soft but I’m digging these herbal teas and love walking around with them).

Danny had this song idea about a gallery of dreams and how this weekend seemed to involve breaking-and-entering and other stuff about getting away with it. At least that’s my memory of it – I’ll bet Danny knows the truth.

Perfect Crime. Dr.Feelgood? You don’t know you’re born mate. Now in fairness Danny already had an idea for how the song was going to work and I dare say it would have worked very well. But. I wanted to throw a Spaniard in the works. How’s about guys and gals we turn up the tempo and make a boogie out of it ?

Hell yeah ! it worked. Danny stretched and I egged him on – I reckoned he could pull it off and do-an-Elvis. Uh-huh.

Before lunch we had the opportunity to step into Dr. Nick’s surgery for a little one-on-one.  I committed to getting my arse on stage and doing an open mic. I’m a little worried that without the support network I had on Saturday night I should be prepared for a less-than-warm reception. Fuck it I’m going to do it. I can hardly ask my 8 year old son to just get on with it and swim if I’m not willing to get up and perform.

We gathered in the big room for our performance. Sue drew numbers and we chose an appropriate stage name. Just Jack. Just Me. Just You. Just Everyone. (sorry that’s an in-joke… sorry Jack mate… it was wide open and we just had to run the bad-pun-truck right through it !)

I agreed to do ‘Dive’ – mainly because I made some bloody ridiculous decisions that involved a faux-falsetto chorus melody. It worked ! I introduced the song and sure enough I spotted people nodding and agreeing with me. I had an audience! Well fuck me !

Lesson learned: you must make sure that what you’re singing about resonates with your audience. It must say something to me about my life. If I had written a song about the potato famine I don’t think anyone would have really gotten into it. Apart from being depressing (and our Sinead has that market cornered…) who would “get it” ?

Like partners in crime Danny noted we were also going to be last up and we knowingly looked at each other – of course we should do the up-tempo ‘Perfect Crime’ at the end.

Both ‘Dive’ and ‘Perfect Crime’ were videoed and soon as I can I’ll put them on MySpace (yes ! I have a MySpace but you’ll have to wait until the next blog posting to find out more). [anyone else from Bedpost who would like me to rip their DVD and put their performance on Soapbox or YouTube… just say the word)]

Bloody hell ! It’s over and time to go home. I felt a little odd leaving everyone in my rush to get to Gatwick but perhaps that made it a little less awkward. I promise that when I’m in England and if I get a chance to do an open mic night I’ll do it.

Walking through Gatwick I had a major attitude problem: I’m an artist don’t you know ? I’m a singer and I write songs. Now pur-lease get out of my way !


That’s an attitude I’m comfortable with.

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