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Talking about Mr. Tambourine Man

July 14, 2008

So whatever happened to those songs I mentioned back in November 2007 ?

Interference. Hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still around and will get a live airing in August.

Pretty Little Thing. I played this live last year but it didn’t quite click. It works well in the studio so I haven’t given up on it yet. The lyrics need some work though. I’ve got enough perspective now to be able to overhaul that particular engine.

The Sky Is Falling. I forgot all about this one. Of course no work has been done on this. I recently started work on a song called ‘ Waiting for the Sun’ which is a comment on the recession I’ve heard about. I think I’ll join these two songs together and see what the hybrid looks like.

Man In The Moon. He’s still around. My demo was too syrupy. I’m going to go back to a 50s style with tremelo guitar and brush drum kit. That was my original idea and I was right first time around. I’ve stopped playing it live because I have too many melancholic songs and frankly who wants to listen to that all night ? Leonard Cohen has that market sewn up.

Devil & The Deep Blue Sea. So far this song has been very well received at gigs. I’m pleased with it and want to record it with a string section. It’s on myspace in basic demo form. I recorded it yesterday for so as soon as they upload it to youtube I’ll link to it from

Dive. Is still there. If I had a longer slot at gigs I’d perform it. I did a demo that someone said had a ‘Jimmy Webb’ feel off it (probably the Wichita Lineman string line is what did that). With perspective I can see this sitting comfortably on an album and providing me an uptempo song for gigs.

(Gonna) Be Alright. Isn’t it funny how a bit of inspiration on a Saturday afternoon can lead to a cracking little song. I tried this one at a singer-songwriter night and got the (small) crowd to sing along. There’s a simple demo on myspace if you’d like to take a listen.

Namebadge is still there. The problem with that song for me is that I was in a different place when I started work on it. I need to be pissed off to really get back into it. That’s when the graft will have to kick in.

One of those Days is another that I want to re-write. Musically it’s there and the chorus is fun.

Who’s Calling The Shots seemed like a good idea at the time. ’nuff said.

Words Don’t Work was written because I had booked my first gig and needed to write something. I don’t think that’ll be seeing the light of day again.


Now that I’ve looked at this I realise that since Christmas I’ve not written as much as I wanted to. I can think of only one strong song (Holding On) that I’ve written. With 2 weeks in the South of France coming up I’m hoping to remedy this situation. I’ll never be prolific but I do need to start finishing some of these sketches and moving on.



Mr. Tambourine Man

I haven’t been blogging much lately because everything I want to say I’ve been putting into my songs.

I’m hoping that by Christmas I’ll have demo‘ d all of the songs for this album I want to make. It’s taking longer than I wanted but I’ll have to learn patience I suppose.

Everything is written in my notebooks and usually on guitar (though there’s one that I started on Banjo so who knows where that might lead ?). I have a Dictaphone from Radio Shack and have been filling those little tapes with songs as they progress from a nugget of an idea through to completed verses and choruses. Dan P. has been a good sounding board – keeping me confident that I’m not going to make a tit of myself. I’ve played about 4 or 5 of these live at open mics and have learned a bit from that.

Once I’ve worked through a few attempts on the Dictaphone and have listened to the results on the iPod while driving I get a better idea for how I’ll start to arrange them. Garageband is a brilliant brilliant tool for me and I’ve demo’ d a few bits on it already. There’s a couple of simple guitar + vocal demos on my MySpace site.

So far I’ve got the following

Interference. Words are a poor tool for communication. Who’s jamming your signal ?

Pretty Little Thing. It’s about my pretty little thing who laughs because she can. Do you remember being a child and just rolling around on the floor laughing because you could ?

The Sky Is Falling. This is an interesting song because so far all I’ve got is my Dictaphone demo with the banjo and a vague idea that it might be about the tabloid press. Very influenced by Simple Kid.

Man In The Moon. If I ruled the world I’d get Richard Hawley to record this song. This is the first time I’ve written a song that I can imagine someone else recording. I’m hoping this will be similar to some of his material from Coles Corner.

Devil & The Deep Blue Sea. Our eldest girl is growing up fast. I have to come to terms with the fact that her expression of needing me for ‘stuff’ is changing. I can’t save her from monsters and bad dreams anymore.

Dive. Was written in April at Bore Place with Danny Higgins (the link is to my blog entry about that magic weekend). Since that weekend I’ve added an introduction and a middle 8 (which I wrote last Friday !). I changed the chorus melody ever so slightly.

(Gonna) Be Alright. Appeared on a Saturday afternoon and has been with me ever since. A very simple song in A minor telling us that the glass is half full.

There’s a couple of others that need a bit more graft before they’re ready. I might never do anything with them.

Namebadge was started when we were on holiday in France and I really really want to do something with this because I’ve got something to say and this song might be saying it.

One of those Days is a bit too whiny and self indulgent so I’m thinking of rewriting it to become ‘One Of Those Girls’ because the chorus is good and I don’t want to lose it.

Who’s Calling The Shots is written about a friend. Who’s wearing the pants in that relationship ? This one needs more work, it’s a bit too obvious to be honest and I can’t convince myself.

Words Don’t Work I performed at my first gig back in June. My mother-in-law is challenging. In so many ways. What part of fuck-the-fuck-off don’t you understand ?

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