March 15th, 2013

So exciting to hear a song I co-wrote performed live on the radio recently. I met Pimlico Road, a Godstone-based Americana band, when lead singer/guitarist/roadie/manager/agent (and the bloke who cleans the toilet, as he puts it) Keith Anderson joined the songwriting club a few months ago.

It’s been a productive few months – I’ve co-written several songs with Keif and his wife and singer Liz.

Pimlico Road were interviewed on James Tighe’s show on Croydon Radio, and here’s the link. You can hear the song I co-wrote, Girl on my Mind, at 45 mins 40 seconds in.

Pimlico Road on Croydon Radio

The Pimlicos also recently appeared on the YouTube Live in the Living Room show with Keeping me Waiting, which I also helped to co-write, along with other members of the song club. They did a really rocky version of Keeping me Waiting at a recent gig at the Troubadour in London, accompanied by a double bass and drummer.

March 5th, 2013

Another productive songclub meeting. Nigel and Oli, both of them very good guitarists, came up with a very catchy riff while Katy and I improvised some words that fitted the music. Not the way to write a song, according to our 5th member, Tony (the one who says that exposure to lesser minds like mine tarnishes and blunts his own genuis), but hey, who cares if it works.  And it did, as in the days following the meeting Katy and I added to the words we’d already got and built up a whole lyric that both rhymed, scanned and told a story.

The song, with the original working title of Perfume, is now called Not Now But Someday, and tells the story of a man who walks into a bar, sees a woman he fancies but she acts cool and he loses his bottle and goes home. Years later he goes back to the bar, she recognises him and seems quite keen. But he, fickle male, is no longer interested now he can get what he wanted.

The lyrics are currently back with the guitar guys to see if they can complete the music side.

April 2nd

Despite a small turnout (just me, Katy and Tony) this was another productive evening. I’d set the theme of ‘New Beginnings’ in advance and Katy came with some notes for a lyric about the struggle to move ahead when you’re stuck in a rut. One of her lines, “make it go your way”, was similar to one of mine, “make it happen, make a move”, that I’d scribbled down and not done anything much with. So we worked my words into Katy’s lyric and got Tony to work on a basic melody and chords.

Playing and singing the song was a bit of a challenge as we were competing with the sounds coming from the other corner of the pub, where Pam and her fellow musicians were doing their thing. It must have all sounded a bit rowdy to the pub’s non-musical customers but I find it helpful to work in such a creative environment.

The song is basically about making yourself think positively in order to escape from the rut you’re in and find the momentum to start again. The working title is New Beginnings, though that line only appears once in the lyric and we’re still lacking a catchy chorus, so the title might change.

Another song came, quite unexpectedly out of the evening too. Katy and I were having a cigarette in the pub garden and got to talking about how a song can be about pretty much anything. Katy looked around and pointed to the waste bin as an example of something random that someone could probably write a song about if they tried. We laughed, and talked briefly about the concept of throwing away an unwanted partner, then went back inside.
The next night I thought about the waste bin idea some more and started singing the line “Recycle me” as I got ready to go out. I was surprised to find I’d come up with the first two verses very quickly – and a country-style melody. Verse 3 and 4 and the chorus followed the next morning. No chords yet but I think it’ll be a fairly straightforward three- or four-chord song.

Katy said she also got an idea for a song from our conversation in the garden: something to do with a man sitting on a bench.

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