My dear friends,
The dust has now settled on the vacant space I once occupied in London. No doubt the void will be filled with ease and the shadow of my shadow an obscure footnote in someone’s unpublished novel. A tumultuous time it has been for my family and I. Within days of the “last gig” at Servant Jazz Quarters, we had fled England for Spain, as if we had a body buried beneath the patio. No time for winding down and drawing out goodbyes. However, now feels like the time to take stock and get writing to you dearest of dear supporters.
The “last gig” was a joy to behold. A performance the band and I could be happy parting on, a packed out affair with people queuing down the street, and the legendary (it really is) sound of SJQ. At that gig, some may remember that not only were we taking a “last drink” together, but we were also releasing a single. The single was and is, supposed to be a double A side, ‘Angles’ on side 1, and ‘Love My Country’ on side 2. Of course, the release is download only, so I leave it up to you how you imagine flipping them.
‘Love My Country’ is well known in the inner circles as “the angry one”. Written from anger, would you believe, charting the rise of modernity through the ages, taking the history of England as a metaphor, to show how colonialism is an essential vessel of civilisation. All of which seemed to follow nicely into the second song…
‘Angles’ is originally a Paul Kingsnorth poem from his first anthology ‘Kidland’. I tailored it with permission into this ranty, prog whig out thing, which the band and I had been jamming on for a few years. One day in the right mood, it all fell into place. On stage I can’t remember all the words yet, as it’s a long bit of text and I have to read it out of my note book. It’s now known as “the one with the book”. The poem also charts the history of England, up through the ages, to what appears to be where we are now. Incremental counter moves to the established forces that are always dashed in the end. At least that’s my interpretation of it.
You may have heard of Paul recently as he’s just brought out a rather swell novel called ‘The Wake’, written in a sort of olde english he made up, about the resistance movement in the years following the Norman invasion of 1066. The book has been turning heads and has been up for nominations (Booker longlisted). Definitely worth checking out. He is also one of the founders of the Dark Mountain Project, of which I’ve been a firm supporter of over the years.
Anyway, the single is out now and I’d love you to hear it. Should you feel enthused to do so, please download a version below.
This single is the third of three I’ve been releasing this year in the run up to my forthcoming album “Where the Wasteland Ends”. Still in the pipeline, news on that later.
I hope you’re keeping the autumn chills at bay with mugs of mulled cider and the like. Think of me now and then, without pub nor carpet…