Sunday, 14 June 2009

Brian Wright

As I sit in the west wing of McRae Towers, the gentle lilt of birdsong disturbed only by the occasional gunfire of a paedophile-chasing mob, and the ear-splitting squeals of a pitbull tearing the face off a toddler, I’m driven to wonder how we let the poverty gap get so wide under a supposedly Labour government, and how it is I’m supposed to make it to the off-licence for my breakfast binge drinking session without being mugged by a knife-wielding eight-year-old. Girl.

But then I put down the newspaper and realise that as we age, the gap that widens with even greater speed than the poverty gap, is the perception gap between the world we live in and the world the media tell us we live in.

As a trainee journalist (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away) I remember snidely laughing (I majored in it) at a BBC newsreader who had dared to suggest that there should be more positive stories in the news, maybe about cats and that sort of thing. Well, now I see his point.

In a world apparently gone to shit, with all evidence of justice about as rare as reasoned argument from a Christian, it’s time we had some good news. In a world without hope it is truly the visionary who stands up and says “Enough is Enough”. For goodness sake people, I’ve had songs on Holby City and Hollyoaks all in the same week. Do you not now see that literally anything…ANYTHING is possible?

It is in that gospel spirit of good news (is that tautology?) that I would like to take this opportunity to formally announce that the support for this tour will be provided by the amazing Brian Wright. After much negotiation, a substantial transfer fee rising into the low one figures, I have finally found my Mr Wright.

Thank you to all of you who offered your services - and keep on asking because in this day and age we all have to shout a bit to be heard – but for now the slot is filled.

Many of you will remember Brian from the Hotel Café shows, or know him in his own right as a song-writer extraordinaire, or perhaps just as the guy with the beard. Whether you know him or are yet to get acquainted, be assured his presence on the tour will make this extra special.

He has also graciously agreed to play in my band, which will be the biggest band I have toured with to date. It is going to be a great tour.

Tickets are selling fast for the London Scala show by the way, so to avoid disappointment and subsequent unseemly rioting (just look what happened in Iran when they found out I’d come second in the finale of Tehran’s Got Talent) be sure to get yours soon.

Find out more about Brian Wright here:

The fishing season starts at midnight on Monday. I’m just saying. You know, if you cared. Those of you looking for style tips, my clothing range and perfume is coming soon.
Let the current crop of singer-songwriters worry about being cool and rock and roll. I can’t stand up without grunting these days.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!



Anybody there?

I went away for a while.

But now I'm back.

Like the eponymous hero of Superman 2 I traded my powers to be able to love like a human, and for a while I forgot about the affairs of the world and crime fighting.... and stuff. Although I kept wearing my pants on the outside... (that's underpants for you Americans).

But I see that without me the world has taken a turn to negative town, with democracy itself in peril. Honestly, you take your eyes off the baby for a second and it's got the cat by the tail and it's dangling it out the broken window over a flaming tar pit crawling with rabid crocodile and flying pirhanas - or other toddler/democracy/hydrophobic/winged fish/ reptile-related metaphors you may have of your own that make more sense.

I apologise. I'm tired. I've been writing and recording this album for three years, it is intended as an album in two parts. A volume One and a Volume Two. Not a double album you understand. That's something altogether different. And expensive.

It has taken quite a while to finish part one. I wanted to take some time away from the road to concentrate on writing and recording - to prove some things to myself, and to prove that I could sit still for more than a week.

But I am bored of sitting still. It will soon be time to go back to the Fortress of Solitude and get some advice from a fat, dead, Marlon Brando (there's an 0845 number for those of you who can't make the trip) and to once more take to the skies in my dashing cape. And pants.

I seriously have no idea what I'm saying now. But you get the gist.

Album. Part one. Finished. Release date to be confirmed, but I'm expecting September, just before the tour, so you have a long hot summer to enjoy yourselves before I drag you kicking and screaming into my tempestuous universe.

We'll be getting the website into shape soon, along with all the other preparations for the release of the record - if I say it out loud enough times it must surely come to pass.

The musical landscape has altered dramatically over the last few years, but change is good. It must be embraced, wined and dined and danced with gently to flickering candle light, for longing for the old days and the old ways is the path of the dead man. Although to be fair we did dress better in earlier times. Skinny jeans? People, people.... what are we thinking?

In short, who the hell knows how any of this goes any more?

These are dark, dangerous, times, with doubtless many more storms ahead. But we will face them together, although I may be slightly behind you and to one side... I'm at an age where the wind fair whips through me.

Not that sort of wind.

Finally then, let us resort to art - the one true religion - for our philosophical, moral and spiritual guidance when all else fails. You may even like to take a moment and go outside and shout the following at the night sky, or traffic wardens. If you listen carefully you might just hear others doing the same, raising our voices in united defiance.

"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world!"

Yep, do that and more.

There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes... but I've got a big umbrella and I'm more than happy to share.