The stories behind the songs
'Secateurs' was inspired by a visit to my parents in Hitchin. It was Late March but we were experiencing a very warm weekend. Emma and I were in the garden helping my dad to prune his shrubs. My mum was in the kitchen preparing a meal and occasionally looking out of the kitchen window to see how we were all doing. She had her washing out on the line drying in the unusually warm March breeze.The heat of the sun was warming up the timber of my dads wooden shed and encouraging the evocative odour of creosote to waft gently passed our nostrils. A Peacock butterfly glided through the garden followed a few moments later by a Brimstone butterfly, both woken from their winter slumbers by this unexpected overture to Summer. The clicking rhythms of the secateurs as we,sliced,cut and clipped away at the dead foliage punctuated our good natured conversation. We were making way for new growth and placing the old on the heap behind the shed where it would decay and return to the soil. I wondered how many more days we would have together like this and made a point of cherishing that particular afternoon.
The Peacocks Of Birkby:
We have a huge litter and fly tipping problem in England. It is an issue which makes my blood boil. I live in a district called Birkby and just around the corner from our house live a family who keep chickens,Guinea Fowl and a pair of Peacocks. Occasionally the Peacocks escape and can be seen majestically strolling around the neighbourhood. I was particularly struck by the strange juxtaposition when I came across these beautiful creatures as they made their way through some discarded mattresses, bags of rubbish and bits of old carpet. It was one of those days when I really wished I lived somewhere else.
Collateral' refers to the term 'Collateral damage' which we often hear in news stories reporting on the latest bombing raid in a war torn country and is a euphemism for 'hundreds of innocent human beings were blown to bits today'. It is primarily a song about mans inhumanity to man and the foolishness of war.
Helpless' is a love song that expresses the gulf that depression and mental ill health can cause between partners.
Resistance Is Futile:
In 2011 I took part in a live art theatre piece. My character was someone who was trying to give up cigarettes but failing. I wrote this song to accompany my performance and did not really intend it to be used for anything else afterwards. However,the song grew on me and so I worked on it some more and gradually shaped it into the version which appears on 'Easy Targets'. Its a song about any type of addiction. It's also about childhood and how when we are younger we do not require any other stimulants or emotional crutches in order to enjoy an experience.