Category Archives: Music

He got game, and the Spanish hills


A song for Friday.

You see, it doesn’t matter what a song is about or what they put in a video. A song ties itself up in your head with memories because of when you first hear it, or a particular concert, or a certain trip when it was on heavy rotation. And boy, for three weeks in the summer of 2001 did we hear this song a lot. I travelled to Spain will fellow members of the Grey Sky Appreciation Society Tom and Jasmine Salmon, and our navigator supreme Nev. We had rented a car in Barcelona and were going to aim it north, for the Pyrenees, west, for the Basque coast and the Picos de Europa, and then south, across the dusty plain to Madrid. We had brought piles of CDs , confident that with the new millennium all rental vehicles would be supplied with something to play them on. Unfortunately there was some kind of misunderstanding at the rental agency, and they had to dig a battered and bruised old jalopy out from a garage down a side-alley. It was nice and spacious but only had a tape player.

And we only had one tape. Continue reading

The Things Around Me – Malachy Tallack


Wounded Man by Malachy Tallack with Steven Laurenson, from the album from the thorn (buy here)

I discovered the music of Malachy Tallack through another project, The Things Around Me. Last year Malachy moved to a house in the village of Vidlin, on the north east coast of the Shetland mainland. After six months, and still feeling like a stranger, he began to write a series of essays in an attempt to come to some understanding with his surroundings, and these essays are wonderfully evocative of the animals, birds and plants all around him. They are also beautifully illustrated by Will Miles, and artist and ornithologist who lives and works in Fair Isle. Continue reading

Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)


When I hear this song it makes me think of a day between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, not only long before Laura Marling ever released it, but probably whilst she was still at school. I had been given a camera for Christmas, my first SLR, and I was staying at my Mum’s house in Menston, near Ilkley, during the university break. It had snowed overnight, and – and here my memory is a little hazy – I was on my own and decided to head out and up towards the moor to try out the camera. Continue reading

A traveller arrives in a strange town…

I pulled into Nazareth
Was feelin’ about half past dead
I just need some place
where I can lay my head
‘Hey, Mister can you tell me
where a man might find a bed?’
He just grinned and shook my hand
And ‘no’ was all he said…

A song for New Year’s Eve, the next morning, and any day hereafter…