A great name for an author ... a poor name for a band? Seemed like a good idea at the time, but the more people ask why "Harper Lee?" the more I think it was a daft choice. If we were ever to get famous we would probably get sued. That cools one's ambitions. Better though than "George Orwell" or "Charles Dickens", other possibilities that I was playing around with in 1999. Why authors? Because it makes us sound bookish and bright...though you may have noticed I only consider writers who appear regularly on the school curriculum. We have read books outside of school set texts - honest.
A great name for a Railway Children song...a poor name for a band? Well, it seemed appropriate at the time - a cynical attempt to get Matt and Clare at Sarah to play our demo...which worked. People say we still sound like Brighter - I'd hoped the new LP might break with the retrospective references to a band I killed off nearly 10 years ago. Listen to the lyrics...I'm much more unhappy now, and my voice has gone down an octave--I eventually had to give up trying to mimic the Sea Urchins. I also know more chords, well a couple more at least and the guitar parts don't soley feature the picking of a D shape ad-infinitum.
A lovely man, a great pal, a legend in his lifetime, the greatest lyricist of this generation, front man in one of the worse named bands ever--by which i mean Field Mice rather than Northern Picture Library-- though take your pick. One day, when people have finally ceased to express any interest at all in our maudlin whining, we've promised to try and find each other gainful employment, either with Bob as chief walker in my proposed dog exercising business, or with me serving tables in his Vegan restaurant on the Orkney Islands, dependent on which folds first.
My esteemed songwriting colleague, one of the few people to make me feel easy about my inability to hold down a barre chord (along with Bob Wratten), a raven haired beauty admired by both the boys and the girls, supporter of a thuggish football team and the belching, beer drinking Northern antidote to my burping, wine drinking, Southern ways.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...one of my most treasured possessions is the letter from Clare at Sarah saying they wanted to do a 7" - more important than any contract with Sony or EMI, a lined A4 pad scrawl saying we like your demo - we'd like to do a record. Seems silly now but it was such a great moment. i loved sarah, and what they stood for, the music and the politics. it all went a bit sour in the end but i was proud to have been a part of it (dab corner of eye with hankerchief)
Jimmy Tassos - a wonderful man with an abundance of patience and dedication. His ability to remain calm as we continually fail to provide him with publicity photos or neglect to consider sleeve ideas until the record is ready to go to the pressing plant amazes me. his label looks and sounds a true labour of love - probably only a matter of time before he chucks us off.
Laura's "other band" - where she has fun and plays songs that make people smile ....currently have a great CD collection of their singles "five forty-fives" available on Track and Field ... Jill from the band played violin on Harper Lee's first LP and if we ever play live, we may call on Kicker to help out as I have no friends of my own to speak of.
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