Last Week…Songwriting, Singing and Sorrow

Well, this was a busy week in London. It started with an incredible talk by Ralph Murphy who has written a book called Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting. A group of us “lawless” songwriters turned up at the infamous Matrix studios to hear a talk by Ralph Murphy who’d just got off a plane from Nashville  – a songwriters mecca! It was very interesting to hear how a song could be crafted in order to get the best possible chance of it being a hit! Despite his jet-lagg Ralph managed to impart many tips and cautions in the convoluted world of songwriting from who your audiences REALLY are to structures and musical tricks to draw the listener in even more!! We all played him our own chosen songs and he gave us a critique based on this particular craft of songwriting. There’s no doubt it works as he’s had plenty of hits in plenty of genres. Thing is when I write a song it has it’s own personality and quirks like all of us;) Do we tame the beast completely – and give in to the commercial way or walk the middle road…? I think it’s a balance between working within (to the listener) parameters of writing a song in the way Ralph has put forward, to get the best of what you have out there, but still keeping things fresh and innovative, emotive and hooky with any luck.

The next day I was back in the same studio to record new vocals to my latest song. I worked with Jonas Wrestling a brilliant producer and mixing engineer to add the final touches to the song. This will be released early next year. We’re currently working on a video for this and a re-make of the song Northern Shore from my first album.  The day ended with a musical tribute and ceremony at the 33rd ASCAP Awards night in Grosvenor House Hotel. Steve Mac received Songwriter of the Year award and other great writers present included John Lunn for Downton Abbey and film composer Patrick Doyle and Ben Howard. It was a great evening and Tony Hatch gave a humorous performance on the piano of old favourites like Neighbours;-), Down Town and other notable TV themes!

The week ended very sadly with the sudden passing of Cornwall’s best board shaper, Chops Lascelles who has made a special surf board for me – some of the design work I have posted here earlier this year. It was a shock to everyone and a real loss to us all. He was a wonderful person and my heart goes out to his wife Mary and his family.