Posted: February 1, 2014 in music, pieces, writing stuff

It’s that time of year again when I attempt to write 14 sets of lyrics in 28 days. I usually fail, I usually get disheartened by the lyrics just sitting there with no music to accompany them, I usually curse my inability to be in any way able to construct actual songs with actual music. But hey….

Anyway. Day 1 and two songs finished – albeit one being a collaboration with my darling other half who in fact did most of the work. I was more acting in a lyrical consult capacity but she is generously giving me collaboration credit. Here’s my solo effort….


We will haunt you in the night
Slip inside the thoughts you keep inside
Deepest dark desires
The secrets of your heart
The feelings that try to tear you apart

Creeping through the shades and shadows
Slipping through the walls of your mind
Sliding past your wards and defences 
Leaving echoes of ourselves behind
The sleepwalkers are with you

Let your waking mind relax
Cede control, sink down into slumber
We are waiting there
Just open up your mind
Let the sleepwalkers see what they can find

Creeping through the shades and shadows
Slipping through the walls of your mind
Sliding past your wards and defences 
Leaving echoes of ourselves behind
The sleepwalkers are with you

In the morning when you wake
You’ll feel strange without a reason why
Footsteps on your grave
a shiver down your spine
The echo the sleepwalkers left behind

Creeping through the shades and shadows
Slipping through the walls of your mind
Sliding past your wards and defences 
Leaving echoes of ourselves behind
The sleepwalkers are with you



Posted: March 17, 2012 in pieces

Your colour is Purple
Not simpering, grandmotherly Lavender
Or bold, outrageous Magenta
You cannot be found
circling any Mulberry bush
that I’ve ever seen
Where did you come from?

I trace your history back
Through the haze of my youth
My enquiring fingers speckled
with eggplant, violet, indigo and plum
As I discovered that wax
was not good to eat

I look for you in my garden
In the heady scent of iris and orchid
Through wild heather-strewn heath
and multi- hued hedgerows
until my head swam from the digitalis
and I collapsed into the thistles
Brought back to my senses

I’ll show you daybreak in Nanjing
If you’ll dance with me in the rain
Let me treat you like the queen you are
until the shinigami finally claim me
I’ll share my days with you
delicately shaded with purple

New writing

Posted: November 14, 2011 in pieces

Take me to the river
Drop me in the water
Let the lapping of the current
Wash my cares away

Lead me through the city
Through mist filled streets
Let the sharp edge of winter
Cut the fear from my skin

Wrap me in the darkness
Cocoon me from the sun
Let silence give me shelter
From the pounding in my head

Hold me through the spasms
Wipe away my tears
Say you’ll still be with me
When I surface once again

Take me from my comforts
Force my soul to feel
Let me drink in the moonlight
And remember what is real

Bring me to the water’s edge
Barefoot and alone
Stripped and pared back to the core
From here let me return

City of Dreams & Nightmare

Posted: February 6, 2011 in general stuff

As I’m failing to write myself, even to update blogs, I thought I’d finally get my finger out and write the reviews I was supposed to do ages ago.

First up ‘City of Dreams & Nightmare’ by Ian Whates, published by one of my favorite publishers, Angry Robot. I often decide to buy books based on the fact that it’s an Angry Robot book… the books they publish are that good. Anyhow, I did what I very rarely do and read the first chapter of this online from the Angry Robot website. I much prefer proper books to online though I’m becoming more of a convert over time.

After reading chapter one I was hooked on the story of Tom from the City Below, the slums below Thaiburley, the City of One-Hundred Rows and dashed to my local Waterstones to buy a copy. The rest of the book did not disappoint and although it is the first volume of a series it managed to have a satisfying ending of its own.

Thaiburley is a multilayered metropolis with the wealthy and important dwelling in the upper tiers, workers and tradesfolk lower down and the street nicks and lower classes at the very bottom. Tom, a street nick, born and raised in the slums is sent on a mission to the very heights of Thaiburley. He never makes it. On the climb through the dizzying heights of the city rows he witnesses a murder. A murder no one was meant to see. As Tom races back to familiar ground he finds himself pursued by Kite Guards and assassins and at the centre of a plot that goes right to the top of the City of One-Hundred Rows. Finding allies in unlikely places, Tom is confronted by mechanical spiders, brainwashed street nicks and demon hounds and begins to display powers of his own that could well get him killed.

I won’t say too much more on the plot for fear of revealing too much. The world is deftly drawn and compelling and the variety of life held within the city works really well. Tom can sometimes seem a little passive compared to his guide, the very streetwise Kat, but for me that serves to illustrate his complete confusion at being caught in so much turmoil. There is definitely a lot more to come from the series and I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

Highly recommended!

So… I’m at work and bored. I’m feeling a little gloomy to be honest. I’m rifling through my iPod to find something to make me smile when I hit on the perfect thing…  Casee Wilson.

Ok.. technically that was the start of a post I drafted a while ago whilst bored at my desk. Unfortunately I never managed to finish it. However, the lady herself released her debut self-released album on Friday which gives me a perfect opportunity to review it. I’m trying to do more reviews and this is the perfect place to start.

Firstly an introduction. Casee Wilson is a York based singer-songwriter. She plays piano, she sings, she writes her own music. She records in one half of her front room, now known as Tiny Cat Studios. She has a website, two cats and writes about such diverse subjects as string, zombies and catnip. She is also beautiful, engaging and very very good live. She has just released Beggars & Blues which is available through her website, amazon, iTunes and cdBaby.

The album is 11-tracks long, starts with Beggars at the Feast and ends with Midnight Blues bookending the songs in between. I would, however, recommend letting the final track run until the cd stops spinning lest you miss a treat. The tracks flow together taking the listener on a journey from motherly advice and the joys of summer to heartbreak and betrayal via a very strange farm indeed. The mix of upbeat songs to those of more melancholy tone is pretty much perfect, never letting one mood or style dominate the experience. I’m not sure I could pick a favourite track as I have a soft spot for them all. I love the simplicity of Midnight Blues in which Casee harmonises with herself unaccompanied demonstrating just how good a vocalist she is. Sound Advice is all about breaking expectations and being who you want to be despite what other people tell you which resonates particularly with me. On Tim Burton’s Farm calls to mind piroutting cows (you’ll understand when you hear it) with the haunting flute enhancing the gothically magical feel. Did I Tell You and Fade to Grey both speak of broken relationships whilst I Don’t Want You Anymore takes a more positive stance. The music ranges from Tori Amos-esque girl-with-piano style to a more bluesy, sultry feel seamlessly with Casee’s voice equally confident, strong and full of depth no matter what the style. The harmonies are always flawless and I especially like those on False Alarm and Did I Tell You. This is an awesome showcase for Casee’s talent both as a musician and a songwriter and hopefully a sign of more great things to come.


Posted: May 7, 2010 in pieces


I watch you sleep
caught in the storm of your dreams
eyes twitching with each cresting wave
your breathing gusting like the wind

I want to reach for you
pull you from the maelstrom
into my arms, safe in my embrace
but I simply watch and wait

I watch you sleep
brow furrowed with thoughts unknown
your mind on a journey far from home
I wonder where you are

I want to join you
to reach deep into your dream
but it is not my place to intrude
your dream is yours alone

I watch you sleep
breath cool like breeze in summer
I imagine you a gull gliding over calm seas
whilst still waters run deep

I ache to touch you
run my fingers through your hair
caress your skin, watch you wake to me
but instead I watch you sleep

Subduing llamas

Posted: February 21, 2010 in general stuff, writing stuff

Well, the drama llamas have been in residence at chez moi for a while now which has left me feeling subdued even if they are not. I’m struggling to write more lyrics for FAWM and the last one, Bechstein’s Bat, seemed to blur the line between lyrics and poetry… but then I’m probably more of a poet than a lyricist anyhow.

I feel somewhat like I should be drawing on the emotions somehow to produce some great works of literature, or even some teenage-angst bullshit (which at the age of twenty-eight is always a tad depressing) but either the emotions are too close or I just lack the energy to care any more. Of course, no one really needs to hear my woes in written form or otherwise anyway but still, I feel I’m missing a trick.

At least the llamas are going out tonight. Bugger the snow, bugger the cold, we’re taking our llamas for a walk. I just hope they behave themselves.