Monday, 17 January 2011

Scratching That Itch

I'm beavering away on some songs at the moment – probably too many on the go to be honest. Though I've had a bit of cold – not great for getting down vocals (ahh!). Hopefully should have something new soon, so long as I focus! There are a couple of covers, including an obscure Beatles song amongst them, very different from how they did it (it's pointless trying to copy them).

I must admit if a little slow, I'm enjoying the process, and there is a certain sound emerging in part due to the harmonies I do. Always loved the richness of harmonies – The Everly Brothers, The Beatles of course, The Beach Boys… it takes a bit of practice, though once you get the hang of it or get that understanding with your singing partner it’s pretty natural. I think it really makes a difference to a song.

My recent YouTube upload 'Danny (Superstar)' hasn't had that many views as yet, though I've changed the uploaded video a couple of times – other uploads seem to have a bit of momentum. It has a story to it: one of talent, endeavour, fame and then it becoming too much. Whilst it is a critique of the modern talent show, they serve a purpose and give people a chance to make a career in the business – I'm just not sure if they are a vehicle for people who have a bit more to offer than singing. Some of it is very Roman Circus like. There is a sense of the conveyor belt. It will be interesting to see what happens to Matt who clearly has talent and a great voice, just hope he gets the chance to 'be himself' and to be original. I really was impressed that he brought his guitar to those performances.

The nice thing about the internet for musicians (frustrated or otherwise) is that instead of songs being confined to tapes in boxes in the corners of bedrooms, they can be liberated. I've always felt that I should be doing music, and I'm grateful to the new medium for access to a possible audience. It means I'm more motivated to do something. Some of the songs will be old to me – like Danny (Superstar) written as a student, even if it does have newly added bits making it more contemporary – but of course, they will be new to those who come across them.

Danny (Superstar)

The themes I write about – love found, love lost, hope, insecurity, wonder - are pretty universal. How people make a living out of it is another matter... that would be something!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

In The Key Of Chris

I first started making up songs when I was a lad in Lidipool on the banks of the Mercy; I was always singing... to pass the time on the way to school I would sing to myself and find that I could do it...

Luckily I wasn't sectioned, and soon I got a cheap guitar and started to learn a few chords. At first I was embarrassed at my audacity, though amongst the repertoire of Beatles and Elvis tunes, I wrote my first songs - they had verses and a chorus and sometimes a middle bit.

On Walton Road, in a pub called the Fountains Abbey where my dad was singing (he was a guitar vocalist who did the pubs and clubs of Liverpool and summer seasons in the Isle of Man...), I performed a song called 'It's Only Love I'm After', nothing of any consequence except it had a riff that both pre-dated and was reminiscent of Bryan Adams' 'Run to You'. I can remember getting a cousin and a friend up to sing it with me to assuage the nerves, to a bemused though supportive audience.

There was another song about that time called 'Stood Up' aching with teenage angst and the turmoil that young girls bring to the life of a shy boy. Whilst at a push I could still remember these two songs, they wouldn't feature long as party pieces.

 Though I was always a bit player in the hierarchy of great singers in the family, fortunately, I would get better as a singer, a musician... would go on to record, and would be able to create some decent music in time to come.

A journey that began some years ago, is starting in earnest - or is that Bolton?