“Just remember to always think twice”…

women-who-stalk-300x285

~

Looking over his shoulder…
To see if she’s there…

The one he was kind to…
Whilst being unaware…

Of the feelings created…
Deep within her mind…

The beast he had stirred…
That was hidden behind…

Words of friendship…
And seemingly harmless fun…

But as things progressed…
He realised what he’d done…

By then it was too late…
There was no way to stop…

The fates conspiring…
As he forced her tears to drop…

With a humble explanation…
That outlined the mistake…

But his words were futile…
And contact he had to break…

To escape her madness…
Go back to real life…

To his family and friends…
And his oblivious wife…

But as days became weeks…
She refused to let go…

He belonged to her…
She’d let the world know…

Promises, lies and threats…
She stalked his every move…

Around every street corner…
Her love she tried to prove…

She begged and she pleaded…
Before she finally snapped…

Followed him home one night…
And violently attacked…

Thrusting the knife deep…
Into his vulnerable heart…

Forcing him to his knees…
And his soul to depart…

Releasing her puppet…
But she just didn’t care…

Calmly walking off…
Into the cold night air…

~

 

 

“Flying in the face of love”…

beautiful-cute-escape-girl-hole-trapped-Favim.com-59843_original

~

She’s stood in the corner…
Sat facing the wall…
Hiding in the darkness…
Running away from it all…
Dodging bullets of real life…
And all responsibility...
Looking for distraction…
And chances to feel free…
 
Disguising all her fears…
Disgusted by her thoughts…
Dealing with the Devil…
It’s so tense and it’s so fraught…
Looking for life’s signals…
Following the wrong direction…
Orchestrating from the shadows…
Perfecting misdirection…
 
Searching for something…
Answers and sweet lies…
Wrapped up in someone…
Who makes her feel alive…
All smoke and hotel mirrors…
Fucking with her head…
Yet all she ever dreamt about…
Could never ever be said…
 
It’s a guilty mind’s mentality…
At the bottom of her ocean…
Trapped underneath the rocks…
Concealed by dark emotion…
There is no way out of here…
No chance of an escape…
She’s the sum of all her history…
And the choices that she’s made…
 
She can’t change her story…
Erase all the twists and turns…
And what lies before her…
Are unscripted lines she learns…
Makes it up as she goes along…
And ignores the rules of fate…
Accepting her part of the blame…
Within each and every mistake…
 
Now she’s stood in the corner…
And rests her head against a wall…
Hiding out in the darkness…
Running away from it all…
Trapped by all that’s real in life…
And all the responsibility…
She’s looking for distractions…
And chances to fly free…

~

 

“It’s hard to let go, of all that we know”…

flat,220x200,075,t

~

One for dark sorrow…
Two for deep joy…
How she now misses…
Her forbidden secret boy…
The one she met…
Out of the Blue…
Who changed her life…
And all she knew…

Stroking her ego…
Touching her soul…
As her life spun…
Out of all control…
And into the shadows…
Away from the light…
With secret rendezvous…
Hidden from sight…

Taking such risks…
With all she held dear…
Making sure she kept…
Her shiny lover so near…
And chasing adventure…
With her aching heart…
As she became infected…
By Lust’s poison dart…

Tasting his sweetness…
Touching his skin…
Allowing him to enter…
So deep within…
Her heart and mind…
Ripping down her defences…
And as he poured himself in…
She lost all her senses…

Till it got too much…
And it just had to stop…
Where from a Dizzy Height…
She was forced to drop…
Now wallowing in sorrow…
Remembering fragments of joy…
How this Magpie misses…
Her Black and White boy…

~

 

Neil Finn – “Dizzy Heights” – A (distorted) review…

images

So, I was asked recently about my affection for Neil Finn and his music. “Why? What is it about him?” – I shrugged my shoulders and said I wasn’t overly sure.

Truth is though, I lied. I do know exactly what it is about Neil Finn and it’s kept me with him for over 20 years.

It is multi-faceted and not something easily explainable, but deep down, I know.

His voice, his melody’s, his lyrics, his energy, his banter on stage, his wit (Which can be seen in the next 2 brilliant clips), his sincerity, I could go on.

His songs give me comfort, they bring me joy.

At live gigs, time stands still and I lose myself there. Immersed. I connect. I have a connection.

It’s all I ask from any artist, but with Neil Finn, solo or other, I connect deep.

Now, the thing is… Neil Finn’s songs just do not lend themselves for instant reviews. They never have and I doubt they ever will.

Even the more immediate tunes that grab you have a subtle tendency to reveal something new and fresh after more than a few listens – sometimes after more than a few years. I am aware of that, but I wanted to say something about “Dizzy Heights”, his new solo offering.

So, I figured I would leave it a while and then get my thoughts down – but however I tried, what I wrote was neither objective nor really a review.

And as a self-confessed diehard fan, my view of “Dizzy Heights” is already distorted because I love the man and accept that for every song I love, there will be a few that miss the target and you know what, I even find things I like in those.

With that in mind, I stopped writing a review and decided to see where the songs would take my mind. I have been using a lot of Finn’s music as soundtracks and inspiration to my words for a long time now, so between poetry, a gig review and a late night emotional rant, I have managed to use all bar one song on “Dizzy Heights”. The links to these are below.

Now, as an aside and before you click the links,  there are only a few people I speak to that even know who he is, let alone his music that has endured for the best part of 30 years.

Neil Finn is a singer / songwriter from New Zealand and via Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers and Pajama Club – alongside other projects such as the collaborative Seven worlds collide – you will know a lot of his songs, you may just not realise it was him.

Never did a tag line “You know more Crowded House songs that you think you do” really and truly describe a best of CD. It was spot on and Recurring Dream (The original best of CD) was pretty much catapulted to the top of the UK charts on the back of that piece of clever marketing. Crowded House was / is Neil’s main musical vehicle, but despite recording a few tracks for the next CD, the band are on hold for a while.

In the meantime, Finn has been active working on “Dizzy Heights”, his 3rd solo offering behind “Try Whistling This” and “One Nil” (not including One All for this)

However, Neil’s last release was neither solo nor Crowded House, it was a collaboration with his wife Sharon and a guy called Sean Donnelly on the LO-FI project “Pajama Club”.

It was a fusion of drum and bass with electronica added on top. The songs were not the classic sound fans were used to, from either the song writing, to the texture or to the sound.

Hooks and melody were replaced by a driving, thumping soundtrack that did it’s best to be everything Crowded House wasn’t.

Yet, that wasn’t a bad thing and it spawned a few tracks that were pretty damn good by any standards. “From a Friend to a Friend”, “Deadleg”, “Diamonds in her Eyes” and “Golden Child” may have had a different “Finn” sound that split the fans, but were more than worthy additions to the Finn back catalogue.

And it’s clear that “Dizzy Heights” is a continuation of sorts from this CD – more evolution than revolution – where the songs on Pajama Club had the feel that they really were contrived in the Finn living room over a few bottles of wine – “Dizzy Heights” goes that next step.

With the rest of the family on the CD, Wife Sharon and sons Liam and Elroy, Neil has managed to put together a remarkable CD with the help of producer David Fridmann. Lush string arrangements and weird electronic twists compliment the vocals all the way through the CD and my word, they certainly add an amazing dimension to the sound.

The songs themselves feel more in the mould that the fan base is used to. Sparse lyrics on Pajama Club replaced by something more substantial, whichever way Neil has constructed and found them.

Now, fans have already been treated to stripped back versions of a few songs on this CD. Webcasts and showcases with Victoria Kelly and a string section have featured just Neil on piano and some percussion joining in to create some stunning, heartfelt and wonderful versions of the songs.

However, Neil had warned people that the final songs would be different and he is of course correct – from my listening perspective, it’s on a win most, lose a couple basis, but it continues to unfold with each listen.

So, in running order, please click the link to hear the songs and read my words. Some of the poetry is dark, as is my natural way – check out this link –  and if you are interested, there is plenty more Split Enz, Crowded House, Pajama Club and solo songs within the blog, so feel free to have a look around.

Impressions: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/this-disguise-fooling-no-one/

Dizzy Heights: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/smoke-drifting-up-to-the-dizzy-heights/

Flying in the face of Love: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/flying-in-the-face-of-love/

Divebomber: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/and-theres-only-one-way-down/

Better than TV: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/at-the-end-of-the-world-its-just-you-and-me/

Pony Ride: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/he-only-wants-to-get-you-out-of-your-mind/

White Lies and Alibies: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/holding-on-to-nothing-sacred/

Recluse: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/i-just-want-to-be-alone/

Strangest Friends: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/and-they-take-your-souls-away/

In my Blood: https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/how-i-wish-that-i-could-do-this-again/

Finally, the only song that I didn’t touch was “Lights of New York” and it can be found below.

I hope you enjoy!

Cheers

 

“Just remember to always think twice”…

women-who-stalk-300x285

~

Looking over his shoulder…
To see if she is there…

The one he was kind to…
Whilst being unaware…

Of the feelings created…
Deep within her mind…

The beast he had stirred…
That was hidden behind…

Words of friendship…
And seemingly harmless fun…

But as things progressed…
He realised what he’d done…

By then it was too late…
There was no way to stop…

The fates conspiring…
As he forced her tears to drop…

With a humble explanation…
That outlined the mistake…

But his words were futile…
And contact he had to break…

To escape her madness…
Go back to real life…

To his family and friends…
And his oblivious wife…

But as days became weeks…
She refused to let go…

He belonged to her…
She’d let the world know…

Promises, lies and threats…
She stalked his every move…

Around every street corner…
Her love she tried to prove…

She begged and she pleaded…
Before she finally snapped…

Followed him home one night…
And violently attacked…

Thrusting the knife deep…
Into his vulnerable heart…

Forcing him to his knees…
And his soul to depart…

Releasing her puppet…
But she just didn’t care…

Calmly walking off…
Into the cold night air…

~

“Beware late night thinking, before starlight’s over”…

twins

~

In the mirror, she stares back…

Devoid of all emotion…

Every flashback, another crack…

No life force in her ocean…

The hands of time have not been kind…

Instant Karma ripped her apart…

Curiosity left her broken and blind…

A fallen angel bound up, then stole her heart…

Look what she’s become…

The painted smile upon her face…
Wishes she could vanish without a trace…
Inside she feels anguish, pain and disgrace…
Never again to be seen in silk, or lace…

~

“How I wish that I could do this again”…

Neil Finn – London

Neil Finn live at St James' Church Piccadilly

London. Beautiful, enchanting, evocative London. I keep saying it, I keep meaning it. The one place I feel at home. Truly overwhelmed by its majesty, truly enchanted by its spellbinding power. Apt that it was to be my last stop on my Forty for Forty quest. Apt the great Neil Finn awaited my presence.

It had been a tiring week. It was a very tiring day.  A multitude of things conspired, not least a delayed, then broken down train. I found myself in a darkened Kings Cross station, the sky had lost its light and the police were out in force outside, as were an army of Jesus worshippers.

For the first time ever, I chose to spend the night in a hostel. A mixture of adventure and cost cutting. It was easy to find and the receptionist was ultra-polite. My room, number 33, consisted of 2 bunk beds. Minimalistic I think you could call them – Dirty too.

Still, you get what you pay for and after dumping my stuff, it was out into the cold night air. Memories of my previous visit surrounded. Everywhere I looked, there was a reminder of my magical trip to see Nick Cave.

The tube wasn’t as busy as I had feared and with ears full of music, I wandered through the bustling underground until I reached Covent Garden. The gig was in Piccadilly, but I wanted to savour the sights and Christmas lights.

I found the venue and met up with the gathering Frenz. Tradition dictates now that we gather early for Neil Finn gigs. This is as much about community as it is getting a good view at standing or unreserved seat gigs.

This one was the latter as the venue, being a church, had no reserved seats, just pews. The Frenz were in good heart. And as I mentioned here – these people are amazing. And here we were again. Familiar faces, hugs and catching up on what had been going on since we last met.

And the Frenz had come from all over – A gathering of hearts and minds outside a church, But it wasn’t religion or a cult that bound us together in the cold evening air. But a love of music. Not just any music, but a love of Neil Finn. So at this point a reminder, there are gig reviews on the net – this is my experience, not a review.

We were stood outside for what felt like an eternity. Every so often, I would disappear to the venue and try figure out the best way to get my book signed. It was a small place, but 2 entrances. Neil Finn was already inside sound checking, but there was little chance of getting to him.

Even asking some nice church workers for help fell on deaf ears – this was proving to be just as hard as the Nick Cave gig. After hearing a song or two of the sound check, I gave up and decided to wait until after. Which wasn’t a bad thing and by the time my mate arrived with my ticket the queue was suddenly moving.

But it didn’t move far, just from the top gate to the door of the actual church, where we were made to stand around for another 40 minutes before the doors were opened an we entered the venue – all the good folk around me filled the first couple of rows, I was front row – great view other than Neil’s piano cover!

The church was decked out and ready for Christmas. Two huge trees stood proud behind Neil’s grand piano and the lighting made for a warm and welcoming environment. There were chairs for the string section and a smaller piano next to a drum kit. Quite a sparse setting really.

It was around 9pm that Neil finally entered the venue and by then it was packed. There was an eerie feeling in the room and a sense of occasion. This was a showcase for Neil’s upcoming album “Dizzy Heights“. Alongside him were a string section, led by the enchanting Victoria Kelly and a drummer named Chris.

Neil took a bow and sat at the piano, before launching into a song called “Divebomber”. An interesting song that has certainly divided the fans. It feels more like a movie soundtrack and sang all in falsetto, it was certainly a brave opening. Neil carried it off very well indeed.

The song was followed by the title track “Dizzy Heights”, which has had the opposite effect of Divebomber on the fans, indeed, the song has already become a clear favourite amongst many.

Still without really addressing the audience, Neil then went into “In My Blood”, another new song which went down well on the webcast, with such a catchy and soaring chorus about reincarnation. It was well received, as was “White Lies and Alibis”.

Neil was beginning to warm up now and the formal opening began to subside and the usual Finn wit that we have grown to love began to shine through. His next new song was “Lights of New York”, and he had sent out Chris, the drummer to go and get some city sounds to play over the top of the song – he recorded high heels!

Fellow New Zealander Connan Mockasin then joined Neil for a new song called “Gentle Dave”. An interesting one that will need to be listened to a few more times before any verdict is made for sure. The same can’t be said for the instantly catchy “Better Than TV”, which immediately hit home.

“Recluse” was then followed by an older song called “Sinner” – this is one of Neil’s best solo songs from the 1998 album “Try whistling this”. The church lighting went Red and it was played perfectly  – and in such a setting too. “Impressions” was the last of the new songs on the night.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now” said Finn as the strings and Victoria Kelly left, leaving Neil and drummer Chris. The idea now was a shout out request show and all formality went out of the window.

However, Neil did start with an earlier request. It was our Frenz Val ‘s 100th live show and we had been tweeting Neil to see if he would dedicate a song for her and he did. A supreme piano version of “World Where You Live” leaving Val beaming from ear to ear.

My shout out request for “Faster Than Light” came next, at least, I think it was mine amongst the shouting voices. I claim it regardless!  A faultless rendition of “Message To My Girl” followed, before Neil went “Into Temptation”– once again, a church a rather apt setting for the nature of the song.

It was clear that poor drummer Chris hadn’t quite understood the delicate nature of the song as he thumped along to it. Neil had given him a couple of glances, but at the end of the song, some wag shouted “Taxi For Chris” to which Neil went into a really funny improvisation. Perhaps he realised and spared the drummers blushes.

Someone asked for the obscure “Blue Hotel”, to which Neil couldn’t remeber the words. He asked someone to sing the first line and from the back of the church came a really beautiful and brave voice. Infact, he did it twice as Neil asked him to, but when Neil asked if he could play it on the piano, it was a no – which killed the moment sadly – Neil really has to learn his back catalouge for the tour!

As ever, “Private Universe” was spellbinding, and Victoria Kelly joined the stage for “Anytime” and the final song of the night “Distant Sun”, which had the whole church singing as one. It was over far too soon and the whole audience were on their feet wanting more.

Neil left us hanging and will return next year for a full UK tour. For a showcase, it had a nice balance. I think as a fan, I would have preferred and have been to more looser shows. But todays music business as it is, I think Neil got the balance about right on this one.

And with that, my book signing quest was on. But once again, I have had to leave it with a manager and keep my fingers crossed that the postman will deliver something very soon. By 11 pm, I was heading into central London and enjoying the sights and finding some distraction. The night air of London had a much colder feel tonight.

Sadly, I did not enjoy the hostel and being forced to move rooms at 3am was not fun. Still, another experience to add to my collection! So the Forty for Forty quest is now *paused* till 2014. More on that to come later, but in the meantime, here is the aforementioned “In my Blood” from the night.

Enjoy

“Smoke drifting up to the Dizzy Heights”…

Subjective, Seductive and Emotional…

One of the great things about having a blog, is to be able to share my thoughts, words and passion with people. Cyber people, strangers and people I have never met but still give me a sense of welcoming and community.

In this place, people accept me, with no questions asked. I can write from wherever the muse guides me and I can subject and project you to infinite versions of myself that you are never going to meet – even if I knew you in real life.

It’s a life with no judgement and a reality that requires no explanation.  I write, you like, you comment, or you don’t – it is as simple as that. On a good day, I hope I make people feel as I do, thrilled to be here – on a bad day, I just throw shit out there and see what sticks.

However, my bad days are always turned around by a kind comment or two, which strokes my ego or validates what I do. Like most who write, there are no amount of good comments that will make me view my words as anything other than just OK rambles.

I write for distraction. I write because at some point in my life, I realised just how much an effect words have had on my life journey thus far. Not just words, but music as well. That Devilish combination of killer lyrics and a haunting melody – I am jealous of anyone who can do it. Singer songwriter is really where it’s at.

Well, that and a hot looking guitar playing chick as per yesterday’s clip. But anyway, I digress. Where was I – yes, music. Subjective, seductive and emotional. Heals the soul they say. I agree. Not all music, but good music. Definition of “good” music – simply anything you find a connection with in my humble opinion.

It took me a long time in my life to realise the significance of those connections we make to songs. It took me a long time to appreciate that we could all listen to a song and not all connect in the same way. It took me a long time to realise that some people didn’t connect with a song I liked at all.

So I arrived late at the “growing up” party and I am not sure I can even claim to have got through the door yet. I now realise that not everyone shares my tastes, but I can still share my music tastes – only now with no expectations.

Over the course of these – wow – 278 posts, I have shared music with strangers. Some of the songs on here are deeply personal. Some so personal, even the connection to the words has had to be blurred or constructed in some way to not let even you, dear strangers see.

However, you will have noted that there is a central theme to the music choices and that is a singer songwriter from New Zealand called Neil Finn. Through Split Enz, Crowded House, The Finn Brothers, Pajama Club and solo work and for most of my life, he has been with me.

His words have soothed, comforted, inspired, and healed. Neil Finn has given me more in this world than many people I know. His music infected me at a young age and when the choice of the day was so much cooler, Finn and his band mates were taking residence in my soul.

Over the years and through my life’s challenges, his music has been the one constant I turn to. There has been a song for all occasions and there have been times when I unashamedly admit I clung onto his words as if they were a life raft. This last 18 month period that saw my father pass and some spectacular karma rain down upon me especially.

His live shows have the canny knack of making me feel alive. His mixture of charm, wit and kindness keep me coming back for more. Too many, today I was challenged to admit how many times I have seen him and I uttered a number in public – it was worth the shock value to see their faces alone.

Within the heady mix of live shows, come the Frenz community. The familiar faces that once were strangers. The people who it takes a while to get to know, starting with a nod and a recognition and then moving on to sharing stories, before becoming acquaintances and ending up a Frenz.

People who – a bit like here – just take you for what you are, no questions asked, no answers sought, but brought together by a common bond of love for artist and music. It’s not religion and it’s not a cult, but it has the feeling of something magical and one that elevates the soul.

Next week in London, I am drawn again. Neil Finn has a new CD out in February called “Dizzy Heights” and you have already heard two tracks on this blog. A third is below. If you so wish, you can consider to pre-order Neil Finn’s CD here – http://neilfinn.com/

Neil is bringing the string section to London led by Victoria Kelly – this is her blog  – http://victoriakellymusic.com/ and Victoria features on the below clip from a webcast the other week. It will now be my last gig of the year after I had to drop my December trip. But what a way to end the year and surrounded by good Frenz.

So, thanks for sticking by this ramble – I am perhaps still a little jetlagged, feeling in a bit of a reflective mood, but make no apologies other than this bloody youtube clip is out of sync – so please take 5 mins to close your eyes and let this wash over you. Normal service will resume tomorrow! This is “Dizzy Heights” – I hope you enjoy – I hope you find a connection – but the world is still a great place if you don’t and you are welcome here anytime!

Enjoy

“Flying in the face of love”…

beautiful-cute-escape-girl-hole-trapped-Favim.com-59843_original

~

She’s stood in the corner…
Sat facing the wall…
Hiding in the darkness…
Running away from it all…
Dodging bullets of real life…
And all responsibility..
Looking for distraction…
And chances to feel free…
 
Disguising all her fears…
Disgusted by her thoughts…
Dealing with the Devil…
It’s so tense and it’s so fraught…
Looking for life’s signals…
Following the wrong direction…
Orchestrating from the shadows…
Perfecting misdirection…
 
Searching for something…
Answers and sweet lies…
Wrapped up in someone…
Who makes her feel alive…
All smoke and hotel mirrors…
Fucking with her head…
Yet all she ever dreamt about…
Could never ever be said…
 
It’s a guilty mind’s mentality…
At the bottom of her ocean…
Trapped underneath the rocks…
Concealed by dark emotion…
There is no way out of here…
No chance of an escape…
She’s the sum of all her history…
And the choices that she’s made…
 
She can’t change her story…
Erase all the twists and turns…
And what lies before her…
Are unscripted lines she learns…
Makes it up as she goes along…
And ignores the rules of fate…
Accepting her part of the blame…
Within each and every mistake…
 
Now she’s stood in the corner…
And rests her head against a wall…
Hiding out in the darkness…
Running away from it all…
Trapped by all that’s real in life…
And all the responsibility…
She’s looking for distractions…
And chances to fly free…

~

Words inspired in part by http://chattyowl.com/

The Music of my Life (ish)…

As with most people, music has always played a big part of my life. From walking round my parents house listening to my mum playing records as a kid, to finding and refining my own tastes as I have gone along. I was asked recently what songs would be included if a movie of my life was to be made and why would I include these tracks in the soundtrack? It’s an interesting one but not a unique premise – in some respects its quite clichéd…

We have seen host of people take this concept on and done very well with it – thinking of the likes of Nick Hornby – and am sure there are plenty more, plus a hundred thousand that no one reads about. Still, I didn’t dismiss the idea as I thought it may have been good fun to try. Yet the thought of it opens ones self up to many pitfalls and that’s before the music snobbery that people tend to have begins to kick in…

Besides, as someone who can’t sing or play any musical instrument, for me it has always been a case of appreciating others talent rather than pursuing anything musical myself. With that in mind, I do not claim to be an expert in song construction, in the BPM or the compression of tune. I do not claim to know what makes a hit single, what lyrics work or don’t work for the masses and frankly, sometimes I just can’t explain why a song appeals to me – it just does – it may just be a rift that catches my attention or a line that sticks. I can’t be the only one who works in this way…

Upon further reflection, I decided to cheat. I mean, where does one even begin to start – so many moments in life – so many songs to choose – surely it would be easier to simply make a list I said to myself! yeah right! – Even that was easier said than done! So after watering down the initial concept to the most weakest form, I decided to write a short list of a few songs that have both appealed and meant something to me during my life and a small synopsis.

There are many more and you have already seen a few in my previous blogs, so I have not added them – It’s also worth pointing out at this junction that these are in no particular order and some of the reasons may not be strictly true, but if you read between the lines and all that. If you click the song title, then you should be taken to a youtube link – provided that has worked – enjoy…

ELO – Mr Blue Sky:  

“Hey you with the pretty face, Welcome to the human race…”

Perhaps this is a surprise choice of mine, simply because I do not normally gravitate towards upbeat and “happy” tunes. However, the reason for this choice is two fold. Firstly, for years and years, there was a small orchestral piece of music that I had heard at some point in time, but could never place it. Hard to explain, but it kicks in right at the end of this song and is quite possibly the best snippet of orchestral music I know – sad to admit that I am a total ignorant twerp when it comes to this music genre – but the string section is just heartbreaking…

I only tied up the fact that it belonged to this song after I downloaded said song from Itunes. In my excitement of actually working out where the snippet of music actually belonged, I made young Ollie listen to the whole song and that’s the second reason why its in here – Ollie loves it. Whenever he is messing around on my phone, you can bet that the song will appear and he will dance across the room – no matter how many times he does that, it’s still a joy to watch…

New Radicals – You get what you give:

“Don’t give up, You’ve got a reason to live…”

If like me, you are a football fan, then you are honour bound to be superstitious when it comes to your team. No matter the reality of the situation, if you don’t put your socks on the right way in a morning, walk the same route to the ground, eat at the same burger van, buy the match day magazine from the same seller, its always YOUR FAULT if the team loses! This song became our “lucky” song on match days. No matter where we were going, or who Leeds United were playing – if this song didn’t get played, the team would lose. Clearly, when we did play it and the team lost, it was due to not playing it at the right time, or the right place – such is life eh?

Elton John – Love Song

“Love is key we must turn, truth is the flame we must burn, freedom the lesson we must learn – Do you know what I mean – Have your eyes really seen…”

Did I mention that I like lyrics??  Stunning, simply stunning piece of writing by Elton. Wrapped up in an elegant melody, it just sits in the middle of the Tumbleweed Connection quietly waiting to be explored. Initially I had it on an old compilation tape given to me by an old friend. At the time, Elton was not “cool” – I mean was he ever? So in youthful naivety it was a tune I skipped a few times and it was much later before it began to catch my attention. Now I can admire if for what it is, a thing of beauty that will out live me…

*Edit – I later found out that Elton didn’t write this – it was Lesley Duncan!

Barry Manilow – Can’t Smile Without you:

“Who would have believed, That you were part of a dream, Now it all seems light years away…”

My mum would be the first to admit, she can’t hold a tune. it’s a gift that she passed on to me! However, her constant killing of this song would never take away from the fact that it just reminds me of younger, happy and I guess naive days. Sure it stinks of cheese and yeah, its chord change heaven, but if you think this song is pure crap, then think again. The arrangement, the lyrics and that voice just combine to make a perfect storm – Its also a double whammy as when Bazza is singing live, he will whisk up some lucky gal on stage and sing it to her – “PICK ME” I screamed from the top tier of the O2 arena in London the other year, but he didn’t hear me! As underrated and belittled as they come, Manilow’s music has a place in my heart and this tune tops the lot…

Del Amitri – Just Like A Man

“And I had something to tell you, but it doesn’t matter now, I’ll stick to small talk and leave the little bits of flattery to him…”

Summer 1992. Leeds United were Champions of England, it should have been the most perfect time – but nothing in life ever runs perfect. If you needed to write a summer break up song, then just pick up the phone and ring Justin Currie for help. The time, the place will remain quietly in a corner and the names will be changed or not mentioned to protect the innocent. However the song tells you all you want to know and perhaps too much more. Its written from the bottom of a deep dark hole and the words just go round and round and round in your head…

Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind:

“I don’t know where we went wrong, But the feelin’s gone, And I just can’t get it back…”

You may have never heard of Gordon – but you will have heard of this song. Its yet another haunting and beautiful tune, yet another example of understated song crafting at its best. Its one of those songs that you might hear on Steve Wrights Sunday Love songs and never hear again for years. It was another given to me on a compilation cd from an old friend, but this one instantly connected and became the track I went back to time and again. It was a strange time in my life when this song connected with me, for a number of different reasons, but the thoughts and memories make me smile…

Beatles – Girl:

“And she promises the earth to me and I believe her…”

I may be wrong and I am not a huge fan, but in amongst the classic tracks spewed out by the machine that was The Beatles appear a couple of tracks that seem to have slipped out of sight. That’s no bad thing and I guess it means that album tracks like this one from Rubber Soul are there for people to discover quietly rather than been rammed down your throat via commercial radio stations or “best of” cds. For me, this one is all about the delivery of the vocals, charged with a melancholy sexual lament and a dark undertone, its just really glorious…

U2 – One:

“Did I disappoint you, leave a bad taste in your mouth…”

Yeah yeah, its been played so many times, its on everyone’s break up cd and its possibly the most over played U2 “Ballard”. The opening rift is on the TV at every “sad or “tragic” opportunity,  so much so that you are bored of it and you think you know it inside out. So f*cking what, listen again, but with fresh ears. This has to be one of the most amazingly heart wrenching songs ever written. I am no Bono fan, infact, I am no U2 fan, but I bet he wished that he could be cemented in the place he must have been in when he wrote this – as nothing since has come close. Of course, my version has a girl and that seems a long time ago, but this tune has the capacity to transport me back in a heartbeat and thats not always a good thing…

Crowded House – Black and White Boy:

“And you put on a wonderful show, Do you really, really think I don’t know…”

Now come on – you didn’t think there would be a list and no Mr Finn in it ? I could honestly write something for just about every song he has ever written, but I am just throwing this one in there. People often complement me for my positive outlook, or they enjoy my company and the misguided comedy genius that sometimes takes over. However there is always another side that most people don’t see and I am sure that’s the same for anyone. I find that there are not many people in life who take the time to scratch the surface of people. Perhaps they are afraid of what lies beneath. Suffice to say, there is balance in life and Neil Finn hit the nail. There are different theories to who or what this song is about and I think Neil likes that. Make you own mind up…