Mustang Sally? No thanks.

Regular readers of my blog will know that a few years ago my friend Rich and I gave up playing in covers bands to concentrate on making the music we wanted to hear/play/write.

It's been going well. We found a fabulous drummer and then an equally wonderful singer. We've written songs we're proud of that are both catchy and complex. We have put our hearts into this.

As this band plays original music, rather than covers this is making getting gigs quite hard. Even for support slots. One venue has, in its conditions... "Do you play songs that everyone likes? We have a party crowd that enjoy a mix of classic indie, rock, funk & soul covers from 70’s to current day to dance to. (We’re happy for bands play up to 4 songs of their own material)"

Do we play songs everyone likes? Maybe. But we won't know if we can't play at your venue. Sigh.

We could expand our list of covers, which would be easy given our history, but that would be missing the point. On the bright side we are booked back into the studio to record more of the songs you probably won't hear in certain venues.


When marnie was there

A short while ago I picked up a book for my daughter. I was drawn to it because it was to be made into the (possibly last) Studio Ghibli film and I have been a fan of their films for a long time. The film still hasn’t made it to the UK yet – we would have to pay a lot of money to get the un-dubbed Japanese version of the DVD – but the story appealed.

Freya is reading a lot at the moment. She is taking in all kinds of genres and is open to and surprised by story forms that I might have become a little jaded by. She hasn’t read Tom’s Midnight Garden yet and so, I thought, might be pleasantly surprised by how a story like that pans out.

So I bought the book and Freya wasn’t interested in it. She had too many other, more tempting books available and it turned out that I had misjudged her reading age slightly. Not wanting the book to gather dust I read it myself.

When Marnie was there was written in the 1960s and describes a world which is beginning a process of accelerated change. The references to people watching telly make it sound like pastime that had only recently been a novelty. Almost no one makes a phone call. The rhythm of the day is governed by the light and the tides.

The subject matter of the book is a girl who doesn’t quite fit in but who, maybe with a tiny bit of magic, finds a way to be happy. OK, I’m not a girl, but this appealed greatly to me. I loved being in this world. Because I had read Tom’s Midnight Garden I could see what was coming. Or at least I thought I could. But the dynamics of the story still swept me along and I even gasped with surprise in one of the last chapters. This was reading for pleasure and I look forward to seeing what Studio Ghibli make of it. More importantly, I can’t wait to see the look on my daughter’s face when she makes this discovery for the first time for herself.