Monthly Archives: June 2020

This World Offers You

Episode #15: This World Offers You – (Song at 5:24, 19:36, 28:47)

A bit of fun this week, a departure in music style… I won’t give too much away.

Go behind the scenes, get the inside ‘goss’ on how the song came to be, how it got recorded, what it’s about.

This song, number 34, written in 1998, is from the first ever album by myself and Paul Dredge (NZ) – an independent release of about 20 cassettes!

This was the 1st time we got to use a 4 track recorder, a drum machine and  reverb FX. It was a very exciting time for us. We set up the studio in the house I was sharing, and taught ourselves how to record a song. It was the beginning of the path for me of learning how arrange songs.

This has lead to solo piano, piano/vocal, folk rock and rock being my favourite genres.

This World Is …. something else. There are actually 3 versions of the song on this episode (well, one full and 2 abbreviated versions). I don’t think this is the end of the road for this song – the Pascoe band played a very ‘up’ rock version earlier this year. I think we’ll have to record another version sometime.

This show is not a high brow ‘exclusive’ sort of presentation. This is a show for anyone. You don’t need to know anything about music theory. But if you like music – here’s another new song – and there’s one every week.   

So if you’re up for bit of entertainment and information, tune in, sit back and hear a little bit about how a song-writer / arranger thinks.

Also, if you know someone who might be interested – this episode, like every episode – has tips on songwriting and arranging – tips from someone who’s learnt by making a lot of mistakes and someone who’s still learning.

There’s the usual humour, it’s delivered in a relaxed manner, with a sense of discovery, as I look back through the years and the memories come to mind as I talk.

I explore the lyrics – a bit of analysis and some of the musical aspects of the arrangements.

Also there’s anecdotes from my past – in this case I recount a visit (as a youngster) to a club to play snooker…


How You Mend A Broken Heart

Episode #14: How You Mend A Broken Heart – (Song at 15:55)

Welcome back! If you’ve come back again this week, if you’re new here, welcome along!

Be entertained, informed and you get a song to listen to part way through – another demo this week.

Written in 2000, It was a time in my life when things were fairly settled.

My song writing perhaps wasn’t in a golden sort of patch, but you keep going (I’m passionate) and songs like this one seem to come along.

You get the background of what I was up to at the time… I used to wander down to pier to fish, to give my mind some space and get some energy, to work on my creative work: filling the well.

Equally importantly, I’ve worked really hard over the years, making a living from the arts.

There are some anecdotes about my life, my neighbours, etc. a real slice of life, and this is what this podcast is all about – you get to step into my shoes for a while.

I was a Pianoman back then – there’s an art to it. I describe how it feels to play background music. It was a busy fun time, balancing it with developing my art.

I was flat out – and when you’re busy, you’ve got to look after yourself – and you’ve got to keep an eye on your relationships.

This song is about.. healing, coming out the otherside a relationship ending…you can bounce back and on reflection you can see that the experience has lead to a deeper understanding of yourself.

All presented in an old laid back jazzy sort of ballad.

It takes determination to write songs, get them recorded, etc.

If you’d like to read the lyrics as I sing, you can find them here, on my blog (along with paintings, cartoons, more music and writing)    

Thanks for tuning in, Enjoy!

Sunset Journey

Episode #13: Sunset Journey – (Song at 9:43 & 22:55)

I’m really enjoying recording these episodes. This song came about after a drive down to the beach with friends. We wanted to catch the sunset. It was early winter. As it turned out, we timed it really well. The tide was out, the sun was about to dip over the horizon. The sky was reflected in the wet sand.

A black swan appeared out of the deepening dusk, flying – a silhouette against the stars as they started to appear. I was completely lost in the beauty of the scene, lost in the moment. It was a moment where it really crystallised for me that this was the end of a chapter – and the beginning of the next.

It’s great to have friends around, full stop – but it’s great to have friends around when you need a bit of support to get you through. This was one of those times.

Sunset Journey appeared on an album ‘Can’t See The Words For The Trees’, some years go. I’ll be re-recording this album in the future, as the old gear I recorded on wasn’t the best, sound quality wise.

Join us on the beach as you listen to the song. Enjoy.

By the way,  there’s a surprise in the 2nd half of this episode.    

Who’ll Forget

Episode #12: Who’ll Forget – (Song at 4:10)

A political song this week. I wrote this one back in 2002. It’s popped up again now. It was released once as 100 CDs, a booklet with lyrics and watercolour / pen paintings. But it always felt like a demo.

I’m going to re-record this album. I have repainted the original watercolour / pen sketches in acrylic and developed them some more.  I’ll include these with the new release.

In the intervening years since I wrote the song, it only seems to have become more prescient – and pertinent. These are worrying times. The more art and music that draws our attention to matters that (in my opinion) need urgent attention and addressing, the better.

So, I’ll make no apologies for the serious mood that pervades this episode.

There is an element of hope. There’s always hope. But it’ll take action to turn things around.

This about the danger of where things might get to if there is capitalism with no controls/limits in place.

As usual, I analyse the lyrics – at the risk of coming across as special, or conceited – I step outside the song, forget for a moment that I was the writer and look at the words as they are.

There’s a line that’s very pertinent to these present uncertain times with Covid-19:

Where’s all your berries, stick them all here – next to your dead buried, without even a care.

It hit me between the eyes when I read it this week.

I’m an optimist, I hope for great things in the future. There are great people doing great things today leading to this possibility.

For today, here’s a snapshot of our times, written 18 years ago.

Its a bit grim – I lost most of my income overnight as an artist / musician entertainer. But quite amazingly, this was the very week I’d committed to publishing the podcast, a new start to this blog and a new Youtube channel.

The time to publish is now. 

Tomorrow – Today

Episode #11: Tomorrow – Today – (Song at 9:36 & 23:10)

I committed to writing a song each week years ago. There wasn’t ‘that moment’ where you go:  “right I’m now going to start writing 700 songs. Nope. It was start-stop. ‘The dabble’, as it were… I just had feeling, had a go. Then it becomes something more – it gains it’s own momentum.

I think you get lucky early – often – when you take a leap of faith, trust and just have a go. For example, Tomorrow Today is a song that came through very early on…in fact it’s song number one in my songbooks!

As I sat in the airport with pretty much a broken heart – and the plane delayed – I could’ve got pretty worked up. Instead, I got my feelings out by writing the lyrics on the back of my plane ticket. I’m glad I did.

The result was less of a ‘broken heart’ type song and more of a ‘it can be what you want it to be – reflective’ sort of lyric.

You can read the lyrics here, on my (weekly) blog post:

There are 2 versions on this episode. The original demo and a studio track.

This song appears on the album ‘Righto’  (

A sense of discovery and love pretty much sums up song writing. I keep my podcast episode recordings very ‘free’ – no written notes, the idea being that’ll keep me free, ‘on the breath’. As a result, the things I end up talking about are often a surprise to me.

Each song is like a ticket back to the feelings, the dreams I had at the time I wrote the song.

Towards the end of each episode, I look at the song from a songwriting point of view. So each week you’ll get to step into the shoes of a songwriter.

Back to Tomorrow Today: When I eventually arrived home, my black and white cat (see last weeks’ blog post), sat on my piano. Both seemed to be waiting for me.

I had a feeling something special was about to happen as I let my hands fall on the piano. The opening riff is what happened.

Hear this – and a very young me singing, sitting at my old piano playing this one.