Videos

This song began to take shape lyrically ago after watching a TV interview with Kellie Maloney.*

Her story is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking and highlights an incredibly misunderstood issue and the people who are at the heart of it. I didn't make a conscious decision to write about the subject of transgender but as the first couple of lines began to form, that was clearly what was going to happen.

Thanks to the candor of Kellie and others, and also the new film about Einar Wegener ('The Danish Girl'), it's something that is being talked about a great deal more openly of late... and that can only be a very good thing. Sadly, it can often take more time than might seem to be required for society to come to terms with necessary changes in attitude towards some of its members; people it would otherwise deem to be 'different', but we can only hope this is not to be the case on his occasion. The song's title - 'Other' - is taken from an option I've seen printed on the gender description section of official forms... hardly a sensitive approach. Thankfully, it seems to have disappeared which perhaps is an indication of improving attitudes, but as the song's fictional protagonist would suggest, there's a long way yet to go and more hurdles yet to overcome. Above all, naturally, by those for whom this issue lies at the very heart of who they are. Surely the role of everyone else is to make that road as free of obstacles as possible.

My thanks again to Dunster Castle in Somerset for allowing me to film there and to David & Brenda Moore for their kind assistance.

*(This is the Wikipedia entry for Kellie Maloney and I include it here to be viewed with the cautious discernment that such pages require, rather than as any definitive word on Kellie or her life.)

Here's a version of Alan Hull's fantastic 'Winter Song' recorded in the stunning Drawing Room in Dunster Castle, Somerset, with the kind permission of the National Trust and the generous assistance of David & Brenda Moore who manage things there. I'm immensely grateful to all and only sorry that my use of a camera and lighting doesn't even begin to do justice to the surroundings! (I cannot recommend a visit there highly enough!)

Also, with much gratitude to Andy Logan for pointing me in the direction of this track in the first place and encouraging me to take a crack at it.

I love this song's message and its beating heart; for all my stumblings, if nothing else, I hope to have honoured that much.

Many years ago - when I used to gig a little around my then home town of St Neots in Cambridgeshire - I played this beautiful song a great deal... it was one of the very first songs I ever plucked up the courage to play to anyone. I have occasionally played it live recently and so it seemed fitting to record a version here. One of Don McLean's outstanding songs, of course... I hope you like it.

A lyrically dark and musically jaunty commentary on the recent reforms courtesy of IDS and the DWP in general... from the point of view of a penitent claimant. (Tongue very much in cheek!)

'Friends & Fathers' appears on my second album ('Striking Matches in the Wind') released April 2015. This video was shot by Terry Helyar for 'Songs From The Caravan' by the harbour in the Somerset town of Watchet.

Here's a song I enjoy playing live but don't intend to record, expressing my distaste for formulaic love songs. :o)

Another video from the 'Songs From The Caravan' session, 'Abstention Song' appears on my first album, '14 Good Intentions', and gives vent to much of the frustration I feel concerning mainstream politics and its proponents. It's probably fair to say that it pulls few punches!

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