I dug out my big book of lyrics, painstakingly hand-written in black ink on good grade paper in bound notebooks*** and started looking for thematically linked opportunities. Fortunately I seemed to have been going through quite a phase of that sort of malarkey at the time and so among the eighty five or so finished songs committed to the page for posterity's benefit a good few seemed fit for purpose. I dug out one of the CDs we’d compiled and got to work trying to work out the chords, riffs and hooks , a few of which I had completely forgotten were in some of these songs in the first place, a couple of which had been subsequently rehomed and many that I was still quietly proud of. At times I could remember exactly where and when we’d come up with some of the parts and they flooded back in to my mind like old friends, James's tightly-compressed out of phase guitar sigils as fresh as the day they were minted. Another of the things that came to mind was how brilliantly presciently our de-facto Benevolent Dictator had come up with song titles which would shortly to be appropriated by platinum-selling acts on major labels. By the time I joined the band he’d already written ‘Big Love’ (not by Fleetwood Mac) and ‘Faith’ (not by George Michael) and during our time together we would go on to curate ‘I Feel for You’ (not by Chaka Khan) and ‘Better than the Rest’ (not by Bruce Springsteen) among others.
In case you think I’m veering toward the vainglorious with reference to my formerly glittering career, by the way, I should mention that only this week someone came up to me at the bus stop and asked when The Star Club were getting back together again, and that’s a band who haven’t really fired a shot in anger since 2011. Yesterday I was at a kids’ birthday party when one of the other parents started reminiscing about As Is. “Still playing?” he asked.