On January 30th, 2006 I sat down after a gig and wrote the first entry in one of these ‘Blogs’ I’d been reading so much about on the internet. I was in a band called Picturehouse (still am, or rather am again, if truth be told) whose mission statement was, and remains, “It’s like going to the pub with your mates”.
In the succeeding decade and a half we split up, reformed, played in (at least) half a dozen splinter outfits, formed bands, recorded albums, went to festivals, and I started reflecting on not only our life in the slow lane, but that of my friends, colleagues, family and contemporaries - many of whom are the same people. I got a job in radio, I wrangled some Americana, and at various times shared a stage with at least one ex-member of Fairport Convention, a Grammy winner, and the drummer out of Cake (not all the same person).
Occasionally I rustled up the blogs and made them into books - hence my CV, which begins “Bon vivant and best-selling author...”*. Obviously, recent events have meant that the juggernaut of breathless prose and reportage has been slowed from a deluge to a trickle, hence the recycling going on over the past few months, but I’m keeping my head above water. There’s a weekly cover version going up on my Soundcloud page - it may not seem that impressive at first glance but if this pandemic goes on much longer it’s going to make a hell of a Spotify playlist of the originals - and we in The Neighbourhood Dogs are dipping our collective toes into the wellspring of remote recording. Maybe we’ll get one of those Celebrity Squares-type videos out for you.
If you’ve been on the bus for a while, thanks. Make a seat for yourself and make sure you don’t eat your sandwiches too early - there’ll be nothing more until lunchtime. If you’ve only recently joined the company, welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride. What a long, strange trip it’s become...