I’ve been banging on about The Light Keeper novel for a while – and obviously I would still very much like you to get a copy, spend time in that world where the seabirds soar and fall in love with the characters – but now I’d like to mention something else. There’s an album. A collection of songs, written by myself and the musician David Perry in response to the story and the characters of Sarah, Jack and Gabe, the Keeper. This summer we slipped into the Saffron Lounge studio, run by our mighty friend and producer Bruce Pont within walking distance of the cliffs where the story happens, to record the songs as live, playing and singing together. Bruce added voice, drums and keys and Phoene Cave, a very fine singer, gave us backing vocals. Then I recorded extracts from the novel to set up each song. The result is The Light Keeper by The Light Keepers (see what we did there?) and it’s available now on iTunes, Spotify and all the usual streaming services as well as for direct download here. What does it sound like? The best way to tell you is to play you something, so here below is Holding Out For More, a song about the love between the Keeper and his partner Rí in their early days. Hope you like it. Let me know. We’ll be launching the album in the cinema of the Towner, a world class gallery, on Thursday December 5 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available here. The performance will feature readings, the stories behind the novel and the songs as well as images from visual artists who have responded to the same stunning landscape. See you there, if you can make it. If not, settle down, choose your player and have a listen to The Light Keeper. Thanks.
Seven songs found or re-found in the last seven days, just for fun and the sake of it. This latest weekly list is a little more mellow than the last, or melancholy if you prefer. I do. The lonesome note. A wonderful song about Samson; the aching and longing of a tune you may have heard on Wallander; Luke Sital-Singh’s brand new cover of a Travis banger; Michael Stipe and 1 Giant Leap listening to the silence; Cornershop in a new light; Buddy Rich’s 12-year-old daughter stepping up to the mic for the first time and Sheila Chandra’s chilling take on a very old song. Love is a killing thing, indeed. (That’s Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah by the way. She was also a brilliant inventor who helped create the technology behind mobile phones. Fact.)
My friend George Luke has a show on Chiltern Voice, playing music from around the world on a Sunday night. It’s really fantastic. You can listen to it here. Inspired by that, for the love of music and the fun of it, I’ve started putting together a weekly playlist of seven songs I’ve found (or re-found) in the last seven days. Here’s this week’s playlist featuring a bit of Doors at the disco, a Welsh language singer making a samba record with musicians in Rio, Afrobeat master Tony Allen going all James Bond followed by a track he made with Fela Kuti and the great drummer Ginger Baker, who died today; then there’s a song about love making you want to blow up like an atom bomb, followed by a real (as far as I know) recording of a radio advertisement from the Fifties, telling American kids what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. Duck and cover. That one’s pretty disturbing. Anyway, here it is. Any suggestions for next week? Please do comment and share.
No, of course not. But there I was, singing a song on board a boat on the Thames when I saw the water was undoubtedly, unnervingly, half way up the glass. People were looking worried. They were looking for the exits. I was worried. Wouldn’t you have been? Look at it …
Thanks to Helen Daniels for the picture. This was an alarmingly literal response by the river to the words of the song: “Let your love roll down, like the wave turn.”
We were on the Tamesis Dock, a barge venue moored opposite the House of Parliament, on the day of one of those big crisis votes. No metaphors there about a sinking ship, oh no. All I could think of was to keep singing, with The Light Keepers, the band we formed after David Perry and I wrote a set of songs in response to the novel. Anyway, we didn’t drown. The windows held fast. Stories were told, drink was taken. Fun was had.
There are more events coming up, could you get to one of them? It would be good to see you there.
I promised free stuff, so I’m giving away a pair of tickets to each one, to anyone who can show they have reviewed the book on Amazon, GoodReads or anywhere else. I’ll pick the winners in a week’s time, so you’ve got until then to stick something up somewhere and get in touch. With a bit of luck we’ll stay dry …
See you there!
I’d love to see you at one of the events I’ve got coming up, where I’ll be reading from The Light Keeper, telling the real-life stories behind my debut novel and singing some new songs written to go with it.
PUBLICATION DAY IS AUGUST 15 AND YOU CAN PRE-ORDER HERE
These are the other dates, do please come and say hello:
Friday August 9 at 1.30pm
Words Pavillion at the Firle Vintage Fair, hosted by Much Ado Books
Thursday, August 15 at 7pm
Publication day party at DC1 Café, Eastbourne SOLD OUT
Wednesday, August 21 at 7.30pm
Sunday, August 25 at 5.45pm
Greenbelt Festival, first ever full performance of The Light Keeper readings and songs
Friday, August 30 at 7pm
The Light Keeper at the Wish Tower, a rare chance to see and hear stories and songs inside an historic venue built to defend the South Coast from Napoleon! Tickets are free but numbers are very limited because of the building, so get in quickly for this one.
Thursday, September 5 at 7pm
London launch of The Light Keeper with stories and songs on a moored boat in Vauxhall. Free entry by ticket only. DETAILS SOON
Friday, September 13 at noon
The Light Keeper in the Lantern Room of the Belle Tout lighthouse, exclusive performance for a dozen mailing list members only, sign up here for the chance to win tickets and/or a room for two at the lighthouse that night.
Saturday, September 14 at noon
Waterstones, Hastings, Meet The Author free event with readings, stories and songs
Saturday, October 12 at 7.30pm
Pies, Peas and Performance event hosted by Paul Cookson in Retford
More to be announced soon. If you’d like me to come and talk, read and sing in your front room, church, pub, club, venue or stadium, get in touch email@example.com