Friday, 18 March 2011


Its not a Tee Pee time of the month again. February seemed to be bypassed but its back with a vengeance. Following on from January's "Ada Lovelace" instalment March goes back to a theme more open and ambiguous. Thank christ. Not A Tee Pee has been great for dragging me kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone. Ever since I was sixteen I seem to have limited myself to one style of song writing, I don't know why but the best songs that meant the most to me have all been about... well me. Yup thats right I'm a self obsessed bastard. Well thats not entirely true. They always say write what you know and always be honest, but this can lead to your material turning stale as your life goes the same way. If my heart is breaking the material will keep flowing. If not then my mind goes dry. There was a time when I had only written 3 songs in 4 years in my capacity as a singer songwriter out with Bench or Katerwaul. Since we started Not A Tee Pee last Oct I've at least been forced to write a song a month, a good way to keep the creative juices flowing.

So joining my Tee Pee collection of His Sighs & Silhouette (Mud), No Sleep Till Val Halla (Vikings) and Ada Love Lost (Ada Love Lace) is These Silver Darlings. In a way to adapt to being out of my comfort zone I've tried to write a story as I would a film. With short films I am used to cutting bits out to fit the running time or to tighten up the pace. Its the same with writing lyrics to the chord structure of a song, in this case an alt country ballad.

I came up with the idea of a couple at breaking point. We jump into the story in the aftermath of a terminated pregnancy, Charlie and Jenny don't know what will become of their relationship. Jenny feels she has done the right thing for her and her quality of life, but Charlie does not see it the same way. His feelings are conflicted. Has Jenny murdered their unborn child? Has she stolen an opportunity for him to become a father? Its hard for him to hate her when he loves her so much.

In the lyrics I've used the moonlight as the link to the "Silver" theme. The way the moon can seem silver, the way it reflects off of the metal on Charlie's car or the way the dried tears on Jenny's face glint silver in the moonlight. The last but the most relevant of all the Sliver metaphors is in the last verse. We cut fifty years into the future and Charlie and Jenny celebrate a silver anniversary. Is it their marriage or the anniversary of this event? I've left that open, but joining them are their two kids, raising a glass to their parents and toasting their love for each other. Charlie and Jenny however have not forgotten their children's older sibling that never was but in a way it has made them stronger and in some way has helped keep them together.

I have decided that I'm going to try and design artwork for every Tee Pee song I write and "These Silver Darlings" is the first. Above you'll see what would most probably be the sleeve to the single and below is the artwork for the lyrics.

I am really enjoying these Not A Tee Pee collections and long may they continue as they challenge me Sonically, Lyrically and now Visually.



Its Midnight and Charlie's hands, wring the leather of the wheel

The moon it highlights the silver and the steel

The scenes of the night play out like a movie in the dark

What has she given up? The fear or the spark?

Its Midnight and Jenny stares at the lake, in a blanket of fear

The moon it highlights silver salt from her tears

The life that is lost, may tear them apart

What has she given up? The end or the start?

She feels so lonely

He is so angry

She feels so bad

But life sometimes can be that sad

Now Fifty Years on, Charlie raises his glass

To his wife Jenny and their kids who have grown up at last

But what of the first, never got the chance to be born?

A life that was lost, for a love to live on.

They are so happy

These silver darlings

Dance in the moonlight

It takes some time to set things right

Friday, 25 February 2011


Just finished the first draft of lyrics for a new Katerwaul tune. Its called February and its about… well February. February 2011 to be exact. Without coming across like a total winge its just about how February always seems to be the longest month despite it having the least days in it. And its never an eventful month and wish it’d just fuck off already.


February glows through the thunder and snow

On the distant horizon love’s tangled branches grow

This violent mist blankets the fields below

The February sun will never show

Your breath will escape your lips

Into the night and into the mist

February waits like a haunted freight

Clicking down rusted tracks across a burnt out state

Fraying wires overhead infuse these fields of hate

February will always come too late

Your breath will escape your lips

Into the night and into the mist

I will take your hand and into mine

And we’ll watch as lanterns kiss the sky


Shaun Hughes is due to start shooting his unconventional western in April. And to try and generate interest with some familiar face actors I cooked up these two designs as teaser posters. I can’t give too much away but I can tell you I will be composing the Music for this exciting project.

Friday, 14 January 2011

From Across The Sea: The Last Coffee Shop In Paris

The Last Coffee Shop In Paris is a film project I started in 2004 during my time studying my Masters at DJCAD. It is initially based on Kevin Gillespie's short story "The Last Coffee Shop In Santiago". A story about a man's quest to find his girlfriend in the Chilean city of Santiago. With only the knowledge that she works in a local coffee shop and a polaroid of them in better times, he braves the foreign country to try and persuade her to come home. I found that "Santiago" was a compelling story about culture shock but also the similarities between what we call home and what others also perceive as their home, that no matter where you are in world the same things you find so familiar also happen in places so foreign to you.

After a few drafts of the script I was ready to begin production of a short film based on "Santiago". I considered changing the location to Barcelona or Madrid but funding issues hampered the project and it shelved. Now almost six years later I have adapted this once again into a feature film. I have added two new characters and this time changed the city to Paris. The film now also deals with the themes of loneliness and what people do to be happy or in some cases just to be close to someone.

This film is still in the pre-production stage and we are trying to gain funding to get this film off the ground, but here are three teaser posters I designed just to generate some more interest and have something to show other than just the script.

We hope to have shot this film by the end of the year.