Time Keeps Rolling


I’ve long been interested in personal rituals and the comfort they bring.

My father in law, George, used to play the same Paul Robeson record every Sunday as part of Sunday lunch.

I love the idea of playing that record as marking the passing of time, and this song is based around the first song on that album: Ol’ Man River.

Paul The Bag


Paul is a real person.  I met him on the 2132 from London Victoria to Bognor Regis one evening, where he broke my hand. 

He burst into the train carriage where I was sitting on my own, and demanded that he sit in my seat. Paul was in his mid 60s, and bristling with anger, which he seemed to want to talk about.

Once I moved seats, he calmed down and told me that he’d just lost a lot of money gambling. He then told me that he had previously been a gangster, working in Charlie Richardson’s gang in South London. His gang name was “Paul The Bag” as it was his job to carry illicit goods, and he seemed genuinely surprised that I hadn’t heard of him.

Paul then showed me what a life of working in a gang had done to his hands. He had fingers like a pack of heavily scarred sausages and noted that my hands had clearly never done a day’s work in their lives. He then showed me what they do to hands like mine in his gang, bending my fingers back until a metatarsal snapped. I have no idea why I let him do this.

Three Hail Marys


Every family has its myths, and one of ours is that my grandfather was excommunicated from the Catholic church for hitting a priest. My father always swore that it wasn’t true, but at his funeral, it was the main topic of conversation.

Three Hail Marys was basically the first song that I wrote, based on an exercise to write something about your family, and helped by a folk singer from Newcastle, Eric Sharp. I ignored it for over a year as I assumed it couldn’t have been any good, but when we played it live, it quickly became the audience’s and my father’s favourite.

Inkling (demo)


Here is something a bit different from Steve the Bass. It's a little experiment to see what we'd sound like as an 80s electrosynth band. It's not mastered, or indeed particularly finished, but it is fun. 

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Charles Atlas


This didn't make it onto Empty Nest, as our producer, Boo, felt it didn't fit there. It is based on a Brazilian song called Lenda by Ceu, and tells the story of one man and his overtight swimming trunks. Boo was probably right.


Off The Grid (demo)


As we start to write our difficult second album, here is a snippet of what the songs might sound like. This is a very rough home recording, just acoustic guitar and voice, but we like it.