A Sketch, A Memory

A misspelt prayer
on a child’s gravestone
Standing just a few feet away
from where your body lies

A ‘misspent’ youth
sometimes made your
humour a little hard to take
but I loved you anyway

And I know
you would have laughed with me
In the face of
such a tragic absurdity


These are lyrics to a song I wrote about my friend Alfie, some ten years ago now.

I remember laughing with him a lot. We both shared a dark and occasionally cruel sense of humour. As is often the way with these things, especially when combined with a lack of sobriety and the vigour of youth, the ever-shifting line of acceptability would sometimes get trampled over.

There’s a grave near his, the grave of a child. The epitaph is misspelt. I can imagine us laughing for a lack of knowing how else to react. Sometimes things are so sad and absurd, that’s all you can do.

My dad has described the accompanying musical composition as ‘pastoral’. It’s one of my favourite pieces I’ve written. Sprung forth in an instant from the depths of the unconscious.
I’ve never been able to record it.

Paris Song

After 20 (twen-tee!) years, my old band Bogus Gasman have finally released their debut album. It’s called ‘Don’t Get Your Hopes Up’ and you can listen to it HERE

Here’s an old song I did with them. It’s the only one where I sang, it’s the only one that was just us as a 3 piece (shout out Screw and Eoin, the best rhythm section in the game) and easily the shortest one we did, barring the 8-Second Song.

It’s about a time I was in Paris, staying with my mate Sophie, desperately trying to dry myself out after a tough run of life. I spent the days while she was at work exploring the city, and one day I saw something that threw me for an existential loop.


So, his body was cold
Was slow

A peaceful look
Through sober eyes
One (of) the most beautiful things
That I’ve seen for a while

It was recorded by Tim Cedar of the excellent Part Chimp, and my set up here is a Travis Bean TB1000A plugged straight into my Kelly 50 Watt Treble and Bass knock-off, turned ALL THE WAY UP. No pedal, no gain, just an amp so loud it distorts. Beautiful.

Me, my dad and the Blythe

I was recently asked by the Guardian to write a few words about my dad. I was really pleased to do this, as it’s something I would never have done otherwise.

When he read it, my dad responded with “Oy! A eulogy, he’s written!”, to that ever-present invisible audience he delivers all his best jokes to.

I suggested we take the photos in The Blythe Hill Tavern, because it is
a) one of the the best pubs in London/ the country/ the world
and (more importantly)
b) one minute walk from my parent’s house

We sat around and had photos taken of us and felt a bit silly at first, but Camilla Greenwell did a great job of making the whole thing fun and enjoyable. She’s an excellent photographer as well, which helps!

The whiskey we’re drinking is not the whisky that paid for the feature- we were drinking a drop called ‘The Quiet Man’, which I chose on account of the name. When I was a kid we used to go on family holidays, staying at our friends place in Connemara. The John Ford film The Quiet Man was shot nearby, and there are numerous pictures of my old man and I recreating this scene:

Image result for the quiet man bridge
Big leggy

If I ever get round to it, I’ll scan and upload them here.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.