Songs from the room at the bottom of the garden

As I’m not playing live much at the moment I have started a weekend live stream. The aim is to play 4 or 5 new songs each time with the occasional request.

There are now Ten for you to watch. Last updated 12 December 2020

Next episode at 11.30 on Sunday

Episode 1
Jetpacks Monorails and Ray Guns
Not for Softies
Food Romance
Primrose Hill
Episode 2
Rainy Day at the seaside
Seaside Town
The Bar’s Still Here
Broken Smile
The Year I Hitchhiked down to Rome

Episode 3
Almost the Great Romance
Bed and Breakfast
Rolling Up the Sleeping Bags
If I didn’t Love you so Much
Episode 4
Best Year Yet
Coffee Monster
Shooting Stars
When I was Immortal
Songbirds Sing to Keep Warm
Episode 5
City of Lights (Searching for Street Art in Paris)
Club Fifty-Nine
Dig Beneath the Dust
If You Want to Stay Warm
“Friend” he said “We’re Growing Old”
Episode 6
Space Dogs
Tell me a Story
When I Grow Old
Stiff Upper Lip
The Boy in Red Canvas Shoes
Episode 7
She grows the best roses in Paris
Do you care enough to fail?
If I turned into a Beetle
Only see the sun, when it goes away.
Let’s call Monday “Sheep Day”
Episode 8
All I really need to be happy
Go to sleep my darling
Will we remember
Food Romance
Episode 9
The Quiet Hunt
Who are you pretending to be today
Unicorns and Superheroes
Episode 10
Too tall for the mosh pit
Blue Cheese
Are We Nearly There Yet
Happy Now
Primrose Hill

Try This At Home: Adventures in Songwriting: Frank Turner

In his new book Frank Turner takes 36 songs and explains how they were written. He also explains a lot about how they work. Each song has a separate chapter where Frank talks about the inspiration for the song, the words, the music and how the recording came together. 

I listened to the audio book version which is a great way to get close to the songs. One of my strongest impressions is the difference between the thoughtful intelligent analytical discussion of the songs and the wild passionate way he performs them. The contrast is dramatic and that is one of the main lessons from this book.

For a long time I used to say that Frank Turner was the most successful singer songwriter that most people have never heard of. In the last few years he has become more visible to a general audience but he has achieved this success by writing great songs and playing thousands of shows. Word of mouth seems to be his secret weapon.If you haven heard of him then check out this play list.

The first part of each chapter talks about the background of the song and the lyrics. Many of Frank’s songs are based on his experiences so there is an element of autobiography. He believes that he has the right to share what he likes about himself but says it is difficult when he is writing about relationships because they involve other people. How much should he share? Some of his songs are a combination of people pulled together under a common name, Amy is one of these.

He then goes on to discuss the music of the song, often this is in terms of chord patterns (I, IV, V or C,F G) but he also goes into more detail about how he moves away from these to make for interesting music. The song ‘Broken Piano’ was based on the sound of a faulty microwave oven that produced a sixth interval, singing other notes over the top of this drone made other harmonies.

The final part of each chapter covers the recording and performance of the song. How the band built up the arrangement and how the song changes as it was rehearsed. It’s interesting toi hear how much of the songs come alive in performance.

Best Bits: When you get stuck on a song just play what you have with confidence and see what happens when you get to the part that is missing, perhaps it will just come to you.  Don’t be afraid to redraft. Play a song as much as possible before you record it to rub off the rough edges. A great song is not just the words and the music; it is the way you present the finished piece. The arrangement is a major part of the song.

This is definitely worth five stars. Some great song writing ideas and an entertaining read.

Twenty Four Seven

There is a nice project, mainly in London at the moment called “notes to strangers”. (you can find out more about the project here . I was inspired to write a song and make a video as my own notes to strangers.

You can find this song on my new album. The first Five Years

The First Five Years

Image may contain: one or more people and text

I’ve been writing songs for a long time but only started recording them properly around five years ago. I have now put together seventeen of my favourite demos in an album. This is a very strange selection so I don’t expect anyone to like all of them. I’ll be surprised if you don’t find something you like.

The most popular track on Spotify at the moment is Schauinsland.

This has also been played a lot.

The album is on all online platforms.

Bricks – A reverse video

I made this video to encourage people to use local venues before they disappear. Worth watching for the reverse camera stuff alone.

Music released by DK Records.

Available on Spotify  and  iTunes

I wrote and performed the music and it was mastered by Paul Kenward at Stewie B’s.

A big thank you to all the people who appeared in the video including Henry, Eric, AdamLeonC , Steve, Wes Lawson Bowie, Jack Tinmouth, and Andre.

Dig Beneath the Dust

Dig Beneath the Dust    5.45

Climbing on a train for a trip to the seaside

New trunks, no bucket and spade

Promised myself to learn to swim this summer

Confidence starting to fade

It’s hard to learn to swim, a mouthful of sea, making me choke

But when you throw away the armbands you feel stronger

Growing up with every stroke

Dig beneath the dust, beneath the dust, beneath the dust

The past is never dead. It’s only sleeping

Dig beneath the dust, then tuck it into bed


Walking up to Sunninghill on Saturday morning

For library books and lardy cake

Mother traded green shield stamps for roller skates

I learned the hard way how to brake

You learn to ride a bike by falling off so many times

But it’s worth it in the end when you can do it

Without a friend holding on

Dig beneath the dust, beneath the dust, beneath the dust

The past is never dead. It’s only sleeping

Dig beneath the dust, then tuck it into bed


Every time you wake a memory, it changes

Picking over the details rearranges everything


Walking up to school each day, a different adventure

Scuffing my new shoes on the way

Creeping past the wolf hound snarling at the gate

They said he only, wants to play

A rocket to the moon, on the TV, in black and while

I thought they must be cold up there

I watched the moon, every night.

Dig beneath the dust, beneath the dust, beneath the dust

The past is never dead It’s only sleeping

Dig beneath the dust, then tuck it into bed


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Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill    5.45

Couple eating cupcakes in the morning light

They only met last night but still he knows

This man is different

It’s springtime, on Primrose Hill


Looking over London you can see the BT tower

Looking over London the misty sky climbs away,

Climbs away, climbs away


Couple lying on the grass in the afternoon sun

Watching the city having fun, sharing wine

Sharing time

It’s Summer time, on Primrose Hill


Couple watching fireworks on a cold dark night

He says Guy Fawkes was right, the city glows

Sulphur in the air

It’s autumn, on Primrose Hill


Couple walks a dog in the morning snow

London sparkles below, it’s almost a year

Since they first met here

It’s winter, on Primrose Hill



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