I've just got back from Newcastle, where I've spent a couple of days with Tom (who doesn't look like Robson Green) and Martin Stephenson, working on Tom's songs; we have been mentoring him for a couple of months, Martin from Scotland and myself from England, and this was a chance for the three of us to meet up and see what would happen if we sat in a room for a few hours with guitars and biscuits.
Tom's got a well of song bits that he's been emailing to each of us, and we grew some of them into a couple of songs on the first day; one was a song about a bird of prey and a butterfly, which Martin particularly liked, and one was about Ivy, which I particularly liked, although we reckoned we cuold have picked on almost any of Tom's ideas, because he's got a really good sense of melody and lyrics. It was really fun, actually, and incredibly exciting to work on someone else's songs. By the end of that first day, Tom's voice was about 50% louder and more confident than it had been at the beginning, and we made some recordings on to DAT tape which were beautifully clear and strong, very simple recordings with the natural room reverb. And the songs came out great when they were finished.
Today, we started almost from scratch with a new one, Paperman, which was poppier than yesterday's (they both had a kind of bluesish feel although they weren't blues songs), and we managed to get that one finished enough to record too.
This was a blissful project, because it was direct and honest and very productive. I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend time, and for a person like me who has never had a hit as a songwriter, I am glad because if I was in that higher stratosphere of Songwritingland, I might never have had the chance to be involved in Tom's project. So thank you Tom!
I was knackered on the drive home but my spirits were high and were buoyed up further by frequent sightings of car-transporters, which I absolutely love. I used to secretly play with Bruv's Matchbox car transporter, which was very scruffy but worked a treat, and if I ever become a millionaire, I shall buy not only a full-size car-transporter, but also a dumper truck, because I love those too.