Sunday, April 23, 2017


Many thanks to Dexter Bentley for playing this track on his Resonance show yesterday. After 25 years in the suburban wilderness, I started writing songs again after Jamie McDermot (of the Irrepressibles, and one of the most talented students I've ever come across, plus one of the nicest people) encouraged me to start playing again. It was like floodgates opening- I wrote so many songs. Some of them ended up on the album Suburban Pastoral, which I released on my own just over ten years ago, and which is finally almost sold out.
Some of them didn't, and exploring the depths of the computer the other day I found this one. It was just a  bit too stark (and 5/4 time a bit of a stutter) to make it on to the album, whose track listing was chosen by a group of trusted friends.
The song harks back to childhood Sunday mornings spent in Jesmond Presbyterian Church, sitting in an uncomfortable wooden line with my family under the cavernous ceiling, and listening to the poetry of the Bible, where landscapes a million miles away from the grey bleakness of Newcastle (how the city has changed!) warmed my imagination.
I had never seen a bullrush, but I had seen pictures of them.
And the cruelty at the heart of the story: well, what has changed? All that has happened is that the cruelty inflicted by psycopathic rulers has become more sophisticated and more twisted. Gassing children! When the 'bible' of today's history is read by future humans, always supposing that we continue to exist as a life-form, nobody will believe it. I am so angry to have so little power to stop the cycle of arms sales and warfare, which is really just a demo-tape for the weapons industry.

And thank you Dexter, and I was thrilled to appear on the same bill as Poly Styrene singing Germ-Free Adolescents, which is my second favourite X-Ray Spex track after Oh Bondage, Up Yours!
Dexter's show is here:

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