A new album of live recordings from inside his taxi cab,
microphone over the steering wheel, guitar in lap on front
seat - any noises from outside welcome to join in the
performance. "It's taken all my life to feel confident
enough to make a record this way, but it feels right now.
Acoustic guitar is the thing for me! Always has been,
always will be. If you listen to James Taylor picking
'You've Got A Friend' or John Lennon strumming on
his 12 string on 'Hide Your Love Away' and your heart
swells then you know what I'm talking about.
From my bedroom days in Gillingham, Kent through
the 1960s to the years of living in London in the 80s,
I always composed songs on my acoustic guitar -
though the music business sent me off course for a
while. I have to admit I enjoyed the ride.
By the time my album 'The Englishman Abroad' was
released on Island in 1986 my acoustic roots had been
all buried in the fashionable electronic production of
Chris Blackwell signed me to his prestigious label, and
with a nice little advance, who was I to complain?
Surrounded by older wiser men I was eager to please
and with the successes that my producer Rupert Hine
had had, everything was going to work out fine.
Unfortunately it didn't - a mixture of personnel changes
and internal disruption caused my album to be one of
many casualties in the mid 80s. In a way, though, its
lack of success did me a favour because I didn't become
a "pop star" and now I am back writing, playing and
performing how I like best - acoustic guitar and voice -
or with Debbie Cassell in our duo 'Woman Wants Tall
Man - two acoustic guitars and two voices!!
Now I'm living the quiet life in Dorset, dividing my time
between music and driving a taxi and I've discovered I
can make quite nice recordings in the cab with my
minidisc, draping the microphone over the steering
wheel - all I need is to do a reasonable performance
and if the song's good enough…well, maybe that's for
you to decide, not me.
I'm building a little catalogue of 'Songs From A Taxi'
so I can dip into it if I ever feel I need to rediscover
something I've forgotten or overlooked… hopefully,
people might like some of it, too."