the state of things


The Return of The Solomon Grundys

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:11 on 10 February 2009

And so we come at last to the great recording studio session of our times...

I labour under the illusion that I'm as able a songwriter as I am a novelist. Perhaps that just means I'm not very good at either. Since I write books for a living, and have an agent and all that goes with it, that makes me a novelist, regardless of whether I'm actually any good at it or not.

'What do you do?' people ask at dinner parties.

'I'm an astronaut,' I reply, and then when they say, 'No fucking way!', I say, 'Yeah, fair enough. I write books.'

I never say, I write songs. However, I've been writing songs for coming on twenty-five years. The thing is that I've never tried to do anything with them, bar a few abject attempts to pedal them in the late 80's. I just sit at home and write songs and never send them anywhere. So I can't say I'm a songwriter, even though I write songs in exactly the same manner as someone else who writes songs, but gets paid for it.

This is all about to change. That's the plan. On Thursday and Friday my band partner Richard and I are going into a Warsaw recording studio, so that we can both start calling ourselves songwriters. At the moment the band is The Solomon Grundys, although since the MySpace page isn't up yet and the album sleeve hasn't been printed, this may change.

Two days isn't very long in a recording studio, so we're going for a stripped down, basic sound, a bit Dylan early 60's. Mostly acoustic guitar, a bit of bongo, some harmonica, and our latest instrument of mass destruction, the slide banjo.

As one can tell from the term, slide banjo, this is all very rock 'n roll. Drugs, drink, women, fruit smoothies, ibuprofen, a cup of tea and the Guardian puzzles page.

Given that the name Solomon Grundy appears to have been used by various bands on MySpace, I thought maybe we could use something a little different, like Solomon Green. But then, Solomon Green sounds like an old dude in a gold suit singing Fly Me To The Moon at a kid's bar mitzvah. Don't suppose it has to be Solomon anything. I just like the name Solomon. Sounds so.... wise.

Tomorrow, the songs of The Solomon Grundys.

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