Time Will Bring The Sea 2017

This is a reworking of a song that appears on the Music from Holy Vale CD. Holy Vale is a very special place on St. Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly. It is right in the centre of the island, and although the sea only a mile or so away it is about as far away as it gets, and it is, of course, only a matter of time …

I wanted to simplify the music a bit and add a few words, without completely reinventing it so it has kept the mandolin and recorder feel. The percussion sounds are quite different to the original.


2017 was an exceptionally beautiful spring here at Pistyll Gwyn. Good weather, multitudes of wild flowers and birds and the crowning glory of the hawthorn blossom. We have many hawthorn trees and this year’s display has been spectacular.

This piece of music evolved over the spring months and has come together today, as the end of May approaches and the hawthorn blossom starts to fall, heralding the start of summer.

Once A Boy

I regard this as one of my best songs, although it is a little painful for me to listen to. At the end of the 80s we were just starting to recognise the extent in our communities of child sexual and physical abuse. This song is based on no one person in particular – but my own memories, and incidents and events from the lives of children I was working with at the time. I was seeing firsthand the damage and ripple effects it could cause at the same time as seeking to understand how growing up gay in a homophobic environment had directed and coloured my own life. I hadn’t hurt people in the overt way of the children in my care, but in other ways? I wasn’t so sure.

Listening back at the song, I feel it is technically quite impressive. I can remember the care and precision that went into the writing, and for once I am happy with my vocal performance. The production, as ever, is limited by experience and equipment, but it achieves its goals.

As you can probably tell I am proud of this one!


This was written as part of a song-writing project at Exeter Arts Centre, collaborating in this instance with Chris (? – not sure of the surname now …). 

I had a surdo (brazilian samba drum) and wanted to do something different with it. I improvised the words while we played around with the rhythm, and found myself writing about a very dark period in my life, ten years or so earlier, when I lost my will to live. Thankfully some truly amazing friends were there to carry me when I couldn’t walk, and encourage me to stand again.

Dedicated to the wonderful Stuart Lindeman, without whom I’m not sure I’d be here today.

Tales Of Love

Not certain of the date on this one – mid 90s I think. It’s about a relationship ending that was just SO disappointing – I was as puzzled and dazed as I was hurt. This song came a couple of years after the event, and although it sounds like I was feeling very cynical and bitter, all I remember was what a good time I had writing and recording this! It pulled together events from 1991 (Exeter) and 1977 (Johannesburg) and playing it back now serves as a good reminder of both of those times.

Every word of this is true, in its own way …