My head has been in too many different places today. Excited to be rehearsing with the girls tonight. Still trying to decide what to play at the arts festival for the two-album show. And still not sure if I will manage to shave off my goatee and moustache in the interval to transform into The Soho Hobo, as well as getting into the tie-bar, cuff link, knitted tie and Mark Powell suit in time. It’s lasted well that suit – I bought it in 2012. Maybe I should rehearse shaving and time it? Need to do something about the Save Soho film too. Can’t believe it’s been sitting there for over a year now.
Sat down in the studio to record Kathy’s song today. Started off thinking it would be a very rough round the edges Lennon ‘Give Peace a Chance’ clattering acoustic guitar and claps vibe, but then I wasn’t too sure. The words sound too hymn-like. What is it with writing these hymn like songs? What Love Would Want is like that. Maybe I could get a paid job with the church? They have money after all. I remember when I was signed to V2 and I had a song called ‘Dancing With Jesus’ and a music industry person said ‘nah, it’s too religious Tim’. Maybe this is where I have been going wrong all these years? But where would you go if you wanted to be a jingle writer for God?
Anyway, the song is definitely not 100% churchlike, but it does sound like something children might sing around the piano in the assembly hall. I wrote it the day I found out that Kathy had lost her home in a fire. Although I thought about her and her mother when I was writing it, I also thought about all the people who had lost their homes this year. People who have lost their way and need someone to help them get back on track again. It’s a simple song really, that means something to me. I hope I manage too record it as I imagine it.
My left hand is rotten on piano, so I called Graeme Taylor and asked him point blank if he could record piano in his studio on my new song and send it over to me, as a favour. I told him what it was about and within one hour, incredibly, he had sent me back a perfect piano take that sounds like the kind of thing you might accompany a children’s choir with…played by Chris Martin (without the flub notes obviously).
Graeme Taylor (pianist) and Tim at East Finchley Arts Festival 2017
So now I have a clattering acoustic guitar, a God-like piano take from Graeme and a rough vocal guide. I’m bunging harmonies all over the shop until I realise – this needs a choir. For a second, I think – I could do a ‘Tim’ choir and duplicate myself for a couple of hours, but it won’t sound real. It needs the sound of people singing together. At the same time, and with reverence. A choir fit for a cathedral. How can I do that? I still have this show on Friday (the 13th) and I have no idea what I will be doing after it…so perhaps I could ask my friends in The Camerata Chamber Choir on The Isle of Wight if they would like to sing on the song the day after my show? It would be extra special to have some of the most beautiful voices I have ever listened to appear on Kathy’s song, and get to spend some time with the Camerata gang – who are actually like my Isle of Wight family – I love to spend time with them.
I called my best friend Nim, who has helped me with pretty much all of my creative projects for the past decade. Clearly she is as mad as I am. Although unlike me, she can drive and owns a car. “Do you fancy going to The Isle of Wight this weekend Nim?”.
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