Monday, 20 May 2013

Songs are like children.

It must be flattering to have one's song covered. Kirsty's song 'Broken-Hearted' hasn't even been released yet, except in the video I posted a few days ago, but it's already popped up on a Youtube video from a cafe/brewery in Brive-la-Gaillarde, in the Limousin area in France. I gather the performance was unpractised and the violinist hadn't even heard the song before, but I think it's charming.

I suppose songs are like children; you go through a trying confinement, give birth, and then one lets them go and they take on a life of their own (or not!).

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Eurovision 2013

Of course we can’t win. We won’t ever win again now, with the politics of it all. And we tell ourselves that we don’t even want to, which we do, and that it doesn’t matter, which it doesn’t, and that of course we never watch it because it just makes us angry and it’s not the kind of thing one admits to…but a lot of us will.

So here’s to Bonnie Tyler tonight, with her post-operative gravel voice, still rocking at my age. She’s earned a place in the Rock Hall of Fame several times over, but most of all for ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. The 1983 video, appropriately filmed in Holloway Sanatorium for the Insane, still works, and the song remains one of the biggest grossing singles of all time.

Go Bonnie.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Daughter Kirsty's new single 'Foundations' has just been released. It was recorded and mastered in his Cookham Studio by legendary producer Stuart Epps (Elton John, Robbie Williams, George Harrison, Bill Wyman, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Mark Owen, Barry White, Kiki Dee, Paul Weller, Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Twisted Sister etc.). He's done a good job and so has she; I think you'll like it.

You can listen to the song on Stuart Epp's website. Turn up the volume and enjoy.

Available on Amazon here for a paltry 69p, and it should be on iTunes in the next few days.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Julian Williams

In an OCD sort of way I've been cataloguing the various pictures I've bought over the years. In the attic I dug out a small roll of pencil sketches of ballet dancers I bought from an art student in Covent Garden Market in the 1980s. I fell for them at the time, but somehow never got round to doing anything with them, and they've suffered a bit in the meantime, which makes me a bit of an iconclast, I suppose.

I asked the artist for his name when I bought them. He replied that he didn't sign his sketches, so I explained that I wasn't expecting that, but wanted to remember who had drawn them. He wrote his name and address on the back of one of the sheets.

Recently the internet enabled me to track him down. His name is Julian Williams. When I met him he was studying at the Sir John Cass Art School in London. He now lives in the rather splendid Lampeter House in Pembrokeshire, where he runs a publishing company, ‘Two Bad Mice’ and with his wife Mami hosts operatic concerts in the grounds each year.

I was right to buy those sketches; he draws beautifully. This is one of many sketches he did this week on a short break in Venice. It is a family of French tourists he saw in a square; I hope he won’t mind me posting it.

I particularly like a series of drawings and story he did last year, called ‘The Mouse Olympics’, which you can visit here. It deserves to be published, so if anyone reading this agrees and knows the right sort of publisher…

Thursday, 9 May 2013


New video of daughter Kirsty's song, 'Brokenhearted' just completed. This was filmed and produced by the talented writer, director and cinematographer James Crow, who wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film 'GBH' set in the London riots of 2011, which starred Nick Nevern, Kellie Shirley and Steven Berkoff amongst others.

This song reached the semi-final of the 2012 UK Songwriting Contest.

Kirsty MacLeod - We'll Be Broken Hearted Again (Music Video) from James Crow on Vimeo.

Litigious doors

Our nice postman Andy delivered a Royal Mail flyer yesterday, advising us that our local delivery office is relocating. The small print at the bottom states, ‘Royal Mail, the Cruciform and the colour red are registered trade marks of Royal Mail Group Ltd.’

Apparently the colour red (viz. Pantone 485) has been a registered trademark of Royal Mail for some years; I’m just slow on the uptake. Bagging a colour as a trademark seems a bit unreasonable, particularly when the colour (or more precisely, Pantone 485) also features on umpteen other logos, including General Electric, Ray Ban, Vodaphone, 3M, Prudential, Toyota, Hyundai, Mobil and Transport for London, not to mention the Red Cross, the Scottish Premier League and the flags of Germany, Canada, Spain, Bolivia and England. Switzerland is another, which also happens to employ the cruciform. Presumably the Swiss postal service would be in big trouble now, if it hadn’t plumped for Veuve Clicquot yellow instead.

Registering colours has become a bit of a trend. Cadburys own purple (Pantone 2685C), BP green, the AA mustard yellow, T-Mobile magenta, UPS brown, Tiffany Cambridge blue – and so on. They belong to a family of unconventional trademarks which include sounds and smells (if the Royal Mail were to choose a smell characteristic of its service, it should probably be that of poo. I say that as one who has just had to pay it £8 to collect a £2 customs fee on an imported CD).

Where has the Delivery Office moved to? Maidstone’s Spectrum Business Estate. Presumably it was short of red. Meanwhile, I wonder if I ought to repaint some of our doors to avoid litigation with Royal Mail, John Deere, Caterpillar and Viagra?