New songs from my band the Subtitles

I joined The Subtitles as vocalist and rhythm guitarist late last year.  A few months ago we started writing our own material.

We picked two songs that we liked, worked on them and then recorded them a few weeks ago. After some refining and mixing, they are now finished. I hope.  :)
The links below should take you to them.  If not, leave a comment to let me know – or email me, or @-reply me on twitter. 
I would really appreciate some feedback on them.  They are yet to go on the band website but soon will.
Hopefully, we’ll get some gigs sorted out soon so we can try these (and others) out on a live audience.
Thanks in advance – I really appreciate you taking the time.
The songs:
Falling – click here
Walk Away – click here

Added on 1 October:

I got some great feedback from people who kindly listened to the songs and shared their thoughts. I am really grateful, as are the other guys in the band.

This is some of what was said.  But I’d love to hear some more opinions.

  • Wow
  • Sounds great
  • Impressed
  • Awesome stuff
  • Both very good
  • instrumental section in Walk Away is too long – loses a bit of momentum, I thought it was the outro
  • Both *might* benefit from some vocal harmonies on the choruses
  • Seriously am now humming Walk Away
  • Your drummer’s style is very musical rather than “technical” if that makes sense – suits your material well

I don’t want you but I need you

Smokey Robinson said it best when he sang I don’t want you but I need you.
As one of the most gifted song-writers in the popular music genre, this observation of what it’s like to be in love with someone you know is bad for you is beautifully crafted.
It also kinda sums up most people’s relationship status with Facebook.
I can’t think of an example of another organisation with such a vast following of people who are so quick to voice their dislike of the service.
And therein lies Facebook’s problem. Timelines and profile tweaks aside, it needs to do something about the toxic relationship it has with its users, many of whom are only sticking around because their friends are too.
It’s like a massive Mexican stand-offIf the day ever comes when enough people finally walk away from Facebook it could start a craze.
So far there hasn’t been a viable alternative to lure people away. For all the fuss, hype and expectation, GooglePlus won’t do it.  And there simply isn’t anyone else with the size and reach to be a realistic threat to Facebook.
That’s not much of a business model though, is it? Our customers are stuck with us and we are stuck with the fact they don’t like us.
If I was gambling man, I’d be looking at Renren as a possible longer-term Facebook rival. But that’s probably a topic for another day.
In the meantime, Facebook has to do something to stem the tide of discontent and griping.
Will Timeline be enough to do this?
No, of course not. But if it forms part of a coherent strategy to start putting people at the heart of the Facebook experience, giving them something to like – in the real sense of the word, not a silly fake Facebook like – then maybe it could be on to something.
Now, why not treat yourself to Smokey Robinson & The Miracles singing You Really Got a Hold on Me – the video and audio quality isn’t the best, but it’s worth it. Your soul will thank you.

Give us your thoughts – Dan Purvis set to music

A few weeks ago I recorded a phone interview that I did with Dan Purvis (Global Director of PR at Meltwater Group, he’s also a former colleague of mine at Octopus Communications and a friend).

I cut up part of the interview and dropped extracts into a dance track I had composed a few weeks prior to that.

It’s called “Give Us Your Thoughts” and Dan & I hope you enjoy it..!

Loneliness and the late night vocalist

I’ve never really written much about my band, The Subtitles, on here.

We rehearse most Tuesday evenings between 9pm and 11:30pm.

Each night driving back from rehearsing – in recent weeks anyway – I’ve passed a woman who always arrests my attention.

I often seem to encounter a red traffic light at a particular junction. And she is always there.

She is what, when I was a boy, would have been called a tramp. Although there’s something about her that makes me think she isn’t actually homeless in the classic meaning of that word.

But home is more than just bricks and mortar, a roof over your head.

Probably in her mid-to-late 60s, painfully thin, with very long straggly grey hair and bedraggled clothes, she looks to be about six feet tall. And almost not-of-this-time. Or even this world.

On each of the occasions I’ve seen her she has been scrutinising the houses for sale displayed in an estate agent’s shop windows.

She seems as fascinated by them as I have become by her.

Agitatedly rushing from one window to the other, she looks intently at the houses advertised and seems to be comparing the details of each as she stalks the shop front.

Why is she doing this? What is her story? I am filled with an urge to leave my car, get out and talk to her. Who knows, maybe one day I will. But I haven’t yet.

The most I’ve seen her carrying is a bag of shopping, bought at a near-by late-night convenience store. Which is the main reason I think she lives somewhere, has a roof over her head, bricks and mortar that surround her.

But is that her ‘home’ I wonder.

Is it a place where she is surrounded by love and warmth, a sanctuary from the obstacles life has put in her path? Does it contain family, or a loved-one? Memories of what was. Regrets over what was not. Is she lonely? Or maybe just alone.

Does she look at the houses for sale and wonder about the lives people lead when they make them their home?

Then, inevitably, the traffic lights change. And I continue my journey home.

Footnote: On Tuesday 30 October 2012, my wife and I were driving back home from the cinema (James Bond: Skyfall, very good it was too). We drove past the woman. It was the first time anyone else I know has seen her. So, she’s real. And I felt like I had shared something intensely personal.

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