2012: The Raven’s Empire

It all began with the untimely death of an artist friend, Greg Daville. I wanted to write a song to keep his memory alive and out came The Day the Devil Slipped Away. Greg insisted that a playlist of songs with Moog solos be played at his wake, which is why a Moog lines runs throughout most of the song. Greg’s coffin also bore the words, ‘Flame On’, which is what we’re all yelling at the end of the track. From here unfolded the idea of an album of songs on the theme of death and hauntings. I guess we all go through a Goth phase, mine just came rather late.

For those who are interested in such things, Death Won’t Have Me was inspired by the world’s shortest ghost story (50 words), Death and the Gardener, written by Jean Cocteau. It was a difficult task, lyrically, to re-set the story in the north of England and make it work. On reflection, I think I found my limits as a lyricist.

We Will Be Here is an anthem for the dead and was inspired by a mantra overheard at an ashram in California. I couldn’t get the rhythm of the mantra out of my head and once I’d found a chord sequence to go over it the words and the song came from there. It remains one of my favourite songs by Oddfellows.