‘Lisbon’ is the first song I’m releasing as part of my 12 Songs’ project where I’ll be releasing a new song and accompanying video at 12pm (midday) on the 12th of each month for the next 12 months.

It isn’t in fact about the city of Lisbon, but was inspired by a TV show called ‘Somebody Feed Phil’. The presenter Phil Rosenthal was so enamoured with his visit to the city of Lisbon that his childlike enthusiasm struck me, so I thought that our own ‘Lisbon’ could be wherever you want it to be and you need to keep hold of it and not take it for granted.

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We’ve entered Phase 3 and lockdown is now easing in Spain, although to be honest I still feel a bit nervous leaving the little village where I live. Having said that, however terrible the pandemic has been, lockdown has fortunately enabled me to write and record a lot of new material in my home studio and as a result, I’ve been thinking of changing the ‘traditional’ process of releasing 2 or 3 singles to then release an album. I want to do something different (for me at least) this time.

So I’ve decided to release a new song and accompanying video at 12pm (midday) on the 12th of every month for the next 12 months.

Although I’m used to writing and recording music, I’m still very new to filming and making music videos, however it will be a challenge and I think it could be fun. I’ve done 2 videos so far for ‘Leaving Berlin’ from my last album (watch it here) and ‘Lisbon’ for this ’12 Songs’ project and I’ve really enjoyed it.

Another reason for the ’12 Songs’ project is that some of the songs I’ve written have been quite different in style to what I’d normally write

The new project is still under the band name of Distance Of Hope which is unusual as for the last 20 years whenever I’ve put out a new set of songs, I’ve always changed the name of the project/band. Again, this time I wanted to do something different and keep the same name. Although some of the songs are a natural evolution of the Distance Of Hope sound, others are in a completely different style which has been hugely liberating and hugely enjoyable to write and record.

So there you go, I’ve made a commitment. Stranger things have happened.

The first of the 12 songs with accompanying video is ‘Lisbon’ and it will be released at 12pm this Friday 12 June.

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Image credit Bauhaus Scene (Lis Beyer or Ise Gropius in a tubular steel chair by Marcel Breuer), photo: Erich Consemüller, 1926

I’ve just finished work on my second music video. This one is for ‘Lisbon’, one of a batch of new songs I’ve written and recorded over the last couple of months of lockdown.

Being a ‘music person’, I never thought I’d get into the visual side of things but I’ve actually quite enjoyed it as it’s been quite a challenge technically and creatively. Am looking forward when we can all get outside again more and come up with interesting stuff from ‘the world outside’. Especially looking forward to spending time by the sea again.

Featured image is from the session for the ‘Lisbon’ video which you’ll be able to watch soon…

Berlin is one of my most favourite cities in the world and when I was last there in November, I visited the Bauhaus Museum there which was phenomenal. As you’ll see in the video, I was especially taken with some of the film, as well as the design you could see there.

It was quite easy to enjoy the sense of being immersed in these films and I hope you get that sense while watching this video for ‘Leaving Berlin’ which started from a David Bowie song ‘Where Are We Now?’ which references Berlin mixed in with my own experience of this wonderful city.

Perhaps inevitably, I’ve always been more of an audio as opposed to video-oriented person and so, exploring making videos for my songs has been quite a challenge. Having said that, with the help of some very helpful friends, we’re putting together some ideas for videos for some of the songs. This morning I went out for my first walk in more than two months since lockdown started to get some photos and video footage. No idea if it will be of any use but we shall see. Either way, I’m learning something new and that’s good.

Been enjoying playing some records today. I’d forgotten how much I like just sitting down and listening to them.

I’ve recently been listening to Tim’s Twitter Listening Party where people listen to a selected album at the same time and while it’s playing, musicians who made the album tell stories about their experiences and swap comments with fans. It’s just a bunch of people who love music talking about music in a quiet little space of the internet. In these strange days we live in, it’s a lovely thing to be a part of. There are a few albums a day every day so there’s always something you like and also things you never knew you liked. One of the lovely things about it!