Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Crazy Man Michael

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I stole this song. Not only from it’s authors, Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson, but from my mum. It’s one of her standards, and I always remember her playing it when I was young. She can sing it like like Sandy Denny did, and does it far more justice than my gruffness can afford. With this in mind, I tried not to be too melodic with it.

It’s a hell of a haunting song – full of the kind of stuff decent folksongs are full of… but despite it’s macabre theme, it has a paradoxically uplifting effect for me – makes me think of my mum.

…so this is for her:

Crazy Man Michael by Owen Phillips

You’ve Still Got My Hat

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Another quick song, featuring the new Hammond organ.

You’ve Still Got My Hat by Owen Phillips

Quiet Please

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

I raided some public domain radio shows from so see if I could get any quirky noises for some new material. There’s some bizarre stuff on there, and the quality of a lot of it is suitably-dubious. It makes for a fairly easy music-penning experience, really. The process goes something like this.

1. Find and listen to old radio show. Find interesting bits and chop them out.
2. Make some noise using an array of instruments, that rambles a bit and doesn’t really go anywhere.
3. Intersperse the latter with the former, at random intervals.
4. Have a cup of tea. You’re done.

    I’m going to have to do some more of this…

    Quiet Please by Owen Phillips


    Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

    This could almost be a tribute to Dennis Hopper, who passed away at the weekend. How he lasted this long, God only knows. However, I’ve been tinkering around recently with the idea of taking slow and melancholy songs and completely folking them up. What better starting point than the old Johnny Cash/9 Inch Nails ditty… It’s more melancholy than a collie with a melon…

    …not any more!

    Hurt by Owen Phillips


    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

    Well, last week it was casually mentioned that another song would end up making its way onto here, and I told you no lie! What we have here is a rambling acoustic song interspersed with some rather oriental sounding banjo, and some completely impromptu harmonies.

    It also features my dog, whom you can hear rattling his little jingly collar somewhere during the chorus. (Every time the chorus comes around, because it was looped… Shhhh!) Good old Ted, you Rock n Roll Hound!

    As previously mentioned, this apparently is what comes out of me at two in the morning. Maybe I need to buy some more coffee…



    Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

    Here’s something I wrote last night. I’ve been struggling to get anything meaningful done recently. I just seem to have spent far too much time on other things and now the winter is here and it’s already pitch-dark by the time I get home, I just feel like the day is already done by the time I get in, and evenings are not nearly so productive.

    Anyway, this is a song based around a simple set of chords that I’ve been tootling around with recently. The words just came as I recorded it.

    I must have been in the right mood, because after finishing this I sat down again and got the most part of another song written and recorded too. By then it was the wee small hours though, so I left finishing that for another night. It’ll be up here soon, no doubt.

    Anyways. this song is called “News”. Enjoy.


    Live at the Turners’ Wedding

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
    Picture 6

    Avoiding the rain, or just scaring it off. I'm not sure.

    Well, it’s taken me a little while to get around to posting this. Back in October I was booked to play at a wedding, specifically that of Graham and Karen Turner, at a crazy old monument of a place called Carr Hall, which is near Halifax. It was a bit of a manic day getting everything together, avoiding the rain, and trying to find the place (blindly following a sat-nav that blatantly refused to acknowledge the existence of the M62, and repeatedly tried to take me across it).

    Anyway. I eventually found the place, unloaded colossal amounts of gear, and made some noise for a few hours. The rain must’ve heard what was about to happen and decided to bugger off, thankfully. I positioned myself on top of a hot tub, which is quite possibly the most unconventional stage I’ve taken to, and hoped that I wouldn’t stumble over and go through the lid.

    Yours truly, together with a the lucky man, and the Magic Bus.

    Yours truly, together with a the lucky man himself, and the finest transport known to man.

    I’d gone for a fairly loop-based set, mainly due to the length of time I had to fill, so set up consisted of Boss looper, Akai delay, Space Chorus, and a couple of other effects, assaulted alternately by guitar, harmonica, mandolin and Theremin.

    Anyway, the resultant musical meanderings managed to find their way onto a recording, which I’ve only just got around to cleaning up and making (almost) fit for public consumption. The recording was taken straight out of the PA, and vocals are fairly low throughout, although that’s probably no bad thing.

    Anyway, these are for Graham and Karen. You’re top guys and I hope everything is going great for you lucky buggers in Australia. And now I’ve sorted out the sound, a CD or two will, as promised, be winging itself your way. Oh, and here’s also to Graham’s brother, who’s name I can’t recall, but who fell foul of a few too many Strongbows during the course of the afternoon and stole someone’s posh bedroom to have a kip in before being awoken by my racket and nipping down to say some very complimentary words. And then he blagged me some free food too! Good work fella!

    Set 1

    Warm up Warm up

    My Theremin playing face.

    My Theremin playing face.

    Blackwaterside Blackwaterside

    America America

    Baby, Let Me Follow You Down Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

    Call Me The Breeze Call Me The Breeze

    Heart of Gold Heart of Gold

    Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad Goin’ Down the Road, Feelin’ Bad

    Cocain’ Cocain’

    Jack-a-Roe Jack-a-Roe

    Old Man Old Man

    Four & Twenty _ Carry On _ Questions Four & Twenty / Carry On / Questions

    Set 2

    Warm up Warm up

    Far too much gear for a one-man enterprise. Hence the finest transport known to man!

    Far too much gear for a one-man enterprise. Hence the finest transport known to man!

    Tangled Up In Blue Tangled Up In Blue

    Over The Hill Over The Hill

    Me and My Uncle Me and My Uncle

    The Weight The Weight

    Red House Red House

    Baby, Please Don’t Go Baby, Please Don’t Go

    May You Never May You Never

    Down By The River Down By The River

    Norweigian Wood Norweigian Wood

    Crocodile Shoes and Creosote

    Friday, May 22nd, 2009

    No, not Jimmy Nail.

    I remember I was at school with a kid who was mercilessly and almost universally ridiculed, in that cut-throat way only schoolkids and totalitarian dictators can manage. His accent, his appearance, his clothes, his mannerisms… all were fuel for the fire of passionate bullying that seemed to follow him around everywhere he went. One particular item of ridicule was a pair of shoes he possessed, with a cracked ‘crocodile-hide’ appearance to them. Crocodile enough to earn the unfortunate lad an undesired nickname…

    The other thing that really sticks in my mind about him was his involvement in a school club based around doing outdoor conservation type things. I think it was more an excuse for the school to get their sheds painted for free, and for our hero to escape from the torment at dinnertimes. Anyway, it did have the bizarre side-effect of giving him a certain scent of creosote when he came in for afternoon registration.

    A few months ago, having not seen him for the best part of 10 years, I found a story in the local press regarding the gruesome murder of an old man in a village not far away. In the early hours of a Sunday morning he was pushed down the stairs and attacked with the contents of a tool box. The accused? You guessed it. There was a photo of him with the article, a picture the paper happened to have taken a year or so before, of goings-on at a local agricultural show or somesuch, and there he was. Vuagely smiling from behind a tuba.

    It’s makes for an interesting thought. Were the seeds of anger sewn back at school? Has all that vitriol from years of torment stewed up beneath the surface, eventually to come crashing out years later at the expense of some old man’s life? Are we, as his former classmates, all partly responsible?

    There’s been no conviction yet. As far as I know he’s in custody – still waiting for the trial. So who’s to say what the truth is. This is just my take on a story in the paper about a kid I used to know…



    Sunday, May 17th, 2009

    Far from wanting to turn into a human jukebox, this is a song that was requested. Or rather I was asked if I played it, and thought. “Yeah that is a good song. Why the hell not?” So in answer to the question, I didn’t play it this morning, but I suppose I do now.


    Anyway, if you’re wandering who would have such exquisitely good taste as to request such a song, find the answer here. The site belongs to a certian Mr. Owen M Phillips. Alter-ego, doppelganger, mystery twin, whatever. He shares the same name, and much of the same tastes it seems. Crazy thing, the internet….


    Friday, May 1st, 2009

    Here’s something folky, ready for the folk fest.