Week 16 – Another Love Song
by Frank Hamilton
Week 16’s been amazing, frustrating, inspiring, exhausting and just about every other ‘ing’ under the sun.
Firstly I need to thank all the lovely people who left their houses to see little old me play some songs. Oxford, Manchester and York were all a lot of fun. I can’t quite believe how many t-shirts I’ve sold or how far some of you travelled (I think a 7 hour round trip from Essex to Manchester is this weeks record)! Special thanks to Beth and friends (for letting me play some songs in their lounge and sleep in a comfy bed – here’s a photo of us in the kitchen) and Emma, Joe and co for looking after me in York and offering me somewhere to sleep (even though I decided to drive back to London instead)!
Secondly I need to thank Jonny Wright – who is currently sat above a pub in Manchester making the final tweaks to this weeks song. I met Jonny a few years ago (in Sweden – we were on a songwriting camp in a strange little town) and after really getting on and sharing similar musical ideals we’ve only just got round to working together – safe to say it’s been great seeing him again and I’m hoping this is the first of many songs.
Before we get on to the important stuff here are the last two weekly videos. One of them isn’t in a Car Park and the other one features Helen Ruocco. Lovely. Week 14 – The Birds (4am) & Week 15 – It’s Not Love (But We Do Just Fine).
The last time I saw Jonny was at Koko in Camden. He was playing bass for Paul Heaton (of Housemartins/Beautiful South fame) and although we saw each other for a beer after the show we didn’t get a chance to properly catch up… so I was excited at the prospect of seeing him and doing some work together during the northern leg of my little April tour.
I arrived early on Tuesday afternoon and we met in a nice pub – full of different clocks and ‘do not disturb’ signs. Everyone was friendly (Manchester usually is) and I had a few good ideas floating around in my head. This was going to be a fun few days – I could feel it.
Between Tuesday 13:00 hours and Thursday 16:00 hours I estimate me and Jonny spent at least 35 hours in the pub – working away. It wasn’t all boozing and laughing, though. We also made some musical noise. Here are the results:
‘Another Love Song’ is exactly what it says on the tin – another song about love.
The verse/concept had been floating around for a while but was given a new lease of life as soon as I played it to Jonny and we started bouncing ideas off the walls. After spending a few hours working on a new chorus and fresh arrangement we wrapped things up and I headed off to play a show at the Night & Day Cafe.
On Wednesday morning I woke up earlier than I care to remember and came to just in time to witness the recording of drums. Jonnys friend and band-mate Pete Marshall (who I’d met briefly at Koko) turned up with some top banter, effortless chops and a nice flatcap. Here’s a video of me and Jonny dancing round the room during a take.
Jonny played in some bass and we took turns with the guitars before getting round to vocals later that evening. At about midnight we laid down the final ‘oohs and ahhs’ and I trundled back to the hotel – tired and a little stressed, but very excited.
On the Thursday I arrived slightly later to find the whole of Heaton’s band rehearsing for a tour in the room downstairs (minus Jonny of course – who had been hard at work comping and mixing the things we’d recorded the day before). The guys (Pete, Chris and another Jonny) were kind enough to pop in and shout ‘hey’ a few times for us during their lunch break – you can hear them in the choruses.
Thursday ended around 4pm when I had to leave for the next stop on the tour – Fibbers in York. After the show I drove back home to London… slept for a long while and woke up to find the version you’re listening to now.
So that was week 16. On tour, writing and recording songs in Manchester with Jonny and his friends… To add to the romance of it all it turns out the pub is owned by Mr. Heaton himself – and it was his collection of clocks and ‘do not disturb’ signs I’d been admiring previously. Exciting stuff.
I seem to get asked about my influences quite a lot and always find myself talking about lyrics. The same names crop up… Adam Duritz, Davey MacManus, James Allen (and so on)… and Paul Heaton.
When I pulled out the verse to this song on Tuesday afternoon I had no idea I was sitting in Heaton’s pub – or that his whole backing band would end up featuring on the recording. In hindsight it’s funny how it’s all turned out. These lyrics have clearly been influenced by some of the Beautiful South/Housemartins stuff.
For once I’m really proud of every single lyric in this song so I refuse to pick a favourite! I like how the first verse sets it up:
“Here’s another love song
I know it’s not the first one
It might not be the last one
But it’s yours, it’s yours”
I like the pre-chorus that shamelessly name-drops some of the best love songs ever written.
“And now I’m ‘Back For Good’
So I’ll be your ‘Wonderwall’ tonight
‘Stand by Me’ I’ll ‘Stand By You’
Coz ‘You Were Always On My Mind’
And that’s why ‘I Walk The Line'”
And then I like the chorus – especially the bit about being stuck in a major key (only writing happy songs) because you’re so smitten with someone.
Baby I’m the one for you
Tell me that you feel it too
You make my heart go boom and I said
I know that you’re the one for me
I’m stuck in a major key
And I don’t wanna sing the blues
So here’s another song for you”