conquistador

An evocative ode to the days of blank edges to charts, ‘here be monsters’, treasure maps, the madness of oceans and the obsession of dreamers, sultry and suggestively fey. Back in Easter 2015 I had set myself the task of writing a minimum of 500 words a day as  a writer’s discipline, and possibly a […]

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belladonna movie star

There was a moment in my inauspicious musical career when every song I was covering it seemed had the word ‘star’ in the title: Filmstar by Suede; Starman by Bowie; Oasis’ Rock and Roll Star; Movie Star and Star by the criminally underrated Cracker. (Nope, not tempted to try David Essex!) I had also written Little Star for my daughter (on the acoustic Bloodsongs CD) so it seemed appropriate I should […]

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vanity, anxiety, insanity

I felt I needed to write a zeitgeist song. 2016 was a difficult year to summarise in less than three minutes, but I did my best… It wasn’t so much the political ascendancies, the braying of the media, the ubiquitous lack of transparency and humane intelligence, so much as the shameless manner of it that […]

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the big picture

Heck, this song first emerged out of my subconscious about 17 years ago. Lyrically (see below), it’s a reflection on War and Peace in 157 words. (‘No mean achievement!’ I hear you holler?) If Pierre Bezukhov had pretensions to be an 80s rock star rather than a forlorn early 19th century romantic, this is what he would […]

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caws for concern

The Ghost of a Teacher is in the annual habit of retreating into the wilds of Wiltshire with his family. At Avebury he can swap phone signals and internet connections for a thatched cottage in a graveyard dominated by jackdaws, rooks and crows, all set within a few yards of the largest stone circle in […]

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joan of arc

Time perhaps for a little trip down memory lane… With The Bone Records about to unleash their new album, it doesn’t hurt to revisit the scene of former glories. Check out the review below and a link to ‘Joan of Arc’, the eponymous debut album’s opening track. http://vivelerock.net/bone-of-contention/ As one local wag said at the […]

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peter pan syndrome

The Ghost of a Teacher remembers the day, years ago now, when he was called an idealist by a senior teacher in a staff meeting. The astonishment and subsequent introspection when he realised it was meant as an insult. (“Time to grow up, son!” the avuncular Yorkshireman might as well have condescended.) But an idealist […]

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favourite band?

right now, it’s gotta be these chaps… check out this review for the opening track: “It’s not just the insistent riffs, the onrushing drums, the incandescent harmonies. Who couldn’t love a band that marries Hughie Green and the Bard in one couplet, the Carpenters and the Archdrood Cope himself in the next? You want a […]

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into the wild

The final film the Ghost shared in a classroom was ‘Into the Wild’, Sean Penn’s 2007 adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name, which documents the true story of Chris McCandless. Frustrated with the limitations and vanities of society’s preoccupations, as exemplified by the materialism and unhappiness of his parents, McCandless abandoned civilisation […]

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