I have and continue to listen to a diverse range of music and artists over the years.

However, I always listen to the words principally, for me a great songwriter, with a combination of words and music, can evoke passion and emotion,  love, hate, anger, sadness, melancholy, joy....the words they write might reflect an experience you have had or one you are going through, the simple fact that someone else has shared that same emotion can be uplifting, the music itself, brings those words to life, the words may tell a story or raise an issue that give you pause for thought, they must mean something, good or bad...there are many great and original songwriters who I admire for a variety of reasons - all of whom have brought different facets to the 'art' whether it is commerciality, the ability to weave a story or prick our 'social' conscious, humour, originality and diversity, there are many....the following short list are some of those that have inspired me and perhaps I wish I could have been:

David Bowie - my first and oldest hero, his , innovative music and words inspired and influenced many through the 60s, 70s, 80s and on into the 90s. Many say his later output has certainly not been his best (I foolishly wrote and told him this once offering him some of my songs....what impudence!!) but this is only because others had finally caught up with him!!

Harry Chapin - sadly no longer with us, one of the greatest story songwriters ever, I listened to him for hours as he brought places, people and stories to life in songs. ' The Cats in the Cradle' being the most well known.

Peter Gabriel - Very original and innovative, great musician, singer and songwriter.

Matt Johnson - aka The The, a prophetic, lyrical genius, musically innovative...Soul Mining is a must for every collection, I have bought it and given it away to people and bought it again and again and again......

Neil Hannon - aka The Divine Comedy, great story teller, witty, original and a superb entertainer

Damon Albarn - in all his guises Blur, Gorrilaz, The Good, The Bad and the Queen , continues to produce fantastic music but it is the diversity of styles that I admire most



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