Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The City Limits...

Dear reader, instead of reading some words wouldn't you rather listen to some music? I thought so, so why don't you head over to and check out some the songs. I would appreciate it.

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Oh My God, It's Charlie Darwin

A few months back my friend Alex sent me a looooooooong list of bands to check out. It was a list predominantly filled with folk bands ranging from Bob Dyaln and Pete Doherty's solo work to Scandinavian folk duo, First Aid Kit. Since then that list has literally been my bible. I have discovered so many different bands that I never knew existed until this year and the world of folk music has been blown wide open to me. One of the bands that were on the list are a band called The Low Anthem. I checked them out and quickly found the song "To Ohio". The song is mesmerising, haunting and beautiful. But today, many months on, I managed to get my hand on the album "Oh My God, It's Charlie Darwin" for the very reasonable price of £5 from a local independent record shop. I burnt it to my laptop as soon as I home and pressed the play button as soon as it was done. I am on track 7 of 12 and I have been mesmerised since the opening note on track one. I was a few tracks in when I was compelled to write about how good the music I was hearing actually is. It's nothing short of phenomenal. It really makes me think about how mediocre musicians and artists like Lady Gaga and Dizzy Rascal (no offence if you like them, this is just my opinion) can make so much money from simply singing nonsense, generic songs and a band like The Low Anthem, filled with passion and soul, are barely known. Having said that I'm glad they aren't mainstream as many bands seem to often change their style once they have been thrust into the public eye (I hope to dear god that Mumford & Sons don't follow this trend). But in a world obsessed with style over substance it really is something special to find a band that really embody everything I love about music. Below is a video of the band performing "To Ohio". Enjoy.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 19 July 2010

Saturday, 17 July 2010

As the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts...

"You'll be happy and wholesome again"

by far my favourite song in the history of ever

-- Tom RDD

Friday, 16 July 2010

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Better Days

I'm on a bit of a writing spree at the moment. As good as it to be kept busy by being creative it's also a bloody pain as now I have more songs to fit onto my up and coming album (which I only have a day to record!). It would be much easier if I had written songs I don't think are any good but the trouble is all the songs I write I have an emotional connection to as they are my way of dealing with things good and bad. So with more lyrics than I know what to do with here is a new song I wrote today. The working title is "Better Days" but It's probably going to change. Enjoy my words.

Tom RDD - Better Days

Sometimes I wake up and I’m feeling blue
And some days I wake up, missing you
I look back on this year and wonder what went wrong
One moment I had you and the next moment you were gone

Our decisions have been made and they cannot be changed
So look forward to tomorrow and know it can’t be rearranged
Live for today not tomorrow that’s what they say
And there’s no point living in yesterday

Sometimes I wake up and I feel pretty down
But I look at it a different way to turn it right around
Embrace what tomorrow brings, you cannot change the past
And there’s been a few times where I wish I could, and I’d change it fast

They say life is an adventure, so sit back enjoy the ride
But sometimes you want to get off because you feel like you can’t survive
And it’s times like these where you really need that friend
To help you find your smile, to make you happy again

And believe me my friend; I know how low it goes
But I wouldn’t be here if I had taken that road
So remember in all this, you are not alone
And if you need to talk, I’m at the other end of the phone

Sometimes I wake up and I have got a smile
And it doesn’t matter if this happiness only lasts a while
Because I’ve never been happier than when I'm singing my songs
They are like my diary, so feel free to sing along

They say life is an adventure, so sit back enjoy the ride
But sometimes you want to get off because you feel like you can’t survive
And it’s times like these when I’m glad I have that friend
To help me find my smile, to make me whole again

And believe me my friend; I know how low it goes
But I had a dear friend that kept me from that road
So remember in all this, you are not alone
And if you need to talk, I’m at the other end of the phone

-- Tom RDD

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The One

Today I wrote some of the best lyrics I've ever written (at least I think so anyway) whilst at work. I'm not going to lie, it's not the happiest song in the world but it is about as genuine as I can make it. The song is about "the one" and how sometimes you feel like you've already met them and then lost them, It's about losing love and the doubt you are plunged in to when that happens. It's part of a series of songs I have written about losing love and trying your best to get over it. So here it is. Enjoy my words.

Tom RDD - The One

You left me when I needed your light
I fell to my knees and wept through the night
You left and I’ve been broken since that day
You left even when I begged you to stay

I never finished my letter to you
But now those words are too good to be used
Wasted on someone who didn’t care enough
And to say those words now, breaks me

It’s true I thought you were the one
And I say this even though I’m still young
You’ve left me broken ever since that day
You left even when I begged you to stay

You did not think
You sent me to the brink
I was ready to give you my life
I remember when you said you’d one day be my wife

I gave you my heart and I gave you my soul
You were the one who made me feel whole
But now the world means less to me without you here
I’m no longer whole now you’re not near

I won’t be second best
I waited too long
And maybe I was right
But what if I was wrong?

It’s true I thought you were the one
And I say this even though I’m still young
You’ve left me broken ever since that day
You left even when I begged you to stay

And maybe one day I’ll remember how
To live my life without this cloud
That still remains even now
You broke me down, I hope you are proud

I won’t be second best
I waited too long
And maybe I was right
But what if I was wrong?

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Hold on to what you believed in the light...

I adore this song and I love the lyrics. So enjoy.

I can't promise you that I won't let you down
And I
I can't promise you that I will be the only one around
When your hope falls down
But we're young
Open flowers in the windy fields of this war-torn world
And love
This city breathes the plague of loving things more than their creators

I ran away
I could not take the burden of both me and you
It was too fast
Casting love on me as if it were a spell I could not break
When it was a promise I could not make

But what if I was wrong?

But hold on to what you believe in the light
When the darkness has robbed you of all your sight

And now this land
Means less and less to me without you breathing through its trees
At every turn
The water runs away from me and the halo disappears
And the hole when you're not near

So what if I was wrong?

But hold on to what you believe in the light
When the darkness has robbed you of all your sight

So hold on to what you believed in the light

(music starts about 15 seconds into the song)
-- Tom RDD

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Been Listening

Johnny Flynn - Been Listening live from yesterday!

Foy Vance video

The Foy Vance song I was on about... I filmed this from the front. Beautiful song. Enjoy.

Hoppin' down in Kent

As I sit here sipping a much needed cup of tea and in even more need of a shower, I am reflecting over the last 24 hours of musical bliss. Yesterday (Saturday 3rd of July 2010) I had to pleasure of seeing some of finest names in the music world at the Hop Farm Festival, which probably has/ had the best line up of all the summer festivals, well in my opinion (and Marcus Mumford's too!) anyway!

The weekend started with my journey to Paddock Wood in which I encountered the living embodiment of the "Gap Yar" parody on youtube. Seriously these girls were as pretentious as fuck and were the kind of people who go off and do charity work (Uganda apparently) just so they can shove it down your throat. And if that wasn't enough the camp site seemed to be filled with these types of people who all seemed very up themselves (especially when it came to opinions about Dylan, apparently if you don't like him you "just don't understand"). But then again I'm sure I look pretty pretentious walking around with my socks pulled up and playing my guitar which has "This Machine Kills Fascists" scrawled across it. But I digress...

Foy Vance: The music started on the Saturday in the best possible way. A guy I had never heard of called Foy Vance took to the stage. He automatically started to address the crowed and started joking about drawing people to the stage by playing a Dylan song. After all the banter at the start he started to play the opening song of the festival. It was amazing. Not only was it a good song but it was beautiful. He used loops to create some incredible sounds and then started to play his guitar like a violin. It was a really incredible sight/ sound. The rest of his set was comprised of other incredible songs and when he left the stage after 30 minutes it really only felt like he'd been on for about 10 minutes. He is definitely a name I will be looking out for in the future:

Stand out song: The opening song that I don't know the name of...

The Magic Numbers: I have never really been a huge follower of their music if I'm honest. I heard the song "forever lost" a few years back but had never really heard them since then. Regardless of that though they played some great music and got the crowed going. Although I had never really been a fan they put on a great live show.

Stand out song: Forever Lost

Johnny Flynn: Now here is a man and band that I have been waiting to see for a LONG time! Needless to say the anticipation has raised the expectation bar pretty high but they smashed it, easily. When they came out the humble lead singer Johnny, seemed truly overwhelmed by how many people had come and how many people in the crowd were cheering for him. The set was superb and showcased the true talent of the band, especially Johnny's multi-instrumentally talent which saw him playing the guitar, mandolin, banjo, violin and trumpet. There was only one problem however, the set was FAR too short! I was left wanting more especially as notable songs such as "The wrote and the writ" and "The Water" were not part of the set list. However, still an incredible show.

Stand out song: Eyeless in Holloway

Laura Marling: Anyone who knows me well will know I love Laura Marling with a passion. Her voice is strangely addictive and her whistling is top notch (her words not mine). Again, she was incredibly humble and seemed genuinely flattered that so many people had turned up to see her play. She played a lot of material from her new album and it was a great set. The only problem for me was that the scorching heat almost made me pass out so I couldn't fully enjoy the set. But even so, the talented Miss. Marling put on a brilliant show

Stand out song: Blackberry Stone

Now at this point I had to go for a sit down as I was really starting to feel the heat. And then I got to witness something many people have spoken of but I had never experience. The very fucked, Pete Dogherty took to the stage looking like he had been dragged through a hedge. I really didn't know what to expect but what I was given made me chuckle. His music wasn't bad to be fair. He played some solo stuff and mixed it together with Libertines covers. He also tried to get the crowd to sing along to "hoppin' down in Kent" but no one seemed to be that up for it. All in all though, a good listen even if was only on the big screens around the arena.

Stand out song: Don't Look Back Into The Sun

Seasick Steve: I had heard many good things about Seasick Steve but none of them even gave the guy credit to just how entertaining he is. His set was incredible. His energy considering he is a pretty old dude was phenomenal. He would move around the stage and come up to the crowd and enjoy himself. He was also incredibly humble. After every song he took a bow and kept saying that it was a real honour to play in front of us. He used several biz are instruments of his own inventions as well as guitars with only 3 or so strings on them. His stage presence was phenomenal and he put on a brilliant show that left everyone wanting more!

Stand out song: Burning Up

Mumford & Sons: If you've ever read my blog before you will have probably come across posts that confess my undying love for this band but seeing them live was an experience I will never forget. The band came on stage and immediately began playing "Sigh No More". The atmosphere had changed from the loud, boucning energy of Seasick Steve to an almost silent mass of people listening to one of the most beautiful songs I have seen performed live. As the set progressed it's easy to see just why Mumford & Sons are THE big thing at the moment. The four of them seem like genuinely nice people and like many of the others are so humble. They seemed shocked at just how many people they were playing to and they even said themselves they just didn't understand why people love them so much but in this disbelief they seem to genuinely have about their popularity they fully enjoy the energy the crowd give them. They did not stop smiling and you really got the sense they were enjoying every second of being on stage. And then the warning I had received from a friend happened. The song "Winter Winds" started to play and the emotional was overwhelming and I couldn't help but cry as a shill was sent down my spine and I got goosebumps all over. And I was not the only one. Just looking around the mass of people I knew I was not the only one who felt like that. I have never felt so emotional when listening to live music before and it was one of the most intense feelings. I loved EVERY second of it.

Stand out song: Winter Winds

After the emotional rollercoster that was Mumford & Sons Ray Davies took to the stage but I really didn't see/ listen to him so therefore cannot pass judgement.

Now onto the headline act. The living legend, Bob Dylan. I'm not going to lie Dylan was one of the main reasons I got a ticket to the festival. To experience a live show is something I had wanted to do for a while and I really expected good things. But sadly, I was hugely disappointed. Dylan come onto the stage with his backing band and you could barely hear a word he was singing. If I'm honest I had no idea what I expect but I guess I just expected more than I got. He only played one song I recognised and the others were just incoherent and I really think you had to be a HUGE Dyaln fan to work out what it was. Because I was so disappointed I decided to leave early and preserve whatever opinion I had of Dylan being the legend he once was. I was truly gutted songs like "the times they are a changin'", "dust in the wind", "tombstone blues", "all along the watch tower" and "knockin' on heavens door" were left out (to my knowledge at least). I really felt like I my view of Bob Dylan has been crushed a bit. Don't get me wrong I know his age is probably a big factor in his stage presense (or lack there of) and he has 50 years of music to showcase but I was just disappointed with what I saw. Definitely the low point of the evening for me.

Stand out song: Don't think twice, It'll Be All Right

Good bits: Mumford & Songs (I freaking love them), the music, the incredible atmosphere

Bad bits: The disappointment of Bob Dylan, the lack of sleep, the heat, the pretentious "gap ya" students, the loud Irish people in the tent next to us

Performance of the day: It's pretty hard to decide. It is really between Mumford, Seasick Steve and Foy Vance . But I think it was to go to Mumford & Sons just because they were everything I hoped for and more.