Last weekend Scruffy Buzzards were back in Dumfries playing under the Midsteeple again, fortunately this time to a slightly larger audience.
Although we were on at 3 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, we were sandwiched between bands Pepperjam and Steve Dowling & the Obliviates – and with three bands being featured it had attracted more of a crowd.
I have to confess though, I’m rarely at my best in the middle of the afternoon. Although my energy levels are considerably better than they were through the several years of ME/CFS, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be back up to full strength. Not that I was ever great at that time of day. Even back in my days at university I discovered that I rarely took anything in during mid-afternoon lectures. I’ve thought for a long time that I’d probably be much happier living somewhere down near the Mediterranean, where there’s much more sunshine, and siestas are commonplace.
Unfortunately, a thousand miles north in the land of cool, damp greyness, at least half the gigs we’ve played this summer have been in the afternoon. I can manage it at the time – there’s always a slight adrenalin rush from being up on stage – but I pay with excessive tiredness later. Perhaps we’ll get more evening gigs as the autumn draws in.
Meanwhile, Graham, from Steve Dowling & the Obliviates, has uploaded a video of us playing "Tell Me" - which is the first song I’ve ever written lyrics for.
I’ve been heavily involved in the music for many of the Scruffy Buzzards songs, but for some reason, song lyrics don’t come easy to me, in the same way poetry doesn’t. Short stories, blog posts, conversations, general chat – these are the areas I’m best at with word constructions, but I never got the hang of rhythmic wording.
Perhaps part of it is the fact I rarely ever listen to song lyrics. The voice is just another instrument to me, so the person could just as well be singing in a different language for all I will notice. This has been a long-standing source of contention between the music choices of me and Maggie.
Maggie does listen to the words – indeed for her they are often very important. She will seem to love a track because the words are deep, meaningful and moving, but if the melody, chord structure and rhythm do nothing for me, then I'm not interested. Likewise she will get frustrated with songs where the lyrics are lame, but I really like because of the music.
To date, then, "Tell Me" is the only Scruffy Buzzards track featuring lyrics by me, and I have no doubt it will continue to be a rarity. In fact, for all I know, Richie might have changed the lyrics completely and I won't even have noticed...
Oh, and the wee boys running across the screen towards the end of the video, distracting you from Richie’s guitar solo, are Richie’s sons, so he only as himself to blame for that...