Plenty of tea towels
14th April, 2011
Back at home after the album tour – and a fine tour it was too, if I say so myself. Some good turnouts and we sold a few CD's and plenty of tea towels. I tell you, I'm big in the tea-towel market. We also made some great lunchtime stop-offs thanks to our well-thumbed good pub guide.The nag's head in Pickhill and the olive branch in clipsham were both outstanding meals, and lovely places to spend a few hours' in-between the cities & motorways. Quite proudly as a touring party we never once set foot in motorway services. We bought fuel and provisions in towns and ate in country pubs. It's a small detail, but it made us feel good.
It's also been good to register people's opinion of the record – you have to take all this stuff with a pinch of salt if you write songs and release them though- time is the only real reviewer. Music reviews are a weird one, Literary cirtsism, unlike music critiscm enjoys the advantage of existing in the same medium (language) as the art it explores and esteems. To write about a song, or a collection of songs is a unenviable task, two chords put together with a melody can have a profound effect on one person without them knowing why, yet have the opposite effect on someone who had a pile of CD's to review for a deadline.
There's an old Bright eyes song – I can't remember which one - with the line in it "I do not read the reviews, because I am not singing for you". A sentiment shared by many a songwriter & performer I'm sure. But it also suggests to me that he's read a few of his own reviews, bad ones perhaps, and it's encouraged him instead to concentrate on the people who enjoy his music. There is a very human curiosity in wanting to know what other people think of what you're doing, reading a good review is a nice feeling, but ultimately there's not a lot you can do about it if someone doesn't like your stuff. You make up the songs, and record them the best you can and once it's released then you have to let it go. Sure, it's often a surprise when you receive a slagging. But it's not worth spending too much time thinking about. Much better to concentrate on those who like it, as the song suggests.
Generally speaking 'the impossible song & other songs' fared well with the critics, and seems to be faring even better with the public and people who come to the shows. Certainly there was nothing along the lines of a review idlewild receives years ago for our album 'warnings/promises', which started 'the problems with this band rest squarely at the feet of woomble...' and then went on to assassinate my character and abilities in 500 words leaving me feeling that I'd been slapped around by some invisible hands. It was almost funny how awful it was. Almost.