All the songs here were written during and inspired by Paul McClure’s time spent living in a small market town in the middle of rural England – but don’t expect cute tales of quaint England, these songs tell stories of love, loss, life and death, just as you’d expect from a seasoned and well travelled Country Folk singer. Songs of characters met and conversations shared, of loves and regrets and of memories past; some happy, some not so… Themes of love, family and fighting the demons of the past whilst containing the trials of the present. It talks about trying to escape and trying to find your way home.
Joel Payne, a producer in his own right, had been playing piano with McClure’s backing band, The Local Heroes, for a few years before mentioning he’d like to produce an EP for him.
With a new album already written and ready to go, McClure decided to shelve that and take a chance. What he found in Payne was a producer with a musical background and approach to recording different from anything McClure had worked with before. The excitement of this new sound soon had McClure posing the question of extending the project into a long player. They were then faced with the task of choosing songs that would complement the four they’d already recorded. This meant leaving out some songs previously earmarked for the album, delving into McClure’s back catalogue and even writing a few new ones.
So without losing the personality that has defined his recent albums, McClure and Payne managed to combine their individual styles and create something worthy of its place in the world…
The result is a new album, new songs, new sound.
“..It’s just a market town with nothing going down”
“A recent conversation with a soldier in the British Army back from Afghanistan finally helped bring this song together.
A ‘don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ type thing. The idea of being in a very stressful environment away from home and family – I’d just want to be out of there and back in my little market town with nothing going down. It’s easy to forget how hard life can be for others, to the point that we moan, a lot, about nothing – having to wait in line, no parking spaces, the weather! Trivial shit. Whist meanwhile..”
“He’d sing his songs on a Saturday night. Sing to the stars and he’d make it alright…”
‘Sing To The Stars’
“This is about an old guy I met at a gig. We got talking about the life of a musician and what was important to each of us. What we value, how we escape. He’d worked his whole life since he was a teenager and he lamented the lack of time he’d had with his kids while they were growing up, the sacrifice he made.”
“Here, I wished myself here, here in this Market Town.”
“I’ve lived here since I was seven years old. I met my wife here, we had our children here. I was schooled here; I worked here, played here, loved here, lived here and lost here. I’ve left here many times, but always returned to here. Your ‘Here’ can be anywhere – it’s the people and events that shape and define your ‘Here’.
It’s not about the schools and it’s not about the house prices.”
Artist’s website: https://mccluresmusic.com/
‘Daddy, Will You Hold My Hand’ – official video: