Talk About The Weather is a fascinating album, written and recorded by two singer-songwriters separated by age and distance. Serious Child, (aka Alan Young) the elder statesman, lives in Sussex and escaped the rat race a couple of years ago to concentrate on his music while Andy Ruddy lives in Bradford and works for a music charity, Give A Song. The album concentrates on the common ground between them rather than the generational gap and musical differences. They recorded via Zoom before Chris Pepper, Kirsty McGee, Jamie Francis and Pete Harvey added their contributions and Chris put it all together.
The opening track, ‘How To Dream’, may well refer to Andy’s departure from the “real” world. I can recognise myself in the song. Two tracks later, ‘What Do Dreamers Do’, considers the reality of giving it all up and the uncertainty of the future direction. The songs are all open to interpretation. So, Alan and Andy say that ‘Talk About The Weather’ is about the way we avoid talking about our feelings and having serious conversations. For me, it’s also about crushing shyness and insecurity and the desire to be left alone and it will mean something else to you.
When I first listened to ‘Turn The Music Down’ I figured that it was about the reluctance of my generation to conform and grow old gracefully or even the fear of turning into our parents. It is, of course, a riposte to the government advising creative types to retrain to do a “useful” job. I loved ‘All My Friends Are Famous’ at first hearing – a caustic take on celebrity culture – and finally ‘As Good As It Gets’ brings us quickly down to earth with the story of a man dying of cancer.
In between these are some more personal songs. The only one I’ve really figured out is ‘Roper Lane’, which is in Bradford and is therefore probably one of Andy’s songs. It features atmospheric flute from Kirsty McGee while the bouncy ‘Catfishing’ has Jamie Francis leading with banjo.
Talk About The Weather is destined to me one of my albums of the year and I can’t recommend it too highly.
‘All My Friends Are Famous’ – official video: