Swells reviews my record from beyond the grave

I do like writing songs but I’m not very good at promotion. If this was 1994, I’d sign to a major label, despite all my protestations at being “alternative”, just to escape the anxiety of writing to people asking them to listen or give coverage to my work.

A few more nice things to report, though. John Kennedy was kind enough to get in touch to say he liked “This Can’t Go On Forever”, so maybe he’ll play it on the radio. And the nice human behind the Phoenix Remix did a song-by-song review, comparing me to some artists I never expected to be compared to.

My pal Geoff found himself wondering what Steven Wells would have made of Ruthless Window.

Swells was the anarchist bulldog of the NME, never happy with a song unless it was by the Asian Dub Foundation and specifically about freeing Satpal Ram. He would often tear my favourite bands a new collective arsehole, but he’s almost invariably be very funny while doing so. I miss that kind of music journalism. To be honest, I miss music journalism in general.

Swells died a few years ago, sparing him even the unlikely chance of coming into contact with my twee-pop record. But Geoff had a go at divining what he would have thought:

“I think he’d approve of your make it up as you go along approach to lyrics and the idea that spending more than a day on an album was excessive.

“However, I can’t help but think the use of a ukulele would be a provocation too far and would take up most of the word count.

“The singer from Los Campesinos described getting torn apart by Swells as one of the highlights of his career. It was a given he would hate their music but he felt it was a rite of passage for an indiepop band to get a kicking from him.”

Mildly irritating Mark Beaumont just isn’t the same.

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