Small piles of C90 and C120 tapes stand in front of my “music system”. This morning I decided to listen to one entitled e&d demos. No tracklisting. Name written in David O’Connell’s hand. David is a supremely talented guitarist with whom I collaborated for many years.

He wrote the music and I wrote the words. We worked with other musicians and had a couple of bands. The one that lasted the longest was Micklewhite. It was formed in 2000 and existed for five years. The line up was myself (vocals & percussion), David (guitars), Robert Basset (bass) and John Jones on drums.

We rehearsed almost every Monday in Royal Oak, gigged around London and made a few recordings.

It is interesting to compare and contrast the collaborative relationship I had with David (and Robert and John) with the one I am currently enjoying with Anne Proctor the printmaker. Very interesting. Creatively I’ve always described myself using Philip Larkin’s line: “Beyond all this, the wish to be alone” but clearly it’s not true. Collaborations bring something new to my writing.

Today’s trip down musical memory lane with the tapes made me realise I’ll always be drawn to boys (and girls) with acoustic guitars. I will always need to sing. And I will always need to collaborate. I need to feel that connection with other creators

You can hear me sing some of the Micklewhite songs at

I was listening to the guitar only demo version of first track Fresh Oysters this morning on David’s tape.