I’ve been looking at the stats for the number of plays my music gets on Spotify, and I don’t get loads. It’s in the thousands rather than tens of thousands, but that’s ok, it’s still interesting. Who would know there are people in Finland or Brazil who, on quite a regular basis, choose to open the app and give me a listen? I wouldn’t that’s for sure.
Any ho… I’ve decided to do a chart rundown, a top ten of my most popular songs according to Spotify.
At Number 10, it’s Over Here Photie Man, from the When we Dreamed We Dreamed of Dreams EP.
I wrote this after visiting an exhibition of Tom Wood Photographs at the Tate in Liverpool. I remembered Tom from the heady 1980’s of my New Brighton life. He was a quiet but persistent presence and we became used to him being around, snapping away. He was known to all as the Photie Man.
I knew there was a photie of me on the exhibition circuit but I’d never wanted to see it as the passage of time can sometimes overwhelm me, but this time I went, family in tow. The picture was blown up, large, A1 size I think and it shows me in a discussion of some kind with Jan. All around are faces I recognise; my mate snogging a girl, a lad I called Sid Vicious stares forlornly at the camera and others are engaged in being lonely or trying not to be. It’s a brilliant Photie and deeply affected me. I have white socks on.
I wrote the song as soon as I returned home and recorded it over the next couple of days in my little studio, releasing it years later. I played it live the night I wrote it, in New Brighton, natch, opening for Dick Gaughan. I sent it to Tom, via his publisher, hearing back from him a few years later asking to use it in a documentary the BBC were making about him for the series What Do Artists Do All Day. The producers made it clear they had no budget for music and I only said yes because Tom had asked- It’s not just Spotify who don’t like to pay musicians, although to be fair, Spotify will pay something (Pennies). Here’s a link to the song if you fancy listening to it on the streaming site of your choice.
It’s not just Dirk who wears white socks.