Release date for The Water / Tony Benn's Diaries


I know it’s taken a bit of time – but it’s here ! My new album will be out end of Jan 2008.
Lot’s more news to come on that. I also spent yesterday revisiting my ideas and inspirations
behind the songs, and writing them down, sometimes it’s good to have a re-call.

I’m so pleased with it. There’s something different when you have an actual physical copy in your hand. It’s real. Ready to go.

And October’s Book Of The Month is: ‘MORE TIME FOR POLITICS’ – Dairies 2001-2007 By Tony Benn. The great man mentions having me over to his house in his Diary entry of 27/2/2007. I’m chuffed about that.
Of course, i’ve mentioned that he features on my new album. When I studied Politics at Uni he was an inspiration and I used to use his diaries for research. Then, one time later I was flying down to London (think it was during the promo campaign for the release of ‘Us’) and i noticed that he was sitting a few rows behind me on a plane from Glasgow.
I checked the papers and noticed he had been awarded an Hon Doctorate from Paisley Uni. I couldn’t decide whether to say hello or not, and tell him how much i repected him. I copped out. But when i got out of Heathrow i sat in the cab and thought, bugger it, so i ran back in to one of the world’s busiest airports
to try and find him. Searched all over the front desks and had a look in WH Smith. No luck. So i went home.

Anyway, earlier this year i had the idea that it would be good to get somebody whom i respect, and who has a great speaking voice, to speak some words over my new song ‘Pay Attention To The Human’. I thought of a few musicians but actually, Tony Benn was top of my list. I re-read his diaries of the 1970’s. Really interesting time, of industrial unrest, and the shift in power from Labour to Thatcher.
So i got in touch with his publishers and then he called. He is a great enthusiast. He was an MP for 51 years. He has consistantly campaigned for peace and he is one of the world’s great public speakers. At 80+ he puts most of us younger than him to shame with his schedule. I felt encouraged just talking to him.

My Grandfather passed away around this time, he was also respectful of Tony Benn. I think they actually
look quite alike. Anyway, I went to his house and recorded him. I was embarrased that my portable recorder wouldn’t work too well (all my decent equipment was in Glasgow so i had torn a piece of kitchen spunge for a makeshift pop-sheild) and he read his part perfectly into his machine. I had asked him what the phrase ‘Pay Attention To The Human’ meant to him in this day and age and he composed a poem on the theme. I think it says it all really.
He mentined that he had camped on Mull during the war. I’m not sure if my dad, Kenny Macintyre, who was BBC Scotland’s Political & Industrial correspondent, ever interviewed him, but i think he must have at one of the Labour Conferences i’d imagine. Of course, I can’t ask him now.

I can’t wait for you to hear Tony’s contribution.

His new book is a great read. I couldn’t put it down. Slightly surreal for me to have been re-reading one of his old volumes earlier in the year and now to appear in his new one. I didn’t tell him that when i was at Uni i wrote a poem about him. Actually i’ve just remembered it is called ‘Tony Benn’s Voice’. And now i’ve recorded it and it is on my new album. I’ll have to go and have a think about that !

Maybe one day i’ll send it to him.