Saturday 24th June
We have had quite a few days of really warm weather. And this morning (Friday) we had the blessing of some warm summer rain. The temperature much cooler, if only for a short while. There is nothing quite like warm summer rain. You can smell the rain in the air, it is soft and plangent on your face, refreshing and gentle.
One of my musical heroes, Phillip Goodhand-Tait wrote a song with that title “Warm Summer Rain”…and it always comes to mind when we have this weather phenomenon. The song is one of his best. It begins with the sound of birds chirruping and a gentle strummed guitar before the piano and his voice….Oh, and what a voice. So distinctive, with a yearning and imploring edge. They tried on this one album to turn him into a ‘Pop-Star’ with brightly coloured shirts and even a minor hit ‘You Are’ – but Phillip was never cut out for ‘Pop’ stardom. He had been in a rock and roll band ‘The Stormville Shakers’ but had been making beautiful solo singer-songwriter albums in the early Seventies. Not sure when I first heard him, maybe it was on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ (surely due for a new run-out, even if whispering Bob Harris might be a bit old to front it these days). I learnt so much from that programme; saw so many new bands in the studio, interviews with my heroes and some great album tracks too.
Anyway, as Phil sings “Well I have to admit that the rainbows out today” it lifts my heart. Such a simple sentiment, “I have to admit that I tried to look away – from the kindness of her tears, and the blindness of the years – do I have to tell her the Summer’s here again – Warm Summer Rain, drawn cold insane – what every Summer does you’ll never know.”
I got to speak to Phil (via e-mail) a couple of years ago, when I bought two Japanese mini-album CDs from his website. He still manages a few concerts a year and sells his old records on the internet. I was so pleased to talk with him and sent him a copy of “Catherine’s Story” which he read and said he really enjoyed….
I am never sure just what the lyrics mean – a mix of sadness but uplifting too. And the most immaculate vocal from Phillip. Love it….