All Night North CD

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all night north - songs to words by Philip Larkin

all night north CD artworkIn his Foreword to A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull (Bloodaxe, 1982), Philip Larkin states that Hull is “as good a place to write as any”; and, further, that it is “Better, in fact, than some. For a place cannot produce poems: it can only not prevent them”. This is hardly a resounding endorsement of the city (the same could be said to apply to all cities); but it is, nonetheless, true.

Artistic inspiration can, evidently, be found in all places, and in all things: but not by all artists in the same things nor, indeed, the same places. Larkin took his inspiration from the temporal: advertising hoardings, photographs, posters, paintings, TV programmes; and from far more significant philosophical and spiritual concerns, such as existence, love, the ageing process and extinction. However, what distinguishes great artists is the art they produce, and not what inspires them to produce it.

As part of the 2010 programme to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Philip Larkin, the songwriters whose work features on this recording were each asked to take as their inspiration a Philip Larkin poem, and to create from it a musical setting or interpretation. The contributors rate among the best contemporary songwriters working in (or associated with) this city; the place where Larkin chose to spend the last 30 years of his life. These are their songs: they speak for themselves.

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Man-made Noise

Man-made Noise

1. Mr Bleaney 4.36
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Terence James Dunn
Produced: Terry Dunn/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 4 January 2010

Kristian Eastwood

Kristian Eastwood

2. At Grass 4.00
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Kristian Eastwood
Produced: Kristian Eastwood/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 22 February 2010

MyOneManBand

MyOneManBand

3. Annus Mirabilis 5.07
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Phill Wilson
Produced: Phill Wilson/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 23 April 2010

Edwina Hayes

Edwina Hayes

4. This Be The Verse 2.24
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Edwina Hayes
Produced: Edwina Hayes/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 27 April 2010

Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

5. Toads 4.53
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: James Waudby
Produced: Horse Guards Parade/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 31 March 2010

Awash with AntleR

Awash with AntleR

6. Far Out 4.52
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Bennett/Booth/Currie
Produced: Awash with AntleR/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 22 January 2010

The Holy Orders

The Holy Orders

7. The Dance 12.46
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Matt Edible
Produced: The Holy Orders/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 1 April 2010

Kingdom By The Sea

Kingdom By The Sea

8. Home is so Sad 2.50
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Greg Ullyart
Produced: Kingdom By The Sea/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 2 February 2010

The Cardboard Cutouts

The Cardboard Cutouts

9. The School in August 3.04
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Robert James Rowe
Produced: The Cardboard Cutouts/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 19 April 2010

James Orwin

James Orwin

10. Femmes Damnées 3.46
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: James M. Orwin
Produced: James M. Orwin/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 22 April 2010

Black and White Tango

Black and White Tango

11. Is it for now or for always 5.22
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: J. Gray/T. Hancocks/A. Scott
Produced: Black & White Tango/John Spence.
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 16 April 2010.

The Notebook

The Notebook

12. Continuing to Live 5.12
Lyrics: Philip Larkin
Music: Marsham/Mansfield
Produced: The Notebook/John Spence
Recorded: Fairview Studios, 17 April 2010

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