I forgot my headphones for my tablet. Two days in Blackpool without my music.
So I boiled the kettle and emptied two Colombian coffee sachets into my mug. Poured the boiling water straight. Black coffee done cheap. Looked out the sand smudged window of our room out to the sea and the emptiness beyond.
My music was the waves crashing furiously against the promenade. I looked out and thought about our new album. What do I write about where do i go from here? Where do my fellow musicians get their inspiration from? Two huge influences of mine, Matt Berninger (The National) seems to capture his lyrics perfectly, slightly off centre but enough meaning for you to relate and Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) writes of technology, robots that almost have feelings.
We head out the arcades. The slot machines flashing, bells sounding, coins spilling into metal trays. Reminds me of the arcade scene in Lost In Translation (greatest movie soundtrack ever). I look at the people wandering around, the fellow tourists, the locals staring into the machines, automatically hitting gamble as they clutch a plastic cup of coins. A young boy wanders around with a cowboy hat full of coins asking punters for change. Cheeky wee bugger. It’s here I think of characters again, the different life’s, all colliding in a sea of flashing lights and confusing bleeps. We head out onto the prom.
Here the stalls are still open, bored attendants hoping for a sale, some make a half-hearted pitch, two for a pound and all that. A tram rolls past, a modern machine not like the old romantic rollers from the past. Blackpool has aged but still has a bit of magic, a bit like an old 80’s light entertainer strutting their stuff on I’m a Celeb. I start to get ideas for lyrics, as my boy grabs my hand desperate for another shot on the racing car.
The next day after a full English breakfast we head further along the front towards the pleasure beach. I walk to a security gate and the burly guard asks me If I have a ticket. I meekly say no, he points me to the ticket booth. I was going to protest that when I were a lad you could walk in free. Inside the park I am £34 lighter but still giddy with excitement. My childhood taps my shoulder as I hear the siren of the ghost train, the clacking of the roller coasters and the laughing clown. Again lyrics flood my head, the yearning to return to simpler times can be disturbing.
I’m keen to show my lad round the shows but he falls asleep…So I run to the Pepsi Max roller coaster. As I stand in the queue I look at the faces of boredom as we are about to ride upon one of the tallest, fastest coaster in Europe, according to the voice over. Later I grab my wife and we run onto the ghost train and I try to make her jump every time we turn into a dark corner.
Sometimes you need a change of scene to write the next act, I often wonder how other writers pen their lyrics. I hope as the sun sets on our break I’ll go home and create some more characters that will come alive in our new songs. See you again Blackpool!
If you are a writer please tell me how do you get inspired?