Speechless

Andy White

Released 06 March 2000

  1. Welcome
  2. Speechless
  3. Belfast Poems
  4. Religious Persuasion
  5. Last Day Of Summer
  6. Groovy Kind Of Way
  7. A Million Miles Away
  8. James Joyce’s Grave
  9. Between A Man And A Woman
  10. Travelling Circus
  11. Jacqui
  12. Home
  13. Street Scenes From My Heart
  14. You And Your Blue Skies
  15. Acoustic Guitar
  16. See-Through Smoker
  17. The Last Fantastic Book
  18. The Sound Of No Helicopters
  19. Don’t Be Afraid
  20. Yeah Yeah

Andy White

Liner notes

Why?  A lot of reasons.

I’ve been asked for a long number of years about a live album, and also about a solo live me-and-a-guitar album.  Recently, when I’ve played WOMAD festivals with Davy or gigs with Kieran, I’ve been asked if I have any recordings featuring these wonderful musicians and friends.  Hopefully this album will answer some of the questions.  I’ve enjoyed so many gigs and so few live tapes.  A lot of the best concerts aren’t recorded and most that are recorded end up like books of song lyrics or old phone numbers – there’s something or somebody missing.  Then along came Thomas and the WOMAD and Real World people.

The suggestion was to record songs and some poems too —both from my albums and my book ‘The Music of What Happens’, since the two are closely related— to capture the immediacy of live performance in a studio environment.  One of the poems begins “there is a spirituality that comes from movement”.  You can see this in the flags at WOMAD festivals and hear it in the music and the wind in the trees.  I was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a lot of these songs set out from there.

Photo credit: Michele Turriani

In the summer of 1999 —between WOMAD festivals in Reading and Seattle— Kieran, Davy and I recorded for three days at Real World in Box, Wiltshire.  One afternoon I did a poetry reading with songs.  Bronagh came up on the train to play drums and sing.  Gopal and his Indian musicians and family were recording next door.  There were photos just before sunset on the final afternoon.  John and Alan came round on our last night for beers and songs, whilst Jacquie presided over everything along with Claire, Edel and assorted pets.

The sun was still shining when Davy and I returned to mix at the end of August.  We both arrived and left late at night, driving a mysterious red car with Irish numberplates.  Peter appeared to water tomatoes, and somehow the running order in my head turned out to make sense on tape. We’ve included songs from the live sessions and the reading, along with some poems.  If you already are familiar with my albums then I hope you like the live versions of the songs and the new pieces too.  If my work is a recent discovery for you— welcome to the show!

Andy White

Credits

Thanks to everyone on the album… everyone at WOMAD and Real World… John Leckie for vibes and his bass… Bradley Clarke at Maton Guitars for the 12 string… Christine, Maria and all who make it work and play… in remembrance of Gopal Shankar Misra… for mother and father— love, Andy.

The Musicians
Andy White: acoustic guitar, bass, vocals
David Crichton: violin, fiddle
Kieran Kennedy: electric guitar, backing vocals
Bronagh Gallagher: drums, backing vocals

With:
Dave Powers: drums on ‘Jacqui’
Ram Kumar Mishra: hand drum on ‘Jacqui’

All songs and poems by Andy White except ‘Last Day Of Summer’ by Andy White/Tim Finn and ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ by Andy White/Liam Ó Maonlaí.

Produced by Andy White.

Executive guidance from Thomas Brooman.

Recorded and mixed by Jacquie Turner assisted by Edel Griffith and Claire Lewis at Real World Studios, Box, England, 26-28 July and 31 August 1999.

A Real World Design
Graphic design by Anna-Karin Sundin
Photography by Michele Turriani
Sleeve notes and writing by Andy White

Further Listening

  • Let The Cards Fall

    The Breath

    Released 14 September 2018

    A bewitching collection of songs that journeys from lush, beguiling storytelling to uplifting, punch-the-air anthems. Allowed to mature and breathe without losing the widescreen, multi-textured kaleidoscope of sound that marked their debut, Let the Cards Fall refines The Breath's unique Manchester take on alt-folk.
  • Redemption’s Son

    Joseph Arthur

    Released 10 June 2002

    Joseph Arthur’s third album is a consistently inspired, occasionally frazzled, and often startlingly beautiful album. It's the kind of record with which you can build a slow, sustainable love affair. Its rich textures, vulnerability, and acute, poetic lyrics are guaranteed to slacken jaws and raise goose bumps.

Further reading

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ‘Live at WOMAD 1985’ out today

Relive the magic of July 20th 1985, a pivotal performance for the legend of Qawwali music.

7 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Award nominations for Real World artists

The RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards will take place in Vicar St., Dublin on 24 October 2019.

9Bach on keeping the Welsh folk music alive, fresh and evolving

9Bach reflect on 10 years as a band, and adapting Welsh folk music on their debut album.

7 East African artists performing at this year’s Ongala Music Festival

Named after the late Remmy Ongala, the event showcases exciting new East African talent.