Back To The Centre

BTTC Cover

“I had sort of quit performing for a year or two to write so these were all new and yet to be performed songs at the time. It was recorded in Buckinghamshire, largely in Hugh Murphy’s house and it was nice to be back with him – I probably felt that I wanted to get back to something closer to ‘Hard Station’. Then half-way through the album I wanted to change direction and I took it to London and Ian Maidman and I finished it.

One of the nicest things about it was bringing in other artists to play and sing. Eric Clapton plays on ‘Deep in Your Heart’. I had been touring Europe with him the previous year and he liked what I was doing. Larry Mullen also played on ‘Airwaves’. And the actual recording of ‘The Homes of Donegal’ was mighty craic – Loudon Wainwright and a lot of friends in the studio in London pretending we were in a pub in Glenties.

The first single ‘Walk The White Line’ was a hit in Ireland. There’s a couple of big songs for me on this record. I think ‘Follow On’ is one of the best things on it. Also ‘Wheel Of Heartbreak’ remains one of my favourites. I was actually still writing ‘The Island’ as I stood in front of the microphone. I was sort of forced into actually finally singing the last line and that’s the only way I’d ever have finished that song. I’d been writing it for years. This record was the first time I had played with Liam Genockey and Kenny Craddock, both of whom went on to tour with me for a couple of years. Kenny’s piano interpretation of my song ‘The Island’ is a truly magical thing.”