Today my houseguest and friend, Dom, and I went to the village of Castle Combe. It was like going back in time 400 years. The sun was setting over the river, the English cream tea was perfect then when we get home Dom told me about how in the pub next door a woman confided to him that she is hiring a hit man to take out her former fiancé. Seriously. Welcome to the Cotswolds and welcome to Eve’s life 2011/2012 – a time and a place where anything could happen.
It’s funny how being somewhere so beautiful and yet so barking makes you feel more connected to your own roots. When I’m walking under the bare branches in Wiltshire instead of breathing in the beauty around me in the moment I imagine that I was in Crawfordsburn, or standing on top of Scrabo Hill. That’s what has happened to my music, too. I’ve become so much more plugged into County Down. I hope that shows in ‘Between the Lines’ and ‘Parallel Worlds’. That Irish sense of exile has really hit me, although I am having the best time of my life. I hope the prodigal will be welcomed when I go home for Christmas the day after tomorrow.
In this group of people I had never met before this year, I have learned that it is a really blessing in life to be Irish. I can hear how Irish music is a bit like fish and chips... sometimes you just get a mood for it and nothing else will do. I have one fellow Celt who out-Celts me so much I might as well be Australian in the songwriting stakes (I would post a link but despite being a genius musician he doesn’t like to be heard), and a friend from Derbyshire who writes as if he were a Celt in that he has songs about Celts going nuts and knifing people. I appear on the track as the aforementioned psychopath (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/JimmyBenn/326642844020016 ). But to be Irish is good. People buy you drinks. People expect you to be able to jig... and they never ask you about politics.
In 2012 I hope to record a collection of Celtic-inspired songs. And I am definitely not going to lose my accent.