Liz is a Secret Coast Songwriter

At the start of 2023, Bobby Bluebell tweeted about a songwriting weekend. On the spur of the moment I messaged him to find out more, confessing my lack of musical ability or experience. His response? ‘You’ll be amazed at what you’ll achieve.’

So I signed up.

It’s about 9 hours’ drive to Tighnabruaich from where I live, so I stopped en route to catch up with friends.

The final few hours from Glasgow to The Hollies took me through some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen, and I’ve travelled a lot! Pulling into the driveway felt like coming home.

broken image

Let’s be honest, when I met the others, all with a guitar, or a ukulele, or keyboards, my heart sank. I had a notebook and a few scribbled ideas for some lyrics. (It’s a lovely yellow notebook to be fair, and on the front it says ‘Amazing things will happen’.)

I had an idea for a song about the charity I’m a Trustee of – it’s called From Me To You. The idea is the story of 2 friends, one of whom is very sick. The other doesn’t know what to say or do to help, so instead he writes letters about his ordinary day.

James Grant and Bobbly Bluebell, from the very start, were wonderful – supportive and encouraging, as was everyone there. I told them that when I was 13, I thought I fancied joining the choir at school. The music teacher asked, ‘why do you want to join the choir?’ 13-year-old Liz heard instead ‘you can’t sing.’ And so I didn’t sing. For 42 years.

broken image

6 hours into the weekend, James had me singing with him. Singing my lyrics! 24 hours after that we were singing it to the rest of the group, accompanied by my wonderful new pal Bobby Motherwell on guitar.

The songs that were born that weekend are amazing, and to watch the process was nothing sort of magical, and a real privilege.

We laughed a lot that weekend – especially when I thought Lynn’s lyrics about wearing ‘the collar that sets you free’ was about a Vicar (it’s not, its much raunchier than that!). And of course who can forget ‘Vatican, Vatican, rhymes with Terence Rattigan’?

broken image

As well as working on our own songs, we worked together on some fun ditties, we visited the local pub, ate amazing locally-sourced food, played a lot of pool (these pop stars are super competitive you know!) and built friendships that have endured.

broken image

A few months later we were performing our songs to a paying audience at the Glad Café in Glasgow, and in February this year I found myself in a recording studio. That was more nerve-wracking that performing on stage to be honest – I found the recording process really tough. James, of course, being the problem-solving magician he is, has produced a final track that I’m very proud of.

So guess what all my family and friends will be getting for Christmas? Yes, a copy of our album on vinyl!

broken image

Writing a song, performing it and then recording it – none of these things were on my goal list. But it’s been a blast – so much so I’ve already signed up to go back next March.

Will I see you there?

Liz Kentish