Songwriters No.16 – Andrew Purcell

Tony Floyd Kenna | February 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Songwriters No.16

Andrew Purcell

February 2013

Number sixteen in a series where Songwriters on MT have been invited to tell a little about why they write, and to pick a personal favourite of their own. Andrew is an active member and supporter of MT  (ErdingtonSound).


Guitarist with Free Spirit (1977 – 1980) early recordings at  ( I did do some drums as well but not very well.

After this my first band proper, The Enemy jp (1981)  Strange Brew (1983)  The Shoal (1984 – 1986) six track cassette e.p. plus three track shared demo  The Chemists (1987 – 1990)  (One four track vinyl e.p. plus others at  Then The Chemists again (1994 – 1996)  (on you tube as The Chemists)  Then Vynyl Resistance/The dead kennies (1997 – 2002)  Then the Condition 2002-2006 and 2009-2010 (  I have just released an Instrumental album with Nigel Ratcliffe as The Nigel Purcell trio called “An evening with The Nigel Purcell Trio” you may of seen and heard the track “Purce goes to Ireland on Musicians together I am also part of Loft 51 (

All my stuff is on at

and on MT


Rory Gallagher

He got me into finding out about altered tunings like open D, G and DADGAD. He got me into where to stck your fingers and slide playing. I loved his attitude to playing live.


I did have a Vox ac30 but the valves kept blowing up It was such a sad ending. I recommend the ‘Taste’ album ‘on the boards’ as his finest hour.


In terms of songwriting and what you can do when you put your mind to it within the guitar bass drums idiom. I do wish they would play live again. I recommend the re-issue of ‘Black sea’ with the extra tracks.

Tom Waits

It’s about being brave enough to go off the usual path, creating moments and moods, ‘Rain dogs’ is such a brilliant album.

This is just a small section of stuff as I could go on for hours about other stuff I like. I don’t play live anymore; a mixture of nerves and physicality, the thought of loading and un-loading gear at 2am doesn’t thrill me anymore. I do think that at the age of 50, it would look a little silly of me jumping around like someone 30 years younger than me, perhaps I should sit down and do some of me quieter stuff but you never know.



I record my own stuff and create albums. I always have done, first using two cassette tape recorders, then a fostex x-15 and now the computer

I uploaded all my output to and over the years I’ve redefined it. I’m still not totally happy but I’ll keep tinkering with it. It’s the sandinista effect really, Joe Strummer said of that album, it’s a wonderful thing and he wouldn’t change it, well…That’s how I was when I first uploaded my stuff but you have to be brutally honest with yourself or someone else will!

Favourite Song I’ve written.

Well that wouldn’t be for me to say really would it so these are the tracks that others have liked most.

(a) Oohs and aahs

It’s an instrumental which is good because my singing is poor and it does hamper my melodies but instrumentals don’t.

I promoted it on and it went down very well, it was originally uploaded as a .midi file onto if you remember that. It can be found on “Plinky” or the compile “Quiet”.

(b) Near enough to be near, far enough to be far away

Simple tune recorded on the fostex, I salvaged it before the master cassettes died. It was big on whotune before I left. It’s on “94-97 Volume 1”.

The title comes from a time I went out with my other half Linda and Jon Horne. We went to a pub called “The Highwayman” on the road between Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield (google maps anyone). We got out the car and I said to Jon :

“I like this pub, it’s near enough to be near but far enough to be far away” and that’s how some songs start, as phrase you or someone else says.

(c) Trash

For some reason this pot boiler predicts my subsequent depression by ten years, again it’s a fostex recording.I could add more to it but that would spoil it, the feedback at the end must of annoyed the neighbours! It’s on “94-97 Volume 3”.

Oh go on then

My favourite is a track is called “Rain and fog” as it’s totally different to any thing else I’ve recorded, The video version contains a phrase I recorded on guitar in 1980 which then became the launch of the track some thirty years later, The music reflects the title. There’s a bit more to it than that but that’s another story.


Andrew on MT

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Category: Songwriting