Union Road

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Mick writes:

Forgive me, please, for being a little self indulgent. This is a song about my early adult life in South London, roughly the 1970s and 80s, when I lived first in Tooting and later, after an excursion to Los Angeles, in Peckham and then Tooting Bec / Streatham. In that time I would have been involved in Killing Floor, SALT, and early Mick Clarke Band.

And looking back it was certainly a vivid time, with a huge circle of friends and a busy musical life. I was never home. So the lyric wrote itself - maybe an exercise in excorcising the ghosts of the past .. who knows. Generally I prefer to look forward, not back, but maybe it had to be done.

So the song deals with band meetings, sometimes formal sometimes an excuse for a drink. And casual jams of which there were many, between the official gigs, of which there were never enough. Could be at the Half Moon in Herne Hill, The Two Brewers in Clapham or, in this case, The Plough in Stockwell.. always affectionately referred to as 'the Ploff'. Union Road just fitted the lyric, although in fact it is where my wife Linda grew up.. I think that's called symmetry..

Musically, I wrote the riff in my sleep and frantically hummed it into my old cassette dictaphone when I woke up. The song and lyrics came spilling out almost immediately afterwards.

It's not very bluesy, more of a pop song misplaced from the 70s or 80s. But I always think that if I can write something original I might as well get it out there, and someone will enjoy it. I hope you get something out of it and I'll be interested to see how it does.

'Union Road' by Mick Clarke.
Released Friday 2nd February 2024.

Mick Clarke - Union Road South London heat - sticky August summer in the evening time
Young and alive - no money no worries and I'm feeling fine
The Northern Line gets me to Stockwell and it drops me off
There's a blues jam happening and they're rockin' - yeah rockin' down at The Plough

Need a rehearsal have a band meeting yeah we gonna figure a new plan
Look at some pics talk about strategies gotta meet with the man
Well I may get sick I may get lonely, but I know that I'll never grow old
Humming a tune like a loon walking down on Union Road

Meeting with friends so many friends where did they go?
Every night was a party we were so lucky but we did not know
False memories entwine and conjure up false stories adventures and so..
South London days - good friends, good times and Union Road