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The Sad Song Co: Blog

Nigel Powell: Attack the Blog!

I've been so far from here, far from your loving arms

Sunday 26th May, 2013

Some things are curious to me. Things which appear to be a lack of analysis, opinions not properly thought through. Then again that sometimes is just me and my Spock-ness, not appreciating the random foible of desire.

I read about the band that I play in on the internet. There, I've admitted it. In idle moments I'll let my eye wander down tweets that mention Frank Turner, The Sleeping Souls and other such search terms. And there's stuff that comes up quite often, some tongue-in-cheek, some not. Professions of love and a desire to be 'an item' with Mr Turner, and occasionally with the less bald, less short members of his musical quorum.

Apart from the obvious, it seems so disconnected with reality. Surely the most cursory of analysis would suggest how entirely 'not good' such a situation would be? Do you want a partner who is not at home for a minimum of half the year? And while you're left at home to ruminate day after day on your own insecurities, how would it be if while the partner is away they are put into pseudo-social situations night after night? And if you were so inclined you could find many examples on social media of members of the opposite sex having their pictures taken with the object of your emotion and desire, and they are many a thousand miles closer to them than you are. It's a recipe for darkness and discomfort and misery and difficulty.

I do generally try to be careful when it comes to complaining about any aspect of my job. It's a great living, and I've worked very hard to achieve where I am, and I'm aware that many people hanker after what I do and where I am. But hell - this is my blog, so I'm allowed to say what's on my mind - right?

I've been thinking about this recently because at the moment there is someone I feel a bond with. I'm not going to go on about it here - not only would that be entirely un-British, but there are a few markers I try and set up to contain my 'private' life. Besides which if I can't express how I feel about her face to face and she needs to read it in a blog then I'm in big trouble already…

But I'm a worrier. And I know from past and difficult and destructive experience that the difficulties are extant and numerous. When all I can be for months is a voice on the phone, or the ghostly not-quite-looking-right-into-your-eyes presence of a collection of Skype pixels, distance creates itself. When times are hard and all I want to do is cuddle her and make her feel better I feel my dereliction of duty keenly. Just missing someone from afar is corrosive - not only for it cracking the door to primeval urges to seek comfort elsewhere, the missing itself becomes corporeal, a slowly leaking ulcer, a creeping menace. And I know and recognise that feeling that the awful loneliness just seems amplified by there being someone who you need and can make you feel better who you will have no real access to for days, weeks, months. And talking yourself out of the idea that maybe it would be better (for me, for us both) to sunder the bonds, that separation from no-one is easier to cope with than separation from a loved one.

Bah. And humbuggy bollocks. It's just stress, a brief time at home remaking the connections as best I can, with my children and friends, but with the cloudy wall of a new schedule of touring rushing towards me, sucking in the Manhattan Island (Genesis reference #2 of just this blog) of my 'normal' life. And with this album becoming more successful tours and plans are stretching off further and further into the future, almost unthinkably far, and every time I come back my kids look older and every time I go away they miss me less. But fuck it. I'm manning up, once more into the breach etc. etc.

I hope you're getting used to the fact that these blogs are disjointed. Eventually they might even end up finishing right in the middle of a sente

Lisa, Mon 3rd June 2013, 06:42:04 PM
Thoughtful, and insightful...thank you...but....

I think its all about and insecurities, we (fans) wouldn’t get such great break up records, shame about the girly cant stop fantasy.. thats where most girls live. Best to you.
Bea, Fri 31st May 2013, 06:46:26 PM
Hey Nigel,
thanks for sharing your thoughts about this very personal topic.
As a Fan you always just see the Fan-side. Musicians having the time of their life on the road. you read all these "I love [insert random musician here] and I want to be with him/her" comments.
It is important to remember that musicians are "normal" people too, and that it is not easy to leave someone you love behind for such a long time.
You give up so much of your personal life to entertain people all around the world, strangers actually. But I am happy that there are people who do that, because if I hadn't had the chance to go to concerts when I was around 17/18 when I had a really hard time with my parents and school and everything.. I don't know where I would be now! Music has always helped me through rough times. But reading your blog makes me wonder, who helps you through your rough times? When you miss a loved one or in your case also your kids. I hope it works out for you.
So thank you for telling your side of the story!
Analisa, Tue 4th June 2013
Bea basically said everything I would have said, probably better than I could, so I just wanted to echo her (his?) comments. Additionally, as someone who is having her own doubts about her chosen career path (albeit for different reasons), it offers me some comfort to read about others struggling with such choices, too. It's all too easy for people like me to watch the Sleeping Souls (or touring friends) on stage and envy the life you lead because it looks so fun, so it's always good to hear things from the other side of the fence. Thanks immensely for always writing so honestly and eloquently.
Dan, Tue 28th May 2013, 06:13:26 PM
I have been pondering about if it´s useful to make any comments to your blog. Some thoughts don´t need any further statements, they remain intensive, untouched and yours alone.

So I start off by telling something about myself without giving any advice about right and wrong. Just like you I have been travelling on business for years now. I can´t even say how many days of 364 I stayed at home (to less I guess). I´m very aware about the emotional pain I leave behind and those I have to bear on my own. It´s hard to understand how oppressive the burden of thoughts can be and how your self-image sears into your mind and leaves a dull and taunting flavour. For those who keep their proper hours it seems very selfish to choose a life on the road but it´s not that easy. There are to many facets that influences my decision, beginning with the financial responsibility and stability for my kids to my very own twisted person and the passion I have for my job. I´m doing this for 20 years now and believe me, I asked myself a thousand times if I could avoid the suffer by coming back and close the door behind me and just live a “normal” life... and at the same time I catch myself thinking if my return would even make any chances. Would I chance? To whom would I chance to? Would everything just turn all right and all difficulties will be solved?
There´s much that remains open...
Barbara, Tue 28th May 2013, 12:49:26 AM
Hey Nigel,
it's great to read this and be reminded that artists are human beings with feelings and struggles like everybody else. Thanks for your honesty!
Being on the road all the time is certainly not the most normal way of life and I'm sure very challenging if you have a family.
Stay tough!
Music (especially live music) has helped me a lot during tough times.
I'm thankful to every artist who sacrifices some of their personal life to entertain me and other strangers.
It's always a pleasure to see Frank and The Sleeping Souls. I love bands who perform like they mean it and give everything. Also, thanks for staying so down to earth and in touch with the fans!
Diana, Mon 27th May 2013, 11:08:13 PM
Dear Nigel,

wow, your blog is very touching. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
Unfortunately sometimes there is no way to stop oneself from thinking. And then you come from one point to another.
There's one thing I would like to say. Keep doing things you like and love. It's your passion, a part of your life. I guess you wouldn't be the person you are without music, you did so much to improve and to make people and most important yourself happy. Believe in what you do, because it's really great. Everytime I see you on stage I see the joy you have and how much you like to see the crowd happy. I can see how much you put in this work and how enjoy to do all this. Of course times are hard sometimes, I believe that. Always remember for what reason you do that. Your loved ones want to see you happy, because than they can be happy. They will always be a part of your life and you will always be in their heart, no matter where you are, whatever you will do or what physical distance is between you. But they will be always with you, I'm sure. It doesn't matter how often you see each other. It's about how you use your time. Sometimes it's just that one cuddle or that one kiss to show how much your are loved.
Keep your head up! Be good to yourself.
Mandy, Mon 27th May 2013, 02:40:50 PM
Such a devoted revelation of the life on the road away from family and loved ones and how it is making a profound effect on who you are and the way you live your life in sad and not positive way…….really heart wrenching. Feck it, tell your girl you love her, move to the sun and make sure the kids are close by! Truly, even in England life is pretty good, change it babe! Things in life always happen for a reason.
I hope she sees your blog! Take care!
SteffffiQ , Mon 27th May 2013, 09:18:32 AM
Another beautifully written blog. You should certainly give some thought to doing this more regularly when your schedule permits.

I wouldn't say the topic is misery as such, just a realistic view into the life of those who aren't always where they want to be.
It's a way of life & I'm sure that when the time comes & you choose to call it a day those who love you will welcome you back into 'normality' with open arms. People adapt to missing loved ones, it's a coping strategy just like the family & partners of service men/women, cruise-ship or oil rig workers - although granted they most likely don't have the photographs or professions of love & such to deal with, they're still missing an integral part of their life. As someone who's been through it as a child & an adult - it's often harder & more keenly felt by the one that goes away.
Wow. That was longer than I intended. So I'll wander off now, but not before saying - I wouldn't worry too much about the fantasy lives people have being your other halves - it could be worse. My mum used to want to be Mrs Cliff Richard (*rolls eyes*). So really, it could be much, much worse.
Sally, Sun 26th May 2013, 11:35:15 PM
I don't know how much input you get on the amount of shows he plays, but I often wonder whether Turner thinks about you guys when he's booking crazy-busy tours. Whether he takes into account that it's not just him or whether he's more bothered about his own success. If you don't mind me chipping my opinion in, I know it's your choice to tour, but if you're worrying for your family and friends, they should come first. After all, it's them who will be there when all this is over. If you alienate yourself from them in the process of becoming successful if/when it all comes to an end, you'd have nobody. Is it really worth that? It sounds like I'm trying to talk you out of playing with the Souls, of touring - I'm not - and while I can't imagine what it must be like for you, being away from your family for such long stretches, I just think family and friends are more important.
As an incessant worrier myself, I also know how totally unhelpful comments like that can be if you're a worrier, so apologies if I've just made whatever's going on in your head worse. I'm also aware that my opinion probably doesn't matter a great deal, but I like to think that sometimes my opinion might actually help.
Once again, I love your writing style, it's wonderful. And for the record, I think you're lovely :)

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