To celebrate the 2007 UK tour with The Christians, we put together a 16-track compilation CD entitled ‘Black:CV’.
Born in 1962, when Elvis’s Good Luck Charm was Number One and playing on the radio, Colin Vearncombe, otherwise known as Black, is about ready to lose himself – again.
An artist’s life involves frequently losing oneself. For a singer-songwriter, it’s an important part of the process of creating something that no-one has heard before; a melody, a lyric, a performance. A unique combination of instances, filtered through a life.
We, as audience, find him here in a collection of recordings; fleeting moments captured in time. Hardly more than an outline sketch of a career which already spans over twenty five years but a sketch which at least indicates markers in a journey that in many ways has barely begun.
The journey for any real artist is never finished. The artist’s creative life, punctuated by ‘terrible highs and fabulous lows’ is a life of constant evolution and discovery. It has to be that way, otherwise art turns into craft and demands the constant repetition of a formula, which while potentially briefly satisfying an audience, can never fulfil the needs of the artist committed to their own journey.
Along the way, published work only marks out moments of stopping to say ‘this stage is interesting’. It neither encapsulates nor defines anything other than that stopping point and as with all journeys, every stopping point eventually becomes the next starting point.
It is for the listener to connect the dots that form along the way, to make conclusions and judgements about connections and influences because artists are rarely interested in their own past; they are too busy worrying about their future.
But is an artist’s journey any different from anyone else’s? Isn’t it simply that artists choose to let others experience their work – to lay bare a part of their lives and invite others to consider it? If any of us had the courage (or is it mania?) to document our journey in such a publicly naked fashion, would we not feel the same? How much would we, or could we, rely on the audience for validation?
This compilation, the first ever to be actually compiled by Colin, has been chosen from a catalogue of more than one hundred stopping points. It could have been completely different, but it would still have told the same story.
So when I have to go before St. Peter I’ll knock on his neon door and say “look at what came to be my journey” – Two Churches
released April 5, 2007
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