Cathal Smyth – sometimes known as Chas Smash when he's around the lot from Madness – releases solo album A Comfortable Man on Monday (11 May). It's reviewed in our new issue – Q347 out now – but here's an exclusive preview of the album ahead of its release, including the music and Smyth's own track-by-track guide.
You’re not Alone
There is no end, no beginning, its all an illusion held together by the ego. Don’t be frightened. Fall through the beautiful confusion, breath deeply and find peace in the now. This was inspired by the premature death of a friend, it also made me think of those I know who are troubled souls. First we create our habits then our habits create ourselves.
Shabat She Come’s
Like a breath of fresh air she came into my life. I celebrate her though it wasn’t to be, I am grateful to have known her, what spirit. She was intoxicating. What a beautiful dance this life is. The gods were smiling. I wish I had read some Rumi to her.
A Comfortable Man
My memories of what have shaped me and brought me to this point where vulnerability, the gentle way is my ground, my path and my comfort. I am who I am. There is only acceptance. The rest is as it is.
Goodbye Planet Earth
I read Schumacher’s: Small is Beautiful, thirty years ago. This book frightened me then and re reading it recently how prescient he was. Mining, Metallurgy, Money, Mechanisation and the Military are all part of the maelstrom that is devouring our planets resources with no thought for our future.
Do You Believe in Love
How many time’s do we need to be told that Love is All. What a force Love is. Better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. I still love her and I feel better for that, even though she is not in my life.
Love Song No. 7
This is simply how it felt. Don’t we all feel this way when someone we love says its over. I wanted a lot of space within the music to suggest that which I was longing for, my home, my happiness and my family. It’s a time capsule of a moment in my life, like most of these songs a cathartic act which I was lost in.
She’s Got The Light
What attracts us to someone, like a moth to a flame? Perhaps the certainty that they reflect ourselves? I couldn’t help myself. She had the light.
A Requiem for Common Sense
War what is it good for? We have to remember our priorities. Put down the weapons and stop fighting you’re waking up the children. No excuses are good enough.
Are The Children Happy?
A window into my thoughts at that moment. I put it into words exactly how I felt then and actually heard who I was. It helped me deal with the pain. The memories of our life filled my minds eye. This song was a turning point in my writing. Truth has such a powerful sound and effect. It has quietly amazed me how many people have been touched by this song and related to the experience.
Love Song No. 9
If you don’t risk a broken heart you might never experience it. I wanted a sense of speaking quietly into her ear. To go back to that moment, to stir the memories. Perhaps, I’m just a daft old romantic. A Happy Fool.
All My Loving
It’s a simple song. Almost a lullaby. Im sharing in these words how I feel about love and my idea of commitment. What else can I say but go figure? Ive never been anything other than determined.
The Wren’s Burial
We are ever and will always be within each other, a part of each other, though we will all depart this mortal coil, memory keeps us living on in the hearts and minds of those who remain. Live well and accept its only a moment we are sharing. Cathal Smyth @cathalsmyth
For more head to Cathalsmyth.co.uk.