It’s official – there’s nothing particularly normal about me

To be any good, a song or story has to come from a personal place. It is, however well-disguised, a report from the tiny, little-known country of Me.

That makes being reviewed an odd process. It’s not just the work being assessed, it is you – your quaking little soul. Early in a career, this can be heady or distressing, depending on the verdict, but  soon enough any professional  who wants to survive will develop a thicker hide. If you can’t take the knocks, you probably shouldn’t be in the game.

Over time, I’ve concluded that people either get what I write and sing, or they don’t. If they like it, that’s great; if they don’t, there’s nothing I can say, do or be which will change their opinion.

As the Australian novelist David Malouf put it,

‘You come to realize that you can’t please everybody. If a book is passionate and peculiar, as a book ought to be, it will put some people off for exactly the same reasons that other people will love it.’

My new CD Enough About Me is officially released on 10th August and early reviews are coming in.   The signs are hopeful  – Gyles Brandreth has called it ‘witty, wistful, wonderful’ and Ian D Hall in Liverpool Sound and Vision was also complimentary  –  but the review which has niggled at me most was in Maverick, the country music magazine.

Giving the CD a slightly queasy three stars, the reviewer Rob Ramsey used words like ‘quirky’, ‘peculiar’ and ‘eccentric’ to describe me and my music.  Enough About Me is for those who like to think outside the box, he wrote. The review opens, a touch ominously, with the words,

‘Nothing about Terence Blacker is particularly normal…’

Part of me is rather excited about this new edginess, but I’m mostly bewildered. I’d say my songs, with a little bit of humour, affection, some light satire and observation, could if anything do with more peculiarity, but then what do I know?

In fact, I’m going with it. I’m proud to be peculiar….

Enough About Me is now available to download and buy on Bandcamp .