Author Archives: neilmcsweeney

In Review

Here are a few clippings of critical responses to A Coat Worth Wearing, all from March 2017. Thomas Blake – Folk Radio UK McSweeney’s songs combine the emotional depth of the Romantic poets with the weird and wonderful detail of Dutch genre painting. He is a true one-off. A Coat Worth Wearing is his fourth […]


I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Askew though my friend Paul Littlewood when Paul booked us both in to play Steve’s night at Cafe INDIEpendent in Scunthorpe. A few days later I had a chat with Steve for a series of podcasts he publishes via Mouth Magazine.

Strangers of Maresfield Gardens

My first CISV experience was an interchange with Norway in the summer of 1989. Within four short months the Berlin wall was breached. My life’s contribution to world peace was apparently off to a promising start.

Danse Macabre

We’ve reached the halfway point in this blog series – this being the fifth of nine tracks. I’m not going to offer any discussion of the lyric for Danse Macabre. Anything it can say, it can say alone.

Old Glory Blues

A native of the East Riding I met described our southernmost patch of the southernmost county of York as ‘only just’ Yorkshire. It’s an attitude echoed by many in Sheffield if asked about the anomalous Hallamshire district I grew up in. And on a scale of one to full blown Hallamite I’d say I’m about a four. So we’re talking pretty homeopathic concentrations of regional identity compared to some.

Atlantis (ii)

As the lyric emerged I had hopes that it could evoke a timescale longer than a single human life. The title was the last thing to come to me and I liked it precisely because it seemed to strengthen this possibility.

Atlantis (i)

I believe it was still customary in the seventies to put children out in the pram for a period each day whatever the weather. And I suppose I must have made my earliest explorations, stumbling across rough concrete paving slabs into wet grass, rose hips and what not.

Forlorn Hope

As we passed by I noticed one was for sale. As soon as I regained a signal I had a quick search out of interest and was a little surprised to find an asking price north of sixty grand.

Land of Cockaigne

It’s not clear to me why one particular image in a book of images, out of all the thousands of images that pass before my modern eye should provoke a response. However, my first thought on seeing the plump bodies slobbing about was that this was a pretty good representation of the average Sunday afternoon round our house.

Notes on a playlist

In music, as in all things, I take a generalist rather than a specialist approach. I enjoy exploring wide ranging styles of music and, as I think is probably evident from this playlist, tend to be drawn to certain consistent characteristics regardless of genre.