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Updated: 17 Aug 2010



On A Night Like This
Grace Darling
Song Of A Sad Little Girl
Tell Me What You See In Me
Beside The Rio Grande
Ways And Means
Shepherds Song
We'll Meet Again Sometime

This lunchtime Mike and I fought our way through the floods and thunderstorms of our British "summer" to attend the launch of Dave Cousins' lyrics book "Secrets, Stories and Songs" at one of Dave's favourite local pubs in Deal - The Deal Hoy. Dave had decided that he would rather launch the book there than a cramped bookshop which was fine by us as we were able to relax with a drink and one of their fantastic steak BBQ burgers.

The weather may have been partly responsible for the turnout being a little lower than hoped for, either that or the fact that many (lucky) people are off in sunnier climes enjoying their summer holidays. Those of us who attended (Mike and I being the only Witchwooders) were treated to a 45 minute Cousins and Cutler set in the bar rather than in the gardens as planned due to the rain. They guys were on great form and would have played longer but unfortunately Ian, already hot foot from several appearances at Broadstairs Folk week had to rush off to the Isle of Sheppey for yet another gig later in the afternoon.

After the music, Dave established himself at a table with copies of the new book and before long just about everyone in the pub was clutching their own signed copy, ours no:45 having arrived in the post. For those of you still without a copy, the description of this as a book of lyrics doesn't do this volume justice. Each song not only has the lyrics, but album covers, photos, snippets of Dave's thoughts and memories associated with it and for the musicians amongst you he has even included the tuning used and instruction how to achieve it.

There are some intriguing glimpses into the usually private life of the writer and in some cases Dave teases the reader by giving partial explanations that keep you wondering, often posing even more questions. Dave assured me that a full autobiography is planned for next year expanding on the content in the current book.

As a final treat there is a CD included of Dave reading 17 of his songs/poems aloud - in contrast to the dramatic way the lyrics are often delivered in song here they are very measured and Dave's voice very smooth and soothing. All in all a great package which will be of interest to casual listeners or hardcore Strawbs fans alike. Buy one !!

For other reviews and comments on the book, check out the main Secrets Stories and Songs page.

More photos from Sue

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