Rychard Carrington reports on Sam Inglis – The Globe Ale House, Cambridge 5 September 2009

Sam Inglis
Globe Ale House, The


Sam Inglis is the great-great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin. He's the author of Teach Yourself Songwriting, and a book about Neil Young's Harvest. He's also Britain's greatest living songwriter - I truly believe so. At least he's the most underrated. He remains unsigned, virtually unrecorded. He doesn't go in for much self-promotion, so I'm very lucky to have discovered him.


Often he plays in a country-rock combo called The Morning People (alongside singer-songwriter Paul Goodwin), but tonight he's completely solo (with acoustic guitar), which has the advantage that more focus is accorded to lyrics. Like most of the best lyricists (Loudon Wainwright, Jonathan Richman, Neil Innes), Inglis uses humour to comments perspicaciously on life, well beyond the usual songwriters' topics. He has written a songs about Sunday walks and the disadvantages of having babies, a verse about listening to Test matches on the radio, and tonight he premièred a song about John the Baptist, from a promised album about the lives of saints. Not that Inglis is a believer: tonight he sang God Is My Support ('he hints at former glories/in half-hearted performances, on stage at eight o'clock'). We were also treated to Morning People classics If Wishes Were Horses ('...then I would be stable') and Older Women ('...are all the rage/a certain confidence comes with age'), the gently candid Awkward and the poignant High Jump.


Look out for the forthcoming Morning People album, and, if your eyes are sufficient beady, for any low-profile, high-quality gigs from the magnificent Mr. Inglis.


This review previously appeared in the excellent national music magazine R2 (aka Rock'n'Reel). Reproduced by kind permission of the editor, Sean McGhee. 


Writer: Rychard Carrington