Worthing singer-songwriter Greg Harper is enjoying a positive response to his new album, In It Together.
Greg’s songs touch on many subjects, the environment, local history, World War One and Two as well as up-to-date issues including fracking and bees. His songs have a strong narrative with very poetic words, he says.
“The title In It Together comes from one of the songs on the album. It is about the environment, the fact that we are all in it together. There is only one planet and we have all got to look after it.
“I would like to say that I think we could change our habits towards the planet, but I have listened to David Attenborough for years and years, and I always wish he wouldn’t say something quite so hopeful at the end of his programmes. It would make people react. When Blue Planet 2 came out, they showed the plastic in the oceans, and it seemed to resonate with everybody. I just wish that could have happened sooner.
“But I am not sure that it is likely that people change to such an extent. Will you ever get people to agree that there is a problem if it is going to cost them? That’s the problem. Maybe the climate will get rid of a few humans first.
“I am not greatly optimistic about the way that humans act. There is a big swell among reasonable people. I loved that Swedish girl. When she spoke up and got some coverage, that was fantastic. She was saying ‘Why am I sitting in school and you are teaching me stuff that won’t be relevant if we haven’t got a planet!’”
Other themes also feature on the album, particularly in the song Unspoken: “It is about our grandads who fought in the First World War or the Second World War and never said a word about it. They just kept it all inside for years and years. Most of that generation were very stoic and just kept it all inside them.” Greg wrote a song on a previous album called For King And Country about the men that didn’t return. Unspoken represents Greg thinking about how they might have been had they survived.
“This is my fifth album. I released the first one in 2009. This last one took longer than normal because someone else was doing a lot of the recording and the producing for me, but he has done a fabulous job. The response has been great.”
Another song is called Nightingale: “The thought behind this song is about when a career turns into a job. People spend years and years training and then the job becomes poo and no longer something special…”
As for the music overall: “The music sounds like something on the edge of country and folk. The folk is that it is music about things that have happened and about things that are happening now. Originally folk songs were about what was happening at that time, so I guess in a way these are modern folk songs.
“But if I went into a folk club, there might be some traditionalists who might say that it wasn’t folk at all though others would say it was. Really it is poetry with some notes attached!”