Nightjar (2008)

Nightjar Cover Art

Nightjar came about because between the release of Hanging Out In Heaven and the two Noctorum albums I had written another batch of songs. The songs were starting to get old before they were recorded as I had been playing them live and they had become staples of the set. Lullaby For The Lonely, I Must Have Fallen and Feed Your Mind had worked well as acoustic songs. So instead of making a new Noctorum album from scratch we decided to record the batch of songs that I had written but produced by Dare in a Noctorum style. It still has acoustic elements with songs like More Is Less and the countryesque  parody A Game For Losers and the yearning The Love You Never Had. When we came to record Lullaby For The Lonely we decided to add drums. It was actually me playing the drums on this track, except for the long drum roll that was played by local drummer Nick McCloud – the wonders of technology. No One There I wrote at my parents house just after my Mum had died and I hear her in that song. Otherwise Song For Victor Jara was written out of despair for the plight of this man who was tortured  and killed by the fascists in  Pinochet’s military coup that overthrew and murdered Salvador Allende, the left wing elected president of Chile in 1973. It has become to be known as the other September 11th. I was asked to perform this song on the 25th anniversary of the coup in front of an audience of Chileans at Marrickville town hall in Sydney. I had the song translated into Spanish and read it allowed before performing the song in English. Everyone in the audience knew who Victor Jara was, it was a powerful moment for me. On a recent trip to Chile I visited his grave in Santiago. The cover art and title were inspired by reading about the Nightjar, a bird that prefers not to fly if it doesn’t have to and nests on the ground. I drew the picture on the cover with pen and ink and then flipped it onto its side for the mirror image resembling a butterfly.