Beacon Backstories: Last Summer

The more I write about the songs the more I realise how much they’ve made things better for me. Maybe not one particular song but as a whole, it’s very comforting to know they’re out there in the world.

Premise: A cheery song about the premonition that life was about to get better, and a close friend was about to arrive.

I wrote the core of this under a tree by the stream at Beddington Park in a break between sets at the Wallington Music Festival, during a boiling hot year that I think must have been 2015. I spent a lot of that summer running around parks and lying in the grass in the sunshine – slept barefoot is a bit of an exaggeration but not by much – and also spent that year and the years around it playing a lot of music and making a lot of friends, so this song was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Recording Process:

This was one song that just got happier as it went along and it really was a team effort. The draft track having been passed around everyone was invited to contribute their own lines – Chris came in first with his bass line that pushed the song further on its cheery little path and then Vicky gave us a range of sounds by experimenting with different beaters – we ended up going with something top-endy to sit in the mix alongside Daniel’s snare. But the real show-stealer was Aidan’s ultra-catchy mandolin riff that had us all chirping along for days after that session. Then thought we’d throw in some vocal echoes in the verses.

Feature Lyrics:

Heard you calling in the rain coming down

Barefoot in the grass I slept


The way it’s always seemed to me

Life leads us where we need to be


Listen out for:

Extremely cheery mandolin starting 0:14 and onwards… and some tasty mandolin harmony at 2:44

Band stops in the verses like 0:23, 1:24, 2:42


Best band song by far! Lots of fun to play, great to have everyone pile in wherever it comes in the set.

Live video of Last Summer at Ruskin House (Croydon Folk & Blues Club) night 25th March 2018.