Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Galileo Galilei
Dogman tells the story behind the song that became his bass player’s obsession


This song came from an instrumental piece I had been playing around with for a year or more. I remember getting into a ‘round’ sequence of the chords and the name Galileo as a sound ‘popped’ into my head. I scribbled down a rough lyric and the song was finished in a flash. I just wanted to be expressive and, secretly, 
falsetto like Sufjan Stevens.

What was more important to me at the time was Galileo became a ‘test song’ that I chose to record at Mr Smith’s ‘Audiofile’ studio, a modest unit hidden within a large industrial building in East Lancashire. The enigmatic Mr Smith - I have since named Nighthawk because of his nocturnal habits - previously had only ever been a telephone conversation. I heard a track on MySpace he had recorded and produced for another artist (Teaspoon) and thought I would see if we were compatible (bit like a blind date).
The opening of the song, which he surprisingly kept in the recording, has me announcing ‘out loud’ what all neurotics ask – “Why do we put ourselves through this?” I was feeling tense about getting the recording right on a cold Winter’s night exactly a year before my album ‘The cat that solved the String Theory’ was released. 

This gentle song is just me, strumming my Martin Dreadnought acoustic Guitar and singing solo. When I finally heard the result a week or two later I was quietly pleased. A bass player friend of Mr Smith - Andy Penney, later to become an integral part of the Dogman band, was soon driving around with a premix version playing on continual repeat.
The song sentiments are about how zealous religious belief can distort reality. Andy and Mr Smith felt as strongly about that and it could be said to be very relevant today. “Did they get you say that black was white and were the stars your shining light?”
I enjoy playing Galileo live when the audience quietens to listen.

A video can be found here:


  1. Oh, the strange, lucid, alienation of a reality based person surrounded by people who value their beliefs more highly than their observations. That you describe it with such gentle spirit makes it all the more compelling.

  2. I take that as a wonderful compliment and thank you for it kindly. X