Robbi Curtice

My essentials for Stereographics by Robbi Curtice
« J’ai rencontré Robbi Curtice deux fois seulement. La première en 2008 à Londres, la seconde en 2015 à Swindon. C’est en 2013 qu’il me propose (par mail, au-dessus de la Manche) que l’on collabore à des chansons, selon un procédé qui se vérifiera avec le temps : il m’envoie un texte, je lui renvoie une maquette (chantée), il remplace ma voix par la sienne – le tour est joué.
Il est drôle de lire les influences d’une personne qui vous a elle-même influencé. Les maquettes (plus encore que le single officiel) composées par Robbi Curtice et Tom Payne à la fin des années 1960 sont un bain (de jouvence triste) dans lequel je me suis immodérément plongé bien avant de savoir que je composerais un jour pour lui. “Gospel Lane” bien sûr, mais aussi “The Things I Do For Pamela”, “Just Like That”, “Evening Falls”, “Door To Door”…
De la “musique de chambre” au sens propre, avec pour seul arrière-plan un piano et un orgue (parfois une mini percussion). Et des choeurs, bien sûr. Plaintes adolescentes, enjouées et vibrantes : on ne voyage pas. On imagine, on rêve. Robbi ne regarde pas par la fenêtre. Il regarde le piano de Tom. Et il chante. A la perfection. »
— Benjamin Esdraffo


Picking out the influences on my life and my songwriting is difficult for me. Now that I’m getting older there have been so many, most of which I will have already forgotten! 

As a teenager I took part in various sports enthusiastically. I loved soccer but unfortunately my school only played Rugby football. For several years I threw myself into heavy and punishing tackles, which have now left their legacy in several aching bones in various parts of my body. In the picture it is me holding the ball, seconds before I was tackled!

The written word has always meant so much me, both as a pupil and later as a teacher. In my teenage years at Warwick School, a teacher called Alban Browne somehow managed to inspire me to suddenly see the beauty and subtlety of literature of writers like Thomas Hardy. It was literally an epiphany for me, as I compared a draft version of a poem by Wilfred Owen with the final published version, and worked out why Owen had made the changes.

It was then easier to make the link to the lyrics of songs by writers like Jimmy Webb and Paul Simon, and understand that they were poetry set to music. I tried my hand at writing my own poetry and then some poetic lyrics and eventually thought a composer might like to try set them to music. My first songwriting partner was Tom Payne“The Ashmore-Payne Songbook 1 & 2” and “Fast Forward Thirty” and much more recently I have been collaborating with Benjamin Esdraffo – “Nothing to Write Home About”. Long may this continue! 

My wife and family of course are very important to me. We married in 1972 and after all this time we still like each other!  When I attempt to make the imaginative leap that leads to true creativity I need to be able to rely on the strong and guaranteed support of my family that will bring me safely back down to earth!

Robbi Curtice
June 2023

More informations about Robbi Curtice

• About “Nothing to Write Home About”

• Miscellaneous 
lightspots 1967

My essentials for Stereographics by Robbi Curtice
© Robbi Curtice All rights reserved / Reproduction prohibited without permission of the author

Newsletter Stereographics

Pour ne rien manquer d’Essentiels et tout suivre de Stereographics.

Autres à lire

“La première fois qu’on a rencontré Xavier, c’était sur la Bourse aux Disques annuelle organisée par le festival Hibernarock, chez nous dans le Cantal. …
Through Mellowtone Records, Dave brings some of the best in new songwriters, blues, folk, acoustic and roots music. Mellowtone is so much more than …