On Wednesday evening whilst I was getting ready to pop out to The Punt – Oxford’s annual showcase of great emerging acts – an exciting message appeared on my Facebook wall from the BBC’s Mark Forrest Evening Show saying that William and His Ghost was being played that evening as one of their Introducing tracks. So pleased by this news that I did a little jumping dance. Nobody saw. Lucky.
Anyway, out I went, bumping into friends and music folk and having one, ONE, glass of red wine. At some point as I stood listening to the fantastic Traps and then later the unmissable Goggenheim, out into the ether – across *ALL* BBC local radio stations – went William’s story. There’s a few days left to listen back should you so desire. It’s at about 1h 49m 30s…
Oh and who is William? Well he is, was, a real person, my Great Great Grandfather William John Hagger who died in his mid-30s leaving behind his wife Winifred and four young children. The family lived in Stoke Newington in the late 1800s; books, printing & music in their blood. But, as with all my songs there are many more layers than the literal or obvious one: obsession & fantasy, yearning & hope, escape, nostalgia.
(And the record label/song 1784? All about William’s Suffolk-born grandfather Mr John Hagger…)