From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: Cornwall (We Took The Western Greyhound Down The Atlantic Highway)

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing all week.


We took the Western Greyhound
Down the Atlantic Highway
And that’s when we found
Our way home
For on a clear day
You can make out something
We all believed in
Something good

Duffy: We accidentally moved to Cornwall. My brother meant to and we visited him and didn’t go back. He walked with us into town and we saw a house and bought it. We made our new album, No Sad Songs, in the basement. Artists haven’t gone back from here for centuries. The Newlyn School, Bernard Leach. Virginia Woolf. Barbara HepWorth. Ben Nicholson. Artists and hippies. Where else would the drummer of the International Submarine Band choose to live? Clive’s Original Band. That old hippy D.H.Lawrence got thrown out for being married to a German during the Second World War. Now we are so laid back now, we make Fleetwood Mac sound like the Dead Kennedys. In the past, I would’ve sped things up, but this time I recognised the slow groove and the softness was the thing. There was no point trying to pretend otherwise. Luckily, the Lilac Time has been granted cult status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of Cults. Coming from Birmingham—have I mentioned that?—our holiday time by the sea was brief. The West Midland being the most landlocked place you can find in the United Kingdom, although we had canals. Cornwall is the opposite the most coast of any county due to the lacks of land in-between its north and south coasts. The sea heals. The sea heals all wounds. I may have to light a blessed joss stick and listen as I sing:

Now in the dead of winter
Can we make a beach head
In the desert
Of our dreams
I saw a sign in heaven
Bohemia forever
Another dream of wonder
How wonderful to dream

Bohemia forever!