Chris Wood in Faversham

The award winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Wood has lived in Kent all his life. “If you keep moving around, how much can you trust your judgement?” he asks. “If you stop where you are, the world does eventually come to you.”

Since the Brexit referendum and election of 2019, Chris has been in challenging mood.  On this walk with his dog Dancer and Matthew Bannister, Chris performs his song “Take Back Control” and contrasts the commuters on the London-bound platform at 6 every morning with what he calls “the slope-shouldered, whey-faced broken people” in Faversham’s greasy spoons and declining market place. “This is my muse,” he tells me. “This darkness and this hypocrisy and these contradictions – I thrive on it”. Sometimes he feels the only way forward is to follow the simple philosophy: “be kind and grow a garden”.

As he takes Matthew out onto the marshes around the Faversham creek, Chris reminisces about sailing the coastal waters with his Dad, then waxes lyrical about lying down for a nap in the reeds and waking to the enormous expanse of sky.  He sings his setting of a John Clare poem. There’s also time to visit his allotment – although Chris says his wife Clare is the gardener and he is simply the “old, broken-down tractor”.  A fascinating and thought-provoking conversation with one of England’s most acutely observant and poetic songwriters.

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