Pete Atkin - sings the lyrics of Clive James

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Last Show: Friday 18 th August 2017

The Pheasantry (Chelsea)

After Pete's sell-out Pheasantry debut last November, we're delighted to welcome him back for another unique selection of the songs he has written over many years with the extraordinary Clive James.  These are some of the most entertaining songs you'll hear anywhere.  As Stephen Fry says, they are "funny, sad, beautiful, true".  They are also tuneful and memorable, and deserve to be far better known.   Pianist Simon Wallace will once again help Pete bring them to life  in this perfect setting.

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"Superb final chapter in creative partnership.... James brings wit and emotion to Atkin's melodies .... make it this one."

Q magazine

Pete Atkin met Clive James fifty years ago, when they were both students.  They discovered that they shared a fascination with songs, and started writing together.    

In the 1970s Pete made six albums of the songs and built up a large and loyal audience, thanks at least partly to the late, great John Peel, among many others.   But although Pete made his living in music, they never did hit the really Big Time, and both he and Clive found other ways to pay the rent.   

But their songwriting was never abandoned.  At roughly the same time that Clive decided to withdraw from his TV career, the internet entered our lives, and it turned out that all those people who had loved their songs in the seventies still loved them. 

And so Clive and Pete began touring together (three times in the UK, and also all over Australia) and, even more important, they started writing together again, which meant, of course, that Pete started recording again.   It was as if they'd never been away. 

"Songs are stories," says Pete. "I have always believed that the best way to grab an audience's attention is to entertain them."   That's as true of their most recent songs as it is of their oldest ones.

Clive says "It doesn't matter what category our songs fall into, as long as people listen. The trick is to make sure nothing nothing gets between the song and the listeners." 

He says that songwriting is "far and away the most fruitful artistic venture I have ever been mixed up in. It's the work I'm least known for, but would still like to be, if only as the writing partner of a unique musician."

On his relationship with Clive, Pete has said, “One of the things that has kept us writing together all these years is a shared fascination with the mysterious way in which words and music can work together, how music and words together can add up to something different from what each amounts to on its own. I still can't quite believe my luck in hooking up with Clive all those years ago. I could never have imagined back then that his words would be rattling around my head for the rest of my life.”

Band Lineup

Pete Atkin (vocal, guitar)

Simon Wallace (piano)