Nick Tatham - Love Is All Around
For anyone of a certain age, Tourette Syndrome means John...at least QED meant it to mean John's Not Mad but for those of us in our early teens, who'd snigger at almost anything but for the loss of our sexual organs, this was a half-hour of outstanding comedy in which John Davidson struggled with Tourette Syndrome. Forever seen placing his hand over his mouth as he spat forth, "Fuck! Bignose! Tits! Tits!" at passing pensioners, honestly we tried to take it seriously but like hearing of a friend admitted to hospital with testicular torsion, keeping a straight face was more difficult that hugging a cactus.
All credit then to Nick Tatham who not only suffers from Tourette Syndrome but uses music as a means to controll his illness, saying that, when performing live, the symptoms vanish. This part of his life comes out on the second track here, Tourette Blues, which reflects on the reaction of Tatham's parents to seeing him affected by his illness.
Yet, in as much as Tatham sings about Tourette Syndrome - and quite understandably, given that it's a major part of his life - it's the two other songs on the single that show him moving beyond this subject. Whilst lead song, Love Is All Around is a cover of the old Troggs' song and closer to the REM version as played on MTV Unplugged than the cloying Wet Wet Wet version, Heaven And You mixes a slow opening verse with a pop chorus.
Whilst the music is a little weak, a result of being recorded without the backing of a label and only with money raised through personal efforts, Nick has a great voice - clear, light but with enough breaking in it to suggest that he's not come straight out of a choir to perform Love Is All Around.
Whilst the three songs do veer close to being easy-listening, all of which could do with sounding a little more raw, it's the pop of Heaven And You that most impresses, ahead of a lovely version of Love Is All Around. Having seen this release and one other before it, as well as Nick's website and the number of times he has been mentioned on the Tourette Syndrome Association site, he seems to have done enough to publicise the illness. To break through to members of the public who are largely ambivalent about Tourette but who would appreciate Nick's music, it's the first and third track that will have the greatest impact, which should be followed through to an album, than the more personal Tourette Blues.
Should you want to buy this CD, it is only available from Nick Tatham's Website.