A new song for you all… inspired by the memory, life and songs of Cush.

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In early February our friend Cush (from the revered and loved band The Men They Couldn’t Hang) sadly and unexpectedly passed away.

His humour, energy and artistry will be sorely missed… his friendship and brotherhood with his legendary bandmates and loved ones… irreplaceable.

When I was a teenager my old friend Paul Shreenan played them to me… “Here Rich… you’ll love these guys… they are like the Pogues but the real thing… REAL bad asses!”

We cranked it in his parent’s K-Car stereo… He was right.

Years later in London…I am on a train into town and I receive a frantic and hilariously delivered message from one of my closest friends Tom Spencer (well MOST of his messages are like that, but anyway)…

“RAGS! You on your way into town? I gotta gig. Free booze 50 quid and a sold-out crowd. Support bailed and we need a troubadour. I have a guitar for you! Borderline. Get here now!”

I did. And that was my formal introduction to the band.

I was pretty damn nervous going on stage supporting these guys… in front of an audience that famously will not tolerate mediocrity…

I pulled it off… walked backstage and Swill gave me that million watt smile! “You did great! They don’t hate you!”

Then Cush approached me… slapped me across the shoulders, grinned and said, “Like where you’re going with your songs… you’re playing is a bit like Richard Thompson”


And with that wonderful supportive gesture and comment… I glided through the rest of the weekend wickedly smirking and telling everyone that I was the next Richard Thompson! “CUSH SAID SO!”

Then they paid me 80 quid instead of the 50 and said, “Let’s do this again!”

That lead to a load more support slots for The Men… and loads more laughs and good times and drinks and smiles and shared stages.

A lot of confidence was gained through the acceptance of Cush and the band… and I am truly grateful and will never forget it.

When I got the call from Tom with the news, he had mentioned the musical family we are lucky to be part of.

And that struck me…

This weird and vibrant and sometimes heartbreaking world of music which we have found ourselves in… the characters … the inspiration… the adventures and the music … it all runs through us and connects us… all of it incredibly in the moment… then regenerated through the music and lyrics… like the super nova that once blasted bright, scattering the elements across the universe…  found in your lifeblood now… and in rust … and lonely cold planets… both in life and decay. All of it real and important.

So I wrote this in honour of Cush and my musical family.

You will be remembered… you and your songs will carry on within us… the cycle of love and remembrance.

Recorded it with my band mates Ricky McGuire (a longtime member of The Men and incredibly close friend of Cush’s… and of course the talented Andy Brook, ever by my side in these things)

Artwork by my brother Rich Jones… using a photo of Cush provided by Marianne and Nigel Williamson… more family.

All money goes towards the making of a compilation of Cush’s work… this single won’t be a platinum seller… but it’s a small thank you for the great times and shows… keepin the cycle going…

Cheers, and love to you all…


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