Tracklist — 5 Min Read

Just because some bad wind blows, is the first formally produced album and music release by Nick Nuttall.

Just because some bad wind blows

Just Because Some Bad Wind Blows is the title of the album but also the first song.

Little did I know when I was dispatched by the Times newspaper to cover a conference in Berlin in 1995, that I was walking into an arena that would in part define my life and the life of millions, if not billions of people for now nearly 20 years.

The German capital and its new environment minister, Angela Merkel, was hosting something called COP1, the first UN climate conference.

Over 20 year  on I have as a journalist; Director of Communications of the UN Environment and also of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,  and now a TV presenter with We Don’t Have Time, been a witness, actor and commentator on the often anguish-ridden international drama surrounding rescuing our world from runaway climate change.

Through the lens of over 20 ‘COPs’ I have seen the highs and lows, the screams of anger and the applause of partial victories and I have played my part in building the environmental, human and economic narrative on why action at speed and scale is a total no brainer.

We have come a long way, these last 20 years have proved the science but also unleased human ingenuity (think renewable energy): but we are not there yet.

The pollution to our precious atmosphere continues to rise (as do the risks of catastrophe), the oil barons greedily hold on to their deadly treasures and young people are quite rightly, angry, scared and anxious.

But we don’t need more excellent scientific assessments, some magic yet to be created technology or more money. We have all cash and creativity needed to get the job done, if we collectively choose to.

In some ways it is simple: If we “fly from our greed, only take what we need, we hold onto the best things we ever knew. Cause we choose to”.

“If we break down the walls in our mind, we may find, we hold onto the best things we ever knew. Cause we choose to”.

It really is a choice. Will we choose to act in time, maybe?

Love Ghost

“If I die as I know I will, please don’t cry and she no tears. Just move on and embrace the years”.

A cute sentiment I have often heard by a partner in a relationship. Just want you to get over me when I pass away, hate the idea you will be on your own or sad, do hope you find someone else.

But, and that is the thing, but….the unspoken words are,  sure, but you better not love that new person more than me or I will be totally pissed off.

But once you have died , what can you do about it.

Well (perhaps based on having a larger than necessary ego, or being rather naturally over optimistic) I plan to bloody well come back and complain if that happens.

“I will break through all your floors, I will smash up all your toys, if you love them more than me”.

Is it going to happen, you bet. But, I think we may have a better chance of solving climate change than me coming back to haunt and complain to my partner if she finds someone better than me!!

Girl in the Gallery

John was the son of my father’s auntie Nora and lived in the northern English seaside town of Blackpool. He was also a simple man, in the past people used other less sensitive words.

Unlike his brother, who escaped to become a big shot physics professor in Australia, John worked the dust carts or refuse trucks.

I used to see him occasionally when I was little. John would walk or hitch from Blackpool to Burnley where people like my dad, my brother also called John, cousin David and other relations and friends would go to watch the Clarets, our beloved and still beloved football team.

John’s journey from Blackpool often meant a night somewhere on the moors and when quizzed would mouth something about having slept in hen houses. “Nice and warm,” he would add and again fall silent.

Shortly before he died, John dropped a bombshell. My dad’s younger brother Jim was piecing a bit of family history together and met John. Towards the end of what was an unremarkable story he let drop that “ ‘A’ve gorra girlfiend!”. (I have a girlfriend).

Flabbergasted, my Uncle Jim probed further, to which John enthusiastically added:” I ger on’t bus in Blackpool at weekend and go an’ see her, and when no one is lookin’ I give ‘er a kiss”.

John was never known to have had a relationship. But what emerged was a fantastical tale where he visited an art gallery in a nearby town called Bolton and the ‘girlfriend’ was a painting in the gallery.

I have no idea which painting he loved, and secretly kissed. But in the Bolton Art Gallery collection there is a beautiful, 20 C oil painting by Mathew Smith called Girl in a Green Blouse from 1942. I like to think that it was her, John’s first and last love.

“Dressed in green, you’re the dream that lights up my longing…..I can tell no one about us, they’d say John you’re just so crazy enough, to be in love, with a painting”.

Guilt Gaming

People talk about Catholic guilt, but don’t worry the protestants have it too. I was brought up to feel guilty about not being nice to other people, for being cross rather than light and chatty, to feel that if you were not giving 2,000 per cent you were flawed or if someone wronged you it was kind of your fault not theirs.
Sometimes in the night I lay awake replaying events in my life like a video or an e-game, thinking if only I had said that, or done this, maybe the ending of some difficult life event can be different. But it of course it never can be, it is not a game or a film it is your unchangeable past.

Nick the older has found a line in the sand, where not everything that went wrong was either his fault, or something he could have ever changed: others have to want to change too.

Instead of wasting what little time you have left in the world, dwelling on past mistakes, don’t let it capture you, reflect but move on and do your best in the future rather than frittering away your emotions and dwelling obsessively and pointlessly on past fuck ups.

Cool down, check out, hit the key and end the blame.
Replaying old memories is a fool’s game,
That always ends the same.
So comes on let’s go.
Cut those cords, let’s go“.

I Love You Baby

No album can be complete without at least one, blindingly obvious, love song. But it feels that when you are well beyond your teens, how you phrase it needs to be a little different. I wanted to capture a musical echo of a love song I might have written in my teenage 1970s where schmoozy artists like  Barrie White, the Shi-Lites and perhaps Hot Chocolate caused me to look longingly across the disco floor to a member of the opposite sex.

I also wanted to be a little cheesy with the lyrics, cause it makes me smile but yet not too cheesy! I also wanted to find a different metaphor for how passionate or powerful that love might be.

And for anyone who has crazily supported their local football team for some 60 years, there can be no greater love than comparing her to more than that.

‘You’re everything I could ever need,  a lucky charm, a mountain stream, my favourite football team, I love you baby”.

Enough said!


As a kid I grew up in the northern England town of Rochdale in the 1960s and early 70s. It is a place of fond and not so fond memories: a  massive extended, loving and often eccentric, family on tap, unique northern humour, seemingly endless rounds of Christmas and other parties with mounds of roast beef, onions and beetroots picked in malt vinegar, and cholesterol loaded pies and cakes.

Meanwhile, a town with a proud history of socially conscious movements including the Rochdale Pioneers that was the basis of the global Co-operative movement, an impressive town hall and Medieval church in the centre where my sister Gilly was married, quick access to the stupendous nature and wilderness of its ever brooding moorlands and a present set against the boot in the belly of skin heads, the racism against the Asian incomers, the ever-present grinding drizzle, the rotting mills and chimneys and a future of slipping-away, terminal, post-industrial decline.

In 2019, I had the fascination of visiting Weisswasser, a city in the former Eastern Germany that was had been at the centre of a massive strip coal mining operation under the Communists. It had also been part of the Bauhaus story.

Weisswasser was where the world-famous glass was made and my friend Bernadette was in an arts project to mark the Bahaus Jubilee.

Unlike Rochdale, where the town council continues to run the buses and keep the lights on, has tried to attract visitors by opening up the river and  erected a statute to its once world-famous daughter—the second world singer and film idol Gracie Fields–the Soviets basically blew up much of Weisswasser and quite literally down-sized the place.

It is a radical solution and not one that most people might consider to be the best in inspiring town planning.

But it got me thinking that if you can’t resuscitate a place to its former glory, why pretend and why waste money trying to achieve the impossible.

‘There’s nothing happening, but the parking’s free”.

Instead, perhaps the best solution for Rochdale and countless post-industrial towns across the UK and elsewhere, could be a bit of brutal downsizing. Return them to what they were before the steam engine came, while keeping the fine buildings intact.

‘Nobody is going to do anything about it. A mercy killings best…wrap up the fine old buildings, and level the rest”.

The Day You Went Away

Like many teenagers in the 1970s and perhaps even today, yours truly could not wait to escape from home. My dream had been to be a pop singer but my parents insisted I get a degree first, so I ended up at St Andrews University in Scotland which felt about as far away as Iceland or Siberia to me. Good, escape from Rochdale!

Contact with home in those days, with no mobiles or internet, was the occasional pay phone call, pumping coins into a slot, beeping for more and knowing that it would only last a merciful few minutes before I ran out of cash and could return to friends in the pub.

Swiftly after university it was off to Colorado on an exchange programme  between British and American universities that allowed me to try and realize my dream career by joining a local pop group called The Albany Bridge Band. Contact with mum and dad was sporadic and generally by letter.

It was not that I didn’t love or care about my parents, I just didn’t think about them much at all. I was free, having fun and affairs and in a state of mind where parents were simply not on my radar except when I needed an urgent cash injection!

It was on an unremarkable day when the telephone rang and my brother John, now living in Canada, was on the other end. “There is no easy way to tell you Nick, but dad has died”.

There is nothing more to say, I was 21 years-old and my world was shredded and I screamed at God, saying if he really existed, then he would show me dad one last time so I could finally tell him I loved him. God didn’t, Dad was just 58 and I hated myself for having being so self-obsessed and not showing the love he deserved.

“And the stars, tumbled from the sky, the day you went away”. With a nod to Funeral Blues by the English poet W.H Auden.

Oliver’s Song

When I was told I was going to be a grandfather, I was in semi shock. I tried to push it away: babies who needs them, I am not that old, perhaps it is all a mistake!

But then I met Oliver, with his loving father and mum and the iceberg I had built for this moment melted in a furnace of emotions.

Memories of my parents, a connection with my own birth and how my mum and dad might have felt mixed with a new found love for this little boy who has grown into a new, best friend: surprised, grateful and a gift.

Gael, his younger brother, doesn’t have song. But Oliver’s Song is as much about him as it is about his older brother.

No Secrets

We live in turbulent times. Climate change, loss of animals and plant species, violence, wars, refugees, poverty and ….

Yet when one talks to most people in the richer countries, it is like fake news and not their problem.

For many, it feels like their bubble is shopping, looking cute or the next best thrill.

But maybe the next big thrill will be something they don’t expect or want: Like, if we don’t deal with the world as it is, the world may come knocking on our door and deal with us!

No secrets is partly a way of expressing frustration and the seeming obsession with the self, the turning away from reality and a kind of fin de siècle atmosphere with people riding around on a fun fair carousel, unable or unwilling to get off and face up to reality.

‘Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you,’ paraphrasing John Donne, the 15C English poet or in my song: “Oh my love, can you hear the church bells chime. As we go around the carousel, for one last time”

Who Knows Where The Time Goes

As a fan of the folk/rock band Fairport Convention, I was mesmerised by the voice of singer/songwriter Sandy Denny who tragically died young. She wrote many wonderful songs but without doubt, for me, ‘Who Knows…’ is Sandy at her magical best. Wherever you are Sandy, I hope you and those members of Fairport Convention alive and already gone, like this cover version.

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