Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Songs in the Key of MY Life - The Dream Academy - Life in a Northern Town

It was March 1985. This was when Nick Laird-Clowes, Kate St John & Gilbert Gabriel aka The Dream Academy released this single. It came before the album & was their only hit. But WHAT a hit. It was written about and dedicated to the memory of a certain Nick Drake.
With Nick's whispered vocals and anthemic chorus, it lit up the charts. It didn't sound like anything else around at the time and with Kate's plaintive oboe it conjours up a yearning and nostalgia that stays with you.

''Dr Gilbert Gabriel (MA Film. B.Mus) is a songwriter, producer and composer whose music and songs have featured in TV, Films & Radio around the world. He received an Ivor Novello nomination and was awarded Gold records and BMI certificates for radio play and sales.''
Kate went on to release a couple of solo albums and has continued to work in the music business.


 Nick resurfaced in 1999 as Trashmonk and released a solo album


Nick's most recent work has been as musical director of the recent Richard Curtis movie About Time, for which he also wrote the Theme.
But Life In A Northern Town is still the crowning glory of all the band members. It has even been covered by all people Sugarland.


  1. Cracking song Nick. So easy to forget these gems. Dream Academy sit in the shadow of The Lilac Time and Pale Fountains etc. Could've, should've, never quite did...

  2. I've for both the lilac time and Pale Fountains albums. Black Velvet & Thank You respectively are great songs from the albums. Will have to dig them out and give them a spin :)

  3. Great song - actually like the 2nd lp better. His long affair with a married woman drove the lyrics of 2 of my favs - love parade and ballad in 4/4