Gaz Brookfield: The Old Normal and other new lockdown songs

Updated: Oct 22

Ian Tasker


When Covid-19 first struck and lockdown imposed, the West Country folk guitarist Gaz Brookfield – a type 1 diabetic more conscious than most of his own vulnerability – was forced to abandon his live schedule and retreat to the safety of his Bristol home.


But before hunkering down he invested in a second-hand MacBook and a copy of

Logic software and set about writing, recording, mixing and mastering an album in his utility room. The end product – titled, perhaps not surprisingly, Lockdown – is now available to download from his Bandcamp page.

An independent musician without manager, record label or agent, Brookfield has nevertheless made a name for himself on the festival circuit, appearing at such high-profile events as Glastonbury and the Beautiful Days Festival.


‘Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get into a proper studio anytime soon, I decided to have a crack at it myself at home,’ said Brookfield. ‘My first four albums were recorded at home – they do sound like it too – so I was determined to do better with this one.


‘I promised myself that I wouldn’t write a lockdown song, because I knew that everyone would be doing the exact same thing. Then I wrote 12. Ah well.


‘To be fair, it was difficult not to write about everything that has been going on this year. The events that have transpired since the outbreak of the virus have affected every single person on the planet. Each song is about a different aspect of how the lockdown affected me, and the way that I was thinking and feeling. Hopefully some people can relate to some of it.’


The album’s dozen tracks feature Brookfield’s distinctive rocky, punky folk with titles such as The Beginning Of The End, Terrible Thing, Hindsight, I Think They’re Trying To Kill Us and The Year That Never Was. But the highlight is probably the final track, The Old Normal.

A wistful, carefully crafted acoustic song, it perhaps reflects all of our thoughts as we face up to the enforced changes and privations of the pesky pandemic.


I don’t know what normal is

But I know that it isn’t this

I can’t pretend anymore

Preferred how it all was before


And I value my personal space

But I hate being told to stay safe

And I miss the most simple of things

And I’m tired of the fear that it brings


My stiff upper lip is beginning to crack

Sense of security under attack

I can’t quite believe the way some people act

I don’t know about you

I just want the old normal back


Some folk it brought out the best

Same can’t be said for the rest

The world has enough on its plate

Without having to deal with the hate


I don’t want to get used to the ways

We all have to be nowadays

I don’t ever want to be

Accustomed to this new normality


My stiff upper lip is beginning to crack

Sense of security under attack

I can’t quite believe the way some people act

I don’t know about you

I just want the old normal back


And so say all of us.









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