I am a singer, songwriter and guitarist based in Bedfordshire, England. This website focuses mainly on the original songs that I have written over the years.
I have recorded two albums of mostly original material: Gold Ring Glinting (2012, with the Peter Webster Band), and Letters (2018). My original songs also appear on Five Journeymen album (2014), Webster-Fergusson (2014), and the Kitchen Tapes (2020).
You can stream my songs on Spotify, Apple Music and most of the other popular streaming services. But be warned – there are two Peter Websters out there who have produced original music, and some streaming services tend to think we are one and the same. I am the Peter Webster who recorded ‘Felicity’ and ‘Life in the Underclass’, but not the Peter Webster who recorded ‘The Canoe Paddle Song’ – he is an entirely different person who just happens to share my name.
I front The Journeymen, a four-piece covers band who play at pubs and parties in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the surrounding counties. I also perform in the Webster-Fergusson folk duo. Contact me if you’d like to enquire about bookings for live dates.
Some of my original songs are below, and there are more on the Songs page.
Should Have made You Stay
This was a quick song to write, but one that I am really satisfied with, partially due to a chord structure that avoids the obvious tricks (I – IV – V), but which seems to have a natural flow to it. I also like the recording, which was made in my basement. The acoustic guitar you can hear is a Martyn HD28, and the electric guitar is a red Japanese Fender Stratocaster that I’ve owned since 1991. I played the Strat through a Tone King Imperial amplifier, and the amp’s epic reverb makes the simple arrangement (acoustic guitar – electric guitar – bass – voice) sound bigger than it is.
Felicity germinated whilst I was living near the railway station in Brighton in the early 1990s – hence the line about trains rolling in and out. I always liked the bouncy chorus, but re-shaped the rest of the song in the late noughties, adding an instrumental middle eight and re-working the chord sequence and the melody of the verse. When I was learning to play guitar as a teenager, I had a teacher who was keen on latin music, so I learned to play Rhumbas and such like, and some of those latin rhythms found their way into this song.
There’s Something You Can Do
This is quite a personal song, but one that people seem to like when I play it live. If I’m gigging on my own I will quite often slip it into a set of cover songs. On this recording I played the guitar, harmonica and sung. Roger Evan played the keyboard part, Steve Jones the double bass, and Richard Griffiths was on drums. The same line up was also responsible for the cover of Rod Stewart’s Maggie May, below.
I play this song with the Journeymen Covers Band. I play mandolin on the Journeymen version, we do it in C (the original was in D I think), and generally we try to get as close to the upbeat Rod Stewart original as possible. But I am fond of this very different version of the song that was recorded around 2012. The tempo is much slower, we dropped it down to G, and the crooner vibe gives the song a dream like quality. Covering a song can be a creative process.
The lyric of this song had a very long gestation period, going through many versions, and perhaps because it was a difficult one to write, I was very happy with the end result. I love the way the Beatles’ song, She Loves You, is written from the point of view of somebody telling a friend about a chance meeting with the friend’s ex (“You think you’ve lost your love – well I saw her yesterday. It’s You she’s thinking of, and she told me what to say…” and so on). That was the inspiration for this lyric. In my mind the narrator is a father giving advice to his son (“Let me tell you…”). In She Loves You, the situation turns out not to be terminal. And my song is about salvaging a relationship when it is nearly, but not quite too late, and learning to accept that nothing in life is ever quite perfect, but some things are worth persisting with despite friction.
Life in the Underclass
On visits to the centre of Milton Keynes and Bedford, it was becoming difficult to ignore the tents that were popping up in underpasses and the stairwells of multi-story car parks and the like. The welfare state seemed to be coming apart at the seams, and the homeless were spilling out onto the streets. At about the same time as I was noticing the armies of homeless people sleeping brought, I rediscovered a recording of an old song of mine made at some point in the early nineties, and felt it was one that I could do something with. The original set of lyrics were a little too self-absorbed, and didn’t really include anything much that seemed worth keeping. And that plight of the growing number of rough-sleepers became the inspiration for the new lyric. On the new recording I tried to reproduce the layered feel of the original – a pair of acoustic guitars, a pair of electric guitars, a bass, a vocal and some lead guitar, using different amounts of reverb on each of the instruments to create a feeling of space.
Spencer the Rover
Spencer the Rover is a favourite traditional song of mine – a folk song in other words, the author of whom is lost in the midst of time. It has a beautiful lyric, and I was particularly pleased with the way that the harmonica part came out.