One of the few good things to come out of the recent pamdemic was the formation of the Songs & Stories Collective, a joining together of the talents of Tenessee Twin, Sarah Yeo and Donna Marie. On hearing that their new single was to be called "Start & Stripes" we have to admit that a sense of trepidation filled the air at #TEAMw21 towers - of the thought of a lot of Brits singing about the American flag - fortunately we needn't have worried.
In fact "Stars & Stripes" is a brutally honest retelling of what it is like to be a performer on the live circuit.
"The bars, the pubs, the clubs, the nights
I've soldiered through the fists and fights
They'd rather watch the TV screen
Than listen to a word I sing!"
It reads somewhat depressingly, yet we've all been to one of those types of evenings, and occasionally felt for the poor performer who may have travelled some way to seemingly waste their time although as they note in the second verse these events prove to be
"Experience you cannot buy" and in the chorus that "You can't get the Stars until you earn the Stripes"
Lavished with plenty of guitars and some nice collective harmonies it offers an insight into the life of the performer and as a reality check for anyone expecting an easy ride from day one, yet is laced with that hint of optimism encouraging those wavering to give it a go.
"You won't know your path until you walk it"