Albums on which I played, some times OK

I am told by those who know that no-one buys CDs any more. It’s either download or vinyl. Well, that may well be true but some of these albums are still available on CD and I refuse to give Spotify any help in further crippling the futures of musicians, young ones especially. So, if there is no link to a CD (and even if there is) I will include a government-approved link to a track or tracks on Youtube. Still subsidising a billionaire I know, but what’s a man to do?

Matching Mole

Recorded at CBS’s Bond Street Studios and Nova, Marble Arch, between December 1971 and March 1972. Released in April 1972, it contains Mole’s best known song O Caroline written by Dave Sinclair and Robert Wyatt.

Basically, Robert’s second solo album after End of an Ear.

Recorded at CBS’s new Whitefield Street Studios, July/August 1972. Features the lovely synthesiser warblings of a youthful Brian Eno and the even lovelier dulcet tones of my teenage heart throb, actress Julie Christie. What more could anyone want?

The only Matching Mole album.

A live recording for BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert on 27th July 1972 at the Paris Theatre,  12 Lower Regent Street, and released by Windsong in 1994.

A collection of 10 tracks recorded at various locations in Europe and released by Cuneiform Records in 2001.

Recorded live by Dutch radio at the Paradiso in Amsterdam in March 1972. Released by Cuneiform Records in 2002.

It seems no-one has been daft enough to put this on Youtube. So it goes.

Amazingly, you can still buy it from Amazon (and other good records stores of course).

Various BBC radio recordings made between January and July 1972. The earlies two tracks feature Dave Sinclair when the band was briefly a 5-piece. Released by Hux Records in 2005.

Sadly now extinct.

A 2 CD boxed-set released on Esoteric Records in 2012. Other than the original album it contains six outtakes from the recording sessions plus two songs recorded for the John Peel Show.

And still available on Amazon at a known down price it seems. Bargain.

Listen to one of the additional tracks, Memories Membrane, by clicking on the link to the left.

Another 2 CD boxed set reelased by Esoteric in 2012. Features the original album plust three bonus outtakes and three pieces recorded live for BBC Live in Concert.

This too is still available on Amazon at not quite such a knock down price (but close). Bargainish.

And for your listening pleasure the 4th take of Smoke Signal can be heard with a simple click of your rodent’s button. Happy days.


Matching Mole - Live

Mole on the French TV show Rockenstock on Saturday, 1st June 1972. Apart from the guitars all the equipment belonged to Pete Brown’s Piblokto (thanks guys). We flew to Orly, drove to the studio, did the recording, back to Orly, flew home. Check out the (green) stars and stripes trousers.

A live recording done on Wednesday, 3rd May, 1972 for ILEA’s Education TV channel in a school in Wandsworth. There is no truth to the rumour it is used by the CIA for ‘enhanced interrogation’ at their Black Sites. If you have 15:40 minutes of your life you don’t care about then by all means have a listen.

Quiet Sun - Mainstream

The album recorded in January 1975 in Basing Street Studios by a band that couldn’t get arrested, let alone secure a recording contract, in 1970-1.

Recorded as the ‘junior partner’ to Phil Manzanera’s Diamond Head, i.e. during the night, it was fueled by desperation to get something down and enormous quantities of stewed black coffee.

Oddly, the critics at the time seemed to rather like it.

It has been re-released twice. Once c. 20 years ago with a bonus track or two and then again in 2011 as a luxurious boxed set with bonus tracks and a lovely shiny booklet.

Sadly, no longer available. And no, you cannot have my copy.

If you want to hear Manzanera, Hayward and MacCormick bunny on at inordinate length about an album you can’t now buy, watch the videos below.

Talking about Quiet Sun – Part 1 in which we form a band at school, can’t remember when we left, and somehow recruit a keyboard player, Dave Jarrett, and a sax player, Dave Monaghan. But NOT a bass player.

Talking about Quiet Sun – Part 2 in which the band chooses a name, Planet Earth is revealed to be doomed, and the boys sing about tea.

Talking about Quiet Sun – Part 3 in which the boys record a cheap demo somewhere in North London which features ex-Army Geordie sax player Dave Monaghan for the first and only time. We marvel at how much older Dave Jarrett was than the rest of us and boast of our prowess at playing in 13/8.

Talking about Quiet Sun – Part 4 in which the band’s demo is scorned, Warner Bros send us to the country to record another demo, Phil writes a very long song, Corazon y Alma, which then appears cut up on various albums, Charles talks about the band High Tide… and we don’t get a recording contract.

Talking about Quiet Sun – Part 5 in which we complain about Dave Jarrett including a bar in 6/8 in a song otherwise entirely in 7/8, Phil sneaks us into the studio to record an album no-one has authorised, and Muff Winwood at Island, who rejected the demo in 1971, is forced to release the bloody thing four years later.

Talking about Quiet Sun – Part 6, and for some reason, the longest bloody part. Probably because I pontificate at absurd length on the state of world, modern music, and all sorts of other garbage. Really, just shut the f*ck up.

With Phil Manzanera

I co-wrote a couple of songs – Frontera and Alma – which were, in fact, excerpts from Phil’s Quiet Sun piece Corazon y Alma. Then, for some inexplicable reason, Phil invited me to sing on the latter track. Ye gods.

Written and recorded between 1975 and 77, with melodic and lyric contributions from the brothers MacCormick, Listen Now was eventually released in the autumn of 77 and accompanied by a tour of the UK.

Recorded in something of a rush (Roxy were about to reform) in the Spring of 1978. Mainly done at Chris Squire’s studio. The album features more dynamic drumming from Simon Phillips, three unhinged New Zealanders, and an intro later sampled by a certain Kanye West.

A live recording of the 77 Tour with PM, BM, The Great Paul Thompson, Simon Ainley, and Dave Skinner. Accompanied by ‘noises off’ from guests Andy Mackay, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme.

Features a vaguely enjoyable version of Roxy’s Out of the Blue which also later appeared on a re-issue of K-Scope. Recycling is a jolly good thing.

With Robert Wyatt

Mainly recorded at The Manor, Oxfordshire, in spring 1975. A happy two weeks in the country spent with Robert and Alfie, fabulous drummer Laurie Allen, the great sax duo of George Khan and Gary Windo, and the tweaks and burps of a radiant Eno.

Peace, quiet, two large Irish Wolfhounds, a lake to walk around, and all the food you could eat.

Also notable for one of the first, and most successful, uses of Oblique Strategies and for which I claim all the

And Team Spirit, recycled from Quiet Sun’s Corazon y Alma via Diamond Head’s Frontera to its new home on Ruth & Richard.  A personal fave.

801 Live

Originally a wizard wheeze to earn loads of dosh playing festival across Europe, recording 801 Live was the fallback when most of the gigs were cancelled.

Recorded at the Queen Elizabeth Hall by the inimitable Rhett Davies it featured five of us who were working on the Listen Now sessions – PM, BM, Eno, Simon Phillips, and the late Francis Monkman – plus previous Roxy support act, the exuberant and talented slide guitar player and vocalist, the sadly late Lloyd Watson.

Recorded, mixed, mastered, pressed, and released in a matter of weeks in autum 76, it seemed to go down quite well.

Random Hold

Signed by Polydor for the equivalent of £½ million in 1979, and dropped 12 months later, it is fair to say RH was not a rip-roaring success. We did, however, record a double album’s worth of music at John Lennon’s old gaff, Tittenhurst Park, then owned by Ringo Starr. Never released by Polydor, this CD includes the double album as originally conceived plus a recording of the band’s last ever gig at the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, notable for the witty introduction by the lovely Peter Gabriel whose North American tour we were supporting.

An album of odds and sods put together by yours truly some 20 years ago or more. It features demos from the very early stages of the band when (thankfully) I was not involved, through the demos which got us the ludicrous deal with Polydor (and which contain the best versions of some of these songs IMO), down to the last demos we recorded prior to going on tour to North America with Peter Gabriel in August 1980 after which we broke up.

It shows the development of the band over the three years from 1977 to 1980.