Tennyson Rd - top gallery


SAS – Things were starting to change for us but we were still missing some vital ingredient to our music. We were settled into our new London lives: Working in record shops, for me that was Rough Trade in Covent Garden and every day I was introduced to new ideas. I arrived in London with my love of the Triffids, Tom Waits and Sonic Youth intact, but now I was listening to Townes van Zandt, Morricone, Alex Chilton, Lee Hazlewood, Gainsbourg, Miles Davis, Slint, Pavement, Funkadelic.. The world was opening up!

Myself, Neil and David had a shared house in Queen’s Park, Mark had moved down from Nottingham and was sleeping on the settee, our home studio set up was growing, music was flowing, there were regular rehearsals, we were all committed, but something wasn’t happening. We still had the mindset to find that manager, agent, record company – Someone to make it all work for us, to take away the responsibility of our failure.

Soon this was going to change. But there was one last disappointment needed – some guy, an A & R man, manager or something. One last dose of crap to swallow. Something needed to change. We needed to take a hard look at what we were doing. We had one supporter – Peter Walmsley from Rough Trade Publishing – who was going to be involved in our progression for the next 10 years.

Summer was approaching, Neil and David had a plan to drive to the south of France in Neil’s company car, Suzanne had found a place on a Greek island for us for a week. We decided to use this time to take stock – Could we really keep on giving this band so much love and energy for so little in return?

It was a great summer. In Greece, Suzanne taught me how to swim in the deep water and I found a box of matches on the shore: ‘tindersticks’. I figured out that I needed the band to carry on but only on our own terms and not to try and please anyone, anymore.

By September our first single, Patchwork, was recorded in our kitchen, 500 7 inch singles were pressed up and we sat together colouring the sleeves. It took a long time. David had a compilation tape going round, I think I heard ‘Summer the first time’ 4 or 5 times that night.

Within a few weeks, they were all sold and we had played our first concert as tindersticks, supporting Ed Kuepper at the Borderline, a place we had played before but everything felt different. There were no guest list names, no one to try and impress, just us doing our own thing.

Before the year was out most of our first album was written and demo’d in our kitchen and we also had a recording session at the legendary Chiswick Reach where we made Marbles and For those.. our next single.

As the year came to an end we were in a different place. I had transferred to Rough Trade in Portobello Road and had a little more time to work in the studio on the album demos. I was hanging around with James Endeacott who would become the band’s manager and such an important figure in the band’s progression. More importantly, Suzanne was pregnant, we needed a bigger place – Everything was pointing at Spring ’93.


DB: Our sound was as important as our mindset. Always searching the classifieds and second hand shops for inspiration. Mostly unaffordable unless it was faulty or unfashionable. We didn’t want the new, easy ways those in the know were always pushing at you. I remember us getting an old  Roland Juno 6 synthesiser. Another of my dreams. Me and Stuart making a song with it shorty after we got back from our summer holidays. Him feeding it through effects pedals to fuck it up. A piece of music we often come back to. It wasn’t pivotal. But it does make me think of that point where we didn’t give a fuck what anyone else thought.

We went into a studio to record Milky teeth. I guess it’s raucousness was too much for our kitchen. They had an old Korg organ we used for the recording. I had to have it. Somehow in those pre-internet days we managed to track one down. Me and Neil drove all day to the North of England to buy it. Stopping for a great curry in Bradford on the way back.

Our last show of the year was first on the bill at the Powerhouse in London. A showcase line up. I remember watching the other bands who were above us. Seeing how they were playing the game. We played our songs as the doors of the venue opened. I remember meeting Dave Bedford from This Way Up for the first time. I just didn’t care. Not in a bad way. I’d have probably gushed a year back. But not now.

Milky teeth

Released November 1992

Patchwork insert

Track listing:

A. Milky teeth
B. Patchwork

Released on Tippy Toe – 7″ single TIPPY TOE 001
Limited edition of 500, numbered and hand stamped. Second pressing numbered -1 to -500

Patchwork front
Patchwork back
Patchwork insert
Patchwork label A
Patchwork label B

Tennyson road by tindersticks

Tennyson Rd #5
Tennyson Rd #4
Tennyson Rd #3
Tennyson Rd #2
Tennyson Rd #1

Live concerts and sessions

The Borderline
London, United Kingdom
Supporting Ed Kuepper
(It could have been the 26th –
Ed Kuepper played 2 nights)

White Horse
London, United Kingdom
Promoting the release of the Patchwork 7″ single

The Powerhaus
London, United Kingdom
Supporting Kick Asteroid and Surrender Dorothy
(who later became Sleeper)