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SAS: Things started to snowball. We were having a great time when we were making music and when we were not. People were listening to our album, they seemed to be getting some of what we had put into it. London was not yet ‘swinging’, we were still happy to operate in its corners and crevices.

I remember a great excitement one day in the people around us, we had a meeting arranged with an advertising agency in Soho who were interested in using our song ‘Tyed’ for a worldwide campaign for a big tyre company. The money talked about was astronomical but it meant nothing to us. Myself and David sitting with these agency guys as they are explaining that they needed the trumpet part in the song moving – We looked at each other in disbelief – their request was ridiculous to us – Change our music, for money?

These ad guys, like the record companies, like the music press – felt like they were from another world. We didn’t trust them or their motives. We were still in our dream world and it was still our little fortress – We didn’t give an inch.

There were so many concerts, so many festivals, our first tour bus – Our first time in NYC! The studio always simmering. Our great house, always alive, always people coming and going. It felt like songs were pouring out of me.

We met so many people, other guys in bands, everyone usually drunk, getting through – ‘I know your problem’ Gary Clail said squaring up to David at some festival ‘You’re middle class and you can’t get a shag’ – ‘You’re half right’ David replied.

Conny’s studio was suggested to us by Blixa Bargeld when we were on tour with the Bad Seeds. ‘The food is fantastic’ he said. We arrived in May with a few instruments and many ideas. Quickly, things started to happen. This time is a bit of a blur for me, a rush. I remember us making Seaweed very late one night, we were all so full of energy and ideas we had to let Ian Caple go to bed and take over the recording ourselves, listening to ‘Once upon a time in the west’ in bed every night on my cd walkman and the food, of course, which was fantastic.

We returned home with the basis of this album but a lot of work needed to be done. The songs needed colour. Our studio was immediately loaded up with the multitrack tapes and we started experimenting. This was really the introduction of my beloved MCI 400 late 70’s mixing desk that was going to become an important part of my life for the next 12 years. There was also an exciting step from Dickon’s great violin lines into full blown string arrangements and a string session at Abbey road 2. A pivotal moment for him and us.

The arrangements were fantastic and the sound and energy of the playing in that room I will remember forever. That day we met Lucy Wilkins, Sarah Willson, people who have bought so much to our music ever since.

Our album started with a Dickon song (‘El diablo’), a song of mine (‘A night in’ (that David named after an episode of ‘Porridge’)) and then David’s ‘My sister’. Everything felt in balance. Our charity shop suits were starting to feel a little outgrown. We were introduced to a young tailor who was just starting up in a small house in Elder St, Spitalfields: Timothy Everest, the start of a great creative relationship and friendship. Another growing creative relationship was with photographer Phil Nicholls. We invited him to our second fitting of our new suits at Tim’s. These photos are very special to me, they capture something so deep of the moment: the aspiration, the growing confidence, the irreverence and the anarchy. Phil was a little disappointed that I was excited by the ‘ugly’, confrontational shots that I wanted to use for the album cover (there were some very beautiful ones that he was rightly very proud of).

As we were realising the joy of our second album we were informed that our record company was being closed down. This created delay and uncertainty about the albums release and , well, this must mean that we were free and so we started behaving as though we were.

DB: Melody Maker album of the year! It seemed to be important. Not to us. I’m sorry to sound so underwhelmed. Of course it was nice. Perhaps a few years ago, but we’d given up on all that. The feeling sitting in the Townhouse a few months before. Listening to what we’d just done. Was such a sense of fucking hell! That no other reward was needed.

A couple of weeks later in January 1994. On a short UK tour before setting off to Europe. The venue full of people expecting some kind of champions. Us playing ever quieter under their growing noise. It really didn’t seem to matter. Days later, our first ever show at the Botanique in Brussels. You could have heard a pin drop. We thought they hated us too. How wrong we were. And the U.S. around the corner.

The landing into JFK was wobbly. The jerk of the aircraft helping to sober us up a little. New York was exactly how I expected it. But bigger! John Barry’s theme to Midnight Cowboy in my head as we walked the streets. Slightly cleaner and brighter in the early summer sun than I’d expected. Stopping for pizza on the way to the show. ‘Are you guys the Bee Gee’s” exclaimed the pizza man in his perfect New York accent. We tried to work out who was Barry, Robin – None of us was quite Maurice yet. A couple of blocks later, ‘ Are you guys the tindersticks’ another New York voice above us from a loft. Well, ‘who else would be out in a three piece suit in this heat’, she said. Perhaps the Bee Gee’s I thought.

There’s so much I could say about our first trip. So many wonders as we travelled around.
My biggest feeling though. Is how great I felt. Sat in my new suit from Timothy in the most perfect New York or L.A. bar. Sipping vodka martinis, crunching on bar snacks, like I’d only ever seen in American films.

Tailor's shop by Phil Nicholls

DB: I remember taking my ill-fitting, second hand, moth balled and greasy collared suit along to Timothy’s. ‘I want this, but to fit me,’ I probably mumbled with an outstretched arm.

He helped me find a suitable, vintage cloth. Raised his eye brows slightly as I asked to have the jacket shorter, knowing I’d regret it, which I did. Telling me a suit should be for life, to live in. You had to accept the wear and tear, not for Sunday best, but an extension of ones self. Probably not his exact words, but I got the gist.

Prince of Wales, London by Phil Nicholls

Amsterdam 8th Feb '94

Released 1994

Track listing:

Marbles, tyed, kathleen, milky teeth, blood, jism, raindrops, drunk tank, for those…

Released by This Way Up on 10″ single (WAY 3288) & CD (WAY 3299)
Limited to 2000 copies on 10 inch, numbered


Released 1994

Track listing:

A1. Kathleen
A2. Summat moon
B1. A sweet sweet man
B2. E-type joe

Released by This Way Up on 7″ single (WAY 2811), 10″ single (WAY 2888) & CD single (WAY 2833)
Numbered 7″ limited edition of 5000 copies. 

Live in Berlin

Released 1994

Track listing:

A. Tyed
B. Raindrops

Released by This Way Up on 7″ single (WAY 9999)
Limited edition of 1.500 copies. Hand-stamped brown paper bag, hand-stamped white inner sleeve.
Recorded at the Die Halle, Berlin show on 5/10/93
Originally, only available at the 12 concerts of the November ’93 UK tour

Lounge Ax, Chicago 16/06/1994

BBC, Maida Vale, Studio 4
London, United Kingdom

Newcastle, United Kingdom

Derby, United Kingdom

The Hub
Bath, United Kingdom

Cardiff University
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Astoria II
London, United Kingdom

MTV Studios
London, United Kingdom
MTV 120 Minutes Session

Hamburg, Germany

Berlin, Germany

La Botanique
Brussels, Belgium

Dolce Vita
Lausanne/Pully, Switzerland

Wuk Club
Vienna, Austria

Repre Klub
Prague, Czechia

Köln, Germany

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Strasbourg, France

Passage du Nord-Ouest
Paris, France

Rennes, France

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Nancy, France

Bologna, Italy

Rimini, Italy

Mezzago (Milan), Italy

Lyon, France

Toulouse, France

Do Re Mi
Bordeaux, France

The Grand
London, United Kingdom

9:30 Club
Washington D.C., USA

The Mercury Lounge
New York, NY, USA

Hoboken, NJ, USA

Middle East
Boston, MA, USA

Lee’s Palace
Toronto, Canada

Burns Room
Detroit, MI, USA
St. Andrew’s Hall

Lounge Ax
Chicago, IL, USA

7th Street Entry
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Glastonbury Festival
Somerset, United Kingdom
Pyramid Stage

Roskilde Festival
Copenhagen, Denmark

Walibi Flevo
Dronten, Netherlands

Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium

Reading Festival
Reading, United Kingdom

Supper Club
New York, NY, USA
CMJ convention with Jeff Buckley