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SAS. I needed to put my acoustic guitar down, we needed to try and write songs in a different way. In this year we had a few trips to a cottage in Wales with a 4 track recorder. The first time, myself and David only, we wrote the basis of ‘Before you close your eyes’ and ‘I know that loving’. If she’s torn and CFGF were already creeping into our live set. ‘Can we start again?’ was written around the ‘Cherry blossoms’ piano. Something was starting to happen. Long hair was being cut off. We were also coming to the end of our relationship with our manager James, never to be replaced. His vibrancy and creativity had such a great impact on our music in those early years. Island records had also now been swallowed by Universal. A home where we had never felt truly comfortable had become decidedly uncomfortable. Change was everywhere.

It was also becoming a joke that all our support bands went on to become successful – much more successful than us! Cornershop, Beth Orton, Belle and Sebastian, it was starting to become a long list and our partners were giving us grief about it. This culminated in a big group of us watching the Oscar ceremony early in ’98 –‘ And now for the award of the best original song from a motion picture..’ The camera cut to Eliott Smith performing his song for Good Will Hunting – Eliott had just been supporting us around the U.S. – Our girlfriends looked down and shook their heads in dismay.

DB: It was probably our least busy year since the first album was released. But it wasn’t a break. Extreme feelings of sadness and joy. Shrouded in a mist of old life turning to new. Trying to muscle us and the music into a brighter place.

I remember the first drive down to the cottage really well. A wintery January day. I hadn’t driven a car since we had to let the blue Cortina go. A sad moment. I was already a little nervous. The past few years taking their toll. We had a hire car. The headlights were stuck on full beam. And I could not get them to switch off. It was dusk. The windows started to steam up as the frustrated flashing lights of the oncoming traffic grew. It was such a relief to get to the cottage and sink into a large floral armchair with a drink.

We started to talk. We hadn’t had this kind of conversation since summer 92. Not about giving up. Sat in front of the tape machine, working on I know that loving. It felt like something new or perhaps something we just hadn’t felt for a while.

I kept the hire car for a few days. Picking up Veronika from the airport. We drove up to Nottingham for her to meet my parents and tell them we were getting married. A few weeks later I left London for the wedding and to live with her in her Grandmother’s tiny flat in Praha – No baggage, just love.

That’s how the music should be. And I think it always was but we’d lost it somehow.


Released 24 August 1998

Sleeve notes:

Obviously a Saul Bass tribute but me and Suzanne had such fun creating this ‘murdered’ donkey at the kitchen table of a rented apartment on Ithaca. It was the first of the many sleeves to be made or developed there.

Track listing:

1. Patchwork, Marbles, Her (original version), City Sickness, Travelling Light, I’ve Been Loving You Too Long, Plus de Liaisons

2. Here, Tiny Tears, Bathtime, A Marriage Made in Heaven (orchestral version), For Those… (orchestral version), Feeling Relatively Good

Limited to 5000 copies.
UK 60’s type flip-back sleeve.

Feeling Relatively Good is exclusive to the LP

Released by Island Records/This Way Up as a standard single album (ILPS 8074) & CD (CID 8074)

RAK Studio by Phil Nichols

Live concerts and sessions

Pinkpop Festival
Langraaf, Netherlands

Torhout Festival
Torhout, Belgium

Werchter Festival
Werchter, Belgium

Benicassim Festival
Benicassim, Spain

Bizarre Festival
Köln, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

Paredes De Coura Festival
Paredes de Coura, Portugal

Liss Ard Festival
Skibberen, Ireland