SAS: A new century, a new label. We had met with Roger Trust at Beggars Banquet and there was something clicking. Roger is a real music person. Dave Bedford had moved into a management position. There was a sense of optimism around and we were brewing up to a flurry of activity. We were returning to Eastcote to record our 5th album ‘Can our love..’ After the wrench of Simple Pleasure, this album is probably the purest we have ever made – we needed to make a healing record, one that tried to rely on the characters of the players. Even though it is flawed it holds some beautiful moments – Singing the song Can our love.. ‘ live with Dickon was truly special and a watershed moment for me. I walked back into the control room and Mark said ‘Nice vocal’, I said ‘In 10 years of working together that is the first time you have said that’ – ‘You’ve never done one before’ he replied. I had left the frustration of Simple Pleasure behind.

We finished the year with a trip Devon and the Donkey Sanctuary with Phil Nicholls to take the photos that became the sleeve.

DB: Looking back. It feels like I spent the whole year sat in the new studio. It was a cramped space once everything was set up. Hardly room to swing a cat. And Stuart had three!
It was a good time to keep pushing this new feeling.

Beggars Banquet was a lot bigger than I’d imagined. A lot of positive energy as we walked around the offices. A feeling of reality after the excess and disillusion we’d let ourselves fall into.

I was quite nervous recording Trouble everyday, to be back in Angel Studios. So many new faces. It took me a long time to listen to it without prejudice. I went to watch the film at a cinema in Praha when it came out. A lot of people couldn’t take it, walking out! I guess the weeks spent watching the scenes, creating beautiful music to them had normalised it to me. Both the film and music looked and sounded wonderful.

Back in Eastcote to record can our love brought us together again. Philip always seemed to be fixing something, not in frustration, just lots of care and love. In so many ways, it seemed the perfect extension to Stuart’s garage studio – a very homely place (even if a bit of a pain in the arse).

The recording was fairly relaxed, enjoying playing together. We’d grown a lot musically over the years. Some really beautiful moments and memories. But still searching, trying to find a way forward.

What Is A Man

Released 2000

Track listing:

A. What is a Man
B. What is a Man (instrumental)

From The BBC Drama ‘The Sins’
Released by Beggars Banquet on 7” single (SINS 001) & CD single (SINS 1CD)

Donkey Sanctuary, Devon by Phil Nichols

Beer Head, Devon by Phil Nichols

Eastcote Studio, London

Live concerts and sessions

Palco 1
Coimbra, Portugal

Trinity College Hall
Dublin, Ireland

Cactus Festival
Brugges, Belgium

Dr. Music Festival
Asturias, Spain

Crossing Border Festival
Amsterdam, Netherlands