Tindersticks - ‘Tindersticks’
The strange universe of music world is forever throwing up conundrums. How is it that Tindersticks are struggling to stay afloat when more polished but less interesting versions like The National are main-stage mainstays? There are so many variables in how and why artists climb the ladder – it is unwise to try figure it out due to a thing called pointlessness. Better to use the time celebrating the original and the best.
It was in 1993 when No Disco started, and my first-ever interview was with a man called Stuart Staples. Turns out it was his first interview too. So he brought two friends and bandmates, Dave Boulter and Dickon Hinchliffe, along for moral support. I had listened to nothing else but their debut album for months, I was so spellbound by its seductive lowlight allure.
The three had travelled from Nottingham by bus just to talk to us. I was humbled and almost dumbstruck by their effort. All three wore tailored suits and overcoats of faded glory. Staples wore a hat. Only the foolhardy would attempt wearing a fedora, but he owned it. For all their style and effortless cool, they were shy, unassuming and generous.
The album is a masterpiece of dark poetic realism created by Staples. His semi-baritone voice sounds suitably weary, consistent with much of bleaker moods that dominate all four sides of the LP. The record has an atmosphere like no other. It is clouded in mist, smog and smoke.
The opposite of the variables that make the mighty struggle and average dominate is that glorious randomness that brings a bunch of people together who, combined, have the skills, drive and ability to come up with something new. Tindersticks was a groundbreaker.
The man responsible for the eerie keyboard wizardry is Boulter. A man who let his music do the talking, he never said a single word during the No Disco interview. Staples was clearly nervous and his slight stammer more pronounced under the lights.He could have said nothing at all, and I would’ve got where they were coming from. His honesty matched his humility. A gentleman and a scholar.