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Title: Thomas Dolby on Sprouts
Description: Radcliffe and Maconie

bisonrav - October 25, 2011 04:34 PM (GMT)

should be available worldwide but usually only for a week. Seems to start about 1.45ish or so

mcpherson35 - October 28, 2011 08:16 PM (GMT)
Cheers for that. It's about time I seen this guy! He's doing a tour.

bisonrav - October 30, 2011 09:28 AM (GMT)

Not much Sprout in this (or the radio interview) but still worthwhile

James L - October 30, 2011 05:52 PM (GMT)
Dolby's new album is better

bisonrav - November 4, 2011 10:07 AM (GMT)
More Dolby in here somewhere

Non UK viewers can try using tunnelbear to get access ;)

rock smith - May 14, 2012 10:20 AM (GMT)
Thomas Dolby
this is from a recent TD interview:
"Iíve worked with Paddy and he has a biological need to write a song a week, heís just done that for ever and ever"

respect to Thomas for his continued support of PM

Rae - May 14, 2012 11:40 AM (GMT)
Your post made me check out his most recent album at last. It's great.* And quite poignant whenever he throws in one of those old PS soundeffects.

*I wrote this while I was listening to the album. I stand by "great" as far as the first three tracks are concerned, but I'd like to change my vote to "nice" as far as the rest is concerned.

Rae - May 21, 2012 07:57 AM (GMT)
Slightly OT, but I'll share this recent instant of serendipity here: I was in Berlin over the weekend, first time without the children, and on Friday night my wife and I were trying to figure out what to do while we were having an early dinner. I was leafing through a magazine and saw that Thomas Dolby was about to play at the Frannzclub in an hour. I mentioned it to my wife who only has the faintest idea who TD is, but was amused by She Blinded Me With Science when she was a kid, plus by accident we'd listened to A Map Of the Floating City on the drive over to Berlin from Hamburg. I wasn't too excited about aborting my dinner for a TD concert, but my wife said she thought it might be "droll" and that we should go.

Well, this will be a long post if I continue with the play-by-play report, so I'll cut to the chase. We rode the U-Bahn all the way across town and at the door purchased tickets No.s 009 and 010. Turnout later was something like 100, 150 people I'd say. And let's just say that in most circumstances of my life I'm the nerdiest, most middle-aged person present, but not so that night.

We ended up right in front of the stage (it looked like people were embarrassed to stand there), which meant I was about five feet from Kevin Armstrong the entire night, so he got to bask in the warmth of the love-rays I was sending him re: the great rhythm guitar he used to play for Prefab Sprout. He seems very nice.

Dolby said that the last time he was in Berlin was in 1990 and he played an audience of 350.000 on the Potsdamer Platz, but that he liked tonight much better. I'll have to look into that 1990 thing, maybe he got caught up in the Reunification celebrations and mistakenly thought all those people had turned up to hear him perfom lesser known tracks from Astronauts and Heretics. Although he does seem too smart for that.* I can only recommend trying to catch him on tour: He has fun anecdotes, a great way with samples, a tight band, good and varied material ... And there's something nice about a guy who sold a billion ringtones and now tours tiny clubs just for the hell of it. He even brought a couple of local artists into the show, altogether coming across as a gracious, generous gentleman.

On the downside (and this is something which, in addition to a certain hollowness and inconsequentiality of some of his songs, has always ultimately turned me off his records), he can't sing very well. He's obviously of that weird 80's school where to sing "well" or technically good or with any sign of trying to get it right was considered uncool and pointless. So, in many, many ways the exact opposite of Paddy McAloon.

*Okay, just googled that he played in Roger Waters' charity production of The Wall then.

qmbcole - May 21, 2012 12:40 PM (GMT)
Very cool, glad you enjoyed the no-kid time. What did your wife think of the show?

Rae - May 21, 2012 12:53 PM (GMT)
q, after she got used to being the only woman in the room, she liked it fine and pointed out how self-assured and endearing it was that he played She Blinded Me without making fun of the song or rolling his eyes about people enjoying it, and I can only agree.

life's a miracle - May 21, 2012 08:42 PM (GMT)
He has fun anecdotes,

Good to read you had a good time, Rae. I being a connoisseur of going to shows with artists in their 50's, 60's and 70's tend to play and sing for an hour maybe hour and a half and in between the songs they like to talk a lot, tell stories of their past.
I believe it's a way of connecting with the audience.

Some of these guys and woman have written songs that clearly can make you depressed and bring tears to the eyes , so, I think the funny anecdotes off set this and makes you feel good. maybe not the case with TD.

Rae - May 22, 2012 02:29 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (life's a miracle @ May 21 2012, 10:42 PM)
Some of these guys and woman have written songs that clearly can make you depressed and bring tears to the eyes , so, I think the funny anecdotes off set this and makes you feel good. maybe not the case with TD.

I know what you mean, and it kind of worked like that with TD: I Love You Goodbye, for example, is a terribly sad and sentimental song, but not so much anymore when it's been introduced by an anecdote about being dissed by a Louisiana radio host during a live telephone interview, for all the geographical inaccuracies in the song.

James L - July 17, 2012 09:26 PM (GMT)
If you haven't heard it there is a great podcast called Sodajerker on Songwriting out at the moment. Sodajerker are songwriters from Liverpool and they have been interviewing their heroes over the last few months. You can see all the podcasts listed here - its a very interesting show. The latest one is with Thomas Dolby - covers loads of interesting topics but here is what he had to say about Steve McQueen:


"At that stage in their evolution Prefab Sprout really needed a musical producer because they had wonderful ideas but they were a little bit scattered.  Paddy would write lyrics and would strum along and he'd sing a five bar phrase or have seven beats in a bar if that was appropriate to fit the lyric.  Their first album 'Swoon' while it had wonderful ideas on it was a little bit hard to listen to it.

So my job was to smooth out the rough edges and make the most of their strengths which are the vocal sound of Paddy's very warm passionate voice and the thin ethereal quality of Wendy's who was quite unemotional in her voice and that complimented itself very well and it lent itself very well to sampling.  I've still got floppy disks full of Wendy Smith samples for my Fairlight. 

The other thing was getting it down and picking the songs. Paddy must have played me 60 or 70 songs and I picked out my favourite dozen.  So my other role as producer was in the editorial sense figuring out which songs to do. 

Q: So we've got you to thank for the consistency of that album then?

A: Well I was spoiled for choice because he's got so many wonderful songs, but it had a very definite vibe to it.  It just felt very special."

Rivermoving - July 17, 2012 10:02 PM (GMT)
Great find!

Imagine a release of the "Complete Steve McQueen Demo Collection" of all the 60 or 70 songs in a nice boxed set...

Sorry, just dreaming out loud. Won't happen again.

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