The Lord of the House of Pomona, he say:
"I liked this straight away. Dreaming while awake; that's
a state to which we should aspire. Where it's Sunday afternoon all the time. Rainy outside,
the fire on, someone you really, really like close by.
Just a few chords, sounding like they were picked out at random.
Great melodies though. Like all those American bands (Low, Spain, Red House Painters) but
(unlike them) a whole album of tunes.
When I met them I liked them straight away. They looked liked
kids who'd been well and truly bullied at school - plasters on their glasses, facial tics,
the lot. Loved 'em. I like shy people with a secret confidence.
I like Mudskipper. You'd trust them to raise high the roof beam
and fix your plumbing. You really would. So much soul."
Four-piece - who tend to sit down during their performances.
Delicate, mysterious and beautiful songs. Real soul music, in fact. But, after four years
together, still they remain one of the UK's best kept secrets.
Legendary jazz drummer Max Roach noted the crucial difference
between instrumentalists and musicians: the former merely play, but musicians know when
not to play - when to let silence speak for itself. Mudskipper leave spaces to dream in,
but with no time for flashy virtuosity or extraneous noises. Theirs is a quiet, modern-day
minimalism, blending the eerie simplicity of Kurt Cobain's writing with the acoustic warmth
of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. As reference points, add to these the downbeat, down-tempo
musings of Red House Painters and Low, and an all-important, indefinable X-factor - rooted,
probably, in their intuitive knack for communicating their own experiences of joy and pain,
for tugging at the souls of listeners. Mudskipper's music is full of love.
Chief composer and frontman Tony Edge, or Edgey as he's better
known, can't shed much light on his real sources of inspiration. They're deeply inward ones,
surely "With certain songs I've just sat down, gone at it for an hour, and I don't know
where it's come from. I write little things down that I like the sound of, then I just tat
about and it all just falls into place. Sometimes there's not much of a song when I bring
it to rehearsal."
Bass player Paul Cashmore, who says he's learned about using
space from listening to Miles Davis, continues: "We've always rehearsed in a really intimate
atmosphere, either in my bedroom, Chris's front room or on the roof of the shopping centre
where I used to live. It helps us keep things quiet and fragile. If one of us plays even
a little bit loud it spoils it totally. When we're working on a song we start out with a
lot of sounds, then take three quarters of them away."
Guitarist Chris Brown brings jazz and country influences into
Mudskipper's music. Chris's pedals often give his playing a Nashville steel sound.
Drummer Ade Beddow developed his sparse technique after listening
to Buddy Holly records. He's in no doubt where Mudskipper's chemistry comes from. "It's
because we've all been good mates for a few years and we're on the same wavelength," he