24 marzo 2014

A oltre trent'anni dalla sua prima uscita torna in circolazione North Marine Drive, album di debutto di Ben Watt pubblicato nel 1983 a pochi mesi dall'e.p. Summer into Wintercui collaborò Robert Wyatt: titoli riportati integralmente in unico cd, come già nella precedente edizione di questa compilazione (Cherry Red, 1987). L'iniziativa si somma alle molte altre che investono Watt in questo periodo, tra cui la ripresa dell'attività propriamente concertistica, la produzione di un nuovo album solista (Hendra) e la pubblicazione di un secondo lavoro narrativo biografico e autobiografico, Romany and Tom.

Del suo precoce esordio ricorda Watt: "Of all my early recordings, Summer into Winter is perhaps the one I am still proudest of. Precocious and nineteen, I managed to get Robert Wyatt's phone number and talked him into singing and playing on it with me. He played two takes of piano on Walter and John and suggested keeping both, panned left and right. The stuttering interplay of the two parts is really lovely. His voice is so great too. He also played a little solo on A Girl in Winter. If there is a naivety to the lyrics here there is also a great amount of heart. The guitar was a Gretsch 1963 Clipper that I bought from Potter's music shop in Richmond, Surrey. I still have it, and played it recently on my gigs at The Slaughtered Lamb. The muffled reverberating echo was provided by an Evans Echopet EP50."
E di quel primo album: "I have mixed feelings about my debut album. At its best I love its fearless use of warm jazz-flavoured chords, the tiny crystalline piano lines, the gauzy atmosphere and sense of mystery. It sounds both ardent and conceptualized and was clearly unlike anything else around at the time, which is something to be proud of, I suppose. If I have reservations it is about the lyrics. Too often the earnestness and desire to be open tips over into flagrant self-commiseration, although it didn't feel like that at the time. If felt honest and real. But hey, I was nineteen and in love! North Marine Drive is the name of a road in Bridlington, but I turned it from a rather ordinary residential road in Bridlington to 'a road curling round by your sea' picturing in my mind Marine Drive beneath the castle in Scarborough."