A distinctive British act of the ‘90’s, Tindersticks’ original brand of melancholic, echoing rock is moving in an altogether new direction, writes Grace Murphy
Tindersticks’ original sextet, complete with glockenspiel and vibraphone, started out eighteen years ago eager to promote an orchestral sound, but with this January’s release of Falling Down A Mountain, it’s clear that the current members are going for a more electric sound. This is the band’s second album after a five-year split, and an altogether more directional effort than 2008’s The Hungry Saw.
Member David Boulter tells otwo how the veteran band found a new lease of life in recent additions to the line up. “David Kitt [has] played with us quite a lot, so it was kind of natural for him to step into the band and help out – he brought a lot of his own musicality. Their personality brings a lot of positive energy, that kind of help to move things forward.”
Boulter feels the new beginning for the band was born out of a desire to “get something done” and a resolution to be more focused with their work. “The people we’re working with at the moment all have different interests, so we’re not just all sat there in the room looking at each other waiting for someone to do something. Everyone turns up and wants to get something done. It’s a kind of energy.”
This energy is currently focused on their upcoming tour, which sees the seasoned band faced with the dilemma of demonstrating their new sound to a fan base loyal to the old Tindersticks. “We’re trying to work in songs that we haven’t played for a long time, from our past really, that have that more electric feel,” Boulter confesses. “We’re trying to find some more obscure, older material that hopefully people will still like but it kind of fits more within the electric sets that we have at the moment. “
Does this cult following help with on-stage nerves? “Yeah, that’s always helpful – at least you know that quite a lot of the audience is on your side ‘cause they’re fans anyway. In the past we used to just get really drunk, but now we stopped doing that I’m more nervous now than I used to be.”
Considering the complete lack of downtime between Tindersticks last two albums, are we to expect more from this resilient sextet? Boulter hopes so. “I think we’ve got a positive sort of feel within the band and everyone’s up for doing things at the moment, so hopefully we’ll start working on the next stuff as soon as we start playing live.”
A testament to resilience and ingenuity, it appears that Tindersticks have a long way to go before they retire the glockenspiel to the English countryside.