Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stream The Decemberists From NPR; A Dose Of Rock History With Sutherland Brothers & Quiver

The Decemberists
Building its cred with indie kids and at the same time creating middle-aged hipsters, NPR plugs away at 9:30 Club with streaming audio of last night's performance by the Decemberists. It's great to get to hear these shows, but I can't help but sense NPR's effort to get younger listeners keen to their programming, so that as age sets in, we start listening to talk radio and throwing out soundbites around the water cooler. Anyway, listen to the show. It's amazingly good. And Colin Meloy owns up to the fact that "you paid your money, and we entertain you." At least he knows who butters his bread.

Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
Over the last couple days, I've been obsessively updating and tagging and perusing la la (if you sign up, tell 'em I sent you), and it occurred to me that I can find the obscure stuff that I've been searching for diligently, but not willing to break the bank on, like those guys up there. Yeah, they don't look all that cool in the picture by today's standards, and maybe not even by 1976 standards, but the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver made great records. My introduction to them was through my dad who, like me, freely engages in unabashed music snobbery. I learned from the best, as his taste in music really shaped mine. Of all that I'm grateful to dad for, an ear for rock and roll is high on that list. I can remember jamming to Slipstream on 8-track, which dad still has, that's how cool he is. I can remember going to the flea market and digging through stacks of vinyl looking for albums with him.

Sutherland Brothers & Quiver - Slipstream
SBQ, as they're affectionately referred to on the internet fan sites, had one bona fide hit, "Arms of Mary", which hit #5 on UK charts. David Gilmour (yes, Pink Floyd's Gilmour) produced the B-side to that single. But "Sailing" became a #1 hit for Rod Stewart.

Regardless of the lack of incredible commercial success as SBQ, members such as Keith Wood went on to play keyboard for Al Stewart, Tim Renwick has played amazing guitar with amazing groups like Pink Floyd, Mike & The Mechanics, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, and had his own bands, including Wages of Sin and Lazy Racer. Tim Renwick is the utility man of rock guitar, and you can see an incredible bio of him here. Drummer Willie Wilson played drums on Pink Floyd's The Wall. The Sutherland brothers themselves continue to dabble, Gavin writing books and having made an album in 2000, and Iain composes, but doesn't appear to perform.

The SBQ Discography (Source: Peel):
The Sutherland Brothers Band (Island 1972). (Everything after this is with Quiver)
Lifeboat (Island 1972)
Dream Kid (Island 1974)
Beat Of The Street (Island 1974)
Reach For The Sky (Columbia 1975)
Slipstream (Columbia 1976)
Down To Earth (Columbia 1977)
When The Night Comes Down (Columbia 1978)

Now if those of us who are fans can only get the BBC to release those Peel sessions to us.


Anonymous said...

There are BBC tapes where you get to hear how good Tim Renwick really was. SB&Q was a great band.
Also Iain did (2) solo albums in the early 80's that are hard to find. Mebbe we will see those on compact disc someday. I also have a tape of Gavin's 1st album from the same time period.

Anonymous said...

Working now on getting Gavin (and Ian) to get the BBC stuff released. Gavin is interested! Would also like them to try to get a box set with early stuff, rarities (B-sides) and live material. Here's hoping!

Anonymous said...

hi great fan and have been in touch with gavin but cant get in contact with lain anybody got a website or facebook or e-mail etc for him as would like to contact him about meeting him and talking music

Brian Mathieson said...

Can you please change the link to the fan website from mathie.demon.co.uk (my old site) to the new one whaich is at www.songsinger.info - I'm currently rewriting the SB&Q website and hope to have it up within the next couple of weeks. Thanks, Brian.

ian.bannister said...

I have a cassette tape of the first session they did as A New Generation ( before SB + SB&Q) it not good quality as it was recorded on one of the first phillips cassette recorders from mums transister radio with a hand mike! but I managed to get it to MP3. I was also there for other recordings for the BBC in 1967/8 I cant believe we never took a copy away with us but we never asked! I did tape another session which included a version of 'fakin it' which was FAB! Tapes had a buzz and a mate said he thought he could clean it using a graphic, as expected that was the last I saw of it! So if anyone manages to persude the BBC to release the sessions it would be great to add those New Generation sessions to the list.