Stuart A. Staples, Somerset house and a gent back in a suit…
A touch more lo-fidelity (in a good way) and intimate than some of Tindersticks recordings, it’s a warm, human record full of the faith and foibles of life; Somerset House in particular is a fine song.
Whenever I hear it I’m transported to six in the morning somewhere, with the sun coming up and you’re still out or maybe just heading home as the world wakes up around you. Gentle and pleasantly melancholic. Lovely indeed.
Actually, listening to Somerset House again, I’ve just remembered that a part I’d always thought was a jump or a click on my vinyl copy is actually in the song. That always catches me by suprise.
I like how the album was made after the Tindersticks had split up and his partner told him to “just go and make something” and stop moping about.
Actually, while we’re on the subject matter of Mr Stuart Staples around 2004, there were some photographs of him that accompanied/were on the cover of Comes With A Smile magazine around that time (issue 18), which were quite an influence/point of reference when I was starting out with Afterhours; they captured a particular mood that I think I wanted to wander off and see if I could also throw my net around.
Plus, to be honest, it was nice to see him suave and back in a suit(!).
I shall have to see if I can dig out some more of those CWAS photographs at some point…