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A Salty Dog Returns

Reviewed in Q by Tom Hibbert

Joan May sends BtP this review, from the Q Magazine Online Review Archives (unfortunately the dates of reviews aren't included):

Matthew Fisher: A Salty Dog Returns
According to surveys, the two most popular leisure pursuits in Britain are (1) angling; (2) annoying the neighbours by tonkling about on a home keyboard device trying to master the chords of Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town or (worse) composing awesomely awful tunes. Despite his name ho! ho! Matthew Fisher indulges in the second of these hobbies.

Over the last four years he has mucked about in his home studio, recording musical whimsies and footling about in the potting shed of sound. If he wants to idle about playing Nut Rocker or composing trifling items like Sex And Violence (inspired by 60s TV series like The Saint), that's his and his neighbours' business. Except that Matthew Fisher used to be [sic] a member of a famous group, Procol Harum, and because of this, his idle noodlings (originally recorded for private, personal fun, as the sleevenotes tell us) are deemed worthy of an audience beyond the poor folk next door.

Tom Hibbert

Joan's personal comments
Another 'ho!-ho!' irony is that sometime-Fisher-cohort Gary Brooker was an angler for a time <g>.

This is the second Hibbert piece I've read and enjoyed. The first is the article from the February 1992 issue of Q which includes an interview with Gary, Keith and Matthew right before they went on Letterman's Late Show (before he moved to CBS and an earlier time slot) in 1991. I know some think this is a silly article but the silliness mainly came from Gary and Keith's very goofy statements, and that's their doing, not Hibbert's. Matthew, to his credit, managed to keep his dignity until almost the very end ;-o

But amidst the foolishness, Hibbert expressed his great admiration for BJW and his realization that the most enchanting part of AWSoP is Matthew's ethereal Hammond melody, so I can't fault a guy who has that kind of good taste.

Similarly, re the above review, I agree with Hibbert that most of the tunes on ASD Returns are synthesized dreck one reason being that Matthew hasn't owned a Hammond organ since 1970 when he lent his to Gary and Keith so he's been composing on synths ever since, to the great detriment of his musical career.

But there is one track on that CD wherein producer Mike Ober rented a Hammond, and brought Matthew together with Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor for (in my opinion) the best version of Green Onions that's ever been recorded. It needs to be turned up loud for full appreciation of Matthew's magic touch on his instrument (his true instrument): the deliciously evil sounding rhythm lines as well as the great leads. Taylor also did the piece proud with Mike Bloomfield (circa East-West) style guitar work.

I emailed Q suggesting that Hibbert give that track another listen I think it's well worth the price of the CD.


A Salty Dog Returns: the album to which this review relates

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