Matching Mole

Band members               Related acts

- Bill MacCormick- bass (1971-72)
- David McRae - keyboards (1972) (replaced David Sinclair)
- Phil Miller - guitar, keyboards (1971-72)
- David Sinclair - keyboards (1971-72)
- Robert Wyatt - vocals, drums, keyboards (1971-72)



- Hatfield & the North (Phil Miller)
- National Health (Phil Miller)
- The Soft Machine
- Quiet Sun (Bill MacCormick)
- Robert Wyatt (solo efforts)
- The Wilde Flowers (David Sinclair and Robert Wyatt) 





Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Matching Mole

Company: CBS

Catalog: 64850

Year: 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $66.00


Matching Mole's always intrigued us. The short-lived band is virtually unknown in the States, but retains a large and enthusiastic fan base throughout Europe. 

Frustrated with The Soft Machine's reluctance to support his writing and singing efforts, drummer Robert Wyatt left the group in 1971. Having begun to record a solo album, CBS Records executives insisted Wyatt recruit a band in order to support the album with an active touring schedule. Recruiting ex-Quiet Sun bassist Bill MacCormick, guitarist Phil Miller and ex-Caravan/Wylde Flowers keyboard player Dave Sinclair, the quartet quickly went into the studio to complete what was 1972's "Matching Mole". Produced and largely written by Wyatt (Miller contributed one selection), tracks such as "Instant Pussy" (great title), "Part of the Dance" and "Dedicated to Hugh, But You Weren't Listening" found Wyatt and company working in a largely improvisational, free-form context. Overlooking the goofy "O Caroline" (inspired by Wyatt's then-girlfriend Caroline Coon, most of the album featured a mildly progressive/fusion set of instrumentals.

"Matching Mole" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) O Caroline (David Sinclair - Robert Wyatt) - 5:05 
2.) Instant Pussy (Robert Wyatt) - 2:59 
3.) Signed Curtain (Robert Wyatt) - 3:06 
4.) Part of the Dance (Phil Miller) - 9:16 

(side 2)

1.) Instant Kitten (Robert Wyatt) - 4:58 
2.) Dedicated to Hugh, But You Weren't Listening (Robert Wyatt) - 4:39 
3.) Beer as in Braindeer (Robert Wyatt) - 4:02 
4.) Immediate Curtain (Robert Wyatt) - 5:57  



Genre: progressive

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Matching Mole's Little Red Book

Company: Columbia

Catalog: KC-32148

Year: 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 1245

Price: $70.00

Cost: $66.00


With David McRae replacing original keyboard player Sinclair (who'd apparently become disenchanted with the band's increasingly improvisational style), unlike their debut, 1972's "Matching Mole's Little Red Book" actually saw an American release via Columbia. With Robert Fripp producing (Eno guested on a couple of tracks), the sophomore set wasn't nearly as impressive as the debut. Wyatt was but absent from the proceedings, leaving the rest of the band to contribute material. That may have been a nice nod to democracy, but material such as "Marchides", "Nan's True Hole" and "Righteous Rumba" found the band turning in what was a largely instrumental, jazz-rock fusion set. Reminiscent of The Soft Machine's latter career progressive style, the overall set suffers from a lack of direction and an absence of strong material. Perhaps due to the fact it was one of the isolated vocal performances and bore something akin to a melody, "God Song" was one of the more impressive efforts. To be even blunter, the set's pretty boring. (The album cover was cool though ...)

"Matching Mole's Little Red Book" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Starting in the Middle of the Day We Can Drink Our Politics Away (Dave McRae) - 
2.) Marchides (instrumental) (Dave McRae) - 
3.) Nan True's Hole (instrumental) (Phil Miller) - 
4.) Righteous Rumba (instrumental) (instrumental) (Phil Miller) -
5.) Brandy as in Benj (instrumental) (Dave McRae) - 

(side 2)

1.) Gloria Gloom (instrumental) (Bill MacCormick) - 
2.) God Song (Phil Miller) - 
3.) Flora Fidgit (instrumental) (Bill MacCormick) - 
4.) Smoke Signal (instrumental) (Dave McRae) - 

Unhappy that he was now having to serve as front man and band manager (to say nothing of the group's inability to find an English audience), in the wake of the second album's release Wyatt decided to call it quits. Wyatt reappeared with an extensive solo career, while Miller played with a number of bands, including Hatfield & the North and National Health (see separate entries). 

In 1973 Wyatt took some tentative steps to reforming the group with McRae, McCormick, former Curved Air keyboard player Francis Monkman and guitarist Gary Windo, however those plans were shelved in the wake of an accident that left him confined to a wheelchair. 


Back to Bad Cat homepage/search