Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Genius Of... Tim Smith #5

#5: Camouflage by Mr & Mrs Smith And Mr Drake

Around the time of Cardiacs' third cassette-only album 'The Seaside' in 1984, a quaint little tape also sneaked out by an odd trio called Mr & Mrs Smith And Mr Drake. They were, of course, a selection of Cardiacs members, namely Tim Smith, his wife Sarah and William D. Drake. What they made could be described as Cardiacs-lite, but that's not strictly fair.

Cardiacs were regulars at the old Stonehenge Free Festivals in the 80s. This record sounds like the sort of thing they might have done around the campfire with the flower children. Tim playing acoustic guitar - something he rarely did with his 'proper band' - Sarah with her sax and recorder and Bill with any keyboardy thing he could lay his hands on. All took a shot at lead vocals and everything was recorded very low-fi and with very little embellishment.

It all sounded very 1967 folksy-wolksy and while it can't be compared to any of Cardiacs' best works, it does show another side to Tim's songwriting and performances. As the mad, crazy vibes of the seven-strong Cardiacs continued to be his main vehicle for another 25 years, the occasional surprise like this punctuated things nicely. Stripped-back and blissful, the eponymous tape remained fairly elusive for some time, being available only through their fan club and at gigs. Eventually released on CD some 20 years later, it remains a sidenote in Tim's extensive discography.

Camouflage is my favourite track, a duet between Tim and Sarah.

1 comment:

  1. Posted a comment but it didn't come up. From the wrong account anyway.
    Trying again...

    Merry Seasonals to you TheRobster, MrsTheRobster and of course TheRobsterJunior