It’s hard not to love Robert Wyatt. In every interview he comes across as such a thouroughly nice bloke and I’m happy to assume that this is actually the case.
As I came out of my metal phase in the early 80s, and during the struggle to find a direction, I became aware of Robert. Firtsly, of course, thanks to the astounding Shipbuilding (arrived at via Costello of course) – I had a lovely gatefold 7″ of it, that I gave to a huge Costello fan I was friends with at work (sort of wish I hadn’t).
On the back of that discovery I picked up a copy of Rock Bottom at a record fair. But Rock Bottom, wasn’t an album to suck me in, I love it now but at the time I found it difficult, and it was filed away… and I headed towards indie-guitar music
Many years later an interview with Damon & Naomi where Damon sung the praises of Robert Wyatt (and Rock Bottom in particular) probably in 96 or 97, inspired me to pull out the album again (actually I had to buy myself a CD copy) and start finding more Robert to love.
Dondestan sort of passed me by, the mid-90s rediscovery coincided with Schleep and that and Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard pretty much filled my needs. This was an opportunity to fix that.
Of course I’ve been helped back into this by the lovely Unthanks who released a rather excellent half-an-album of Robert Wyatt covers, including the title track of Dondestan.
Here’s them covering Rock Bottom’s Sea Song (which they also released on their second album in 2007)
… and here’s Robert doing it in 2003
I just found this half finished blog post in my drafts, so I’ve popped in a few videos and published it as I found it