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Bloody hell, Acid Jazz alert! The return of The Fabric Four!!
Back and better than ever, thrilling from the off in early 1992 (and playing Fibbs to PACKED houses in May ’94 and May ’97), the four Londoners were well ahead of the curve with a soundtrack for the beatific generation.
Yup, CORDUROY cut a striking presence in black turtle necks, goatee beards, positively oozing cartoonish charm and visual style. Think Bop musicians and Greenwich Village bohemians, with a cat’s miaow.
Behind the flummery the music captured hearts and minds with three albums, Dad Man Cat (bop speak and Hammond funk!), High Havoc and Out Of Here drawing on 60s/70s TV themes.
But their influence stretched even further as a favourite of Blur (who played their early stuff on the tour bus, formulating ideas for Parklife) and as such Corduroy’s imprint is writ large over Britpop’s foundations. And Blur showed their appreciation, inviting them to play at their Alexandra Palace extravaganza alongside Supergrass and Pulp.
2018, however, welcomes a new album. The aptly titled The Return Of The Fabric Four, taking the group back to their Acid Jazz source with 12 tracks that score that archetypal ’60s spy film, with split screens and montages, car chases, secret agents in black specs and fawn macs and girls in kinky boots and knitted dresses.
And the title track is the centre-piece, the group’s calling card, “illustrating the four instruments in the band” – a sound gallery of Hammond jazz, funky drumming, popping bass and subtle guitar delivered with inimitable verve, flair and swagger. “It’s our big film soundtrack theme. Our Johnny Pate or Quincy Jones moment.”
Interspersed with jazz passages, mood mosaics and a samba, pre-empting the mid 90s easy listening renaissance that blew up with Club Smashing and Indigo’s and the lifestyle paid homage to in the Austin Powers films.
Last word to the band, “Before we did that first gig we said, “Let’s be the band in the party scene in every film we’ve ever liked.”