I listed to Tindersticks' Bathtime for the first time in ages last night. I was going through old favourites and I'd already found my single of Can We Start Again? (from the Simple Pleasures album, which is always a joy. Then I remembered how I fell for Tindersticks...
"There’s a city filth that lingers
All over my naked hands
Deep into the weave of the clothes I wear
And every step brings another
Every hour adds some more
Till I’m on the other side leaning on your door
Are the taps running, darling?
Is the air thick with steam?
Can I find some place to cry these tears of shame?"
I know Stuart Staples' voice is an acquired taste (yes, he can sound like Vic Reeves' mumbling pub singer to the uninitiated), but for me it mainly has the effect of making me sigh, go giddy and dissolve into a big puddle, Amelié-style.
It was all Mark Radcliffe's doing, of course. Again. I think Tindersticks were his most frequent session guests during his time at Radio 1, doing the wonderful Graveyard Shift show with Marc Riley. (I still remember the 'Dickon's arse' episode with great fondness.) I'd never been particularly grabbed by the music, though.
But I bought the Curtains album and was overwhelmed - particularly by Let's Pretend and (Tonight) Are You Trying To Fall In Love Again? - lush, sexy, melancholic yearning of the most delicious kind - perfect if you've had a glass of red and fancy a good wallow.
NME, 14 July 06: Tindersticks join 'Don't Look Back' season
Pitchfork: Review - Leaving Songs by Stuart A. Staples
Amazon.co.uk: Leaving Songs, Stuart A. Staples Lucky Dog Recordings 03-04, Stuart A. Staples