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Total Records: 45   Records Viewed Per Page: 10 1 ... 3 4 [5]
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5) Jools Slater
York, England. 0776 950 4794
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Friday, 22 April 2005 09:41 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

In the centre of Bingley, there still stands an old blackstone Victorian Building bearing the noble inscription "Public Lending Library". In the 1970's it was derelict. All the books had been moved and the ceiling had pigeons living in the oak beams. We used to hire it from a bloke called Jim who worked for the council and charged us 50p a day to rehearse there, because no one else wanted it. It did however have extraordinarily good accoustics due to the ornate marble staircase than ran through the centre of it. Perfect for the sound of a sax.
It always seemed to take us ages to set everything up. Spock had all these foot pedals and none of them ever seemed to work properly. He used to get really stressed about an old WEM copycat space echo because it kept chewing the ribbon tapes. "Hey Spock, listen to this!" said Mathew. "Better than your copycat" and he wandered up and down the stairs honking big fat notes just to enjoy the reverb. We were still setting up drum kits and wires, when suddenly his roaring voice echoed: "Look at this. F*cking hell! - Bakelite telephones!".
There was myself; Spock; Roger on drums and a keyboard player called Tiddy*. Co-ee (as he was known then) lurched into the room thrusting the receiver of a filthy black bakelite standard issue 1950's GPO telephone at us, as though there was some urgent news on the other end. He was leaping about like a plundering pirate as he searched for his duffel bag. "What are you going to do" we asked, although we kind of already knew. "There's loads of them..." we also knew that look in his eye. "They might come in handy"
Every time we'd all get together to jam, there always seemed to be some kind of "incident" that precluded the actual playing. And when we got around to it, there remained a sense of danger and unpredictability, which was addictive. The sax was loud enough to be heard from outside of the room we were in, and it sounded all the better for the spooky reverb. Tiddy had a fascinating variety of, mostly home made, electronic keyboard type instruments, and using a simple tone generator he would trade phrases with Mathew, who would mimic the sounds back. Oh, simple pleasures.
My last memory of that day was seeing "Xero" peddling up a cobbled street on a bicycle like some kind of post-war delivery boy in a raincoat and flying helmet with a sax case over one shoulder, and a duffel bag full of bakelite telephones over the other. And so another song title was born.

*See a picture of Vedas rehearsing at the Eldwick Memorial Hall at: under the archive section following the career of Andy Wells.
4) Jools Slater
York, England. (0776 950 4794)
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Thursday, 21 April 2005 09:00 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

One sunday evening in the summer of 1976, Vedas were rehearsing in my parent's garage in Bingley (10 miles north of Leeds) and there were just three of us there that night: Myself on bass, Spock on guitar and Mathew on sax. We had spent the first half of the evening talking about explosives, and dismantling fireworks to get the gunpowder so we could blow something up. All this led to was successfully filling the garage with thick smoke, which was funny. So we opened the windows to let it clear, and started jamming a riff that Mathew had come up with, which after a while descended into a hypnotic loop groove, with an endless Coltrane style pentatonic wandering. All of a sudden he stopped playing and loudly announced "I fancy a brew! get the kettle on" So, rather bizzarely, we sat and drank tea with a teapot, cups and saucers in a garage, with three amps running from an adapter in the light socket in the middle of the room, amidst gunpowder smoke and a lawnmower, and then the Law arrived. A young constable knocked (rather politely we felt) on the tin door of the garage. "go see who it is" said Mathew "it might be a fan" It turned out that a neighbour had reported "marijhuana smoke billowing from the windows of a garage, in which innapropriate jazz was being played" Oh how we laughed "innapropriate jazz!" said Mathew "oh that's f*cking priceless!" But all the copper found was three blokes sitting in a garage drinking tea. We were told to keep the noise down. The tune got called "Nosy neighbours"
3) Jools Slater
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Wednesday, 20 April 2005 21:43 IP: Write a comment Send E-mail

I am deeply grateful to Solomon for constructing this website, as I was afraid that the memory of Xero and the band would slip into a kind of collective "dreamtime" where most people would look back and think "was it like that?" and have no-one to compare memories with. These pages give a great overview of the whole phenomenon that was Mathew Coe.
I first met Mathew at School. Beckfoot Grammar School, Bingley and along with Nick Parkin (Spock)- guitar, Roger McDowell- drums and Andy Wells (now of prog rock band Pilgrym. on keyboard we were Vedas: a kind of surreal punk jazz rock outfit. I was a pianist but I was also playing trombone at the time. Up at Mathew's Mums house near Shipley one saturday afternoon when we were having a jam, I picked up Mathew's cherry red Hoffner hollow body bass guitar and picked out a Daevid Allen riff to which he said "right Jools, you're playing bass from now on!" This gave him the opening to get out his Mark VI and blow (along with the bamboo flutes, penny whistles and other bric-abrac) I bought his bass guitar for 20 and he also threw in an amp that he'd built from the guts of an old television!. The following week we were rehearsing in the basement of this old derelict library in Bingley and mid-way through the tune this bass amp/ tv set hybrid exploded with such a crack that it sent the speaker cone flying 20 feet across the room in a plume of black smoke. Mathew roared with laughter and said "we need to keep that in the act!!!".
I have a thousand memories of those early days, and as I remember them I shall post them here to share. He was a truly original individual, both as a musician and as a person, which is a rare and treasured quality in the great British tradition of eccentrics (Viv Stanshall etc) and more than anything, he helped to keep jazz music alive and vibrant in the public mind during a time when it was generlly at a creative slump. God bless you Mathew, rest in peace mate. XERO SLINGSBY LIVES!
2) Guy Hatton
Harrogate, N.Yorkshire
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Wednesday, 20 April 2005 01:25 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

This site is a fantastic tribute to a very great talent, a man who derserved much, much more time to pursue his art than fate allowed him. Some of the most memorable features of the Leeds music scene in the late 70s and 80s for me are down to Matthew: the seamless mid-song bass/sax swap with Richard Ward, the 'phone call from EMI' skit, The Works busking in lands Lane precinct with John Boulton's Pop Art drumkit - and always fabulous, living, breathing, exploratory music. I am so glad that this reminder of a true original talent exists to spread the word.
1) solomon robson
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Saturday, 26 February 2005 10:24 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

Please feel free to post any thoughts, memories or images you may have about Matthew / Xero Slingsby and The Works.
All the best
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