Il triste bollettino quotidiano viene nuovamente aggiornato (celebriamo tutti gli artisti che ci hanno lasciato ogni lunedì all’interno della rubrica Up & Down). Scompare infatti all’età di 64 anni lo straordinario Matthew Seligman. Tra i più stimati bassisti della sua era, cipriota di nascita, inglese d’adozione, inizia la magnifica carriera con Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club assieme tra gli altri a Thomas Dolby (l’eminenza Woolley – giusto per la cronaca – è il co-autore di brani com ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ o ‘Slave To The Rhythm’…). Quindi l’arrivo nei Soft Boys, nel 1980 forma i The Fallout Club sempre con Dolby (solo un paio di singoli all’attivo) e nel 1982 entra nei mai troppo incensati Thompson Twins (ahhh che ricordi…!). Un’esperienza che dura solo un anno visto che i Twins decidono di rimanere un trio, Seligman così lo ritroviamo nei Local Heroes SW9 e nei The Dolphin Brothers e poi da qui la lista delle collaborazioni diventa una lista “fiume”. Robyn Hitchcock, The Waterboys, Morrissey, Sinead O’Connor, Tori Amos, Alex Chilton, Peter Murphy e tantissimi altri. Da ricordare la partecipazione nel 1985 al Live Aid nella band di supporto a David Bowie con il quale collaborerà nuovamente nelle soundtrack di ‘Labyrinth’ e ‘Absolute Beginners’.
Seligman è morto al St. Georges Hopsital di Londra a causa delle conseguenze derivate dal virus Covid-19.
I’m writing this as Matthew Seligman slips out of this life and into wherever souls go next. Everybody goes, but none of us were expecting Matthew to leave us so abruptly, forever. It is strange and very sad to be talking of him in the past tense. I first met Matthew in 1976 in Cambridge, just before the beginning of the Soft Boys. He had nice dark hair and was very charming, with a slight break in his voice. A joyous and funky bass player, he made Underwater Moonlight an exuberant LP to record and listen to. His manic bass run at the end of “Insanely Jealous” and his stately propeller dive into the last chorus of the title track, as well as the insistent groove he brought to “Kingdom of Love” are some of the finest bass playing I have ever witnessed.
Matthew truly believed in the Soft Boys and the record. It was early 1980 and the second Cold War was intensifying. I fondly remember stomping over to the pub after a session and him saying through the dismal spring wind, “We may all be about to be blown up, but at least we’ll have made a classic album.
The band didn’t survive too long into the bleak 1980s, but Matthew found a home as a bass player in many great musical shells. The Thompson Twins, David Bowie, Morrissey and Chrissie Hynde were all lucky beneficiaries of his intuitive and circular grooves. As well as bass playing, he specialized in one-liners. “Pop music is about over-stating the obvious” and “What you’ve proved to the music industry is that you can’t sell records” are two of my favourites.
I’m profoundly grateful to have played music with him – you could really see his face light up like a full moon when he listened back to a take he enjoyed. Onstage he would lope and lurch and pace when the music moved him. Matthew is, was, and always will be one of the greats. My heart goes out to his partner, Mami; his children Daisy and Lily, and all who were close to him and his lunar intensity.