Morcheeba
Extra-curricular activities with the vastly successful group...

The stats alone are astounding.

In the past 20 years Morcheeba have sold more than 10 million records, touring the world countless times in the process.

Ninth album 'Blaze Away' continues this streak, arriving on Friday (June 1st) through the band's own Fly Algaric Records.

Clash sat down with Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey to discuss their extra-curricular activities in our regular series Culture Clash...

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Film (As picked by Ross...)
'Performance' out there, a weird mix of 60’s hippy counter culture and gangster violence. Made in 1969 it was waaay ahead of it’s time and immediately banned or censored in most countries.

It was directed by Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell and starts James Fox, Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg. The score is by Jack Nitzsche with Ry Cooder playing guitar, it really influenced the sound of Morcheeba’s early work with it's slide blues guitar, droning synths, sitars and tablas, funky drums and fuzz bass, not to mention Merry Clayton wailing away.

There’s lots of violence, sex drugs and rock and roll and when I first saw it at the age of 15 I was enthralled. I have since seen it at the cinema a few times and it just gets better and better.

Album (As picked by Skye...)
There are a few albums that I always return to like Sade’s 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride'. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with 'Boatman’s Call', and John Martyn’s 'Solid Air'.

I first heard John Martyn in my early 20’s. I fell in love with his voice - it's soft and whispery but then changes to being smokey and gravelly with a slurred style, similar to Billie Holiday. 'Solid Air' takes you on this journey of laid back jazz, folk and blues with finger picking on acoustic guitar to almost tribal rock on electric guitar. It opens with the title track which was a tribute song to his depressed friend Nick Drake who sadly died from an overdose a few months after the album was released.

After the death of John in 2009, friends put together a tribute album called ‘Johnny Boy Would Love This' There are covers of his songs by the likes of Robert Smith, Lisa Hannigan, Paolo Nutini and Beck. And I had the pleasure and honour to record 'Solid Air'.

TV Show (As picked by Skye...)
I absolutely love Game of Thrones. I got into watching it about three years after it came out. And from the very first episode, I was hooked! I just had to know what’s gonna happen next? I have to admit I was a little confused with all the family names and characters to begin with: ‘Okay so the Lannisters hate the Starks’ and ‘Oh wait hold on, Cersei is Jamie’s lover AND his sister?!’

The writing and acting is so good. There’s lots of blood and guts and they don’t hold back with the nudity or sex scenes! It’s not for the faint hearted.

My 10 year old son is desperate to watch it, especially when he knew that there were dragons in it. I told him he’s too young because there are ‘vaginas and penises’. His reply ‘yeah but it’s pixilated isn’t it?’ Bless him, the look on his face was priceless when I told him it wasn’t!

Gadget (As picked by Ross...)
My EMS Synthi is by far my favourite gadget. It is a very early analogue synth and has lots of dials and a pin matrix patch board.

It looks like a weird 1960’s experimental labroatory machine and makes the craziest sounds I have ever heard, it has a mind of it’s own and is near impossible to tune or control. It features on every Morcheeba album including the new one 'Blaze Away'.

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Morcheeba's new album 'Blaze Away' will be released on June 1st.

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