Corduroy - on Acid Jazz Records
Born and formed in south east London, Corduroy appeared on the periphery of the mod and beat scene in early 1992. Having previously been dropped by Sire Records, proto-Brit-Pop-stealers Boys Wonder, led by the ‘graphically eye browed’ Addison twins recruited bassist Richard Searle, the Doctor & the Medics and occasional Boys Wonder player, for a one off New Years Eve show at Up The Creek in Deptford 91. The style, heavily borrowed from guitarist Simon Nelson Smith’s previous band, was straight Hammond instrumental funk. The gig was a success, the four-piece started to demo material and a budget video of the track E-type was concocted.After a couple of uneventful meetings with major record labels, a brief interview with Ed Piller at Acid Jazz, then based in Tin Pan Alley (Denmark Street), secured a recording contract the following week. Piller had tried, unsuccessfully, to sign Boys Wonder to his Stiff label and knew that Corduroy could easily slip into the gap vacated by the James Taylor Quartet when James was moving further towards orchestrated jazz funk, There was a big demand for a band with a loose mod style playing the kind of 60s influenced material made popular by Taylor a couple of years earlier. The debut album Dad Man Cat was the result, recorded and mixed at Acid Jazz studios in two days with Piller himself at the helm.The band became an instant live draw, going out on the road with fellow Acid Jazz new signings Mother Earth and The Sandals. As with so many bands who get access to studios and a bit of space to write, Corduroy soon developed into something bigger and better. The first indication was with the joyous Something In My Eye, again produced by Piller, and in his words ‘I woke up one morning with a riff in my head, it was very Sergio Mendes and I had a bit of free time in the studio. I made a few calls and managed to round up Ben and Scott from Corduroy as well as the vibes player Roger Beaujolais and percussionist Snowboy. I was keen to demo a girl vocalist called Viveen and this was going to be her session. It worked like a dream but with Ben and Scott taking a much bigger role than I intended. Before long I realised it would make most sense as a Corduroy project (the brothers had, after all, written the words)’.Although the Viveen version sounded great (and can indeed be heard on a Japanese album as Corduroy featuring Viveen), it was soon revocalled by Ben with wonderful harmonies from his brother. It sounded like the Allessi Brothers doing Mas Que Nada and ushered in a new, more creative Corduroy period. In all, Acid Jazz made three Corduroy albums, all produced by Eddie Piller and all achieved a Silver sales award in the UK.