Saturday 2 November 2013

Robert Scott: The Professor and the Team

Rumour maintains that Robert Scott has hundreds of unreleased home-recorded albums. If you took the lucky-dip approach to these home recordings, you might hope for something between the 1987 release of The Bats' Daddy's Highway (agony and ecstasy in 12 pop songs) and the 1989 recording of The Clean's Vehicle (the key and gate to the international pop underground from 1990 onwards).

The Professor and the Team is from 1988, the same year that The Bats' 1990 album The Law of Things was recorded. You can hear echoes of that album's Cliff Edge and Nine Days in these archival recordings, but really they don't have that much in common with late 80s Bats or Clean.

More accurately, these songs look forward to the spare folk styling of The Magick Heads' Before We Go Under and cast an eye backwards to the simpler approach of The Bats' And Here Is 'Music for the Fireside'.

This tape is very obviously the work of Robert Scott during his most fertile period. It's a Bats album without Paul Kean's thumping, melodic bass; it's denuded pop songs in newly intimate settings; and it's something that any fan could file happily with their other Bats albums or next to classic backwoods Americana like Bonnie Prince Billy's I See A Darkness.

You can buy this tape direct from Selection Records (excellent customer service). Distros really should email Steve there.


  1. Nice one ... also hearing a pre-Sebadoh vibe in there too.

  2. I see what you mean - there's something of the mid-80s US lo-fi DIY ethic there. I'm thinking Guided By Voices, whose scattergun approach was sometimes flowered brilliantly and sometimes could have benefited from the pruning shears. If Robert Scott had been more profligate with his releases, then we might be saying the same thing about him as I do of Robert Pollard. But in the late 80s Scott was on fire, so this tape stands up.