The Soft Boys – in concert at Leicester University – November 11, 1978 – Band Soundboard recording
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The Soft Boys in concert tonight. As I was putting this post together and going over notes, I realized that former bassist Matthew Seligman had passed away as the result of complications of COVID-19 only four days ago; he was 64. So naturally, my first response was to openly wonder if there are going to be any musicians left after this thing is over and turn this post into yet another memorial tribute, or find something else just as a way of getting my (and your) mind off the unbearable news that’s been hitting us every day it seems.
After doing some research, I discovered this concert actually pre-dates Seligman’s involvement by several months (he didn’t join the band until 1979). So as much as I am reminded we lost an extraordinary musician whose work was, not only with The Soft Boys, but also with The Thompson Twins and Thomas Dolby, he’s actually not on this concert – so technically, it’s not a tribute.
Still – it’s one more shitty reminder that we are losing people and losing them fast and they are from all facets of our society and the loss is painful all the same.
The Soft Boys, even though they were short-lived, were a harbinger of things to come – which even in 1979 was a ways off. The re-birth or resurgence of Psychedelia was only a movement in the peripheral sense. Having been familiar with them in a more Punk or Post-punk context, I will admit I was blown away when I first heard their take on Syd Barrett’s Vegetable Man via the Near The Soft Boys ep when it first came out, not to mention Strange which was the icing on the cake.
Even though the band was short-lived, Robyn Hitchcock went off to a celebrated solo career, which he still enjoys. The Soft Boys was a great kick-off as this gig at Leicester University in 1978 proves.
Enjoy the show and light a candle to Matthew Seligman – music is still the glue that holds us all together.