When everything around you is going horribly wrong, it’s always best to keep busy. Many professional musicians have made valiant attempts to keep the creative ball rolling during lockdown, with often highly questionable results. Camel bassist Colin Bass, on the other hand, has been helping to run the health food store that he and his wife, a nutritionist, bought four years ago, “basically on a whim”.
“It’s turned into quite a business!” says Bass. “We’re the only shop like this for 25 miles or something, and somehow we’ve made a success of it. It’s been an incredible learning curve for me, but it’s been incredibly enjoyable. My wife is the boss and she’s the brains of the outfit, and that’s fine by me.”
Of course, Bass is not just here for shop talk: there’s a new record to talk about, too. Still, a collaboration with prolific London-based producer and composer Daniel Biro, is a collection of beautiful, atmospheric songs, pieced together over the last few years and featuring Bass as lead vocalist throughout. Entirely drum-free, it’s also a pointedly soothing and tranquil record, which may be exactly what Bass Player needs amid the current chaos. That and some expert dietary knowledge, of course.
“The thing is, much to our surprise, my wife and I have discovered ourselves to be key workers,” he notes, “because we’re providing food. I’ve been driving around delivering to some of our elderly customers... I say elderly but some of them are the same age as me, ha ha! I never think of myself like that, because I’m pretty fit. I’ll proselytize about nutrition and the advantages of food for your general state of health at some length, but I guess this interview is supposed to be about music. Maybe I’ll save it until Nutrition Magazine phones me up!”
He may be considering trying to sell us some vitamins, but Bass is more than happy to move on to the subject of Still. An album full of beautiful melodies, immersive ambience, misty-eyed nostalgia and lyrical elegance, it speaks of great chemistry, inspired by a friendship that stretches back to the late 70s.
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