Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

The Buzz | Feature | Winter 1986

THE FEVER TREE
PIXIES, KITTENS AND EROTIC DANCERS


I'm really looking forward to 1987. Out of common courtesy, I'll tell the other occupants of my house first (they won't mind, they already suffer my nocturnal wanderings and unusual cooking skills) and I've got to clear it with the landlord.
buzzfevertree
But with luck, it'll be alright. Adele says they'll be ready by around Christmas.

Adele Nozedar sings with The Fever Tree, a band that has had some interesting publicity in the past year, including favourable live and record reviews, the occasional feature, and an appearance on "Live From London". Although broadcast only recently, the performance was filmed ages ago.

"It's a poor representation of the current group," says Adele. "We've changed a lot since then."

The Fever Tree have indeed undergone major surgery, not least in terms of personnel. At one time, the line up seemed to change whenever there was an R in the month. Or a U.

"It's very easy to be categorised as new wavey rock 'n' roll, which we're not," continues Adele. "But there's a certain unsubtlety in bass, guitar, drums and lead singer, and it's often hard to make it sound fresh. We're trying to make our show different to anything we've ever done before... I'm looking for some erotic dancers at the moment!

"This sounds pretentious, but we want to base the set on a series of instances. For example, I was in a gay pub the other night and two guys were having a big argument. One was talking about somebody taking somebody else on holiday to Greece and then he accused his friend of never wanting to take him on holiday... It was just like your mum and dad arguing. I suppose I'd just like us to be more theatrical. Nick has a dramatic background – he's been to RADA – and I've always been interested in the theatre.

"Anyway, it doesn't really matter who there is or what they do in the band, as long as there's a continuity of ideas."

Adele and drummer Tom are both original members of The Fever Tree, as is Nick. I think. He's Welsh and a former choirboy. Dave plays bass – "We call him 'impassive'," laughs Adele. "One reviewer described him as 'the impassive but impeccable David Griffiths' and that was so on the spot" – and completing the group is Rob, who used to be in Japan.

"But we're nothing like Japan," adds Adele.

Nothing at all. The Fever Tree purvey blistering pop twists, an unnerving mixture of the severe and the gentle. Sometimes the intricasies are stirred with the fierce whirlpool of bass and drums, sometimes they break free to create mysterious melodic taunts. The band's first single, "The Pixie Shop In Boscastle", is a perfect example of their musical engineering, catching the listener unawares with a sudden silence or a shifted emphasis or the rise and fall of the vocals. From a shrieking battle-maid to a Little Miss Muffet, Adele's voice dominates. Onstage, her wild presence demands constant attention.

Adele first came into the pubic eye with Indians In Moscow, who gained instant notoriety with their "Naughty Miranda" single. The record was a massive indie hit, due in no small part to its delightfully scary video, which was shown on "The Tube" several times.

Mention of the Indians leads us to talking about Adele Nozedar's home town on Humberside (population 3,000), The Housmartins' list of top bands from Hull, the seaside, feminism, becoming rich and famous, and our shared desire to purchase the houses we grew up in. Once in a while, Adele comes up with a deliciously quoteable oddity. Things like "No thanks, I don't smoke. I've tried but I couldn't quite get the hang of it". And "I wanted to call the band Fish. I like fish. Not necessarily live ones, I just like the shape."

With the official question and answer session dissolved into more relaxed chat, Adele tells me of her troublesome cat and its worrying habit of falling pregnant. The cat's latest kittens are two weeks old at the time of our meeting.

"You don't know of anybody who might want a kitten, do you?"

I tell her I'd like one myself, but I'd have to get the thumbs up from my landlord first.

"They’ll be ready by around Christmas," she says.

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