I just realised I hadn’t done a follow-up post about this. I also realised that I don’t have any photos of Tim anywhere: I once lost my entire photo collection in a house move. At least with most of the subjects in the other pics I have the possibility of taking new photos to replace them.
I’m not going to “review” The Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute To Tim Smith, because it’s too painful to sit there grading a musical hug to someone who deserves it. Suffice to say the album is great, since it’s predominantly by people in/ex Cardiacs, and associated acts (Levitation’s Bob White and Bic Hayes, Medieval Baebes’ Katherine Blake, etc). With well-known folks from XTC, Ultrasound and All About Eve contributing, it might even find an audience beyond Cardiacs’ devoted fanbase, and they’ll find plenty to enjoy.
I was very pleased to see it topping the “best sellers” chart over at thegenepool.co.uk
This is actually an incredibly difficult post to write. Most people reading this blog will know that I’m a long-time Cardiacs fan, and will probably have an inkling that they’re one of the most innovative bands of the past 35 years. Acts as diverse as Faith No More, Radiohead, Battles, Smashing Pumpkins, Blur, the Pixies, the Melvins and System of a Down have cited them as an influence. The band has also been a huge influence on me personally – and are just such lovely human beings that I feel truly lucky to have spent as much time with them as I did in the 90s.
The awful thing is that Tim Smith suffered a severe stroke and heart attack in 2008 and is still being treated in hospital. To raise money for his continuing medical care, a tribute album, Leader of the Starry Skies, has been recorded and will be released on Believers Roast on 6 December. The contributors are “friends and family” of the band, and include XTC’s Andy Partridge, Julianne Regan from All About Eve, Ultrasound, Knifeworld and Oceansize. Each has donated their time and energy freely as “a testament to the love we all have for Tim.”