A Good Read, A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Andy Abbott, That Fucking Tank

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.

In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.


My first introduction to That Fucking Tank was the video I posted a couple of weeks ago, for Making A Meal For Beethoven, one of the songs from their 10th Anniversary record A Document of the Last Set.

I watched it a couple of times, boggling, and then, because I’m always into people who are creative with reverb, static and feedback, I asked for more.

You guys, these gentlemen are really good with reverb, static and feedback. Take, for example, Bruce Springstonehenge.

It is, as you might have guessed, their rendition of a Springsteen song. I have a rule, with Springsteen: If you’re going to go there, don’t fuck it up. Do not, for example, try to play Born to Run on the xylophone and casually butcher it.

I’m not going to tell you which song this is, because that will ruin the surprise, but: they did not fuck it up. They took the sturdy bones of the song and made something new, different, and great. This version is from an earlier record, but you’ll get the idea:
 

 
Here’s another one, that’s all them: A Wonderful World Of, which starts out jammy and contemplative and then kicks into gear:
 

 

Anyway, after listening to all these and more, I definitely wanted to know more about them. So today, here is Andy Abbott, the man behind the baritone guitar, to tell us about a favorite book, record and drink. There’s a little bit of a twist to the proceedings this week: I gave him a prompt of “Halloween.” Here is what he had to say:


A Good Book: Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban.
This is a post apocalyptic sci-fi neo-primitivist journey-of-discovery novel set in an unrecordable time in the future. It’s based in Kent and is written in this weird mutation of the South Eastern accent.

It describes a society that has returned to the Iron Age following a nuclear disaster and the protagonist slowly pieces back together the events that led them to their current state. It’s a grim, dirty book and slow reading but has this odd euphoric, hopeful feeling throughout. I’m currently working on a music and film project with my other band Nope and artist Eoin Shea that takes it as a starting point.
 

 
A Good Drink: Most ales by Magic Rock
Magic Rock are a Huddersfield-based brewery that started a few years back. they make exceptionally tasty ales which is saying something given the proliferation of ‘craft breweries’ and the like, especially in Yorkshire. Curious is great, as is High Wire and Human Cannonball. Apparently the brewer is a Tank fan. Their design is also mint.

A Good Album: SAW2 [Selected Ambient Works, Vol. II] by Aphex Twin / No Pussyfooting by Fripp and Eno

I’m assuming that the album is to be chosen to go with the book and the drink in which case I’d want something pretty long and immersive.

I’d probably go for Selected Ambient Works II by Aphex Twin, or No Pussyfooting by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. They’d allow me to soak up the vibes and relax into an aled-up stupor quite nicely.
 

 

Fripp & Eno – The Heavenly Music Corporation

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