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Baker's Dozen

Soundhead: Robert Hampson Of Loop’s Favourite Albums
John Doran , November 13th, 2013 07:37

Ahead of the first Loop gigs in 22 years, Robert Hampson tells John Doran about the LPs that he feels were neglected at the time but are now finding their audience


Television - Marquee Moon
This is an album that I don’t think I could ever get bored of listening to. They just seemed to come out of nowhere. The New York punk scene threw up a lot of individual bands. You have to remember that at the time even Blondie were quite unique. With Television… I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd and their friends were talking about their concept for music because it’s just otherworldly. They were so fixed in their own idea of what they wanted it to be they wouldn’t work with any name producers. And certainly Andy Johns, the producer of many great records, who wasn’t really considered to be a producer at the time and just recorded them. They were an incredibly muso group; far more so than Talking Heads. The guitar playing is just sublime. On a personal level I just don’t think that there are two guitarists who have come anywhere close to what Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd did together. The way they play becomes one, then separates, then becomes one again. It’s like they are both circling each other, then they converge, then they go off and circle each other again. It has a jazz-like quality to it, stretching the tonality of it. It’s like doing a colouring-in picture when you’re a kid, you’re not supposed to colour over the lines but instead they go over every single line but end up making a much more beautiful picture because of it. I don’t believe it’s aged at all. Look how many bands have tried to get that sound and failed. It is like two guitars singing to one another. And how did a band go from realising their aims so precisely on their first album to losing it so badly on their second album?