The final Aztec Camera album was released in 1995. It was the band’s sixth studio album, with them, more or less, appearing at decent-enough intervals without, apart from the sophomore album, ever appearing to be rushed out.
High Land, Hard Rain (1983)
The trend looked as it was going to continue when Roddy Frame dissolved the band and began recording under his own name with The North Star (1998), Surf (2002) and Western Skies (2006) all hitting the shops in the same year as a football World Cup finals tournament was held. But then, total silence, albeit there was a spell in which he went on the road as a member of Edwyn Collins‘ backing band, playing a huge role in the efforts to help the frontman deal with the after-effects of his devastating bouts of illness.
It wasn’t until 2014 (again a year of a football World Cup Finals) that his next album, Seven Dials, was released on AED Records, the label that had been started by the afore-mentioned Mr Collins in 2011. Since then….nothing, and that’s despite Roddy, in an interview a few months after the release of Seven Dials saying that he was going through a prolific period in terms of new songs. Given that he seems to release new albums now at eight-year periods, here’s hoping that 2022 will prove to be the next occasion, although ideally, it would be sooner.
Anyone who ordered Seven Dials from the AED website also received a bonus CD of songs from a live show at Buxton Opera House in Derbyshire, England. It’s a venue I haven’t been to but it’s one I hope, post-COVID and the eventual return of live music, to one day pay a visit. It dates from 1903 and was fully restored to its full magnificence in 1979 after surviving threats to its existence following a three-year period in which it had closed. It now plays hosts to a whole range of comedy, variety and musical acts.
Roddy Frame played the venue on 18 February 2007….the show was recorded but none of the songs were made available for a further seven years until the bonus CD was issued.
There are six songs in all, consisting of three tracks from Surf, one from each of The North Star and Western Skies, and a b-side from a single released back in 1998:-
mp3: Roddy Frame – The Sea Is Wide (live, Buxton Opera House)
mp3: Roddy Frame – Small World (live, Buxton Opera House)
mp3: Roddy Frame – Over You (live, Buxton Opera House)
mp3: Roddy Frame – Western Skies (live, Buxton Opera House)
mp3: Roddy Frame – Reason For Living (live, Buxton Opera House)
mp3: Roddy Frame – Surf (live, Buxton Opera House)
It’s a very fine listen, and it really does makes me pine for the return of live music.