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2023/4 Albums Thing 249 - Eat “Epicure”

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Finally I managed to snag myself a copy of Eat’s magnificent second, and sadly final, LP on vinyl for a price that didn’t look something like a mortgage installment ! 

Sometime between the release of “Sell Me A God” (https://www.whiterabbitrecords.co.uk/blog/read_204118/2023-albums-thing-127-eat-sell-me-a-god.html) in October 1989 and the end of 1990 relations between various members of the band (Singer Ange Dolittle, Bass player Tim Sewell and Drummer Pete Howard on one side and the two guitarists, brothers Paul and Max Noble on the other) got so fractious that the Noble’s departed and Eat were in limbo during 1991 and 1992, although my diaries tell me they were gigging again by mid-92. To do that means that new guitar players Jem Moorshead and Max Lavilla were onboard by then.

As two fairly important members of the band had changed Eat’s sound necessarily changed with them. “Sell Me A God”s groovy swamp blues became “Epicure”s groovy pop-psych. When you have a rhythm section as tough and tight as Sewell and Howard groovy comes as standard.

For his performance on opening song “Bellytown” alone Peter Howard should be being hailed daily as one of the greatest drummers this little island of ours has ever produced. What he does sounding effortless while driving the whole band along and being groovy as f*ck, all at the same time. Pete has found his way into my collection with Eat, Vent 414 and latterly The Wonder Stuff and Miles Hunt’s most recent albums (sorry mate your tenure with The Clash ain't for me). It’s never less than thrilling to hear him play. Pete is right up there in my affections with Martin Gilks, The Groove Controller, as two of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and work with.

Tim Sewell steps up to the front line on “Fecund” with a bass line that carries the whole song and has you wondering how his right hand didn’t cramp up and fall off playing like that. Ange Dolittle’s voice is imperious throughout, he really was one of the best singers and frontmen I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering, and still is. Jem and Max add a whole different dynamic to the songs on this album but when I saw Eat live were equally able to play the “Sell Me A God” songs with all the swamp that was required.

“Golden Egg”, “First Time Love Song”, “Tranquilliser” and the closing “Epicure” are all majestic songs, this album is full of them. It’s one of those where I am still, 30 years after the fact, flabbergasted that this record isn’t held up as an absolute gem and lauded over like some a few years later have been (the Emperor’s new clothes of “OK Computer” and “Screamadelica” for instance). Eat (to my thinking) were one of the great bands of the early 1990’s and the fact the likes of they and Jellyfish disappeared in the face the slop now known as “Britpop” is a real indictment on the “great” record buying public…Eat shoulda been massive.

Bellytown - https://youtu.be/qplUHGgwACE?si=Consl0lfNSkWQlSX

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