Off The Page Oslo 2015:
Marcus O'Dair, the author of Different Every Time, the authorised biography of Robert Wyatt gives an audio visual presentation of the visionary, highly political and hugely influential artist.
Robert Wyatt started out as the drummer and singer for Soft Machine, who shared a residency at Middle Earth with Pink Floyd and toured America with Jimi Hendrix. He brought a bohemian and jazz outlook to the 60s rock scene, having honed his drumming skills in a shed at the end of Robert Graves' garden in Mallorca. He even played in Norway, resulting in the album Live At Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971. His life took an abrupt turn after he fell from a fourth-floor window at a party and was paralysed from the waist down. He reinvented himself as a singer and composer with the extraordinary album Rock Bottom and made the top 40 with the Shipbuilding, written for him by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer, and an enduring beacon of political pop.
Today, Wyatt remains perennially hip, guesting with artists such as Bjork, Brian Eno, Scritti Politti, David Gilmour and Hot Chip. Marcus O'Dair has talked to all of them - indeed to just about everyone who has shaped, or been shaped by, Wyatt over five decades of music history.
This talk, about Wyatt and the experience of writing his authorised biography, will feature tracks from a new compilation of Wyatt’s music, as well as previously unseen photos taken from the biography. Signed copies of Different Every Time will also be on sale at Off The Page music fair.
Marcus O’Dair has written for publications The Guardian, The Independent and Jazzwise and is a regular studio guest on Jazz on 3 (BBC Radio 3) and the Freakzone (BBC 6Music). He is one half of Grasscut, who have released two acclaimed albums on Ninja Tune and performed across Europe. He also co-leads the Popular Music course at Middlesex University.