Self-Portrait: David Boulter of Tindersticks | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Self-Portrait: David Boulter of Tindersticks

Boulter Provides a Self-Portrait Photo and a List of Six Personal Things About Him

Jul 01, 2016 Tindersticks Photography by David Boulter Bookmark and Share

For our recurring Self-Portrait feature we ask a musician to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by David Boulter, organist/pianist of Tindersticks. The British band released their latest album, The Waiting Room, earlier this year via City Slang. The album includes “We Are Dreamers!,” which features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth of Savages. Each song on the album has an accompanying film directed by such filmmakers as Christoph Girardet, Pierre Vinour, Claire Denis, Rosie Pedlow and Joe King, Gregorio Graziosi, Gabriel Sanna, and Richard Dumas. Read on as Boulter writes about his wife, pub fights, and retirement.

Five things about me, or maybe six.

I’ve been a faithful husband for almost 18 years. Monogamy is not always associated with musicians. The loneliness of the road. I’ve met some that live the old ways. I remember a dream when I was 5 or 6. I was a Cowboy perhaps. Wounded by an Indian arrow. I was in the back of a covered wagon. The type you’d get in the old west. A girl with long blond hair and blue eyes was tending my wounds. I remember the feeling she’d saved my life. It was a strange dream that stuck with me. I met my wife at a very low point. I’d become a cliché. All I’d ever despised. I have the feeling she came to save me, with her long blond hair and her eyes of blue.

I have a problem remembering names. I forget words, even having just heard them. They gave me a hearing test and placed me in a special class when I was at school. In the end they said I suffered acute shyness. I think it’s a little more complicated. Making music is very therapeutic. If I could just remember what that chord was and the name of the song.

I like to balance life. A little bit of what you fancy doesn’t hurt you. I was a heavy smoker. Drank quite a bit too. My balance was vegetarianism. Healthy food and exercise. I no longer smoke and I hardly drink. I like good wine. I go for quality rather than quantity. To wash down my steak!

I’m a lover not a fighter. Life as a youth in Nottingham was tough. Especially if you looked a bit different. Friday night violence was hard to avoid. It was always around the next corner. I walk with a stoop from keeping my head down so much. One pub in particular was brutal. I’d had enough. My mate Phil and I walked in at the height of a Friday night and stood at the bar and kissed the most passionate kiss. They were astounded. They shouted and threw pints at us. It was our ‘fuck you.’ And it really wound the buggers up.

I’m a selfish b******. We weren’t poor in the true sense. But money was tight, and never wasted. Everything was shared. I’d like to think I’m still a sharing person. In some ways I’d give you everything and more. But you try taking a chip (French fries) from my plate and you’ll have my fork sticking out of your hand.

If I ever get to retire, I imagine a cottage with a small garden. All Englishmen are gardeners it’s been said. I would love to be self-sufficient. I grew up with socialist ideals. I thought a person fights their way through life. Trying to keep the boat afloat. And at the end, you get to loosen your collar. Put on your slippers and an old cardigan. Actually, I’ve had the slippers and old cardigan a long time. But it seems a musician like me can never really retire. You just have to wait until nobody’s listening anymore. And then the music stops.


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