Essex r'n'b legends AUTOMATIC SLIM are back with their first new album in more than two decades.
Formed in the wake of the mainstream success of local heroes Dr Feelgood, Slim pioneered the East Anglian rhythm'n'blues scene, from Canvey to Kings Lynn, becoming festival favourites and gigging further afield for nearly 20 years before winding down in 1999, releasing their last album Growing Old Disgracefully in 2001 and continuing to reunite for a handful of gigs each year.
Recorded in the heart of the Essex Delta at Rooks Yard Studio, Down By The Waterside features the classic line-up of frontman Tim Aves, guitarist Ian Cundy, bassist Howard J Bills and drummer Don Moore and includes a mix of Slim originals plus favourites from the likes of Willie Dixon, Cowboy Jack Clement, Billy Boy Arnold and, naturally, Wilko Johnson.
Released on the new label of legendary radio station Radio Caroline, which broadcast off the coast of Essex throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, the album also features the new track 'Caroline (Under The Covers)' in tribute to the station.
“We’re thrilled to bits with the way the album has turned out,” says Aves. “Although the band stopped gigging regularly in 1999, we’ve continued to play a few gigs each year, but our last album was way back in 2001. That one’s been out of print for years, so it’s great to be getting our music out there again. There’s been a LOT of interest in this project. It’s amazing really that people still want to hear what we’re doing after all these years.”
The band will be launching Down By The Waterside with a special gig at Kelvedon Labour Club on Saturday 5 February, after which it will be available from the band's website and digitally through the usual platforms.