As the excitement around indie music reached fever pitch in the mid 90s, Bluebottle Kiss, lead by a 21-year-old Jamie Hutchings, joined newly signed bands silverchair and Something for Kate on the prestigious indie imprint of a major label. While comparisons and expectations were inevitable, it soon became clear that Jamie’s relentless musical exploration and experimentation fell well outside even the indie boundaries of music.
A nearly conventional first album suggested Bluebottle Kiss was simply warming up for the mainstream. But eyebrows lifted when the second album opened with a pure Fugazi scream and climaxed an hour later with a Van Morrison-inspired, white-boy gospel epic terminated by several minutes of feedback.
When the next release, a 46-minute “EP” lurched from Robert Fripp soundscapes to explosive, atonal guitar rock, the conclusion of the major label relationship was as predictable as it was understandable.
Without flinching, Bluebottle Kiss self-funded a third album, Patient (1999). With Jamie taking the role of producer, the album was recorded in four days and released on legendary Australian indie label Citadel. A testament to Jamie’s musical integrity, Patient delivered some of the most ferocious and most tender Bluebottle Kiss moments to date.
Two subsequent albums, Revenge is Slow (2002) and Come Across (2004) followed and were accompanied by overseas releases and a number of tours in the U.S. and Europe. However, it was the 2004 addition of ace rhythm section Ross Dickie (bass) and Jared Harrison (drums) – joining Jamie and long-time member Ben Grounds – that created the foundation for Doubt Seeds.
While Bluebottle Kiss had continually appealed to critics and a loyal core of fans, the sprawling musical range often seemed to confound audiences. Reinvigorated by the new line up and conscious that some of the past musical exploration had been at the expense of engaging with listeners, Jamie set to work on a concerted effort to provide insight into the Bluebottle Kiss sound.
Growing up in a musical family (his father was a professional jazz musician), Jamie’s voracious appetite for music of all genres has provided a unique foundation for Bluebottle Kiss. Doubt Seeds ably documents the artists and sounds that influenced Jamie (see liner essay).
A double CD treat for music enthusiasts, Doubt Seeds provides an index to quality music made between 1950 and 2006. It also explains the inspiration for earlier Bluebottle Kiss albums and illustrates what happens when an adventurous and talented music fan has a fascination for using the past as a palette, rather than as a paint-by-numbers instruction set.