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|Genres||Progressive rock, Canterbury scene|
|Associated acts||Soft Machine, Hatfield and the North, 801|
|Past members||Bill MacCormick|
Matching Mole were an English progressive rock band associated with the Canterbury scene. Robert Wyatt formed the band in October 1971 after he left Soft Machine and recorded his first solo album The End of an Ear (4 December 1970). He continued his role on vocals and drums and was joined by David Sinclair of Caravan on organ and piano, Dave MacRae on electric piano, Phil Miller of Delivery on guitar and Bill MacCormick of Quiet Sun, on bass. The name is a pun on Machine Molle, the French translation of the name of Wyatt's previous group Soft Machine.
Their first, eponymous album was released in April 1972, the bulk of which was composed by Wyatt himself, with the exception of "O Caroline" (a Dave Sinclair composition with lyrics by Wyatt about his recent breakup with girlfriend Caroline Coon) and Phil Miller's "Part of the Dance". Sinclair soon dropped out of the group and was replaced by New Zealand-born keyboard player and composer Dave MacRae who had already played a guest role on the first album. Their second album, Matching Mole's Little Red Record produced by Robert Fripp of King Crimson was released in November 1972. This album was more of a team effort, with Wyatt concentrating on lyrics and vocal melodies and leaving the composing to his bandmates.
Matching Mole disbanded in late September 1972 immediately upon completion of a European tour supporting Soft Machine, with Sinclair and Miller going on to form the more successful Hatfield and the North. A new lineup – consisting of Wyatt, MacCormick, ex-Curved Air keyboardist Francis Monkman and jazz saxophonist Gary Windo – was due to record a third album in 1973. This was cancelled when Wyatt fell from a window in June 1973, and was paralysed from the waist down, and therefore unable to continue drumming.
- Bill MacCormick – bass (1971–1972, 1973)
- Robert Wyatt – drums, vocals, Mellotron (1971–1972, 1973)
- Phil Miller – guitar (1971–1972)
- Dave Sinclair – piano, organ (1971–1972)
- Dave MacRae – piano, organ, electric piano, synthesiser (1972)
- Francis Monkman – keyboards (1973)
- Gary Windo – saxophone (1973)
|April 1972||Matching Mole||–||–|
|November 1972||Matching Mole's Little Red Record||–||Dave Sinclair was replaced on keyboard by Dave MacRae|
Live albums and compilations
|1994||BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert||–||mini live album|
|2001||Smoke Signals||–||live album|
|2006||On the Radio||–|
|2013||Live at the BBC 1972||–||Japan-only vinyl LP|
- 2015: Romantic Warriors III: Canterbury Tales (DVD)
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 251. CN 5585.
- UK album chart positions