Matthew Seligman

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Matthew Seligman (born 14 July 1955) is an English bassist who took part in the new wave scene in the 1970s and the 1980s, best known as a member of The Soft Boys.[1]


Born in Pendaya, Cyprus, he moved to the UK 8 months later and grew up in Wimbledon, England. Influenced by Paul McCartney, Free’s Andy Fraser, and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, he learned bass and subsequently, in his work with Thomas Dolby, Moog. After a short spell with Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club, recording English Garden for CBS Records in 1979, he joined the Soft Boys for their 1980 album Underwater Moonlight (1980) with whom he subsequently recorded Invisible Hits (1981), Nextdoorland (2002) and Side 3 (2002).

In addition to The Soft Boys, Seligman was also in the early 80's a member of Local Heroes SW9 (playing on their first album, Drip Dry Zone (1980), with Kevin Armstrong), The Camera Club, the Thompson Twins and The Fallout Club. He also played bass with Robyn Hitchcock,[2] and Thomas Dolby, with whom he recorded the US Billboard No.5 hit "She Blinded me with Science" (b/w "One of our submarines") in 1983, and the gold and platinum follow-up album, The Flat Earth.

Others with whom Matthew has recorded include Knox, the post-Japan outfit The Dolphin Brothers, Stereo MC's, The Waterboys, David Bowie (Live Aid (concert and DVD), "Absolute Beginners"), Sinéad O'Connor, Transvision Vamp ("Tell That Girl To Shut Up", "Baby I Don't Care"), Morrissey ("Ouija Board, Ouija Board", "Yes I Am Blind"), Nan Vernon, Tori Amos, Kimberley Rew and Alex Chilton. Production credits include a single with Brighton jangle pop outfit The Popguns ("Crazy", 1991) and Gravy Deco for Robyn Hitchcock.

In 2002, Seligman played at the Shanghai Festival with Snail, along with Chris Bell and Jonathan Klein, and in 2007 began working with the Fire Escapes. In 2011–12 he contributed to Thomas Dolby's A Map of the Floating City also appearing with him on tours of the UK and northern Europe, at the Blue Note in Tokyo in February 2012 and at the Latitude Festival, Suffolk, the UK in July 2012. In 2014, with fellow Fire Escapers Mark Headley and Lucy Pullin, he completed the Magical Creatures' Wishing Machine collection, also appearing live with them at a summer 2016 William Burroughs-inspired launch party in Brighton, UK.

Matthew has always played a black Fender Jazz bass as his first choice instrument. In addition he has used an Ibanez with a C-ducer contact mic built into the back of the neck, close to the neck/body junction, for his fretless work primarily with Thomas Dolby, but also Peter Murphy and, more recently, in an ambient collection Sendai, recorded with Japan/Hong Kong-based musician Jan Linton for the March 11 Tōhoku earthquake relief fund, and released by Entropy Records in 2012.

Matthew is also a lifelong Fulham F.C. fan. After a lifetime in the UK, he moved to Sendai in northern Japan in early 2005 and, after a 4-year spell back in the UK, returned there again in July 2012. He now practices at a human rights solicitors in north London.


  1. ^ Thompson, Dave (1 November 2000). Alternative rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 641–. ISBN 978-0-87930-607-6. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  2. ^ Strong, Martin Charles; Peel, John (25 October 2004). The great rock discography. Canongate U.S. pp. 693–. ISBN 978-1-84195-615-2. Retrieved 12 August 2011.

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