The Bottom End – Bruce Thomas

Seen here in shades lurking behind the songwriter whose music he supported so well back in the day. I actually lived the rock’n’roll dream one day back in the late 70’s while making a rare visit to our great capital city; pottering around Bloomsbury (I think) who should be coming the other way but the man himself – hand in a bandage. Didn’t dare speak naturally – too awestruck. Days later he was replaced live for a few gigs by Nick Lowe, currently producing the band. Can’t help but think great tho’ Basher was/is he would struggle to keep up with some of Mr Thomas’ basslines. Even the most cursory listener to the first 4 Attractions albums can’t avoid being struck by the appropriateness of the basslines which propel the songs along (in tandem it has to be said with his great partner-in-crime drummer Pete Thomas). Busily toiling along pumping (!) it up for EC, great finger style playing with great rhythmic root/fifth and occasional dramatic swoops and slides up and down the length of the fretboard, busy when they need to be, sparse and dub like – not a note out of place. Something like “Watching the Detectives” is very familiar, but the interplay between the four members of the group still makes for a compelling listen.

Wot – no P Bass?

Here he is throwing a few shapes – sadly under-filmed – too many spectacles in one band for the director? Too geeky looking maybe?

The great “Oliver’s Army” – just how hot were this band back at their height? A hit factory – in the day when quality songwriting and performances meant something.

Something else that needs a mention has to be the great sound Bruce got from his Fender Precision – captured beautifully by Nick Lowe in some fairly low-tech studios (it has to be said).
Some information on how this was done can be found here along with a little history of his time with Quiver and just how he managed to piss off EC so much he was fired. No really worthwhile Attractions without Bruce tho’ in my opinion!
Whilst tragically Bruce’s Attractions salmon pink (?) precision was lost/stolen, he now has a signature replica -so we mere mortals can find out it’s all in the fingers after all -and not in the instrument!

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