Bluebottle Kiss Reminisce On ‘Patient’ Ahead Of Reunion Tour

10 October 2022 | 2:26 pm | Jamie Hutchings

With Bluebottle Kiss’ reunion tour kicking off this week, Jamie Hutchings reflects on the band’s seminal ‘Patient’ around its reissue.

(Pic by Jared Harrison)

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It’s hard to remember a lot about the recording of Patient as it went by so fast. 

Our previous albums had been through a major label, but now we were almost penniless. We took what we had from the band’s touring kitty, and begged and borrowed the rest. Thankfully we were a real unit at the time, gigging very unselectively. We liked to travel and play and took the punishments and rewards that came in equal measure with that. As a result, we were very much fused as a three-piece. 

Our drummer Richard had been with us for two years at that point. Ben and I already had a very strong intuitive chemistry in the way we sung, played and bantered on stage together. We’d been doing it since Ben was a teenager, and developed our own language. I felt very fortunate to have found such a talented offsider! But two years in Richo had entered his own domain. 

We punished him for a while, but after eons of hours in a vans, on stages and in rehearsals we began to develop a new language between the three of us. Given that time didn’t afford multiple walls of overdubs, we left it as mostly just us three, the drums ring out, the ambient mics on the vocals trail off at the end of some lines and there’s sometimes a bit of a lonesome vibe to it. Like you’re eavesdropping. We couldn’t afford to polish it. 

It was recorded over four days at the now defunct Charing Cross studios by our live sound engineer at the time - Jorden Brebach. 

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We mixed it over four days with Tim Whitten at Sony. The main thing I remember from mixing is that we invented a mock sport which we christened ‘chair dancing’. It involved kneeling on a mobile chair and performing rapid interpretive dance whilst speeding across the control room on said chair. Bluebottle squabbled regularly but we laughed a lot.

Recently, whilst touring in Brisbane with Infinity Broke, I spied a kebab joint entitled Abra-kebab-ra. It reminded me of how during those sessions we workshopped the idea of starting a kebab franchise with this name. It seemed genius to us. But we never did. You snooze you lose!

There’s no lyric sheet on Patient, but there is a short piece of prose. It goes like this:

I saw it once - a summer abstraction - a metaphysical twin - patient - far off over the tar -vast between thumb and forefinger - days like these get so hot that it’s almost winter and you’re not in possession of your earth anymore - time after time - a visitation - the air thicker - the throat hot - a conduit for dry wind - a strain under the heavens like a million backpacks - the sky’s sweat bursting ready to drench - but it is patient - not for us.

Even though Patient gets very abrasive at times, it also feels very still. At the time I liked the idea of the Earth being sentient, like it has an ongoing hum inside, a knowing. We scramble all over it like the egotistical ants we are, whilst it waits patiently for us to give it a break. I got that feeling from all the long drives we’d do, living outside the parameters of routine and normality. Whilst many would be getting up, we’d be getting home after driving ten hours straight. The far away lights of a truck coming over a hill in approach; first light over yawning fields. Taking a leak by the side of the road in complete silence and blackness. Breaking in down in towns like Tailem Bend and Yass. 

I was a little obsessed with Picnic At Hanging Rock at the time, that film always seemed to explain it best. That atmosphere bleeds all over Patient; at least to my ears. Even its sepia-toned earthy colour; the field recordings and so forth. The song Matrimony reminds me of skateboarding home late at night in the quiet back streets of Bondi - just that feeling of being outside of everything. 


Friday October 14th – The Jade, Adelaide SA w/ Diplomat

Saturday October 15th – The Gasometer, Melbourne VIC w/ Deloris + The Gin Palace 

Friday October 21st – The Brightside, Brisbane QLD w/ The Stress of Leisure + Ghost Notes 

Saturday October 22nd – Crowbar, Sydney NSW w/ Knievel + Yes 

Friday November 25th – Milk Bar, Perth WA w/ The Leap Year