Exposé Online banner

David Lawrence Atkins — Spitting on a Fish
((Not on label) , 2011/2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-07-12

Spitting on a Fish Cover art

I’m not going to call this a new release, nor is it a reissue either. It’s been out there for seven years already, languishing without any real distribution, the only difference between the then-version and the current version is the cover, then attributed to David Atkins, now attributed to David Lawrence Atkins. So who exactly is this guy, anyway? One might recall a group called Bodast, in its day (circa 1969) they never released any records, but after their guitarist Steve Howe met fame and fortune as a member of Yes, their unreleased recordings were finally released in 1980 as The Bodast Tapes. Two other Bodast members, Clive Skinner and David Curtis went forward to form the band Curtiss Maldoon (Curtis adding the extra “s” and Skinner becoming Maldoon) and released their eponymous album in 1971, which pretty much sank like a rock, though both remained active in the background, and many years later Madonna recorded a song from Curtiss Maldoon adding some of her own words as the title track of her 1998 Ray of Light album. Now that we’ve gotten way off track, David Curtis(s) is now going by his real name David Lawrence Atkins, and Spitting on a Fish is his first ever solo release, all songs written by Atkins except for “Sepheryn” – the original title of “Ray of Light,” which was co-written with Maldoon all those many years ago. The twelve cuts on this album are a very interesting pan-genre mix in the singer-songwriter style sung in his low-register voice, which at times may remind a little of Randy Newman. The opening title track is an old-timey sounding tune with banjo-treated acoustic guitar, drums, and trombone providing the bass, and some backing vocals. “Oh Tonight” is a wonderful and timeless tune that might have sounded right at home on the radio in the late 19s, certainly one of the standouts of this set. “Lighten up Your Life” is a real rocker with a gritty vocal and a slight rockabilly influence. The mellow “Blue Like You” is a superb jazzy vocal piece with thoughtful lyrics and sparse arrangement that jumps out with the addition of a horn section. Everything on the album is soulful, melodic, and heart-felt, and grows on the listener more with each spin. If you’re open to a collection of great songs in many styles, Spitting on a Fish might be worthy of investigation.


Filed under: Reissues, 2018 releases, 2011 recordings

Related artist(s): David Lawrence Atkins (Curtiss)

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeremy Cubert Project - From A to B – Back in Exposé #18, I reviewed the first Psycho-Audible release, Alpha Centauri by Zapotec. This Psycho-Audible disc features the same key players: guitarist Bill Curtis, violinist Anna...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues