INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Shindig! OCTOBER 2017 - by Thomas Patterson
After quitting Roxy Music in mid-1973 the future was uncertain for flamboyant non-musician Brian Eno, yet with a coterie of highly proficient famous friends the maverick entered the early years of his solo career concocting a series of albums that took glam-rock by the horns and paved the way for the deconstructionist tendencies of post-punk. Thomas Patterson learns about one of modern music's true originals from running partner Phil Manzanera.
August 15, 2017. A handful of journalists, musos and fans have assembled in the control room of Abbey Road's Studio 3, the hallowed space where Pink Floyd made The Dark Side Of The Moon and The Beatles recorded much of Revolver. They have gathered to listen to a quartet of classic albums, none of which were recorded at Abbey Road, but all of which have just been remastered here by master engineer Miles Showell, such is their regard in the rock pantheon.
The four albums in question are the "rock" albums musical polymath Brian Eno recorded in the five years after he left glam-rock retro-futurists Roxy Music: 1974's Here Come The Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), '75's Another Green World and '77's Before And After Science. Straddling his glitter pop past, experimental future and congruent ambient experimentations, they form an extraordinary sequence - eccentric, influential, otherworldly and defiantly original.
The remasters are a revelation, exposing subtle piano motifs and tape loops muffled in previous masters; yet most revelatory of all are guitar lines provided by legendary rock guitarist Phil Manzanera. Manzanera and Eno had been collaborators since their days in Roxy Music, and he would continue to work with Eno right up until Before And After Science, writing and producing with his former Roxy pal, and providing guitar work of alternating ethereal beauty and galloping madness.
Today Manzanera is working on a box set of the first Roxy Music album, and performing solo concerts covering all facets of his career, including the Roxy catalogue and work by his prog band Quiet Sun. "It's a looking back period which Brian doesn't like to do, but I'm quite comfortable doing," he says, discussing his role in the creation of Eno's extraordinary first solo steps into the musical world.
This then is the story of Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera circa '71-'77, and the tale of a musical friendship between two "inspired amateurs" that began when Manzanera first failed to get into Eno's band back in the autumn of '71...
"I answered an ad in the Melody Maker and went for an audition with Roxy Music," Manzanera remembers. "Bryan and Andy were living in a little cottage in Battersea, and there they were in the tiny front room, railway line behind it, Eno and Graham Simpson and Paul Thompson and Bryan Ferry and Andy MacKay. They said, 'Let's have a jam', and it was on two chords. I'd been playing in a proto progrock group, playing funny time signatures, so this was a wonderful liberation.
"I failed the audition, by the way. I got on with them as people though; I thought they were very interesting. And really I had more of a chat with Bryan Ferry on that day, but then I would bump into Brian Eno at avant-garde concerts on the South Bank and places like that, and we got to know each other a bit. I realised I had a lot in common with him - early Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, systems music."
Manzanera, the son of an English father and a Colombian mother, had spent his childhood living in exotic locales including Cuba before landing as a teenager at Dulwich College, where he formed a series of bands with school pal Bill MacCormick (eventually a key part of The Canterbury Scene) that would mutate into the aforementioned proto prog-rock group, Quiet Sun. Brian Eno, meanwhile, was an art student and technical whizz who had dabbled in avant-garde and electronic noise since his school days, and was brought into the nascent Roxy Music by his pal Andy Mackay as a sound mixer and resident boffin, eventually becoming a fully-fledged member despite not being able to play any traditional instruments.
"I realised he was quite an interesting character, quite different," Manzanera recalls. "I naturally gravitated more towards him, because I was into tape recording and stuff like that, and he was into gear. There were things about him that were different to say Bryan Ferry or Andy MacKay or Paul Thompson. I bonded to them for different reasons but mainly with Eno it was to do with common musical interests, equipment, technology, making funny sounds and things like that. I came to realise he was a special person quite early on."
Although Manzanera didn't make it into Roxy Music, losing out to former Nice guitarist Davy O'List, he became friends with Eno, acting as an occasional roadie for the pre-fame band. When O'List was booted out of the group following a disagreement with drummer Paul Thompson, Manzanera was brought fully into the fold via a sly audition process.
"I got a call from Bryan Ferry saying, 'Can you come and mix the sound?' I said, 'I've got no idea how to mix the sound.' He said, 'Don't worry, Eno will teach you.' Because to start with, Eno was making the sound, out in the audience. He wasn't allowed to be on stage because he made everyone too nervous, so he had to stand out in the crowd. And when I say crowd, we're talking about thirty to forty people, all pointing at him, saying, 'What does this do, and what does this do?' And he was like the puppet master because they weren't allowed to have amps, so everything would go through DIs straight into his mixers, and he then acted like a wizard and controlled everything. Obviously, this was never going to work. Everybody got cheesed off because they couldn't hear themselves. So eventually amps were bought.
"So I was told to go to a rehearsal and Eno would teach me how to use the desk. But when I got there, he said, 'Oh, Dave's not here, but his guitar is, do you want to have a play?' And it was a secret way to get me to audition without being nervous or whatever. And I thought this might happen so I'd learned all the numbers secretly, and they thought I was a genius, which I obviously wasn't. They offered me the job and it was in the first week of February '72, and the first contract date is February 14, '72, so I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."
With Manzanera now a proper Roxy member, the band rapidly recorded an extraordinary one-two punch of classic albums in the form of their eponymous debut, and For Your Pleasure. Raiding the dressing-up box, the band members transformed themselves into glammed-up icons, Manzanera a hairy freak in spangly shades, Eno a puckish creature in ostrich feathers with long elfin hair atop a receding dome. "We said, 'Who can have the wackiest outfit?' There was a lot of laughter in that period, when people turned up with their outfits," Manzanera chuckles.
As Roxy Music stormed the charts, Eno and Manzanera's friendship grew, the pair eventually sharing a flat for a short while. Musically, their bond strengthened too, Eno adding his outré sonic treatments to Manzanera's guitars in a simpatico fashion, an obvious affinity between the two.
"When I was about fifteen or sixteen, I decided I wouldn't be a technical player, I would in effect be what I liked to call a 'primitive player', which meant I'd play whatever I felt like. And that comes from the middle to the end of the '60s, when we were all influenced by psychedelia and free-form jazz and jamming and The Velvet Underground, and you could deal in sound textures. I just didn't want to play loads of notes, I wanted to concentrate on sound, and that's where the affinity with Brian Eno comes from. Because he was into sound, he wasn't into technique at all. Because he basically didn't have any."
What Eno had instead was panache, confidence, a fearless inventiveness and a hell of a lot of tape recorders and electronic equipment - none of which meant he could rest on his laurels as the "non-musician" of the band.
"He started playing the VCS3 synthesiser because Andy MacKay said, 'Listen, I've bought this thing called a VCS3 and this what you're going to play.' And because you could only play it with one finger, you couldn't play chords on it, it was perfect. And he had his tape recorders. So by default, he concentrated on sound and atmosphere and musical context. For that, I think he's got a lot to thank Andy MacKay, quite frankly, because he gave him a few of the tools, and Eno then used his wonderful art school training to develop them in a wonderful way."
Alas, Eno's tenure with Roxy Music was short lived. Ego-led clashes with frontman Bryan Ferry over everything from who could get the most attention from the press to who could pull the most girls backstage led to Eno quitting the band in the summer of '73 ("It was all quite traumatic," Manzanera remembers, "but me and Andy decided we should stay on, we weren't going to fall on our swords.")
There was little time for complacency, however, and Eno threw himself into post-Roxy life with gusto - firstly by becoming clarinetist with The Portsmouth Sinfonia, an orchestra composed entirely of people unable to play their instruments. They were assembled by composer Gavin Bryars, and Eno also produced their first two albums Plays The Popular Classics and Hallelujah, both utterly hilarious and joyful discs that showed even at his most obtuse (and contrary to a seriousness which some may ascribe his work), Eno always had a mischievous streak.
His initial foray with the "world's worst orchestra" out of the way, he then finished off a project he'd first begun with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp in the September of '72, a series of experimental tracks in which Eno created tape loops whilst Fripp improvised guitar lines over the top (in a technique dubbed "Frippertronics"). Released in the November of '73 as No Pussyfooting, it would foreshadow the ambient and electronic sounds that Eno would move into as the decade progressed. For now, though, Eno was also still ready to splash around in the waters of "conventional" rock music, with the prompting of his old pal Manzanera.
"I found myself with my friend Eno not being in the band," Manzanera explains "and we went down to my mother's house in Clapham. We went into her front room where there was a ten quid piano I'd bought from a jumble sale, and we sat down and wrote Needles In The Camel's Eye. So I said to Brian, 'We need to find a really cheap studio, because there's no budget. There's one in Clapham Common called Majestic.' We went to have a look and it was big and perfect and cheap. So he accumulated all his bits and pieces and all his friends who were going to help him out. Some of them like Fripp and John Wetton (King Crimson) had the same management company, so we knew them. And we all wanted to help. There was a great desire to help him get going. We wanted to do it.
"For a non-musician, he had some incredible musicians help on that album, like Fripp and Chris Spedding and Bill MacCormick. He always wanted to be the so-called 'non-musician', but in terms of concepts and ideas, he knew what he liked and what he didn't like, and when he would express how he wanted something played, people had the technique to do that. It was a strange sort of combination. He was learning as well, how to make songs. We were all learning, we hadn't made many albums, none of us. So it was a great opportunity to record."
Recorded in the September of '73, Here Come The Warm Jets remains a dazzling album. When Eno left Roxy Music, it would have been a brave person who'd wager he'd prove himself to be a brilliant songwriter, but indeed he was. Tracks such as On Some Faraway Beach and Some Of Them Are Old are clear heirs to a Syd Barrett-style of English whimsy, whilst Needle In The Camel's Eye is one of the gutsiest opening salvos to an album ever. Eno's voice alternates between a Bryan Ferry-ish croon, a dirty sneer and a public school Englishness, whilst the music veers between sleazy glam and an ahead of its time post-punk snarl, all with a capriciously radical edge (Eno even uses the pseudonym "Nick Kool & The Koolaids" on the album, a name that sounds incredibly - and presciently - punk).
Although recorded with a crack team of musicians, Eno marshalled them in unconventional ways, apparently even using body language and dance to communicate with them. Eno meanwhile credited himself as playing "snake guitar" and "electric larynx" on the LP; all very arch, but perhaps tinged with the slight nervousness of someone who was wary of being the only non-proficient player in a pack of virtuosos. And for now, he was very much sticking to the rock 'n' roll formula.
"He had done No Pussyfooting, which I'd started developing with him at his flat in Maida Vale, using tape recorders. We were using Revox tape recorders on stage and had them modified with this thing called sel/sync, which could control the speed of the motors. That was very much part of the stuff that was used on For Your Pleasure. He continued that, and then he got himself a proper guitarist in Fripp, who could do amazing things. So he'd already started experimenting from that point of view. But when it came to Warm Jets, he probably felt he had to do something with much more of a beat. It was only much later that he moved into the more ambient stuff. It took a few years to reach the confidence of saying 'You know what, I can have floaty music, I don't have to have a big rock rhythm section behind me.'"
There's also perhaps a hint that Eno was enjoying the rock star life, a lifestyle that wouldn't be quite as wanton if he was a plain old music boffin. Interviews from the time reveal a man in touch with a libidinous sexuality, mascaraed bedroom eyes and shaded cheekbones the markers of a Pan-like fellow, equally as happy describing Japanese bondage as he was the works of Fluxus composers ("He was really living the life," Manzanera says diplomatically). With its lyrics about daisy chains and randy French maidens being pleasured by lusty Finnish blokes, standalone single Seven Deadly Finns from '75 is perhaps the apogee of Eno's sauciness, and despite Eno's subsequent explanation that they actually refer to the guitars sounding like jet engines, even the titular Warm Jets have a golden hint of sexual excretion.
"At the time I thought it was something to do with having a wee," Manzanera states, "but there's probably a lot more to the name. I'm not quite sure what Eno was thinking. You'd have to ask him, and that's the problem - he doesn't want to talk about the past at all. I don't blame him really. 'Explain yourself!' But it was a very Eno title, and different, with that great cover, which was taken in his Maida Vale flat."
True provenance of the name regardless, Manzanera found himself pulling double duties for Bri/yans Eno & Ferry, providing equally out-there guitar parts for both of them as work demanded.
"At exactly the same time as Warm Jets, I was doing the Roxy Stranded album. So it was a little bit tricky. Sometimes I would work on Eno's album, then jump on the Northern Line and go up to Oxford Circus to do Stranded and vice versa, not really mentioning that I'd been down doing Eno's album at the same time. I don't think in true British fashion (Bryan Ferry and I) ever talked about it. And Bryan was probably too busy thinking about his own career to look over his shoulder and think, 'What the hell is this going on?'"
Perhaps it's just as well Ferry didn't look over his shoulder. Here Come The Warm Jets was a relative commercial success on its release in January '74, hitting Number 26 in the UK charts and Number 151 in the USA; almost more importantly, however, it was a critical smash, garnering gushing praise on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Eno was loved by the journos," Manzanera says. "A guy I'd been at school with, Ian MacDonald, he wrote for the NME, Charles Shaar Murray, Chrissie Hynde, Nick Kent. They all loved Eno, and bought into him, for two or three years. I think they recognised this was a special person, he was different from other people in the rock 'n' roll firmament. They were right. You can see in these albums a lot of the ideas he's still into."
In the February of '74, Eno would set off on a solo tour backed by the pub-rock band The Winkies, with support from the fabulously named Rod Crisp. It would prove to be his only solo tour ever, as he somehow suffered from a collapsed lung after six dates. He was back in fine fettle by the summer of '74, however, and the season would prove a whirlwind of creativity for both him and Manzanera. Manzanera was recording Roxy Music's fourth album Country Life, whilst Eno performed a show with Kevin Ayers, John Cale and Nico at The Rainbow Theatre that was released as the literally titled live album June 1, 1974, before going on to create with Ayers the backing music for an album by bohemian poet June Campbell Cramer entitled Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy.
That September, however, Eno and Manzanera reunited to record Eno's second solo album. Taking its title from a Chinese communist opera, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) continued Eno's wayward, unorthodox experimentation, although this time Manzanera took on a larger co-production role in the shaping of its sound.
"I think Taking Tiger Mountain was more planned, and it was also a time when we decided that we would elevate this tape op called Rhett Davies to become a full-time engineer. We all lived near Basing Street Studios (in Notting Hill), and we were on Island Records so it was economical to do the album there. So we got into a very nice working situation with Rhett, bringing him into all the experimentation. And of course, Eno was developing with his friend Peter Schmidt his playing cards, The Oblique Strategies. And we thought that was a great bit of fun."
The Oblique Strategies were a series of cards Eno and the artist Schmidt had devised, on which were written gnomic instructions such as What would your closest friend do? and Try faking it! They've been used by Eno across his career as an aid to the creative process, and whilst some people have seen them as an example of preposterous zen wankery, Manzanera is clear the fun that was had at the time.
"We said, 'Yep, we'll draw the cards and we've got to do what it says on the card.' We had some hilarious times and the whole album was done using those cards. I think only once we'd actually done the backing tracks, to tell the truth. The overdubs were done like that, not necessarily the bass and drums and rhythm guitar. But it evolved into a very creative way of using the whole studio as an instrument.
"There were no computers, so if you wanted to have something weird, you had to prepare it in an analogue way. If you wanted a very long echo with some strange warbly effect, you got a broom and you put the tape on the other side of the room with the broom, and then you put some sticky tape on the capstan making sure the studio manager didn't catch you doing all this because they hated you messing around with their gear, or sticking screws in the piano - that was an offence that could be met with banning for the rest of your life."
Again, Eno had enlisted crack musicians to assist him on the album including Robert Wyatt and Andy Mackay, alongside non-crack musicians in the form of The Portsmouth Sinfonia. Even Phil Collins got in on the act, playing drums on Mother Whale Eyeless as a thank you to Eno for adding electronic treatments to Genesis's The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which was being recorded in the studio next door (and for which Eno received the credit "Enossification").
"I must have had a chord progression for The True Wheel, but a lot of the other stuff is very simple," remembers Manzanera of Taking Tiger's creation. "Third Uncle is just two chords. We went, 'Right, let's have a rhythm guitar battle,' pretending we were The Velvet Underground, and then it got faster and faster until it became virtually impossible to play.
"The album was very much a case of 'no top line first', just 'music first' and then Brian would improvise. He'd look in his black book where he'd written some words down, and he'd improvise something, and gradually you'd develop it from that. It maybe came with a couple of chords, but that was very much the Roxy method. Come up with a few chords and then we'll all put everything else on it, and create some sort of mood, atmosphere, and then whoever's going to try to write a top line will come up with some words. It was because none of us could write proper songs, so there was no alternative."
As it so often the way, an inability to create something via a skilled, orthodox route resulted in an infinitely more interesting outcome, and Taking Tiger Mountain remains an exemplar. Eno may not have known what he was doing, but in doing it anyway, he created music that was remarkably forward thinking.
"Some of the stuff we did on these albums, like Third Uncle on Taking Tiger Mountain, and Needles In The Camel's Eye or Baby's On Fire, it's the transition from The Velvet Underground to punk. It's very simply chord-ly, but played with a lot of enthusiasm. Of course, we did used to call ourselves 'inspired amateurs', and this was a badge of honour for us. It was a put down used by a lot of musicians once we were reasonably established.
"But what's extraordinary looking back on all this period is that there were loads of tours going on at the same time as making all these albums. I really don't how we fitted it all in, but there must have been a gap at the end of a Roxy tour, in September '74, between that and the end of January '75, and that's when I ended up doing Taking Tiger Mountain, then Diamond Head, then Quiet Sun."
Diamond Head was Manzanera's first solo album, a Latin-ish affair chock full of his dazzling playing, whilst he also reassembled his pre-Roxy Music band Quiet Sun for a new album entitled Mainstream; and, of course, both albums featured contributions from Eno.
"Brian did a lot on Diamond Head. He did wonderful treatments on my guitar on Diamond Head itself. He's on Big Day, he sang that, and he sang Miss Shapiro. My whole thing about doing a solo album was an excuse to get my friends together and do something completely different to Roxy Music. Consequently, I went back and asked Robert Wyatt to sing on it, and Eno, and John Wetton, Bill MacCormick. We actually recorded both albums simultaneously. From 12-6 we did Diamond Head, from 6-12 we did Quiet Sun. We didn't tell either the record company or the management we were doing Quiet Sun, because the band had been turned down by the record company years ago so we thought we'd do it secretly and then at the end say 'Here's two albums instead of one!' And they had to take them. It was wonderful!"
What's clear is that for both musicians, this was a period of intense creativity - although for much of the following year, they would work apart.
In '75, Manzanera toured relentlessly with Roxy and recorded their fourth album Siren, which included perhaps the ne plus ultra of all Roxy songs, Love Is The Drug.
Eno, meanwhile, was off and running. He set up his own record label, Obscure, to release works by modern classical composers such as Michael Nyman and Gavin Bryars, as well as his first truly ambient album Discreet Music; he recorded Evening Star, another collaboration with Robert Fripp; he dived into the production work which would become a lynchpin of his career, starting with Robert Calvert of Hawkwind's second solo album Lucky Leif And The Longships; he appeared as the wolf in a rock reimagination of Peter And The Wolf alongside a score of musical luminaries; and he even released a daffy cover of The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
Most importantly, however, he recorded Another Green World, his next collection of "songs", albeit songs that again hinted at his eventual move into full-blown ambient territory. Made sans Manzanera who was away with Roxy, Eno reenlisted Robert Fripp and Phil Collins, as well as John Cale and Rod Melvin of Kilburn & The High Roads, to record what many people consider the greatest work of his career.
Moving away from the slightly wonky theatrics of his previous two albums, Another Green World has an icy Teutonic quality, Eno clearly touching on krautrock motifs (it's no surprise that he would eventually come to work with kosmische mainstays Cluster, and record at famed German producer Conny Plank's studio in Cologne). Opener Sky Saw is a slice of slinky semi-funky robotics which foreshadows David Bowie's Berlin trilogy (on which Eno would soon work), whilst the title track would eventually become ubiquitous as the sonorous theme tune to BBC arts show Arena; unlike previous work, none of Another Green World sounded like a happy accident, and it was becoming clear that Eno was flexing his musical muscles with more precision than ever before.
1976 saw Manzanera and Eno reunite for a new project, 801. Taking it's title from a lyric in Tiger Mountain's The True Wheel (a song that also gave Mancunian post punks A Certain Ratio their name), 801 was a temporary band created whilst Roxy were on hiatus, a merry diversion created to play a trio of gigs culminating in a show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on September 3. Released as a live album entitled 801 Live a couple of months later, it saw the group perform extant Eno and Manzanera tunes, alongside bonkers covers of Tomorrow Never Knows and The Kinks' You Really Got Me. Manzanera would take 801 into the studio the following year, but Eno wouldn't join them.
Instead he had his own project to pursue in the shape of Before And After Science, the final album he would release that could conceivably be considered a rock record - or at least the first half anyway, before the second half drifts into dreamy, mostly instrumental ambience. Culled from a hundred songs recorded by Eno between '75 and '77, it would be the last Eno album to which Manzanera would contribute, but he goes out in a blaze of glory, especially on the blisteringly snarling punk rock attack of King's Lead Hat.
"You know, of course, that King's Lead Hat is an anagram of Talking Heads," Manzanera explains. "I remember going to see them at The Croydon Greyhound with Eno, on the first tour. And we loved them because of all the rhythm guitar stuff.
"They were at the vanguard of the American punk lot coming over to the UK, so our antennae were up. And we were really impressed by them, we thought they were terrific. I think we then probably said, 'Let's go in and do a Talking Heads type track.' Like before when we said 'Let's go and do a Velvet Underground track.' You just simulate a vibe and see what happens."
Recorded right at the start of Talking Heads' career, King's Lead Hat would again prove Eno's prescience, both discovering and aping Talking Heads before they'd hit the mainstream, using a copycat ingenuity to make something bafflingly individual (Eno also eventually mutating from fan to collaborator by producing a handful of their albums and working repeatedly with David Byrne). It would also be Eno's final rock star stand. His look was now less asexual glam predator and more owlish Oxford don, whilst the less strident, moody B-side of Before And After Science was seemingly the sound of a creative powerhouse truly becoming his own man.
"He realised he could do more and more, and that he was actually rather good," Manzanera explains. "He developed the confidence to do weird and wonderful things, whatever he wanted. Things were looking up from that early period when he left Roxy and was a bit insecure. By this stage he was getting more confident as an artist. He was obviously developing this ambient type of sonority and realising what he really wanted to hear in his head when he was doing music."
It would also mark the winding down of the on/off creative partnership between the two. Manzanera's time was increasingly taken up with Roxy Music, who were growing ever bigger by the year, whilst Eno spun off onto other projects, not least of which was a partnership with David Bowie. Bowie, a fan of Eno's following his Discreet Music album, had drafted him in to work on his album Low in the autumn of '76, and again utilised him for the final two parts his Berlin trilogy, "Heroes" (immediately prior to the release of Before And After Science) and Lodger.
"Once he really went off to work with Bowie, I didn't see him as much. I was involved with a whole bunch of other things. I'd see him occasionally as friends. He moved to New York, so I'd see him when I was over there, but working together, there just wasn't space. We just weren't in the same place at the same time and we were on different trajectories."
Their creative companionship was over, but it's clear that Manzanera looks back at this period with a sense of pride, and no little amazement. This is, after all, music that foresaw not only punk, but postpunk too, the DNA of everyone from LCD Soundsystem to ESG, Gang Of Four to The Beta Band extracted from its grooves.
"I listen to Needles In The Camel's Eye and think, wow, that's crazy, how did I do that?" Manzanera enthuses. "There's all sort of wacky and wonderful things on there that because they were done the way they were done, still sound great to me. You don't hear a lot of the sounds on these records anywhere else, because they were done so organically."
Today Brian Eno occupies a space in the cultural fabric as a sort of venerably monkish scholar, an enigmatic and ultimately unknowable creative who exists on an intellectual plain of Olympian heights. Listening to the works he recorded in the '70s, however, and one is reminded of his sense of fun and playfulness, his - dare I say it - sexiness, his foresight, and the manner in which he moulded his own form of occasionally accidental brilliance, often with the help of his old pal Phil.
And what about that friendship? How's it looking in the twenty-first century?
"I see him a bit more nowadays, now that he's in the same country," Manzanera laughs. "He's back in the hood. I was driving down Ladbroke Grove the other day, came to some traffic lights and there he was, walking back with a shopping bag. And I shouted out "ere Brian! Even Brian Eno does his own shopping!' Wonderful! Why not?"