Matching Mole were a short-lived UK progressive rock band from the Canterbury scene best known for the song ‘O Caroline’. Robert Wyatt formed the band in October 1971 after he left Soft Machine and recorded his first solo album, The End Of An Ear. He continued his role on vocals and drums and was joined by David Sinclair, of Caravan, on organ and piano, Phil Miller on guitar and Bill MacCormick, formerly of Quiet Sun, on bass. The name is a pun on Machine Molle, the French translation of the name of Wyatt's previous group, Soft Machine … (read more at Wikipedia)
Links To Peel
Peel kept up his interest in Robert Wyatt's work when the drummer formed Matching Mole, who did three sessions for his show during their short lifespan. They broke up in 1972 but planned to resume in 1973 with a new line-up, until Wyatt's accident in July of that year, which left him unable to play the drums. Peel was among those who rallied round to support him (see the Robert Wyatt page for details).
Wyatt's long solo career meant that Matching Mole's work tended to be overlooked - with the exception of "O Caroline", which became one of the DJ's all-time favourites. It was apparently written to Caroline Coon, after she and Wyatt had split up. Peel featured it in the summer 1976 retrospective show devoted to Soft Machine and it various offshoots and described it as one of the few good love songs of the 1970s. "O Caroline" also received a 1976 Festive Fifty entry from Peel's listeners at number 46 and appeared in the Peelenium 1972.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 1976 Festive Fifty: O Caroline #46
Three sessions. All were released on On The Radio CD, Hux Records (HUX083).
- Immediate Kitten / Brandy (Re-Named 'Part Of The Dance')
- No 'Alf Measures / Lything And Gracing
- Marchide/Instant Pussy (Smoke Signal – first TX on June repeat)
Other Shows Played
- 11 April 1972: Instant Pussy (LP – Matching Mole) CBS
- 25 April 1972: O Caroline (LP – Matching Mole) CBS
- 02 May 1972: Instant Pussy (LP - Matching Mole) CBS
- 16 May 1972: Dedicated To Hugh, But You Weren't Listening (LP - Matching Mole) CBS
- 23 May 1972: Beer, As In Braindeer (LP - Matching Mole) CBS
- 20 June 1972: O Caroline (single) CBS
- 03 October 1972: unknown
- 17 October 1972: Nan's True Hole (LP - Matching Mole's Little Red Record) CBS
- 07 November 1972: Gloria Gloom (LP - Matching Mole's Little Red Record) CBS
- Radio Luxembourg Tracklistings 4: Dedicated To Hugh, But You Weren’t Listening (LP - Matching Mole) CBS
- Radio Luxembourg Tracklistings 4: Caroline (LP - Matching Mole) CBS
- 07 June 1973: Gloria Gloom/God's Song (Nan True's Hole?) (LP – Matching Mole's Little Red Record) CBS
- 17 August 1976: O Caroline (LP – Matching Mole) CBS (Soft Machine Retrospective)
- 24 December 1976: O Caroline (LP – Matching Mole) CBS #FF46
- 16 November 1999: O Caroline (LP-Matching Mole) CBS (Peelenium 1972)
- 08 August 2001: Nan True's Hole (CD - Smoke Signals) Cuneiform
- 25 November 2004 (Rob Da Bank): 'O Caroline' (LP - Matching Mole) (BGO)
- ↑ It is not known whether Peel and Coon were friends, but she was a well-known figure in the late 1960s London underground scene and the founder of the charity Release, which provided legal aid to young people facing trial on drug charges. The DJ urged his readers to support Release in his International Times columns; "You must support RELEASE in any way you can - you may be next. Regard them as a Freedom Bank". Later she wrote for Melody Maker and managed the Clash.