Matching Mole

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Matching Mole
Origin Canterbury, England
Genres Progressive rock, Canterbury scene
Years active1971–1972
Labels CBS
Associated acts Soft Machine, Hatfield and the North, 801
Past members Bill MacCormick
Robert Wyatt
Phil Miller
Dave Sinclair
Dave MacRae
Francis Monkman
Gary Windo

Matching Mole were an English progressive rock band associated with the Canterbury scene. [1] Robert Wyatt formed the band in October 1971 after he left Soft Machine and recorded his first solo album The End of an Ear (4 December 1970). He continued his role on vocals and drums and was joined by David Sinclair of Caravan on organ and piano, Dave MacRae on electric piano, Phil Miller of Delivery on guitar and Bill MacCormick of Quiet Sun, on bass. [1] The name is a pun on Machine Molle, the French translation of the name of Wyatt's previous group Soft Machine. [1]



Their first eponymous album was released in April 1972, the bulk of which was composed by Wyatt himself, with the exception of "O Caroline" (a Dave Sinclair composition with lyrics by Wyatt about his recent breakup with girlfriend Caroline Coon) and Phil Miller's "Part of the Dance". [1] Sinclair soon dropped out of the group and was replaced by New Zealand-born keyboard player and composer Dave MacRae, who had already played a guest role on the first album. [1] Their second album, Matching Mole's Little Red Record produced by Robert Fripp of King Crimson was released in November 1972. [1] This album was more of a team effort, with Wyatt concentrating on lyrics and vocal melodies and leaving the composing to his bandmates.

Matching Mole disbanded in late September 1972 immediately upon completion of a European tour supporting Soft Machine, with Sinclair and Miller going on to form the more successful Hatfield and the North. [1] A new lineup – consisting of Wyatt, MacCormick, ex-Curved Air keyboardist Francis Monkman and jazz saxophonist Gary Windo – was due to record a third album in 1973. This was cancelled when Wyatt fell from a window in June 1973, and was paralysed from the waist down, and therefore unable to continue drumming. [2]




DateTitle UK
1972"O Caroline"

Studio albums

DateAlbum title UK
April 1972 Matching Mole
November 1972 Matching Mole's Little Red Record Dave Sinclair was replaced on keyboard by Dave MacRae

Live albums and compilations

DateAlbum title UK
1994BBC Radio 1 Live in Concertmini live album
2001Smoke Signalslive album
2002Marchlive album
2006On the Radio
2013Live at the BBC 1972Japan-only vinyl LP


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 808. ISBN   1-85227-745-9.
  2. Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 251. CN 5585.
  3. 1 2 3 "Artists".