Who and/or what is Adam Whittby?

Purchasers of the extended Extra Goodies version of my new mini-album Greetings from Adventure Bay will receive a series of demos called The Adam Whittby Suite. These were songs written and recorded when I was living in Nantes, France, in 2014, and are now being released properly for the first time.

  • The Cool Kids
  • Fact Checker Blues
  • Falling Away

The conceit of these tracks came from a sort of writing-prompt exercise. I decided to write and record some songs that might have been written by a tortured artist type character, an English musician making records in the early 1980s. And so I did so.

This effort was partly inspired by the fact that I had once created such a figure. Back in 2005, in Hobart, Tasmania, I was invited to a fancy dress party. I visited a charity shop to find something to wear, and came out with a tight (almost too tight) black jump suit as a basic costume. A British pop star from the early 1980s seemed like an appropriate character to inhabit such a costume. So, indulging in my music-geekiness, that very afternoon I gave him a name and constructed a feasible brief biography and discography.

In the interests of completeness, I offer it herewith below.

Adam Whittby

  • Early 80s figure fitting somewhere between the New Romantics and the more intellectual punks. 
  • First noticed: Thin Trees, Laugh at me, 1981, from the album Timeshaft.  Minor hit, loved by critics, but no follow up. 
  • Launched solo careeer in 1983 with In the Name of Nothing.  The single Scissor Cut reached UK Top 10, charted in Australia.
  • In 1984 had his biggest success with the album Blueness, with the hits Hilary Said and Loveshiver.  
  • Played Live Aid in a purple jumpsuit (thought to be his downfall)
  • Blueness (1984) was listed at number 27 in all time best British pop albums in Q Magazine in 1998.  
  • Timeshaft (1981) was listed at number 33 in the British Rock Critics list of the most influential albums of the 1980s.
  • He was successful in Britain, New Zealand (where Blueness was number 1 album for 3 weeks in 1984) and Australia, but never made a dent in the US. 
  • Reformed Thin Trees in 1997, toured Europe. 

Biggest hits: 

  • Loveshiver (1984)
  • Scissor Cut (1983)
  • Hilary Said (1984)
  • Laugh at me (1981) (Thin Trees)

Albums:

  • Timeshaft (1981) (Thin Trees)
  • In the Name of Nothing (1983)
  • Blueness (1984)
  • Dimly lit (1985)
  • Ape Eel Appeal (1988)
  • Loveshiver: The Adam Whittby Collection (1990)
  • Parson’s nose (1993)
  • Live in Munich (1998) (Thin Trees)
  • The Essential Adam Whittby: Millenium Edition (2000)

Note: the demos (The Cool Kids, Fact Checker Blues and Falling Away) appear to be deep album cuts that didn’t appear as singles. Or possibly they were B-sides.

So now you know.

To be released this week: Greetings from Adventure Bay

  • To coin a phrase
  • Adventure Bay
  • Slow moving clouds
  • Jane and her significance
  • I am the narwhal

Recorded, mixed and produced by Jan Mueller (AKA Professor Kinski)

Written and performed by Scott Bywater

with Nathan Fanoni on bass et une petite voix

Veronika Janouchova on saxophone

Marianna Hensley on la belle voix

Jan Mueller on beats

A product of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
August/September 2021

Also available in Extra Goodies format with four additional demo tracks.

scoddy.bandcamp.com

this week in scoddyprojects

All times Indochina (UTC+7)

In person: 

Tuesday 15: Phnom Penh Ukulele Circle at Bong Bonlai restaurant (YK Art House) at 7.30 pm.  Currently participation is limited, please email scoddy67@gmail.com to secure your plance)

Saturday 19: Scoddy (with friends) at Botanico, 7 pm

On RadioOun.com:

Drivetime Saturday, Monday & Tuesday: 4 pm – 6 pm

Sunday at 8 pm, repeated on Tuesday at 10 pm, The Nightfly with Scoddy Bywater, my weekly thematic radio show.  This week the theme is birds.  You’ll hear Al Bowly, Labelle, Bob Seger, Sid’n’Susie, Steve Miller Band, Channthy Cha Cha and much more. 

In print:

Now available:  Passing Chords, Vols 1 & 2 – the Leng Pleng mini-profiles.  A big hunk of the Cambodian music scene in 2019 and 2020. Hard copy or ebook.  $7.50 ($5 if you’re in it).  Contact lengplenggigs@gmail.com to secure your copy (PayPal available for the far flung). 

Also available: Many Ways: Phnom Penh Poems 2011-2021

Or prose indeed:

The Adventures of Sam Chauvel

A room, a man

Additions to The Adventures of Sam Chauvel

Love is in the air-conditioning

a Sam Chauvel corporate undercover caper

by Scott Bywater

Self-appointed private eye Sam Chauvel, fresh from unearthing Wil Dreamsworth, takes on the corporate world.  He goes undercover at consulting powerhouse HemmingsLloyd, a small firm that thinks big, rubbing shoulders with the wheelers and dealers, movers and shakers, legends and masters of methodology.

Who will help him, who will lead him astray? Who is this Britney Spitz, the temp receptionist – could she be the answer to his sensuo-spiritual and other needs?

The answer is blowing in the wind … or is there love in the air-conditioning?


First published by Equilibrium Books in 2005, this novella, a sequel to Captain Zooba to the Rescue, is now making its first appearance in serial form – daily episodes, slipped quietly through the cracks, will emerge blinking into the daylight throughout June 2021.

Part one

Part two

Part three

A room, a man

A room, a man: a novella by Scott Bywater

A room, a man is an unpublished novella I wrote in the latter part of 2010. I came across it again recently, and found it resonated somewhat with the mood of the present Phnom Penh COVID lockdown situation, so it’s been split into nine daily parts that will be published daily online from Tuesday 20 April. It’s not for everyone, but it’s something different.

A room, a man