Matthew Seligman, the musician best recognised as the former bassist of The Soft Boys, has died at the age of 64 after contracting coronavirus.
Strongly associated with the new wave music scene of the 1980s, Seligman worked with a number of different backs throughout his career including Thompson Twins, Thomas Dolby, Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club, The Dolphin Brothers and, famously, performed alongside David Bowie as part of his iconic 1985 Live Aid show.
The Soft Boys frontman, Robyn Hitchcock, confirmed Seligman’s death with a tribute posted on social media. “I’m writing this as Matthew Seligman slips out of this life and into wherever souls go next,” Hitchcock wrote on Facebook. “Everybody goes, but none of us were expecting Matthew to leave us so abruptly, forever. It is strange and very sad to be talking of him in the past tense. I first met Matthew in 1976 in Cambridge, just before the beginning of the Soft Boys. He had nice dark hair and was very charming, with a slight break in his voice. A joyous and funky bass player, he made Underwater Moonlight an exuberant LP to record and listen to. His manic bass run at the end of ‘Insanely Jealous’ and his stately propeller dive into the last chorus of the title track, as well as the insistent groove he brought to ‘Kingdom of Love’ are some of the finest bass playing I have ever witnessed.”
He continued: “The band didn’t survive too long into the bleak 1980s, but Matthew found a home as a bass player in many great musical shells. The Thompson Twins, David Bowie, Morrissey and Chrissie Hynde were all lucky beneficiaries of his intuitive and circular grooves.
“As well as bass playing, he specialized in one-liners. ‘Pop music is about over-stating the obvious’ and ‘What you’ve proved to the music industry is that you can’t sell records’ are two of my favourites.
“I’m profoundly grateful to have played music with him – you could really see his face light up like a full moon when he listened back to a take he enjoyed. Onstage he would lope and lurch and pace when the music moved him. Matthew is, was, and always will be one of the greats. My heart goes out to his partner, Mami; his children Daisy and Lily, and all who were close to him and his lunar intensity.”
See the full post, below.