Past Imperfect - The best of tindersticks ’92 - ’21

30 years! This collection has been difficult to compile, but here it is. I have always felt we move forward in small steps (the occasional leap), at times we have been happy to slow right down and examine what is in front of us so thoroughly that we could appear static from the outside. But on the inside of this world, like looking down a microscope, it is brimming with life. We now get a chance, or are forced, to look over our shoulder to see how far we have travelled.

Past imperfect is in chronological order and split in to 4 sections / 2 halves – The first half being the original line up of the band with Al Macaulay (drums), Mark Colwill (bass) and Dickon Hinchliffe (Violin, guitar, string arrangements). The second half being the present day line up with Earl Harvin (drums) and Dan McKinna (Bass, piano, string arrangements). 

Myself, Neil Fraser (guitar) and David Boulter (various instruments) are always present – We were born and grew up in Nottingham at the same time in similar circumstances, although we didn’t meet until music brought us together in our late teens / early twenties. Perhaps this binds us together.

There are 2 songs from Claire Denis films – ‘Tiny tears’ from Nanette et Boni (’96) and ‘Both sides of the blade’ from her latest film ‘Avec amour et acharnament’ (’21). There is also the version of ‘Willow’ sung by myself (rather than Robert Pattison who sang the version in ‘High life’ (’19)). Working with Claire, 10 scores so far,  has had a great effect on the progression our music, always asking us to change shape and look in to the different elements of our music.

Another great effect on our music was the late and very great Lhasa de Sela. ‘Sometimes it hurts’ was the first duet we sang together. We went on to collaborate further and became great friends. It has become difficult to approach writing duets since her passing. 

’92 – ’96 – City Sickness, Her, Tiny tears, Travelling light (duet with Carla Torgerson), My sister.

’97 – ’03 – Rented rooms, Can we start again?, Dying slowly, Sometimes it hurts (duet with Lhasa de Sela), My oblivion.

’08 – ’14 – Harmony around my table, Show me everything, This fire of autumn, Medicine, What are you fighting for?

’16 – ’21 – How he entered, Were we once lovers?, Willow, Pinky in the daylight, Both sides of the blade.

The limited edition box set comes with a double LP of ‘Live at Glasgow City Halls, 5th October 2008′

Stuart A. Staples, January 2022

tindersticks - Both sides of the blade - released January 17th, 2022

Written for Claire Denis’ forthcoming film ‘Avec amour et acharnament’ starring Juliette Binoche, it will be premiered at Berlin Film Festival on the 12th February 2022. The song closes the film.

This short is Stuart’s own visual take on the song (with a lot of help from his friends!).

Limited edition boxset / pre-order

Order the limited edition box set here via City Slang 


  • Past Imperfect, the best of tindersticks ‘92 – ’21 (coloured 2LP)
  • Live At Glasgow City Halls 5th October 2008 (coloured 2LP)
  • Exclusive 7”: A: “Both Sides Of The Blade” B: “For Those … “

Upcoming shows...

October 2022


OCT 2022

Lyon, France


OCT 2022

Nîmes, France


OCT 2022

La Roche sur Yon, France


OCT 2022

Bordeaux, France


OCT 2022

St Malo, France


OCT 2022

Antwerpen, Belgium


OCT 2022

Rotterdam, Netherlands


OCT 2022

Groningen, Netherlands


OCT 2022

Athens, Greece


OCT 2022

Athens, Greece

November 2022


NOV 2022

Thessaloniki, Greece

New album ‘Distractions’ announced / Man alone (can’t stop the fadin’) released today,

Hello everyone, today we are announcing our new (and unexpected!) album ‘Distractions’. We are hoping you enjoy it. It’s an album made during tough times and now released in even tougher times for many. We cannot ignore the effect this has had on it’s making. Although..
We never had the opportunity to say thank you to you all for the experiences you gave us at the beginning of 2020. Even though we had to cancel so many concerts at least we were lucky to play so many before the confinement started. To feel the connection and energy between us all, even after all these years, took us a little by surprise. ‘ No treasure’ has so many great songs and it was a pleasure for us to play them for you. So many great evenings and a tangible growing momentum that was abruptly cut short (actually during the sound check in Bordeaux!).
This is where ‘Distractions’ comes from, all that energy needed to go somewhere. And even though it started an often frustrating process (recording remotely doesn’t work for us) we found a way and by July the album was sketched out. With restrictions lifted August was a frenzy of travelling and recording, the album was mixed in September.
The seeds of ‘Man alone (can’t stop the fadin’)’ and ‘The bough bends’ that open and close the album already existed at the beginning of 2020, though I had no idea where they were heading, come April they were leading the way, setting the tone for ‘Distractions’. ‘I imagine you’ was a new idea idea bounced between myself and Dan in our separate spaces. The cover versions of Neil Young’s ‘Man needs a maid’ and Dory Previn’s ‘Lady with the braid’ have been a long time coming, on our agenda for maybe 10 years with failed attempts behind them. Television personalities’ ‘You’ll have to scream louder’ was a moment of reaction to the events in the world in April and ‘Tue – moi’ was a song started from the Paris and Manchester attacks, always needing to be sung in French and, perhaps, this delayed it’s progress – I had to find the courage of my convictions! 
And so, we are looking forward to you engaging in this new work. Hoping it helps pass some long evenings – whether sitting or dancing! 
We also hope for and look forward to better times and to play our music for you again in person before too long.
You can pre order the album here
This song was always a journey but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a long one. We made a 6 minute version but it felt like it pulled off and stopped half way to its destination. This was the beginning of a long journey in itself, to find the route it needed to travel to complete itself. Probably the biggest challenge a song or piece of music has given us. It was delicate and slippery right up to the final mix – which lasted a week!  The final song has a strange connection for me to the drum machine, bass guitar and voice combination of ‘Indignant Desert Birds’ – mine and Neil’s first band when I was 17.
It was important to me that the words of the song were not a coherent narrative, but passing thoughts along the way.

In the back of a London cab driving through the city at night is a very special space for me. It has a particular kind of aloneness. This fascination grew over hundreds of nights leaving the the studio exhausted at 1 am – Ladbroke Grove or St Johns wood, through the city and over the river to South East London in an almost dream state. This film for Man alone became a way of touching the city and that way of feeling both a part of and apart from it.

Take great care.

New single ‘You’ll have to scream louder’ released today.

You’ll have to scream louderis a song of the Television Personalities from their classic album ‘The Painted Word’. This is our version, it is part of our forthcoming album ‘Distractions’  (more details to follow in the New Year)
Late may, early June, 2020 was a twitchy and angry time for many of us. There was a growing agitation inside of me.
I woke on a Saturday morning with no plans but just this fucking Television Personalities song going round in my head, it pushed me into the studio.
4 or 5 hours later I had made the basis of this recording, though I had to wait for windows of opportunity within our confinement to work with the band to bring it to a conclusion.
I have loved the TVPs since buying the Bill Grundy e.p. with its photocopied sleeve on one of my regular after school bus trips to the Virgin record shop in a basement on King Street, Nottingham.
Some years later, 1984, I was living around the corner on the 17th floor of Victoria Centre flats, they swayed in the wind. I was working a few days at a local record shop and The Painted Word was released. It became at the soundtrack to that semi-slum, those times. I was 19. 
To be young in the early 1980’s there was much to be angry about, battles to be fought – Thatcher, racial and gender injustice – and (one of the motivations for this song) nuclear disarmament. Although we may not have thought those battles were ever won, we believed we had helped push things in a different direction, that changes were made. 
In the spring of 2020 we were shown painfully that these battles are ongoing.

tindersticks concert cancellation announcement

Again, it is with sadness and disappointment that we are forced to announce the cancellation of all but one of our forthcoming shows in the UK and Ireland due to the Covid 19 situation.
Please contact the point of sale of the tickets for refunds.
We hope to have the opportunity to play our music for you again in the not too distant future.
Our London Royal Festival Hall show has been rescheduled to the 2nd May 2022. Tickets are still valid.
More news around the corner of our forthcoming plans.
Keep warm and safe this winter

Concert cancellation announcement

It is with a great sadness and disappointment on our behalf that we are forced to announce the cancellation of our forthcoming October / November shows across Europe due to the Covid 19 situation.
Please contact the point of sale for the tickets for refunds.

We hope to have more positive news soon as our plans become clearer. At least this time has given us unexpected studio time that has been really creative.

We hope for better times for music, for us all.

Until then, keep safe and well


tindersticks rescheduled tour dates 2020

For those who have tickets for our unplayed concerts please be assured that we have been working hard to reschedule them and are now in a position to announce the rescheduled dates (UK shows are still to be finalised).

Unfortunately, for logistical and venue availability reasons the U.S., Hamburg, Rotterdam, Gothenburg and Belgrade shows have had to be cancelled. On the plus side, some new dates have been added.

Obviously we are trusting that in 5 months or so the situation in Europe will allow these concerts to happen.
We are very thankful to have been able to play 30 concerts at the start of the year. Our band was having the best of times and the connection we felt to our music and you was a profound one. We have to trust that we can share that again.
In the meantime here is a song from one of our recent Nantes shows (courtesy of Sombrero & Co, Directed by Samuel Petit, Sound by Louise Bardet)…..
Until then, keep safe and be kind.

New EP ‘See My Girls’

Today we are delighted to release our new EP ‘See my girls’.
4 songs – ‘See my girls (edit)’, the great David Boulter instrumental ‘A street walker’s carol’, ‘Blood and bone’ and the original Le Chien version of ‘See my girls’.

The film for ’See my girls’ is a collaboration with Stuart’s daughter Sidonie Osborne Staples made from her continuous illustration of the songs narrative.
Sidonie also made the artwork for the EP and co-wrote ‘Blood and bone’ on which she also provides the lead vocal.

The EP is available digitally today. The 12” vinyl will be available at tour our dates from Gent (29th January) and in stores on 7th February.

A street walker’s carol

From the ‘See my girl’s EP
Written by David Boulter
Artwork by Sidonie Osborne Staples

Blood and bone

From the ‘See my girl’s EP
Written by Sidonie Osborne Staples
Artwork by Sidonie Osborne Staples

See my girls (Le Chien version)

From the ‘See my girl’s EP
Artwork by Sidonie Osborne Staples

No treasure but hope
Recorded over 6 days in Midilive, Paris. The album is released today, 15th November 2019. Our first Scorpio album and we wish it well!

We wanted to make something physical and human. Not constrained by clicks or grids or loops. Songs played into the air, captured in a moment, unique to that moment and how we felt and reacted to each other within.

You can read the words here

‘For the beauty’

Directed by David Reeve. Filmed at the recording session of the album at Midilive, Paris. April 2019

‘Pinky in the daylight’

Taken from the album ‘No treasure but hope’, listen and watch the film directed by Stuart.

“The chorus for ‘Pinky in the daylight’ came to me through the flapping canvas of the sun shade on the deck
of the old blue ferry leaving the island – A rare moment of contentment and calm. A simple love song in
complicated times.

I wanted to make a film that captured the beauty of the island and the beauty of Suzanne. A love letter in
Super 8 film.”

The first song, ‘The Amputees’

Watch the stop-motion animation made by Stuart, Neil and Suzanne.

Exhibition of stills from the film in Antwerp.

Super Limited 7” of ‘The Amputees’ + signed print with select bundles of album.

New Richard Dumas and
Suzanne Osborne colour portrait 

From large format stills taken by Richard during the Paris recording sessions, then overlaid in the darkroom.

Suzanne used a traditional method of hand tinting the print with brush and photographic inks.

Exciting shit!