Soft Machine have announced that bass player Roy Babbington has retired. The longstanding bass playr has also chosen his successor for the band in former In Cahoots bass player Fred Thelonious Baker.
"It is with sadness that Soft Machine announce that Roy Babbington is retiring from the band as bass player after playing with the band since 1970," the band said in a statement. "His first recording with Soft Machine was with Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper on the album Fourth. He formally joined the band as Hugh Hopper’s replacement after Six in 1973 and his first live appearance as a full band member was Hamburg on May 17th 1973.
"His final appearance with the band, after 51 years, was at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London on December 6th 2020. His departure is as a result of hand problems making it difficult to play. He is otherwise in good health and wishes to spend more time fishing and gongoozling. Roy has nominated Fred Thelonious Baker as his successor. Fred Baker was a member of Phil Miller’s In Cahoots and played regularly with Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Pip Pyle and with John Etheridge amongst others. Fred recently deputised for Roy on UK and European dates and will join the band for all dates from 2022."
The new-look Soft Machine will tour the Uk throughout the early part of 2022.
Soft Machine tour dates:
Jan 7: London New Cross Inn
Mar 11: Lewes Conservative Club
Mar 13: Market Harborough Jazz Club
Mar 15: FIN Helsinki Festival
Mar 18: Oxford Bullingdon
Mar 19: Devizes Conservative Club
Mar 20: Southampton 1865
Mar 21: Deal Astor Theatre
Mar 22: Chislehurst Beaverwood Club
Mar 24: Kinross Green Hotel Backstage
Mar 25: Glasgow Mono
Mar 26: Leeds Brudenell Centre
Mar 27: Lincoln Drill Hall
Mar 28: Manchester Band on the Wall
Mar 30: Milton Keynes The Stables
Apr 1: Cambridge Modern Jazz Club
June 4: POL Warsaw Poland Festival