From 1991 to 1997, he also devoted his considerable energies to The Magick Heads – a band conceived by Scott, and 3Ds members David Mitchell and David Saunders, as a vehicle for the striking voice of Jane Sinnott.
The band’s debut single The Back of her Hand was released by Flying Nun in 1991 and saw Mitchell in the uncustomary position of drummer. Scott’s influence was undeniable from the start but, as The Magick Heads progressed, he ventured into areas of country and folk only hinted at in his work with The Bats. With the addition of Sinnott’s ethereal vocals, the band soon found themselves drawing comparisons with the late 60s / early 70s heyday of English folk rock.
The competing demands of The 3Ds soon claimed Mitchell and Saunders, and Scott’s Electric Blood bandmate Jim Strang took the drummer’s stool for their 1995 debut album Before We Go Under. Strang’s brother Richard played bass on the 1997 follow-up Woody and there were contributions to both recordings from David Mitchell (guitar) and Alan Starrett (violin).
There were two more releases – the Lazy Ways EP (1997) and a posthumous outtakes collection Transvection (1999) – on American label Dark Beloved Cloud. Scott has continued his work with The Bats and The Clean but Sinnott didn’t re-emerge until she formed The Baxters in Auckland in 2011.
Scott, Saunders and Mitchell first heard Jane Sinnott when she was singing Sundays and Smiths songs in a covers band at Dunedin’s Empire Tavern.
Initial funding given by the QEII Arts Council to the band listed them as Jane and the Magick Heads.
Before We Go Under – the title track of the first Magick Heads album was originally written by Robert Scott for American singer Barbara Manning. She recorded it as ‘B4 We Go Under’ with Flophouse in 1993.
Dark Beloved Cloud
Robert Scott - vocals, guitar, bass
Jane Sinnott - vocals, guitar
David Saunders - guitar
Jim Strang - drums
Alan Strang - bass
David Mitchell - drums, guitar