- WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?
:: The Weekly
Digest for Canterbury Music
Monday, February 23rd,
Subject: Canterbury Festival
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 17:27:16 EST
Bad news I'm afraid.
The Canterbury Festival is now cancelled due to many
problems and lack of time for organisation it has now been decided
to postpone it this year and hopefully have it start next year.
Thanks to all those who have shown support and we hope
they will stay with us for 1999.
From: phil howitt <email@example.com>
Subject: Facelift etc.
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 19:10:43 GMT
How's it going? The old modem has been down for a couple
of weeks, so just
catching up with things.
Facelifts 18 and 19s progressing slowly - my day job is
taking up most evenings at the moment, which is making things very
difficult in terms of the magazine. But a note for any Facelift
subscribers out there who read WR that I'm still here and
scribbling, would be most appreciated. There will be two issues at
once when they do come out, to include Bill Bruford and Mont
Campbell interviews as well as your Pierre Moerlen part two. Plus
more of Barry H King's Caravan story, this time covering Camel and
lots of and lots of record reviews too:
Couple of releases through to Facelift in the last week
which I'm enjoying hugely:
Soft Machine's 'Virtually' - live from a concert in Bremen
in the dying days of the 1969-71 line-up. All familiar tunes from
Third. Fourth and Peel Sessions, quite hard-edged in its own way.
Hughscore - HighSpotParadox - latest release from the
former band Caveman Shoestore, who put out an album as Caveman
Hughscore with Hugh Hopper and then lost one of their members and
are now Hughscore. Features Hugh Hopper, fellow bassist Fred
Chalenor and keyboardist/vocalist Elaine di Falco. This is really
excellent - lots of Hugh's moody bass as well as the fuzzy end of
things, a quriky American slant, some really nice funk rhythms and
some wonderful acoustic instrumentation from guests on french
horn, sax, clarinet. Included are versions of 'Miniluv' and one
track which samples Lyn Dobson's flute solos from (close to my
heart, this one), 'Facelift'. Excellent. If I had to choose one
album from Hugh's four recent American excursions (two with
Kramer, two with the Cavemen), this would be the one to go for.
Caravan: Songs for Oblivion Fishermen, 12 tracks from BBC
sessions 1970-1974 - there's another one on the way too,
apparently. Released on Hux records. They are reckoning on
including all BBC sessions over the two disks.
Phil Manzanera/801 Live At Manchester University 02/11/77
Bubbled Up On Dub - the new release on Gliss, compiled by
Steffy Sharpstrings - includes tracks from him (monickered as
Steffe), The Herb, Doof, Arkology, Blow Up Dub Band, some of whom
you might recognise from the Gong remixes. Steffy's contributions
are much in the vein of Glo, although obviously without Gilli
Smyth. Sounds good!
That's it for now - hope you're well
From: Patrick Little <pjl@MATH.AMS.ORG>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 09:00:07 -0500 (EST)
> It seems that Wyatt must be headind for the big
time. Last week, here
> in the USA, there was a 5 minute review of "Shleep"
on National Public
> Radio's "All Things Considered".
And did anyone over here also catch Kurt Loder's tiny
blurb of Wyatt and
"Shleep" on MTV News! Good God, what does it all
From: "David G. Shaw" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Disastodrome
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 22:21:28 -0500
The Disastodrome posting in WR#84 reminded me that an
incredible post-Kew. Rhone interview with Blegvad appeared in CLE,
a Cleveland area punk magazine. The interview was interspersed
with reproductions of pages of the AMATEUR, Blegvad's
occasional magazine, in which Maud the computer is described as
well as methods for detecting the numinosity of household objects.
I think I still have the magazine buried somewhere. Should I find
it, I'll transcribe it for WR.
From: Michael Clare <email@example.com>
Subject: Canterbury Dream Label
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 13:31:15 -0800
I read a post about the Hatfield & The North CD "NbH"
and thought some more info might be of interest. It was part of a
series of bootleg cd's that were made supposedly in Japan about 3
or 4 years ago by a label called Canterbury Dream. I have been
trying unsuccessfully to get a complete discography of the label
for years. Here is what I know of:
Canterbury Dream Partial Discograqhy:
CTD 007/8 - National Health- Dreams Wide Awake
2CD set- Disc
One is Virgin Demos and Paraclssus 1976 BBC
Disc Two is Live at The Bottom Line, NYC 1979
CTD 009- National Health- Public Hygene
The Collagiate Theatre- December 17, 1976
CTD 010- Hatfield & The North- NbH
The Collagiate Theatre- April 28, 1975
CTD 011/012- Bruford- Confusion
2CD set- Live
At Toad's Place, New Haven, Ct.- July 18, 1979
CTD 015/016- Gong- Break Through The Commune
2CD set- Live
At Piper Club, Viareggio, Italy- April 21, 1976
CTD 019- Matching Mole- Pataphysical Machine
Olympia, Paris- May 15, 1972
I also know that not all of the label was Canterbury
stuff-- there were at least 1 or 2 Can titles (does this qualify
alphabetically or Japanetically as CANterbury???)
That is all the info I have -- I imagine that they were
produced in very small quantities (perhaps 500 each???)--- I have
no idea where they can be found, so please don't ask.
Nirvana Manyana -
Anyone else know more about Canterbury Dream?
From: Aymeric Leroy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: An interview with Harry Williamson [December
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:46:25 +0000
Q : When and where were you born ? I understand your
father Henry was a famous writer in England. How famous?
Apart from "Tarka The Otter", what are his most famous works?
A : I was born on 12 May 1950. At Ilfracombe, in North
Devon. As well as Tarka the Otter, Salar the Salmon and many other
nature stories, my father also wrote a 13 part series of novels
called "A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight". They deal with the life
of a ficticious character, Phillip Maddison, who is based on my
father. The books follow my father's own experiences from the
1890s to the 1950s. The series includes some of the best
desciptions of life in the trenches in WW1 (which he experienced
first hand), the postwar reconstruction, the great depression and
WW2, when my father was farming in Norfolk. During his writing
career he regularly contributed to the British Press, the Express
& Mail newspapers and BBC Radio and TV. He is best described
as a nature mystic, much influenced by Thomas Hardy and Richard
Jeffries, and he sought to find ways of educating the public in
regard to the proper management of our heritage, urging people to
truly value the land. He was an active environmentalist before the
word was invented.
Q : How did you become interested in music? How did
you end up choosing the guitar as instrument? Did you already play
piano as well, or did that come later?
A : My mother started a junior PNEU school in which
everyone had to play in the band, as well as dance and sing.
I played bass drum at 5. At 6 I learned how to break into
the local disused Methodist Chapel and play the
harmonium,furiously pedalling and making up my own impressionist
fuges. At 9 I was sent to Exeter Cathedral Shool where I
learned to sight sing and to play the piano and the Cathedral
Organ, which was a buzz.
I wanted to play Jazz, and later, at Millfield
School, I had the chance to jam occasionally with other
emerging musicians. I used to carry a double bass around to
classes and busk at break time. When I was 14 I travelled to
Brittany as an exchange student, discovered that french girls
loved guitarists, and therefore took up playing guitar. Also I was
lucky enough to spend a few hoildays at Julian Bream's house, as
he was married to my sister at the time. Sitting watching the
Master working his way around a new concert piece, or just
limbering up on set of lightning fast arpeggios was a huge
learning experience for me. He kindly gave me a few pointers and
tips, but I realised that I would never have anything like the
range of technique required to master the classical repertoire,
and so I embarked on a path of experimentation into modal tunings,
altered scales etc, which was later to become a cornerstone of my
work with Anthony Phillips. The other reason I chose guitar was
because it is portable and easy to tune, compared to a piano or
Q : I understand you met Anthony Phillips through a mutual
MacPhail, who was studying in the same school as you.
Apparently, this was a special school with a special atmosphere,
with lots of interesting pupils. What
memories do you keep of this period ?
A : Millfield was a "Robin Hood" public school, charging
the wealthy huge fees to subsidise gifted but less well-off
pupils. In my house rugby team were JPR Williams and Gareth
Edwards, and we tended to win everything. The Founder of the
school, "Boss", had had a special initiation in Tibet in the
30's and I remember that he seldom slept. Class sizes ranged from
8 to 3 per teacher in the final year. You could study any subject
from Chinese Pottery to Skydiving. The school is near
Glastonbury, and one poignant memory is seeing a line of Arab and
Israeli Officers sons arguing the philosopical points of both
sides as they queued up to get permission to leave the school to
join their respective units for the Six Days War. Richard McPhail
and I were in a band together called the Austin Hippie Blues Band
which was heavily influenced by John Mayall and won a competition
. We did many songs whose lyrics we didn't fully understand. At
one point I was hauled up for singing "Cocaine" too regularly
Q : In the early 70's, and again several times during the
70's, you worked with Anthony Phillips on what became "Tarka" and
"Gypsy Suite". Were you involved in other musical activities
during that period (1970-76)? What were they ?
A : In 70 in London I played with Trevor Bilmuss, doing UK
gigs and recording a bit for the Charisma label. I also tried to
rehearse a concert with Syd Barrett that was scheduled for a
billing with Muddy Waters, with sadly no sucess. Perhaps it
was the blue and orange striped decor that distracted us...
In 72 I played in a country rock band called the
Windf***ers with various wild and wonderful people from the
Glastonbury Festival scene. Later I had another band called ARK in
Devon with Harvey Bainbridge, and Andy Anderson among
others. In fact I introducd Andy to Steve Hillage, which is
another story... we recorded a demo of "Descent into Atlantis"
which in my mind was to go with a film script I was writing. I
still have the (unreleased) tapes.
Q : In 1977-78, you recorded with the Radio Actors, a
one-time band which
included various members of Gong and Sting, and Nik
Turner's Sphynx. This was apparently your first connection to the
Gong family. I'm especially intrigued by Sphynx. Did you tour with
that band ? Who was in the line-up ? The same all-star band that
was on the LP, with Hillage, Blake, Howlett, etc. ?
A : I played in Sphynx with Nik Turner, and a huge
sucession of drummers, bass players and percussionists that
included Mike Howlett, Steve Broughton, Ermano Ghizio Herba and
Andy Anderson. Neither Hillage nor Blake were involved in the live
thing. For Sphynx I built a green mobile pyramid stage
in which we performed at some unlikely places, from the Edinburgh
Festival to Findhorn. We were struck by lightening twice in
that pyramid, with no casualties. The show was a
dramatisation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and it went down
well at Stonehenge, as you may well imagine. We did about 30 gigs
together in that time.
Q : In 1978, you started Mother Gong with Gilli
Smyth. This is a "band", or
rather a musical partnership, that evolved quite a lot
over the years. How would you sum up the overall musical "concept"
? What Mother Gong albums are you the most proud of ?
A : In fact Gilli started Mother Gong to promote her first
solo album at Windsor science fiction festival, a year before we
met. The band concepts continuously evolved through the
next15 years. 'Fairytales' was intended to be an album that
parents could enjoy with their kids. The 'Robot Woman' series was
a sciencefictional look at current mindsets and pointed out the
difficulties faced in breaking the paternalistic mould, which is
necessary for our survival... The last albums were quite
different; rather than being simply my musical compositions they
were pieces improvised aroung the sound poems of Gilli's spooky,
seductive and sometimes confronting voice.
I am happy with parts of all of the albums, but the most
satisfying were the last few releases with the improvising
Australian line-up, particularly the new compilation CD (Best of
Mother Gong - available through Outer Music/Cleopatra in the
USA and Blueprint/Voiceprint in the UK) which has just been
released, and "Magenta/ She Made the World", which is
probably the best individual Mother Gong release .
Q : In 1988, you finally recorded "Tarka" with Anthony
Phillips and various others including Didier Malherbe and Lindsay
Cooper. How did it feel to finally be able to do it properly, even
with a string orchestra and all these wonderful players (Didier
Malherbe, Lindsay Cooper etc.) ?
A : Actually, the orchestra was recorded in '78 and the
project shelved 10
years. Finishing it in '88 was difficult because Ant &
I had grown in different
directions, and the enthusiasm that produced the initial
inspiration had to be rekindled. Once the project gelled
however, it was pure happiness to work with all my old friends, my
only regret being that doing it in London made everything a rush
and there is never enough time for a project of that size, having
as it did about 100 players on it. Tarka was written to go with
the film of the book, and in it we tried to capture the 'spirit of
place'. Much of it just came to us, evolving from
improvisations after visiting sites from the story in Devon.
I remember being in the control room at Wembley doing the third
movement, and after the "Pool of the Six Herons" segment, everyone
was visibly moved.
Since the release and various limited successes of the CD
have never been noticed in Australia (there are no Otters
here) I had no idea until recently that the work had had the
impact it apparently has had. Since I've been on e-mail,
however, I've had messages from people all over the world
who have been touched by the music, and who have also glimpsed the
landscapes we attempted to evoke.
Q : In the late 80's, you were involved with Daevid
Allen's Gong Maison. What memories do you keep of this band ?
A : I have done many projects with Daevid over the
years. In 89 I produced three CDs - Daevid's "Australia Aquaria",
the Gongmaison release, and Mother Gong's "Wild Child" at Foel
Studios in Wales for the Demi-Monde label, the studio where the
first MG album "Fairytales" had been recorded 11 years before. The
recordings were dogged by continuous technical problems, and
subsequently I have had no accounting or payment from sales,
despite recent re-licensing. Gongmaison was a lot of fun,
and Shyamal, Didier and Graham Clarke were three of the best
instrumentalists one could wish to work with. I could write a book
about our exploits together; it was tight, light and always had
moments when no-one knew what to expect. It was a pity it was so
The Gongmaison gig at Glastonbury was one I shall always
remember - in fact that gig is now available on CD, via Jonny
Greene's label GAS.
I still collaborate from time to time with Daevid - he was
here in my studio last week remastering his latest offering.
Q : Since you stopped working together with Gilli and
Daevid, not much has been heard (at least by me) of you. I
understand you've been working on new instruments that you
designed yourself, and that would form the basis of a solo album.
Has it come out yet ? Would this be your first proper solo release
? What are your other projects ?
A : I am working on two major projects about which I am
I have been recording for the past four years with my
partner Liz Van Dort, a classically trained singer who is
interested in continually expanding the possibilities of the
voice. This release is called "Far from the madding crowd" and it
is already attracting a great deal of interest. It should be
available during the first half of 1998, at this stage on the
Resurgence label which should be available next year via Night
& Day Distribution in France. We like to think of it as music
for the new millenium. Fitting into a similar musical genre to
that occupied by bands such as Enigma, Dead Can Dance and Deep
Forest, we however refuse to sample ethnic voices, preferring to
create our own unique sounds! The CD contains haikku, medieval and
new lyrics married to musical styles from around the world. In the
arrangements I often cross-reference idioms from differing
cultures where I see a connection - I suppose it is the
exploration of music as a global language.
The other project will be my first-ever solo release,
featuring guest appearances from many of the people I have worked
with in the past twenty years, but also including several solo
guitar and piano pieces and a work for jazz orchestra. It is
tentatively titled "Life in the unseen world" and the Angel
Guitar and Pentadrums are among the instruments I have invented
which feature on the album. There is an illustration of my Angel
Guitar on my web site, which is located at :
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
[for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX -
see URL below]
IN CAHOOTS - FRENCH TOUR
Mar 2 - London (UK), Vortex [tbc]
Mar 6 - Lillers, Theatre de l'Abattoir
Mar 7 - Compiegne
Mar 10 - Marseille, Espace Julien
Mar 11 - Montreuil, Instants Chavires
GONG - EUROPEAN TOUR
Apr 30 - Bethune [near Lille] (France), venue unknown
May 1 - Strasbourg (France), Laiterie
May 2 - Nancy (France), Terminal Export
May 5 - Ploemur [near Lorient] (France), Oceanis
May 7 - Blois (France), Chateau d'Eau
May 9 - Perpignan (France), Mediator
May 11 - Toulouse (France), Bikini
May 12 - Bordeaux (France), Theatre Barbey
May 14 - Paris (France), Bataclan
May 15 - Rennes (France), Salle de la Cite
KEVIN AYERS - CALIFORNIAN TOUR
May 22 - San Francisco (CA), Bottom Of The Hill (tbc)
May 29 - Los Angeles (CA), The Gig [11637 W.Pico Bld]
BILL BRUFORD'S NEW EARTHWORKS
Feb 24 - Bolzano (Italy), Auditorium Roen
Feb 25 - Ferrara (Italy), Circolo Renfe
Feb 26 - Padova (Italy), La Fornace
Feb 27 - Forli (Italy), Naima Club
Feb 28 - Ascoli Piceno (Italy), Cotton Club
Mar 1 - Todi (Perugia) (Italy), Teatro Communale
Mar 2 - Firenze (Italy), Sala Vanni
Mar 3 - Gorizia (Italy), Auditorium Regione
SPACEHEAD feat. GRAHAM CLARK
Mar 3 - Birmingham (UK), Flapper & Firkin
Mar 14 - Ashwood Park (UK), Hotel Buxton
Mar 19 - Chesterfield (UK), Attic
Mar 21 - Newcastle (UK), Cumberland Arms
GRAHAM CLARK TRIO
Mar 5 - London (UK), Royal Festival Hall (Foyer)
FRED FRITH "TENSE SERENITY"
Apr 24 - Rostock (Germany), Zabrik
Apr 25 - Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bimhaus
Apr 26 - Utrecht (Netherlands)
Apr 28 - Unterschleisheim (Germany), Burgerhaus
Apr 30 - Ulrichsberg (Germany), Jazz Atelier
May 1 - Willisau (Switzerland), Rathausbühne
May 2 - Le Mans (France), Jazz Festival
May 4 - Gent (Belgium), Vooruit
FRED FRITH - SOLO/DUO GIGS
Mar 15 - Munich (D), Café Ruffini (solo)
Mar 18 - Paris (France), Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers
(with Tom Cora)
Mar 19 - Paris (France), Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers
Mar 25-28 - Rennes (France) (with François Verret)
Mar 29 - Karlsruhe (D), Blockflöte (solo)
Apr 18-19 - Brest (France) (with François Verret)
May 18 - St. Etienne (France) (with Louis Sclavis/J-P
May 29 - Tullins (France), MJC (with Noél Akchoté)
May 30 - Figeac (France) (with Louis Sclavis)
PETER BLEGVAD TRIO (W/J.GREAVES & C.CUTLER)
Apr 2 - London, Purcell Rooms
CANTERBURY SOUND FESTIVAL
- CARAVAN, KEVIN AYERS & THE WHOLE WORLD, AND
Jul 11 - Canterbury (tba)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
END OF ISSUE #85
WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?
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