::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 1                           ::
  ::                     Sunday, May 12th, 1996                   ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: Various
Date: Sat, 11 May 1996 16:45:37 -0300 (EDT)

First of all, thanks to all those who responded positively to this
digest project. This is starting very slowly, as expected, I think most
of you will start sending contributions when some interesting topics
are raised. That's what I'll try to do for a start.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm interested to read how you came to
discover Canterbury music, what bands you've seen live, under what
circumstances you first heard such or such record etc.

I'm currently putting together a list of all the concerts played by
classic Canterbury bands (a comprehensive list of the gigs featuring
Robert Wyatt was put together by Mike King in his excellent book
"Wrong Movements" which is a must-own for any Canterbury fan). Anyone
with such data is welcome to send it to me. But what seems even more
useful would be to compile set lists of the tours. What material did
Khan perform on stage, apart from the tracks from "Space Shanty" ?
What did Hatfield play in the early days ? I remember hearing a live
tape of Hatfield with Richard Sinclair singing "God's Song". When
National Health toured the US in 1979, they'd dropped most of the
material from the first two albums. I've got a tape of 1979 gig, and
you hear songs later done on "D.S. Al Coda" and even Pip Pyle's "Foetal
Fandango" recorded by l'Equip'Out in 1985. Anyone seen Pierre Moerlen's
Gong live ? What did they play from the Allen-era Gong, if they actually
played anything from before "Shamal" ? What did Holdsworth-era Softs
play ?...

There are probably countless other subjects of interest. I restrict
myself to bands that I know quite well, but discussions on early Gong
and Kevin Ayers, for instance, are also welcome.

Although I wouldn't mind reading discussions about the "classics", I
also think it's a subject that's been covered many times, and hopefully
we can get away from that a little. There's plenty of other things to
discuss as well. When you read the amount of writing Peter Frame did
around his 1977 "Soft Machinery" family tree (featured on the Softs'
"Triple Echo" compilation), and the time that has passed since (almost
20 years !) and the bands he didn't even write about then (Gilgamesh,
Nucleus, almost nothing on Egg...)... we won't be short of topics.

I'd like to set a few rules before we really start :

1) The subject of Canterbury music is wide enough to warrant endless discussions, so please let's not get too far away from it - bands and artists that are too vaguely related, like Fred Frith's solo projects or Camel, Curved Air (that's some I can think of), are not strictly Canterbury-related in my opinion.

2) Please try to avoid mails just saying things like : "I agree with you" or "I only like early Soft Machine, the rest is crap" or similarly embryonic (thus uninteresting) statements.

3) Send your comments and answers to the messages to ME, not the people who wrote. Except, of course, if this is a very personal message... :)

4) Please try to send your emails with "WR : ..." as header. It won't cause huge problems if you don't, but it will be easier for me. Remember this digest is run manually - although I try my best to make it look automatic ! :)


From: "Julius & Jennifer Saroka" <JandJ_Saro@msn.com>
Subject: (none)
Date: Thu, 2 May 96 22:44:18 UT

yes! i would like to receive the newsletter.
right now things are hectic in my life, but when they settle down a bit
i may even be able to contribute a few little tid-bits of information since i
worked on US tours for Daevid Allen and R.Sinclair (solo and with Caravan of
looking forward to hearing from you!
peace, love, and understanding;


From: Julian Christou <christoj@plk.af.mil>
Subject: Various
Date: Sun, 5 May 1996 21:22:06 -0600 (MDT)

This disgest idea sounds very good ! Some ideas off the top of my head.
Firstly, latest releases - i.e. announcing what new releases or
rereleases are available and very importantly where from (and how much)!
e.g. the recent Soft Machine releases on One Way including "Land Of
Cockayne". Secondly, who's touring and where. Both of thee could point
to the Calyx page for more info for example. Third, Who's playing with
who - rumours and hopefully more about upcoming projects etc. As for
debates, we could end up getting into the same stuff we see on r.m.p
like the recent one concerning the "best" Softs period. Although that
might not be too bad. I subscribe to a number of other digests and these
discuss albums, tours, unofficial recordings - boots; tape trading etc.
as well as general discussion about the musicians, the "best" period of
the band, what-if's - i.e. if Mike Ratledge and Hugh Hopper reformed the
Early Softs etc.

Just a few ideas. [thanks - A.L.]

Have you listened to the BBC In Concert Vol. II which features this
line-up earlier on ? I think it's a great concert. In some ways better
than the live side of "Six", especially the reworking of "Slightly...".
Now if there were only a full live set rather than these edited
ones. That is also especially true for the "Bundles" line up. The recent
releases cover the Softs live from pretty much every era but the latter.
I saw the "Six", "Seven", "Bundles" line-ups more than once. All shows
were excellent. I'd like to see a live album with Holdsworth on it.

Speaking of live, I have a "Fan Club" live album from the "fourth"
period recorded live in Bremen, i.e. with Wyatt. Very good performance
but poor sound. Do you know anything more about it?

[No. But discussions on bootlegs are also welcome - I personally don't
want to support the people who make bootlegs, but it's certain that
they are sometimes very useful to know how a particular band evolved
in a period when they didn't release any album - A.L.].

I was lucky enough to see  Kevin Ayers a number of time in the early 70's,
once with Steve Hillage on guitar just before he joined Gong. That was
either Decadance or 747 - I don't recall which line-up was called what.
BTW whatever happend to Archie Legget? I have his Virgin single "Jamaican
Jockey" - no idea who plays on it though.

[Archie Leggett died in July 1994 - don't know what he'd done since
leaving Kevin Ayers' band though - that's a long period of time ! - A.L.]

"5" is my favourite Softs period. It introduced me to Jazz and I love
the free-form experimentation and the increased use of the Fender
Rhodes. In these days the Canterbury music scene had a lot to offer.
>From Kevin's songs to Caravan's blows to Wyatt's Matching Mole to the
avante garde edge of Dean. I also think it contains some of Ratledge's
best compositions, i.e. Teeth, All White, Drop & As If.  Of course this
is just my opnion - grin.

Later Softs was IMHO much more formulaic. Not that I don't like it but it
lacks the spontaneity of the Dean era. In fact I'm listening to "Six"
right now, the opening of the live side and "All White" on oboe isn't quite
the same as Elton's sax. This was the first Softs concert I saw, as a
student in London in the Autumn of 1972, I saw them play at Sadler's Wells.
A truly great show. Mike R. never seemed to acknowledge the audience. And
the "duelling" electric pianos were just amazing as the intro to "Drop".

I wonder of there were any BBC Concerts by the Holdsworth era Softs.
Which is a good point maybe for the digest. A pretty good discography
exists of the Canterbuty Bands but what about various radio b'casts
especially the In Concert and Top Gear shows - this would be for all bands.
Does anyone know if something like this exist anywhere?

[I did see a book that detailed all BBC sessions recorded in the 70's,
and probably sooner and later, which even had bands like Gilgamesh listed,
with complete line-ups and setlists. If anyone has this book, Canterbury-
related facts are VERY welcome !!! I think the book was published in 1994 or
1995, I saw it in the Dublin Virgin Megastore last Summer - A.L.]

Best regards for now.

| Dr. Julian Christou          | Phone:  505-846-4712 x330   |
| PL/LIG, Phillips Lab         | FAX:    505-846-2213        |
| 3550 Aberdeen SE             +-----------------------------+
| Kirtland AFB, NM  87117-5776 | E-mail: christoj@plk.af.mil |

"One trend that bothers me is the glorification of stupidity, that
the media is reassuring people it's all right not to know anything...
That to me is far more dangerous than a little pornography on the Internet"
...   Carl Sagan


From: Jeffrey Melton <Jeffrey_Melton@hysoft.com>
Date: Mon, 6 May 1996 10:37:54 -0400
Subject: Subscribe to Canterbury Digest.

Please subscribe me to the digest. I'm currently a writer for Expose
magazine. Our next issue will have an interview I conducted with Pip Pyle in

Jeff Melton.

[That's great news ! I can't recommend Expose highly enough by the way -
essential reading for anyone with an interest in Softs/Hatfield/H-Cow
style of Canterbury music, and beyond - more info on the CALYX Contacts


From: rvs@crosfield.co.uk (Robert Smith)
Subject: Re: WR Caravan gig
Date: Wed, 8 May 1996 11:35:19 +0100 (BST)

Hi everyone. I think I only saw Caravan live once. It must have been about
1981 at the Odeon Tottenham Court Road in London. There weren't many people in
the audience. The lineup was Pye Hastings, Geoff Richardson, Dave Sinclair,
Richard Coughlan. Most of the performance was good, except near
the end, Geoff Richardson got annoyed with the spot light operator. When ever
he came to do his solo bit, the spot light was rather slow in getting to him.
Which obviously affected his play. Which was a shame, because when he did the
solo guitar bit at the end of (I can't remember the name of the last track,
side 2 of `Better By Far') it was rather manic and aggressively played instead
of the controlled emotion heard on the album. I think this shows that Geoff
Richardson, although a great musician, is probably a bit conceited, and also
that the mood of the player is communicated in his music. Just thought I'd
share that thought with you!


From: "David Humphries" <davhump@easynet.co.uk>
Subject: Phil Miller
Date: Wed, 8 May 96 18:12:22 UT

Hi. I'd love to get your letter.
I'm a big Phil Miller fan. I'm a guitarist myself and I've always been
amazed at how original and un-influenced his playing is. This guy
really takes some risks. You'll never hear him play a conventional
blues lick or heavy riffs.
But what I like most about Phil are his compositional abilities. His
pieces are probably my favourites of all. Whenever I listen to "Dreams
Wide Awake", "Above and Below" or "Underdub", I love it. He has a
talent for very complex, yet highly melodic and memorable melodies
which he harmonizes in a very special away. How could anyone else
have written "Calyx", for instance ?
But I admit I've been a little disappointed by Miller's recent work.
I didn't really like In Cahoots' "Recent Discoveries" - too jazzy for
my taste. And Short Wave, although they're good (with a line-up like
that, you can't go wrong, can you ?!), is far less adventurous than
Hatfield or NatHealth. But I'm confident that Miller will continue to
put out some great music. For instance, his solo album "Digging In"
from 1991 was, IMHO, great and groundbreaking. Some may complain about
the "electronic" or "computerised" aspect, but I don't. The use of
programming and all-electronic equipment creates a very special atmos-
phere - and the compositions are excellent.
If you don't know Phil Miller's solo work - start with "Cutting Both
Ways" (1987), his first. This has the all-star line-up of Elton Dean,
PM, Peter Lemer (keys), Hu Hopper (bass) and Pipp Pyle (drums). Lemer
sounds a helluva lot like the late A. Gowen, plenty of moog leads.
And Elton's playing is, as usual, top notch. And there's a couple
tracks w/ Dave Stewart playing.
Well, I'm off now. Good luck with the digest.


From: Rob Illingworth <ri001@netgates.co.uk>
Subject: back to the egg
Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 17:48:17 -0400 (EDT)

many thanx 4 "what's rattlin'"
i'll try and send you a review of the jan peter blegvad gig
in the union chapel, london (if i can remember wot they
played!) john greaves and blegvad,k  were in the line up
ps i was amazed to see that hopper-tunity box is coming
out on cd- great stuff


From: Nigel Cochrane <nigelc@essex.ac.uk>
Subject: In Cahoots concerts
Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 16:59:40 bst

In Cahoots gigs May 1996:

Sat. 25th Monkey's, Hermit House, Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex.
Sun. 26th The Vortex, Stoke Newington, Church Street, London.
Tues. 28th Boat Race, 170 East Road, Cambridge.
Thurs. 30th St. Mary's Art Centre, Colchester, Essex.

Information direct from "the Millers" yesterday.


From: Bootsy7743@aol.com
Subject: (none)
Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 01:19:47 -0400

PLEASE SIGN ME UP FOR THE "what's rattling digest"


[By the way, it seems Caravan's acoustic CD is now out. Anyone heard
it ? - A.L.]


From: Nervos@aol.com
Subject: (none)
Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 16:07:44 -0400

I'm 40, been a Canterbury fan since the 1st Softs (who I heard of cuz they
were opening for Hendrix). Arranged to have Caravan play at my college's
Freshman Orientation Week in 9/74. Saw Caravan a few times, Softs in '74,
Isotope with Hugh H, Caravan of Dreams. Ran a record store in Berkeley in
'80-'81, where Daevid A did an impromtu poetry reading at my urgings! Looking
forward to MORE WR!
best, GaryM


From: DavAlbert@aol.com
Subject: Gong tour
Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 20:52:33 +0400

Hi everyone,
I was planning to do see Gong play in NYC in March, but eventually
couldn't do it. Could anybody write about any of these gigs ? I'd
like to know what happened, what material they played, how they
made up for Tim Blake's absence, etc.
Thanks - David


From: Lars.Ohlsson@megacom.se
Subject: Tribute
Date: Sat, 11 May 1996 14:53:11 +0100

There is one excellent band that never gets any mention is the Swedish
progressive band Tribute. It's a band that was mainly active in the mid-
80's, releasing two studios albums - "New Views" (1984) and "Breaking
Barriers" (1986). For the latter they were joined by ex-Gong drummer
Pierre Moerlen, who also played on the live album "The Melody, The
Beat, The Heart" (1987).
Later, they split up and from 1989 onwards the band was mainly Gideon
Andersson (keyboards, bass), the main composer, and guests, including
his two sisters Lena (vocals/percussion) and Nina (vocals/sax). They
did "Terra Incognita" (1991) and, as far as I know, plan to release
the follow-up this year.
I think it would be fair to say that Tribute was heavily influenced
by Mike Oldfield's music. The use of synths, lead guitar, female vocals
and generally the very rich instrumentation is quite reminiscent of
his best albums. When Moerlen joined, he'd just been a member of the
Mike Oldfield touring band, so I guess that's where the connection
happened. I think most people who liked Pierre Moerlen's Gong circa
"Downwind" or "Time Is The Key" would love Tribute.
I understand Tribute's CD's have recently become available again, after
being oop for some time. I particularly recommend "New Views" and the
live album.
All the best,


From: Bruce_Martin@gatonet.st.au (Bruce Martin)
Subject: Reissues
Date: Sat, 11 May 1996 23:28:47 +0200

Please add me to your list:

I'm 27. I first got into Canterbury music when I was about 15. The first
C-record i heard was National health's of Queues and CUres. Loved the
piece by J.Greaves. Got me into Henry Cow, Hatfield etc. Too bad the
guys never come to Australia - never seen any of them in person.
I have a question : could anyone give an update of Henry Cow and
NAtional Health reissues. Are all the albums on CD now ?
Later, BRuce

[Let's hope there's someone from East Side Digital on the list... They
are responsible for most of the reissues by those two bands : the superb
National Health Complete double CD, which has all three studio albums
plus two bonus tracks, and most of the Henry Cow albums, though they
seem to lack the Henry Cow/Slapp Happy "Desperate Straights" which I've
never seen on CD. Individual reissues of NH albums are available from
Charly and Voiceprint in the UK. Anyone with more info is welcome to
submit it - A.L.]


                             END OF ISSUE #1

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