::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 18                          ::
  ::                 Wednesday, August 28th, 1996                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (A. Leroy)
Subject: Canterbury FAQ
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 17:08:40 +0000

Hi all,

I think it would be interesting to put together a Canterbury FAQ (for
the uninitiated, it means "Frequently Asked Questions"). Here are a
few suggestions from yours truly, some with my own answers.

Some of the questions are fact-based, some others are more subjective
and require your opinions. I hope to use the results of the 'Rotters Club'
poll from Calyx as well, as a lot of interesting comments were submitted.
Just leave me some time to work on it.

1) Whatever happened to... ?

Clive Brooks : After leaving Egg, Brooks worked with the Groundhogs, which
he joined and left several times. You'd have to ask Dave Stewart what he's
doing now, but I think I have a clue : on Pink Floyd's "Division Bell" album
from 1994, Nick Mason's drum technician is one Clive Brooks... Is this the
same guy ? Could be...

Mont Campbell : Mont has finished recording on his first-ever solo album,
which could be released before the end of the year. This will be Mont's
return to the music scene, exactly 20 years after his departure from
National Health.

Marc Charig, Jeff Clyne, Nick Evans, Phil Lee, Trevor Tomkins : These
musicians are all involved in the London jazz scene

John Marshall : One of the few Canterbury-related musicians to have been
widely accepted on the European jazz scene. He currently plays in John
Surman's group.

Steve Miller : Phil's brother, a jazz piano player, still plays from time
to time, in a trio featuring Lol Coxhill and Eddie Prevost. He was of
course in Delivery (1966-71, 1972-73) and Caravan (1971-72).

Brian Hopper : After the Wilde Flowers, Brian formed his own band, Zobe,
but has quit playing music since the early 70's. He did, however, write the
liner notes to the recent Wilde Flowers CD, released by Voiceprint.

Karl Jenkins and Mike Ratledge : Since the late 70's, both have been
involved in advertisement music under the collective name Adiemus.
Apparently, Ratledge recently called it a day and has come back to his
first passion : writing books.

Bill MacCormick : See previous issues of WR.

Dave MacRae : See previous issues of WR. (hopefully, I've got an interview
coming up).

Neil Murray : One of the most in-demand session players nowadays. Since
leaving National Health in 1978, he has played with heavy-metal bands such
as Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore Band, and more recently with
ex-Queen guitarist Brian May. Most of the times he's associated with
drummer Cozy Powell.

... others ?

2) What does 'Canterbury' mean ?

Canterbury is the name of the English town where Robert Wyatt, Richard
Sinclair, Kevin Ayers, David Sinclair and Hugh Hopper spent their school
years. Nowadays, only Richard Sinclair and Hugh Hopper still live there,
although the other original members of Caravan live not too far.

3) What does the name 'Matching Mole' mean ?

It's a play on words derived from the French translation of 'Soft Machine' : 'La Machine Molle'.

4) Why was 'Hatfield and the North' called 'Hatfield and the North' ?

The name was inspired by the first road side on the M1 motorway going North
from London. The idea originated from Mike Patto, who was going to use it for his own band, but when he settled for Dick and the Firemen, he passed it on.

5) Do all the 'Canterbury' bands really come from Canterbury ?

No. The only bands to have their roots in Canterbury were Caravan and the
Soft Machine. Most of the other musicians involved in the Canterbury scene
were from London.

6) What makes 'Canterbury' music different to other styles of music ?

7) Early Soft Machine and Gong are great, the rest is crap

8) Robert Wyatt always sings out of tune

9) What is typically 'British' in Canterbury bands ?

10) Did 'Canterbury' music ever achieve commercial success ?

11) Where the hell do you see any common point in the music of Gong, Soft
Machine and National Health ?!?

12) Is Magma a 'Canterbury' band ? Is Ozric Tentacles a 'Canterbury' band ?

13) Who were the 'legendary' Wilde Flowers ?

14) Why did the 'Canterbury School' drive Peter Frame insane ?

As some of you may know, Peter Frame was the man who drew those incredible
'Rock Family Trees' in the 70's (he still does some from time to time,
apparently). One of these was featured in the Soft Machine compilation
triple-LP, "Triple Echo". Entitled 'Soft Machinery', this impressive piece
of work is surely the most complicated one Frame has ever had to drawn. And
luckily for him, he drew it in 1977 !
In 1989, one of the members of the Japanese progressive rock band Soft Weed
Factor (sic) drew a much large family tree - very interesting, although
lacking Frame's sense of aesthetics and being written in Japanese, except
for the musicians' names and album titles. I think a few copies of the tree
are still available from Facelift.

15) Why did these musicians form so many bands ? To earn more money ? Because a given combination of musos never could get along together more than six months ?

Certainly not to earn more money - or they would have really been stupid.
One explanation is maybe that keeping a band together when you're not
commercially successful is much harder than when you're selling lots of
records. Another one is that when musicians with very strong personalities
work together, they don't necessarily share the same views on what the
music should or shouldn't be. There's also the possibility that one
musician may want to assemble a particular combination of musicians because
he feels it would fit his musical ideas.

16) When did Soft Machine end ?

This is a tough question. Some will say it ended as soon as 1968 when Kevin
Ayers left, or 1971 when Robert Wyatt left. Actually, Soft Machine could
have changed names with every album. Their creative process was an
evergoing one, and although one can disagree on the musical direction that
was eventually followed, Soft Machine always moved forward. Anyway... What
was the original question ? Oh, yeah, when did Soft Machine end ? It ceased
to exist as a band in 1977, soon after the series of gigs in Paris that
were documented by the "Alive And Well" album. Its last official recording
was "Land Of Cockayne", released in 1981, but apart from Karl Jenkins and
John Marshall, the featured musicians (Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce, Ray
Warleigh...) could only be considered as guests. The last time the name Soft Machine was ever used, however, was in 1984, when a line-up of Jenkins, Marshall, John Etheridge, Steve Cooke and Dave MacRae played a series of gigs in London.

If you have any questions and/or answers to submit, please do !



From: Julian Christou <jchristo@eso.org>
Subject: Bootlegs ...
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 14:01:43 +0200

Hi All

Well, here I am on the other side of the pond a third of the way around the
world! (Well 8 hours anyway). Good to still get WR and find out what's
happening. So what exactly is happening with the Dutch Canterbury shows. Could
someone (Aymeric perhaps) please post an up-to-date schedule. I'm now in
Munich and hopefully will be able to get up there unless there some musicians
heading this way!

[The schedule is basically : on sept 21st, gigs by Richard Sinclair and his
band, Hugh Hopper's Franglodutch Band and Stips, the new band fronted by ex-
Supersister leader Robert Jan Stips; on sunday sept 22nd, 'Canterbury break-
fast' (!) and various special performances, plus some sort of record fair.
Anyone living not too far from Holland is advised to come - this should be
great. I hope I can make it - A.L.]

There was the mention of a Soft Machine boot or two from the Jenkins period in
the latest WR. I'm definitely interested in finding access to some of these or
at least of seeing a listing of what Soft (or other Canterbury) boots exist.
In the last years there's been a wonderful set of previously boot only
releases officially for us Canterbury fans including

"Live At The Paradiso" (from 1969)
"BBC In Concert" (I & II) (from 1971-72)
"Live In France" (from 1972)

Others out there, if they're good quality (?), I'm sure would find a good
audience amongst us. Obviously the record companies involved - Voiceprint -
Windsong & One Way knew that there was a market. So waht else is there out
there guys? I have a boot called "Old Machine" recorded in Koeln (it says) by
the Hopper/Ratledge/Wyatt/Dean ensemble circa "Fourth" - probably just before
the "In Concert Vol. I"). A great show but marred by poor recording.

While we collectors like to get our grubby little hands on everything, it
would be nice to persuade the companies to do official releases - remixed to
the standards of today's technology. So let's see if we can get the list

Also, Any chance of the early SM singles (as on "Triple Echo" making it to



From: duplanet@global2000.net (David Greenberger)
Subject: Hampton Grease Band reissue
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 10:47:33 -0400

>The marque on the Hampton Grease Band CD reissue is Shotput/Columbia,
>so even if it doesn't regularly appear in our local shopping malls, it
>will have the benefit of major label distribution.

The Shotput label distributed by Song (which Hampton Grease Band and a
new Glenn Phillips are on). Shotput is a label started by the producer
Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, etc). He has two
Sony-distributed labels, the other being for more pop-oriented releases
(and largely produced by him). He's from Atlanta (played wioth and produced
Swimming Pool Qs and a number of other Georgia bands), went to LA and
produced for Rick Rubin's label, then came back to Atlanta to settle and
work there.

[There was a very good article on the Hampton Grease Band, based on inter-
views with ex-members, in a 1992 issue of the excellent psych/prog fanzine
Ptolemaic Terrascope - A.L.]


From: Michael Bloom <MHB@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Wow! Our heroes respond!
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 96 10:24:46 EDT

>> Bill MacCormick joined Random Hold, a group I never liked very much
>>(they bored me to tears when they opened for Peter Gabriel circa "Games
>>Without Frontiers").
>[Bill MacCormick comments :]
>Shame 'bout that.   I rather liked it myself :-) though it's true to say
>that the demos we produced ourselves before signing for Polydor and after
>we were dropped are much better than the album we did release. Amazingly
>I found the band mentioned in a newsgroup only last month. Bizarre.

Please tell Bill MacCormick that it's nothing personal, I just thought
Random Hold was the least interesting band he was ever involved with--
which, given the rest of his pedigree was Quiet Sun, Matching Mole, and
801, should hardly be surprising.

Not that I remember it much, but I thought the keyboards were used as
special effects generators kinda like the Cars or some such new wave
skinny tie aggregation, and David Rhodes mainly played choppy chords.
It was probably fun to play at the time, but self-limiting melodically.
And they say *prog* hasn't aged well...

One could say that Matching Mole played choppily too (e.g. "Marchides"),
but they had the Canterbury sense of humor. Random Hold exuded this dour
1984-ish demeanor, on record and especially live. I remember I was seized
with the urge to shout out "Mummy was an asteroid" when I saw them open
for Peter Gabriel-- so, Bill, if you remember something weird and stupid
that happened in Boston, that was me :-)

[Bill has subscribed to the list, so he should be reading this... time to
lowen the level of criticism, eh ? :)) In a similar vein, does anyone
remember reading, in Dave Stewart's National Health biography, about NH
fans requesting "Paracelsus" at Bruford gigs in 1979 ? - A.L.]

Charles Hayward did two LPs and a 12" with This Heat, and one LP and two
12"s with Camberwell Now, all of them amazing. (Consumer information: all
of the Camberwell Now material got squeezed onto one very cost-effective
CD by RecRec Zurich. This Heat's LPs are available with no extra tracks
at all, and there's another CD called "Repeat", which I haven't heard--
my understanding is, it consists of dub mixes.) What's this stuff like?
Did I say "dour"? Hayward sounds like it's just barely within his power
to get up in the morning and confront the horrors the capitalist system
has thoughtfully prepared for us all-- except when he gets behind the
drums, he's galvanized. "Deceit" is a terrifying album.

Since the demise of Camberwell Now, he's made at least three solo CDs--
I have one, "Survive the Gesture", it's aesthetically of a piece but he
doesn't have the skills of some of his erstwhile bandmates. And it's
still dour. It doesn't use the same components or timbres or anything,
but it reminds me very strongly of Japanese gagaku music, that stuffily
formal, reedy, astringent court music form. He's also played on at least
the first Les Batteries album-- although Guigou and Rick Brown came and
played Boston without him, and I think there's a second record he's not
on. He has played on other projects-- I think he drummed for Fred Frith's
Keep the Dog for a while, and he's certainly playing on Heiner Goebbels'
"The Man in the Elevator".


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (A. Leroy)
Subject: Caravan re-issue
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 17:58:51 +0000

Just received the new GFT mail-order catalog. It mentions the reissue of
Caravan's first album (from 1968) as being re-scheduled to september.
At last ! I'll be able to throw away that awful xxxxxth-generation tape
made from a crap vinyl repressing...


From: Bomnueter@t-online.de (Ulrich Bomnueter)
Subject: Better By Far
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 96 21:18 MET DST

>[I've never heard of "Better By Far" being available on CD - and
>apparently the CD reissue of "Caravan" from 1968 that I was told about
>has yet to appear. If anyone knows more, please write ! - A.L.]

I have seen "Better by far" on CD at Virgin Megastore in Paris last weekend.
As to me it must still be there, as I hadn't enough money to buy it :(

As to Marc Hollander:

After Aksak Maboul he did some records with members of Tuxedomoon (after
they had moved to Belgium). He also contributed to some records of Minimal
Compact and Foreign Affair. He did play with Colin Newman, Fred Frith (on
"Gravity") and Zazou/Bikaye.

The most recent thing that I know of him is his contribution to/production
of the first two albums of Bel Canto (which actually made me buy them).

In case you want more detailed information please e-mail me directly.



From: r.pyatt1@genie.com
Subject: rock bottom
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 96 04:45:00 GMT

Hi all!

Re: where to get "Rock Bottom":
I have seen it in NYC at a store called Other Music. They are located in
Greenwich Village at 15 E. 4th Street, NY, NY 10003.
The phone is 212.477.8150

They have a very good selection of things Canterbury: I upgraded my National
Health to CD there. Gilgamesh, Hatfield & The North, Soft Machine (incl.
"Jet Propelled" !), Matching Mole and of course, solo Wyatt. I haven't seen
any Camel or Caravan, but I keep bugging them about it so maybe soon ?
(I think I'll pick-up something for my birthday there. Soft Heap maybe?)

BTW: anyone know of shows coming to NYC?

Back soon,


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (A. Leroy)
Subject: In Cahoots/Pip Pyle news
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 1996 11:14:13 +0000

I visited the "Newest Canterbury News" section of the Musart site today
(very interesting reading indeed), and read a couple of news on interest :

- A new In Cahoots recording was finished in July. The core of the line-up
is reportedly still Phil Miller, Elton Dean, Fred T. Baker and Pip Pyle,
but I'm not sure whether Jim Dvorak and/or Peter Lemer are in.

- Pip Pyle has at last finished his solo album (5 years in the making), with
the help of Dave Stewart. Guests include Phil Miller, Didier Malherbe, Dave
Stewart, Richard Sinclair, John Greaves etc. as well as some of Pip's French
musical friends. It is not known whether Pip has found a label willing to
release this album.


From: veman@ix.netcom.com(Victor Manning)
Newsgroups: rec.music.progressive
Subject: GONG Tour USA - Autumn '96
Date: 27 Aug 1996 07:51:49 GMT

Well Pixies, the word is out that there will be a short Gong tour in
Canada, the US East Coast, with a possible venture in to the SouthEast
and the Southwest (That means YOU Texans!!!). Once again it would be
helpful to respond from your area, especially if you got missed on the
last tour in March. The current tour list is below. Its still tentative
in some cases, so Gong Heads in the area would do very well to call the
venues and express your enthusiasm about the show.

The last tour was a spectacular success for the band, probably beyond
anybody's expectations. Shawn Ahearn and Michael Clare are to be
commended for their efforts and commitment to spreading the Gong
vibration in the United States. Thanks for a great show!

OK Here's the Tour List. Get the word out to your fellow pixies, the
Teapot's coming to town.

Gong in October
*9-30   Washington DC
10-10   Club Soda, Montreal
10-11/12 Le Dauteuile, Quebec City
*10-14 Phoenix Underground, Toronto
10-15 Mama Kins, Boston
10-16 Tramps, NYC
10-17 Club Bene, Sayerville, NJ
10-18, Club Washington, DC
(more to follow through 10/27 or so)

Look for this list to be modified over the next couple of weeks. As I
understand the rumours behind the news, there is a 2-week window
available for the band to perform here (apparently the first two weeks
of October). They are looking to focus on the East Coast and hopefully
cover some territory in the South during this tour, hopefully to return
in Spring'97 to hit the West Coast again. Here's to hoping.

Also I am happy to announce the imminent release of "Shapeshifter +"
(previously released in Europe but not available in the U.S. !). to
be released October 10th on the Viceroy label.

     Good Afternoon


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (A. Leroy)
Subject: Christian Boule/Tim Blake
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 13:53:31 +0000

I've just had a call from Christian Boule (former Steve Hillage Band guitarist), who is currently in French Brittany for a few days' holiday. He'll be visiting Tim Blake there so I should soon have fresh news. He told me Tim was in the process of recording his new solo album. Christian was doubtful whether Tim was still involved in Gong. There was apparently a conflict (on financial matters?) before the Japanese tour of last Spring.

Boule himself has completed a new release (produced by Tim Blake), but has yet been unsuccessful in finding a deal. Although the music will be song-based and much less 'progressive' than his first two albums, he promises it has some of his trademark 'hillagian' guitar leads. I plan to meet Christian in September and will keep you informed.

Christian also tells me that Musea has just bought the rights to both his Polydor albums, "Photo-Musik" (1978) and "Non-Fiction" (1979). But it may take some time before a CD reissue appears.



                            END OF ISSUE #18

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