::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 2                           ::
  ::                   Wednesday, May 15th, 1996                  ::
  ::                                                              ::


Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 15:01:47 +0100
From: MARTIN WAKELING <marwak@globalnet.co.uk>
Subject: Kevin Ayers

I've been checking out Calyx via a copy of What's Rattlin #0 which arrived
from a Norway reader of my fanzine 'WHY ARE WE SLEEPING' dedicated
exclusively to the past, present and future of KEVIN AYERS. We are now in
our third year of production with 8 issues so far including the definitive
discography of Ayers. I see you are in touch with Jo Gielen already. Could
you please include the fanzine alongside Facelift on your <contacts> page?

[The contact for your fanzine is featured in that page already. I shall
of course be including more details in the future, now that we're in

Some most recent news of Kevin is that Strange Fruit are planning to release
2 CDs of archive BBC Sessions of Kevin later this year covering music from
1970 to 1976. The first session in particular is the wonderful Top Gear from
28.2.70 with Kevin, David Bedford and Lol Coxhill joining forces with a Soft
Machine sextet to blast through magic versions of Stop This Train and Why
Are We Sleeping. Sound quality promises to be magnificent. Other sessions of
course include The Whole World with the infant Mike Oldfield.

Best of luck with 'Rattlin' - hope to hear from you soon

Many Bananas



From: CuneiWay@aol.com (Steve Feigenbaum)
Subject: WR: Soft Machine "Spaced"
Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 15:49:06 -0400


In September, '96, Cuneiform Records will release Soft Machine "Spaced". This
is the never before released soundtrack to a performance "happening",
recorded sometime in early/mid 1969 by Hugh Hopper/Mike Ratledge/Robert
Wyatt, with some participation by Brian Hopper.

It's very radical & completely different than anything else ever heard by the
Softs, but it's experimentation with loops & organized sounds can be heard
used in later releases like "Third" & "1984".

What follows is Hugh's liner notes for the project:

After supporting Hendrix on the USA tour of 1968, the shell-shocked Softs
said No More. Kevin Ayers left to begin a lifelong devotion to sunshine and
Mediterranean islands; Robert Wyatt planned to stay in the States and become
a solo artist; Mike Ratledge hoped never again in his life to see the inside
of another club, theatre, stadium...

 But they had forgotten the two-record deal they had signed up for - and a
man has to do what a man has to do! They asked me to fill in for Kevin - just
to do a studio record and then  carry on with real life. Ha ha. Of  course it
became: Well, just a spot on Hendrix's London concert to promote the album,
fellers... Then: Got this little tour of France and Holland for you... And
off again for another ten years.

 But early in 1969 one of the more interesting projects suggested by the
association of Softs managers Ian Knight and Sean Murphy with Keith Albarn
(yes, Damon from Blur's dad) was Peter Dockley's lunatic multimedia show at
the Roundhouse, SPACED. Ballet dancers and ex-army gymnasts (and you don't
get a much more incongruous mix than that) were choreographed to bound about
all over a geodesic structure made of construction scaffolding. Commonplace
nowadays, of course, but still fairly freaky then. They wore wonderful rubber
costumes with octopus suckers up and down their arms and legs.

 They wanted a backing tape of suitably deranged and doomy sounds, so we
recorded chunks of music as a trio, in a converted warehouse in London's
deserted ex-docklands that we used for  rehearsals. (It wasn't a chic yuppie
area in those days, it was grim: dead cats floating in the weed-choked docks
and so on). My brother Brian came up at the weekend to add some sax blasts
here and there, and we then spent a week or more playing around with tape
loops and ancient mechanical aids to produce an hour and a half of finished
tape. Now of course with a computer you could do the whole thing in an
afternoon, but in those analog days it was strictly scissors and tape. And
lots of third-generation hiss. However, we knew we could ask our captive
recording engineer Bob Woolford to do  the weirdest things with his
Stellavoxes and Brenells and Ferrographs - he was open to trying the
unorthodox. Which is perhaps why Bob is now living a fulfilled life in the
snowy hills of Connecticut pretending to be a bicycle repair man and not a
boring record company executive. And it's thanks to Mike King, author of the
Robert Wyatt biography WRONG MOVEMENTS who tracked Bob down.

 I don't recall the week-long show taking London by storm. One review said
something like "...accompanied by clanking noises from The Soft Machine."
Aggrieved punters complained that they were expecting a live Soft Machine
concert. Halfway through the run the management pleaded with us to come on
and do a short live spot during the show, but we felt we had already
contributed an honest chunk of our creative lives to the project.

 The show didn't transfer to Broadway, but a BBC arts program ran a short
televised excerpt to publicize it. Using Pink Floyd as a backing track.

 The version here has been fairly radically edited - the original had long
building and fading sections to go with the onstage action and to usher the
unsuspecting audience into the Roundhouse. Very long, some of those sections,
believe me...

                -Hugh Hopper, France 2/96

I hope that this news is of interest!

[It sure is ! - A.L.]

Steve F.


From: Biffyshrew@aol.com
Subject: WR: Gong in San Francisco; Slapp Happy
Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 11:07:29 -0400

I was fortunate enough to see Gong at their performance at the Great American
Music Hall in San Francisco on March 19.  The opening act was a splendid
all-female quartet from Japan called Angel'In Heavy Syrup (that apostrophe is
not a typo; that's how they spell their name), who used heavily fuzzed and
otherwise effects-laden guitars, often strummed bass and sweet, crooning
vocals to create walls of dreamy, floating psychedelic sound.  Gong played to
a packed house--the largest crowd I've ever seen at this club.  After opening
with "You Can't Kill Me" (with Daevid sporting an enormous green pixie hat)
the band proceeded to play the complete Teapot Trilogy, with an intermission
in the middle.  Besides the band's colorful costumery and Gilli's twirling
dancing, visuals were limited to projections on a pair of screens (which
actually looked like bedsheets) above the stage.

Pip Pyle's drumming was perhaps a bit restrained, but Didier Malherbe was in
fine fettle, providing the instrumental highlights of the set.  A full-time
synth player was missed, but Steffi Sharpstrings did a good job of dividing
his time among guitar, digital keyboard and twiddly analog synth.  For an
encore, the band played the "I've Been Stone Before/Long Shanks/Dynamite"
sequence from Camembert Electrique.  A GIF photograph of Daevid from this
show can be viewed on my web site (see the address below).

In WR#1 Aymeric noted that he had never seen the Slapp Happy/Henry Cow album
Desperate Straights on CD.  This was released by Virgin in England as a
2-on-1 disc with the self-titled Slapp Happy album.

[thanks for pointing that out - A.L.]

Biffy the Elephant Shrew     @}-`--}----
(representing Michael P. Dawson - Compositeur Americain)
Visit us at http://users.aol.com/biffyshrew/biffy.html
"Do not adjust the playback level on your audio equipment: readjust your
mind"--Yusef Lateef


From: RAYMBEN@aol.com
Subject: WR: Canterbury Stuff
Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 11:24:53 -0400

Hello "What's Rattlin'"--

Interesting reading on the first issue.  I thought I'd share some stuff with

I know Dave Stewart, Robert Wyatt, Richard Sinclair, and Peter Blegvad
personally... they're all great guys.  I had the pleasure of visiting Robert
and his wife Alfie in their home in England and spent the afternoon drinking
wine and talking about all manner of subjects.  This was in 1988.  At the
time, he didn't think he was going to record again, but he proved himself
wrong.  We exchange cards every now and then.  Richard I got to know when he
started doing the solo tours a few years ago.  To date I've seen him three
times, once with Caravan of Dreams.  Dave I met when he was on tour with
Bruford in 1980.  We've been in correspondence since then.  Great guy.  I met
Peter Blegvad in 1976 and I have kept in touch with him sporadically.  He
came to see one of my off-off-Broadway musicals when I was in NY city then!
 Funny guy.

As for Canterbury concerts I've seen--  not many, being in the U.S.  I saw
National Health in 1979 (wow), Bruford in 1980, Pierre Moerlen's Gong in
1980, Peter Blegvad solo, Frith & Cutler, Richard Sinclair (3 times), Kevin
Ayers, and recently the "original" Gong with Daevid Allen.

[can we hope for some accounts of some of these experiences ? - A.L.]

My favorite Canterbury band is Hatfield and the North, and "Rotters' Club" is
probably my favorite LP of all time.  I've managed to get Dave's, Richard's,
and Pip's autographs on my record cover-- just need Phil to get over to the
U.S. for a gig so I can complete the signatures!  (Don't know why I didn't
have him do it when I saw National Health in '79!)

I love Robert's work, and I think "Rock Bottom" is a masterpiece.  'Nuff

Anyone know release dates for the National Health Virgin Demo album and Hugh
Hopper's "Hopper Tunity Box"?  They're supposedly coming out on East Side

[according to Steve Feigenbaum of Cuneiform Records, there are no definitive
release dates yet - hopefully before the end of the year ! - A.L.]

Someone wondered about the Slapp Happy albums "Desperate Straights" and
"Casablanca Moon" (first Virgin album).  They are on CD, together on one
disk, from Virgin.  It can be ordered from Wayside Music, PO Box 8427, Silver
Spring, MD  20907-8427.  This is a great mail order place for Canterbury and
related music.  They will send a catalog if you write to them.

[they also have an online catalog - there's a link from the CALYX contacts
page - A.L.]

Any Ivor Cutler fans out there?  I'm very big on him, and wish he had more
available on CD.  I have "Jammy Smears" on CD, and that's the only album of
his I ever found on CD.  Hard stuff to get.  (You know he's Chris Cutler's

Another Canterbury-related band I love is the various incarnations of Samla
Mammas Manna (or Zamla Mammaz Manna, or Von Zamla)... from Sweden.  Lars
Hollmer, the leader, also has great solo material.  If you haven't heard
these guys, they're a must!

[Samla also have a website, run by Lars Hollmer himself. The URL is also
in CALYX somewhere...- A.L.]

That's all for now!  Keep the news coming!



From: rvs@crosfield.co.uk (Robert Smith)
Subject: Re: WR#1
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 09:45:42 +0100 (BST)

Hi. Someone mentioned that Hugh Hopper played in Isotope. Is this true? Did
anyone else connected with the Canterbury scene play in this band?
Robert Smith - Technical Author
Crosfield Electronics Ltd
Voice ... Direct dial: 01442 343399
Email ... rvs@crosfield.co.uk

[Hugh Hopper was in Isotope from 1974 to 1976, playing on their second and
(part of) third album. It was through his involvement in Stomu Yamash'ta's
East Wind that Hopper first met Gary Boyle - a guitarist involved on the
British jazz/rock scene since the mid-60's, playing with Brian Auger's
Trinity and appearing on Keith Tippett's second album. The drummer in
Isotope was Nigel Morris, who worked again with Hopper on the "Hopper
Tunity Box" album of 1976, and in live context as exemplified by the
bonus tracks on Cuneiform's reissue of the Hopper-Gowen album. I under-
stand Boyle has released a comeback album recently. Anyone with more
info is welcome to submit them - A.L.]


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (Aymeric Leroy)
Subject: A postcard from Robert Wyatt
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 12:05:58 +0200 (BST)

Last week, I wrote to Robert Wyatt simply asking him to tell me how he
was doing and what he's been doing, musically speaking, in the past two
Here's his (brief) answer, sent on a strange funny postcard (as always) :

>Thanks for your letter.
>Well, I've done a couple of things for Hugh H., and a Flemish producer
>called Jo Bogaert.
>But although I have accumulated quite a variety of my own material,
>I have not yet recaptured the confidence/courage to make it real.
>Although I am no longer as ill as I was a year ago, I still feel
>But anyway, thanks for your concern.

[Robert experienced serious health problems last year, which I prefer
not to go into, but he was reportedly feeling very depressed. We are
of course relieved that he seems better now... Let's hope for a new
album... someday ! - A.L.]


From: Jose.Douglas@turner.com
Subject: WR
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 10:33:40 -0400

Can't quite remember when I got into Canterbury music; maybe it was
when I heard Hatfield and the North's "Share it" on the radio. Yes, I
said "radio" when it first came out. I bought "Rotters Club" the next
morning; IMO it ranks as one of the best albums of all times.
Or maybe it was when I was at a record shop and I say "Angel's Egg" by
Gong. I had never heard of Gong, but the album cover was wild, so it
had to be good, right? I was back the next day to buy "Radio Gnome"
and bought "You" as soon as it came out.

I saw Gong in concert in 1978 I think in Los Angeles. It was an all
day prog festival in an old theater in a decrepit part of town.
Gong hilighted the show. I think it was Daevid Allen playing, might
have been Steve Hillage, but I don't think so. Anyway, be it Allen or
Hillage, he started to play guitar with a dinner table knife. Strings
would break and he'd grab another guitar. What was weird is that it
sounded excellent. Was anybody out there at that show? I missed the
latest Gong tour; closest place to Georgia was an eight hour drive.

[1978 ? This must have been either New York Gong or Planet Gong !
Any Gong freaks on the list who knows the answer ? I'm pretty sure
Steve Hillage wasn't playing with Allen anymore in 1978 - A.L.]

I left the U.S. for a while in 83 and lost track of new music for
awhile; content with over 1,000 lps (which I still play, prefering
them to CDs).

I just got to buying Caravan of Dreams, and though I've only played it
twice did not really like it; Richard Sinclair is whining too much
IMO. I'll give it another chance though...

I've ordered (Georgia is the music bad lands) Cutting both Ways by
Phil Miller but have yet to get it in the post. Can't wait.

If anybody can give me an opinion on Caravan's Cool Water I'd
appreciate it. From what I gather it's material from the Better by Far
days that never got released. Hopefully it's better by far...

[Not really - it's a collection of songs recorded by a short-lived
lineup of Pye Hastings, Jan Schelhaas, Richard Sinclair and Richard
Coughlan, in late 76/early 77. All of them are very 'classic' sort of
songs, all written by Pye Hastings (some RS songs were also recorded,
notably "Emily", but none were included on the CD, which - as
far as I know - cause tension between Pye and Richard and led to the latter
leaving the reformed Caravan, thus his sorely missed absence on the
recent "Battle Of Hastings" album. All in all, "Cool Water" is very
much in the vein of "Better By Far", so don't except something radically
different. Some bonus tracks, recorded by Pye Hastings backed by the
Gordon Giltrap band in 1978 - Rod Edwards, John Gustafson and Ian Mosley,
I quote them because their names are ALL misspellt in the credits ! -
have been added, one of them features a nice Jimmy Hastings sax solo.
Now you know all about it, or almost ! - A.L.]

Bye for now,


From: raymben@aol.com (RAYMBEN)
Subject: National Health Missing Pieces
Date: 15 May 1996 05:31:26 -0400

East Side Digital says that National Health's "Missing Pieces" CD will be
released July 23.

[Good news - at last ! May I also add that the CD will feature Phil Miller,
Dave Stewart, Steve Hillage, Alan Gowen, Bill Bruford, Mont Campbell, Neil
Murray, Phil Lee and Amanda Parsons, on tracks recorded between late 1975
and September 1976 : "Paracelsus (incl. Bouree)" (6:23), "Clocks and Clouds"
(6:50), "Agrippa" (8:30), "The Lethargy Shuffle And The Mind-Your-Backs
Tango" (9:23), "Zabaglione" (7:51) and "The Lethargy Shuffle, Part 2" (4:33).
I'm afraid there will be no extra Alan Gowen compositions as I hoped there
would. Around 45 minutes isn't too bad, though !!! - A.L.]


From: neato@pipeline.com
Subject: Re: WR#1
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 12:03:22 -0400

>Archie Leggett died in July 1994 - don't know what he'd done since
>leaving Kevin Ayers' band though

it's a shame to hear about the passing of leggett...he has the distinction
of playing on both bananamoon and bananamour...as well as being a fine
bassist, he was also a very soulful singer...he was involved with other uk
eccentric-kevin coyne after ayers
-ironically his death is close to that of his june 1,1974 cohort-the great
ollie halsall...no wonder ayers is blue

[yeah... Halsall died in 1992 - another sad, untimely death for sure - A.L.]

"all my mistakes were once acts of genius"


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr
Subject: The Ultimate Online Canterbury Discography
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 20:41:54 -0200

Hi everyone,

In addition to CALYX and WHAT'S RATTLIN', I'm currently working on an
ambitious project : compiling the definitive Canterbury discography.
I've already done about 70% of the job thanks my quite extensive CD,
LP and tape collection. But I will need your help to make it fully
Here's the info I need for every album listed :
- album title, record label, year of release
- if available, label and year of reissue on CD
- list of musicians appearing on the album, with detailed instrumentation
(I'm using common abbreviations such as : voc, g, kb, tpt etc.)
- recording date, location, producer
- titles of the tracks (I do not plan to mention the composers of each
track, nor will I give the durations of the tracks - maybe the total length,
in minutes, of the album)

I have selected a number of Canterbury-related artists, and plan to list
only the albums on which at least one of those musicians appears :
Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Richard Sinclair, Pip Pyle, Dave Stewart, Phil
Miller, Mike Ratledge, John Greaves, Alan Gowen, Lindsay Cooper, Daevid
Allen, Kevin Ayers. (I hope I haven't forgotten anybody)
This is to avoid having all the Keith Tippett-, Steve Hillage- etc.
related stuff listed. I will include solo releases by main members of
main bands for instance (Steve Hillage solo albums, Fred Frith solo
albums etc.).

At the moment, I'm lacking information on the releases by : Kevin Ayers,
Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Tim Blake, Fred Frith, Lindsay
Cooper, Nucleus.

If you've got some of the requested information, please:
1) Do not send plain discographies, without any other details than the
title, year of release and label. I already have 99% of this sort of info.
2) Do not send info on bands not mentioned above. There are certainly other
albums I don't have enough info on, but these are minor gaps that will be
filled later.

Within 10 days, I hope to have a first version of the discography available
as part of the Calyx website. Then you'll be able to download it, and the
more devoted of you will search for the (hopefully few) remaining omissions.

Anyone with suggestions on how to organize this discography with regard to
the constraints and possibilities offered by the HTML language and the
WWW in general, are welcome to send them to me. You will probably have no-
ticed, while browsing through Calyx, that I'm fairly new to this means
of communication and still have a lot to learn. Send in your tricks !

Thanks for your help !

Aymeric Leroy


                             END OF ISSUE #2

WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?     -     WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?     -     WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?

CALYX - The Canterbury Website

Send all correspondence regarding 'CALYX' and 'WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?' to :