::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 31                          ::
  ::                  Tuesday, December 3rd, 1996                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: davidl@mail.tss.net (David Layton)
Subject: Gentle Giant
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 17:44:26 +0000

Guy Jeffrey asks whether Gentle Giant should be considered a de facto, or
perhaps honorary, Canterbury band.  The best answer is no.  The reasons are
that de facto they are not, and the sound just isn't that Canterbury sound.
This is not a judgment against GG.  In fact, they are one of my favorite
bands, one of the ones I play most often on my radio shows, and should
definitely be considered for the progressive rock hall of fame should one
ever be built.  And that is just the point.  Perhaps more than any other
band except Yes, GG were the essence of progressive: odd time signiatures,
obscure keys, un-rock instruments, a classical sensibility about
arrangements and how notes should be played.  The Canterbury sound, while
progressive in the broad sense, was really the joining of psychedelia to
jazz, especially in the beginning (1968-72).  One notes Canterbury fan
loyalties by whether they favor the more psychedelic or the more jazz
incarnations.  Only Khan and Camel, honorary and not de facto Canterbury
bands, were truly progressive rock bands.  That's my two cents worth.



From: drashcraft@juno.com (DAVID R. ASHCRAFT)
Subject: Live Gong/Daevid Allen stuff
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 21:33:06 EST

From the chilly Midwest I have some hot news re: live Gong stuff. I have
a couple of tapes that might crank your temperature up a few degrees...
How does this sound:

1) Gong live at the Marquee Club in London doing Fish Rising & You
material (please note Daevid is AWOL).

[Not really 'without leave' as he'd left Gong for good several months prior -
if you're referring to the autumn 1975 tour which is documented on the fourth
side of "Live Etc." - AL]

2) Daevid Allen & Gilli in 1978 doing separate sets at Boston's Modern
Theatre. I have both nights recorded in pretty good stereo (we are
talking master tapes here!).  Other acts included Zu Band and Yochko
Seffer (all captured on tape). This amounts to 3 full 90 minute tapes in

Let me know if you are interested in copies. My only request is an even
exchange of your choicest tapes. Let me know if you are interested and
what you've got to swap.

By the way, this offer is also open to any What's Rattlin' subscribers
who are interested. My tastes run to good quality (ie radio broadcast or
soundboard-type live tapes) of mostly instrumental music such as National
Health, Fluvius, early Camel or Caravan, Brand X, and Ozric Tentacles.
Naturally I also love to hear new or undiscovered bands that play
melodic, improvisational, instrumental music (that was a mouthful!).

Let the trades begin and the music be shared!!

                                    Regards, David

P.S. I have tons more tapes but haven't gotten my act together
sufficiently to compile a list just yet. Let me know if there are any
obscurities that you are searching for--I just might be able to help. My
real specialty is National Health boots.


From: Broken Records
Subject: Dirk 'Mont' Campbell solo album - now available!
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1996

Dirk 'Mont' Campbell - Music From A Round Tower

This is the first album by composer and multi-instrumentalist Dirk Campbell since the early 70's. In those days, he was known as Mont Campbell, one of the most respected composers in the English progressive avant-garde, and founder member, along with Dave Stewart, of the organ trio Egg. In 1972 Mont quit the music scene altogether and worked as a graphic designer, briefly returning in 1976 to play bass and compose for Dave Stewart's band National Health.
During the 80's, Dirk (having shed his old school nickname) became expert on a wide range of ethnic wind instruments, and developed an interest in traditional music. In 1991 he began to compose for film and television, winning a BAFTA award in 1993. In 1995, inspired by the compositional possibilities of MIDI and the sound of acoustic world musical instruments, Dirk began work on his first solo album, Music From A Round Tower. The piece is a summing-up of Campbell's musical experiences to date, from his childhood in Egypt and East Africa, through early Stravinsky to synthesised soundscapes and performance art. The music is both beautiful and intelligent, and has been described as "the real progressive music for the 90's". Composed in an East Sussex oast house, the album was completed with the help of old friend Dave Stewart.

Musicians :
Dirk Campbell (ney flute, kaval, reedpipes, bansri, gaida, tulum, daoul, whistle, keyboards, vocals)
George Hadjineophytou (saz, oud, kemanche)
Barbara Gaskin, Lucianne Lassalle (vocals)

Available via mail order from Broken Records :
UK - GBP 12.50  /  Europe - GBP 13  /  Rest of World - GBP 13.50
Cheques and international money orders should be made payable to 'Broken Records' and sent to the following address :
Broken Records, PO Box 4416, London SW19 8XR (United Kingdom)
Cheques (etc.) must be in pounds sterling, with any currency conversion fees paid your end. Credit cards not accepted. Please write your name and address clearly and allow 21 days for delivery. Thank you !


From: Biffyshrew@aol.com
Subject: Re: Soft Machine video
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 09:56:27 -0500

[In WR#30, Michael E. Perez wrote:]
>In my video archives I came across a short (about five minutes) clip
>that was videotaped off the USA cable network several years ago.  The
>clip was of the '70-'71 line-up (Ratledge, Wyatt, Hopper, and Dean) and
>was from a British show of around that time.  It is live, not synced!
>Is this something with which anyone is familiar?

Yep.  This was a performance from the German Beat Club TV show, as were many
of those vintage clips shown on Night Flight.  Brilliant, isn't it?

Your pal,
Biffy the Elephant Shrew     @}-`--}----
...visit me at http://users.aol.com/biffyshrew/biffy.html
I've got my hand on your mouse!


From: CuneiWay@aol.com
Subject: re: Naked Shakespeare
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 11:52:56 -0500

[In WR#29, Daniel Ray Phipps wrote:]
>.... am DESPERATE for some of your Peter Blegvad material! For example:
>"The Naked Shakespeare" and "Knights Like This" on CD! DOES IT EVEN EXIST

Without turning this into an ad, we have Naked Shakespeare on CD. Email
directly for info.

Wayside Music


From: Daniel Ray Phipps <"phipps@3rddoor.com"@3rddoor.com>
Subject: Any other Peter Blegvad fans out there??
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 23:12:25 -0800

Hello! --

2nd posting here...Just wanted to inquire about the following (bear with

Does anybody out there know where I might possibly be able to obtain the
Peter Blegvad CD "King Strut & Other Stories"?  I've recently received a
dubbed copy of the rare and hard-to-find promo "Peter Who?" regarding his
"King Strut" album (and featuring Andy Partridge of XTC among other
treasures!).  I would practically KILL for this on CD!!!  But I'll definitely
settle for "King Strut" on CD if ANYONE out there can direct me as to where
it might be!!!

Thanks for any help you can give!

Peace through Music...

-- Dan Phipps


From: Phil Howitt <phil@facelift.sonnet.co.uk>
Subject: Wizards of Twiddly gig!
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 96 22:56:00 +0000


Good to see that you're back up and running!

You might know about this already c/o Martin Wakeling, but the Wizards of
Twiddly are playing a one-off gig at the Picket in Liverpool on 12 December.
Very exciting, because I don't think they've gigged at all this year and we all thought they'd split up! Can you mention this in WR?



From : Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject : various
Date : Mon, 2 Dec 1996 11:31:48 +0000

The last two weeks have been great in terms of Canterbury experiences
for me (and next weeks will be nice too with Magma's reformation tour).

I've been to see Gong in Paris on November 21st. A great show, divided
into two parts (first part Camembert/Flying Teapot, second part Angel
Egg/You, basically), with a great line-up and several guest appearances,
including Tim Blake (apparently enjoying himself very much) during most
of the second part (mainly singing, only playing synths towards the end),
Japanese fan Akiko (backing vocals on "Pothead Pixies"), Keith Bailey
(crooning on his song "Heaven's Gate" from 1992's "Shapeshifter") and
Elton Dean (alto sax on the encore "You Can't Kill Me"). The show was
well-attended (around 700-800 people) and the crowd's reaction was very

Of note also was Didier Malherbe's solo spot at the beginning of the second set. After playing the usual "flute salad" medley, he embarked on a special
"rap" celebrating the release of the "beaujolais nouveau", the famous
French wine. It was similar to his piece on the Short Wave CD except it
was based on the latter "B" (for "beaujolais" as well as "Bataclan").

Last week, I made my first trip ever to Jacky Barbier's legendary club
"A L'Ouest De La Grosne", where many historic Canterbury recordings were
made ("Rogue Element" by Soft Head, "Somewhere In France" by Sinclair-
Hopper, two tracks on Gong's "Shapeshifter", and others which I don't
remember right now). Jacky has run this club since the mid-70's and
every French tour by a Canterbury band has to stop at least for one
night 'chez Jacky'. The club is located in a tiny village (Bresse-sur-
Grosne is not even on detailed maps...) in Burgundy. A couple of weeks
ago, Gong played two gigs there, which must have been strange considering
the size of the venue (Jacky told me he'd taken the tables and chairs out
for the occasion). My reason for being there was that the excellent Mashu
(Mark Hewins, Hugh Hopper and Shyamal Maitra) were staying for a couple
of nights. Their gig in Die had been cancelled (unluckily, this was the
one they hoped to make money out of - called off at the last minute due to
cancellation of a subsidy) so one night at Jacky's was added. Unfortunately
this couldn't be announced in time so apart from a few friends, this was
almost a private performance (dress rehearsal ?) for me and the six other
people. All in all, this was logically quite different to the Paris concert
of April 1995, as interaction with the public (particularly from Shyamal)
was an integral part of the performance. Perhaps that dimension was lacking
a bit, but the music was nonetheless very good. Mark Hewins had brought no
less than 3 guitars : one acoustic, one electric, and one MIDI. Shyamal of
course had a large array of ethnic percussion in addition of a drum set
which he played seated on the ground. Hugh Hopper only had his usual bass,
but that's enough... Mashu's music alternates between quiet, dreamy atmos-
pheres and more intense interplay, with repetitive bass/guitar riffs in
odd meters building up to extasic heights.

Elton Dean was supposed to play with Mashu on the French dates, but ultimately
couldn't (especially since there was already not enough money to cover the
expenses of the three regular members)... too bad, as his contribution to the
Paris gig was outstanding (as documented on the forthcoming Mashu CD, which
should be out on Voiceprint in February, and is a superb album - at last
giving an opportunity to hear Mark Hewins play in a 'conventional' band
format rather than experimental or purely improvising settings). A local
guitarist replaced Hewins for the encore, and jammed with Hugh and Shyamal.
After a few minutes of hesitation, they finally seemed at ease with each
others, and the music really became exciting. By then is was around 1 o'clock.
Time to go to bed (and for me to undertake a 250 km journey home... thank-
fully I had good music in my car!)...
The following day Mashu played another performance which I hope Mark Hewins
can tell us about in the next issue.

Some of you will probably be aware that a Hugh Hopper compilation CD has
recently been released on Mantra. It features cuts from "Hoppertunity Box",
"Mercy Dash" (with Tippett, Dean, Gallivan), "1984" and "Monster Band".
Hugh is of course very upset about this as Mantra have no rights to
re-release these recordings. I really don't recommend that any of you fellow
WRers buy this sort of product. Especially with such a shitty packaging
(awful cover, Pip Pyle mentioned as a major contributor on the sleeve although
he doesn't play a note on any of the tracks - he didn't know whether to laugh
or get angry when I showed him the CD). Let's hope legal problems surrounding
recordings from that period (re-issued by either Spalax or Mantra without
any money being paid to the artists) will eventually be settled.

I'm also told "Hoppertunity Box", "Mercy Dash" and "Monster Band" have been
released as separate CD's on another label, but I don't have more information
right now. Please note all these are releases done without the musicians'
help and consent, not do they get a single penny from the sales. Think
before you buy !

Aymeric Leroy


From: Mark Bloch <markb@echonyc.com>
Subject: various
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 1996 09:53:57 -0500

Dear Aymeric and friends,

Well it's been a couple of months now that I have been aware of WR and your
website. I think I am ready to write a little bit to the group.

First of all let me say how much I appreciate all the hard work that must
go into a list like this. And I also want to acknowledge EVERY message that
EVERY person has written. I've slowly but surely been downloading them from
the Musart and Calyx sites and reading them on subway rides around New
York. I'm up to Number 21- plus the most recent three which I've received
by e-mail. I can't tell you what a thrill it is to read people who dig this
music as much as I do.

I have to tell you all that I think it is a minor miracle that we are
finally in touch! If the Internet has no other purpose (and it has many) it
now has the distinction of finally creating a solid international network
of Canterbury fans. This is no small acheivement. For decades we've been in
our respective grottos, garrets and hovels grooving to the sounds of one or
another of these groups. We knew there were other others out there- but
where? and how to find them? So now we know.

This brings up a story from my early days of enjoying this music in Akron,
Ohio, USA. My pals and I first learned of Caravan in 1972 or so and became
hooked. Their first three LP's were the soundtrack of our adolescence. It
must have been 1973 that a most ridiculous thing happened: We heard that
Caravan would play at the Newport Jazz Fest in New York! We immediately
called Alice Tully Hall in New York to confirm that it was true. "They're
British, right?" we asked. Also lots of questions about their label, their
personnel. They assured us this was "our" Caravan. We bought tickets,
booked a hotel room and planned our pilgrimage to "Mecca." (We were in high
school- give me a break.) To make a long story short, after arriving,
injesting large quantities of various psychelic enhancements and making our
way to Lincoln Center, we were a bit taken aback by the opening act- an all
acoustic jazz trio of black musicians, I vaguely recall- that were quite
good, but not exactly of the same ilk as Caravan. We were each suspicious
but no one dared to mention it. The inevitable tip-off came when the
announcer enthusiastically said at the break: "After a brief intermission
we'll return with... The Caravan- from Brooklyn!"

We looked at each other. "Did he say THE Caravan?" "Did he say BROOKLYN?"
Well, needless to say we stuck around just to make sure, but it wasn't long
before we had to make the long depressing trek to the box office to get our
money back. Luckily it was there that we met two other pairs of
disappointed Cara-fans- one from St. Louis and the other from Kansas City.
They had traveled alot further than we had. This was my first experience of
the kind of camraderie that exists between Canterbury fans-- we all spent
the evening in our hotel room listening to Caravan records (I had the
foresight to bring a cheap record player), getting smashed, and making
calls to directory assistance in the UK. (I believe we eventually got
through to Pye Hastings' mother.)

For me, those days will always be a strong part of my Canterbury experience
but my tastes soon drifted more to the antics of the Softs and eventually
Robert Wyatt. I could go on for days about this and perhaps in the future I
will but for now I'll just say that Wyatt is and always has been a
reference point for me. Msuically and otherwise. I think he is the single
greatest recording artist I've ever heard. His music always manages to
excite me, if it's not the vocals and lyrics, then it is the
instrumentation. But usually it is all three. I find him to be the perfect
synthesis of all that is wonderful about music.

That brings me to the ugly topic of definitions. To sum up- screw em! Music
is an art not a science so we have to enjoy the definitions as
embellishment to the EXPERIENCE of the music. And in the case of the
Canterburians, that includes the various family trees. It definitly makes
the music more interesting to know who plays on what and where they have
come from. I really enjoy it. But for me the idea of pinning down who or
what belongs in this group is an exercise in.... well it's an exercise.
Don't get me wrong-- I immensly enjoy reading them. It flexes my muscles of
appreciation for the music. But it shouldn't go further than that. In my
opinion, everyone should just write about what they enjoy. I've learned
quite a bit just from reading just that- thus far.

Let me just say that the other day I read a couple relevant contributions
along these lines. The first was about Archie Legget, I believe. Someone
mentioned he had played with both Charles Aznavour and Tony Sheridan. I
started thinking they, in turn have performed with Edith Piaf and The
Beatles, respectively. Meanwhile, Wyatt has worked with John Cage (as have
I, I'm proud to name drop). So there you have the connections to the
entirety of pop music in the 20th century. By definition, the Canterbury
Scene includes damn near everything. (That also means that marijuana leads
to harder drugs and mother's milk caused the avant garde.)

I personally have always been fascinated by the Wilde Flowers. I see them
as the common root that spawned all that followed. I guess for me the
"scene" is whomever those original guys eventually played with. That is
more than enough to keep things interesting. But I must say I really enjoy
hearing about new bands who's only connections to the scene are as
influences. Keep them coming!

To the Wilde Flowers' credit is the fact that when I finally heard their
Voiceprint CD, I was quite impressed! I think it holds up! Who knew
recordings existed and that they would actually be so entertaining!? I find
some of those tunes really important in understanding the developments that
came later. A song like "No Game When You Lose" is valuable as an
historical document AND it has a groove you can dance to!

The second point regards a comment that someone mentioned: that the later
(4-7 and beyond) Softs' should not be trashed, that in fact they are
preferable because of their musicianship and technical abilities. I
appreciate that and love every one of those records. But I must say that
"good" music involves much more than technique. As many have eloquently
stated, many of the Canterburians have technique in addition to the rest.
But I just want to say that "the rest" involves humor, yes and then
something else. Wyatt asked us to forgive his "dodgy" playing on End Of An
Ear because of his "painful sincerity." I think the sincerity is part of
it. And so are other things I can't articulate. But some of the later
Softs' music seemed to be a bit lacking in this quality, whatever it is. As
someone else pointed out, I always got SOMETHING out of every Softs record
so I ain't complainin. But I just want to speak out against the idea that
prowess on an instrument is ALL there is. Wyatt's voice is a perfect
example. It is a flawed "instrument" but he sure delivers alot of feeling
(and reeling and squealing) with it.

I am most enamoured with Wyatt's vocal experiments. In fact I think all the
experiments on all this music is what changed my life. As others have said,
they taught me that more was possible than what meets the eye through the
mass media. But I also Pop. I think what I have always enjoyed is that this
music IS Pop- just slightly twisted and a bit more intelligent.

In addition to Wyatt and the Softs I also like Hatfield, Henry Cow and
anything by Daevid Allen. Ayers too. And Hopper. Like I said, I see it all
as fanning out from the Wilde Flowers. Henry Cow is too good and fun NOT to
be included. Their links came later. Pip Pyle recently explained to me that
he really has nothing to do with Canterbury and seems to resent the phrase.
So in a way it is a misnomer. But again, when it comes to definitions,
screw 'em. It's alot easier to say "Canterburians" than it is to say "music
that evolved from the Wilde Flowers" or some other cumbersome phrase.

I have some interviews I will share with this group eventually as well as
some requests for information and recordings. But for now I just wanted to
say Hi and thanks! It is really a delight to hear from each of you. Praise
Aymeric for putting this together- it is long overdue! I wanted to do it
myself because the web was crying out for it. Then I found Malcom Humes
sight a year ago and now this. It's alot of fun being part of a
not-so-secret society.



                            END OF ISSUE #31

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