::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 38                          ::
  ::                Wednesday, January 22nd, 1997                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: The History Of Gong, Part 3
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 22:13:56 +0000

[Continued from WR#36]

Yet this was not to be the end of Gong. A few weeks later, encouraged by new manager Giorgio Gomelsky, who offered to produce the band's next record and promised to find them a decent record deal, Daevid Allen attempted to form a new line-up. He travelled to London, recruiting bassist Bill MacCormick, formerly of Robert Wyatt's Matching Mole, drummer Rob Tait and percussionist/vocalist Diane Stewart-Bond (the wife of Graham Bond). Then during a stay in Paris, he resumed contact with Tim Blake (whom he'd fired the previous year after Tim missed several concerts which he was supposed to mix/engineer).

Rehearsals started in Voisines in the Autumn, with Christian Tritsch back on guitar (he insisted he didn't want to play bass anymore). Soon MacCormick, Tait and Bond were replaced by former Magma member Francis Moze (a.k.a. Francis Bacon, also playing piano) and the returning Laurie Allan and Rachid Houari (this time on percussion). Then, in early December, the band attended a nearby Kevin Ayers concert. Ayers' guitarist for the tour was one Steve Hillage, formerly of Khan. Didier Malherbe joined the band on stage and jammed with them. It was clear to all present that Hillage's style would perfectly suit Gong's style, so he joined.

Sessions for "Flying Teapot", the first instalment of the 'Radio Gnome Invisible' trilogy, started on New Year's Day, 1973, at Virgin's Manor Studio in Oxfordshire. The recording was allegedly tumultuous, due in part to Moze's clashing with almost everyone in the band. As a result, Allen called it a day and went back to France. Houari left again, soon followed by Moze (who resumed his career as session man) and Allan (who joined a shortlived reformation of Steve Miller's Delivery). A few days later, with everyone - including Allen - back in the band's Yonne headquarters, plans were made for the band to temporarily carry on without Allen and Smyth under the name of Paragong.

At this point, a new rhythm section had been recruited, with Didier Thibault (ex-Moving Gelatine Plates) and Pierre Moerlen, a brilliant classically trained percussionist fresh out of the Strasbourg Conservatory. Soon Tritsch left (whatever became of him ?) and Thibault, who had decided to reform Moving Gelatine Plates, was replaced by one Mike Howlett, a Fiji-born bass player whom Allen had spotted playing in a fashionable King's Road nightclub during a recent trip to London. The resulting quintet embarked on a French tour of youth and cultural centres during the Spring, forging a new identity and unity, as documented on the "Paragong / Live 1973" mini-CD (released by G.A.S. in 1995).

[to be continued...]


From: LASERCD@aol.com
Subject: Volare
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 21:39:25 -0500 (EST)


Some of the subscribers may be interested to know that I have just signed
Volare to The Laser's Edge for their first album to be released in September.
Based out of Athens, Georgia the quartet plays in a Canterbury style heavily
influenced by National Health and Soft Machine.

-Ken Golden/The Laser's Edge


From: Euterpe Noord / Concert Promoter <offline>
Subject: Forthcoming concerts
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997

[Bernard Walbrou of Euterpe faxed me today with dates of forthcoming Canterbury-related gigs he has set up. These are taking place in Northern France and Belgium - AL]

Feb 15 - St. Claude (39)
Apr 04 - Faches Tumesnil (59)
Aug 02 - Dranouter Folk Festival (Ypres), Belgium

Feb 12 - Nancy, Academy Music

Mar 22 - Le Poche, Bethune (62)

Sep 19 - Cabaret Sam, Boulogne/Mer (62)
Sep 20 - Le Poche, Bethune (62)


From: Mark Ellingham <mark@kenbury.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Slapp Happy (& Friends)
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 19:32:14 +0100


Jim Grainger asked for more info on Slapp Happy and Friends, as featured on Robert Wyatt's Flotsam & Jetsam. Well, the song here, Peter Blegvad's wonderful "A Little Something", with Robert Wyatt singing the sax solo, was taken from a John Peel session recorded in 1974. The line-up featured all three Slapp Happies - Blegvad, Dagmar Krause and Anthony M(o)ore - plus Wyatt, plus Henry Cow's Fred Frith (gtr), Geoff Leigh (sax/flute), Lindsay Cooper (bassoon), and Jeff Clyne (bass). The session comprised four songs in all, the others being "Europa", "War", and "Me and Parvati".

There is a Japanese bootleg CD of this session, together with a very murky recording of Slapp Happy's (only) live concert, a reunion at the ICA, London, in 1983. It's detailed on a Dagmar Krause page run by one Satoshi Nishihara at

For more on the band, can I be brazen and direct Jim to my own piece in the Rough Guide to Rock, which can be browsed on the web (along with pieces on a fair number of Canterbury bands) at http://www.roughguides.com/rock/

Oh, and for listening pleasure, delay not and get the band's Acnalbasac Moon CD, which is available on CD from the ever wonderful Recommended Records. It's the original recording (with backing from Faust) of their second album, "Slapp Happy", and it is one of the most enduringly wonderful records of the 70s.

all best, Mark Ellingham


From: Marty Zucker <marty@barbourlangley.com>
Subject: Ollie Halsall
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 14:17:17 -0800


I'm looking for pictures,articles,video etc. on Ollie Halsall.


From: David Arnay <studio_n@earthlink.net>
Subject: Zobo Funn Band
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 1997 00:05:04 -0700

[Sorry David - your message somehow got lost between issues 36 and 37 - AL]

I just want you to know that there was, in Ithaca, New York, from 1973-1980, a band called the Zobo Funn Band that included (from 1977-1980) a keyboardist that was a sworn Hatfield and the North and Gong fan.

David Arnay will release his first jazz CD, recorded with Peter Erskine, Bennie Maupin, and other notables, in early 1997. Also in the ZFB was renowned avant-wierd guitarist David Torn, currently touring with Ryuichi Sakamoto.


From: sid smith <106050.2211@compuserve.com>
Subject: Softs 7
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 11:45:25 -0500

The Rattler who mention that Allan Holdsworth breathed new life into the band reminded me of an event that happened over 20 years ago.

In 1975 I had the good fortune to attend a two-day workshop organised by the Musicians Union here in my hometown of Newcastle.  The band leading the workshop was non other than Soft Machine.  Softs' "Seven" was one of my favourite albums of the time and the opportunity to meet heroes like Roy Babbington was a chance in a lifetime.  I picked up my Jedson bass guitar (very cheap and nasty) and booked for the full two days. It was very informal and the band members took players off  into separate areas - pianists went off with Mike Ratledge, wind players with Jenkins etc. (I had two friends who went with Holdsworth and Ratledge).

I went off with Babbington who was courteous, pleasant and very patient. I had only just started to play the guitar and was very poor - by far the worst player there. Roy however, made me feel accepted and valued. Although I found many of the exercises difficult, it had a lasting effect on my playing and approach to the bass, particularly in relation to working with drummers.

At one point over the two days, various bands were put together made up of students from different classes. The track I had the job of playing was "Gesolreut" which I did but very badly. This was nerve-racking but also good fun.

In the evening of the first day, Softs played a concert which opened with "Plain Bob" (later re-titled "Hazard Profile"). The tape of the bells at Reims Cathedral (I think ?) was extremely atmospheric and really built up the anticipation in the capacity crowd. Allan Holdsworth had just joined the band and it would be a while before they recorded "Bundles".  For me the finished recording of Bundles never quite matched up to the sound they made that night.  

The next day was spent refining some of the exercises and numbers we had learnt and making some contacts with fellow Softs fans.  Looking back, I can honestly say that those two days were very formative ad important to my undertsanding of music, improvisation and my own playing.   It also taught me a lot about listening.  I am also amazed how open, friendly and approachable they all were. Does this kind of thing happen today ?

I agree that Holdsworth took the band into new territories but for me it started to go a bit wrong. "Seven" is one of my all time favourites. Up there with "Third" and "Four".

By the way, Karl Jenkins is also featured in the latest edition of a UK magazine called MOJO.  There's a picture and a short interview alongside a review of the latest Ademius album.  

[Note : "Bundles" was actually recorded in July 1974, although it was only released in April 1975, by which time Holdsworth had already left to join Tony Williams' Lifetime. Your mention of the Mojo article/interview is quite mouth- watering - could you sum it up for the non-UK citizens among us ? - AL]


From: Jim Powers <bc71445@binghamton.edu>
Subject: New web page
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 22:29:36 -0500 (EST)

Hello everybody!

This is just a note to tell you about our new embryonic web page, courtesy of my good friend Jay Wilson from U Mass.  There's not a lot there at the moment but hopefully I will find a shareware copy of one of those "make your own web page" programs and will be able to make it fancier.


I haven't tried it myself so I have no idea what it looks like or if the address works.



From: Craig Mitchell <mitchell@lis.unt.edu>
Subject: Gong
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 20:44:24 -0800

First let me compliment you on the website. Of all the Gong related sites I've looked at, this has to be one of the best!
I wanted to share mine with you, as it is somewhat obscure and unregistered at the moment.
It contains mostly photographs of the band I've taken over the last few years.
The URL is- http://people.unt.edu/~cem0006/gong.html
Check it out!

Be seeing you,
Craig Mitchell


From: Age Rotshuizen <Age.Rotshuizen@pjmi.knaw.nl>
Subject: Two unknown Gong songs
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 09:57:22 +0100

I've recently bought a Daevid Allen CD called 'Je ne fum'pas des bananes'.
It contains music by Allen solo & Banana Moon. It also contains two songs by
Gong. Can anyone tell me where these songs come from. Could it be a (never
released) single like a friend of mine suggested?

Age Rotshuizen
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

[Your friend was probably lucky enough to understand the credits (in French) on the back of the CD, which state that "Est-Ce Que Je Suis ?" and "Hyp Hypnotise You" are both sides of the first Gong single, recorded and released on Byg in 1970, with the pre-Camembert line-up of Allen, Smyth, Malherbe, Laloux, Tritsch and Houari. There is also a violin player by the pseudonym of 'How Wow Wow' who, I assume, is either Dieter Gewissler or Gerry Fields - AL]


From: GAS <gong-gas@gpo.sonnet.co.uk>
Subject: New release by Lady June
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 17:19:50 +0100

cat. number AGASCD 010

Artist and poet Lady June's first album "Linguistic Leprosy" has become a cult classic since its release on Virgin's esoteric Caroline label in 1974. She falls readily into no category, having strong connections with the Canterbury scene (via her long association with Kevin Ayers who helped compile this release, and who current collaborator Starvin Marvin helped provide most of the music), Gong (whose Gilli Smyth guests), classic "art-rock" (via Henry Cow and Lol Coxhill, her label mates on Caroline), and the performance poetry/art scene. A major exhibition of Lady June's paintings and collages, funded by the Spanish government, is being held in Palma this Summer.

"Hit & Myth", her second release, is a collection of new studio recordings that cover Lady June's eclectic range. From sharp and humourous observations on some of life's stranger foibles to moving torch songs, this CD is a unique and enjoyable re-introduction to Lady June's work and a release that can only add to her reputation.

16 tracks, ranging from 0:20 to 6:12 in length.
Contributors : Starvin Marvin, Gerry Fitzgerald, Sleepy Tom, Harry Williamson, Gilli Smyth, Sam Alexander, Philippe de Chaffoy, Max Handley, Alan Neffe, David Noble, Barry Sargent, Gerrit Valckenaers, Tony Waite.

"Hit & Myth" is only obtainable from GAS but will be generally distributed in the near future.
Copies are available at the cost of : £12.50 + £1.00 p&p (UK), £1.50 p&p (Europe), £2.00 (elsewhere). Cheques made payable to GAS.

GAS - P.O. Box 871, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9FE (UK)


From: Jim Grainger <Jim@regneag.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Questions
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 00:20:38 GMT


Thanks for the Slapp Happy biog.

Three further questions -

1 Just out of curiosity how many of us "What's Rattlin'" subscribers are there?

[A little over 300 at the moment, I think - AL]

2 Around sixteen years I was thumbing at random through records in a central London record store and came across two LPs by Lol Coxhill.  Funds being a little short at the time I had to make the choice of which one to purchase. I  was won over by the title of the one called "Fleas in Custard" and sadly had to put the other back in the rack and have never seen it since. I recall that the album had a curious track called "duet for alto sax and squeaky floorboard". Does anyone know what album this is and if it is available anywhere (on CD)?   

3 If Bill Maccormick's still out there reading this digest. Is it a London Borough that you are a Local Councillor for? If so can you autograph my Matching Mole albums next time you're at the Civic Centre :)

Jim Grainger   


From: Age Rotshuizen <Age.Rotshuizen@pjmi.knaw.nl>
Subject: CD-releases
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 14:03:12 +0100


I can't stop thinking that I am one of the younger pixies wondering around in this Canterbury-cave. I'm 22 years old & some-one who likes to buy his music on compact-disc. I guess there are more What's Rattlin'-readers like me, who have had the same question I have, i.e. what can you get on CD? I've made a list of records I'd sure like to hear.

Does anyone know the CD-billity of those:

1. Centipede - Septober Energy
2. Lol Coxhil - Ear of the beholder & his two collaborations with Miller
3. Elton Dean - Elton Dean
4. Nucleus - Solar plexus
5. Soft Head - Rogue element
6. Soft Heap - Soft Heap
7. Keith Tippett - You are here... & Dedicated to you but you...

[To my knowledge (1) has been available as a semi-bootleg (?), but is now very rare; (2) has been reissued by See For Miles (or was it Beat Goes On ?) but the Miller/Coxhill LP's have not yet been; (3) has yet to be reissued on CD (it was on CBS); (4) I've got a copy of, it was on Line Records, but I understand the Line CD's are now hard to find; (5) I'm not sure; (6) was reissued last year by Spalax in France; (7) the first has not been reissued, the second has (on Repertoire, I think). If any can correct or complete this, please do - AL]

By the way, Two years ago I saw a Dutch show from 1967 or 1968 with a performance of The Soft Machine (feat. Kevin). They played two songs: Soon Soon Soon & Why am I so short/So boot if at all. I recently discovered that on one of the many 'Live at Paradiso'-CDs those two songs have been added. Buy it if you see it!

Age Rotshuizen

[Please bear in mind, though, that this is a bootleg edition. There is a much better sounding version of "Live At Paradiso" available on Voiceprint. And it's official - AL]


From: bc71445@binghamton.edu
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 13:49:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hugh Hopper 'Best Softs' compilation

Dear Aymeric,

I just got a copy of the Hopper Mantra comp and was wondering if the Ultimate Discography has track listings and personnel for the albums.

Jim Powers

- The Canterbury Oracle responds : -    :)

1. Hoppertunity Box (3:33)
2. Gnatprong (7:52)
3. Spanish Knee (3:44)
[tracks 1-3 rec. on the Manor Mobile, May-July 1976 - from "Hoppertunity Box" (1976)]
Personnel : HH (bass, guitar, soprano sax, percussion), Elton Dean (alto sax, saxello), Marc Charig (cornet, tenor horn), Dave Stewart (organ, pianet, oscillators), Gary Windo (bass clarinet, saxes), Nigel Morris (drums), Frank Roberts (electric piano), Mike Travis (drums), Richard Brunton (guitar)

4. Lily Kong (3:09)
5. Golden Section (3:38)
[tracks 4-5 rec. live in Bordeaux, France, March 20th, 1974 - from "Monster Band" (1978)]
Personnel : HH (bass), Elton Dean (saxello), Mike Travis (drums), Jean-Pierre Carolfi (keyboards), Jean-Pierre Weiller (bass)

6. Minipax 1 (3:18)
[rec. London, July-August 1972 - from "1984" (1973)]
Personnel : HH (bass), John Marshall (drums), Pye Hastings (guitar), Lol Coxhill (soprano sax), Gary Windo (tenor sax), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone)

7. Brass Wind Bells / Anguishy (9:16)
8. Waffle Dust (2:50)
9. Punkom (3:18)
[tracks 7-9 rec. London, June 1977 - from "Mercy Dash" (1984) by Hopper-Dean-Tippett-Gallivan]
Personnel : Elton Dean (alto sax, saxello), Keith Tippett (piano), HH (bass), Joe Gallivan (drums, electronics)

10. Minitrue Reprise (2:25)
[rec. London, July-August 1972 - from "1984" (1973)]
Personnel : HH (bass, soprano sax), John Marshall (all percussion)

11. Oyster Perpetual (3:09)
12. Lonely Woman (3:17)
[tracks 11-12 rec. on the Manor Mobile, May-July 1976 - from "Hoppertunity Box" (1976)]
Personnel : same as 1-3


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*               FORTHCOMING CANTERBURY-RELATED CONCERTS                 *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX - see URL below]

Jan 28 - Turnout, Theater Cafe [Tel. (32) 14 43 77 37]
Jan 29 - Gent, Muziek Kafee Charlatan [Tel. (32) 92 24 23 11]
Jan 30 - Mol, Boulevard [Tel. (32) 14 31 37 77]

Jan 24 - Boulogne Sur Mer, Cabaret Sam [Tel. 03 21 87 32 69]
Jan 26 - Aulnay Sous Bois, venue unknown
Jan 28 - Marseille, Espace Julien [Tel. 04 91 39 29 29]
Feb 20 - Nilvange, Le Gueulard [Tel. 03 82 85 50 71]
Feb 21 - Metz, Les Trinitaires [Tel. 03 87 75 04 96]
Mar 06 - Aubusson, L'Avant Scène [Tel. 05 55 83 88 59]
Mar 07 - Bresse/Grosne, Café-Théatre [Tel. 03 85 92 67 05]
Mar 08 - Montlucon, Le Guingois [Tel. 04 70 05 88 18]
Mar 11 - Tours, Le Bateau Ivre [Tel. 02 47 44 77 22]
Mar 14 - Paris, New Morning
Mar 15 - Cholet, Le Jardin de Verre [Tel. 02 41 65 13 58]
Mar 21 - Plouhinec, Café de la Barre [Tel. 02 97 36 73 73]
Mar 22 - Trégastel, Tout-Couleur [Tel. 02 96 23 46 26]
Mar 23 - Plouhinec, Master Class, Café de la Barre [Tel. 02 97 36 73 73]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

                        END OF ISSUE #38

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