::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 43                          ::
  ::                  Friday, February 28th, 1997                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Jacques van den Oever <jvdoever@worldonline.nl>
Subject: Robert Fripp producing Little Red Record
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 12:07:10 +0100

What a brilliant idea of Sid Smith to go and ask Bob Fripp's comment on
Bill MacCormick's observations during the production of Little Red Record.
And what a brilliant answer from Fripp by the way.

When I first read Bill MacCormick's words in "Wrong Movements" I was a bit shocked. What 'absolute disaster'?? What 'quivering wreck'?? Was this guy really talking about one of my most important albums of the seventies? Well, Bill MacCormick was in the studio making it and I only had been listening...

But there's one thing that still bothers me (and I wonder how other old & new listeners think about that): Isn't Little Red Record an OUTSTANDING product!!?? The music AND the way Robert Fripp produced it was never heard before and never quite equalled later. It was totally unlike Fripp's other work so it seems hard to believe that his presence had been a 'towering and terrorising' one. It is more likely that he helped the Mole getting their music on tape in an original way. But again, I was only listening. Maybe we should have Phil Miller's comment on this matter, or even Robert Wyatt's. No matter what they will answer though, Little Red Record remains a highlight in British pop music in terms of composition, performance AND production.


[As regards what Bill really meant in his statement, read his message just below. There is no arguing that "Little Red Record" is a superb disc, and Bill doesn't state the contrary. His point is purely Phil Miller's performance which, he reckons, would have been different (i.e. even better) under less stressful circumstances. Concerning Fripp's production work, I leave it to the musicians to estimate the extent to which it modified the initial material, and how different the finished record would have been if Matching Mole had used another producer. I honestly couldn't say. This album is certainly different from the first one, but IMHO it's mainly because everyone was involved in the composition work, and because Dave MacRae added so much of his own musical personality - AL]


From: Bill Maccormick
Subject: Robert Fripp/Matching Mole
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 97 11:49 GMT0

[re: sid smith <106050.2211@compuserve.com> in WR#42 :]
> "Having Robert Fripp as the producer was an absolute disaster....

Such comments always look worse in print than they sound at the time, however, I've no reason to change my view about the net impact of Robert's presence in the control room on Phil Miller although, with hindsight, the phrase 'absolute disaster' is OTT. It makes it sound as though I didn't enjoy the experience which isn't true.  

From my perspective Phil seemed very intimidated by Robert's presence but that was just one of those things and not something anybody did as such. It's very difficult in those circumstances to have a really successful time in a recording studio when a quarter of the band seems to feel that uncomfortable.    

Personally, I enjoyed the sessions hugely 80% or so of the time. Having Fripp & Eno in the studio together was fascinating to watch and be part of, but the final product lacked a certain something in some areas. My view is coloured, though, by a lingering image of Phil sitting in a huge CBS studio on his own trying to play a particular piece and getting more and more frustrated because he couldn't get it quite right. I suppose if I'd had one of my bass playing heroes sitting there watching everything I did then I guess I would have been nervous too.   

Basically, it was just one of those things where the chemistry between everyone wasn't quite 100% all the time and where (my) expectations were very high. Another time, another place...? And whatever my recollections about our brief professional experience, I still regard Robert as one of THE players of the past 25 years with whom it was a privilege to work.

Bill MacCormick


From: E.Roos@BURO.KUN.NL
Subject: Caravan / In Cahoots
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 08:56:57 +0000

Hi all!

Although I read WR for some months now, this is my first posting. First of all I want to express thanks to Aymeric for doing a great job with both WR and the WWW-page. Both make me feel 'at home' as a long-time fan of Canterbury music. I'm 38 - not the oldest fart on this list :-)  and have waited a long time for a place where I can find news and exchange ideas about my favourite kind of music. Both WR and Calyx are GREAT!

Among my favourites are Caravan, Kevin Ayers, Hatfield and the North, Robert Wyatt - to name a few. Richard Sinclair is one of my all-time favourite musicians who I admire for his musicianship, songwriting and, last but not least: wonderful voice.

In WR #41 "Syd Schwartz" <sydster@ix.netcom.com> wrote to [PETERGIF@aol.com]:
>I've tried Peter, but it (Caravan's "Battle of Hastings") just doesn't
>do anything for me.  

Well, I like the album. Especially the first 5 songs. In my opinion these are good new songs from the '90s Caravan line-up.

Furthermore Syd wrote:
>I think that both of Richard Sinclair's solo projects of the last few
>years (Caravan of Dreams and R.S.V.P.) are much better than the last
>couple of Caravan offerings, especially "All Over You" which I can't
>stomach at all.

I'm not going into a debate about Richard solo vs Caravan '96, but I like "All over you" a lot. These are all great songs and well performed (although I don't like the fake live-noises in the last two songs). To me "All over you" is the perfect soundtrack for a warm Summer evening while sitting in the garden sipping a cool glass of white wine.

[If I may add my two cents on this, your comment suits the acoustic part of the CD. The main point of controversy about this album, IMHO, is the use of drum machines and other "artificial" sounds, especially on the radically revamped (techno?) version of "For Richard" - AL]

Syd also wrote:
>I wish Pye and Richard would call an end to the feud and record some
>new material as Caravan, and then tour over here in the U.S.!!  

I'd be happy to hear about solo performances by Richard. The last news about him (some issues of WR ago) said that he was going to live in Harlingen (Holland) for a while. Can anyone tell us more about the future plans of Richard? Is he doing gigs in Holland already?

My last reaction to Syd:
>And while I'm making a wish list, how about a Caravan box set with
>some unreleased live material and studio outtakes?  And how about
>reissuing "The Best of Caravan Live" with a couple of bonus tracks?

YES!!! I support this! Is there any news on new releases by Caravan?

To me one of the musical highlights of 1996 year was the release of the first Caravan LP on CD. I must admit I heard the LP only once or twice - many bananamoons ago. I never could lay a hand on a copy - because it is such a rare LP. But now I have the CD I play it often - and I enjoy it a lot.

There was a review on this album in the British magazine "Record Collector" some months ago. I can re-type it if anyone is interested.

In my tape collection I recently discovered a live recording by In Cahoots. It was a gig they did on October 19, 1989 in O'42, Nijmegen (Holland). It was broadcasted by FM-radio. The radio show in which the gig was broadcasted lasts an hour. The line up: Phil Miller, Elton Dean, Pip Pyle, Fred Baker, Steve Franklin. Some of the songs are: "For the moment", "All is not lost" and "Red shift". I recorded the radio show on a not-so-good ferric tape with a not-so-good cassette recorder. So the sound quality of the tape isn't great. But I guess there could be some Rattlers who like to have a copy of it. E-mail me privately - I'd like to trade tapes.

Shut my mouth now, rattled enough.




From: Pip Pyle <mail@musart.co.uk>
Subject: PIP PYLE
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 15:01:24 -0800

can you urgently tell me when and where I was born and what I have been doing for the last thirty odd years or so? Other questions I'd like help on are: how long are three (fairly short) bits of string and where can I bulk buy second hand hooverbags? Can you also E mail a second hand 1950s musician's brain. Friends tell me they are really good value on account of they hardly ever see any use. Kind Regards, I Can't Quite Remember Who but Mark says I used to be Pip Pyle

[Pip sent me this message from Mark Hewins' home while spending a week in London to finish his solo album, recording Barbara Gaskin's vocals on two tracks and mixing his cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever" with Dave Stewart. Hopefully, "Seven-Year Itch" will be released on Voiceprint next Summer. According to the note he left on the Musart site, he has no gigs planned for the near future, which probably means that the planned Gong US tour has either been cancelled or will take place with someone else, possibly Pierre Moerlen, on drums - AL]


From: davidl@mail.tss.net (David Layton)
Subject: More Canterbury Connections
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 01:11:48 +0000

Hello Rattlers.

This is David Layton, host of the progressive music radio shows "Lost Planet
Radio" and "Nova Express" in Washington state, USA.

In searching for music in my collection to play on the first show I ran across an album which has some loose Canterbury connections and might therefore be interesting to some of you out there.

The album is called "Kaleidoscope of Rainbows" by Neil Ardley. This is a large-ensemble jazz-rock suite based on the Balinese five-tone musical scale.  Released in 1976, the sound is somewhat like Keith Tippett's "Centipede", but less avant-garde and more "composed."  I think it is better than Centipede.

The Canterbury connections are as follows:

1) it was released on Gull records, the same label that first released Isotope's three albums, the second of which featured Hugh Hopper.

2) It features trumpeter Ian Carr and percussionist Trevor Tomkins in the orchestra. Some may remember Tomkins as the drummer for Gilgamesh. Carr worked with a number of acts in the early 70s including Centipede. He also recorded a CD in the 80s called "Old Heartland" which features John Marshall on three tunes. "Old Heartland" is another fine British-style jazz/rock/orchestral album.

3) The producer of the album is Paul Buckmaster, another guy who got around a lot in the 70s and who plays electric cello on this album.  You can hear him on "Be All Right" from Caravan's "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night."

There are probably other connections as there are about 25 people in Ardley's orchestra.  To my knowledge "Kaleidoscope of Rainbows" has, sadly, not been reissued on CD.

Good hunting to those of you seeking the complete Canterbury collection.


[A couple of corrections : Hugh Hopper plays on both the second and the third Isotope albums, although he left during the sessions of the latter. Trevor Tomkins was the percussion player in Nucleus in the mid-70's - AL]


Some bits of news to finish off :

- I got a phonecall the other night from John Etheridge who promised to soon write down the answer to the letter I sent him last November. This should make a nice interview.

- A few days after, John G. Perry called to also (what a coincidence) say that he'd recorded his answers to my letter of September 1995 (... this is a long story). I received the tape yesterday (Thursday). I thought I'd be able to transcript it in time for this issue, but John speaks so fast the 45 minutes of tape contain probably the equivalent of 90 minutes by a normal person... Plus he has a very thick accent... So this is postponed to issue #44. This said, the interview is great. John gives lots of details on his musical career, his time with Caravan, the Quantum Jump/Sunset Wading projects etc. John told me he planned to finally start work on his 3rd solo album next Summer - or at least this is what I understood.

- Fresh from Mark Hewins : the Polite Force CD is out of the factory, and now available from the Voiceprint label... featuring Mark, David Sinclair, Graham Flight and many others.



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

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

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]

Mar 12 - Leeds, Irish Centre
Mar 13 - Manchester, University
Mar 14 - Nottingham, Marcus Centre
Mar 15 - Norwich, Arts Centre
Mar 16 - Sheffield, Leadmill
Mar 18 - Newcastle, Riverside
Mar 20 - Cambridge, The Junction
Mar 21 - Egham, Royal Holloway University
Mar 22 - Reading, Alleycat Live
Mar 25 - Colchester, Arts Centre
Mar 26 - Brighton, East Wing Centre
Mar 27 - London, Astoria
Mar 28 - Gloucester, Guildhall
Mar 29 - Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms

HUGH HOPPER BAND - FRENCH DATE [Frank van der Kooy-Patrice Meyer-Hugh Hopper-Maarten Kruiswijk]
Mar 22 - Bethune (62), Le Poche

HADOUK - FRENCH & BELGIAN DATES [Didier Malherbe/Loy Ehrlich]
Apr 04 - Thumesnil (59) (France)
Aug 02 - Dranouter, Folk Festival (Ypres) (Belgium)

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

                        END OF ISSUE #43

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

CALYX - The Canterbury Website



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