::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 50                          ::
  ::                   Thursday, April 24th, 1997                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Ralph Cross / Caravan Information Service
Subject: Caravan Newsletter n°5 (April, 1997)
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 17:35:22 -0100

Following the hectic period of new albums, reissues and concerts, this is a time of reflection in the Caravan camp. HTD Records, while disappointed by the turnout at most gigs on last Autumn's tour, remain committed to promoting the band.

There are proposals to reissue "All Over You" with a new cover : apparently many people thought it was a best of, and in addition the cover didn't have the intended impact. The company are also looking into getting the rights for "Better By Far" as well as "If I Could Do It All Over Again..." which is apparently deleted.

Another bit of news that may have passed you by was the fact that Pye turned 50 in January ! Pye's reaction was very matter of fact, "I feel good about it actually. My wife took me on a three-day trip to Paris by Eurostar and we had a great time".

[AL notes - Amazingly, John G. Perry was also in Paris at the very same time with his wife, also celebrating his 50th birthday as he and Pye were born only a couple of days apart - 19/21 January 1947 !!!]

No gigs are booked for Caravan at present, although there is a very real possibility of an appearance at the Canterbury Sound Festival on the 4th or 25th July. A brewery as well as B.T. are interested in providing sponsorship. Other musicians to be approached include Kevin Ayers and the Climax Blues Band. No other dates for Caravan are in the pipeline. As Pye states, "We're keen but we haven't rehearsed since the recent tour so we've rather lost the impetus".

I asked Pye what he was up to musically at present. "I'm writing stuff although it's all in my head ! I don't actually put ideas on tape initially. If an idea keeps coming back to me then it's likely I'll make use of it". Other than Julian, his son, is doing a remix of a Sade album (the record  company felt it needed more production), Pye has agreed to appear on it playing acoustic guitar, and there is a possibility he will be joined by Jimmy Hastings and Doug Boyle. As Pye states, "I've only ever really appeared on someone else's album once and that was "1984" by Hugh Hopper".

Geoffrey Richardson has just come back from the tour of France with Renaud and is about to go to Korea with another French artist. He remains keen to renew his Caravan connection at some point, although Pye has made it clear that the current line-up was successful on tour and it might be difficult to accommodate another musician.

Ralph Cross

[The Caravan newsletter is a free service, you just need to send a S.A.E. in a decent-sized envelope to receive the latest issue. Address : Ralph Cross, Apple Cottage, Henstead Road, Hethersett, Norfolk NR9 3JH (UK)]


From: neato@pipeline.com
Subject: assorted responses
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 22:48:34 -0400 (EDT)

The three Spirogyra recordings:
"Bells Boots and Shambles"
"Old Boot Wine"
"St. Radiguns"
were all available on CD from the Repertoire label... The old LP of "Old Boot
Wine" had a picture of Steve Hillage on the back

Concerning Gong:

-as previously reported, Gong's "Greasy Truckers" contribution is NOT from
Sheffield or Bataclan... It was recorded in April or May of 1973 at

-the Dashiell Hedayat cd... as well as the earlier recording by Hedayat
under the name Melmoth (no Gong involvement)... are available from the French
label - Mantra... I see them both in NYC all the time... Shouldnt be a problem
getting them in Europe

-been also seeing a vinyl transcription cd of Glastonbury Fayre around...

-as per Wyatt's "Ruth is Stranger than Richard", i always assumed it was a
take off on "truth is stranger than fiction"


                       all my mistakes were once acts of genius
                                          neato@pipeline com


From: Jacques van den Oever <jvdoever@worldonline.nl>
Subject: Re: Truth is stranger than Richard
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 08:24:49 +0200

Richard Klein asked why Ruth is stranger than Richard. It must be a Wyattesque word play with the observation of many writers of literature that Truth is stranger than fiction. If you are a writer and experience something in real life it turns out you can't write down what actually happened because it will appear too unreal for your readers. Therefore you must make fiction out of it.  Hence a paradox: Truth being stranger than fiction.



From: Bill Maccormick
Subject: 801
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 97 11:38 BST-1

[In WR#49 Chris Topham wrote:]
> This brings back the memories; in the mid-'70s my dad was in the RAF at
> Coltishall in Norfolk, and I was knocked over to find out that 801 would
> play their first gig not 15 miles away at West Runton pavilion.   The
> show itself ranks along with the VdGG reunion gig in Victoria Aug '75
> as the best I ever saw.

Thank you. Was good, wasn't it. Odd coincidence is that 801 played 3 times: QEII, Reading Festival and West Runton Pavilion all of which were places played by M Mole. So Cromer was truly blessed. Ain't life peculiar.

> All I can tell you is that it was a full set with 2 encores but I'm
> not sure what was missing when the album was released

Although we rehearsed more than what was played at the QEII the only part of the set that was missed was the "Fat Lady Of Limbourg" which has subsequently appeared on a Manzanera compilation. "Golden Hours" (Another Green World) was recorded as part of the sound check and we had rehearsed quite substantially 2 more Tiger Mountain tracks but these were never recorded on the mobile.  I used to have these recorded on a Revox off the sound desk but some bastard stole them.

Bill MacCormick


From: bc71445@binghamton.edu
Subject: Ruth is Stranger than Richard
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 11:59:41 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Richard,

I saw your message on Calyx.  I'm not sure how many might have answered you at this point but I always took Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard as a pun on the English phrase "Truth is stranger than fiction."  This from the man who left the Soft Machine (who were very popular in France) and named a new band Matching Mole (the phonetic translation for Soft Machine in French, Machine Molle).

Now we need to know, is Ruth really stranger than you?


Jim Powers

[Several other messages give the same interpretation. I preferred not to include them in order for WR not to repeat itself too much. Thanks, however, to all those who replied - AL]


From: davidl@mail.tss.net (David Layton)
Subject: Dirk Mont Campbell
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 14:47:53 +0100

Hello Rattlers,

Dirk "Mont" Campbell's cd "Music From A Round Tower" has just been released here in the states on East Side Digital. I know it's been available in Europe for a few months. For those rattlers in the western hemisphere I provide here a quick review.

In short, the CD is great.  The music is intelligently composed and put together, and nicely produced by Campbell's ex-Egg and National Health partner Dave Stewart.  It contains 20 pieces which range in length from a few seconds to about 7 minutes, all segued together to form a nearly continuous composition.  The instrumentation is slight - middle eastern wind and percussion instruments plus voices, most of which are performed by Campbell.  However, this is not a "folk" or world beat album. Campbell uses sampling and midi technologies to augment the sound, producing rich synthetic textures.

The result is not really Canterbury music, and those searching for reprises of Egg or Nat Health styles will be surprised.  The closest musical analogues I can think of for this cd are Jade Warrior or 70s Mike Oldfield, but it is really music in a style of its own.  This one is for patient listening, and does not work as background music or dance music or party music.  It is a nice return to recording from a musician who has been sorely missed the last two decades.




From: Phil Jeremiah <phil@jeremiah.prestel.co.uk>
Subject: Canterbury, past concerts and old friends
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 15:06:37 -0700

Dear Aymeric,

I've only recently stumbled onto your website (courtesy of Facelift) and I'm impressed and pleasantly surprised that there are so many other people out there with more than a passing interest in "Canterbury" music.

I first became interested after hearing excerpts from "Girls who grow Plump..." on Radio 1 (probably Top Gear?). There then followed a series of
competitions with my friend, Steve Yarwood. [See his article in Facelift, issue 12 - That came as a shock, it's the first Facelift I bought following the Mirage concert. Imagine browsing through and finding this guy who's been to ALL the concerts you've been to in the early/mid 70's, flicking further forward and finding an account of yourself! We'd not been in touch for over 15 years] We tried to outdo each other on finding the most obscure LP's (Steve usually won) whilst also rushing to be the first to lose our virginity (ha, I won). Over the years I've missed that type of competition (no, I mean the music) because we egged each other on which broadened both our horizons (it sometimes narrowed them too; me insisting that "Backwards" on "Girls who grow..." was more emotional and Steve insisting that the version on Softs 3 was more "pure"). I'm hoping WR will have the same POSITIVE effect (see later) - I've already added a load of CD's to my wish list as a result of the
Canterbury Discography.

I'm afraid that over the years I've lost touch with the Canterbury "scene" but was heartened by the Richard Sinclair 90's albums - excellent. And now WR.

I've had the great fortune to see Soft Machine, Gong, Isotope, Caravan, Global Village Trucking Co, National Health, Henry Cow, Camel, Mirage, Julie Driscoll, Gary Boyle, Steve Hillage. Alas, I never got to see Hatfield and The North, who I still rate as my all time favourite. [who doesn't? - AL ;)]

My only bad experience relating to Canterbury music still makes me cringe. I've never been one for collecting autographs but at a Steve Hillage / National Health concert at Erics in Liverpool I asked for Phil Miller's
autograph. It's true, I had gone to see NH rather than see Steve Hillage on that occasion. So, PM's signing my scrap of paper and, well, you have to say something don't you, so I blurt out "I've only come to see National Health, I don't really rate Steve Hillage" or some other crass comment. PM moves his head slightly to reveal a VERY un-"pot-head pixie" look of sheer anger on Steve Hillages face, oops!

I don't ask for autographs any more.

Some years ago I met Gary Boyle a few times. He was playing in Leeds a lot above a pub in Headingley. Really nice guy. The only albums I've got are "Triple Echo" and Isotope. Does anyone have a list of his others? Yes, I know he's not strictly Canterbury but his name's cropped up a few times so
please indulge me.

Concerning this "Canterbury" thing; WR's great. Please don't ruin it with this "Softs 7 is crap" and "It isn't really Canterbury" sort of stuff. I'm sure we all like different aspects of ALL music and Canterbury in particular. Lets just beg to differ and occasionally bite our collective tongues (hmm, hope that last bit translates culturally; I've been working in the US recently and all the Brits keep getting into trouble with the most inoffensive of comments - It amazes me that Caravan at al have a following in the US, I've always seen it as being very "British"!).

[Why should it be surprising ? the "britishness" of Caravan was certainly a key factor in their success here in France in the 70's - AL]

Sorry for the ramble but I'm through now.



PS. Thanks to Phil Howitt for putting me in touch with Steve Yarwood after
all these years

[Interesting point - the fact of the "Canterbury scene" being more a family of musicians than strictly a musical style. There are valid comparisons to be made between such and such band, but from one comparison to another you can end up with two bands that have strictly nothing in common musically. Yet... Didn't Daevid Allen jam with Short Wave (!) at Gong 25 ? Didn't Elton Dean join Gong (!) for the encore - "You Can't Kill Me" - at Gong's Bataclan gig last autumn ? And there are surely plenty more examples of such unlikely (on paper at least) collaborations... - AL]


From: Robert Bennett <rob.bennett@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: John Martyn etc.
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 20:12:04 +0000

[In WR #49, Age from Amsterdam noted:]
> I'm beginning to get the idea we're getting a bit out of focus here: John
> Martyn, Pizzicato Five. The first one is a folk singer. He may have some
> connections with Canterbury, but let's not turn him into the new Robert
> Wyatt.

I for one am delighted to to hear about other artists that like-minded listeners have discovered. They don't have to necessarily sound just like Canterbury, but I have found that folks that are into Hatfield and the North (for example) usually listen to other obscure but exciting music.

I was pleased to read about other Rattlers who are into John Martyn, since I count him as one of my "well kept secrets". I have been unable to resist obtaining everything he has ever recorded and drool at the thought of the chance of seeing him perform live. I have even considered buying a laserdisc player for the sole reason that there is a German laserdisc of him in concert that has been available at "CD Now". As far as I know there is no web site devoted to John. I ask other Rattlers if they might consider "adopting" John Martyn into our "clique" since he doesn't seem to fit anywhere else? (In fact he would keep good company with Pierre Bensusan, who is guilty only by his association with Bloomdido.)

I also welcome the suggestions of other Rattlers who favor other artists who might not necessarily be Canterbury, but who may interest us just the same. (I know someone mentioned the possibility of making Gentle Giant an "honorary Canterbury" band, but they are well represented on the web and elsewhere and I would expect that most Rattlers know them well.)

So, Age, in sum, let's stay a bit "out of focus" since it helps get more of us to hear about special artists that we all should share with each other.


Rob Bennett


From: Phil Howitt <phil@facelift.sonnet.co.uk>
Subject: various
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 97 18:51:07 +0000

Hi Aymeric

One of your recent newsletters referred to a Daevid Allen song containing the
words 'tired and emotional...' This is in fact one of four tracks on the Alien
in New York EP called 'Are You Ready', recently repackaged on CD by
Charly/Spalax alongside the Opium For The People single (reviewed Facelift 16).

Brand X was cancelled last Thursday but has been rescheduled for Jillys in
Manchester on 21 May. If you hear any other details of a tour could you let me
know - I may do a mailout.

All the best



Subject: Cutler/Wire(d)
Date: 21 Apr 97 11:27:40 EDT

Hi Aymeric,

Just a minor point - The British magazine with the Chris Cutler story is 'The Wire', not 'Wired'.

Best regards,

Dan K

[Sorry for the mix-up. I know both exist and was sure I was going to make that mistake... - AL]


From: Eric Rutten <rutten@irisa.fr>
Subject: ex-Softies on Towering Inferno's "Kaddish"
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 10:22:21 +0200

Towering Inferno's "Kaddish" (Island records, 1993) has been described by Brian Eno as the most fightening music he ever heard (or something like that). It is a CD of varied music, around the theme  of pogroms and persecutions of Jews in Europe. The music goes from quasi-heavy metal of some sort to spoken words, with in between some synthesizers as well. Among the musicians are Elton Dean on sax and John Marshall on drums. I only listened to it once, but it seems to be quite strong indeed.



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

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

[Peter Bardens-Steve Adams-Desha Dunnahoe-Dave Cohen]
May 01 - San Juan Capistrano (Ca), The Coach House [tel: 714 496 8930]
May 06 - Los Angeles (Ca), Billboard Live [tel: 310 786 1712]
May 08 - San Rafael (Ca), New George's [tel: 415 457 8424]

May 09 - Southampton (UK), The Gantry
May 10 - Milton Keynes (UK)
May 11 - Aldershot (UK), The Arts Centre
May 12 - Brighton (UK)
May 14 - London (UK), The Weavers Arms
May 15 - Cambridge (UK), The Man on the Moon
May 16 - Bury (UK), The Met
May 17 - Lichfield (UK), The Arts Centre
May 18 - Alverston (UK)
May 19 - Derby (UK)

May 24 - Lilliers (France), L'Abattoir
May 25 - Diest (Belgium), The Borderline (6 pm)

Jun 15 - Migne-Auxances/Poitiers (France), Salle Communale (Festival)

HADOUK - BELGIAN DATE [Didier Malherbe/Loy Ehrlich]
Aug 02 - Dranouter, Folk Festival (Ypres) (Belgium)

[Peter Bardens-Steve Adams-Desha Dunnahoe-Dave Cohen]
Sep 18 - Alkmaar (Holland), Atlantis
Sep 19 - Breda (Holland), Para
Sep 20 - Oberhausen (Holland), The Star Club
Sep 21 - Uden (Holland), De Nieuwe Pul
Sep 24 - Paris (France), Passage du Nord-Ouest
Sep 25 - Norwich (UK), The Waterfront
Sep 26 - Ashton-Upon-Lyne (UK), The Witchwood
Sep 27 - Rotherham (UK), Herringthorpe Leisure Centre
Sep 28 - London (UK), Astoria 2

[Phil Miller-Didier Malherbe-Hugh Hopper-Pip Pyle]
Sep 19 - Boulogne-sur-Mer (62), Cabaret Sam [Tel. 03 21 87 32 69]
Sep 20 - Bethune (62), Le Poche

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

                        END OF ISSUE #50

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

CALYX - The Canterbury Website



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