::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 68                          ::
  ::                   Tuesday, October 1st, 1997                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Frederic Stock <bidouye@club-internet.fr>
Subject: Pierre Moerlen's Gong
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 11:43:15 +0200


I'm looking for the follow Pierre Moerlen's Gong albums on CD :

Leave it open

Does anyone have hints ?

Frederic Stock


From: "William Hearne" <LHearne@classic.msn.com>
Subject: CALYX Artist profiles
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 97 13:24:44 UT

Hey!  What happened?  Your new and improved page which has the band selections
and then a "GO" buttom will not work on my computer.  When I try to go to a
profile I get a Script error message: "Microsoft JScript runtime error  [Line:
6] 'null' is not an object"  Any idea why I can't access the profiles?

Lake Hearne

[I've gotten quite a few similar messages recently, so I'll reply to this one. I don't know much about the JavaScript language, this particular thingy was pasted directly from the Musart site (thanks Matt !). It is possible that some computers can't read it. I plan to add a more conventional link to the profiles section, but at the moment this is prevented by the fact that, because of recent computer problems (again !), I am unable to use my file transfer protocol and can't update Calyx (BTW, if anyone has good knowledge of how MacIntosh computers function, help would be welcome !) or change anything in the pages. Anyway, if you're looking for a specific artist profile, just go to : "http://www.alpes-net.fr/~bigbang/nameofmusician.html" - AL]


From: "Jerry Kranitz" <jkranitz@infinet.com>
Subject: New Volare' CD (Review)
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 18:44:22 +0000

VOLARE - "The Uncertainty Principle" (The Laser's Edge 1997)

I've been waiting for this one. I discovered Volaré last year after reading some positive reviews about their performance at a music festival in Kentucky. I sent for their demo cassette and was impressed with the bands' Canterbury and classic progressive influenced instrumental music. Seeing them at ProgDay this year confirmed my suspicion that the band would be a live smoker. And now... their first full-length CD.

Volaré is a four piece consisting of guitar, bass, sax, drums, and a list of keyboards longer than your arm. The music on The Uncertainty Principle is at its core Canterbury influenced. However, added to the mix are strong elements of 70's fusion, Happy The Man, and classic progressive.

The songs, while not flashy, are very busy... there's a lot going on here. The music holds the listener's attention with wonderful melodies, and a variety of sounds from the instruments. The guitarist alternates between a clean jazzy sound and a heavier fuzz guitar. There are even times when the two styles appear in single songs and it works well. The keyboardist would probably be comfortable in any setting from straight jazz to straight progressive. I know nothing about musical equipment but if I got a nickle for every keyboard sound on this disc... well you get the idea. While we're speaking of variety I should also mention that at ProgDay members of Volare' filled in quite comfortably for missing members of French TV and Glass Hammer during those bands' performances .

Musically one of the bands' strengths, and is certainly part of their style, is the ability to seamlessly change tempo from fairly hard driving instrumentation to mellow, subtle passages. And then right back into a jam. These quiet parts, unfortunately, lost something in the outdoor live setting at ProgDay, which I now realize after having listened to this disc about a dozen times now. I'd really like to see them performing in a small club.

As far as great instrumental music goes this is my favorite so far for `97. If you're a Canterbury fan its a must. If you're a Laser's Edge fan then I'd say if you like A Triggering Myth you're sure to like this. If you're a classic prog fan who wants a little instrumental adventure I think there's enough here to satisfy you.

Jerry Kranitz (jkranitz@infinet.com)


From: Phil Franks <philm@arrakis.es>
Subject: Gong on UK Tv
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 16:19:59 +0200

Thought you might be interested in this...
I receive VH-1 in Spain.


Phil Franks

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Wed, 24 Sep 1997 13:43:49 -0000
From:          Si <sihalley@VOSSNET.CO.UK>
Subject:       OFF: Gong on UK Tv

For anybody who's interested, Gong a apparently going to be on VH-1 (Europe)
sometime this week. The program is 'Take It To The Bridge', the same show that
featured HW a while back. That's all I know. The Bridge (according to my Tv
paper) is on friday at 1.30am (after a Genesis thing) and Saturday at 7.30 pm.
I don't know which show it may be, I just spotted the listing on VH-1 teletext
which has a habit of being very out of date.



From: Stephen Yarwood <syjy@compuserve.com>
Subject: National Health 1976 Gig Mystery
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 17:38:04 -0400

Maybe somebody out there can help solve the mystery of the National Health gig that never was back in 1976. I know it's a long time ago but I never fail to be astonished by what I read in WR, the truth is out there.

The date was February 24th 1976, these old teenage diaries come in useful sometimes, myself and a friend set out for Manchester Polytechnic to see the National Health gig as advertised in the New Musical Express. Not being acquainted with the college, or Manchester for that matter, we assumed that there would be just one site on which we would find the concert hall. How naive, I think we ended up finding three different sites and no sign of National Health. The bemused college staff whom we asked thought we were looking for some sort of doctors' convention.

In the end it was getting late and we were attracted by the sound of discordant music from a nearby building which was part of another college. The posters revealed that the artist in question was Julie Tippetts, so in we went. The action took place in what looked like a lecture theatre, and what we saw was Julie Tippetts free improvising jazz musician, light years away from Julie Driscoll pop singer of the 60s. Uncompromising music, most of it totally improvised, although some pieces had a very basic theme or structure. Performing were JT herself on vocals, piano and acoustic guitar, Brian Godding electric guitar, Harry Miller double bass and occasional bass guitar, and a drummer whose name escapes me. The other dominant sound besides Julie's voice was the cornet of Marc Charig. He shuffled around conjuring all manner of sounds from his horn complementing and contrasting the diving and soaring vocals. As far as I could tell most of the pieces were untitled although one was dedicated to the recently deceased Mongezi Feza, and was led by Julie's seemingly endless repetitions of his name over a mournful cacophony of sound, powerful stuff. I can never make up my mind about this sort of music. The musicians are searching for something and much of the time they fail to find it, but when they collectively hit the spot then it can be an intense experience. By way of contrast there was a short section mid set where Julie played a couple of beautiful songs simply accompanied by her own guitar and that of Brian Godding. Some months later having purchased her "1969" album I'm pretty sure I recognised these songs as The Choice and Lullaby. We had found an interesting gig, although not the one we intended.

If anyone out there actually made it to the National Health gig, or knows if it ever took place, and if not why, then I'd love to hear about it. I did eventually get to see NH a couple of years later on the Steve Hillage tour, and again the following year with Alan Gowen on keyboards after Dave Stewart had left (see my article in Facelift 17).

On a personal note, the friend I mentioned earlier was Phil Jeremiah - if you're out there Phil, I saw your contribution to WR issue 50, drop me a line on syjy@compuserve.com


From: Paul Korntheuer <paul@rarefaction.com>
Subject: Fred Frith/Tom Cora
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 21:39:16 +0000

Please come visit http://www.rarefaction.com/crew.html

All the best,



From: matts jernmark <mattsj@maincc.hufs.ac.kr>
Subject: Daevid Allen
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 20:48:29 -0700

Hello,it was nice to see the picture of david allen but im curios about
where he is now and where I can find his and Gongs all offspring
recordings. All the best. Matts Jernmark
Email: mattsj@hotmail.com

[I've been at work on a Daevid Allen biography for some time. Hopefully it will be finished. It's one of the most obvious holes in CALYX but one has to understand that I'm more knowledgeable about some bands than others... Any help in this respect will be appreciated - AL]


From: Age Rotshuizen <age@xs4all.nl>
Subject: WR:Top 100
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 19:56:23 +0200 (MET DST)

Hello Rattlers,

Here's a top 100 update. The top 10 at this moment (September 29st) is:

1. Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink
2. Hatfield & The North - Hatfield & The North
3. Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom
4. Hatfield & The North - The Rotters' Club
5. National Health - Of Queues And Cures
6. Soft Machine - Third
7. Matching Mole - Matching Mole
8. Gong - You
9. Matching Mole - Little Red Record
10. Soft Machine - volume Two

Wanna see the complete list? Look at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~age/top100.html
You can still send your top 10 list to: age@xs4all.nl



From: IChippett@aol.com
Subject: Robert Wyatt, Phil Miller and Bela Bartok
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 03:09:14 -0400 (EDT)

Has his 15 minutes come at last? A week or two ago Robert Wyatt had his picture on the cover of "Telerama", a sort of up-market French Radio Times and this morning on France Inter, a national radio station, during the 7.00 news he got a euphoric rave review of "Shleep" of which an extract was played as well as a brief snippet of Sea Song!

In one of the interviews with Phil Miller on the Calyx site, he mentions being influenced by Bartok's 5 string quartets. In fact, there are 6 of them. Just thought I'd mention it.

[Thanks for this correction... Speaking of "Telerama", they wrote about Robert again in their following edition, correcting the original critic's note, which was of "fff" (sort of "3 stars") to "ffff" ("4 stars", sort of a masterpiece), apologising for the mistake. This is getting almost too much ! - AL]


From: Mark HEWINS <hewins@musart.co.uk>
Subject: MASHU
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 12:35:00 +0100 (BST)

Hi A

MASHU - Hopper/Hewins/Maitra


Lille Prison 5 NOV (pm)
Yes thats the PRISON, JAIL: etc.etc
CONCERT is not open to the outside world, unfortunately;
But I suppose its worth mentioning as we may have a gig in Lille
in the evening.......Thanks!

Paris (tbc) 6 NOV
Drome Festival 7 NOV
Montlucon 8 NOV (le Gangois)

There are still some copies of the CD 'Elephants in your head' available
but maybe not for long!


From: Sid Smith <SidSmith1@compuserve.com>
Subject: Shleep
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 05:53:03 -0400

The new Robert Wyatt was released this week and it has been getting some real push being advertised in the mainstream HMV adverts as well as features in Mojo and Wire (the latter which you'd expect.)  Quite by chance I picked up a copy of the Independent (30th September) and in their Eye supplement they had a rather gushing feature about the great man. Coupled with a suitably grizzled picture of Wyatt, the article was preceded with a selected resume of his career recommending Soft Machine Vol. 1, Matching Moles first album, Rock Bottom, Nothing Can Stop Us and Dondestan.

In the article Wyatt talks quite openly about his period of depression during the nineties, his political convictions remaining intact despite the setbacks of the Left in recent years and his love of TV comedy such as "Frasier" and "Father Ted".  The opening paragraph perhaps gives one a clue that the journalist Phil Johnson is discussing a personal hero.  

"Even the sleeve notes are a work of art, a little miracle of grace and humility wherein the author apportions credit and gives thanks to friends and collaborators like Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, Paul Weller, for helping to make his first album in six years possible.  The album itself, Shleep (the title is meant to invoke the sardonic Jewish humour of Wyatt's friend Ronnie Scott), is a real work of art too, deepening with every hearing and drawing the listener into a strange sometimes dark, often painfully fragile but somehow transcendentally hopeful world that has no compare in contemporary music of any genre.  Honestly it's that good (although its not always easy listening) and, as one would expect, its creator Robert Wyatt, aged 52, isn't your usual brand of bland pop self-publicist. "That was a long answer, wasn't it ?" he adds as a coda to an impossibly convoluted, heartfelt response to a pat question. "One word would have sufficed, Robert"..."

Despite the total lack of any critical analysis in Johnson's article I am of course pleased to see Wyatt getting some much deserved exposure in the mainstream press.

Also mentioned in the latest  edition of Record Collector (October 218) Matching Mole get a mention in the Looking Back part of the mag. This section rounds up press comments to the new releases of the day. It says

"Matching Mole: Little Red Record
- From what I hear on the grapevine, Matching Mole's second album was conceived in an atmoshere not entirely consisting of sweetness and light.  Personality clashes apparently marred the sessions, which may mean that the group will have a different configuration next time we see it in public. They make the fact of this record's excellence even more remarkable. To say I enjoy it is to say that Russians like vodka".
The journalist who orginal penned this is not credited in the magazine.  I think it puts an interesting light on the comments made by Bill McCormick in the Mike King book Wrong Moments which was the subject of some discussion in WR a few months earlier.


From: Adam Daudrich <adam.daudrich@sympatico.ca>
Subject: Caravan
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 21:31:26 -0700

Which Caravan album would you recommend for most musicianship:
"For the girls who grow plump in the night" or "if I could do it again..." ?



From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: A weekend in Holland
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 14:40:00 +0000

Following the cancellation of the planned In Cahoots/Short Wave dates last month, I decided I wouldn't spend a year without any major Canterbury concert (thankfully, there are more to come with the French tour of Mashu in November, and possibly attending Gong's London gig on Oct 19th), so I took a night coach to Amsterdam last Friday to attend the two gigs by CARAVAN/IN CAHOOTS in Holland, organized by Jasper Smit and his friends of the Continental Caravan Campaign.

Arriving in Amsterdam at 10 am Saturday morning (after a sleepless night on the coach...) I was welcomed by Paul de Wildt and Gabey Ouwens of CoCaCamp. We drove to Utrecht and arrived at Caravan's hotel (they'd been there since the previous night). After a nice chat with Pye Hastings, Geoffrey Richardson and various other members of the mammoth (7-piece) line-up, we headed to the pub where Geoffrey and Jim Leverton were due to play a duo gig. Geoffrey had brought a wide variety of instruments, viola, violin, flute, acoustic guitar, mandolin and, of course, his now legendary spoons. The duo played two sets totalling a little less than an hour, in front of a small but enthusiastic audience. Most titles were selections from the "Follow Your Heart" CD, released by the duo in 1995. Midway through the gig, the other members of Caravan left to start setting up the stage at the night's venue.

Arriving at the Tivoli, we went backstage to find the members of In Cahoots getting ready to set up their gear. Caravan then proceeded to soundcheck, playing a superb rendition of "Memory Lain, Hugh", which benefitted greatly from Geoff Richardson's presence on viola and flute. After the soundcheck was over, I went out to take a walk through the pedestrian area of the town, only to almost bump into Elton Dean and Jim Dvorak walking out of a shop ! Quite a surreal sight ! Back at Tivoli half an hour later, I watched In Cahoots soundcheck, playing my two favourite tunes from "Parallel", "Simmer" and "Half Life". Magnificent !

Then the audience was allowed in, and finally numbered up to about 400+ people, a good crowd although not enough for the promoter to break even. Obivously, a lot were true Caravan fans. In Cahoots played five of the six tracks off "Parallel", a masterful performance as always, with Elton Dean and Peter Lemer particularly shining as soloists. The audience's response was initially moderately enthusiastic, but this changed after the reggae-like rhythms of "Half Life".

Caravan then took the stage, after a dramatic introduction of Jasper Smit who proceeded to recreate the sleeve design of "Cunning Stunts", wearing an orange/white suit and staring at himself in a big mirror. Then Caravan started playing. The set was essentially the same as that of last year's British tour, with the exception of "A Place Of My Own", replaced by "Cold As Ice". The gig started with two oldies, "Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss" and a magnificent "Nine Feet Underground" (with impressive interplay between Doug Boyle, now fully integrated into the band's sound, and Dave Sinclair). The rest of the concert consisted mostly of songs from "The Battle Of Hastings", Caravan's latest studio album from 1995, with an old tune inbetween every couple of more recent ones, including "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again", "Behind You" and, of course, "For Richard" (first half similar to the live versions ca. 1974, second half in the new "All Over You" arrangement). As far as I'm concerned, the gig greatly benefitted from Geoffrey Richardson's return to the fold. It more than made up for the absence of Pye's big brother Jimmy. Although his role was more marginal than in the late 70's incarnations of Caravan, he was an incredibly strong visual and musical element, display an amazing talent on a wide number of instruments, including his spoons (again !) during the encore (consisting of "Golf Girl" and "If I Could...").
Between the main set and the encore, Jasper Smit took the stage to offer awards to myself (!) and Manfred Bress, maker of the world-famous "Canterbury Nachrichten" fanzine. These awards were concrete (!) replicas of the dog from the "Blind Dog At St. Dunstan's" cover design ! A very nice gift, although it was hell to carry it around in the Paris underground on Tuesday !

On Sunday morning, we went to meet Caravan at their hotel and took breakfast. We listened to a tape of David Sinclair's forthcoming Christmas single, presently in demo form (it won't be finished in time for Christmas'97, David told us). Quite Christmas-ish indeed ! Then we headed off to Groningen, about 200 kilometres North of Utrecht. We arrived just in time for me to see Caravan's soundcheck (they'd left an hour or so before us), then have dinner at the restaurant with members of Caravan. I sat at the table of Geoff Richardson and Maurice Haylett, the band's roadie since the very early days, a legend in his own right, full of wisdom and funny stories.

Returning to the venue, I attended the last minutes of In Cahoots' soundcheck. This second gig promised to be quite different from that of the previous night given the absence of Elton Dean and Jim Dvorak. I was surprised to see Doug Boyle of Caravan sharing the stage with In Cahoots. The previous day, Phil Miller had told me they'd play a few older tracks. Well, so much for the surprise effect, I heard bits of "Underdub" (in guitar trio format with Fred Baker) and "Above And Below", which happened to be the first two numbers played during the subsequent gig.

A much smaller audience (less than a hundred people) then came in. I recognised Jacques van den Oever and Teatse Vogelaar, organisers of the Harligen Canterbury Event last year, already in Holland. We had a nice chat, mainly about Richard Sinclair who is currently in Canterbury again doing some carpentry work on his house. I understand his daughter now lives in the house, while Richard has settled with his girlfriend Heather in Harlingen. Apparently, Richard is not playing much music these days, although some new material has been written since "RSVP", but no definite songs. Jacques told me Richard had rehearsed quite a number of times with his band Pleegzusters, but not since June.

In Cahoots' gig started with the guitar trio performance of "Underdub". The intricate melody line proved no great difficulty for the virtuosic Doug Boyle. I understand he's been playing frequently with Phil since the two met at last year's In Cahoots/Caravan gig at the Astoria. Pip Pyle and Peter Lemer then came onstage and the resulting quintet played a superb version of "Above And Below", one of my favourite Miller compositions. Doug played a great solo, and Pete Lemer took over with one of his legendary wild moog solos. Amazing ! In Cahoots then reverted to the quartet format. They played "ED Or Ian ?" from "Parallel", a moderately successful rendition in my opinion due to the absence of Elton and Jim's superb brass parts. "No Holds Barred" followed. It began greatly with Pip Pyle successfully recreating the polyrhythms of the original version (the rhythm parts of which were programmed on a drum machine), but lost its momentum because of an unnecessary bass solo. While being an admirer of Fred Baker's exceptional skills on the instrument, I've always tend to find bass (and drums - but Pip thankfully never indulges in that cliche) is not, in such a band context at least, an appropriate instrument for solos. The exception is of course Hugh Hopper, whose fuzz bass solos are always a most moving moment in a gig. InCa carried on with "Half Life", which suffered less than "ED or Ian" from the reduced line-up. Unfortunately, it was cut short a few bars away from the end by a power failure. This prematurely ended the performance, and prevented "Your Root 2" from being played as planned. All in all, a unique performance with great and not-as-great moments.

Caravan took the stage as planned, and the audience, most of whom had remained sitting in the back of the venue, spontaneously came closer to the stage, trying to impersonate, with varying success, a much bigger audience... Again, the opening "Memory.../Headloss" was a great starter (as it's been for many years), but about 3 minutes into "Nine Feet...", there was another power failure which forced the band to stop its performance for a few minutes. When they came back (everything went right for the rest of the gig), they resumed the piece almost exactly where they'd stopped (!). The setlist was exactly the same as the previous night, and the gig found the line-up in fine form again. "A performance we will not forget", said an old David Sinclair song ("The Show Of Our Lives", from "Cunning Stunts").

A few newsbits gather from discussions with various musicians :

- Geoffrey Richardson is still working a lot. Next week-end he'll be playing with Murray Head at a festival in French Brittany. He's also due to play at a session for Alan Stivell. Early this year, he toured with French pop singer Elsa (this included a one-off gig in Korea !), and he's waiting to know if he'll play with Patricia Kaas, another, more well-known, French singer. This would be for a world tour. He's also recorded some violin overdubs for a Steve Marriott tribute album which Jim Leverton is currently working on in London.

- Pye Hastings has written material for a planned solo album. He doesn't want it to be released under the Caravan banner, mainly because of financial considerations. A solo release means a more substantial part of the profit...

- Phil Miller's next project will probably be a second duo CD with Fred Baker. He says the duo has really matured, so this will be a major improvement on "Double Up". On the live front, the only plans are more In Cahoots gigs, including France.

- Pip Pyle : still putting the final touches to his solo album, planned for release on Voiceprint in the nearest possible future... When I asked him what he'd been doing since Gong's Autumn '96 tour, Pip evasively answered : "just growing vegetables in my backyard, really... I only did about 3 or 4 gigs in the whole year". But this sabbatical is ending, he says. Let's hope so !

- Fred Baker is also very active. I overheard him talking about various projects, on both the folk and jazz fronts, but I can't really be more specific.

I guess this is about it. A great week-end for sure !



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

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

Oct 01 - Liverpool (UK), Lomax
Oct 02 - Leeds (UK), Irish Centre
Oct 03 - Manchester (UK), NIA Centre [with Graham Clark & Graham Massey]
Oct 05 - Sheffield (UK), Leadmill
Oct 16 - Stoke-on-Trent (UK), Wheatsheaf
Oct 17 - Oxford (UK), Zodiac
Oct 18 - Reading (UK), Alleycat
Oct 19 - London (UK), The Forum [with Whirl-y-gig]
Oct 20 - Birmingham (UK), Irish Centre
Oct 21 - Cambridge (UK), Junction

Oct 04 - Morecambe (UK), Dome [opening for Gong]

Oct 24 - Harlow, Essex (UK), John's Art and Rec. Market St.

Oct 30 - Red bank, NJ, Internet Cafe
Oct 31 - Medford, NJ, Culture Hall
Nov 01 - Harrisburg, PA, The Wire
Nov 05 - Ithaca, NY, The Nines
Nov 06 - Albany, NY, QE2 (with Happy Rhodes)
Nov 07 - Burlington, VT, The Metro (tbc)
Nov 12 - Providence, RI, Cav
Nov 13 - Boston, MA, Johnny D's
Nov 14 - Philadelphia, PA, Old Swedes Church (with Happy Rhodes)
Nov 15 - Baltimore, MD, Orion Studios (with Happy Rhodes)
Nov 20 - New York, NY, Bottom Line (with Happy Rhodes & special guest)
Nov 21 - Washington, DC, Phantasmagoria (with Happy Rhodes)
Nov 22 - Gettysburg, PA, College
Nov 28 - Warrenton, VA, D&S Coffeehouse
Nov 29 - Arlington, VA, Iota

[Mark Hewins-Hugh Hopper-Shyamal Maitra]
Nov 05 - Lille (France), venue tba (tbc)
Nov 06 - Paris (France), venue tba (tbc)
Nov 07 - Festival Performance (tba), Drome (France)
Nov 08 - Montluçon (France), Le Gangois

November (tba)

November (tba)

Spain, Italy, Sweden - late Spring 1998 (tba)

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

                        END OF ISSUE #68

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