::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 96                          ::
  ::                    Thursday, June 4th, 1998                  ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: mihra@cerbernet.co.uk (Roger Bunn)
Subject: Soft Suggestion
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 23:31:00 +0100

[In WR#95, Stephen Barker <S.S.Barker@btinternet.com> wrote:]

>I remember Soft Machine appearing on a BBC TV programme in the early 70's.
>The programme was hosted by Michael Parkinson and was entitled "Anatomy of
>Pop". In this programme clips of the Softs performing (bits of albums Three
>and Four?) were compared to clips of (and this beggars belief) Marmalade
>that easily forgotten beat combo.
>My question is has anybody got a VHS or sound recording of this programme?
>Or, in fact, am I the only sad individual who remembers it!

Write to Parkinson

co IMG
Strand-on-the Green
Chiswick W4

Policy Office
Music Industry Human Rights Association
UK Homepage  http://www.cerbernet.co.uk/mihra


From: Jim Sadler <jcs@ga.unc.edu>
Subject: You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 11:28:42 -0400

Hi there.
I've just discovered your web page. It's fantastic! It's the best thing I've found on the Internet. I first heard "Canterbury music" in 1970 when I was a draftee in the army and got Soft Machine Third based on a review I read in Rolling Stone. I thought it was incredible music, like slowed down Ornette Coleman. "Moon in June" remains my favorite piece of music although I own thousands of records, tapes, etc. I lived for Canterbury music in the 1970's, and now with your web site I can reconnect after many years. I always wished there could be some way for Canterbury people to interact, and you've provided
a way. I have a friend who will be just as excited when I tell him. The only "Canterbury" concert I've ever seen was a Daevid Allen et al. concert in Baltimore about 20 years ago.  Interesting event -- drove 8 hours to the concert, was at the concert (which started after midnight) for 8 hours, then drove home to N.C. for 8 hours.
Thanks very much. Let me know how I can help.
Jim Sadler
102 Watters Road
Carrboro, North Carolina 27510


From: Lokizak@aol.com
Subject: Kevin Ayers SF Show
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 18:58:34 EDT

After lurking and enjoying the list for a number of months, I want to add my thoughts about the Kevin Ayers show last week at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.  There are certain shows that are events more than concerts and, for me at least, this show was one of them.  The true highlight of the evening was simply hearing "that voice" emanate from the stage for the first time.
The opening act and backup band - Mushroom - played a very engaging opening set that was marred by a drummer who simply refused to swing.  Since their CD (which is quite good but does not readily show the same influences that were present in their set), they have added a second keyboardist playing a Fender Rhodes and a Mellotron.  He got off more than one sparkling solo that gave the music a Cantebury edge.  When he took the top off the electric piano and attacked the strings, I finally identified what Dave Stewart must have done to get that very distinctive sound.

Mushroom proved to be an engaging, sympathetic back up for Ayers. At times, it did sound like they had only rehearsed for five hours, as Ayers proclaimed from the stage, and the look of concentration/panic on the bass player's face as he tried to follow the repeated vamps that Ayers used to find his place were priceless.

As for Ayers, he seems to be the walking definition of elegantly wasted. This in no way detracted from the show as his need for prompting from the audience for the next verse in Why Are We Sleeping (and the multiple folks ready with the answer) defined the charm of the show. We were all pulling for him and waiting for our favorites.
In the end, any show which casually offers up Why Are We Sleeping and Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes back to back is special.  

Another Bay Area show of note and probably of some interset to Cantebury fans was the show by Present, an offshoot of Univers Zero. It was the polar opposite of the Ayers show; intense, intricate music played with finesse and power.  Definitely a band to see.

Dick Archbold


From: Jeff Kamil <harryhat@wco.com>
Subject: Wyatt Re-Releases and US Tours??
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 07:36:01 -0700


Can anybody verify whether the re-releases of Rock Bottom and Ruth is Stranger Than Richard are sonically superior to the original Virgin CD releases.

Also, does anybody know if us folks in the US are ever going to get a chance to see this reincarnation of Caravan, or In Cahoots perform here. It's very frustrating to read reviews of all these shows and not get a chance to participate in the experiences.

Jeff ("H the H")


From: "Kent F. Smith" <kfsmith@jps.net>
Subject: on-line discussion forum
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 20:48:25 -0700

Hello everybody.  I've noticed quite a few subscribers to WR, and other lists, that live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I've decided to put up an on-line discussion forum for this 'kind' of music focusing on the Bay Area and California.  Please stop by if you are interested and post a note:


Better greetings! Best glances!
Kent Smith


From: Dan Sullivan <sullivan@haas.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Kevin Ayers in SF
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 13:34:45 -0700

Hi Aymeric,

Thanks to PT for sending his review of last weekend's Kevin Ayers show in San Francisco.   Anyone see the LA show?  If so please let us know what it was like.

Here are a few more impressions from San Francisco.  First, PT's set list was correct.  I thought that Mushroom provided a sympathetic accompaniment. They were able to stretch out on a couple of the louder, rockier songs (Interview, Stranger, Didn't Feel Lonely). Kevin introduced Decadence by saying "I haven't played this one in 20 years." The mellotron sound was particularly excellent here.  Eleanor's Cake was essentially a duet between Kevin and the Mushrooms' lead guitarist, who played flute for this song. It was a fine way to end the set.  

Like PT, the absolute highlight for me was Ghost Train.  Kevin told both the audience and the band that he'd play this new song provided everyone was quiet; otherwise he jokingly threatened to walk out on us! The band did indeed keep it quiet, beautifully so. The guitarist and bass player particularly did an excellent job of recreating the mood of the album track, which has a gorgeous sense of depth and space to it. Kevin got lost in a revery, closing his eyes and concentrating very hard on the song. He sang it wonderfully --probably the only song he didn't struggle to remember the words to all night. He hit every note, and was completely locked in to the lyrics, which deal with aging in a different and more affecting way than does, say, Champagne and Valium (aka Too Old to Die Young). This song seemed to be sung from the heart in a way some of the older material was not.

Kevin played a semi-acoustic 6-string electric which he apparently borrowed from someone. The drummer was over-enthusiastic and had to be shushed a few times during the set. A few tunes broke down and had to be restarted. Kevin needed some help from the audience on some lyrics. They even had to stop and run through the chord changes for I Don't Depend on You after a false start. But Kevin was in good humor for the most part, and the crowd was warmly enthusiastic.

Kevin mentioned they'd been able to rehearse for all of five hours prior to the show. Considering this, they pulled things off quite well. With a bit more rehearsal they could be awseome together. Also, Kevin was much more sober than he'd been last time he played San Francisco back in 1993. It seemed to me that he was just as nervous, in some ways, as the last time.  

I was chatting this weekend with someone who'd found the show very disappointing. Partly this was for musical reasons (the show was not exactly tight, plus he felt Mushroom were too "proggy" for Kevin's music). I agree to some extent.

But the other reason this person was disappointed was a more fundamental one: he was saddened by the whole unrehearsed, shambolic aspect of the performance.  This person is a long-time fan going back to the Whole World days, and he'd just as soon keep his memories of earlier glories intact. It was painful for him to sit through the show and in fact he left a bit early.

I had a different take on this.  I admit to being a bit slavish in my devotion to Kevin's music. I know that Kevin has always been ambivalent at best about performing and touring, going back to the earliest days with Soft Machine. Having seen him now three times in concert, I conclude it is quite painful for him to get up on stage in the first place. I went as much to show my support and give thanks for all the joy he's brought me over the years, as to see the performance itself.  My expectations on a musical level were not that high.  He actually exceeded them on one song (Ghost Train), so I went away satisfied.

Again, thanks to PT for his earlier review. Hope to hear about LA soon!

-Dan Sullivan


From: Age <age@cable.a2000.nl> & Jeroen <willemjc@bart.nl>
Subject: Hopper goes Deventer
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 1998 11:40:26 +0200

Hopper goes Deventer (30-5-1998)

We were very glad to hear that the Hopper Band was going to play in Utrecht supporting Caravan, although we'd already seen Caravan in September in Groningen. So it was a pleasant surprise that Han van de Graaf had organised an all Hopper Band concert in Deventer.

Although the gig was poorly attended (We've counted no more than 25-30 people), the band played a marvellous set. They started off with a new tune called 'For Alan' written by Hopper and dedicated to Alan Gowen, followed by a Steve Franklin tune, 'Small Creatures' (We'd never heard of it. Anyone?). Third up was the great 'Shuffle Demons', featured on their latest CD and of course on the Short Wave album. Because they've been reduced to a quartet (Dionys Breukers has left), the Hopper Band had much more space to improvise and solo - especially Frank van der Kooij, who played both soprano and tenor sax.

Patrice Meyer got loose after a while, perhaps because they played three of his tunes to close the first set. All of the tunes were announced by Hugh, but we weren't listening. This is what we remember: one was called something like 'Fuzz-la' or 'Voila'; the second could be called 'Coroso Modo'; the last one was announced as 'Gordy Brody', or in French 'Gordy Brody'.

After a short break they climbed on the stage again and started off with a tune we couldn't recognise - no announcements were made. After that came the instant Hopper classic 'Sliding Dogs', followed by 'Lux Beta' and another tune from the Carousel album (so we think. It's hard to remember titles of instrumentals). They played one tune as an encore - what else could that be than 'Spanish Knee', a Canterbury classic in its own right?

The band was playing with a lot of enthusiasm. The new drummer - Chris Strik, he's with the group for two years now, but has never recorded anything with them - was fantastic, mixing the drumming skills of Pip Pyle with the facial expressions of Phil Miller. Frank van der Kooij - by now the only original Hopper Band member next to Hopper - played very concentrated. Patrice Meyer played one hell of a guitar solo in one of his tunes, but the best of all was to see Hopper play. We've never seen him - we suppose this is the first time he played in Holland since we've got interested in his post-Soft career. The way he moves around, making eye contact with the Chris. Simply brilliant.

In between sets and after the show we've got a chance to talk to Hugh. He was really kind, giving answers to all our questions - and that were quite a lot. Frank van der Kooij told us they were going to record the Tivoli set, perhaps for a future release. Patrice Meyer is working on a new solo project, probably without much help from other Canterbury musicians.

Beside all that, we've got a chance to buy some CDs (1984, Adreamor) and get them signed (Frank: "What's that, Hugh?" - Hugh: "That's a record, Frank."). After all, it was one of the best spend evenings in our lifes, that's for sure.

Jeroen and Age

[Note: The Hugh Hopper Band, with the same line-up, had played at the Canterbury in Harligen festival in Holland, September 1996 - AL]


From: CuneiWay@aol.com
Subject: Elton Dean
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 10:05:11 EDT

Dear "Rattlers"

FYI - The reissue of Elton Dean's 1st lp onto CD is definite & will happen in Sept. There will be two bonus tracks in addition to the five that originally made up the lp:

Banking On Bishopsgate - Recorded live June 27th, 1972 at the Gondel
Filmkunsttheatre, Bremen, Germany [20 minutes long!]

Fun Cup - Recorded live in London, England, December 11th, 1972.
Of course, we're hard at work on OTHER releases as well, but this is the only
one that we can confirm at this time that pertains to the particular interests
of this group.

Steve F.


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: various
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1998 15:54:44

Two newsbits of interest :

- I've just had Pip Pyle on the phone. His solo album "Seven Year Itch" is being manufactured right now by Voiceprint in the North of England. The official release is planned for later this month. My main reason for calling Pip was to know if the Brainville dates were still on. He said they were (more below), but he also delivered much sadder news : Steve Miller, Phil's brother and former pianist with Delivery, Caravan, duos with Lol Coxhill and Mark Hewins among others, is seriously ill with cancer. A benefit gig has been organised at the Vortex Jazz Bar in London on June 28th. It will basically be a reformation of Delivery, with Phil Miller, Pip Pyle, Lol Coxhill and Roy Babbington joining Steve, as well as other musicians like Mark Hewins. This is an event no to be missed for anyone who's in London then (I hope I can make it), and the best way to show your support for Steve.

- I contacted Keith Bailey at Space Agency to get the definitive dates of the Brainville tour, as Pip didn't have them handy... They are, of course, at the bottom of this issue. Here's what Keith had to say about that : "All the shows are in the UK - much as I'd have liked to put some shows on in France, but time (or rather the lack of it) prevented me from putting a complete European tour together, more's the pity, as we'd have been able to get Kramer over from New York to complete the line-up, in that case. My only excuse is that I was up to my neck in organising the Gong tour of France at the time - it was one of the best I've seen them do for a long time, btw. Anyway, I'm hoping to put something together later in the year, taking in France, Holland and the UK, and possibly Germany, too".


From: Roger Farbey <mmr@easynet.co.uk>
Subject: Nucleus
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 12:46:32 -0700


Re: the comments about Nucleus, I thought the following might be of interest.
The only Nucleus album(s) currently available (to my knowledge) are:
Elastic Rock and We'll Talk About it Later, re-released on a double CD
by Beat Goes On - BGOCD47. Two other albums by Nucleus and / or the Nucleus
line-up re-released briefly, and sadly now deleted on the German Line label
were Solar Plexus and Belladonna (by Ian Carr). Solar Plexus featured amongst
others, Softs stalwarts John Marshall and Karl Jenkins (they were also on
the first two albums) and Belladonna features ex-Softs Roy Babbington and
Allan Holdsworth. May I just re-iterate that it is a great pity that all the
Nucleus / Ian Carr albums are not re-released on CD. Solar Plexus and
another from that period Labyrinth are some of the finest examples of
jazz rock I have ever heard. Let us hope they are re-released soon.

Roger Farbey
Kent, UK


From: mjohnson@meto.gov.uk
Subject: Soft on the BBC - Early 70's
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 17:31 +0000 (GMT)

Hi Aymeric,

As a recent addition to your ranks thank you for this excellent Canterbury forum. Almost my first exposure to Canterbury music was through the BBC programme 'Anatomy of Pop' in 1970, so Steve you are not alone! Unfortunately we did not have videos in those dark days so I don't have a copy of the 'Softs' live. The thing I really remember was the last programme where they showed 'the ultimate development of pop music' in the form of Dave Stewart, Mont Campbell and Clive Brooks thundering through 'Long Piece No.3' from the album 'The Polite Force'. I was completely taken; my parents thought I was mad! Strange that you should mention the comparison with Marmalade as my sister was a big fan at the time - but within a few months was an Egg fanatic trailing along with me to Swansea and Newport Universities to see them live. The biggest problem these days is keeping up with all the releases - but that is the least of our problems!
All the best
Mike Johnson
Wokingham UK



As usual, Phil Howitt comes up with not one, but two new issues (which makes up for the wait since the previous ones !), of his excellent Canterbury publication. 90 and 74 pages respectively, filled with reviews, interviews, articles and an extended news section.

18 : News section; long interview with Bill Bruford (25 pages!); 40 pages of reviews of Canterbury releases.

19 : Lady June's Rebela Project - the story; interview with Mont Campbell; another Canterbury tale from Mark Hewins; live reviews; Part 8 of the Caravan chronology (focussing on Camel); Pierre Moerlen biography part 2; more review ("...And Beyond"); pluggery.

Subscriptions :
UK:        1 issue=£2      3 issues=£6      5 issues=£10
Europe:    1 issue=£2.50   3 issues=£7.50   5 issues=£12.50
Elsewhere: 1 issue=£3      3 issues=£9      5 issues=£15

Payment by cheques (in sterling pounds), IMO, cash (preferrably in registered mail), to : Phil Howitt, Facelift Magazine, PO Box 69, Manchester M16 8RD (UK).

More info from Phil <facelift@gpo.sonnet.co.uk>
or from the Facelift website: http://www.ponk.com/facelift.htm


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

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

Jun 05 - Cheltenham, Axiom Centre

[Peter Blegvad-John Greaves-Chris Cutler]
Jun 05 - Kyoto (Japan), University
Jun 06 - Kyoto (Japan), University
Jun 07 - Kyoto (Japan), University
Jun 12 - Tokyo (Japan), Star Pines Cafe
Jun 13 - Tokyo (Japan), Star Pines Cafe
Jun 14 - Tokyo (Japan), Star Pines Cafe
Jun 15 - Tokyo (Japan), Star Pines Cafe

[Daevid Allen-Hugh Hopper-Pip Pyle]
Jun 16 - Leeds, The Duchess of York
Jun 17 - Stoke-on-Trent, The Wheatsheaf
Jun 18 - Ashburton, The Lanterns
Jun 19 - Leicester, The Physio and Firkin

[Phil Miller-Pip Pyle-Lol Coxhill-Roy Babbington-Mark Hewins etc.]
Jun 28 - London, Vortex Jazz Bar

Jul 19 - Burg Herzberg (Germany), festival appearance [headliner]

Jun 11 - Koeln (Germany), Philharmonie
Jun 12 - Frankfurt (Germany), Alte Oper
Jun 15 - Berlin (Germany), Philharmonie
Jun 16 - Vienna (Austria), Konzerthaus
Jun 21 - Halle (Germany)

Jun 25 - Vancouver (Canada), Vancouver East Cultural Centre
Jun 26 - Seattle (USA), OK Hotel
Jun 27 - Portland (USA), OR, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art
Jun 29 - Los Angeles (USA), Luna Park (West Hollywood)
Jun 30 - Oakland (USA), Yoshi's
Jul 02 - Chicago (USA), Unity Temple (Oak Park)
Jul 03 - Chicago (USA), Unity Temple (Oak Park)
Jul 05 - Los Angeles (USA)

Jun 15 - Paris (France), Peniche 'La Balle Au Bond'
Jun 29 - Paris (France), Duc des Lombards
Sep  3 - Paris (France), Petit Journal Montparnasse
Sep 11 - Paris (France), Le Glaz' Art
Sep 18 - Paris (France), Studio des Islettes
Sep 19 - Paris (France), Studio des Islettes
Oct 09 - Paris (France), Peniche 'Le 6/8'

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

                        END OF ISSUE 96

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