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This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed on the outskirts of a tiny village that nobody's heard of in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
THE GONZO WEEKLY
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Fifty-Four November 30th 2013
I PROMISED THIS WOULD BECOME A MAGAZINE AND I ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP MY PROMISES
NAMING THOSE RESPONSIBLE
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, (who is, in case you didn't know, an insane orange kitten on the verge of adulthood) ably assisted by:

Corinna Downes, (Sub Editor, and my lovely wife)
Graham Inglis, (Columnist, Staff writer, Hawkwind nut)
Bart Lancia, (My favourite roving reporter)
Thom the World Poet, (Bard in residence)
C.J.Stone, (Columnist, commentator and all round good egg)
Kev Rowland, (Reviewer)
Lesley Madigan, Photographer par excellence
Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
Dave McMann, (He ain't nothing but a) Newshound-dog
and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)

THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU MICK ABRAHAMS, GARY WINDO, ROB AYLING, HAWKWIND, YES,  THE NINE HENRYS, HUNTER THOMPSON,  SKY ARCHITECT,  ED CASSIDY, FELIX PAPPALARDI, STEVE MILLER, MOTHER EARTH, PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG, THE DEVIANTS, ANDY COLQUHOUN, THE WEIRD WEEKEND, JEFFERSON STARSHIP, JUDY DYBLE, ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER, THEE FACTION, CYRILLE VERDEAUX, CLEARLIGHT, JON ANDERSON, H, LOSTPROPHETS, PHIL COLLINS, BILLY SHERWOOD, XNA, ALAN MOORE, DIDIER MALHERBE, CHRISTOPHE KOVACKS, DOCTOR WHO, GENRE PEAK, JOHN ELLIS, MERRELL FANKHAUSER, KINO, MARILLION, STEVE HOGARTH, LEWIS COLLINS, JOHN HIGGS, THE KLF, STEVE IGNORANT, CAROL HODGE, CRYSTAL GRENADE, SLICE OF LIFE, TECHNICIANS OF SPACESHIP HAWKWIND, JETHRO TULL, STEVE HOWE, VALENTINA BLANCA, ALAN WHITE, GEOFF DOWNES, OLIVER WAKEMAN, RICK WAKEMAN, THE BEATLES, ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS, PARADISE 9, PERHAPS AND DAMO SUZUKI, PERHAPS, REVAMP, MENDELSSOHN, SHEILA HAYMAN
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
WHO GONZO? WHY GONZO? WHAT GONZO?
What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is:
C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes:

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.”  
                                 Hunter S. Thompson
Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least some of our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Google Plus
Google Plus
Email
Email
Pinterest
Pinterest
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
SO WHAT IS ALL THIS ABOUT, ALFIE?
It is simple; my name is Jon and I'm the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online bloggything. Now there is a weekly magazine, once again edited by me and a small orange kitten from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire, to which you subscribed by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

I keep on thinking that I ought to have some sort of a mission statement in each issue, but it is more than a little difficult to do one. Basically, (if you don't mind me sounding more like a wishy washy old hippy than my haircut in the photograph above would imply) I think that books and music are immensely important. I look around and see that we are living in a world where the things that I think are important are valued less and less by society as a whole; a world where asinine gameshows and so-called reality TV (which is actually a complete oxymoron, but don't get me started) are of more importance to most people than anything of cultural or spiritual value.

I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE: The price of fame
Graham and I were on TV on Wednesday night, and although I haven't seen it yet (and quite possibly won't bother) apparently it was OK.

I had a hospital appointment on Thursday morning, and weirdly, as I was leaving the consulting room and limping down the corridor a pretty young nurse came rushing up to me and gasped "Oooh you were on TV last night, this is so exciting!" I muttered something appropriate and signed the proffered NHS appointment pad with my name and a scribbled picture of a chicken (which probably confused her).

In these decadent days, Television is the new God, and anyone who appears on TV (even for ten minutes talking about 'The Great Devon Mystery' of 1851, is fleetingly endowed with this neodivinity. I really find it most disturbing. But it is only a month until Christmas and I always find myself becoming more elderly and cantankerous as the old year shambles to a halt. Bah!  Even the minor level of fame that nowhere as much fun as people like to think. I remember after Nigel Wright and I wrote 'The Rising of the Moon' we did a whole string of gigs to promote it and there was this creepy bloke who came to most of them, and I began thinking "what if this guy is my Mark Chapman?"

The omniverse has changed beyond recognition in the past few years. Fame has become a goal in itself, and there is now a whole pantheon of people who are famous just for being famous, and even the brief notoriety that I have garnered for being on a television programme that described me as a South Devon local historian, when I don't live in South Devon and I am by no possible stretch of the imagination a historian and most of what I said was quoted completely out of context, has made me someone to be lauded. Someone whose appearance in a local doctor's surgery is worth commenting upon. And you know what? This whole thing is completely bloody ridiculous. Our whole society has become obsessed with style over substance and a vast proportion of the artists that we write about in these pages are not selling anything approaching the number of records that they would have done a couple of decades ago.

That is why I think that this magazine is important; we are fighting a gallant rearguard action against an increasingly overwhelming tide of banality and mediocrity. Pretentious? Possibly. But as I have already admitted, I get increasingly cantankerous at this time of year, and if I want to be pretentious I bloody well will be. So there!


THE THREE COMMANDMENTS OF GONZO WEEKLY:

1. Art is as important as science and more important than money
2. There is life after (beyond and before) Pop Idol
3. Music can and sometimes does change the world

If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
As is the rest of this magazine, this is mostly about music, and the bits of contemporary culture that I find interesting, but it also has a smattering of actual NEWS, especially if there are ethical questions that effect us all, or one of those put in authority over us does something spectacularly inane. The nearest that this section will ever come to politics is laughing at politicians.
REALLY DODGY JOURNALISM
An American website said it "deeply regrets" mistakenly using a picture of Steps singer Ian "H" Watkins and not the disgraced Lostprophets' front man when reporting a child abuse case. Paedophile Ian Watkins, lead singer of the now-disbanded rock group, admitted a string of child sex abuse charges at Cardiff Crown Court. E! Online published the story but used a photo of the Steps singer instead. It also tweeted the story to its six million followers.

In a statement, an E! Online spokeswoman said: "E! Online deeply regrets originally publishing an image of Ian 'H' Watkins of the band Steps, rather than Ian Watkins of Lostprophets, and the error was corrected immediately. "We are investigating the matter and will take appropriate action. Additionally, E! Online has reached out to Ian 'H' Watkins, via his management, to apologise directly." However, Ian "H" Watkins, from Cwmparc, Rhondda, also took to Twitter hours after the story was published and told his 68,000 followers he had not received an apology.

"Thank you to everyone who has supported me today..." he told his fans. Read on...

TUPPENCE A BAG
In a measure that is certain to increase the alienation of wildlife from people Stoke City Council is set to ban the feeding of wildlife in its parks. Citing complaints of large congregations of ‘intimidating’ birds that are leaving droppings on footpaths and attacking people the council has decided that feeding ducks, swans and other wildlife needs to be stopped.
 
Many parents are unhappy that their children can no longer enjoy the simple pleasure of feeding the ducks in the park. At a time when there is an increasing disconnect between people and nature it also does nothing to help people appreciate the importance of wildlife in the environment.
 
HAVE WE HAD OUR PHIL?
Phil Collins has revealed that he is "thinking about" making a return to music. Four years after announcing that he had been forced to give up drumming, the musician says that in addition to considering his own comeback he is mulling a reunion of Genesis.

"I have started thinking about doing new stuff," Collins recently told German media. He made these comments at the Stuttgart premiere of Tarzan, a stage musical based on Disney's Collins-soundtracked cartoon. "[Maybe playing] some shows again, even with Genesis," he admitted to Bild am Sonntag. "Everything is possible. We could tour in Australia and South America. We haven't been there yet".

Read on..
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Billy Sherwood and XNA
I will admit freely that I had never heard of XNA, but every morning I utilise the fine work of those jolly nice people at Google News Alerts, and go through the latest news on various Gonzo artists and friends and relations. One of these is Billy Sherwood whom I interviewed a few issues ago. There was an interesting story with a link to a song called The Flying Dutchman. I followed the link and was totally astounded at what I heard.

So I checked them out a bit more and found this press release:

Following in the musical footsteps of progressive giants such as Yes and Genesis, L.A.-based collective XNA launches their debut recording, the riveting and ambitious concept album When We Changed You, available October 22. Founded by vocalist David Hussey of Genesis tribute band Gabble Ratchet and keyboardist Adam Malin, composer/author of several solo sci-fi rock operas including "Singularity" and co-founder of Creation Entertainment, the company responsible for the original Star Trek Convention, XNA effortlessly traffics in classic prog rock but with a unique, multi-layered, symphonic sound. The evocative lyrics relay strange cinematic stories steeped in history, science fiction, and the macabre. Rounding out the band are drummer Scott Connor of CIRCA: and the Bobby Kimball-fronted Yoso, who provides the rhythmic backbone for the album, and guitarist Danny Bryle of Psychle and Low Media High, who furnishes intricate melodies throughout. 

To help bring this epic project to life, the band enlisted a true prog rock mainstay, producer and multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood, who also contributes his incredible bass and guitar playing to the recording. Known worldwide for his work with the prog rock institution Yes, and famous for creating lush soundscapes with astounding depth and complexity, Mr. Sherwood possesses production talents that seemed a custom fit for XNA’s sound. Enthuses Sherwood, “The XNA project is amazing in both concept and performance. Each member of the band brings a level of virtuosity that when they join forces it becomes an incredibly dynamic and musically expressive production: orchestral music with power and punch, vocal depth, rock 'n' roll guitars and everything else it takes to make the perfect magical mixture. They asked me on board to produce/mix and it was an instant ‘yes’.” 
I wrote a brief email to Billy congratulating him on the track, and was pleased to receive this reply: "Hi Jon,  Thanks man !!  Those guys are really good... love XNA !! Thanks for supporting the band :) Cheers, Billy"

I want to find out more about this bunch, and as regular readers will have no doubt realised, when I am enthusiastic about a new band I get on their trail like a terrier down a rabbit hole. Expect more stuff on them soon.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Alan Moore certainly does
The other night I couldn't sleep, so Captain Frunobulax curled up on my lap and we read Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's absolutely awe inspiring The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier. Strangely, I had been talking to Richard Freeman earlier in the day, and he was vehement about how pretentious and unreadable it was. I must have a taste for the pretentious, however, (which doesn't surprise me overly, and I doubt will surprise anyone else very much) because I enjoyed every minute of it, and despite the fact that I pored over the pages, I am certain that I missed a few cultural references, which would be easy to do: This book references everything from W. Somerset Maugham's caricature of Aleister Crowley,  to Viz, and from the Billy Bunter stories to Bulldog Drummond. It is viciously funny, presenting a Gloriously Surreal (GS) alternative history of about 60 years in the life of our poor beleaguered nation. Totally essential.

It is funny how my literary journey of the past few months has all been sparked by reading John Higgs' biography of the KLF (see the interview with John elsewhere this issue). That lead me on to reading Principia Discordia and then Illuminatus!, which led me off onto a Robert Anton Wilson trip for a while. Then as a direct result of all this I bought an excellent new biography of Alan Moore, and I am now working my way through bits of Alan Moore that I had previously overlooked. And he certainly DOES know the score, perhaps more than I or anyone else had ever realised. So we are back to Defcon 1. What a surprise!

PECULIAR STORY OF THE WEEK:  
Sony has filed a patent application for "SmartWig", as firms jostle for the lead in the wearable technology sector. It says the SmartWig can be worn "in addition to natural hair", and will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices. According to the filing, the SmartWig can help navigate roads and collect information such as blood pressure.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Cyrille takes me gently to task (in the nicest possible way)
Following last week's Clearlight story and Cyrille Verdeaux interview he wrote to me:

Hey Jon
Thanks for the cover and interview, very nice one (!) However, I have a little thing to correct about Clearlight, etc. here is the passage :
 
"Clearlight Symphony does not officially have an artist name, but is now regarded as the first album by Clearlight who adopted the name later that year, after briefly using the name Delired Cameleon Family. "
 
Here are the true facts. From day one, I decided to call my 1st album Clearlight Symphony and I decided to take the pseudo of Clearlight in one word, to celebrate Timothy Leary's Books on the psychedelic topic.

Cyrille "Clearlight" Verdeaux, if you prefer.

In other words, Clearlight music is nothing but my music and I am the only one to sign contracts and music. I also decide who plays on it, where and what. No ambiguity. So it's not really a group...I tried to keep the musicians but everybody had better things to do, I guess than working for free for Virgin!

Delired Cameleon came 1 year later and was just done as a sound track to illustrate a psychedelic movie by Pierre Clementi's movie. Not really a Clearlight album, tough. It was more like a psychedelic happening in a recording studio for 48 hours non stop...
 
Just to let you know... Emoji
 
I almost finished the mix of my latest album, Impressionist Symphony, to celebrate my 40th anniversary of published music composer.
 
Clearlight this time is :
 
  • Cyrille Verdeaux (acoustic piano, keyboards, classic percussions, composition, arrangements, production
  • Steve Hillage (guitar)
  • Didier Malherbe (Doudouk, sax, flute)
  • Craig Fry (violin)
  • Paul Sears (drums, classic percussions)
  • Vincent Thomas-Penny (guitar)
  • Don Falcone (Engineer-artist producer)
Thanks for your feedback. it matters...

Here are some pics taken by Niquette, Didier's wife. Featuring Didier M , me and Christophe Kovacks, also playing some synth parts for the album
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Doctor Who anniversary - Who won? Who lost? Who cares?
On Monday night Richard and I drank a little wine and watched 'An adventure in space and time', the dramatisation of the struggle to start Dr Who all those years ago. It was touching, moving, thought-provoking and left you feeling enriched from watching it. In short, everything that the much touted 50th anniversary show wasn't.

I wouldn't go as far as some people and say that Day of the Doctor was the most boring episode ever, but it was disappointingly unremarkable. 

Now I am gonna sit back and wait for the hate mail.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  A brief note from Genre Peak
The other week we ran a story about how Genre Peak were up for a Sammie award aka Sacramento Area Music Award. Sadly they didn't win, but I wanted an excuse to repost this rather groovy slice of Genre Peak live from early this last summer, and to tell you about an interview that the wonderfully named Pop Vulture magazine put out with Genre Peak main man Martin Birke about his other project Hardboiled Wonderland :
 
GENRE PEAK AT GONZO (UK)
GENRE PEAK AT GONZO (USA)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  John Ellis' Blues Guitar workshops
You have to love John Ellis. Here is a man that went from being a film librarian and a tree surgeon to headlining with the Stranglers. The Indytute have yet to find out what prompted this career path, but if you want to learn the Blues Guitar you couldn’t get instruction from a more knowledgeable source. John formed his first band Bazooka Joe (band members included Adam Ant) in 1970 before going on to form the pioneering punk band The Vibrators. He has worked with many rock luminaries including Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill and if you want to learn blues guitar here’s the man to inspire and fire you. Read on...
JOHN ELLIS AT GONZO (USA)
JOHN ELLIS AT GONZO (UK)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A brief note on Jefferson Starship
Earlier this week we posted a story about Jefferson Starship which was apparently originally posted by the promotors of one of their forthcoming dates. It included this paragraph:

Jefferson Starship are the ultimate in long-lived bands – growing with their audience all the time. The roots lie in Jefferson Airplane and the psychedelic rock of the 1960s, but Jefferson Starship have enjoyed commercial success with songs like Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now in the 1980s. They have been driven by a passion for music and performing and have been rejoined by founder member Paul Kantner.

All this is perfectly true, but somewhat misleading. As Paul Kantner pointed out in an e-mail to me this week:

"That band and those songs have absolutely nothing to do with the current Jefferson Starship which hearkens back (and forward) to the science fiction and rock and roll of our earliest years. As well, the best songs of Jefferson Airplane - songs like 'Crown of Creation', 'Wooden Ships', 'White Rabbit', 'Volunteers', 'Then', 'Ride the Tiger', 'Blows against the Empire', 'Lawman', 'Even find your way back', 'Miracles', 'Count on me', 'The ballad of You, Me and Pooneil', 'Jane', 'Caroline', 'Hyperdrive', 'Fast Buck Freddie', 'I want to see another world', 'there will be love'....and ever so much more!"

I was lucky enough to see Jefferson Starship in Southampton on their last tour, and I have to say that they were absolutely awesome, as can be seen by this video that I shot there.

I have no intention of missing this tour and I hope to see you all there...

JAN. 2014
20 St. Albans Albans Arena
21 London The Borderline 
23 London, The Borderline 
24 Clitheroe The Grand
25 Norwich Epic
26 Skegness Skegness Rock & Blues Fest
28 Wolverhampton Robin 2
29 Bromsgrove The Artrix
31 Frome, Cheese & Grain

FEB. 2014
1 Manchester Manchester Academy
2 Hertford Corn Exchange
JEFFERSON STARSHIP AT GONZO (USA)
JEFFERSON STARSHIP AT GONZO (UK)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Surf's Up for Merrell
This week Merrell Fankhauser wrote to me: " Jon
I recently did a fun interview with the Australian TV show "Sunrise". We talked about the good old days of Surf music in Pismo Beach California where my band The Impacts were discovered by Del Fi Records in 1962!  Cheers, Merrell"

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
This week my favourite roving reporter sent me a link to the Prog Archives dossier on a band called Kino (of whom I will shamefacedly admit that I have never heard). He writes: "Still waiting for these guys to do another record... Great pedigree (Marillion, Arena, Porcupine Tree).. Yearning for more prog rock, but..."

He also sent me news of a new album from Steve Hogarth of Marillion and Richard Barbieri late of Japan. Mr H and Mr B are proud to announce the release of a 5-track mini-album entitled "Arc Light". A "little brother" to their album "Not The Weapon But The Hand."

The album features 4 new tracks and a new version of "Intergalactic" featuring guitars from Aziz Ibrahim, who also plays on two of the new tracks.

Visit www.marillion.com/shop/albums/arclight.htm for more information..

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Gonzo Web Radio
There are no new shows for you this week, but we are reliably informed that a whole slew of Strange Fruits will be winging our way early next week and there are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

Watch this space.
For more news on Strange Fruit CLICK HERE
For more news on Canterbury Sans Frontières CLICK HERE
For the Gonzo Web Radio homepage CLICK HERE

What's been did and what's been hid
I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for very nearly a year now, and we are beginning to find our feet. I am making changes as I go along, and - no doubt - some of these changes will turn out to be mistakes. So, let me know what you think. Do they work? Do you like them? Hate them? Or don't you care either way?

Please pass this magazine around as far and wide as you can. And encourage as many people as you can to subscribe. Remember it is free, and will remain so. However, I want as many subscribers as possible to move on to the next stage of the party. There might well be cake.

Remember, I am always looking for new authors. If there is something that you feel you could add to the general melange which is the Gonzo Weekly, please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. The more the merrier.

Although this newsletter also goes out in a plain text version for those of you who do not trust image intensive thingys in your browser, I promise that as long as it is technically feasible (which will be for the forseeable future) the text only mailout will continue. However, I strongly advise that for you to get the best out of this rapidly evolving publication, that you really should see it in all its picture-led glory.

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
GONZO RELEASES FOR NOVEMBER 2013
1.  Sky Architect: 'A Billion Years of Solitude'
 
Dutch prog rockers SKY ARCHITECT return with their brand new album "A Billion Years Of Solitude” Two years after their ambitious "A Dying Man's Hymn", SKY ARCHITECT are now back with "A Billion Years Of Solitude". Prepare for a launch into space. Prepare for wormholes. Prepare for planet eaters, supernovae, and lots of unexpected twists and turns. This time heavily inspired by the vintage science fiction classics, SKY ARCHITECT boldly venture into new territories, once again proving themselves to be pioneers within the genre.
 
2.  Fankhauser Cassidy Band 'On The Blue Road'
 
Merrell Fankhauser is considered one of the main innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock, and is widely known as the leader of the instrumental surf group The Impacts who had the international hit “Wipeout”. His travels from Hollywood to his 15 year jungle experience on the island of Maui have been documented in numerous music books and magazines in the US and Europe. Merrell has gained legendary international status throughout the field of rock music; his credits include over 250 songs published and released. He also made this classic album with legendary drummer Ed Cassidy.
 
3.  Felix Pappalardi 'Don’t' Worry Ma'

As a producer, Pappalardi is perhaps best known for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. Pappalardi has been referred to in various interviews with the members of Cream as "the fourth member of the band" as he generally had a role in arranging their music. He also played a session role on the songs he helped them record. He also produced The Youngbloods' first album.

4.  Revolution Soundtrack

The soundtrack to a long forgotten psychedelic movie which mines the deep and mellifluously rich vein of blues which ran fairly close to the surface throughout the culture of psychedelic bands in the San Francisco Scene. And this soundtrack album features three of the best: Steve Miller, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Mother Earth

5.  Brand X  'Is There Anyone About?'

Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved of other musicians, and the more discerning of critics, but which despite everything never had the commercial success that it deserved. They were a jazz fusion band active 1975–1980. Noted members included Phil Collins (drums), Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) and Robin Lumley (keyboards). Not long after jazz/rock fusion greats Brand X put out their 1980 album, "Do They Hurt?", the band members went their separate ways (until their comeback in 1992 which only featured Goodsall and Jones).

6.  Gary Windo 'Steam Session Tapes'

Gary is one of those people who never really achieved the recognition that was due to him. Not while he was alive, at least. A highly original musician with an instantly recognizable style, Gary Windo was part of the Canterbury scene in the Seventies. Most notable was his work with Robert Wyatt on the albums Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), and Hugh Hopper on 1984 (1973) and Hoppertunity Box (1976). He was also a member of the Carla Bley band for three years.

7.  Pierre Moerlen's Gong 'Live at the Bataclan, Paris'

Well, many people believed that the idea of Gong without Daevid was like the Rolling Stones without Keith Richards, but after a stint as Paragong they regrouped as Gong with guitarist Steve Hillage at the helm. The band recorded a new album, but Hillage left before its release. Gilli Smyth and Tim Blake had left at around the same time as Daevid, so the rump of Gong now led by the only surviving founder member Didier Malherbe aka Bloomdido Bad de Grasse, found himself in need of recruiting new members. He brought in noted French percussionist. Pierre Moerlen as co-leader, and when de Grasse himself left in 1977, Moerlen was in charge. The newly instated Pierre Moerlen’s Gong sometimes also known as Expresso Gong made some excellent and innovative records, and – amongst many other things – were responsible for this excellent live album. So it all comes round in circles in the end.

8.  Mick Abrahams and the This Was Band  'This Is!'

Mick Abrahams and chums toured in 1998 playing the entire Jethro Tull debut album This Was, authentically recreating the live sound of Jethro Tull, 1968 style. This superbly recorded CD is a great reminder of the tour if you caught it, or a scintillating taste of what you missed! 

9.  The Deviants 'Dr Crow'

The legendary Mick Farren, for nearly forty years their singer and guiding light has stated that The Deviants were originally a community band which "did things every now and then—it was a total assault thing with a great deal of inter-relation and interdependence". Musically, Farren described their sound as "teeth-grinding, psychedelic rock" somewhere between The Stooges and The Mothers of Invention.The Deviants have been described as a transition between classic British psych and the punk/heavy metal aesthetic of the 1970s. They were the glorious sound of rebellion and a true people's band, or a bloody awful row, depending on your viewpoint. Personally I favour the first description. 

10.  Percy Jones 'Cape Catastrophe'

After his years in the heyday of British fusion and art rock, Jones moved to New York City and began occasionally showing up as a performer on the so-called downtown scene, as logical a place for him to attempt a fresh start as any. He recorded Cape Catastrophe in 1988 and 1989 at a studio in East Harlem. Using an array of the era's available hardware (including, as the product-placing liners indicate, a Casio synthesizer, Roland sequencer, Yamaha drum machine, and Korg digital delay), Jones laid down tracks ranging from two-and-a-half minutes to over 23 minutes in length, and then accompanied the tracks live on his five-string (Wal V, for those interested in brands) bass as the direct-to-digital recording was made. The results were generally quite impressive, and stand the test of time well over two decades later.

And on DVD:

1.  Rick Wakeman 'Live at the Maltings 1976'

This album was recorded at Farnham Maltings in 1976; a year when Rick was just about to take a break from his solo career and rejoin Yes for the triumphant album that was Going for the One. It was actually broadcast in the same evening that it was recorded, and The English Rock Ensemble featured a new guitarist John ‘Dusty’ Dunsterville, who – it has been rumoured – was a relative of the man upon whom  Kipling based the eponymous hero of Stalky & Co, whgo was also my late Godfather’s Godfather. Weird old world innit?
 
2. Nic Jones
    'The Enigma of Nic Jones - The Return of the Lost Folk Hero'


In 1982 Nic Jones was at the peak of his career, but driving home from a gig one night a near-fatal car crash changed his life forever. Almost every bone in his body was broken and neurological damage meant that he would never play his guitar in front of an audience again. Apart from a couple of tribute concerts, Nic Jones disappeared from the public eye for thirty years. Then in the summer of 2012, encouraged by friends and family, Nic returned to the stage to play several festival performances accompanied by his guitarist son, Joe Jones and keyboard player Belinda O’Hooley. The concerts were a resounding success and for his old and new fans, a moving comeback for their musical hero.
BACK ISSUES OF THIS PERIODICAL
Most of the back issues have now been archived on a dedicated Blogger site. Please use the navigation tree on the right of the page. However, please be aware that there are still a few formatting issues, and the magazine may not look as nice in blogger as we would have liked.

If, however, you are using the MailChimp archive, (below) please be warned: Magazines from #11-41  contain the cartoon at the bottom of the stressed out guy with the computer  Apparently someone has accused the public domain images site I got it from of hosting malware, and even though there was none found there by Google, the fact that I used an image from the site (perfectly legally) flagged our whole newsletter up as possibly containing malware. This should only effect people using Google Chrome, and I would strongly suggest that you click the 'proceed anyway' tab, and view the newsletter as you had originally planned...

Newsletter #36  Newsletter #35  Newsletter #34  Newsletter #33 Newsletter #32  Newsletter #31  Newsletter #30  Newsletter #29 Newsletter #28  Newsletter #27  Newsletter #26  Newsletter #25  Newsletter #24  Newsletter #23  Newsletter #22  Newsletter #21 Newsletter #20  Newsletter #19  Newsletter #18  Newsletter #17 Newsletter #16  Newsletter #15  Newsletter #14  Newsletter #13 Newsletter #12  Newsletter #11  Newsletter #10  Newsletter #9 Newsletter #8  Newsletter #7  Newsletter #6  Newsletter #5 Newsletter #4  Newsletter #3  Newsletter #2  Newsletter #1
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Lewis Collins (1946-2013)
Lewis Collins (26 May 1946 – 27 November 2013) was an English actor. He was best known for his tough-guy role as Bodie in the ITV drama series The Professionals, which ran from 1977 to 1983.
THERE IS NOW A GONZO WEEKLY SHOP
Now, I don't know whether this is a good idea, a bad idea, or just an idea, but - as I believe you know - this magazine is put out each week on a budget of £25, and is free. It will remain free, but I would like to be able to generate some income so I can pay our contributing writers. So, 'why not flog Gonzo Weekly T Shirts?' I thought. 'Why not', I answered... 
http://www.zazzle.co.uk/gonzoweekly
FRONT COVER STORY: Judy Dyble interview
Judy Dyble is one of my favourite people to interview in these pages, and I have done so on several occasions. However, this time is slightly different, because she has just stepped outside the box so remarkably, that it makes one re-examine the entire nature of said box.

Then, of course, one realises that such departures from the norm are nothing new for our Jude. As well as singing for Fairport Convention, Giles Giles and Fripp, and Trader Horne she also made some dance orientated albums with Astralasia a few years ago, and has also appeared on various pieces of Scandinavian esoterica. She just has that sort of voice.

But what exactly is this new departure? Check this out:
Judy Dyble and Atilla the Stockbroker? Songs of Revolution? A band who call me Comrade in their e-mails? Socialist R&B? This is better than my wildest dreams!

I really had to talk to her about it. Listen to our conversation HERE.

JUDY AT GONZO (USA)
JUDY AT GONZO (UK)
EXCLUSIVE: John Higgs interview
This year one of my two favourite new books (the other being Morrissey's autobiography) has been John Higgs'  extraordinary biography of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty. I am not alone. The Guardian, for example, wrote:

Fascinating and well written insight into one of the most extraordinary bands of the past 25 years. As much as you may love their music, or hate their anarchic anti-art antics (like burning a cool million quid), you cannot fail to be impressed by their philosophy, risk taking and sheer bravery/cheek in taking on the establishments that affect their lives. You'll also never think about the No.23 in the same way again!

A highly recommended read whether you are a fan or not.

To me, a man who has juggled his two parallel careers as Fortean and rock and roll art terrorist for the last thirty odd (some of them very odd) careers, this book makes perfect sense. It probably asks more questions than it answers, but it proposes a Gloriously Surrealchemical (watch out for GS and 23) thesis which actually goes a long way towards explaining some of the things that have mystified me most about both of my peculiar careers.

I was determined to find out more, so I gave the author a ring. Have a listen to our conversation here.
A SLICE OF LIFE IN LONDON
It all started some weeks ago when Corinna and I were in Manchester to see Peter Gabriel. We made a detour to Manchester Museum to see a particularly venerable elephant and an even more venerable moth (check out the latest episode of our monthly webTV show for more details. However, we also met up with the lovely Carol Hodge (aka Miss Crystal Grenade) over a cuppa. When we got back to Devon we received this IM on Facebook...

Hey Jon, hope all is good in your world. Was lovely to meet you and Corrina the other week I don't suppose you have a photo of you and yours I could use in the visuals for our gig at Islington Academy on Saturday? Theme is 'slice of your life' x

So, after a little deliberation we sent her these...
They were accompanied by a brief note: "I am even wearing a home-made Crass T Shirt in one of these. We were making a documentary about mutant coyotes in Texas at the time".

Then we got these pictorial proofs that Ms H was in London, and even more interesting had an encounter with a bona fide 'Out-of-Place' animal of the ilk I write about in my other incarnation...
I was amused by a comment on her FB page suggesting that she should perhaps have been slipping the finger to the Palace of Westminster in this picture. But then I have to admit that I completely forgot about the whole thing. 

I week or so later I wrote to Carol asking how the gig went, and she replied: "Was amazing! Really different on such a big stage,  but worked very well. " and gave me some pics...
...and finally she reminded us: "Crystal Grenade album launch on Friday 6th December at the  Richmond Tea Rooms near Canal St in Manchester. Starts 8pm, free entry, free Victorian silhouette portraits, free Tiffin, acoustic musical musings and visual vignettes!"
MISS CRYSTAL GRENADE AT GONZO (USA)
MISS CRYSTAL GRENADE AT GONZO (UK)
Review: From ACT UP to the WTO Edited by Benjamin Shepard and Ronald Hayduk.

Everybody likes to think that they were THERE: that they were at the beginning of something, the first to engage in some activity which later became of cultural significance.

Maybe you saw Pink Floyd at theUFO club in Notting Hill Gate in 1967? Or the Sex Pistols on theirJubilee bash on a boat on the Thames ten years later? What about the massive rave at Castlemorton in the 1992? Or the road protest on Twyford Down near Winchester which kick-started the anti-roads movement at around the same time?

Personally, I always like to say that I am responsible for Reclaim the Streets. The basis for my claim is that before the first march and rally against the Criminal Justice Bill, in May 1994, my name was one of three registered at Scotland Yard as being responsible. It was a beautiful sunny day and people danced in the fountains at Trafalgar Square to the Rinky Dink bicycle-powered mobile sound system. Later, maybe, people thought that it would be a good idea to hold a party in the street.

It’s an absurd claim, of course. I can imagine veterans of RTS going purple in the face right now, knowing that CJ Stone hardly ever attended a single meeting, certainly took no part in any action, and that when he did attend meetings, he made no noticeable contribution to the proceedings.

It’s true. And yet I still maintain that I was there, on the ground floor as it were: in spirit, if not in body. It’s possible for many people to have the same thought at the same time.

The word is Zeitgeist. The spirit of the times. To have been around in any era, to have participated, even on a peripheral level, is to have absorbed some of its imperatives, some of its meaning. So even if even you didn’t actually see the Sex Pistols in 1977, you will have understood their milieu, you would have been a part of the movement that brought them about.

I can’t speak for people younger than me. Chances are you will have your own cultural moments: your own measure of what is significant to you. Possibly the anti-capitalist mobilisations in Seattle and other places - in Prague or Genoa - will be part of that.

Read on...
SOME BOOKS BY C.J.STONE

 

 
 
 
HAWKWIND NEWS
(The Masters of the Universe do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni). Each week Graham Inglis keeps us up to date with the latest news from the Hawkverse..
Hawkwind have announced that there's to be another "Hawkeaster" event in Seaton, Devon, next year.

In the absence of a full Hawkfest, this is probably the closest one can get to a Hawkwind festival: the one last Easter was somewhat like an indoor festival except that you can't smoke there, and it's right in the middle of a quiet seaside town. The up-side is, there's a cashpoint one minute down the road!

A campsite was arranged, but was quite a way out of town... not that Seaton is all that large. Last year's format was several bands during Easter Saturday and Sunday afternoon - including a brief set by Tim Blake, and an hour from TOSH (Technicians of Spaceship Hawkwind).

There was also a Hawkwind "question and answer" session on both afternoons, compered by TV presenter Matthew Wright, and some auctions for charity.

The room was then cleared for Hawkwind's preparations for their evening performances.

Hawkwind did almost identical sets on both nights, so if the 2014 format is like that of 2013, one-night-visitors don't really have to worry about which night they choose. Of course, many visitors go for both nights - partly for a double dose of Hawkwind and partly because Seaton is a bugger to travel to and from at the best of times and public transport approximates to zilch around Easter.

The venue is called The Gateway, a.k.a Seaton Town Hall, and tickets go on sale December 1st.
This week Doug reviews...
A Passion Play –
The Story Of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull

By Brian Rabey, 2013 – Soundcheck Books, LLP

As we get some perspective on the golden age of progressive rock, there have been a number of books written about the bands and people behind the music.  These include biographies both authorized and unauthorized about many progressive rock giants, including YesGenesis,Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull.  Some of these are interesting, giving us insight into how the artists crafted their work, their inspirations, the interpersonal dynamics of the band members, and stories from life on the road.  Others are much more definitive, giving a deeper insight into the creative process, both musically and lyrically, and telling a more complete story about the band and their art.  The success of these tomes depends on the knowledge and skill of the author and level of involvement from the subject artists themselves.

In the case of the new biography, 'A Passion Play, The Story of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull', we have a new and definitive look at the band and it’s driving persona.  Author, Brian Rabey, began the project already very knowledgeable about all things Tull, having learned the songs on flute during his teenage years, as a fan, and then interviewing and writing reviews on the band for years as a journalist.  For this bio, the author augmented that study with hours of new interviews taking time with many of the more than 20 band members past and present.  These discussions, in the bands own words, along with the author’s keen observations are woven together to create the whole.  It is a thoroughly researched, fascinating look at a band that’s endured for more than four decades with their stories told from many perspectives, not just that of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its inception.

The book is divided into two major parts – part I being a history of Jethro Tull, and part II dedicated to extensive interviews of Ian Anderson himself.  To begin part I, the birth of the band is covered in great detail.  We learn much about these early formative years, including the revolving door of early members, how they found gigs, and got their start.  We learn exactly how bassist Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond (bass), and Barrie Barlow (drums) drifted in and out of the early bands, why Mick Abrahams (guitar) ended up exiting after their first release, and how John Evans (piano, keyboards) ended up not appearing on the first two albums – making his more formal debut on the third release, Benefit.  This exhaustive early coverage is important to understanding the formative years of the outfit.

The rest of part I is taken with a segment about each album, each of which interweave authors’ notes with observations from band members culled from their interviews.  Included with this are stories about the comings and goings of the various members, and their reflections on those times.  This section leads to my only quibble with this exceptional book, which is the uneven amount of text dedicated to each of the band's extensive catalogue.  The deepest coverage is fairly awarded to the first seven releases – averaging a handful of pages about each album, including many key revelations, most notably a thorough explanation as to how A Passion Play (1973) came to be rewritten and re-recorded.  But this coverage tapers off after that release, such that the core mid-period from 1974’s Warchild, through 1979’s Stormwatch each receive just a page or so of space.  It’s as if the interviews and author’s added commentary tapered off for an intermission, and while picking back up never return to the longer more informative earlier passages.  In particular most fans would agree that Minstrel in the Gallery (1975) was a high point for the band, and while the author notes how solid the release is, and guitarist Martin Barrie is shown to agree, more coverage would have been useful in particular to illuminate the top notch acoustic centre of this work spanning from Requiem, One White Duck… and the phenomenal Baker Street Blues suite.  In the end, a minor complaint, as many of the bands albums are so fully explored, along with the detailed interviews on all subjects.

Read on...

THE YES CIRCULAR - TIME AND A WORD
The Court Circular tells interested readers about the comings and goings of members of The Royal Family. However, readers of this periodical seem interested in the comings and goings of Yes and of various alumni of this magnificent and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say
This has been a much more healthy week for news of Yes and its alumni. We started off with an interesting piece about Steve Howe and his solo work, had the piece about Billy Sherwood and XNA which we mention earlier, and the first of two interviews with drummer Alan White. He has been busy this week because there is another interview with him here. There is an interesting article about Geoff Downes, and an interview with Dave Cousins of Strawbs who remembers having Rick Wakeman tinkling the ivories in the band. Rick has also added more dates to his 2014 tour. But there's more - Bart Lancia sent me this from the Oliver Wakeman newsletter.
One off trio show next weekend! Gordon Giltrap, Oliver Wakeman & Paul Manzi  This unique gig will feature Gordon and Oliver such a hit last year as a duo with singer Paul Manzi, playing songs from the Ravens and Lullabies album and also songs from both their careers. This should be another great night and very much a one off!

Date: Saturday 7th December 2013 - Doors: 7pm Venue: The Wesley Centre, Maltby, Rotherham, UK
 
http://www.classicrocksociety.co.uk/shop/gordon-giltrap-oliver-wakeman-paul-manzi-rotherham/
 
In case you missed the Tweets - have a look at Oliver's Twitter feed (and why not follow @OliverWakeman) and see the great Prog Cliches Oliver and the guys from BJH found whilst touring around the country!

Yesterday we posted a story about a tribute to Jon Anderson by the lovely Valentina Blanca. I was so impressed by her recording that I wrote and asked her for more details. She replied:

"I would like to record an album tribute to Jon Anderson. "Show me" is my first song. I would like to call this album "Light - A tribute to Jon Anderson". It will be an acoustic and "light" version with guitar and voice only of my favourite Jon's song of all time, with Yes and alone. In the meantime I'm working in two new songs with Rick (Wakeman) that will be ready in December."
I am probably getting a bit OCD about all of this, but I find the Yes soap opera of sound to be absolutely enthralling, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next! 
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (UK)
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (USA)
CONFEDERATION OF COCKROACHES
WE ARE GATHERED HERE TODAY
in this rare convocation of cockroaches
to petition the admission of rats
to the hallowed rank of vermin...
Fleas and ticks have honorary membership
and it is refreshing to see Lyme Disease returning!
Rats have been with us since the first Plague
Of Bibical Proportions have they been
eaten in sieges after horses and humans
Returning on ships from and to any New World
Like snakes on a plane,they are adaptable
Yet cockroaches have long held their Union solo
The admission of rats must imply dirt,mess,illness,death
Once the Affordable Health Care Act is stalled
their admission to our League will be automatic
In Victorian times every well-bred Gentleman had a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'; a collection of peculiar odds and sods, usually housed in a finely made cabinet with a glass door. These could include anything from Natural History specimens to historical artefacts. There has always been something of the Victorian amateur naturalist about me, and I have a houseful of arcane objects; some completely worthless, others decidedly not, but all precious to me for the memories they hold.

But people send me lots of pictures of interesting, and, may I say, peculiar things....
And here we have another 'too good to miss' offer.  We wrote about this months ago, but now its an even bigger bargain!

A music stand from Abbey Road Studios.  Original price  was AU50,000.00 but it is now for sale at .... 25% off!  

That's a saving to you sir/madam of AU12,500.00.  Get it now....just AU $37,500.00 (approx. £20,860.61).

According to the Ebay seller:

"There is a chance that the Beatles themselves or some of their session musicians (to record the Abbey Road Album or The White Album?), or any of the other artists (See list below) that recorded at Abbey Road Studios over the years, may have used this very music stand whilst recording. "  

Aye, I guess that could be right, but then again it may also have been languishing in a cupboard for years since purchase, due to it being surplus stock ......

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BEATLES-ULTRA-RARE-Original-Sheet-Music-Stand-from-Abbey-Road-Studios-London-/330931546546?pt=AU_Instrument_Accessories&hash=item4d0d0ea9b2

Corinna (just call me 'The Cynic') Downes

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION TIME

Just in case you are interested, here is yer beloved Editor at iTunes

Bipolar, Jon Downes Lost Weekend, Jon Downes Hard Sports - EP, Jon Downes The Man from Dystopia, Jon Downes

Check it out now...
INTRODUCING THE NINE HENRYS
There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts. They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.
 
Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...

The Weird Weekend is the largest yearly gathering of mystery animal investigators in the English-speaking world. Now in its fifteenth year, the convention attracts speakers and visitors from all over the world and showcases the findings of investigators into strange phenomena.

Cryptozoologists, parapsychologists, ufologists, and folklorists are descending on Woolfardisworthy Community Centre to share their findings and insights. Unlike other events, the Weird Weekend will also include workshops giving tips to budding paranormal investigators, and even a programme of special events for children. The Weird Weekend is the only fortean conference in the world that is truly a family event, although those veterans of previous events should be reassured that it is still as anarchically silly as ever!

The event is raising money for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s only full time, professional cryptozoological organisation. The profit from food and beverages goes to a selection of village charities, mostly working with children.

BUY TICKETS AT A SPECIAL ADVANCE PRICE
the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
THE WORLD OF KEV
Kev Rowland
PARADISE 9   Take Me to the Future      (INDIE)
So there I was one day perusing the latest issue of Gonzo, and at the very end there were some photos of a band called Paradise 9. I had never heard of the band before, but then noticed that the photos had been taken by the wife of the bassist, whose surname was Matthars. That got me wondering, surely this couldn’t be Neil Matthars who used to be in the mighty Casual Affair with that nice man Mark Colton? A quick search of the internet later and I had discovered that not only was it the same person, but fellow 
ex-Casual Carl Sampson was the drummer. That was more than enough for me to start swapping emails with band leader Gregg McKella and grabbing a copy of the CD (I paid by giving him photos of Neil from 20+ years ago..)

It is of no surprise, given the artwork and the title, that this is psychedelic space rock. But, to my ears it is more than ‘just’ that. There is a real punk element to this, combined with reggae and loads of different styles all coming into space rock to make something that belongs in the Seventies but is also timeless. Nik Turner became involved in the proceedings, as did Judge Trev and other guests, and the feeling is of an album that is the underground personified in one shiny disc. As well as those already mentioned, the band is completed by Tyrone Thomas (Olympic Clamp Down/ex-Alternative TV) on lead guitar and Jaki Windmill (Mick Farren’s Deviants /ex-Space Ritual/ex-Whimwise) on djembe, percussion and backing vocals, and it is the very different backgrounds of those involved that make it such a melting pot. For those who don’t know, Casual Affair were probably the most important prog band to come out of West London in the early Nineties, and regularly sold out haunts such as the Red Lion at Brentford, before singer Mark Colton and guitarist Mike Mishra formed Freewill. Carl was later in Rook, another prog band, before he and Neil were involved in some one-off Casual gigs, yet this band has a very organic sound and one would never guess that the rhythm section cut their teeth playing a quite different form of prog.
 
“Ocean Rise” is probably the favourite, with clarinet, wonderfully bass and guitar lines, all complemented with swathes of space rock and different rhythms. All spacerock bands are going to be compared to Hawkwind at some point, but these far more in common with Inner City Unit and it is no surprise that they often gig together. If you enjoy this style of music, then this is a keeper. www.paradise9.net    
 
PERHAPS & DAMO SUZUKI     Improvisation  (BANDCAMP)
When bassist Jim Haney contacted me to let me know that Perhaps had a new album out, I quickly went over to their Bandcamp site to grab it. But, when I got there I saw not only their new album but also this release which also involves Damo Suzuki. It is only in the last three or four years that I have started listening to Can, and can’t believe that I somehow managed to avoid them before. Needless to say I grabbed this as well, and I am so glad that I did. This was the first time that Perhaps had performed with a singer, not surprising given the nature of their music, but Damo slotted right in as if this was actually his band. There is a power and dominance to this 23 minute improvised piece of music
which is quite inspiring. It may not be easy music to listen to, but it is incredibly compelling and something that the discerning listener (i.e. the ones who won’t say that this is a noise and a load of rubbish before spending the time to get inside it) will get a great deal from.

Oh yes, it’s free as well. So if you are a fan of Can, Perhaps, or improvised music in general, this is something to savour. www.perhaps.bandcamp.com
PERHAPS    Volume 2     (BANDCAMP)
At long last we have the follow-up to ‘Volume One’, and although it is somewhat shorter than the last album we yet again have a single piece of music. Last time the guests joining the trio were strings and woodwind, but this time we have a couple of synth players, a guitarist and just the one sax, so the music has changed somewhat. However, yet again it is a compelling, almost beguiling and entrancing piece that drags the listener in. Although there are large sections where the band are bouncing ideas off each other, there are others which are highly complex and clearly orchestrated, and these pieces often don’t appear to link together and the feeling is that it is often separate songs that have been put together as one, as opposed to a ‘genuine’ long piece of music.
But some of the interplay between Jim Haney (bass), Sean McDermott (guitar) and Don Taylor (drums) is nothing short of stunning. Just listen to what is happening at the eight minute mark, and I can guarantee that your mouth will drop open as you hear just how tight and complex these guys are. Jim sees no reason at all as to why his bass should just be in the background and can be a complementary lead in its’ own right while Don obviously doesn’t want to be left out while the other two have all the fun.
 
While containing elements of RIO, free jazz, krautrock, and loads of others, this is music that is often not as challenging as it may first appear and these guys have come up with yet another incredible piece of work, which yet again is yours for the paltry sum of whatever you want to pay. It’s about time these guys got signed and released some CDs. www.perhaps.bandcamp.com
REVAMP       Wild Card       (NUCLEAR BLAST)
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to catch singer Floor Jansen fronting a band, proving that not only is she an incredible singer but also a wonderful front person. Earlier this week I saw a notification that she was now a full member of that band, Nightwish, and no longer a touring guest and based on what I saw that night the guys have made a very wise decision. For those who are unaware, Floor built her reputation as singer for twelve years with After Forever, and it was after she decided to spread her wings that she formed Revamp. But given her duties with Nightwish, I was somewhat surprised to see that she was releasing a second album in August 2013 under the Revamp name, but I am truly glad that she did. While she has a very 
high controlled trained soprano, she doesn’t need to go that high very often, but instead uses a more natural style that allows her to portray more power and emotion.

I’ve seen this album marked as progressive metal by many, but to me it is much more in the symphonic metal area than the progressive, and a wonderfully evocative and charismatic form at that. This is all about a metal band that is allowed to spread its’ wings just so far, but at all times the sole purpose is to provide a vehicle for Floor to shine, something she does with consummate ease. She dominates proceedings, but still makes room for guitarists Arjan Rijnen and Jord Otto so that there is a band feel as opposed to a solo act. She has guested with others in the past, and Devin Townsend returns the favour with a duet here. Solid, symphonic, powerful, with incredible vocals and great riffs. You can’t go wrong.
 
Mendelssohn, The Nazis and Me (DVD)
Sheila Hayman is a well respected author and award winning television director. She has written articles for The Times and The Guardian and published a number of books including ‘Are We nearly There yet’ and her most recent ‘Mrs. Normal Saves The World’.

Sheila has also directed a film entitled ‘Mendelssohn, The Nazis And Me’ which tells the extraordinary story of what happened to Felix Mendelssohn's music and reputation under the Nazis, told by Sheila Hayman, award winning director and descendant of Mendelssohn's sister Fanny. 
  • 'Writer-director Sheila Hayman's articulate, radiantly intelligent film'(Financial Times) 
  • 'This entrancing film succeeded as a personal and justifiably proud celebration' (Scotsman)  
  • 'A tangled tale...presented absolutely compellingly by Sheila Hayman'(Guardian)
  • 'A fascinating film that tells how, despite its best efforts, the Third Reich could not extinguish Germany's love of Mendelssohn's work' (Observer)
​
Check it out at Gonzo (UK)
Check it out at Gonzo (USA)

THE BEST LAID PLANS...
My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had another rather a nice week. Mother in law is still staying with us and she alternates her time between sitting in the sitting room surrounded by various adoring felids and canids who occasionally growl or tussle slightly in the unceasing struggle to see who can love Grandmother most.
I am always being accused of being over anthromorphic when I deal with the furry creatures of my household, which is - I guess - a reasonably fair accusation considering the fact that at least some of the time I am supposed to be a zoologist.

But the problem is that whilst I am quite prepared to be sensible and rational about the reptiles, amphibians, fish and various inverts that share my living space (I must be the only rock'n'roll editor with a breeding colony of Rio Cauca caecilians, for example), I don't consider my cats and dogs to be animals. They are little people in fur coats who share our lives, food and usually (especially in winter time) our bed.

Just remember what the (allegedly) fictional Lazarus Long has to say on the subject:

How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.

And so, my dear friends, say all of us here in the potato shed.

Slainte
Copyright © Gonzo/CFZ Press 2013  All rights reserved.

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