This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a manic depressive (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed in North Devon. The fact that it is published in conjunction with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
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Issue Forty-Four    September 21st 2013
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?)
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.
Google Plus
Google Plus
So what is this all about?

It is simple; my name is Jon and I am the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online magazine. Now there is a weekly newsletter, once again edited by me and my trusty orange cat from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire. 

You subscribed to it 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 just as easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...
One of my closest friends is the explorer, author, Goth, cryptozoologist and all round esoteric oddball Richard Freeman, and he happens to be staying with me this week. We were talking about life, the universe, and everything yesterday evening, especially the political situation across Europe, when he noted: "It's beginning to feel like 1939", in a solemn voice.

I cannot but agree with him. It feels like we are on the edge of something nasty. Various parts of the continent are sliding inexorably towards totalitarianism, and the level of unrest in our own country is disturbing.

People ask my why I do this weekly magazine. Why do I go so much beyond the record company newsletter which is what I am paid twenty five quid a week to produce? It is not just because I have always wanted to edit a music magazine, and now I finally have the chance. No, it goes deeper than that. Culturally I think that the things which we cover in the magazine are important, and are in danger of being lost in the world of mainstream media. But there is something even deeper and even more arcane. I believe in magick. And I believe that one of the most deeply magickal things is music.

Mankind has always known that music has an ineffable power to change people's emotions. Irving Berlin knew that Alexander's Ragtime Band could play a bugle call "like you never heard before. So natural that you want to go to war" as did military leaders from the dawn of time to the present day. Joshua's trumpets brought down the gates of Jericho, and various Latin American "meat packing glitterati" will testify to the effects of the shock and awe of American heavy metal music played very loudly as G I Joe stormed their palaces.

But music, when it is made for the right reasons, with the right intentions, and by the right people has the power to soothe, to heal, and to make things better. And at the moment the world needs as many good vibes, and healing messages as it can possibly get.

So, that, m'lord concludes my Plea in Mitigation.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Rob meets Rick
Yes sports fans..... it is Rob n Rick. What are those Prog Rock monoliths cooking up today? 
We can exclusively reveal that Gonzo are to be the proprietors of "Wakeman Musical Emporium", where all manner of curiosities Wakemanesque will be purveyed to the general and not so general public alike. 
Remember where you heard it first!!

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Carl Portman goes to see Roger Waters
I’ve got a little black book with my poems in…
Well I haven’t actually but I did write a review of my Roger Waters experience for Gonzo – if you deem it worthy. On the subject of Gonzo, I have no idea how or why you put yourself through so much work but I must say that the final product is well worth it. It educates and gives joy to a many people. You make a difference Jon and we all love you for that.
Pink x
The Wall live – Wembley Stadium; Saturday 14th September 2013 Personal thoughts from Carl Portman

So ya thought ya might like to – go to the show? Well actually yes I did for all of my adult life. I have seen pretty much every band I want to see, lamenting the fact that The Doors and Gary Moore escaped me, so I was thrilled to get excellent seats at the Mecca of English football, Wembley Stadium to see Roger Waters and The Wall, live at last.

My wife, Susan accompanied me and we arrived early and this was the scene in the stadium as it began to fill up.
The stage was immense on the right, with three mixing desks in strategic points, the one on the left looking like a stage in itself. I knew this was going to be spectacular and at the very beginning as darkness fell, the spitfire I had seen at the back of the ground flew onto the stage and burst into flames. I managed to get a photograph of it en-route.
How good is that? With that and the accompanying pyrotechnics we were underway and I tucked my £20 programme (!) and £25 tee shirt under my chair and succumbed to the music. I don’t really need to tell you the track list – it was ‘The Wall’ in its entirety with a few new arrangements here and there. Waters is 70 now but you wouldn’t know it, casually dressed as he was in a black tee shirt, energetically pacing the stage – and the wall. He commands the stage but not in an aggressive manner – one knows that one is in the presence of a rock god and that is enough to gain respect for the man.

The technical effects were outstanding with ‘The Wall’ spanning the width of one end of Wembley. All of the pictures, lasers and the like were projected onto it so one moment it was a cold grey wall and another it was in bloom with a riot of colour and movement. Here below is the scene as ‘Mother’ was played.
When he sang the line ‘Mother should I trust the government?’ the word NO followed by FUCKING followed by WAY! lit up the wall in red to screams of delight from the ageing throng. Too right Roger, you are saying what we think old boy.

Of great poignancy was the interval during which images of people who had died in various wars were displayed on the wall. These were real photographs from real families who sent pictures in to Roger via his website. Talk about relating to your audience – it was very moving indeed.

The second half began with a voice shouting from behind the wall ‘Is there anybody out there?’ There were plenty of inflatables such as the manic teacher and the giant pig (depicting evil and greed) that floated malevolently above the audience’s heads for a good while.

My favourite track ‘Comfortably Numb’ really got me rocking and the chap next to me must have thought I was too old for this. I was subsumed in the music and closed my eyes at one point just to absorb the occasion and lose myself in the lyrics, remembering m youth when I first heard this epic album. Melt the notes down and inject them into my bloodstream please ‘The child is grown, the dream is gone, and I have become…comfortably numb’. Aaaaaaah, sublime.

‘Is there anyone in the audience who is paranoid?’ he asked. ’If there is, you’d better run like hell’. Then they launched into the track with gusto ’there’s one smoking  joint, and another with spots – if I had my way I’d have all of them shot’ to which he picked up a machine gun and ‘shot’ the audience. I managed to get a shot of my own (below)
This was the first show I had ever attended where it explicitly stated on the ticket that cameras (none SLR) were allowed so the audience was free to capture images without fear of being ejected. I still have issue with the people who insist on videoing great tracts of a gig. The guy in front of me had a mobile phone so bright I could barely see the stage at one point.

I admit to having no idea who the rest of the band were but I had hoped that this being London, Mr Gilmour may have made a guest appearance – there was talk of it but alas it never transpired. As it was the band comprised of Snowy White, Dave Kilmister and G. E. Smith on guitars and bass, Jon Carin on keyboards, Harry Waters on Hammond Organ and piano, Graham Broad on drums, Robbie Wyckoff on vocals were fantastic, not to mention the school kids who danced away to Another Brick in the Wall part II.

This was one of the best gigs I have ever attended for sure – certainly Susan’s favourite. At one point. When Waters was singing ‘Mother do you think they’ll dropped the bomb?’ the clouds literally parted to reveal the moon which sent a shard of silver light into the stadium. It was eerie and it was beautiful. My god, this was one element of the show that the crew could not control but it was illuminating in every sense.

The whole set was superb. Musically the concert was delivered with precision, and the effects were simply stunning. How on earth the people behind the animation actually put it together is beyond me but I would love to learn how! Waters was clearly enjoying himself which infected the audience. He said that it was ‘genuinely’ the best audience of the tour, perhaps because he was in his home town. You know this might be the last time he ever does this which is why it makes it even more special.

I don’t know why he keeps doing it at 70 years of age, but he has his reasons (see his website). The end came all too soon. One minute the Wall was up and the next it had tumbled down, releasing us all into the night, outside of the wall…
And when they’ve given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it’s not easy
Banging your heart against some mad buggers wall…
...and totally without planning, we seem to have developed somewhat of a Pink Floyd motif this week...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: That Amazing Pudding - in time for Christmas?
It must be that time of year again; the time when all the publishers are gearing up their catalogues for what is euphemistically called 'The Festive Season'. Am I not a fan of Christmas? No, not really. It has become the greatest religious festival of the Capitalist year, when we all bow in obesiance before the great God of Money, and wallow in His name.

But I digress. It is only September, and I am supposed to be talking about books. Because as I was saying just before I started to channel the spirit of the Blessed Ebenezer, it is the time of year that the publishers of the world are beginning to put out the books that they hope will be in everyone's stockings this Christmas.

Last week we had a shufti at a smashing new biography of Paul McCartney, and this week we have a remarkable tome by the great Ron Geesin, in which he tells the story of one of Pink Floyd's most controversial pieces of music. He also reveals all sorts of titbits about his own life.

Such as? I can't tell you, not because I am under some sort of an embargo from the publishers, but because I only started reading it this lunchtime, and I am afraid that you will have to wait until next weekend for the denouement...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Judy Dyble exclusive
My favourite music magazine by far is Mojo, and my spies have sent me a preview of the forthcoming issue. And guess who is in it...
Check it out...

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Look what Rob found in his archives
Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey? Why are John Shuttleworth, a puppet simian, Robert Wyatt and the Ubercheesenfuhrer  photographed together looking deeply uneasy.

By the way, Richard Freeman and I were discussing what species of simian it is, and he thought it was one of the  West African ground dwelling Cercopithecidae because it had a blue bottom. I pointed out that the blue bottom was actually John Shuttleworth's elbow, so officially now Mr F doesn't know his arse from his elbow. 
Another new show for you this week; the latest from Matthew Watkins. However, there are some 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.


Date Published: 21st September 2013

Canterbury Sans Frontières #7

We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières - a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes: 

As with Canterbury Soundwaves, a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon.I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up (i) repeating myself, (ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or (iii) becoming increasingly tangential. This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less expository – so no interviews, barely-listenable bootlegs, etc.

I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 features a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli).

And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we have brought you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?

Playlist for this episode


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

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  I promised new music from Mike Davis
Well, I always keep my promises. Or at least try to. Last weekend he was here for three days from Friday, and we did a lot of recording. No less than five new songs have resulted, and you can hear them HERE.

Mike Davis is one of British music's best kept secrets. Why he isn't a star I have no idea, and when you hear his music you are bound to agree with me! I have worked in what Berry Gordy once described as the "industry of human happiness" on and off throughout my adult life. Thirty years ago, when I was trying to be the Brian Epstein of South Devon, I picked up a hitchhiker called Mike Davis travelling through Starcross. In all my years in the business he is still the most talented singer/songwriter that I have ever met! 

I am lucky enough to have achieved most of my ambitions in life, but the one ambition that I have yet to achieve is to make Mike Davis a star! I have a sneaking suspicion that as we get half way through the second decade of the 21st Century, that his and my stars are finally right!

Check out his Facebook page. 
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: 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 nine months 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 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.
Corky Laing and the Perfect Child - Playing God
2 Jack Lancaster - Wild Connections
3 Paul Kantner - A Martian Christmas
Brand X - Missing Period
Blodwyn Pig - Lies
Gary Windo - Deep Water
And on DVD Vangelis - Journey to Ithaka (DVD)
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
Please be warned: Magazines from #11 on  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...
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Lindsay Cooper (1951-2013)
Lindsay Cooper (3 March 1951 – 18 September 2013) was an English bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. Best known for her work with the band Henry Cow, she was also a member of Comus, National Health, News from Babel and David Thomas and the Pedestrians. She collaborated with a number of musicians, including Chris Cutler and Sally Potter, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group. She wrote scores for film and TV and a song cycle Oh Moscow which was performed live around the world in 1987. She also recorded a number of solo albums, including Rags (1980), The Gold Diggers (1983) and Music For Other Occasions (1986).
Cooper was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1970s, but did not disclose it to the musical community until the late 1990s when her illness prevented her from performing live. In September 2013, Cooper died from the illness at the age of 62, 15 years after her retirement.
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...
COVER STORY: A conversation with Andy Colquhoun
As regular readers will know, back in the early summer Dave B-P and I went to Brighton and interviewed Mick Farren and other members of The Deviants. I was devastated when he died a few weeks later.

Gonzo are releasing several Deviants and related albums, and so I telephoned Andy Colquhoun to talk about them. My timing couldn't have been worse; it was the day of Mick's belated funeral, and when we finally spoke the next day he was emotional in his tributes to him:

Yeah.  He was very lovable, you know. Everybody had a different take on it. I mean, as his musical partner, we always focused on the music and he was always very happy doing that and it was a very rewarding activity for him.  Other people – obviously he had a lot of other interests, a range of interest;  politics, the cosmos, books, and although we discussed those things we actually had a very – maybe an insulated kind of – friendship where we didn’t sort of cross swords on those different  subjects because I just found him endlessly entertaining on those subjects.  It was a really good relationship, obviously the best song-writing relationship I could have hoped for because he was just brilliant with his words. 

We talked about Mick's funeral for a while. There is stuff  on Andy's Facebook page about it, but I think that our conversation was too personal to  repost. However, after a while we got onto the real reason for our conversation: taking an in-depth look at the Dr Crow album that Gonzo is just about to reissue...

JON: Did you and Mick write it all together?
ANDY: Yes.  Well he always wrote the words and he always wrote the music.  So that’s all Mick and me and then the bonus tracks were a couple of tracks we did in addition later on – Strawberry Fields Forever, a cover of the Beatles song we recorded with Johnette Napolitano as vocals as well as Mick, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance got added as well which is a Gene Pitney number that we recorded for a Gene Pitney tribute album. It’s a very different version.  Obviously Mick didn’t really sing like Gene Pitney <laugh> even with the enormous numbers of chemicals.
JON: That’s the biggest understatement of all time I think
ANDY: Yes, we like understating over here.
JON: So tell me about the album.  What was the sort of vibe of it?
ANDY: Let me see.  What happens is, Mick gets a bunch of songs,  and he gives me the lyrics and he decides we are going to do an album.  So the first one, Dr Crow Turns on the Radio is kind of an upbeat, up-tempo thing, it’s got Ric Parnell on drums and Doug Lunn on the bass, which was the rhythm section that came to Japan with us, and did some California gigs as well.  And then after he’d recorded it, I took it home and produced it and over-dubbed a lot of stuff. 
It had a lot of guitars mainly and keyboards and things and – you know – moved things around.  We also had Jack Lancaster on it, playing sax on a couple of the tracks. So the first one is a rocker, the Strawberry Fields Forever is fairly – just a different take on the Beatles song.  Johnette Napolitano features prominently on that one. The Murdering Officer, the third track, is almost a European folk song. We were trying to write something that was set musically as well as lyrically in sort of Sharpe’s Rifles era and it’s all about – the chorus is ‘all for a shilling, all for the murdering officer’s shilling’, which takes you into 19th Century – you know the Napoleonic Wars sort of era and the music sort of tries to give something of the flavour of that sort of time. 
And then the fourth track is a blues that we were still playing live in the live Deviants set, in fact we would have done it that night in The Borderline where he collapsed and died. That’s just a straight blues really, but it’s about – we did it at Glastonbury as well – blue methadrine just for a change.  Then the fifth track is a new version of a song we recorded on Vampires Stole my Lunch Money, which I think was 1978. It’s Bela Lugosi 2002 and it’s just another interpretation of the song.  It’s quite different to the one on Vampires.  The next one is You’re Going to Need Somebody on your Bond, which is an old American folk song really, isn’t it?  And that’s Johnette Napolitano on vocals with Mick. Taste of Blues has got some really nice guitar in it actually. You’re Going to Need Somebody on your Bond is the same sort of thing. It’s quite nice.  And in Diablo’s Cadillac and Song of the Hired Guns, are two numbers that we recorded with Doug and Ric and I mainly over-dubbed those at home. Diablo’s Cadillac is a drink that the bartender in Kansas on Fairfax in LA makes. I’ve got the formula for it here somewhere but I don’t drink it everyday so I don’t remember what’s in it. Song of the Hired Guns is again a little bit like The Murdering Officer; that sort of flavour musically. Then there’s this cover we did for the Gene Pitney CD, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. Sold to Babylon is a kind of a poem over quite an up-tempo backing track I created. A Long Dry Season has Filthy Animal Taylor on drums and that’s just Filthy, me and Mick. It’s a kind of a poem that came about probably as a result of the droughts in LA which we experiencing at the time. You’d have to hear it, you know.
JON: You are whetting my appetite. Golly.
ANDY: And then the last track is What Do You Want?  Which is a kind of – to put it nicely I suppose – it’s a kind of version of the old Adam Faith song done with a kind of honky tonk Stones type of feel.  I don’t know, we do the best we can. It’s hard to describe what it is, but you’d have to hear it.  I had a lot of fun doing it and spent quite a while putting it all together. 
We will be publishing extracts from this massively exciting book over the next few issues. But just as a taster, here is the foreword from our own Rick Wakeman. Hopefully this book will be available next week.

There have always been certain ‘careers’ that have fascinated the public, newspapers, and the media in general. Such include musicians, actors, sportsmen, police, and not surprisingly, the people who give the police their employment: The criminal.
For the man in the street, all these careers have one thing in common: they are seemingly beyond both his reach and, in many cases, understanding and as such, his only association can be through the media of newspapers or television.
The police, however, will always require the services of the grass, the squealer, the snitch, (call him what you will), in order to assist in their investigations and arrests; and amazingly, this is the area that seldom gets written about.
A very close and long standing friend of mine, a jolly Birmingham chap, by the name of Dan Wooding, who has since 1982 has lived in Southern California, ‘Collared’ the King of the Squealers and somehow got him to ‘spill the beans’......all of them !
I also met and knew ‘the King Squealer’ well, but his story remained a secret until Dan Wooding managed to persuade him to ‘talk’.
His story covers almost every emotion. Sad, serious and sometimes hysterically funny -- you cannot help but be fascinated by the extraordinary life of Maurice O’Mahoney - the King Squealer.

And this seems a reasonably sensible place to point out that there are a number of groovy Rick Wakeman records on sale via Gonzo
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.
I interviewed him about this classic album he made with legendary drummer Ed Cassidy:
“We started on the first one I think in 1994 and he and I were friends for years.  We met back in 1969 in passing back stage at a concert but never really had a conversation and then we bumped into each other again around 1990 and his spirit was kind of in a low then and he said ‘Hey  we ought to do some recording together’. And at the time I was doing a national satellite TV show called California Music and so I had him on that show and then Randy said ‘Oh I’d like to be on that show’,  so I interviewed Randy and then I ended up jamming with them all. And then Cass decided he wanted to move further out of the Los Angeles area and he moved up here to the central coast, and I helped find him a house not even a mile from my house, so it was perfect and he wanted to do something blues oriented. So I started writing a bunch of tunes and then we did some classic covers of songs like ‘High Heel Sneakers’ and the Muddy Waters’ song ‘Going Down to Louisiana’ and ‘Walking the Dog’ and then I wrote a bunch of songs that were in a  similar vein that was perfect for me to play slide on. I loved it. 
I think in about four-and-a-half/five months we cranked out the first album, ‘On the Blue Road’, and my son Tim was singing and playing on a few tunes and we had a regular bass player Leroy Richards at the time who did all of the bass. So we finished that first album and I sent it to Alligator Records in Chicago and they loved it, but they were full up with releases and I made a deal with D-Town Records from Detroit at the time, and they put out groups like the Ohio Players and Lee Rogers, and even one on the football player Rosey Greer. And they loved it and issued it out and it got out I think near the end of  ’94 and it started getting a lot of airplay and all over the place even in Australia and then it was nominated for a Memphis Blues Award which surprised me. And we didn’t win but it was just great to do the nomination”.
The evil twin of fracking is on its way to Kent

“The same unconventional alliance of green activists, twitchers, hippies, druids, romantics and middle class Tories worried about property blight…”

You will have seen the footage from Balcombe, where fracking company Cuadrilla have been running an exploratory borehole in the search for shale gas and oil.

Actually what I’ve seen reminds me of the road protest movement of the 90s. It’s the same unconventional alliance of green activists, twitchers, hippies, druids, romantics and middle class Tories worried about property blight.

It seems as if something similar is on its way to Kent.

Not shale gas, this time, but coal bed methane, referred to as “the evil twin of shale gas”, being even more polluting.

If you ask Kent County Council, they will tell you that there are no planning applications for fracking in Kent. That’s because Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, the company making the applications, is planning on exploration rather than actual fracking. But they wouldn’t be making the applications if they didn’t expect to extract.

Coastal Oil and Gas are partnered by the inaptly named Eden Energy.

The applications are for Tilmanstone, Shepherdswell and Guston, on the Kent coalfield. As I remember, these were some of the villages involved in the Miners’ Strike back in the 1980s.

Two possibilities spring to mind: either they will sell it to the villagers as work to replace their lost jobs down the mines or, if there are no jobs available, these villages will have been picked because they would never vote for the incumbents at KCC anyway.

You might wonder why we should be worried here in Whitstable? The reason is that a large percentage of our water comes from the Chalk Aquifer of East Kent. Even exploration carries a high risk of irreversibly contaminating the supply.

France has held a moratorium on fracking, while Germany has invested heavily in renewable energy. Britain, on the other hand, is blindly following the USA and inviting investment from fracking companies.

We are desperately wringing the last of the fossil fuels from the earth and, almost certainly, doing irreparable damage in the process. If you want to object you must do so in writing to KCC before the 15th November 2013.

For more information go to

Or sign the anti-fracking petition.



(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..


Eastworld EW0138CD / digipak EW0139CD


Release dates:
Early October in the USA. 28 October 2013 in UK.

Other zones: no info yet.


A strong album but a game of two halves, as the football commentators might say. Overall, pretty damn good, though.

The layout, broadly speaking, is nostalgia first and new stuff later; higher energy rock first and the quieter stuff later.

"Seasons" is the first one out of the dressing room, with its monotonal singing and brief bursts of  lead guitar and other effects churning around... it's a makeover of the "Onward" album version and, as on that 2012 album, is the opener to this album too. Winning the 'opener' award twice in succession is perhaps an honour it doesn't quite deserve, though.

"Assault & Battery": A nostalgic and lively canter through a 40-year old classic, with unusual stereo effects on the vocals during parts of the chorus. As on the original "Warrior" album there's a segue into an interestingly grungy and dense "Golden Void". Pause to light one up here, and reflect that that duo of songs is disposed of in almost half the time it took in 1975. That might be efficiency, of course. Less is more? Well, possibly. The track duo ain't bad and does rather sound like a live version, even if it's not.

"Where Are You Now" is, I believe, an obscure track from the mid-70s. The band regularly started performing it in 2003— bolted onto "Golden Void" and sounding rather as if it had always belonged there. Somewhat resembling the song "PXR 5," it's great to hear a proper recording of it at last.

"Sonic Attack": any Hawkwind fans who remember the stereo mania version on "Weird Tapes 3" (supposedly recorded at Stonehenge 1977) will find this familiar: well over six minutes of total sonic commotion, and following the general arrangement of the live 1981 performances that (so far) haven't been released other than in bootleg form. It's a shame Hawkwind can't hit this sort of cosmic intensity more often at their gigs. Use your swoosh and zap knobs on your synths, it is what they are for!

Unlike some ageing bands, Hawkwind's quite good at attracting new and very young fans. If those fans hear this one at high volume, though, it'll scare 'em shitless... which is all to the good. Nice to hear Hawkwind crank the cosmic dial up to 11 and make us remember the good ol' days of massed speaker stacks and swirling smoke. And when the bass riffing kicks in halfway through... just turn it up and follow the traditional advice: think only of yourself.

It's worth noting here that the review album was sent to us electronically, with no sleeve notes or other information, so it's not always clear who did what - and when - on any given track.  I gather from the track listing on the CD Services site that the radio-traffic-style vocal was done by William Shatner, but it's difficult to tell. It's not Dave Brock, but otherwise it could be almost anyone from Pavarotti to Prince Charles who's in a poor-reception cellphone area.

"Demented Man" is a strong chunky-strum version of the vocal and string synth driven acoustic number that appeared, with its seagull type sounds, on the "Warrior" album.

"We Two are One": vocal chants and solid Hawkwind powerhouse backing that almost sounds (especially in the middle) like an out-take from the 1977 Quark era. (That's meant to be a strong compliment, by the way.)

"We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago" is a Dave Brock re-visit, rather than a Dave Brock revamp.

"Master of the Universe" is one they presumably they know off by heart, by now... dense and powerful, and much the same broad musical arrangement that they've been using ever since the "Live 79" album. This one, though, has the first verse at the beginning as well as the end, and the 2nd verse in the middle, which is decidedly unusual.

Huw Lloyd-Langton is part of the crew on this studio version. Brock's guitaring is not particularly prominent, it's just blended with the bass and general Hawkwind powerhouse, rather as we hear it at gigs on those lucky occasions when we can hear it at all.

Just over 55% of the way through the album, now....

Half time, then; and having just consulted Starfarer's Hawkwind Codex page, and assuming that "Master" version is previously unreleased, this one becomes the twenty-fourth individual version to see release. Not all Hawkwind fans are solely "good old days" retro-rockers by any means, and some might wonder if we need quite so many versions of these oldies. Personally, though, I don't mind a team that combines old stars and raw rookies, so long as they go out and win the game. And I'd say they've piled up a damn good score so far.

"Sacrosanct,"  a new kid on the block, has more of a popcorny rhythm than the heavier stuff earlier, and somewhat resembles a Dave Brock solo item, but in a pop-80s style. It does cover a bit of ground in a gentle prog rock kind of way, with the bass sounds grumbling away and various other effects, some jazz piano tinkles and guitar splurges wafting in and out during its eight-minute reign. A deeply unusual Hawkwind piece, overall.

"Sentinel": Most who've seen the band in the last few years will recognise this on-loan ballad from the "Blood of the Earth" album, which first appeared in the live setlist in 2008. Characterised by its "How many more times?" refrain, I've seen some of the audience use it as a "pee break" but hell, when a man's gotta go, a man's gotta go. However, its inclusion here is a reminder of why Hawkwind gig-goers who drink too much beer really need to buy a catheter on eBay.

"It's all Lies" is on a free transfer from the recent "Stellar Variations" album.  Some chunky Brock-type riffing and general grungy Hawkwind powerhouse on this one, whose chanting-style vocals mostly seem to consist of the title line. It's a cheerful-sounding chunk of Hawkwind, though, and wouldn't have been out of place if it had taken to the field during the first half.

"Touch," "Chumps," and "Lonely Moon" are all unlikely to cause any ripples on forum threads or newsgroups, mainly because each are so very brief that there's no time for them to achieve anything. Maybe they got red-carded for kicking the referee in the bollocks as the final whistle loomed ever closer?

"Sunship" has an unusual claim to fame. Back when the "Blood" album came out, we had the odd situation where "Sunship" was available on the vinyl purchase but not on the corresponding CD. Now, a revisit of that 2-minute ballad that many fans mightn't have heard closes out this album in relaxed fashion.

Hawkwind have just announced that every format of this "Spacehawks" album has the same tracks and that "you can choose which version you buy without missing out on anything," - so while this Spacehawks album distribution doesn't have a "Sunship scenario," it does have a "Sunship."


Both halves of the album have their merits, even if they don't really 'gell' together. However, one could say the game was well and truly won in the first half, after which the newbies safely could go on the pitch and try their luck - with mixed success, one has to say. But any footballer will tell you it's the win that matters in the end!

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

It has been another quiet week in the world of Yes and their various alumni. Jon Anderson has been booked to join John Payne in Raifing the Rock Vault in Las Vegas. There is an interesting overview of the Prog Collective album produced by Billy Sherwood, and a Steve Howe live review. As an adjunct to that I have found a video ofthe Steve Howe trio live recently, which should - I think - prove of some interest. There is also advance notice of a Rick Wakeman show this autumn
And that is - I am afraid - that, for this week.
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! 
one could buy airpasses for 30 days
unlimited flights mainland USA
so we did-LA to NY for lunch
flying like kings with a beggars touch
Once upon a flight we slept in the aisles
between USA and Oz.No worries-
and food and films were Independent,too!
Once we used to sleep in airports FOR FUN-
not just weary layovers-more laughing all night long
Once does not fly-except in minds eyes
Landing with a jolt on a TSA tarmac

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 things such as this insanely expensive music stand which might possibly have been used at a Beatles session, but then again might equally not have.  I don't think that I have ever seen the word "possibly" inserted in the provenance of a so-called "collector's item" so many times. Especially since the vendors are asking over £29,000 for it.....

""BEATLES""ULTRA RARE~Original Brass & Nickel Plated Sheet Music Stand from Abbey Road Studio 2 London.

This item is possibly a unique one-of-a kind!

Read on....


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...

Kev Rowland
After suffering a difficult divorce, Allan had sold most of his gear and had no access to a studio. In addition, the house he was now renting wasn’t suitable for recording live guitar or drums, so he decided to take the opportunity to make a record using only the SynthAxe. Of course, he had also sold most of his synthesisers so only had access to certain sounds. The subtitle of this album is “Music for a non-existent movie”, as Allan decided to record music that would fit the scenes that he could imagine in his head.

The result is something that is certainly unusual, although it would take a braver man than me to say that it was 100% successful. The problem in many ways is due to the instrumentation being deployed, as it comes across as a synth album yet without the depth that one would normally expect. 
It is a very stripped sound, yet this approach clashes with the sounds being heard so it doesn’t really work as a synth album, nor as a guitar album (which in fairness it isn’t – although it was recorded by Allan playing a guitar-type instrument, if that makes any sense). Most of the reviews I have read come to the same conclusion as me, in that Allan is one of the most incredible and versatile musicians you will ever come across, but that this is most definitely not the place to start.

It’s great that MoonJune have made it available again, especially with Barry Cleveland’s insightful (as always) comments, but this is an album that I played repeatedly as I felt I needed to so that I could write a fair review as opposed to playing it because I loved it. For more details visit
It was in the early Seventies that Larry Norman posed the question, “Why should the devil have all the good music?” and over the years the same stance has been taken by many musicians with different degrees of success.

The most famous Christian musician in the UK is undoubtedly Cliff Richard, but the vast majority of his success has been with secular material. However, there was a time when White Metal started to make some impression, with the most successful of these probably being Stryper, especially with their ‘Soldiers Under Command’ and ‘To Hell With The Devil’ albums. But, as with many subgenres within the Metal scene, WM refused to go away even if people weren’t writing about it. 
The man behind this album is Johannes Jonsson who has written the liner notes in the booklet, and also chosen each and every song. Johannes runs the Metal Community in Sweden who is a driving force for Christian Metal in Scandinavia. The bands featured are all Swedish, Narnia, Divinefire, Golden Resurrection, Audiovision and Modest Attraction. The label says, “Enjoy the metal power with a heavenly message!”
And there you have what for me is the main issue at hand. If you are Christian and you enjoy melodic metal then you will buy this and no doubt think that it is truly wonderful. If you are not Christian, then there isn’t enough in pure musical terms to outweigh the sermonising that takes place in some of these numbers. It’s a pleasant enough album (although the song from Modest Attraction makes me glad that they only band to just have one as it is rather basic AC/DC), but not good enough to recommend it if you’re not already a believer.
This is the debut album by a jazz-fusion supergroup that has been put together by Uruguayan guitarist Beledo, with Adam Holzman (keys), Lincoln Goines (bass) and Kim Plainfield (drums). It would take too long to list all of the people these guys have played with, but just mentioning Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie should be enough to get you paying attention. I was playing this in the car the other day waiting for one of my daughters, and when she returned she was dismayed to find me with my eyes closed, moving gently to the music, and asked me if I was okay. I was more than okay, I had been taken to a different world altogether. Sometimes an album just grabs hold of you and refuses to let you go, transporting you through time and space to a dimension where nothing else matters apart from the music, and that is very much the case here.
I can’t explain what this album does to me, whether it is Beledo’s incredible fluidity or the way that Adam can switch between supporting roles and lead in his own right, or that the band just seem to be so incredibly tight. The photo of the band in the booklet shows them all facing each other as they record – no messing about here, this is all about interaction and a band actually being in the studio at the same time. We have all heard stories of drummers recording their parts and then disappearing until it is time to hear the final playback (read Peter Criss’s biography), but this album is organic and warm as everyone knows their part but plays not as an individual but very much as part of the band.
Adam was Miles’ keyboard player when they recorded ‘Tutu’, and on this album we find a version of “Portia”, which of course also appeared on that work. OF course, the instrumentation is now somewhat different and Beledo and Adam make this very much their own. This is an absolutely stunning piece of work, and fans of jazz-fusion need look no further.
Over the years I have had to cull my collection various times, so the filing cabinets full of press releases and band information had to go (although I did keep my complete files on certain bands), as did many of the CDs. But, I kept every photo I was ever sent, along with every cassette.

Many of those bands are no longer with us so these tapes are sometimes the only thing left to remind me of what might have been, but here I am now playing a remastered version of a CD that I previously was unaware of (apparently it was released on Mellow at some point), which in turn is of a tape that I was originally sent by Stewart Bell twenty years ago. The CD contains the same track listing as the tape, which was subtitled ‘The Original Citizen Cain 84-87’. 
It isn’t easy to track down a biography of the band from these early days, but luckily I have also never thrown out any music books so by referencing the first issue of ‘The Progressive Rock Directory’ (written and published by David Robinson who now runs Festival Music which has released this) which came out in August 1992, I am pleased that my recollection of events is right (for a change).
Citizen Cain were originally a trio, forming in 1984 with George Scott (now known as Cyrus or Xyrus) providing bass and vocals, Tim Taylor (guitar and keyboards) and Gordon Feenie (drums, keys and flute). Interestingly, Tim and Gordon were previously both members of Not Quite Red Fox who turned a pre-Marillion Fish down as a frontman because he didn’t have enough presence! Over the next three years Citizen Cain gigged a lot, especially in London at The Marquee and started to gain a reputation as a slightly different sounding band due to the way that the bass is often a lead instrument. They had one song on the famed ‘Fire In Harmony’ compilation, but had to split up after Cyrus was in a car crash that left him unable to play bass. After he returned to Edinburgh he then met up with the guys who would then form the basis for a new group, who went in a more symphonic and overtly early Genesis direction.
So, history lesson out of the way, what is this album actually like? Well, remember that it isn’t actually an album as opposed to a collection of songs as they only officially released the one song during their existence. But, given that this originally was a set of low-key recordings from the Eighties it actually stands up well against the other material from the time. Yes, Cyrus has a distinctive voice that makes many think of Gabriel, but these guys sound nothing like Genesis with a bassline and approach that is quite different. I would be interested to hear what they sounded like in the live environment, as keyboards are an important aspect although not essential, and I am sure that Tim switched between the two during a gig as Cyrus is often playing lines that are far more than just backing. This was a powerful prog trio and one can only wonder what they would have achieved if the accident hadn’t taken place.
Some people have been quite disparaging about this album which is a real shame as I believe that it definitely has it’s place in the prog canon. It is something that I have really enjoyed playing, but just remember that this was early days for the band and in many ways it is totally different to the style they developed in the Nineties. So, although some may feel that this is only one for completists I would instead say that while not essential it is a damn fine listen and something I have enjoyed playing again after quite a while.

Nocturne: Tony Palmer's 100th Anniversary film about Britten

The centenary of Benjamin Britten is marked with a new study by the multi-award-winning director  Tony Palmer. It is a dark coda to Palmer's four other Italia Prize winning films with and about  Britten, whom many now regard as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

This extraordinary new film explores Britten's uneasy relationship to the wider world. The  bloodiest century in history profoundly affected Britten, not just because he was a committed  pacifist, but on a much deeper level. What is the role of the artist in such a troubled world? What  are his responsibilities? What is the nature of creativity itself? What is its function? Does it have a  function? Man's inhumanity to Man now, and always.

This is the subject matter which preoccupied Britten and that is the subject of this film.


“I have rarely seen such a profoundly troubling film. Palmer is a master, and this is his  masterpiece.” Simon Heffer

“The film is deeply powerful, if harrowing. I'll be haunted by its images and the potent use of  Britten's music for quite some time, and my depth of understanding of Britten has considerably 
deepened. It's a work of art in itself.”  Victoria Bevan, Albion Media

“Nothing quite prepares us for the ferocity and daring, and the intensely subjective rapture, of  Palmer's work that still has to be classified as 'documentary'.” David Thomson, The Biographical 
Dictionary of Film
My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had a peculiar week, mostly due to the fact that I have still been mad for much of the time, which doesn't really help my day-to-day life, although The Captain likes it, because I go to bed quite a lot and he can sit on me.
The word 'LUNATIC'  originally derives from the concept that certain people go 'mad' at the full moon. About thirty years ago I did my training as a nurse for the mentally handicapped (as they were known then) and I was told - categorically - that there was no link between the lunar cycle and mental health, and that the whole thing was an old wives' tale........It's not.

As most readers know I am severely bi-polar, and I am also a hairsbreadth away from paranoid schizophrenia, which is probably why I am so good in my chosen careers, and I always have problems with the full moon. But this month it has been absolutely horrible, but with every moment that the gibbous moon wanes, I feel better.

Many thanks to all the readers of this magazine who have sent me your good wishes, healing vibes, and messages of support, and also thanks to the readers (including some well-known names) who have told me about their own mental health difficulties. Remember boys and girls, like Morrissey said "There is no such thing in life as normal!"

But as far as the magazine is concerned: Remember that it doesn't cost anything to subscribe, and that in doing so you are joining an elite, and rapidly expanding group of music fans who believe that we are not being given the music or the cultural coverage that we deserve. We are living in disturbing and strange times, but ultimately they are very interesting ones, and continuing to chronicle the Gonzoverse is an immensely rewarding thing to do. Thank you for reading.

Until next week,

Jon Downes
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