Issue Twenty-Six        May 18th 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...
Hello again, and once again, welcome to another edition of this weekly magazine/newsletter, or whatever it is. I am in the process of reading Mick Farren's excellent autobiography Give the Anarchist a Cigarette.  I always suspected that he and I were kindred spirits; now I think that it is even more likely. His accounts of Bohemian squalour in (not quite so) Swinging London, are not just evocative, but are funny as well. The fact that they bring us a snippet of valuable social history is an added bonus.

Last year one of my favourite magazines, The Word ceased publication. I was disappointed, but not unduly surprised. The days of specialist interest magazines (and let's face it, the type of music which we write/read about is fairly specialist in these dull and somewhat degenerate days) operating out of suites of offices in the metropolis are long gone. This magazine, however, is going from strength to strength on a budget of twenty five quid a week, and I think that we are producing something that is really rather good.
As you will see, our cover story this week is about the new album from the ever lovely Judy Dyble. She, as you know, was the original singer with Fairport Convention, and she was followed by another legendary singer Sandy Denny. After Sandy left Fairport Convention she formed another band called Fotheringay. This week Michael from Detroit wrote to me:

I saw the advert on your page for 'Lost Broadcasts' dvds..The German Television material. Did the Fotheringay dvd ever come out? I saw a listing on Amazon for it, but it seems to indicate no release, or out of stock. I Love them--Sandy Denny is so wonderful.. I would love to know more

Sadly, it never saw the light of day because of unforseen legal issues. Sad, but true, 'cos I, too, would love to see it...
As I have told you over the past few weeks I'm also working on a completely new project - a regular chat show podcast featuring Gonzo Multimedia artists, which would be some sort of an adjunct to the daily blog and weekly magazine.  We have now got a proper broadcasting license, and so shall be able to start broadcasting podcasts featuring our own, and other, material.

I have some exciting news on that score. Not only will I be presenting regular Gonzo podcasts (I am not going to commit to saying how often I shall be putting them out at the moment because I never like to commit to anything that I cannot follow through, and I have no idea how long each one will take to do), but we shall be hosting Matthew Watkins' excellent Canterbury Sans Frontières podcast.

For those of you who are not aware of this excellent online radio show thingy, let me explain. Firstly it has nothing to do with a social programme which I believe has been launched by, or is something to do with, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Not that I have any problem with the Archbish. He seems a damn nice guy and he is a fan of The Incredible String Band and even wrote a foreword to a book about them that also involved my old mate Andy Roberts. But nope. This is something else entirely.

Over to Matthew. When the podcast launched back in March, he wrote:
Today sees the launch of my new podcast, Canterbury Sans Frontières. 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 will feature a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli). This episode, however, is dedicated to Kevin Ayers who passed away less than two weeks after the final episode of Canterbury Soundwaves went out, so there's an hour of his finest work embedded in the middle of the programme:

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 1

I am very excited about this new venture. We shall also be hosting all the episodes of his previous Canterbury Soundwaves podcast. I don't know how long it will take to get them all up and in place, but we shall get there in the end.

I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for nearly six 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?

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.
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.
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Royston Johns (1930-2013)
Few outside North Devon will have heard of him, but he was a giant of a man, and now he has gone things will never be the same. The Lion sleeps Tonight. God bless you old friend.
EXCLUSIVE: There is a new album in the works from Judy Dyble
(and it is a corker)

Judy Dyble is one of those rare artistes for whom the word ‘legendary’ is not hyperbole. She was the original singer with Fairport Convention, she sang with the earliest incarnations of the band that was to become King Crimson, and she once sat on the edge of the stage knitting as Richard Thompson and Jimi Hendrix did their own inimitable thing.
She also disappeared from the music scene, apparently to become a librarian, and apart from a few times when she poked her head our above the parapet, (to play a one-off guest appearance with Fairport Convention at Cropredy, for example) she drifted off the musical radar until the early years of this current century when a series of lyrical and beautifully lilting, but very low key, records began to emerge.
Then in 2009, she released 'Talking with Strangers', a glorious record that she made in conjunction with Tim Bowness of No-Man, and the multi-talented Alastair Murphy. It featured a slew of names from her illustrious past including various King Crimson and Fairport Convention alumni, and guest appearances by three of the most distinctive folk-rock songstrels of all time: Julianne Regan of All about Eve, Jacqui McShee from Pentangle, and Celia Humphris from The Trees. It was an absolute masterpiece, which – despite its distinguished pedigree – always managed to sound refreshingly contemporary. But it was a one-off we all thought. It was the sort of career-defining record that only comes off once in a lifetime, and she will never be able to match it.
We were completely wrong, because that is exactly what she has done.
Her new album 'Flow and Change' is – if anything – even better. It is a more intimate and personal album than its predecessor. The opening song is 'Black Dog Dreams', (co written by Hawkwind and High Tide alumnus, Simon House) which features some surprisingly heavy, but searingly lyrical lap steel guitar courtesy of  Mike Mooney from Echo and the Bunnymen. This sets out the stall for the entire album: It is intimate, confessional, lyrical, beautiful and very English. But above all it is invocatory: music works on some of the most basal emotions in the human psyche – it can make us fall in love, it can send us off to war, or – in the case of Judy’s beautiful new album – it can conjure up a completely magickal world which in some ways is more real than our own.
Another song, 'Featherdancing' is autobiographical, and reminded me of the writings of the late, great Jessica Mitford; another Cotswolds lass who came from another time and another place, except that Jessica couldn’t really sing and didn’t have a string quartet to die for. I could write a screed on each of the ten songs, and probably will at some point. However, if I did, these notes would be the size of a small book, which would defeat the purpose.
One thing that I find very impressive is that for an ‘old school’ artist, whose first recordings came out over forty years ago, Judy has adapted surprisingly well to the 21st Century modus operandii of recording which involves one clever man, a laptop, and a bunch of talented musicians scattered around the globe who never actually meet in the flesh.
She told me:
“Well, I was really delighted I could do it this way by having people come to me with a laptop because with the health problems that I have I really can’t travel – it is really quite stressful to go. So I was just very lucky to find the people who were brilliantly talented who had the ability to record me, and who were happy to come here and record me and take the stuff away and turn it into something else. I am very happy working with laptops and things. Provided nobody asks me how it works, because I’ve no idea – it’s magic as far as I’m concerned.”
And she is right. This is magick; this album is something very, very special and I urge everyone who reads this to go out and buy it. But this time I am not going to make the mistake of supposing that this is going to be the zenith of Judy’s remarkable career. I have no doubt that this remarkable lady, with her remarkable lyrical talent, and her remarkable voice is going to continue to surprise us all for many years to come. And personally – I cannot wait.

The day before I wrote the above piece I conducted a brief interview with Judy, and then didn't use most of it. So, rather than waste it, here it is...
JON: Tell me about the new album because it feels like it’s got a concept.
JUDY: It has been sequenced so that it flows.  But all the songs were written at different times so they weren’t written as an ongoing thing. We recorded all the songs and thought they all fit, or Alistair made them fit, together.  It’s not a concept album; it’s just a heap of songs that were waiting to be sung.
JON: It sounds like a concept; it’s all so cohesive and sounds like you; it’s all very English.
JUDY: Yes well it is.  I find it hard to write about anything that isn’t connected to me, so I have to write about something that has some resonance – that’s not strictly true actually come to think of it. <laugh> Each song is a little story in itself I suppose.  My songs are about what I hope people will resonate with. They’ll find something within the songs that will make them go “Oh I did that”, or “Yes I know. I see what’s happening”. That’s more or less what it is about really.

Read on...
A snippet of the longest track on the album, the very beautiful Sisterhood of Ruralists
Check it out...
The artwork for the album is absolutely gorgeous, and even surpasses the high standards set by the previous release. Over the next few weeks I hope to be able to get permission to share some of it with you, and perhaps some more sneak peeks at the music itself. Watch this space!

I like this book.

No, I mean: I seriously like this book.

Actually I suspect you could dislike it just as easily. I would understand if someone told me they found it annoying. It is so full of questions, with very few answers. The plot is so full of gaps, with very little resolution. There are so many unexplained things. Events occur which never come to any conclusion. If you were looking for explanations, you wouldn’t find them. But then, that seems to be the point (if “point” is the right word here): that there is no point.

One character, for example, who looks like he might herald the beginning of a more conventional story-line, steps into our story, and then steps out of it again. He takes his plot with him, which is never resolved.

The book is an assault on rationality and a defence of the immaterial. It is the world turned upside down. It blurs the line between imagination and reality, and then shows us that there never was a line there in the first place. It presents metaphors as facts and facts as metaphors. It dances around on the shoreline between science and myth and shows us the fractal space in between. It is a fictional representation of Robert Anton Wilson'model agnosticism but without the drugs. Or, if there were any drugs in the past, the characters have settled into a sedate middle age by now, which this book then sets out to rattle them out of.

The plot is very simple. Three members of a band, which had broken up 20 years ago, are travelling around Britain in their old Transit van, using the nearest A road to the coast, to see where they will end up. It is a quest, even if a slightly circular one. Only they aren’t allowed to listen to any music on the way. And one of them is carrying a spade.

Did I say the plot was simple? Simple, yes, but never predictable.

The book starts prosaically enough, in Kent, which might be the most prosaic of counties. At least in this book it is. But we are very quickly lead, by a series of devices, into increasingly uncertain terrain. The land is always Britain, and we are always travelling around it, but we really never know what is going to happen next.

One of the devices is a series of blue bottles which are washed upon the shore and which contain chapters from a future bible. Only one of the characters is the slightest bit interested as to why this should be happening, and that, in itself, is odd. The bible is always wry and elliptical and tongue in cheek, as any future bible should be. The first two chapters are chapters one and two, naturally enough; followed by chapter seventeen, and then by chapter five.


An Extract from the Brandy of the Damned

The Bible of the Future, CHAPTER 17

1. Beware of the man with one religion, for he understands nothing, but he does not know that he understands nothing, and he will get in the way and cause all sorts of trouble.

2. Beware also the woman with no religion, for they are clinging to a very specific semantic definition in order to avoid hard questions. They are fooling no-one! Except themselves.

3. Beware also the person with a dozen religions, for they are confused and bamboozled, and in danger of losing the plot, and will not be much use in a crisis.

4. The most practical and useful approach is to have three religions.

5. I mean, roughly three. It's not an exact science. But between two and five, something like that.

6. Three is good though. You can position yourself in the centre of three religions and in doing so drink of their wisdom without falling for their bullshit.

7. Choose three religions that you like, obviously. Three that speak to you as an individual. Don't just go for the popular ones for the sake of a quiet life. It doesn't work like that.

8. Consider the man who is a Taoist, a Pagan and a Christian. Consider the woman who is a Buddhist, a Sikh and an atheist. These people won't easily fall for your nonsense. These people will have a wide perspective. These people will be able to get on in life.

9. These people are also unlikely to start wars, or proclaim certainties on street corners, or spit at people they don't know. They will also be easier to seat at weddings.

It’s a bit like Drowning By Numbers by Peter Greenaway, in which the succession of numbers appearing throughout the film take the place of any discernable plot. Only the numbers here aren’t in any sequence, and there is actually a plot, albeit an unpredictable one.

I won’t reveal any more of the story as this might spoil it for you. Let’s just say that it kept me reading, that I couldn't put it down, and that it is all as wayward as this. It’s as if the author was writing using a random generator, generating unpredictable plot lines, which, despite the fact they are puzzling and strange, still leave you oddly satisfied at the end.

Actually the book that it most reminds me of is Justine, by the Marquis de Sade. This might seem an odd comparison, as there isn’t the slightest hint of sadism in The Brandy of the Damned. Let me explain.

Justine is a satire. Its full title is Justine, or Good Conduct Well Chastised. Its eponymous central character, a virtuous girl forced by circumstances to throw herself upon the good nature of others, is lead from one horrific adventure of mental, physical and sexual torture to the next. She throws herself upon the mercy of a variety of different characters, who then take the opportunity to use her for perverse or cruel sexual purposes. At one point she is taken up by the residents of a monastery, who reveal themselves as even more imaginatively perverse than the rest. After each episode, the characters will justify themselves according to de Sade’s philosophy of nature. A long diatribe will ensue, about the nature of vice and virtue. You are soon lead to one inescapable conclusion. You realise that all the characters in the book are, in fact, the Marquis de Sade himself, and you are left with the peculiar and slightly nauseating sensation of wandering around in the world inside de Sade’s brain.

There is something of that in this book. Very soon you realise that the country we are travelling through isn’t Britain at all; it is the country inside JMR Higgs’ brain.

And a very nice brain it is too. It is wry and it is clever and it is funny and it is wise. Most of all, it is kind. Not at all like the Marquis de Sade.

Even if the book had failed on every level, and the characters were unreal, and the plot totally incomprehensible, I would forgive it just for this one sentence: “Love is the silence that drowns out all the noise.” But the book doesn’t fail, the characters are neatly drawn, and the paragraph that leads up to that sentence shows how resonant and deep are the themes in this book, and how beautifully observed they are.

The other thing I am reminded of is fairy story or myth. Fairy stories are just myths told by rustic folk. Usually they involve a quest and take place in a land where anything can happen. And that too is true of the upside down Britain we are skirting in this tale. But there is always an internal consistency to these mythical stories, a secret truth. Like the world of dreams they carry hidden messages about the nature of reality and about our purpose within it. Sometimes, maybe, it takes a session of analysis to work out what those messages might be.

Sometimes, though, analysis can kill. For the same reason it would be wrong to over analyse this book. It would be wrong to try to work out exactly what is going on. The images are just deeply suggestive on an – I won’t say “unconscious” – on an extra-conscious level, and, like a dream, they resolve themselves more through mood than through thought.

Buy this book. What have you got to lose? It is short and it is cheap and, like his previous book, it reveals a great talent in the making. Here is the link for the Kindle version, but there is a paperback version coming out later in the year. If you don't like it, you can always leave abusive comments below.



Russell, Penny and Will have not seen each other for twenty years. Why, then, do they spend a month driving around the coast of Britain without listening to music? Why do they find little blue bottles washing up on the shore containing pages from a future Bible? And why is Penny carrying such a huge spade? Blah blah blah, yada yada yada. I don’t know why I’m bothering, really, it’s not as if any bugger is going to read this far. I could put anything I like here. Killer wizard maverick horse adultery detective elephant shoes. That’s nothing to do with this book, I just stuck those there to help SEO. I’m writing this late on Friday afternoon, can you tell? Look, The Brandy of the Damned is an absurd, occasionally touching and above all short little book about our relationship with time. Yep, that’s what it is. Will that do?

I had a brief chat to Stu Nicholson of Galahad on Facebook earlier. I dislike Facebook immensely, but it has its uses. He told me that the new (and long awaited) biography of Galahad is available. He is sending me one, so I shall be able to write about it in more depth, but in the meantime he says:
It's called One For the Record the official biography of Galahad, written by Andrew Wild who also wrote Play On the recent Twelfth Night biog. Or it's unofficial title 'The story of the World's most famous unsuccessful band'! One For the Record was also an early song written about the Genesis re-union gig at Milton Keynes in 1982.

Oddly, I wasn't there but Lin, my wife was, busy getting very wet, but who wasn't my wife at the time! Thus we thought it would be an apt title for the Biog. It's roughly 300 hundred pages with a 16 page glossy colour photo middle section and all sorts of info including listings of all the gigs, songs, line ups, timelines etc.
I asked him whether there was any other news in Galahadville, to which he replied:

Other than the book, not a lot at the mo. Will be going in studio shortly but more on that when we have decided what we are doing! Although Dean, Mark and myself played an acoustic slot at the recent Celebr8 festival in Kingston including cover of Mein Hertz Brennt by Rammstein on piano and in German! Which was fun!

In the meantime thanks for getting in touch and hope all is well with you and yours.
What a nice bloke he is! I am truly fond of the band as well; they are one of my favourites of the contemporary crop of prog bands. It is always fun to write about them, and I hope that there will be some more news soon.
(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..
Seemingly wanting to add to the hundred or so Hawkwind albums in their collection, some members of the Hawkwind forum have just released their own album, free to download under the umbrella name of "Solquinox".  To avoid royalty problems, none of the tracks are Hawkwind covers; all are original releases. Perhaps surprisingly, the collaboration doesn't really resemble Hawkwind at all, and - broadly - is more in Tangerine Dream territory than the blanga or space-related narratives area that an innocent observer might have braced themselves for.

So, basically, it's not Hawkwind fans going mad on mushrooms and doing 20-minute versions of Brainstorm.

A search is currently under way to arrange download hosting for their first release - which, incidently, is called "Floating Worlds."
Also Hawkwind related this week was this story about the 40th anniversary of Space Ritual...
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
Once again the Yes camp has been very quiet this week. However, we did post a rather nifty interview with Jon Anderson, and a competition to win a place on Steve Howe's guitar retreat. We also posted a feature on the Days Between Stations album which features both the late Peter Banks, and Rick Wakeman, and an interesting piece on a new anthology of writers influenced by prog rock (including Yes). They have promised to send me a copy, so I will write more when I have read it. And finally there was a piece about a street portrait of Rick Wakeman, and Oliver W is mentioned briefly in an article about Gordon Giltrap.
And that, boys and girls, was just about 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!
Put your left foot in your mouth
Right wing follows-do the political sex !
"I did not have sex with that woman!"
(define blue dress semen stains Hiliary)
"I was walking in the Appalachians"
(having just won re-election/Republican wife demurring
Congressmen sex scandals like French politicians with housemaids
Power corrupts absolutely(even Communists abuse -ask Mao's concubines
Russians?.Putin prefers sex of fame
Making out with the media.Italians prefer under-aged
Church scandals laying under Two Popes
It is not that"every body does it"as much as
"every body in politics THINKS they can get away with it"
Gossip headlines locate Hollywood in Washington.
What they do to their electorates is no longer seduction
Ask pressure/lobby groups about professional prostitution!
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..

I used to be a collector of rock and roll memorabilia, but most of my collection went into my solicitor's pocket during my divorce from my first wife, and I never had the stomach to build the collection up again. However, people send me pictures of interesting things such as this.

I have always liked Gong and I enjoyed reading Daevid's Gong Dreaming 1 very much. This autographed and numbered copy is going for over £200 on eBay this week.

'Skin and Wire: PianoCircus featuring Bill Bruford play the music of Colin Riley', in which a composer supervises a jazz drummer who used to be a rock drummer playing with a group of classical pianists best known for performing systems music.

Having been Associate Composer for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras in the mid-'90’s, and been commissioned by many of the leading performers of new contemporary classical music, British composer Colin Riley’s current work explores the integration of both improvisation and electronic components. It also engages with many contemporary issues from popular music and has led him away from straight scored music into more unexpected avenues.

Stylistically, Colin takes the sound-world, gestures and techniques from classical, rock and jazz, and makes no apologies for inhabiting the cracks between all three. His new CD ‘Skin and Wire’ features drummer Bill Bruford and the Piano/Keyboard ensemble PianoCircus, and was released on Summerfold Records September 2009.
Oll Lewis:
The Murder of the Elephant Man
Lars Thomas: The Natural History of Trolls
Judge Smith: Life after Death
Jon Downes/Richard Freeman: Intro to Cryptozoology
Nick Wadham: You will believe in fairies; you will, you will!
Tony Whitehead (RSPB): Starslime
Hayley Stevens: Scepticism
Glen Vaudrey : Mystery animals of Staffordshire
Darren Naish: Adventures from the world of tetrapod zoology
Richard Freeman: Expedition repoort Sumatra 2013
Sarah Boit: Orbs from a photographer's perspective
London Cryptozoology club: Bigfoot
Shaun Histead-Todd: Pre Columbian civilisations in america
Ronan Coghlan: Amphibians from Outer Space
Jon Downes: Keynote Speech
Speaker's Dinner at the Community Centre
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...

Documentary portrait of the legendary English fiddler Dave Swarbrick. The documentary was originally conceived and written by Swarbrick’s long-time friend and collaborator Lars Kjaedegaard, a Danish novelist and musician who has backed Swarbrick on many tours of Denmark in the last thirty years. The film was made by Lars’ daughter Sascha Pepke and her working partner Line Buttenschon. It offers an intimate portrait of Swarbrick on the road and chronicles his fifty year long career, his victory over severe illness and shows his unique playing as seen through the eyes of his friend and accompanist. This package also includes one hour of original concert footage and a music CD capturing Dave and Lars live in Denmark.

The Unreal City release album
I really like this band. Francesca, the guitarist and lute player nobbled me on Facebook some months ago, and this week she sent me their Electronic Press Kit which includes their debut album. I am listening to it now, and it is magnificent. I had every intention of writing at length about it this week, but earlier this evening one of my adopted neices messaged me to talk about a problem she is having with a poltergeist. So it didn't get done. For this week, however, here is their press release, and a proper review will happen sooner rather than later (shades of the netherworld notwithstanding)
The Unreal City is a young band born in Parma, which presents a symphonic prog music with strong dark and gothic influences. The title of their debut album is La Crudeltà Di Aprile.
The Unreal City was born in April 2008, from an idea of keyboardist / singer Emanuele Tarasconi, and guitarist Francesca Zanetta. With the help of new members added, Francesco Orefice on bass guitar  (since 2010) and Federico Bedostri  on drums (since 2012), in June  2012, the Unreal City publishes a self-produced EP that allows them to come into contact with Fabio Zuffanti (Hostsonaten, La Maschera Di Cera, Finisterre, La Zona) who decided to produce the band's first album for the label Mirror Records. The recording phase were held in  Hilary Studio, in Genoa (baseline study for the  Mirror productions), under the expert guidance of Rossano "Rox" Villa.
The first album, La Crudeltà Di Aprile, contains surprisingly mature music, mixed with modern lyrics, born in English and then processed to the most natural idiom, Italian,  to transmit the message clearly . The thread that binds tightly the stories tells about,  corruption of things and people,  changes, and the becoming. The U.C. use instruments like Hammond and Liturgical Organ, Mellotron, Moog, Clavinet, Rhodes, vintage special effects, reverb and tape echo. We must  emphasize the originality of the drum lines which have the merit to transfer the  music written in a very 70’s mode in a more modern and attractive contest, while maintaining certain fixed   indispensable modes for  prog.
Clear ideas, cleverness, great specific  musical culture  - unusual for young people - are the basic ingredients that the four musicians put out, to propose their own project that will surely not leave listeners indifferent.

Line up:
Emanuele Tarasconi (piano, organ, mellotron, synths and voice)
Francesca Zanetta (electric and acoustic guitar, lute)
Francesco Orefice (bass, backing vocals)
Federico Bedostri (drums and percussions)
Official video:
Mirror Records
Hilary Studio:


Press Office MAT Service:
And so, as I seem to write nearly every week, my plans for the week signally failed to work out. Blame life. I always do.

It has been a remarkably busy week, and I really have no idea where the time has gone. I have been listening fairly intently to the new album by Primal Scream which, I believe, will be of interest to quite a few of the people who read this magazine.

The story of how a noisy indie band with a Rolling Stones fixation discovered peace and love, or at least Ecstasy and produced Screamadelica - the soundtrack to 1991's blissed out summer is a well known one, and as it happened 22 years ago is hardly breaking news. 

Their 2000 album XTRMNTR with the single Swastika Eyes was a much harder and nastier affair, but I played it rather a lot back in the day. However, in recent years the band have drifted off my radar somewhat, but this new album More Light is a masterpiece.

The latest great record of what is shaping up to be another classic year of music, this new record mixes old school Hawkwindy sounds with the neo-rave that one has come to expect from the band. But. And this is the big but. It has Tunes. My Goodness it has tunes, and they are damn good ones.

The two things that one notices most are the sax playing which is both lyrical and brutal by turns, and the bass playing. Why the bass? Therein lies a tale. Their long time bass player Gary "Mani" Mounfield left recently to re-join the Stone Roses, and many people including - I have to confess - me, wondered how this would effect the sound. The split seems perfectly amicable with Primal Scream supporting The Stone Roses on at least one gig last year.

His replacement is Debbie Googe from My Bloody Valentine, who are a band that I will be the first to admit that I have never really 'got'. So I was not overly optimistic.

But I was wrong: Ms Googe plays like a dream, and much though I was (and am) an admirer of Mani, her much more subtle and almost minimalistic bass lines fit into the new songs perfectly. Indeed, if one tries to imagine Mani playing on them the result is not actually very nice.

So, all in all, a bloody good record, and one which I have no compunction in recommending to you all.
There is still likely to be a monthly magazine in both digital and hard copy formats at some point, as soon as I have managed to attract around me more like-minded souls who want to contribute.

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
Copyright © 2013, Gonzo Multimedia, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Jon Downes,
Gonzo Daily/Weekly,
Myrtle Cottage,
9 Back Street,
North Devon
EX39 5QR

Telephone 01237 431413

Fax+44 (0)7006-074-925
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp