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.
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Fifty-One    November 9th 2013
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)
Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)

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?)
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

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” 
                       â€• 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.
Google Plus
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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.

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
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE: Introducing our new staffer
This week we are proud to be able to announce the addition of a new staff writer to the Gonzo Weekly family. Douglas Harr, who has a blog dealing largely with the sort of music that we cover here at the world's fastest growing, and - quite possibly - most peculiar, weekly music magazine will be writing each issue from now on. This week his subject is the reformed Camel. Last week on the way back from Manchester, I was listening to one of the freebie CDs that they give away with music magazines (yes, we will be doing something of the sort very soon) and it featured a track from the new Camel album. It was bloody good, and I thought to myself that we really ought to cover them.

Now, Douglas has. Welcome aboard my friend.

For those of you living in the UK there are some rather nifty Pink Floyd documentaries on BBC iPlayer for the next few days. I sat down with Mama and Frunobulax and watched two of them last night. The one with the most substance is, of course, the 'making of' documentary about Wish you were here. The thing that is most interesting about it is the subtext.

The 'making of' DSOTM documentary about ten years ago was still fraught with drama: Rog and Dave were still at loggerheads and presumably still disliked each other intensely and that was seen as the main reason why the band would never reform. However, ten years on the playing field has changed completely. Rog and Dave are not just on speaking terms, but have played together in public a few times, most notably when the whole band did reform for one show in 2005. And the reason that the band will never reform is because Rick Wright is dead.

But the documentary itself is full of stuff that I hadn't seen before, including an admission that the legendary review by Nick Kent slagging off the Winter 1974 shows was not only something that the band took to heart, but with the benefit of hindsight they agreed with him.

And, for those trainspotters amongst us, there is a photograph of Syd, when bald, fat and sans eyebrows, he turned up unexpectedly in the sessions for the first time in eight years. He may not have played a note, but his fingerprints are all over the resulting record.

The other programme we watched was a collection of odds and sods including such jolly snippets as the 'Point me at the Sky' promo video that I had only ever seen as a bootleg. The main thing about this show, however, was that it reminded me why I have always liked 'The Final Cut' so much, and found 'Momentary Lapse of Reason' so lacklustre. I had not seen the videos from either album for some twenty five years, and it was a welcome shock to see how good the video for Roger's apocalyptic post-war dream song was.
I had a bit of a shock, in a good way. I went to the surgery for my regular diabetic review and as I have been feeling poorly recently, and for various other reasons, I was expecting to be told that my HBA1C blood sugar levels were through the roof. But they are not. For the first time in 10 years both my blood sugar and cholesterol levels are within normal limits. But there is one enormous thing. Eventually I will be given a medicine that I have to inject each day. But - wait for this - it is made from an enzyme extracted from Gila Monster venom. How Carlos Castaneda is THAT?

When John Waters was a little boy in Baltimore growing up amidst the strict moral values of 1950s America, he fantasised about growing up to run a porn film theatre: "I knew what I wanted to be - the filthiest person alive."

But the cult director and writer, who set out to shock with subversive, darkly comic films such as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Pecker, says he is now struck by the scale of "obscene" content on screen - particularly the treatment of women in films and porn.

Read on...

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Rob Ayling goes Fishing in Leamington Spa
Rob writes: "Great to see Fish again, 40 shows since I saw him in Cambridge, the band are tight and Fish is singing great. I am so pleased that his new album Feast of Consequences is going so well for him. 
Tonight's show has been a mixture of new and old and the fans are lapping it up. Catch him on tour if you can. 
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Meet The Leftines
Leftines are an Alternative/Indie band hailing from the South Coast town of Gosport. Combining influences from Razorlight, Coldplay, Little Comets, The Killers and Phil Collins, Leftines have begun to integrate their music deep within the Gosport scene and are beginning to venture into areas such as London, Southampton and Winchester.

Working alongside Quay West Studios, Leftines have recently finished recording their six track debut EP and will be announcing the release date in the coming weeks.


I think that they are certainly a band to watch!
I am a complete sucker for new gimmicks, and when I received the following notification from those jolly nice chaps and chapesses at Neptune Pink Floyd, I couldn't resist sharing it with Gonzo readers.

"The website 3D-Top-Event has made available several incredible 360 degree panoramic photographs of The Wall Tour that you can move around with your mouse. There are 6 of these amazing photos in total for you to enjoy and were taken on 9th August at Roger Waters Frankfurt show in Germany.

View the page from the link below and, when on the page, click on the image of choice. This will open the picture up to fill your screen. You can then use your keyboard up-down-left-right buttons to move the panorama picture around. Give it a try!"

View 360 Degree panorama photos of The Wall tour.

They kept me amused for ages and I was completely sober.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Rob vs Steve Hackett
The Grande Fromage was in Sheffield the week before last and caught the magnificent show by Steve Hackett...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Michael Des Barres Vs Frank Zappa
On October 23rd, Michael joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the world premiere of 200 Motels – The Suites by Frank Zappa, where he appeared as “Rance”, the narrator.

Featuring 13 orchestral suites originally written for Zappa’s 1971 movie 200 Motels, this elaborate production at the Walt Disney Concert Hall also included the Los Angeles Master Chorale, rock musicians and other actors.

“Working with Esa-Pekka Salonen and his 110 piece orchestra at Disney Hall is an extraordinary experience. I began this blessed journey of mine wanting to be Chuck Berry and Rudolph Valentino.

Somehow, that’s how I feel standing center stage with this most distinguished institution, the creme de la creme of classical and avant garde music. In this case, exemplified by the legendary 200 Motels composed by Frank Zappa.
There are, I am afraid, no new shows for you this week apart from the various interviews featured elsewhere in this issue, but 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

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
This week my favourite roving reporter sent me two very important pieces of news. The first concerns the 'disappearance' of jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova who appears to have been sent to a punishment camp in Siberia. 

He writes: "Mate: hope I'm not 'over doing it' with this Pussy Riot stories,but it fascinates me. You and I ,old warriors and children of the Sixties,grew up on this kind of story.. 'Never trust the Man', right?"

Check it out...

The next story is far less important politically, but equally as interesting culturally. Bart writes: "Can't take credit for this article,it was in 'Rolling Stone',but I've also heard The Who is now 'back-pedaling a bit,and the upcoming tour might NOT be the last... Remember what I said previously,"Never Say Never"... B.L"

Check it out...
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 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.
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.
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
This has been a horrible year in many ways; we have lost some of the giants of the culture in which I (and many of the readers of this magazine) grew up, and we have had to come to terms with the idea of a world without Lou Reed and Kevin Ayers to name just two. It is very nice - just for once - to have an issue without an obituary column, but in memory of those we have lost I would like to put in a link to this song...
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...
FRONT COVER STORY: Exclusive interview with Billy Sherwood
Billy Sherwood (seen here with his band Circa and Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, sorry actor Bill Shatner) is the epitome of the 21st Century prog musician. He is involved in so many projects, that when I tried to find a brief encapsulation of them, I found it impossible.  His Wikipedia page is voluminous and described his early days with a band called World Trade, his years with Yes, first as a producer and later as a band  member. His long association with Yes members Chris Squire and Alan White, his production work with Motorhead, Paul Rogers and others, his solo work and his work on various tribute records with multi-stellar lineups.

This year alone we have seen the latest records by his Prog Collective, an all-star tribute to Steve Miller which - amongst other things - featured the last ever recordings by Yes founding guitarist  Peter Banks, and a remarkable (but definitely odd) record with Science Fiction TV's most notable starship captain.

Billy is by anyone's standards a polymath: a musician, composer, producer, engineer and - as the latest album by Days between Stations (who we interviewed last week) pays testament - a remarkably adept, and very meaty drummer.

He is also a very nice man, as I discovered the other day when I 'phoned him up. Listen to our conversation here.
EXCLUSIVE: ShiSho interview
Are we not men? We are ShiSho.
My dear, late parents hated pop music, and were appalled at the music that I listened to as a boy. They were convinced that SladeT.Rex and their ilk had been sent by The Kremlin to destabilise British society and destroy what remained of the British Empire. I still remember the awful evening that Alvin Stardust was on Top of the Pops and upon hearing the line "lay down and groove on the mat", my father nearly had apoplexy, and ranted for hours about how this filth was encouraging promiscuity and would be the downfall of the human race. What he would have done if he had  heard of Miley Cyrus and the notorious Wrecking Ball video, I have no idea.

I hope that I am less judgemental, and a soupçon more enlightened than were my parents, although sometimes I doubt it. I am not at all prudish about the human body, but I do have a problem with a young girl entering what I perceive as the realms of pornography in order to sell a (not very good) record. I am even more appalled with the idea that she is perceived as a role model for today's girls and young women.

I don't have children of my own but I have two stepdaughters and - as well as my brother's four kids - it sometimes seems that I am Uncle Jon to half of the Westcountry, and amongst these young people are some very intelligent potential high-achievers. Take Harriet for example: she wrote her first novel aged twelve, and now - two years later - is working on a piece of futuristic steampunk that is of staggering depth. When I was her age I was still trying to make a scale model of the Battle of Waterloo with Airfix kits.
"We love playing for crowds that aren't familiar with ShiSho because we're a disconnect from first impressions. When you see two young girls in polka-dot dresses take the stage with an accordion and guitar, you don't expect to hear a hand-clapping folk tune about a doll ripping your throat open and gnawing at your living skull! But you're delighted when we do.”
A couple of weeks ago I was pootling about on Spotify. Having just finished reading Morrissey's remarkable autobiography, I have been working my way through his solo albums in a desultory manner. One of the features with Spotify that I don't usually use is the 'recommends' feature, whereby  some algorithm or other decides that if someone likes a certain piece of music they will probably like a specified other piece.

Usually I ignore it, but on this particular day, having - like Syd Barrett - a somewhat irregular head, I was whittling away time when I should have been doing something else following some of these links, when I saw a picture of two fresh-faced young ladies with a mischievous twinkle in their eyes and ended up on the page for ShiSho. Within minutes I was a confirmed fan.

Their press blurb says: "If They Might Be Giants and Kimya Dawson had baby daughters whom they powdered regularly with the Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum, they'd grow up to be ShiSho." I would actually add Jonathan Richman and - believe it or not - notorious 1960s girl group The GTOs (featuring Michael Des Barres' ex wife Miss Pamela) to the mix, and if I could suggest only one cover version for the girls to do, it would be I'm in love with the Oo Oo Man which (especially the bits about the rubber chicken suit with the beak) I have been ripping off in my own songs for years. 

But I digress.

But forget the press blurb, and my own vaguely whimsical trawls through the outer edges of my record collection. What do they sound like? The music is a very adept brand of acoustic punkabilly, and the lyrics are awesome. Probably my favourite couplet is from The Dead Milkmen Song which runs:"I hate my life, you hate yours, let's go to a Department Store and kick down all the doors".

They are clever, witty, wryly subversive (in the best possible way), sophisticated, completely self-assured and have a depth to them which means that it would be most unwise to consider them just a novelty band. Because they are nothing of the sort. At the ages of 16 (Vivian) and 13 (Midge) they are already nine years into a surprisingly credible and eclectic career.

Like all rock and roll scribes of my generation I strive to avoid doing what Jon Landau did 40 years ago when he said "I have seen the future of Rock and Roll and it is Bruce Springsteen" and got laughed at for it for the rest of his career. So I won't. I have seen ShiSho and they are certainly the future of something, but I don't think they have decided what yet.

Within half an hour of discovering them I sent the link to their music to my literary niece Harriet, and within a few minutes I received a  reply "I relate to this music really well, wow!" and ShiSho got themselves another fan. This confirmed my suspicions.

I wrote to ShiSho guardedly. The 21st Century is not a very nice place, and I am only too aware that middle aged men with wild staring eyes contact teenage girls at their peril. I am certainly a middle aged man with wild staring eyes and I would hate anyone to think that my motives were even slightly insalubrious. The girls wrote back, sending me some press stuff, and we chatted a bit via Facebook before arranging an interview.

Why on earth are these girls not absolutely massive? They deserve to be. And why are they not widely seen as credible role models for teenage girls, rather than some bimbo 'empowering herself' by gyrating about in her underwear. I warn you all. I am on a mission - a mission to tell as many people as I can about this band.

And how did I start this mission? It was simple, I gave the girls a ring and had a chat. Listen to our conversation here.
In last week's issue I interviewed noted author Dan Wooding about his biography of noted bank robber Maurice O'Mahoney who later turned Queen's Evidence and became the eponymous King Squealer of the book's title. This week - in an exclusive for Gonzo Weekly I interview his son about his memories of his father.

Because of the nature of his story, and because even his nearest and dearest are not aware of his true identity, I shall refer to him only as MAURICE Jr
The King Squealer and his son on holiday in Florida many years ago
JON: Thanks very much for speaking to us.  I enjoyed the book massively.  You said the other day that there is all sorts of other stuff that your dad didn’t tell Dan back when he wrote the book thirty years ago.  Is there a lot missed out?
MAURICE Jr: There probably is, yeah.  A lot to do with corruption with police officers and stuff like that. And obviously after his supergrass days no-one ever really knew what happened to him since then.
JON: Do you know what happened to him after?
MAURICE Jr: After the supergrass days?  Obviously he knew Rick Wakeman through Dan and stuff and he met someone called Tony Visconti who had a studios in Dean Street called Good Earth Studios and dad used to hang about there quite a lot.  He used to do some quiet security and stuff like that for the likes of David Bowie, Thin Lizzy and various other artists. But he would do some personal security for them every now and again, you know. 
JON: And then, like Dan told us last week,  one day he ‘phoned up – your dad -  â€˜phoned up Dan and said do you want to meet David Bowie?  And that’s how it happened.
MAURICE Jr: Probably yeah, that’s probably what would have happened. My dad must have been closer to Tony Visconti because he actually gave him David Bowie’s gold disc that he was presented for his album 'Low'.  It was hanging on our wall for years. He inscribed it on the back.  He said, ‘Dear Dave (because that’s what his name was at the time) could you find somewhere to hang this?  My poor old wall is sagging.’ I don’t actually know what became of that.  He must have given it away to somebody or given it away to charity or something because it went  missing, you know, so I don’t know what happened to it.
JON: Is the picture that is painted of your dad in the book…does it ring true of what you remember of him?  Because you were very young weren’t you?
MAURICE Jr: Yeah, obviously when all that was going on. Probably so.  I mean he probably made light of his involvement in things a little bit more. You know?  He was probably more involved. He tried to make himself sound like he didn’t do so much but he probably did.
JON: I think that’s just human nature isn’t it?
MAURICE Jr: Yeah.  Obviously he used the police as much as they used him, you know. He had told me that on instruction for them he had given perjured evidence for certain robbers that they wanted to obviously put away. I know there was a couple there involved that weren’t actually doing what he said they’d done.  Obviously they were bad guys anyway, but the police just wanted to get some of these people away, and they used dad to do that.
JON: This is all 30-plus years ago wasn’t it? 
MAURICE Jr: Yeah. 
JON: When did your dad die?
MAURICE Jr: He died in 2003.  He died at home. 
JON: Oh golly.  I didn’t realise it was so recently.  I’d got it into my head it was 20 years ago or something. 

MAURICE Jr: No, he only died – well it was ten years ago the other day, last month or something like that.
JON: What did he do in retirement?
MAURICE Jr: He did all sorts of various things really.  He was more of an Arthur Daley type of character.  He would wheel and deal and stuff like that. But what I will say is that he didn’t really fully retire from what he used to do years ago. He had some involvement with ex-police officers and stuff like that who would sort of set things up for him to go and do. And they would obviously get their share. That all kind of ties in with when he was hanging around in a wine bar in the south of London. There was a certain robbery that took place.  I won’t mention it, but it was a very high profile robbery and several people ended up going to jail for laundering the proceeds of it. I know he helped out a little bit with that.
JON: He stayed out of jail though.
MAURICE Jr: He stayed out of jail until I think 1991 or 1992. When he had these dealings with the ex-officers he’d agreed to take part in something to set somebody up, then he obviously went and took part in this robbery and he was nearly shot dead. They got caught, but he went to trial and he was acquitted. And he actually sued the police and the commissioner later on and he settled out of court.
JON: Even though he was in on the robbery …. Golly
MAURICE Jr: He was saying that they were trying to kill him. 
JON: Do you think they were?  Or do you think this was just paranoia after a long life in crime?
MAURICE Jr: Well I don’t think so, because I was with him one day in 1999 where someone tried to shoot the pair of us in a car in Whitley Bay, and we actually disarmed the people in the car park.  Dad tried to shoot them but the gun wouldn’t go off, but then they made off and went away.  Dad handed the shotgun back into the Metropolitan Police and he said, ‘Look I just want to return this to where it came from because I recognised one of the guys.’
JON: Was there any comeback from that?
MAURICE Jr: No.  I mean the police, they didn’t even want to take the gun away.  Dad was laughing. He was like, ‘It’s a firearm.’  They didn’t want anything to do with it. 
JON: So he was being harassed basically up until he died.
MAURICE Jr: Well, yeah.  He thought so because something else took place.  It must have been a mile away from our house…and he sort of ended up getting the blame for that.  It wasn’t him at all.  But you know how people talk and mud sticks. The police, where we lived at the time, they just wouldn’t leave him alone. He had to go on the run for over a year or something like that. Then eventually he did get caught, which I explain in the book, where we were both arrested, but then he just went on an ID parade and said, ‘Right it wasn’t me anyway so put me on ID parade.’  And then he was released later on that night. 
JON: Have you been hassled for being his son?
MAURICE Jr: I’ve had a little bit.  I mean, because of certain family members no-one ever really knew that certain family members where we lived at the time let slip who he was and stuff like that. Then little things would sort of come along and people would say things.  You know how people talk.  They tell 10 people and then they tell another 10 people, which leads on to the BBC documentary.  When they did that, no-one even told us anything about it and so when it came on there was certain people knew who it was and so people were talking and saying things about the family and stuff like that.  But the BBC should have told us, you know.  Obviously they didn’t know that he’d died, because he would have gone berserk had he found out they had put that programme on.
JON:  So is there still comeback now?
MAURICE Jr: No, not really now.  We keep a low profile and don’t really mention it, you know. My children don‘t know anything about it. They don’t even know they have a different name really.  Something I haven’t really decided yet whether I will ever tell them.
JON: Are you pleased with the content of the book?
MAURICE Jr: Yes, that was basically his words to Dan.  Obviously I added my little bit in at the end, but yeah basically really pleased with it. 
This is the final extract that we shall be publishing from this remarkable book. In it, Maurice Jr remembers his father...
It may seem rather strange, but I am fortunate that my father turned into a Supergrass, as I would not be here today if he had not done so. You see, I am the result of one of the conjugal visits to Chiswick Police Station by my mother. I am not sure if too many people can say they started out in life in a police station.
I am told that after I was born, my father used to baby sit me in the cells, although I don’t remember any of this. He told me later that he had many bottles of wines and spirits hidden in the cells and that ‘there is probably a stash still there that hasn’t been discovered by the police’.
As I grew up, I had no idea about what was going on with my father, but there were odd things that would occur that now made sense to me. Like the police lady who used to be with us lots of the time. Her name was Jane, and I called Aunty Jane and, sometimes, she would take us all to Brighton for a few days, as she knew that my dad loved this seaside town and we would eat lots of Candy Floss and ice cream.
However, in my childhood, I never quite understood why there were often police around us, but I now do as I realize they were there to protect us.
There were times when my father would drive my mother and I to police stations, or Scotland Yard, and we would park outside and then wait for hours for him to come out. As I got older. I began to wonder why some people called him ‘Mo,’ while others called him ‘Dave’, but now I understand that the police were giving him a new name and persona.
Dad was very security aware and would always be armed and he would always be looking around before he went anywhere. When driving, he would go round a roundabout three or four times, or when sitting at traffic lights on green, he would then pull away as they turned red. He would never sit with his back to a door, even with his own family, and they never knew anything about where we lived or anything like that. If we visited family members, he would take me aside and drum it into me that I must not tell them anything about my current second name or anything that would reveal anything to anyone that could cause us problems. I know my older sister found this hard to deal with, not really knowing her dad.
I was about ten years old when I first saw the original version of this book. It was in a drawer in our home and, as I read through it, I knew right then that he was, in fact, ‘King Squealer’. though I never told him so. We later moved out of London for our safety, and it was when I was fourteen that he sat me down at his bar -- it was a nice Italian wood and marble bar which I still have it to this day --  and explained to me about his life and how he grew up and the things he had done. He told me how it was important for me to be aware that one day somebody might try and kill him, or try to harm us, for what he had done. So all the things in the past, like the going round and round roundabouts, constantly looking over his shoulder, and having the police being with us for so much of the time -- all now made sense to me. 
He did a great job at protecting us and was very clever and cunning and you couldn't ever get one over on him. He was a great chess player, and one told me, ‘Son, life was like a game of chess, except, in my case, people are the pieces, and I am a master manipulator with a brain like a computer.’
At times, he could be quite overpowering and he suffered from terrible nightmares and night terrors in his later years. When they happened, he would jump up from his bed and start pulling the curtains down or knocking things over. I think he must have had a lot of stress and pressure in his life.
After his release from prison, and after the initial book came out, my dad tried to go straight and worked on and off as an electrician, He started to hang around a wine bar in south London which I believe was off bounds to serving police officers. There he met a man whom I later discovered my father would help in the laundering of some of the proceeds from a large robbery. With the profits be bought and sold jewels and gold, and even made a trip to New York.
Around this time, he managed to get an inside man in a security company and pulled off a £250,000 security van robbery.  I’m not sure what it would be worth in today’s money -- quite a bit, I should think – and he let me and my older brother count it out. When we got to £100,000 and gave up. He later told me it was supposed to be his ‘retirement’, but the inside man didn't throw out all the money so he had decided to keep his share, so with this money, plus £40,000 pounds from my grandfather who was quite wealthy, he set up home in Reading, Berkshire, where he led a lavish lifestyle for a while in a mock Tudor house in an area where a lot of footballers would live nearby.
Towards the end of the 1980s, dad lost a lot of money in the housing market and it was then that he decided to move to the north east of England and not long after we moved there. He was really sad as he then learned the news that his mother had died and shortly after this, he was arrested for allegedly taking part in an armed robbery in west London. He was acquitted of the robbery in which shots were fired -- all by the Flying Squad from a moving car -- and my dad told me that he had been set up by them and were trying to kill him because he was already talking of writing a new book about police corruption going back to the 1960s.
I would like to say a few words about growing up around my dad. It could be quite strange moving all the time, and having different names, new schools, new friends, and not being allowed to have people around. I’ve only had one friend, who has been there all the way, and he knows who he is, but when you’re young you don't know any better and think it is normal, but on the other hand, dad was a real good dad for me; the best and fearless. 
He would take me out to meet rock stars like Rick Wakeman and all sorts of famous people. He was a joker and a real character that we will not see the likes of again. When my nan died, he had heard there may be a revenge attack on him, so we went to all the pubs in Paddington, and he told the customers, ‘Can I have everyone’s attention please, I’m Maurice O’Mahoney. If anybody has a problem with me, here I am.’ Nobody did, as he had a 44 magnum in his coat. 
Near the end of his life, there was an armed robbery committed near to our house and then, a couple of days later, the police came knocking on the door, and one of them said, ‘We have received a phone call from someone purporting to be you, saying you could help us with our inquiries.
My dad looked quizzically at the officers, and said, ‘I’ve no idea what you are talking about. Why would I ring you up about a robbery?’ As they went away, he then said to me ‘Something is going on here’, and he was correct, as the next day, the police turned up in force, and they began wrecking our home. We found out later that it was someone making up a story to try and get him into trouble.
But that wasn’t the end of his troubles, as we then discovered that a friend of my mother had ‘grassed’ on him and went and told the police where we would be at a certain time. When my dad saw the police waiting outside our house, he rushed me to his car and sped off. But then saw that they had blocked off the road, so he quickly put the car in reverse, but then there was a transit van blocking the way and soon the car was surrounded by armed police and they fired a stun grenade under it. The explosion sounded like a bomb going off, and sent billows of smoke all over the place. I could not see a thing, and we are both arrested for robbery and taken to a local police station.
As you can imagine, I was by now very sacred, but my father had a different view on the situation. As the sergeant was charging us, my dad couldn’t stop laughing and when the officer asked him why he was chuckling, he said, ‘It’s because the officer who arrested us wants to make a name for himself!’ However, at the time, I don’t think the Sergeant knew anything about my father’s background. 
Then, my dad said to me, ‘Don’t worry son. We will be back home by tea time.’
The sergeant told him, ‘No way. I’ll bet you ten pounds that you aren’t.’
‘You’re on,’ my dad told him.
We were then locked up in separate cells to each other, and my dad then began telling me jokes and making me laugh. It was his way of trying to calm this stressful situation. After a short time, my father was put on an identity parade and was not picked out and so, as he predicted, we were both back home by teatime.
The police sergeant never did pay up when he lost the bet, but I didn’t really care as it was so weird to be in a situation like that with your dad. It was most interesting for me to see some his highs, and lows, his funny and sad times, and you never knew what would happen next with him.
In the conversation, during which we had been drinking a few bottles of wine, he began sharing with me about the old times and said that he had enjoyed a great life and met all types of people and lived life his way.
‘If I go tomorrow, I would have no complaints’, he told me.  He died shortly afterwards, on the 27th September, 2003, at the age of 54, from a massive heart attack in a small village in Northumberland.
I miss him dearly. He was my mentor, best friend -- and my dad!

As Rick Wakeman wrote the foreword to this remarkable book,  this seems a reasonably sensible place to point out that there are a number of groovy Rick Wakeman records on sale via Gonzo
CJ Stone's Britain: a series of columns for the Guardian Weekend

CJ Stone’s Britain was a series of travel columns which appeared in the Guardian Weekend Travel section between October 1996 and March 1998. It followed on from the very popular Housing Benefit Hill column which had appeared in the same magazine for the previous three years.

It had fairly loose parameters. The only connection between the places was that I was there in them, hence the title: CJ Stone’s Britain. And the way I picked them was fairly relaxed too: if I knew someone there, or there was some kind of an association in my life, then it was fair game to write about it.

I was writing my book at the time, The Last of the Hippies, so some of the places were chosen because I was investigating them for the book. Also I was living in a van which was intrinsic to my life in this period: living on the road, travelling about the country, visiting people and places I had known from my earlier life.

The first of the stories features Steve, better known as the Bard of Ely here on HubPages. Steve is an important figure in my life and more than one of the stories have him as the central figure.

When I’d first pitched the concept, the editor had told me to write at my leisure. Which is what I did. The original version of this story came in at over 3,000 words long. The published version was much shorter, at around a third of the length, and wasn’t anywhere near as good, so it’s the longer version you have here, featuring some busking, some washing up, and a terrible tale about one messed up person’s suicide.

The story was called Old Habits die hard, and you can read it here.

The next place I visited was Birmingham, the city of my birth. This was inevitable really, as part of the point of the stories was an exploration, not only of Britain, but of CJ Stone's view of it. This one involves a dead cat, a lost wallet and a visit to the Rag Market, and you can read it here.

I had a friend in Scotland, who had introduced me to the central character in the next story. His name is John Plott, and he’s a singular figure, as you can readhere.

The story also involves a hangover, which, not surprisingly, I had acquired the night before. You can read how I got the hangover in a story which didn’t appear in the Guardian, but in Mixmag, around the same time. So maybe it’s not part of the original series, but it might help to explain a thing or two. The character of “Scoob” in the one, and “Kodan” in the other are the same person. He was a great friend of mine. His real name was Alan Ashcroft, and he sadly passed away a few years ago now. A lot of these stories feature friends who have since died. The Mixmag story is here.

The next piece is set in Coventry, birthplace of the car as it declares itself, and once again it opens with a hangover, which must tell you quite a lot about my life at the time. This one focuses a lot on a landmark feature in the town which, even as I was writing the story, was being dismantled. This was Anarchy Bridge, which also features in the novel A Touch of Love by Jonathan Coe, although I didn’t know this at the time, and it plays no part in the story. You can find the Coventry piece here.

The next story involves a location which is in two places at the same time. It was my sister’s flat in Charlton, London, and the story illustrates the way in which our social attitudes affect the place we live. A few months later, after I’d moved out of my sister’s flat, I went back to the pub which is featured in the story and was surprised to find myself the centre of attention. The landlord bought me a drink. It was the first time his pub had ever got a mention in the Guardian, and a lot of people had visited it as a consequence. The story is here.

Read on...



(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..
It seems Dave Brock has bounded back to health, and Hawkwind's November tour is, by all accounts, going fine...  it's got some enthusiastic comments on youtube, where a few clips have popped up....

...and Gonzo's very own Graham has booked his ticket for the Southampton gig in a few weeks' time.

Interviewed for the occasion, he said: "It's cool, man.  Sorted." Translated, that means there'll be a full Gonzo review with shit-hot photos the very next day.  Well, we certainly hope so, anyway.
Camel are one of the greatest, yet least known of the “progressive rock” genre bands that came to life in the early 1970’s.  Hailing from the Canterbury region of Britain, with Andrew Latimer (guitar, keyboards, flute, vocals) at the helm, the band navigates rock and jazz motifs, prog / space rock, and English folk.  Much of their work is surprisingly sunny – while Andy’s evocative guitar style might be compared to David Gilmore of Pink Floyd fame, there is less gloom in their work as a whole. 
At the start, Peter Bardens (keyboards) co wrote the first six records from 1972′s self titled debut “Camel”, through 1978′s “Breathless.”  Peter left the band before the Breathless tour and went on to success as a solo “new age” music artist.  Other group members playing bass, keys, and drums have changed multiple times, with the most persistent member being Colin Bass, an amazing bass player who also offers warm vocals to many tracks since 1979.
The band has become Andy’s life occupation, being the one remaining original member, and who save for a hiatus from 1985-1990 remained productive, with regular releases and tours all the way through their 2003 tour.  At the end of that tour Andy and his wife moved from the US back home to Britain.  After a prolonged illness which made playing too difficult during the last ten years, Andy re-recorded their 1975 release “The Snow Goose” and booked a short series of concerts in Europe and the UK this fall to perform this release and a series of songs from their large catalog.  We flew to London to catch their stop at the Barbican Hall, October 28th, 2013.

Read on...
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 week the quotient of Yes related stories has picked up a little. We kick off with "An evening with Jon Anderson", which at the moment isn't strictly true, but we understand and admire the sentiment. We then have Seven Questions for Rick Wakeman followed by a review of Steve Howe. By the way, for those of you interested in such things, we have an exclusive interview with Steve's son Dylan Howe, an interesting and inventive musician in his own right, in next week's edition. And then there is an interview with Jon Anderson in which - wait for it - he says that he would like to return to Yes at some point.
But there is more: we have a track from one of Uncle Rick's recent Cheltenham shows, and a press release about the book King Squealer (featured elsewhere this issue) in which Uncle Rick gets an honourable mention.

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! 
he pushed his papers away/all pasts burned)
looked @who he was connecting with/3rd eye bold
spoke truth to core of being/beaming joy
with every sound ,a spell/enchantment seashell opening
Oceans heard waves and shores romancing
Wind aroused the tips of waters /sand nudged closer
Intimacy of auras clicking /gearwheels flying faster
He heard Mermaids,Sirens,Cassandras,singing softly
He sank into Acceptance deep and wide and wise
He heard their listening eyes and watched them mouth their dreams
It was his turn to drink-@the well of deeper waters
Every gypsy knows where water goes-you follow in the flow
Words are only paper boats .They sink.They burn
When you are in a state of grace-you know..

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 -  one of the most iconic, and collectible, albums from the British hippy era. There is a copy on eBay, with all the tat, for £195. I am actually quite tempted...

Read on...

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...

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
MANNING   The Root, The Leaf & The Bone    (FESTIVAL MUSIC)
In late 2012, Guy started formulating the idea about writing a concept album about a faded village that has become lost beneath the march of progress, and started creating pieces based around these themes. However, he soon found that if he kept tightly to the theme then he was too restricted, so instead moved away from the original idea, although many of the songs are still about the nature of change in one way or another. When I played this for the very first time I was surprised how ‘warm’ the album is, almost like a wonderful comfort blanket, and all I wanted to do was to wrap the music around me. Guy will always find himself compared to Tull, due both to his vocal and musical style, and

if I was to think of this as something from Ian Anderson then this would fit right in the middle of the Seventies, although there is much more saxophone used and not nearly as much flute.

On this his 14th album, Guy provides Acoustic 6, 12 & Classical Guitars, Bass, Diddlybow, Drums, Incantation Bell, Keyboards, Mandolin, Percussion, Samples, Lead & Backing Vocals and as well as his band of David Million (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Banjo), Julie King (Vocals), Kris Hudson-Lee (Basses) and Rick Henry (Percussion) he has plenty of guests to further assist him in filling out the sound.
It took me a while to get used to the keyboard sound, which is often like that of the old electric pianos, and in turn this gives the album quite a dated feel. But, the more I played this the more I found that instead of being a detraction it instead became an integral part of the whole sound. Each of the nine songs has a real story to tell, but the one that really hits home for me is “The Forge” which muses romantically about the loss of craftsmanship in favour of mass production. Lyrically the song is wonderfully evocative, “The bellows & the furnace dance in furious harmony, Wind & flame on a bed of earth in elemental symmetry, Born out of sweat in a battle to commence, Grappling with the raw flow with just his implements”. Musically the rhythm and cadence of the song also makes one feel that they are in the presence of the blacksmith, hard at work with his iron and fire. In many ways this reminds me of Show of Hands, although more proggy and less folky.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to hear all of Guy’s solo albums, plus of course those he has recorded with groups like The Tangent, and this stands up as one of his finest releases. He brings together classic songwriting and great lyrics, with emotion and drive, creating music that takes plenty of influences from the Seventies but making them relevant for today. Although the songs contain many different styles and instrumentation, they are tied together with Guy’s soft vocals as he brings the listener in closer and creates an intimate experience. Superb.
Andrée Theander first picked up a guitar at the age of ten, and was soon determined to become a professional musician. As part of this he studied music at university and then spent several months in the USA where he attended various courses at the Musicians Institute (GIT) in Los Angeles. While he was there he came to the attention of Jeff Lorber who invited him to lay down some guitar tracks for his ‘Galaxy’ album, not bad for someone who was still studying. When he returned to Sweden he felt that he was ready to record his own album and created a band with Göran Edman (Street Talk, Glory, Y. Malmsteen)  and Christian Hedgren sharing lead vocals, Herman Furin (Work Of Art, Fergie Frederiksen) on drums, Linus Abrahamson on bass and Michael Ottosson on keyboards.
The album was then mixed by Per Ryberg (Street Talk, Sven Larsson, Bloodbound) and mastered by Sören von Malmborg (Dan Reed, The Rasmus) and the result is something quite special. Andrée obviously has a very good ear for melodic hard rock/AOR, and has definitely been very heavily influenced by Toto and Talisman, and the result is an album that has an edge, loads of hooks, and great vocals. He has a wonderfully fluid playing style, and his shredding is perfectly in keeping with the album and mood yet has more than a hint of Satriani about it.
In fact, it is hard to find a fault at all with this album, as it is one great song after another, and “Mr. Know It All” could be a massive radio hit given the right support. If you enjoy AOR then this is something that needs to be investigated soonest.  
8 FOOT SATIVA         Hate Made Me            (INDIE)
The other week I made my way to a record store in Auckland where 8 Foot Sativa were performing a few songs as a launch for their mighty comeback album ‘The Shadow Masters’. After performing some songs from the new set they closed with the mighty “8 Foot Sativa”, and even though it was somewhat strange to see them pounding this out in daylight, it again made me realise what a huge anthem this is, which then led to me thinking that maybe I really ought to buy the debut album that started it all back in 2002. Now, I have probably said this before, but the music scene here in New Zealand is small, which is due to the fact that the country itself is sparsely populated. The two main islands 
have a land mass a little larger than the UK, but we have a total population of just 4.5 million people (but way more sheep). Luckily these guys are from Auckland, which is the largest city in the country, but even now the current population is less than 1.5 million and it was less than that 15 years ago when they started.

There have been some wonderful kiwi outfits, but few have managed to break it big internationally, and probably Shihad is the only heavy band to really make an impression before 8FS, so when these guys hit the scene they just laid waste. ‘Hate Made Me’ was their debut album, and has now been certified platinum in NZ, while their eponymous single was top of the M2 charts for 12 weeks and stayed in the listing for more than six months. Not bad considering that this is uncompromising metal at its’ most raw.
The fact that it has stood the passage of time is quite a statement, and Jackhammer drives the band from the front with a vocal attack that is uncompromising in its’ assault as they mix hardcore with death and thrash to create something that is in your face. The production may not be all that it could be, but isn’t nearly as bad as some reviews seem to make out and it is not possible to overstate just how important this album was to the kiwi scene when it was first released. In many ways they are now more polished and even more dominant than they were when this was released, and if you are new to 8FS then I would probably point to the new album as being the first one to go. But, myself and all kiwi metalheads know that we are the lucky ones that we can go to their gigs and join in the mosh with everyone chanting “Step up, step up, step up for Sativa, step up, step up, step up for 8 Foot Sativa”. Metal doesn’t get much better than this.
HERRSCHAFT            Les 12 Vertiges                    (CODE 666)
Herrschaft were formed at the tailend of 2004 when they decided to bring together extreme Metal and Electro/Indus genres into one form. Their first effort, ‘Architects of the Humanicide’, conceptualized the Electro/Metal music by exploring mankind’s future, creating a world from the opposed bright and dark sides of a synthetic future. Two years later their full album ‘Tesla’, brought forward the concept, describing a humanity bound to fall and destruction due to its own selfishness. It also showed the maturity of their unique sound, melting of New Wave synths layered in 
catchy melodies, powerful clear-cut guitars and harsh screaming voices, always driving Electro and Metal worlds altogether to their darkest sides.

Now, after five years, they are back with their next effort, and here we have a full-blown hybrid that is both extreme and dance, all at the same time. There are instances when they are being a Rammstein, but taken to almost extreme levels and mixed headlong with the Chemical Brothers. It is music designed to create a mosh and be played at a rave, preferably all happening at the same time. This is definitely a grower of an album as the first few times I listened to it I just couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, but the more it went into my skull the more I realised that this is actually an incredibly majestic and powerful piece of work. This is going to alienate as many people who are going to like it, as it really is a quite different genre in many respects, but if you enjoy Rammstein-style industrial metal, or the more powerful and hard hitting elements of bands like Prodigy then this is certainly worth investigating further.
Live in Vienna
The Sex Gang Children have been one of the leading lights of the Goth movement for almost thirty years. Formed by and still led by the enigmatic Andi Sexgang in 1981 the band's name is sourced from a line William Burroughs that appeared in a song by Bow Wow Wow. The name was originally going to be used for the new band led by Boy George. When the name did not find favour with the other members of what would eventually become Culture Club, George gave the name to Andi who christened his own band. In their time the band has released a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums together and whilst the band broke up initially in the mid eighties they have resurfaced on occasion with new material and been involved in the re-packaging of old material. They are still considered one of the longest-lasting and most consistent "Goth" bands, however, and whenever the band have appeared they have always be nothing less than innovative and exciting.

As a solo artist Andi Sexgang has also been highly prolific away from the band, releasing his first solo album shortly after the Sex Gang Children split. The Sex gang Children Live in Vienna is the latest album to come from the enigmatic Andi Sexgang. The album was recorded in Vienna on November 1st 2002 with a line up that included guitarist Adrian Portas, Violinist Martin Olofsson, bassist Kevin Matthews, Drummer Carl Magnusson and Andi Sex Gang vocals.

At the time of this concert the band's latest album was Bastard Art and a number of tracks including Propoganda, Freedom Street and Slave are featured in the set. The Sex Gang Children retain a huge dedicated cult following and this album will be welcomed by the fan base.

Check it out (UK)
Check it out (USA)

My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had another rather a nice week. It is always a pleasure to have Mama-in-law staying, and she spends quite a lot of the time in the office chatting.
The Editorial team (especially me and Graham) have quite an exciting week ahead of us, because on Thursday we are up to Ladbroke Grove in a hire car to film the Mick Farren memorial show.

"Following Mick’s funeral last month, it was decided to hold a much bigger occasion where friends and colleagues could gather together, share stories, laugh and reflect on the life of a friend who left us too soon. 

At its heart, this event will be an opportunity to finish the set Mick and the Deviants started on that fateful night, Saturday, 27th July, at the Borderline. There will be live music from the Deviants, Slim Tim Rundall, and guests, drinks from the cash bar of the Flyover, situated right under the Westway, a venue Mick played on a number of occasions, and not far from the Chesterton Road flat he lived in during the years leading up to his departure for America. "

It is bound to be a very emotional evening, and I am very proud that Graham and I have been chosen to immortalise this historic event on film.

The next day we rush back down the motorway to Devon where - back in the potato shed - we have three days of recording booked with my old friend Mike Davis. His album is progressing nicely, and I hope that it will be finally available within the next few months, if not before the end of the year.

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. Please pass this magazine on to as many of your friends, relations, and whoever else you can, and do your best to persuade them to subscribe. It will make an ageing fat hippy very happy.

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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