The holographic (well, pepper’s Ghost with bells and whistles) Frank Zappa tour is happening this May. The band in itself is pretty astonishing (Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin, Ed Mann, and, sometimes, steve vai) so would be worth it without visuals. Whether good or cheesy, this looks like an evening well spent for Zapparians.
I am mindful that we haven’t heard much about Jerry Dammers since his Sun Ra big band a few years ago.
When people just ‘disappear’, I rather wonder if life is catching up with them, although doubtless some people decide ‘it’s a shit business’ (passim) and become owners of a Spar franchise.
Reciprocal to the mediocre new songs and immediately effective bangers, are the shit songs that even the band gives up on after filling in the set before the hit finale. ‘aliens are friends we haven’t met’ by yes on the 2001 orchestral our cones to mind. Or ‘you turn me on’ by trb on the 1978 autum tour others?
“Rig, Rip, and Panic”, VERY big in student discos about 1981, popped up on my ITunes. Christ, it was irritating. As well as music in search of a tune and key, I still have visions of guys who looked like “Rik” from the “the Young Ones” being wild and creative but strangely failing to impress girls with Crazy Coloured hair and tops from Deptford Market.
Pigbag, “The Pop Group”, RR&P … what was all that about? Thank goodness proper dance music returned.
Just a wee shout-out for the AW-friendly “Ultima Thule” mail order service for specialist progressive rock desires, As it is currently being passed by a NASA satellite crossing South Leicester. The shop (now sadly closed) was a heaven for those who missed old-school record shops full of progressive rock enthusiasts going through obscurity on-upmanship, accountants and acid casualties thumbing their way through Curved Air solo projects, and a surprisingly extensive world progressive section. It was run by the aptly named Alan Freeman and his brother, who used to put on various band “happenings” I never had opportunity to attend. They deserve our support.
I have been given an Alexa. The FPO is delighted that my various box-sets of progressive rock and jazz-fusion are now available at a request in the kitchen. it is, however, useful for timing and spelling so family Scrabble games have a more objective arbiter. Can ther massive recommend other skills / tricks/ hacks to optimise functionality and undermine voice-activated purchases?
Roy Wood’s gear nicked. Thankfully also recovered.
teenage music tribes. They are gradually dying out. As i pass the hundreds of kids going in to junior’s 6th form, you may see one lad tryin’ to grow a chin in a metal / emo shirt, but no goths, hippies, mods, white rastas, or even hip-hop types, and this is a large Midlands city. This used to be a big bit of youth. identify these past music genres by the look:
long hair and lab coat grey shirt with top button done up, short hair. adidas bag and baggies 30s suit, book of Orwell ma1 jacket and crew cut ratty long hair, combat trousers, knackered DMs, patchouli, mullet
plenty more – please add.
24 April 2019 | Resorts World Arena, Birmingham 26 April 2019 | Wembley SSE Arena, London 28 April 2019 | Manchester Arena 1 May 2019 | SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow
Prices from £57.75 – £86.00 (Incl admin fee and £1.20 facility fee) + £2.55 fulfilment fee per order
Birmingham Symphony Hall
Concerns had been raised that given the horrible album and unhappiness in Captain Brock’s starship, these orchestra concerts would be a creative and commercial flop. Not at all; live, this was Hawkwind doing what they do best, with a few orchestral flourishes and sweeps to replace the synths, with a spectacular laser show and slyly witty back projections (the “Sonic Attack” sequence, done like a public information film, was perfect). It wasn’t loud enough for me, but I think it was a good call sonically, as you could hear everything, including the lyrics that brought me back to reading “Science Fiction Monthly” and having Bruce Pennington pictures on my walls in the years before self-abuse and cool. The new band members (Dibs having left due to irreconcilable musical differences) did a good job, with the new bassist wisely adopting the middle name, “Rickenbacker”, and living up to this. Mike Batt was channelling Jocky Wilson, if his shirt was to be anything to judge by. Given the jocularity amongst the band, I reckon he could have got away with a bar of a Wombles song. If only he’d been involved with “The Clangers” – » Continue Reading.
I have recently discovered “64 Spoons”, an inspired version of jazz-rock and looning that were around int he late 1970s; so obscure that there is no track by them on YouTube (going to have to do something about that). I read they developed a fair local following but never broke (and no way they could at that time given their quality playing, hooks, amusing lyrics, fusiony feel given the Blockheads had cornered that market without sounding so middle class). Jakko Jakszyk of King Crimson was one of their horn players. Newcastle’s Last Exit (which produced Sting) are another example of this type of band. The Cardiacs just about broke through beyond their Tolworth and Kingston roots, though never to a significant degree. It led me to wonder what other local bands never broke despite a lot of talent and even some tunes. Recommendations?
What does it sound like?:
PFM were an Italian progressive rock group from the 1970s. I’ve generally found the best progressive rock to be from the UK, but as I tire of the familiar greats (surely fair enough after listening to them for 45 years), I find plenty of interesting bands from almost-were, never was, and unfamilar locales where they may have been regarded as big.
Europe had a lot of this; Germany’s Grobschnitt (2 bassists and looning!), Holland’s Exseption (a progressive “Flight of the BumbleBee”, not ‘arf!), France’s Ange… All of these bands were ‘second division’ to the degree they were not mega-stadium fillers, though they could be huge locally, and many played the UK supporting their better known contemporaries. Musically and compositionally they were the equal of their anglophone peers, but familiarity, luck and precedence is often what makes you a success, and the peak of progressive was actually quite short relative to the long tail it had/ has (a PhD could be written on the presence of mice in progressive rock, by the way). It is in this context that Greg Lake decided Italy’s PFM would be good signed to ELP’s own label “Manticore” (other » Continue Reading.
So Glastonbury has sold out already. I am not aware who has been arranged for the line up. My prediction is Pink Floyd doing a one-off heritage set.
Daughter no 3 would rather go to a University of Manchester open day than accompany 3 chaps (2 of considerable age and chin-stroking reputation) and my son to see Nick mason in Nottingham this Saturday. PM me if you would like to join us for the freak-out with heavy friends from Spandau Ballet; ticket for face value as I’m not a breadhead. Peace, love, ta.
Thanks, Moose, for this recommendation. If this doesn’t make 100 responses I’ll be gutted.
I am an inveterate ‘deconstructor’ of rock snobs. In the punk years I would be pogoing at punk gigs in a dog-chewed t-shirt, flares, and centre-parted shoulder length hair then off to see Genesis (post Hackett) the next week. My main objection was peers who repeated received NME wisdom with flagrant insincerity to try and keep in with the genuinely cool kids.
I recently told someone who only listens to skronky lo-fi out-takes from bands on John peel in his last year that ‘I like marillion, but only their later stuff’.
I often use the Partridge inversion (as in ‘Gallagher and lyle- the singer-song writers Simon and garfunkel COULD have been”).
I am utterly sincere in the music I like, and genuinely like Al sorts (I probably mostly listen to 60s r’n’b and jazz theses days), and am all for pretentiousness (if one doesn’t reach higher, how can one reach in the first place?), but I hate the humourless rock list model. Isn’t it obvious that The Rezillos are better than the MC5?
I’ was en route to Croatia today. A very busy Stansted and I saw 2 ac/dc t shirts as well as my own Frank Zappa ‘freak out’ number. Is it time up for the rock t shirt as a social signifier? I have a nice gong mandala one for tomorrow. Is it going to be wasted, or will it remsin a dig whistle for the like minded?
In my endless dredging through dodgy mid-70s detritus, i fell upon this lot. I knew them as one of those bands that tried to make it in the time exactly when punk emerged, and were thus pushing against a closing door. I knew the single (“5705”) and never particularly bothered. I find this video compelling for it’s antique quality, and can imagine any of them saying, over a pint when we fall into discussing music in the pub, “it’s a shit business”.
I have some CDs which are scratched and annoying. I have seen advice on line about mending scratches but am frankly sceptical about rubbing them with toothpaste or in a suitably-aligned cardboard pyramid.
is there any magic approved by the ‘Massive?
other home help hints welcomed.
I’ve been reading Cosi Fanni Tutti’s autobiography, and as a result revisiting the charms of Throbbing Gristle and Genesis P Orridge, the latter making a passable living out of making one’s mental disorder art (in my opinion).
Reading up about him, I found his Wikipedia entry said:
After a brief correspondence, P-Orridge met American novelist and poet William S. Burroughs, who later provided an introduction to the English poet and performance artist Dick Emery.
During this era, a book was published of Breyer P-Orridge’s writings, poems, and observations, called Ooh, You Are Awful … But I Like You!.
Is this some kind of joke?
A deeply AW Massive-friendly one, this; two much loved/ much missed artistes in one useful garage package. Sounds like a lot of fun, and King Poodle would surely approve.
As predicted (ah, the loneliness of being right) “rockism” is back. I take a contrarian, post-modern approach. There isn’t good or bad music, there’s music you like or don’t like, and it is determined by the social context and individual factors. Any grumble I had about Abba wasn’t about their being good or bad (“Waterloo” and “Ring Ring” I like, “Fernando” I don’t), but the RECEIVED WISDOM that they are great succeeding the prior view that they are rubbish. Received wisdom is the problem. When I am preached at by Pete Wylie or Stuart Maconie, i find myself drawn to early Whitesnake as an example of “rock in rebellion”.
The more i read about bands, the more I understand it is about 4 colleagues who make music, and who disagree as much as they agree. This is a shock and moderately upsetting. In the 45 years i have been following music, my perception of bands has been as per the Fabs in “Help”, or The Monkees. I really did think bands were pals and ex-flatmates who enjoyed each other’s company, had amusing sessions in the pub (plus full and frank recording sessions like The Troggs, and hedonism like Motley Crue). When i read how distant members of an act are to each other, even when travelling the globe in luxury, I start to understand why they start to get creative inertia and the band is just a brand. Tony Iommi’s description of a Sabs tour above… it sounds a bit sad.
Interesting. much more interesting than more imperial Floyd rehashes.
But the Spandau Ballet connection …. in the words of Nigel Tufnell, “Is this some kind of joke?”.
Cambridge Corn Exchange
A sold-out venue with not a mullet in sight and a ‘mature’ audience, more gender mixed than anticipated and extremely well-behaved were in progressive heaven as Marillion ran through most of FEAR and a good range of older tracks; their “earlier incarnation” was represented by the final encore in which the crowd (those who knew the words) filled in; love those retro-synth sounds. Two and half hours flew by as this complex music (with all sorts of nods to recent sounds, trip-hop, etc.) was performed with tightness and (relative) economy and taste compared top how it COULD be. The show was very nice visually, and well-integrated to the songs and lead vocalist Steve Hogarth’s performance. Sound was pretty damn good, as you’d hope. Vocals could have been a little more up, IMHO, but mostly very clear.
As above. Silent and rapt in the music, and not pissing around on their phones. not too many TRUE FANS having to do their sclerotic shuffle in front of those sitting down. Nice people being friendly to strangers, it was almost like a private party. One thing: middle-aged men drinking beer at gigs: don’t; the » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Chris Squire, the voice and, er, “bottom” of Yes, released a solo album in 1976 with his fellow ex-Synner Andrew Pryce Jackson, plus heavy friends like Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz , and the LSO. Tuneful progressive pop slightly less frenetic than the home band ensued, including OGWT favourite, “Hold Out Your Hand”, which did for the shortie kimono what only Keith Barron had done for the similarly lengthened bathrobe previously. The album is all present and correct, and as perfectly produced as it once was, along with a remix by latter-day King Crimson multi-instrumentalist, Jakko Jakszyk that makes it sparkle but in a slightly different way. Also included are singles and demos of “Silently Falling”, “Lucky Seven”, and the great Christmas single that never was, “Run with the Fox”.
What does it all *mean*?
Chris Squire’s musicality in Yes was often underappreciated in all the sturm-und-drang and whimsy around him, so when able to control things a bit more to his liking, you can hear what he brings to the show, which is a real sense of choral potential and clever arrangements. This is very tasteful progressive pop which still pushes the limits of » Continue Reading.