Sunday, May 27, 2018

Caravan - 1975-03-21 - Paris Theatre, London

Caravan
1975-03-21
Paris Theatre, London, UK

FM Broadcast Recording (BBC), excellent quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Here's more Caravan, this one from an excellent 1975 radio show. Although more than half the show (2 songs) are songs already included in the previous 1974 show ('The Love in Your Eye' and 'For Richard'), these are excellent extended versions, and this show does feature 2 different songs ('The Dab Song Conshirtoe' from Cunning Stunts-1975, and the rousing audience participation fave 'Hoedown'). More great stuff from Caravan.

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. The Love In Your Eye
3. For Richard
4. The Dab Song Conshirtoe
5. Hoedown
Total Time: 56:30

Musicians:
- Mike Wedgewood / bass
- Richard Coughtan / drums
- Geoff Richardson / violin, guitar
- Pye Hastings / guitar, vocals
- David Sinclair / keyboards

Caravan_1975-03-21_Paris Theatre_London.rar

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Caravan - 1974-11-10 - Record Plant, Sausalito, CA

Caravan
1974-11-10
Record Plant, Sausalito, CA

FM broadcast recording, excellent qualty
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Staying with progressive rock bands associated with the Canterbury Scene, here is Caravan, a band that featured a wonderful mix of rock, jazz, and folk, and deserved much more success and acclaim than they received. Caravan was formed in 1968 from the remnants of an earlier band, Wilde Flowers, after Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper had left to join The Soft Machine. The original lineup consisted of cousins David and Richard Sinclair (keyboards and bass/vocals, respectively), Pye Hastings (guitars/vocals), and Richard Coghlan (drums). In their first album, Caravan (1969), they were still finding their identity within the emerging progressive rock scene, but by their second album (and first on the Decca label), If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970), they had settled into their signature sound and style, an intriguing mix of pop, gentle English folk, rock jams, jazz explorations, and eccentric and humorous tales. Their next album, In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971) became their most critically acclaimed, but struggled to find an audience. Frustrated by their lack of success, Dave Sinclair left the band to join Robert Wyatt in his new band, Matching Mole. Caravan added new keyboardist Steve Miller for their next album, Waterloo Lily (1972), which took them in a bluesier direction. But Miller's more straight jazz/blues style clashed with the rest of the band, and he was soon out. By 1973, Dave Sinclair returned to the band (Matching Mole didn't last long, followed by a short stint with Hatfield and The North), which had now also added Geoffrey Richardson on viola and flute (but Richard Sinclair was now gone, joining Hatfield and The North) for their next album, For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night (1973), which was another highlight for the band, followed by a Live album with orchestra, Caravan and the New Symphonia (1974). Although gaining a dedicated following, the band could never quite break through to popular success. In 1974, and their first U.S. tour (now with Mike Wedgewood on bass), they attempted to make it in America, and following a successful tour, their next album Cunning Stunts (1975) did finally crack the charts in both the UK and U.S., but just barely. Sinclair left after that, and subsequent more mainstream albums Blind Dog at St Dunstans (1976) and Better By Far (1977) failed to expand their fanbase, resulting in the band calling it quits after that. An eighties revival of the band resulted in a couple of subsequent albums, but could not match the earlier band's ouput. But as seems to be the pattern, the original lineup reunited for an event in 1990, which re-ignited interest, and resulted in re-forming and touring shortly after, and various forms of the band has continued to play right up to the present.
Here we have the band in their first U.S. Tour in 1974, in an excellent radio broadcast recording featuring the band plying songs primarily from their excellent For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night Album, along with some earlier favorites. A fine show from a wonderful band that never quite got their due.     

Tracklist:
1. Announcement by radio dj
2. Memory Lain, Hugh
3. Headloss
4. For Richard
5. Band introduction / Virgin On The Ridiculous
6. Be All Right
7. Chance Of A Lifetime
8. The Love In Your Eye

Total time 1:05:40

Pye Hastings - Guitar & Vocal
Geoffrey Richardson - Viola, Guitar, Flute
Dave Sinclair - Keyboards
Mike Wedgwood - Bass & Vocal
Richard Coghlan - Drums

FLAC - Caravan_1974-11-10_Record Plant_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Caravan_1974-11-10_Record Plant_mp3.rar

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

(Pierre Moerlen's) Gong - 1976-10-25 - Tomblaine, France

(Pierre Moerlen's) Gong
1976-10-25
Nancy (Tomblaine), France
'Live Express!'

Audience recording, good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

As noted in the previous post, following Daevid Allen's and then Steve Hillage's departure from Gong in 1975-1976, percussionist Pierre Moerlen took control of the band, moved the band more in a direction of percussion-oriented jazz-rock, bringing in brother Benoit Moerlen and Mireille Bauer on vibes and mallet percussion and additional percussionist Mino Cinelli. But also bringing in journeyman progressive rocker guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Because Gong was still under contract to Virgin for 2 more albums, this new lineup continued under the name Gong, but this was a decidedly different band from the Daevid Allen days. Following those next 2 albums (Gazeuse!-1976 and Expresso II-1978), the band's name was officailly changed to Pierre Moerlen's Gong. By 1979, Holdsworth was gone, and Mike Oldfield came in to play guitar on their next album, Downwind (1979), as lineups continued to change each year. By 1980 and the album Time is the Key, the band brought in jazz keyboardist Peter Lemer (as well as Holdsworth on a couple tracks) and featured an even more mallet percussion-based progressive jazz-rock style, to stunning effect. That is actually my very favorite album from any incarnation of Gong, as it is wholly unique in sound and style, and consisting of an almost percussion ensemble instrumentation and a cool progressive jazz-rock vibe, a beautiful album. After a live album (Pierre Moerlen's Gong Live-1980) and another studio album (Leave it Open-1981), the band's output became more sporadic, with albums in 1986 (Breakthrough) and 1988 (Second Wind), before breaking up. However, a Gong band never really goes away, former PMG members Hansford Rowe (bass), Bon Lozaga (guitar), and Benoit Moerlen (percusssion) formed Gongzilla in 1991, and eventually, Pierre started up a new assemblage of musicians under the PMG name, releasing Pentanine in 2004. Moerlen began working on another new album in 2005 with a group of French musicians, but then died suddenly and unexpectedly. The rest of the band eventually finished the album and released it as Tribute in 2010.
Here we have a show from the early stages of Pierre Moerlen's Gong, in 1976, following the release of Gazeuse! (Expresso in North America). Would have liked to post something from the Time is the Key stage of the band, but unfortunately, no available recordings exist. But this is still good, too.

Tracklist:
01. Expresso
02. Wish
03. Mandrake
04. Esnuria
05. Night Illusion
06. Flute & Percussion Duet
07. Percolations
08. Shadows Of
09. Expresso Reprise
10. Gattox

Didier Malherbe - Sax, flutes
Allan Holdsworth - guitar
Francis Moze - bass
Pierre Moerlen - drums, percussion
Benoit Moerlen - vibraphone
Mireille Bauer - vibraphone, marimba
Mino Cinelli - percussion

FLAC - Gong_1976-10-25_France_FLAC.rar


Mp3 - Gong_1976-10-25_France_mp3.rar

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gong - 1974-11-04 - Postaula, Bremen, Germany

Gong
1974-11-04
Postaula, Bremen, Germany

Pre-FM Recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Going back to the early days of Soft Machine, when singer-guitarist Daevid Allen was denied re-entry into the UK following a French tour (1967), he settled in Paris, and along with his partner, vocalist Gilli Smyth, formed a new band, called Gong. Although both the personnel and style of the band shifted regularly through the early years and their first album (Magick Brother, 1970), by their 2nd album, Camembert Electrique (1971), they had established the sort of hippie, progressive, psychedelic/space-rock they became known for. Their next three albums (Flying Teapot-1972, Angel's Egg-1973, and You-1974) comprise the continuing story of their Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, which chronicles the adventures of Zero the Hero, the Good Witch Yoni and the Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong (yes, it's that kind of band), and is generally considered the prime period of Gong. Although lineups still fluctuated regularly, this period featured the classic lineup of Daevid Allen (vovals, guitar), joined by Steve Hillage (guitar), Mike Howlett (bass), Didier Malherbe (saxes, flute), Tim Blake (synthesizers), Pierre Moerlen (drums, percussion), Mirelle Bauer (percussion), and Gilli Smyth (vocal improvisations). Most of this form of the band also participated in recording Steve Hillage's first solo album, Fish Rising, around this time. However, this stage of the band came to an end when in 1975, Daevid Allen suddenly refused to go on stage citing a "wall of force" preventing him doing so, and abruptly quit the band. Gong continued without him (and Tim Blake, who had quit earlier) but Steve Hillage was increasingly uncomfortable in the band without Allen, and left during the recording of their next album, Shamal (1976). At that time, the band was split into 2 factions, with Howlett wanting to continue with vocals, and Moerlen and his cohorts pushing for an all instrumental, more jazz fusion-focused band. Moerlen won out and began shaping the band into a mallet percussion-based progressive jazz-rock band. The first album under this new direction was Gazeuse! (1976, re-titled Expresso in North America). Although the band retained the name Gong for an additional album, Expresso II (1978), due to contractual reasons, this band had little in common with the original Gong, and subsequently changed it's name to Pierre Moerlen's Gong for all subsequent albums (more on them later). But Daevid Allen was not quite finished with Gong-related bands either, and would form and/or encourage several other incarnations in subsequent years, forming Planet Gong from Here & Now in 1977 and New York Gong in 1979, and Gilli Smyth (with Allen's approval) also formed Mother Gong around this time, all keeping the Gong sound going. In later years, Allen started Gongmaison in 1989, which eventually went back to just being Gong permanently in 1992, and has continued on in various forms since then, even after the deaths of Daevid Allen (2015) and Gilli Smyth (2016).
Here we have a great Pre-FM recording from the tale end of the classic period of the band, in late 1974 touring to support You, and featuring a variety of pieces from their Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, and various weirdness    

Tracklist:
01. Magick Mother Invocation / Master Builder
02. Perfect Mystery
03. Tropical Fish
04. I Never Glid Before
05. Sun Song (I Love It's Holy Mystery)
06. Flute Salad
07. Oily Way
08. Outer Temple Gliss
09. Inner Temple Gliss
    Gliss Gliss (Flying Teapot)
    A Sprinkling Of Clouds
10. You Can't Kill Me
11. On The Isle Of Everywhere
12. Get It Inner
13. Ya Never Blow Your Trip Forever
14. Why Don't You Try

Daevid Allen (guitar,voc)
Steve Hillage (guitar,voc)
Mike Howlett (guitar, bass)
Didier Malherbe (sax,flute)
Tim Blake (synth)
Laurie Allen (drums)
Miquette Giraudy (voc,dance)
Lisa Bois (percussion)
Venus Deluxe (Sound mixing)

FLAC - Gong_1974-11-04_Bremen_FLAC.rar


mp3 - Gong_1974-11-04_Bremen_mp3.rar