WELCOME TO THE CFZ BLOG NETWORK: COME AND JOIN THE FUN

Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

Search This Blog

SIGN UP FOR OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

Sunday, March 02, 2014

FORTEAN BIRD NEWS FROM THE WATCHER OF THE SKIES



What has Corinna's column of Fortean bird news got to do with cryptozoology?

Well, everything, actually!

In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out-of-place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. 







TODAY'S BIG CAT ROUND UP


The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. 

There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we are publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. 

The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why sometimes you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology but have everything to do with human/big cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 


  • VIDEO: Big Cat Live 2008 | Day Five Part A (+playl...
  • NEWSLINK: Simba - free at last
  • VIDEO: Film big cats - muziek van the cats....
  • VIDEO: Big Cat Habitat - Reality TV - Video Produc...
  • VIDEO: Born Free - The 50th Anniversary
  • VIDEO: African Cats Movie Trailer 3 Official (HD)


  • VIDEO: Save The World's Big Cats: A Short Film

    • GONZO WEEKLY #67

      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.
      THE GONZO WEEKLY
      all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
      Issue Sixty-Seven          March 1st
      I PROMISED THIS WOULD BECOME A MAGAZINE AND I ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP MY PROMISES
      NAMING THOSE RESPONSIBLE
      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)
      Lesley Madigan, Photographer par excellence
      Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
      Jessica Taylor, (PA and laughing at drunk pop stars)
      Dave McMann, (He ain't nothing but a) Newshound-dog
      Orrin Hare, (Sybarite and literary bon viveur)
      Mark Raines, (Cartoonist)
      Davey Curtis, (tales from the north)
      Jon Pertwee (Pop Culture memorabilia)
      and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)
      THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU AUBURN, A SCOTCH EGG, GALAHAD, JUDY DYBLE, DAVE BROCK, PSYCHEDELIC WARLORDS, ALAN DAVEY, MICHAEL DES BARRES, STRANGE FRUIT, PINK FLOYD, IRAN, PRINCE, ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE, UNREAL CITY, JEFF BECK, NATALIE HYNDE, SPIRITS BURNING, BRIDGET WISHART, MICK ABRAHAMS, ANDY COLQUHOUN, PERCY JONES, CLEARLIGHT, RICK WAKEMAN, MARIA VON TRAPP, PACO DE LUCIA, FRANNY BEECHER, DUFFY POWER, BOB CASALE, PAUL WHITROW, HAWKWIND, KEITH LEVENE, MISS O'DELL, MIKE RUTHERFORD, SENDELICA, GEOFF DOWNES, JON ANDERSON, THE BEATLES, RINGO STARR, PAUL MCCARTNEY, LINDA MCCARTNEY, PETER ANDRE, JUSTIN BEIBER, COWS, T, THIS MISERY GARDEN, TRAUMHAUS, CARCASS, JOHNNY HOLLOW
      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?)
      WHO GONZO? WHY GONZO? WHAT GONZO?
      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 someof our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
      Facebook
      Facebook
      Twitter
      Twitter
      Website
      Website
      Google Plus
      Google Plus
      Email
      Email
      Pinterest
      Pinterest
      LinkedIn
      LinkedIn
      SO WHAT IS ALL THIS ABOUT, ALFIE?
      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.
      MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE:  This is Gonzo, Do Not Panic
      The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that there is somewhat of a Hawkwind Bias in this week's issue. In an ideal world I would have strung the stories out over the next few issues, but it is not only a far from ideal world (and I spend many hours each week trying to bemoan the fact as far and wide as possible through my inky fingered scribblings, here and elsewhere), but it has to be said that in my opinion the job of a journalist is to report the news that (s)he thinks important rather than trying to manipulate it via artifice in order to make a glossier and slicker piece of product.

      As I have mentioned elsewhere, the two performances of Space Ritual are going to be among the undoubted cultural highlights of this year, and so - as a result - we have a plethora of news stories about them for you.

      This is the leaflet given out at the concert which entitled attendees to a discounted copy of the DVD. Now that offer has been extended to readers of this magazine.
      Goodbye old friend
      Yesterday afternoon I received the news that my long-time friend Joyce Howarth died unexpectedly in her sleep on Wednesday night. I had not seen her for some years but at one time she was a fixture at the CFZ. Nick Redfern affectionately partially based the character of 'Mother Sarah Graymalkin' from his book Three Men Seeking Monsters on her, and I wrote my song 'Hey You', which described "the wisest of all the wise women I know" about and for her. Her partner of 15 years, Steve Cummins, and her three daughters are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings be with you, my dears.

      This is particularly poignant for me because although she is far from being the first of my friends to have died, she is - I think - the first of my friends of roughly the same age as me who has died of natural causes. The others were all substance related, or died through accident or violence (mostly self-inflicted). As someone who is not in the best of health, Joyce dying suddenly at the age of sixty - only five years older than me - is somewhat of a shock.

      Rest in Peace my dear, sweet friend.
      Farewell to Thee! But not farewell
      To all my fondest thoughts of Thee;
      Within my heart they still shall dwell
                                           And they shall cheer and comfort me.                                                                                      Anne Bronte
      THE THREE COMMANDMENTS OF GONZO WEEKLY:

      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
      As is the rest of this magazine, this is mostly about music, and the bits of contemporary culture that I find interesting, but it also has a smattering of actual NEWS, especially if there are ethical questions that effect us all, or one of those put in authority over us does something spectacularly inane. The nearest that this section will ever come to politics is laughing at politicians.
      • Rock, rap and most forms of pop music are banned in Iran, because the government there believes it pollutes young minds and lead them to an un-Islamic world. Women are not allowed to sing in public and all published music must be approved by officials in Tehran. For the BBC World Service's Freedom2014 series, Behzad Bolour travelled to Sweden and Georgia to meet Iranian exiles who have found freedom of expression through music - which would be banned in their native country.  Read on..
      • He has already been told that an independent Scotland may not be able to stay in the EU or keep the pound. But now Alex Salmond faces perhaps the biggest threat his dream of Scottish statehood. For the country’s first minister has now been warned that, if it opts for secession, Scotland might not be allowed to enter the Eurovision Song Contest.  Read on...
      • Pink Floyd’s Youtube page has posted a very interesting video regarding something called The Pink Floyd Exhibition – Their Mortal Remains. The video does not give much away at this stage and, typical of Pink Floyd unveilings, has an element of mystery about it! Read on...
      • People who have been stripped of benefits could be charged by the government for trying to appeal against the decision to an independent judge.  Critics said the proposal, contained in an internal Department for Work and Pensions document leaked to the Guardian, would hit some of the poorest people in Britain, who have been left with little or no income. 
      • A Fatwa has been issued against living on Mars by clerics who say that trying to set up home there would be un-Islamic. The fatwa – or ruling – was issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) in the UAE after the Mars One organisation announced that it would try and establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. The committee argued that an attempt to dwell on the planet would be so hazardous as to be suicidal and killing oneself is not permitted by Islam. Read on.. 
      • Tenants in Brick Lane have been threatened with council fines if they keep their restaurants open late – despite the fact they don’t own any. David Donoghue, a 66-year-old part-time consultant, said he and his neighbours living above the Famous Curry Bazaar were sent letters by recorded delivery telling them to adhere to permitted opening hours. He said: “It’s stupid, bureaucratic nonsense. The letters were sent to all the residents. How stupid is that? “What are they doing sending recorded delivery letters to people who have nothing to do with the businesses, telling them they will be fined for something over which they have no control? It’s insane.”  Read on...
      THE LAST WEEK AT GONZO DAILY
      Sunday
      Monday
      Tuesday
      Wednesday
      Thursday
      Friday
      Saturday
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  New Live Video for "Hurting"
      They are coming along slowly. I wish I had about 60% more hours in the day so I could do everything that I am supposed to, but I haven't which is why everything takes such a long time. However, here is the second exclusive live video of Auburn Acoustic live in Wolverhampton in January.

      And also, just in, news of a new gig:
      Auburn
      May 9, 2014 at 8:00pm
      The Terrace, Grantham Street, Lincoln, LN2 1BD, UK
      AUBURN AT GONZO (UK)
      AUBURN AT GONZO (USA)
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The latest adventures of the purple one
      I am very much looking forward to hearing the new Prince album 'Plectrum Electrum'; the bits I have seen/heard so far of his new band  3rdeyegirl are completely awesome. The recent guerilla London shows were apparently incandescent. But has Princemania started to wane? Friday night's show at the 2,600-capacity Manchester Academy 1 had not sold out by the time the gig began, and a second performance in the same venue that same night – announced by Prince's manager via Twitter – did not take place.

      All but 400 tickets for the gig were sold online in advance – and sold out almost immediately – with the remainder being held back for sale on the night. Again the price was £70 rather than the £10 of his first couple of shows in London. But Princevault.com reports that only around 250-300 of the one-the-night tickets were sold, with everyone who queued getting in. Read on...
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Acid Mothers Temple Japanese show

      We do have readers in Japan, so dudes, this is for you:
      And whilst on the subject of Acid Mothers Temple, here is the rather gorgeous artwork for their next US & Canadian tour "Astrorgasm From The Inner Temple Tour" by John Howard!!
      CHECK 'EM OUT AT GONZO (UK)
      CHECK 'EM OUT AT GONZO (USA)
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
      Some months ago, our friend Francesca Zanetta told me that her band 'Unreal City' were curating a festival in Milan. The other day I saw that she was on Facebook so I asked her for some more news.

      She wrote back:

      Jon, i'm sorry for the delay, so far the festival in Parma has been delayed because we have several shows during the next months and we could not follow the festival in the way we'd have liked to. But the festival WILL take place, i guess next fall or winter

      However, we are planning a tour for upcoming spring/summer and we'll take part of next Riviera Prog 2014 in Italy on the 16th May and Terra Incognita ProgFest in Quebec City, Canada on the 18th May
      PECULIAR STORY OF THE WEEK:  

      Cops still investigating stolen Scotch egg… one month after theft


      Police have become the subject of a running joke after announcing an investigation into the theft — of a SCOTCH EGG.
      A woman picked up a £1.65 packet of the snacks in a Co-Op and ate them before leaving the store without paying. The crime happened in Minehead, Somerset, ONE month ago and Avon and Somerset police are still trying to crack it. The force has now issued pictures of the hardened criminal and announced: “The theft has been reported to police and an investigation has begun.” They add: “If you recognise the woman, contact Avon and Somerset Police on 101 and quote 9774/14.”
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Galahad's new video
      Released this week: The promotional video of the Galahad track 'Seize the Day' filmed at the 2 Days Prog Festival in Veruno, Italy in September 2013 to accompany the release of their 'Seize the Day' EP.

      'Seize The Day' contains a single and album version of the title track, taken from 2012 album 'Battle Scars', along with updated versions of two older songs.

      The band explain: “21st Century Painted Lady is based upon Painted Lady, which was first recorded in the mid-1980s but has been given a major overhaul. It now includes a second verse which should have appeared on the original version but didn’t. 

      Bug Eye, from 1998 album Following Ghosts, has also been brought up to date for 2014. A live version of the original arrangement is also included on the EP.”

      Galahad hope the release will appeal to established fans but also act as a taster for those who haven’t previously heard their work.

      Work on two other EPs has been completed with the help of studio accomplice Karl Groom, who’s about to embark upon a remix of 2007 album Empires Never Last. “We’ve completely run out of stock physical copies,” say the band. “We decided instead of merely going for a re-pressing, we’d spruce up the album, add a few extra tracks and re-issue it in a digipack format later in 2014.”

      Galahad’s 'Seize The Day' EP will be released on February 24 and it’s available for pre-order now. Galahad have been confirmed for this year’s Celebr8.3 festival in June, and for their first-ever Swedish appearance in Gothenburg on March 1. They’ll also play a charity fundraising set at the Christchurch Music Festival on July 5.
      Tracklist
      1. Seize the Day (single version)
      2. Seize the Day (album version)
      3. 21st Century Painted Lady
      4. 21st Century Painted Lady (instrumental)
      5. Bug Eye 2014
      6. Bug Eye (live)
      GALAHAD AT GONZO (UK)
      GALAHAD AT GONZO (USA)
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Paul Whitrow debuts his new album
      I have been friends with Paul Whitrow ever since our shared (and equally mis-spent) youth. My first wife and I were at a record fair in Cheltenham doing our best to sell some rather badly packaged bootleg tapes of The Beatles doing various things during the Get Back sessions in the late winter of 1969.

      Up came a slightly sinister young man who proclaimed to us that he was an arresting officer of the BPI and that we were now under arrest. I looked horrified and Alison was about to burst into tears when he burst intro hysterical and ever-so-slightly manic laughter and introduced himself.

      Ever since that day in 1988 we have been firm friends and I have followed his career as flaneur, musician and record producer with interest. For ages he has been working on a record called ‘Black Ops’, and has occasionally privileged me by sharing bits of it. Now, with over half of it complete, he is sharing it with you as well.

      I think it is an extraordinary record, and totally confirms the faith I have had in Paul as an artist for years. Check it out. You will not be disappointed. 
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Judy Dyble's new extraordinary video
      This week Judy Dyble released what is possibly the most beautiful, poignant and touching videothat I have ever seen for a pop song. It is a video for 'Wintersong' from her Flow and Change album, and was directed by an eminent Italian film director called Francesco Paladino. Since music has been made there have been love songs, and since the music video was first made there have been videos for love songs. But I have never seen one like this.

      Featuring Paladino's own parents, his mother in her eighties and his father in his nineties, this is a love story; a story of what love really means. Nothing to do with chocolate boxes and soft focus camera effects, this film shows his parents about their daily routine, when first thing in the morning his mother cares for his bedridden father, washing him, cleaning him, and cuddling him, but above all loving him. I defy anyone to watch this video without crying.

      I telephoned Judy for a chat about the video. Listen to the conversation HERE.

      And, by the way, there is another gig at the O2 in the offing: 16th March 2.30pm
      JUDY DYBLE AT GONZO (UK)
      JUDY DYBLE AT GONZO (USA)
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Dave Brock Krazy Kaption Kompetition
      What on earth is the Obercheesenmeister up to now?

      The best email to me wins a prize...
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Psychedelic Warlords in Kidderminster
      http://www.boars-head-kidderminster.co.uk
      ALAN DAVEY AT GONZO USA
      ALAN DAVEY AT GONZO UK
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Michael Des Barres on the radio
      MICHAEL DES BARRES AT GONZO USA
      MICHAEL DES BARRES AT GONZO UK
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
      Two stories from my favourite roving reporter this week. The first one concerns a young lady who was actually once in a band with Gonzo Weekly contributor Orrin Hare.

      Natalie Hynde, the daughter of former Kinks frontman Ray Davies and Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, has been found guilty of "besetting," or causing difficulty to, a test-drilling site in Balcombe, England. The 32-year-old, along with 55-year-old Simon Medhurst, had superglued themselves together around the drill site's gate on July 31st to create a "striking and symbolic" media image, according to The BBC, to raise awareness about fracking (a technique to fracture shale rock and retrieve natural gasses within). Hynde and Medhurst both denied wrongdoing.Read on...

      And secondly, in an interview with Rolling Stone last year, Jeff Beck said he was reluctant to release another album unless he found an entirely new sound. “I've got it,” he says now with a laugh, though he's not ready to share the details yet. “I think I’d rather save the surprise. But it’s not Western style, if you know what I mean. Read on...
      THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Gonzo Web Radio
      There is a new episode of Strange Fruit, but first Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is looking for help. 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.

      Strange Fruit, Miskin’s Radio’s home of alternative, off-the-wall and otherwise generally strange sounds is looking for a co-presenter. This is not a paid job, but would give the lucky individual the chance to present two hour shows of music generally ignored by radio, and broadcast them twice a month to be heard by Miskin Radio’s audience online and then archived on Gonzo Multimedia’s website, where their audience would devour them. Radio experience would be useful, but isn’t necessary. The ideal candidate would be able to come to our Dartford studios, be trained and begin work when ready. Alternatively, anyone capable of self-producing and Dropboxing shows will be considered. Fame and wealth are unlikely but the chance to indulge your most maverick musical tastes knows few limits in this job. In the first instance email Neil Nixon, nlnxn@aol.com to express an interest. Also check out our shows on Gonzo Multimedia’s web radio page and Miskin Radio’s own site – www.miskinradio.co.uk

      STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 58 Part One
      Date Published: 1st March 2014
      Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds asome new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks).  Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is currently working on a book about rare albums for Gonzo Multimedia.  
      The show is broadcast on Miskin Radio every Sunday from 10-00-midnight.

      part one
      part two

      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
      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 jon@eclipse.co.uk. 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.
      GONZO RELEASES FOR MARCH 2014
      1. Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart “Make Believe It Real” 
      This album adds a new chapter to the Spirits Burning story. The twelfth Spirits Burning CD is the first to be a double CD: Disc 1 features 11 new compositions, and disc 2 features remixes and songs that were previously available on compilations only.
      2. Mick Abrahams - Novox
      Over the years, the legendary Mick Abrahams of Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig recorded a number of solo albums, steeped in the delta blues DNA that had mystically been passed down to him by Robert Johnson. These include this fantastic instrumental album from 2000, entitled “Novox” (No vox, instrumental? Geddit?) Mick is 70 now, and not in the best of health, but he still has the heart of a bluesman and the remarkable musicianship on this gem of an album pays testament to that.
      3. Andy Colquhoun - Pick Up The Phone America!
      Andy Colquhoun is a guitarist with a peerless pedigree. He first came to the notice of the music press when in 1977 his band Warsaw Pakt recorded an album (Needle Time) that was in the shops 24 hours after the first note was recorded. After Warsaw Pakt, he joined Brian James' Tanz Der Youth, (described as the world’s first hippy punks) subsequently moved on to the band The Pink Fairies, and then a band with ex-MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer. For the best part of thirty years he was songwriting partner and collaborator with the legendary Mick Farren; a partnership which only ended with Mick’s sad death in July 2013. In 2001 he released his first ever solo album He writes: “There comes a time in the life of every guitar player when he or she gets the chance to make a solo album. This is my attempt, and I've put as much guitar on it as possible.
      4. Percy Jones Ensemble - Propeller Music
      Fretless electric bassist Percy Jones has carved out his place in fusion and progressive rock during his longstanding affiliation with the bands Brand X and Tunnels. Furthermore, Jones represents one of the early innovators of the electric bass despite a lack of widespread recognition. Yet, since the mid-'70s, the artist's signature sound and style to coincide with his enviable chops has at times, been overshadowed by others who reside a bit closer to the limelight. The album is a peculiar, though satisfying mix of jazz fusion and electronica, and is another one of those classic albums that slipped through the cracks at the time, which is just unfair. Great tunes, great compositions, great musicianship. What’s not to like?
      5. Clearlight - Impressionist Symphony
      Clearlight’s “Impressionist Symphony” focuses on the artistic style of impressionism, painting and music as well with a Ravel, Satie and Debussy influence merged with Cyrille Verdeaux’s progressive music experience and linked with the French impressionist school of painting.The release celebrates the 40th anniversary of “Clearlight Symphony,” an early classic Virgin Record release, which featured Cyrille’s compositional skills and virtuoso keyboard playing, with performances by Gong family members Tim Blake, Steve Hillage, and Didier Malherbe, and others.
      6. Rick Wakeman - Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 
      Wakeman teamed up with Tim Rice to write the 1984 album, a musical adaptation of George Orwell's book of the same name. The project was a flop for a couple of reasons; critics panned it because Rice's lyrics tried to give the adaptation an upbeat ending, something the book did not have. Secondly, when Wakeman wanted to tour the production in the U.S. Orwell's estate would not give clearance. The show was performed in the U.K. though and this concert features the opening overture and scattered later in the program, "Julia" and "The Proles." The show overall is a mish-mash featuring "Sea Horses" from the Rhapsodies album and then proven crowd pleasers from King Arthur, Henry VIII and Journey. In the liner notes Wakeman says that he was at a low point in his career when this show was taped; his father had just died, he was going through a divorce and he was not happy with the line-up of his band. He doesn't single anyone out but the female vocalist here doesn't live up to the work done on the record by Chaka Khan. Still the show has its redeeming values; the arrangements are changed on the familiar stuff from the three main albums and the band tackles the difficult "Catherine of Aragon" and "Anne of Cleaves" for the first time ever live. Wakeman introduces every song, joking that then the audience will have advance notice as to when to go to the bathroom.
      BACK ISSUES OF THIS PERIODICAL
      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
      THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Maria Von Trapp (1914-2014)
      “The last surviving member of the famous Trapp Family Singers made famous in The Sound of Music has died at her home in Vermont, aged 99.
      Von Trapp's brother, Johannes von Trapp, said she died on Tuesday. He called her a "lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people".
      The family won acclaim throughout Europe for their singing and escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. Their story was turned into the film and Broadway musical.
      Maria von Trapp was the third child and second-oldest daughter of Austrian naval captain Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp.”  Read on:
      THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Paco de Lucía (1947-2014)
      Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomes , known as Paco de Lucía, was a Spanish flamenco composer, guitarist and producer. He was noted for his fast and fluent picados and his innovations saw him play a key role in the development of traditional Flamenco and the evolution of New Flamenco and Latin jazz fusion from the 1970s.  Read on…
      THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Franny Beecher (1921 - 2014)

      Francis "Franny" Beecher, also known asFrank Beecher, was the lead guitarist for Bill Haley & His Comets from 1954 to 1962, and composed the classics "Blue Comet Blues", "Goofin' Around", "Week End", and "Shaky" when he was the lead guitarist for them.  He is best remembered for his innovative guitar solos combining elements of country music and jazz.
       Read on…
      THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Duffy Power (1941 - 2014)

      Duffy Power was born Raymond Leslie Howard and was an English blues and rock and roll singer, who achieved some success in the 1960s. He recorded a series of cover versions of such songs as "Dream Lover" and "Ain't She Sweet".  He was discovered in 1959 singing at a talent show with his group Duffy and the Dreamers, by Larry Parnes, who renamed him Duffy Power in the style of Parnes' other discoveries, such as Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Vince Eager and Georgie Fame. Read on …
      Following our obituary of Devo’s Bob Casale was last week, our friend and colleague Paul Whitrow shares his thoughts on Bob’s passing …..

      It is with a heavy heart that I reflect upon one of my biggest influences passing on to the next episode of enforced Devolution. Bob II Casale, incendiary guitarist, sound engineer, record producer and selfless legend. An essential cog in the five gears of one of the most forward thinking bands ever to change our perceptions, and make us think about the bigger picture of it all. Lauded and applauded early on by David Bowie and Brian Eno, I've since found out that Bowie worked uncredited on the first Devo album, but only at weekends. Eno added sonic textures to all the songs featured on their first album, yet Devo were so focused on delivering an uncompromised vision, that only four of his musical contributions made the final cut.

      My route into the band was first hearing them on Hugh Cornwell and Robert Williams's groundbreakingly unique Nosferatu album. "The bottom line is always on a path where no-one goes, so jump and shout, work those rhythms out", to quote Rhythmic Itch, the stand out closer of side one. This was intense knowledge for a twelve year old to discover and hold, so I ventured further inside with Freedom of Choice, 1980's meisterwerk. A lifelong love and deep respect of their music and ideology ensued. Hugh once recounted a story to me of visiting a restaurant with the five identical "Spud Boys". They perused the English menu with apparent distain, had a coded board meeting then all opted for the steak. An obvious choice for visiting Americans, yet it expressed Devo's uniquely collaborative vision and gave Hugh a right chuckle.

      Reflecting upon reaction to their incandescent work, Bob's brother Gerry recounted that they were thought of as both Nazis and Clowns. This took them to the hilarious process of wondering what an album made by Nazi Clowns would sound like? Duty Now For The Future, featuring the empirical and deeply humourous Triumph Of The Will, with the beautiful rhyming couplet of "I'm not a wanker or a banker" followed. Devo's legacy of the antagonistic deconstruction of the American dream/myth, though unshakable ideas and visionary multimedia put them years ahead of the competition and in a class of their own. Beautifully handcrafted electronic rock and roll, most of it put to tape by the ever present studio wizard and all round good guy Bob II, in their own Recombo DNA labs. Their film and video presentations, and the music Bob crafted showed fearlessness, true vision, musical honesty and an ever present dark humour. Bob was so excited about going out on the road again, 2010's Something For Everybody showed they still led the field and were always uncompromisingly Devo. Bob's heart gave out eventually; he'd endlessly given so much. He leaves behind wife Lisa and two children, Alex and Samantha and a whole host of beautiful mutants. Love you more than you'll ever know, dear Bob II...
       
      THERE IS NOW A GONZO WEEKLY SHOP
      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... 
      http://www.zazzle.co.uk/gonzoweekly
      COVER STORY: Hawkwind revisit Space Ritual

      by Jon Downes
      In Search of the Space Ritual

      Hawkwind have been part of my life for a very long time. Back during the summer of 1972 when I first discovered pop music for myself, Top of the Pops had a bewildering amount of goodies on show; as well as the poppy glam stuff that I favoured there were occasional forays into the charts by more exotic artistes. Like the bunch of hippies who rather scared me, with the peculiar video featuring lots of bubbles and a statuesque girl that my best mate at school told me was called “Stacy” whom (it was whispered at school) actually danced on stage with no clothes on.

      This was enough to make the hormonally naïve 12 year old Jonathan a massive fan overnight, and as I was also discovering the Science Fiction juvenilia of Robert Heinlein at the time, the shouted chorus of “I’ve got a silver machine” fitted rather well into my adolescent inter galactic fantasies.

      The first Hawkwind album that I either bought or heard was the double live Space Ritual that was released in 1973. The album was recorded during the tour to promote their Doremi Fasol Latido album, which comprises the bulk of this set. In addition, there are new tracks ("Born To Go", "Upside Down" and "Orgone Accumulator") and the songs are interspersed by electronic and spoken pieces making this one continuous performance. Their recent hit single "Silver Machine" was excluded from the set, and only "Master of the Universe" remains from their first two albums.

      The Space Ritual show attempted to create a full audio-visual experience, representing themes developed by Barney Bubbles and Robert Calvert entwining the fantasy of Starfarers in suspended animation travelling through time and space with the concept of the music of the spheres. The performance featured dancers Stacia, Miss Renee, Jonathan Carney (later of the V8 Intercepters) and Tony Carrera, stage set by Bubbles, lightshow by Liquid Len and poetry recitations by Calvert. On entering the venue, audience members were given a programme (reproduced on the 1996 remaster CD) featuring a short sci-fi story by Bubbles setting the band in a Starfarers scenario returning to Earth.

      I first saw them live at a peculiar festival at Snapper outside Barnstaple in 1981. It was peculiar not just because it was my first rock festival, but for other reasons as well. In those days I was an innocent and not very streetwise fellow in my early twenties, and I still believed that world peace could be achieved by the ingestion of various noxious substances whilst sitting in muddy fields listening to musical ensembles make whooshing noises on (what seem to me now) to be very primitive synthesisers.

      I was, I believe, watching Hawkwind playing a spectacularly odd version of Master of the Universe,and like most of the rest of the audience, who were cold, muddy and uncomfortable, pretending that I was enjoying myself whilst in reality I was in dire need of both a lavatory and a nice cup of tea, and totally unwilling to avail myself of the horribly rudimentary versions of either facility that had been laid on for our “comfort” by the euphemistically named “organisers” of the event. About a hundred yards to my right were the serried ranks of the local Hells Angel fraternity who were encamped en masse like an iron clad phalanx of doom. It was only twelve years after Altamont, and even in the bucolic wastelands of rural Devon, they felt that they had something to live up to. Unfortunately, for me at least, they had decided to set up camp immediately between the area where I had set up my tiny tent and parked my car, and the main exit, and several of the nastiest and meanest looking of them were patrolling the area armed with pool cues and what I think were hollowed out pickaxe handles that had been filled with molten lead. I was therefore somewhat marooned, and feeling uncomfortable, isolated, alone and more than a little frightened.

      Suddenly, in the middle of what appeared to me to be a sea of greasy black leather jackets, emerged a delicate, fey looking figure, wearing an extraordinary array of satins and silks in a variety of peacock colours. It looked for all the world as if one of the gaily coloured inhabitants of one of Arthur Rackham`s fairy paintings had suddenly been transported into the middle of a field of leather-clad Neanderthals. The figure tripped gaily towards me, and appeared to my addled brain to be floating like a surreal, and rainbow-hued butterfly above the sea of mud and motorbikes. As it got closer I could see that it was a youth, hardly old enough to shave with an angelic halo of light brown hair surrounding a face that was covered with intricate paintings of butterflies and lotus flowers. He came and sat next to me and my companions.

      Much to my amazement everyone else who was with me seemed to take this apparition in their stride. “`Lo Danny”, one of them grunted cheerfully, “`ow are y`doing?”. Another friend asked him what the hell he had been doing wandering blithely through the middle of the taciturn, unfriendly and potentially dangerous crowd of bikers. “Ahhhhh they`re harmless.” he said, in an Irish accent that he seemed to be able to turn on and off at will, “and anyway they wouldn`t hurt me...I am legion, I am many”.

      I saw Hawkwind maybe a dozen times over the next decade, usually in the company of Danny and my other degenerate friends, culminating in the legendary Treworgey Tree Fayre in Cornwall during the long, hot and rebellious summer of 1989. Then, for some reason that I am not able to adequately explain, I didn’t see them again for nearly 25 years.

      In those 25 years the music business, and the counter culture that had fuelled the activities of bands like Hawkwind had changed beyond all recognition. Despite what people like to claim there is still a music business and there is still a counterculture, but neither of them are as high profile in society as they were when Hawkwind first released Space Ritual forty-one years ago. So it is a strange time for Hawkwind to have – almost out of the blue – done what people have been pressuring them to do for many years, and - for two nights only – they played the Space Ritual live on stage for the first time since 1973.

      And Gonzo was there.

      The dates were announced late last year, Hawkwind posting a message “Hawkwind to play the Space Ritual (yes you read that correctly)” on their website, and over the next few weeks the twin events were revealed to be even more extraordinary: “We are thinking about doing a full day dress/production rehearsal for our Space Ritual show, which takes place at the Rock 4 Rescue event at The Shepherds Bush Empire on Feb 22nd... It would be on Friday February 21st in Seaton in Devon...We would be trying things out all day with a full run through of the show in the evening...” the message concluding with an invitation to contact them if you were interested.

      I heard all about it via my friend and colleague Graham Inglis who lives in a peculiar corner of my house, and was not at all surprised to find that – being a Hawkwind fan of Biblical proportions – he was intending to go to both events.

      Then fate, in the person of the Gonzo Multimedia grande fromage stepped in. At the beginning of February I had a terse email from him instructing me and Graham to keep the weekend of the 21/22 free. A few days later I had a very crackly ‘phone call from Nevada in which he told me what was happening.

      A few days earlier this announcement was posted on Facebook: “We are happy to let you know that “Space Ritual Preview Day” is going ahead as planned at The Gateway in Seaton, Devon, on Fri 21st Feb 2014. Doors will open at 2pm for sound check, production rehearsals and run throughs of various parts of the set with lightshow and dancers. We plan to have a complete dress rehearsal early evening (approx 6pm – 8pm or 7pm – 9pm depending on how the day has worked out).

      As this is a rehearsal day and the unexpected can happen, all times are approximate and the programme is liable to change without notice”. There will be a full bar and food available throughout the day. Filming is expected to take place throughout the afternoon and evening. Your attendance at the event will be taken and accepted as your consent and agreement for your image to be used in any media produced from the event”.


      Yes, it certainly was being filmed and guess who the crew filming it were?

      Graham and I left home at an unfeasibly early hour and arrived in Seaton soon after our target time of 10:30. We had been led to believe that the band were due in just after mid-day, and we wanted to show our professionalism and be there before them. In the event nothing happened for several hours and whilst Graham prowled around the neighbourhood I fell asleep in the car. At around about mid-day we wandered into the hall and set up our equipment, and again, for some time, wandered about the place doing very little.

      By 2:00 people (both band and punters) were beginning to arrive; we introduced ourselves to various band members including the two dancers (Laura and Steff) and Mr Dibs, and Niall Hone, and interviews were duly carried out. At this point I should probably explain that we had been booked to film extras for the DVD release of the concert later in the year.

      By 3:00 various musician types were vaguely wandering about on stage and the silence was rudely interrupted with beeping noises from synthesisers and aggressive guitar chords. There was no sign of Dave Brock or Tim Blake or Richard Chadwick, but then suddenly there they all were and the entire 2014 incarnation of Hawkwind were on the stage playing remarkably sprightly. And then suddenly they weren’t again, but then again they were back again.

      This is actually the first time I have seen Hawkwind with my central nervous system buoyed up with nothing more potent than chocolate, tea and Benson and Hedges (which considering that was supposed to have given up smoking in 2008, and that I am a diabetic who shouldn’t even look at chocolate that was – I suppose – as harmful as anything I used to take back in my mis-spent youth. But, even without drugs, the whole event had an unreal, Alice in Wonderland type quality about it. It wasn’t just that here was a major band rehearsing and soundchecking in front of us, doing in public what most performers do only behind locked doors, but the whole fabric of reality was pushing us into a mindset that I hadn’t experienced in years.

      Surprisingly there was no-one there in the audience that I knew. We were only twenty something miles away from Exeter where I had lived for twenty years and hung out for much of that time with various reputable and disreputable members of the local hippy subculture. But none of them were to be seen; either they had all died, or grown up, or been forced to get proper jobs. I couldn’t believe that none of them were interested.

      There was something very humbling about being able to watch the creative process in action. As I commented later to Richard Chadwick, usually when you see a band on stage there is the “us and them” syndrome – performers vs audience. But here was something completely different. Usually one sees a band on stage, doing their thing, and a song begins with a shout of “1-2-3-4” or four taps on a hi-hat or whatever. But here it was much more organic!

      The various musicians intermittently doodled on their instruments, but sometimes – hesitantly at first – one or more of the players would join in with someone’s playing, and almost imperceptibly the whole band was playing together in unison. It was akin to watching one of those huge murmurations of starlings, when thousands of them, following a cue that only makes sense within the flock, suddenly change direction and start doing something completely different. It was very organic and very special. In fact it was magickal in the truest sense of the word.

      There has always been something magickal and invocatory about Hawkwind – not for nothing was the most iconic record in their canon of work entitled the Space Ritual. For it was a magickal working, utilising a piece of theatre, and a vague literary concept to produce something very special which spread positive vibrations through everyone who was present, (and I suspect, much further afield)

      The evening show was astounding. Astounding sounds Amazing music if I may recoin a term.  There was a warmth that I really had not been expecting from the band. I have seen them on multiple occasions, and followed their career for four decades, but warmth is a concept that I have never associated with the band. Maybe it was the fact that I was sober for the first time at aHawkwind gig? Maybe it was because both the band and I had grown up? Maybe it was just because it was a beautiful, magickal event at which no-one could possibly have been arch. Who knows? Who cares? It is the synergistic result that matters.

      It was the first time I had ever had anything to do with the legendary Tim Blake, and I must say that he is an extraordinary fellow. A gnomic sonic magician, he hunched over his instruments with a manic gleam in his eye, conducting rites of musical alchemy, and occasionally capering about the stage with the energy of a man half his age. I suspect that he is not entirely human, because there is something of the faerie realm about him.

      The rest of the band were true to the description Michael Moorcock gave when he described them right at the beginning of their musickal journey: “When I first saw them, they seemed like barbarians who'd got hold of a lot of electronic gear: instead of being self-conscious and pseudo-intellectual, they were actually of the electronic age. They weren't impressed by their own gear. They weren't anti-technology - they celebrated it..” And Blake is some sort of an emissary from another world who had been conjured into this one by their musickal (the K is intentional) rites of Spring.

      All too soon it was over, and Graham and I gathered up Rob Ayling (who had arrived at about 5:00 after two days of insanely stupid travelling) and took him back to North Devon and our tumbledown cottage full of animals and music for a few hours well-deserved sleep.

      The next day we drove to London. This is not a travelogue as such, and so I will not bore you all with descriptions of the journey and its alarums and excursions, but needless to say we arrived in London just about in time to see the end of the soundcheck.

      The whole vibe of the Saturday show was perforce far more serious and intense than the day before. Whereas Seaton had been like an afternoon picnic for the extended Hawkfamily, this was serious stuff. The band played like daemons, and the whole performance was elegantly brutal, and one of the most intense things that I have ever seen. I am seriously looking forward to the DVD.

      But as an experience I preferred the gentler vibe of the day before; the small children, the pretty girls in ridiculous home made silly hats and the elderly hippies dressed like oversized garden gnomes. The Saturday show will undoubtedly be seen as one of the great cultural events of 2014, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I am also very proud of being part of the team that will be bringing you the DVD package. But I enjoyed the Friday more, and for me at least it was a truly life affirming experience.

      Om Shanti 
      All Hawkwind pictures below taken by Rob Ayling
      EXCLUSIVE: New (old) Music from Keith Levene
      Keith Levene is certainly best known as one of the founder members of two seminal 1970s bands; Public Image Limited and The Clash. I got to know him recently, and I must say that he is a fascinating bloke, and I am off to London next weekend to film him.

      He left PiL in 1983 and what happened next is documented by Wikipedia. In the PiLarticle it claims: “Atkins, like Levene and Lydon, was a control freak, but Levene had the disadvantage of having repeatedly fired Atkins over apparent trifles, and of being incapacitated on heroin much of the time—so when conflict arose again, Levene was the one to go. An aborted fourth album recorded in 1982 was later released by Levene as ‘Commercial Zone’, which included contributions from bass player Pete Jones. Lydon and Atkins claim that Levene stole the master tapes.”, and in a separate article for ‘Commercial Zone’ they go into more depth:

      “In May 1981 PiL moved from London to New York City, but in October 1981 their American record contract with Warner Brothers expired and was not renewed. In January 1982 the British music press reported that PiL had tried to record a new album in New York with producers Adam Kidron and Ken Lockie, but split instead – this was promptly denied by the band in a press release the following week.

      "In May 1982 drummer Martin Atkins rejoined the band and PiL started recording their new studio album for Virgin Records at Park South Studios in Manhattan, with sound engineer Bob Miller co-producing. On 29 August 1982 new bassist Pete Jones joined the band in the studio, the new line-up played its debut concert four weeks later (28 September 1982 in New York City). During the second half of 1982 the band planned to form their own record label (Public Enterprise Productions) and license its releases to Stiff Records USA for the American market, but these plans never materialised.

      "In early November 1982 PiL announced the imminent release of a new single "Blue Water" and a six-track mini album You Are Now Entering A Commercial Zone on their new label. This did not happen, with the band instead continuing to record a full-length album at Park South Studios.

      "By March 1983 a new track "This Is Not A Love Song" was earmarked as a new single by the band, but PiL broke up when first Pete Jones and then Keith Levene left the band. The single "This Is Not A Love Song" (with "Blue Water" as a 12" single B-side, both from the South Park sessions) was released in Japan by Nippon Columbia in June 1983. Virgin Records released it in the UK in September 1983, where it went to no.5 in the UK single charts.

      "The remaining members, John Lydon and drummer Martin Atkins hired session musicians to fulfill touring commitments and carried on under the PiL name.

      "In mid-1983, in PiL's absence, Keith Levene took the unfinished album tapes and did his own mix. He then flew over to London and presented them to Richard Branson as the finished new PiL album for Virgin Records, but John Lydon decided to completely abandon the tapes and re-record the whole album from scratch with session musicians. This new version of Commercial Zone became This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get in 1984.

      "Levene decided to put the album out himself on the American market and on 30 January 1984 registered the label PIL Records Inc. for this one-off release.

      "The first limited pressing was heavily imported to the UK and European market. A second pressing (with the track listing changed around and a shorter mix of "Bad Night") followed in August 1984 in an edition of 30,000 copies, to compete directly with the official re-recorded album This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get. Virgin Records promptly took legal actions and stopped the distribution and any further re-pressings of Commercial Zone.”

      But according to Keith this isn’t the way it happened at all, and as he works on a reimagined version of the record, he described to me what actually happened. You can listen to our conversation HERE.
      Mixmag: Broad Oak Valley story
      The greatest light show on EarthPin It
      See all 2 photos
      The greatest light show on Earth

      Broad Oak Valley

      Broad Oak Valley, near Canterbury in Kent. Anne and I arrived just as the setting Sun was breaking from behind a cloud, spangling the sky in a wild burst of reds and golds: the greatest light show on Earth. Anne is 39, the mother of three kids. She'd got a baby-sitter in for the night. Right now she was wearing a little velvet number and a pair of shiny patent leather Docs. Dressed up to party. She had the window open as we puttered through the quiet Kent countryside: listening for Nightingales. But it's typical of her optimism. She didn't hear a Nightingale. Instead she said, "that means that they've all found mates." The most beautiful songs come from the loneliest birds she told me.
      We're on our way to a free party, put on by tVC of Kent and Rogue of Lincoln. The tVC/Rogue Mutual Admiration Society. The usual things happen. I miss the turning and get lost down some dusty lane. I turn around and I'm just about to give up when another car comes roaring in. And luckily they know where the party is. We clatter over a bank of rubble and into the garden of a boarded-up house. Everyone's busy, setting up the marquee, hanging from the canvas to pull the guy-ropes tight. Someone is lighting a fire. Piles of equipment lie scattered around in disarray. Everyone's running about, having a laugh, giddily anticipating the Night's promise.
      Well, Broad Oak has a history. It was compulsorily purchased some thirty years ago to make way for a reservoir. Only they never did build the reservoir. And since the late '60s it's been the scene of countless parties. How many of you rememberKevin Ayres or the Soft Machine? These were the hippest people back then. Kevin Ayres dyed his hair purple. He had a deep, sonorous voice, and his lyrics sounded dead cool when you were tripping. They were responsible for a number of the parties. Later - in 1976 - someone else tried to hold a free festival here. It was the People's Free Festival, unfortunate offspring of the earlier Windsor festivals, now banned. The police did what they usually do: they fenced off great swathes of the countryside and mounted a 24-hour cordon for several days. Local people said that they'd rather have put up with the hippies. The festival ended up on the muddy wastes of Seasalter marsh about seven miles away. Lots of people took their clothes off to protest at harassment by the drug squad. They made the front page of the local paper. Some of my friends still talk about the event. It was the most memorable thing in their lives.
      Well nothing changes does it? We still try to hold parties, the police still try to stop us, and we still move on when we have to.

      Read on...
      NOW AVAILABLE FROM GONZO MULTIMEDIA

      "Stone writes with intelligence, wit and sensitivity."
      Times Literary Supplement

      "Wry, acute, and sometimes hellishly entertaining essays in squalor and rebellion."
      Herald


      "The best guide to the Underground since Charon ferried dead souls across the Styx."
      Independent on Sunday

      C J STONE AT GONZO (UK)
      C J STONE AT GONZO (USA)
      SOME OTHER BOOKS BY C.J.STONE

      Housing Benefit Hill: 
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Housing-Benefit-Hill-Other-Places/dp/190259343X

      • Hardcover: 352 pages
      • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Edition edition (29 Oct 2009)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 1416590935
      • ISBN-13: 978-1416590934
      • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.1 cm
      •  
      As you may have noticed I am somewhat of a Beatles obsessive. I am also a self-styled rock and roll archaeologist with an ever growing collection of rock and roll biographies.

      I first heard of Chris O’Dell, not via either of the famous songs written about her (‘Pisces Apple Lady’ by Leon Russell and ‘Miss O’Dell’ by George Harrison) but via the disarming portrait of her in Robert Greenfield’s Journey Through America with The Rolling Stoneswhich is one of my favourite books. 
      She was an integral part of the 1972 American tour, during which the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the world promoted their recent ‘Exile on Main Street’ double album, and Greenfield’s description of her portrayed her as a charming, slightly naïf young lady who in many ways acted as Wendy to the family of Rock and Roll Lost Boys.

      I knew very little else about her, but when I found a copy of this autobiography, (about which I knew absolutely nothing) on Amazon one evening when – mildly in my cups – I was giving my credit card some exercise, I snapped it up and added it to my order. I then promptly forgot all about it, and was pleasantly surprised when it landed on my door mat on one of the days when I was Hawkwinding last weekend.

      During my two days recuperation from my labouring in the psychedelic vineyard, I sat down with the kittens and some diabetic chocolate and devoured the book in a couple of sittings. I never realised what an extraordinary career this slight and self effacing young lady from Oklahoma had between the fag end of the sixties and the time that the eighties became utterly unbearable. She worked with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and more. She had affairs with Ringo Starr (but still managed to remain friends with Maureen) and Mick Jagger, and probably others but unlike poor Marianne Faithfull, despite adventures with Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll managed to escape relatively unscathed, and still a rather nice person, and basically fulfilled the role of little sister to a whole plethora of rock and rollers.

      Whereas Marianne’s two volumes of autobiography (and, don’t get me wrong, I am an enormous Marianne Faithfull fan) describe her descent into depravity and near disaster, Miss O’Dell (the book is named after George Harrison’s song about her) seems to have lived a relatively charmed life, and done mostly good things, and everyone looked out for and looked after her. The only villain of the piece seems to have been Eric Clapton, who comes over as a grumpy pain in the arse. However, some people could say that about me, so who am I to cast the first stone?

      This should have pride of place in your rock and roll bookshelf, as a companion piece to Richard DeLello’s massively entertaining The Longest Cocktail Party.
      HAWKWIND NEWS
      (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..
      You can't judge a book by its cover?

      While the main topic of conversation among Hawkwind fans has been the recent Space Ritual show in London, some have taken time out to comment on a recent 'book' called "Hawkwind members" and which is being advertised on the Barnes & Noble bookshop site.

      Bizarrely, the material is, the order page states, sourced from Wikipedia (!) and the book consists of a mere 22 pages, and yet is selling for $15. Unsurprisingly, no-one's yet said they've bought it - and fan remarks on the deal thus far have been, well, somewhat less than flattering.

      Space is Deep!

      Britain's Channel 4 broadcaster have, I've heard, included 'Silver Machine' on one of their trailers for a forthcoming series on space. That song's surfaced before in a promo role - having been used in a TV advert by the Ford motor company, and, quite some years earlier, the Mazda car company. It's perhaps a shame that the makers of brushed-aluminium washing machines haven't picked up on the song yet. 
      Mechanical Years
      mikebookIt was with great anticipation that I ordered and devoured Mike Rutherford‘s autobiography The Living Years.  After all, Mike’s been a musical hero to me, from his early days in Genesis to their triumphant years of global popularity through to his solo work.  His underrated guitar and Rickenbacker bass playing, particularly during the early years of the band is studied and assured.  In fact, there have been several chances lately with The Musical Box and Steve Hackett performing early Genesis to witness how Mike played that double necked instrument and it’s a striking thing to behold.  Once Peter Gabriel left the group followed by Steve Hackett two years later, I stuck with the band, never being one to hate on later Genesis for being more pop and less progressive (okay, save maybe for the title track to Invisible Touch.)   So while I looked forward to Mike’s story about the early formative days, I expected to be pleased with the coverage of his entire career and what he might share of his personal life.
      After reading the work, there are some pro’s and con’s to the autobiography.  There is a key framing device – Mike’s love for his father, and feelings that they did not connect sufficiently during his lifetime – it’s a beautiful sentiment and I would expect nothing less from this gentle soul.  But the book is short at only 239 pages, and the amount of space spent explaining his father’s life, including writings from his journals, leaves too little room for Mike to reflect at proper length on the different stages of his career.  He does offer a comparatively thorough assessment of his early years growing up, becoming rebellious as a teen, and joining Anthony Phillips and the gang in early groups, leading the reader through those times, including how the group that became Genesis formed, their debut album, and first par releaseTrespass.  But after giving those very early formative years full attention, each album or major event afterwards, from the years 1971 on, are addressed with shorter passages, each revealing fewer observations and gems from Mike as author than would be hoped.  In some cases, Mike seems not to have perspective on his work, particularly it’s early, more progressive leanings.
      mikepikNotably, there’s only a page and a half about the brilliant Selling England by the Pound in which Mike does not reflect on his growth, saying it “wasn’t my favorite album” and wondering how they ended up writing a hit single “I Know What I Like” – even though we can all recall that was a riff Steve Hackett developed and contributed.  Little else is said about the artistry of Hackett other than the usual track about how he left the band, his timing in deciding to release his first solo album (just after Gabriel’s departure) and how he had some trouble fitting in to the group.  Also, though a lot is said about their friendship, nothing substantial is written about his work with Anthony on the gorgeous Geese and the Ghost record.  Mike also gives short mention to the wonderful lyrics he’s written, reflecting that his writing in later years was more fitting.
      FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

      Hi Jon,
      Have you ever featured Welsh psychedelic/space rock band Sendelica in your Gonzo Multimedia pages?  A few months ago I did an interview with founder and guitarist Pete Bingham for Cambria magazine, which hopefully should be appearing in print very soon.
      If you'd like an interview or an album review (they are just about to release a compilation of some of their earlier pieces on vinyl - see http://sendelica.bandcamp.com/), it would be quite easy to arrange, although I do have a bias towards the band seeing as Pete recently asked me to join as stand-in bassist (long-time bass player Glenda Pescado isn't always available to play live because of work commitments).
      My first gig with Sendelica will be 7th March at the Zephyr, in Leamington Spa, supporting Here & Now. (Wish me luck!)
      Gavin

      This letter from our old friend Gavin Lloyd Wilson arrived in my in-box the very day that I posted my story about them last weekend. However, I have been listening to several more of their albums and am especially impressed by their very Fortean THE MEGALITHS -THE MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS VOLUME 1 AND 2
      He actually IS called Jon Pertwee, and he runs a shop selling  pop culture memorabilia with a special emphasis on Dr Who related stuff. He is an old mate of mine, and from now on will be doing a regular column in this magazine. Hooray!
      He also appears on BBC Radio Devon on Wednesdays at 10pm if you are in the area
      I always wondered about annuals; they were often the gift of a particularly dotty aunt when I was growing up. I got a "Sweeney" one once from her inscribed inside, "I hope this book isn’t too violent dear". I’m not sure if she was referring to a deer being violent to one of the coppers from the show, or if she thought my life was a lemonade and balloon party at that time and she feared it would seep into the world of the TV show and corrupt it. Who knows or indeed cares! The annual came about at the start of the 20th Century, but records do show that versions of a coloured h/b book were about at festive times just before that. It is the cult TV ones I would like to touch upon in this wordage.
      The annuals I came to know and love were the ones from the shows that the Beeb used to screen; I vividly recall the bright garish covers of “The Avengers” issue with John Steed, standing over a spread-legged Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt (excuse me I must refer to that cover again for a few mins!) and that one was the very first that actually stayed with me for years. Obviously the whole idea of a children’s annual was that it gave the tot something to read on Boxing Day. They normally had puzzles, comic strips, and copy and pasted photos from the particular show inside. The “Dr Who” issues became a regular staple for any ‘Who’ fan whether it was 
      Hartnell staring sternly at the butterfly men who seemed to be making a nest in the Tardis roof or Colin Baker – well, being Colin Baker, a lot of the early “Who”  annuals used art work to sell the book and then towards the end of their run the mighty cut and paste crew snipped and snapped a few office used shots of the actor who was the Doctor at that time. Huge embarrassment when Tom B became Peter D and the only photos available of the incoming Doc were from ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ - hurrumph!

      I raise a glass to the annuals of yore. Gawd bless you every one, except the ones with a CERTAIN actor plastered on their cover. Grrr you ruined that Xmas!
      THE WORLD OF GONZO ACCORDING TO GHOSTMAN RAINES
      THE YES CIRCULAR - TIME AND A WORD
      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
      Things are beginning to pick up this week with more news from the Yes camp and from all their various alumni this week than we have had for a while. It's still not a bumper crop but better than it has been for a while. .  We have: Rick Wakeman announces Glasgow date for sci-fi tour , aninterview with Geoff Downes and various Jon Anderson bits and bobs on his current tour hereherehere, and here. And we also have an interesting interview with erstwhile member, and more recently their producer Trevor Horn
      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! 
      MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (UK)
      MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (USA)
      Changing the world one gift at a time
      The worldwide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

      http://uk.freecycle.org/
      CARTOONS, ASTROLOGY, POETRY
      What do you turn to when you open your paper?
      First-you have to have a newspaper!128 have closed since 2008
      Many are anorexic reminders of advertising circulars
      Some just a pastiche of mass circulation wire service news
      Very local community newspapers still exist despite small circulations
      To pay for journalists,photographers,cartoonists is a crunch
      Circulation limits may be challenged via high value subscriptions
      (like trade journals,art magazines,special interest publications)-
      but these are intermittent and rarely published daily 
      Blogs run on an entirely different model-some sell products
      some are pay per view,some a combination of product placement and artistic process
      There is no longer any one monolith like those days of William Randolph Hearst 
      not even the Media Empire of Rupert Murdoch.Workers remember Wapping,strikes,job losses-
      even now pink slips await random journalists of high quality.What sells?
      Well-who is buying?and what exactly are you selling?
      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, and, may I say, peculiar things. But once again this week it is over to my lovely wife...
      Every week I tell myself not to look on Ebay to see what I can find that I can comment on in this column.  It does, let's face it, become a bit predictable after a while.  But that candle flame keeps calling me back to flutter around the listings.  I don't apologise for the fact that this week contains not one, but two Beatle-related items.  Beatlemania will never die, it seems.  The first just had me scratching my head, and the second made me angry.

      So why am I more than a little confused about this first one? The listing on Ebay states: “Ringo Starr Photos 1984 saturday night live appearance, back stage.”  So these – mostly blurry – photos are up for grabs at a starting bid of US $99,000 (£59,384.56)?  Wow, that’s a lot of dosh for a rather crappy set of photos in my opinion.  However, let us continue. The description starts off reasonably well, if not a tad incoherent and rather badly presented:
      Ringo Starr .....12/8/1984 ....28 years ago..original pictures. personal pictures taken by me...i took these pictures of Ringo Starr as he passed by me backstage, nodding his head hello.
        nice guy!
      they are original pictures never before seen, although some are a bit out of focus. 
       the whole show and the cast and crew were just great.
       I'm selling full rights and ownership. ( of course, the "Ringo" text is not on the originals !)
      ” – well d’oh.

      Apart from his skills at adding up not being what you would call, ‘on the ball’ , and I am not going to suggest that he ran out of fingers because that would be too sarcastic – darn did I say that out loud? Anyway, then comes the postscript:

      of course, i'm kidding about the price. Ringo , my favorite beatle, ever heard about this!
      sheesh!   i dont know but he might remember this experiece at the end of the show that night in 1984>>>
      as he was leaving the studio, he came out of his dressing room and headed down the
      hallway with a group of people, he was going to the elevator down the hall, he looked happy like he had a fun time
      that  night..  ..... i said " hey ringo, can i
      take your picture?" and i think he said " something ?????" i'm not really sure. i think "time"  is all i really heard, not sure.
       i didnt take his picture.
        then he put on his sunglasses, smiled and walked by.
        he just was too cool.
      great night!.....benny
      .”

      So for what price are these pretty naff photos up for sale then? Or are they even up for sale at all? Or is this postscript a cover in case someone is fool enough to bid before reading everything?

      Je ne comprends pas, monsieur.
      And so on to the next one

      RARE PAUL McCARTNEY MEDAL FROM PAUL & LINDA McCARTNEY BEATLES RELATED

      “THIS WAS A MEDAL GIVEN TO "TERRY" ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO HELPED WITH  PAUL McCARTNEY'S WORLD CAMPAIGN 1989-1990”

      Buy it now price is  £999,999.00 with free standard delivery (gosh, my cup runneth over with delight at this generosity).  However, if you read further you come across
       this

        
      Now, according to this link the current bid is £300 and the auction ends on the 13th March, whereas the Ebay auction ends on 26th March.  So is this some kind of crazy bluff going on here?  Draw folk in to check out the outrageous Ebay price, who then find the link to the auction, which then hopefully leads to more people bidding on the item?   With two watchers on the item on Ebay is this bluff going to work the other way and will someone actually spend the higher amount?  Surely not.  No-one would be that stupid?  Who knows?

      When I first saw this, before checking out the other link, my first reaction was disgust.  Disgust that something made as a gimmick would have such a high price when war medals are having to be sold for so much less, just so that those who were awarded them defending this country can survive under our government’s caring patronage.

      But after discovering what appears to be some dupe, I am still disgusted.  But disgusted for different reasons. The word charlatan comes to mind.

      I can but hope that the candle flame flickers and dies before I am again looking for bizarre items for this column.  I hope that next week, I can resist pressing that Ebay button and then can be spared such things as these.  It doesn't do my sanity or blood-pressure good at all.

      Slipknot got it right you know:  Some “People (do) equal shit.”  
      MISLEADING HEADLINE OF THE WEEK:
      "CONFIRMED: Peter Andre and Emily MacDonagh give birth to 'beautiful baby girl' at Musgrove Park Hospital." 

      Wow did he?  How did he manage that exactly?  Or is this the new way of announcing births these days in the name of equality? And why do we actually need to know this anyway - it's not as if babies are born once in a blue moon, and only then to 'famous' people. Huh? Oh yes, of course, how would those magazines like 'Hello' make their money?
      Well, the Miami police have released it. I am not particularly sure why they felt it necessary so to do.  Or is this yet another publicity stunt in the making?  Of what am I writing?   The ‘riveting’ video of Justin Beiber’s sobriety test, that’s what.  If you are partial to watching paint dry, watch away.  I gave it around 2 seconds before I decided that I would rather watch the sticky paint-drip of a particularly nasty shade of puce make its way slowly down a freshly painted wall. Perhaps if he had clicked the heels of those red shoes together,the whole episode may have turned out to be a dream. Oh how I wish, then we wouldn't have to be witness to such trivial 'headlines' as this.
      And before I go .....
      Continuing on from termites gnawing faster to heavy rock music, 
      c
      ows make more milk when listening to slow jams  so there you go. 
      SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION TIME

      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...
      INTRODUCING THE NINE HENRYS
      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...
      The Weird Weekend is the largest yearly gathering of mystery animal investigators in the English-speaking world. Now in its fifteenth year, the convention attracts speakers and visitors from all over the world and showcases the findings of investigators into strange phenomena.
      Cryptozoologists, parapsychologists, ufologists, and folklorists are descending on Woolfardisworthy Community Centre to share their findings and insights. Unlike other events, the Weird Weekend will also include workshops giving tips to budding paranormal investigators, and even a programme of special events for children. The Weird Weekend is the only fortean conference in the world that is truly a family event, although those veterans of previous events should be reassured that it is still as anarchically silly as ever!
      The event is raising money for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s only full time, professional cryptozoological organisation. The profit from food and beverages goes to a selection of village charities, mostly working with children.
      BUY TICKETS AT A SPECIAL ADVANCE PRICE
      the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
      THE WORLD OF KEV ROWLAND
      t           Psychoanorexia          (PROGRESSIVE PROMOTION)
      Both in the press release and on his website, Thomas Thielen has a mission statement about this album which is well worth reproducing here. “This is the time when ringtone applicability equals musical quality. This is the place where the greed of being a popstar has replaced the sublime experience of creativity. This is the era in which democracy means mass phenomena, not choices. When we have become too lazy even for subterfuges. And too busy to feel the loss. This is the age when equality means mediocrity, fame defames excellence, education encourages despondency. We excel in conformity, we celebrate our empty hands. We may not burn books, but we skim them.
      We may not slaughter heretics', but we overshout them. We strive, long, hunger for nothing, thus nobody strive, long, hunger. Fascistic, yet aimless aposiopetic selves. Timetabled freedom. Death in Bologna. Psychoanorexia.”

      Yes, this is an album that wants, in fact demands, that we think. Thomas wrote, performed, recorded, engineered and produced the album but it doesn’t come across as a one-man band, as it is so carefully constructed and layered. The piano may well be the bedrock of all that he does, but this is more than just a pianist attempting to bring in some other instrumentation to pad it out, but instead this is all about the right instrument for the right emotional feel and approach. When he brings in electric guitar it fairly blasts out of the speakers, with “Kryptonite Monologues” actually managing to have more than just a hint of Rammstein about it. There are times when this is crunching stadium-filling anthem rock with blistering guitar solos, while at others it is Muse on steroids, Floyd for the masses, Porcupine Tree for the many.

      It is not an album that will make its’ full presence felt on just one or two plays, this does need some work but rewards the listener for their patience. Apparently Thomas states that he is a “strictly under-average musician on quite a few instruments, none of which he is capable of playing properly”. Somehow I think he is a master of understatement, as certainly that doesn’t come across on the album. Complex, complicated, majestic and soaring, this is quite a piece of work. There are only four songs, but it is still well over an hour long, and well worth investigating. 

      THIS MISERY GARDEN    Another Great Day On Earth     (PROGROCK)
      Originally formed in Geneva in 2005, TMG recorded some demo tracks in 2006 that gained them some attention in the local music scene, and led to them recording this their debut album in 2007. Fast forward to the end of 2009 and the album was reissued through Prog Rock, SPV and Galileo. Now in 2013 they have just released the follow-up, ‘Cornerstone’, so it seems like a good time to go back and see what the debut gave us. Straight from the off it is obvious that Katatonia have been a major influence on the guys, with a cold bleakness permeating through their riffing guitars. There is plenty of emotion and atmosphere on display, and I initially I was somewhat surprised that it has taken them so long to build on this.
      A Perfect Circle is another reference point, as is The Cure, but it is the bleakness of Katatonia that has had a major impact on the band, and given my liking of that group it can’t be a bad thing. But, I did find my interest wandering during the fourteen songs and was somewhat surprised to notice that it had finished playing in the background and I hadn’t noticed. So I went back through it again, and found that while playing just a few songs was interesting, playing the whole album wasn’t so much. Although the style and application is positive, more work is required on the songs. But, this was a debut and it has taken them six years to deliver the follow-up so maybe that new one is better, but while this is okay it is never more than that.
      TRAUMHAUS          Die Andere Seite        (SAUSTARK RECORDS)
      I recently received a copy of Traumhaus’s third album, which reminded me that I really ought to get my ass into gear and review their second, which was released in 2008 (I haven’t had it since then, honest!). At the time they were a trio of Tobias Hampl (guitars), Alexander Weyland  (vocals, keyboards), Hans Jrg Schmitz (drums, percussion) with guest bassist Jordan H. Gazall. The album is sung in German, a somewhat unusual approach given that most German prog bands use English, but it really works. It reminds me at times of one of my favourite German prog acts, Grobschnitt, especially with their use of mellotron as they have a very Seventies feel to the music. Also, the vocals are very much sung in a register where Alexander can concentrate on emotion, and only goes higher when there is a need instead of trying to sing higher all the time.
      The guitars have a strident edge, while the keyboards provide the layering, and Hans knows when to pummel the kit or when to just gently tap on a cymbal here and there. The result is a band who clearly understand the need for space within the music and while at times it can be almost overpowering in its’ intensity, there are others when it is quite calming and soothing. The layers can be wound into and across each other so that they have strength, or unwrapped and loose to that there is room for it all to flow and breathe.

      It is an album of grace and passion, one that brings a smile to the face of this proghead every time I play it. If you missed this when it came out back in ’08 then you owe it to your ears to get hold of it now.

      CARCASS        Surgical Steel          (NUCLEAR BLAST)
      Carcass was originally formed by guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Ken Owen in 1985 under the name Disattack. After releasing one demo the bassist and singer left to be replaced by vocalist Sanjiv and bassist Jeff Walker.  They changed their name to Carcass and in April 1987, recorded the ‘Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment’ demo, after which vocalist Sanjiv departed leaving the core of Walker, Steer and Owen. They shared the vocal duties, and after just four days the classic ‘Reek of Putrefaction’ was completed. The band, with additional guitarists, released some incredible albums with ‘Necrotiscm – Decanting the Insalubrious’ being probably the highlight, but in 1995 they called it a day. 
      At the end of the Nineties Ken Owen suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which meant that when a version of the band reformed in 2007 he could not be involved, so Daniel Erlandsson took his place while Michael Amott, Bill Steer and Jeff Walker played some festivals. So why all the ancient history? Well, it’s important to put into context just how significant this band was in the development of extreme music, and just how great it is to have them back again. Bill Steer and Jeff Walker have brought in drummer Daniel Wilding as Ken is still not well enough to play, and have taken ‘Necroticism’ as a starting point, cranked it up, and then blasted through any preconceived ideas.

      This is crushing, crunching, dynamic stuff. The wonderful song titles are still there (“Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” or  “Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard”) for example, but to be honest this is all about complex and complicated metal with guitar runs to die for. Metal really doesn’t get much better than this, with the only question being why on earth has it taken so long for these guys to get back into the studio. Two production heavyweights, Colin Richardson and Andy Sneap, have ensured that every nuance and every ounce of brutality has been captured on what has to be one of the most incredible comeback albums ever. It really is as if these guys have never been away, and anyone who has ever nodded a bonce to their work in the past is going to incredibly pleased with what has been delivered here. Let’s hope that they don’t wait quite so long for the next one.

      With this Carcass have proved that they are back with a vengeance – stunning metal that deserves to be played at 11. 
      A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO JOHNNY HOLLOW
      by Corinna
      Apart from the fact that the cover of their album 'Dirty Hands' (above) is mesmerising beyond belief, Johnny Hollow captured my attention due to them being away from the norm.  Their cover of The Doors' 'People are Strange' is as strange as it should be.

      Formed in 2003 and from Toronto, Johnny Hollow's Facebook page describes them as "Gothic chamber music for the 21st century", filed under the "Ambiently Atmospheric Electronic Gothic Chamber Alternative Rock" genre. You can't say fairer than that.

      Brilliant - give them a look out if you haven't already. 
      THE BEST LAID PLANS...
      I am getting old. I'm not complaining about the fact, but entropy only works in one direction, and it is a fact that this afternoon when my new intern told me she was born in 1997, I had been married for twelve years and divorced for eighteen months. Time's Arrow only points in one direction and mine is getting rusty.
      I don't like to admit to my advancing years but I am disabled, nearly 55 and about as far from being a spring chicken as it is possible to be, which is probably why I was so exhausted when we returned after three days of Hawkwinding last weekend.

      Sadly, I have to admit that it took me until Wednesday to be properly awake and alert again, and that I spent most of Monday and Tuesday asleep. Corinna did a smashing job editing last weeks's edition, which is good because she is doing it again next weekend as Graham and I once again go up to London to film a special project by the legendary Keith Levene. More on this in a couple of weeks.

      So life goes on, and things continue to happen and the future remains reasonably bright (if you disregard the ridiculous antics of those put in power over us). But enough of my bellyaching about stuff, after all I do have the body of a Greek God, even though it's Silenus.
      Copyright © Gonzo/CFZ Press 2013  All rights reserved.

      Our mailing address is:
      The Gonzo Weekly,
      The Centre for Fortean Zoology,
      Myrtle Cottage,
      Woolfardisworthy,
      Bideford, North Devon
      EX39 5QR

      Telephone 01237 431413
      Fax+44 (0)7006-074-925


      unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences