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...

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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Sunday, February 09, 2014


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. 

  • NEWSLINK: Big cat and little cat are purr-fect pal...
  • US SIGHTINGS: Key To Southern California Mountain ...

  • NEWSLINK: The little big cats! Animal haircuts cra...
  • GROTESQUE: Giraffe Killed At Denmark Zoo Because 'Marius' Is Surplus To Requirements

    marius giraffeA bid to save a young giraffe from destruction at Copenhagen Zoo has failed, and the giraffe was put down on Sunday morning.
    Thousands of people had signed an online petitions appealing for a change of heart over the two-year-old called Marius.
    The zoo said it had no choice because of its duty to avoid in-breeding.
    Marius was due to be killed by a bolt gun, not a lethal injection, which would contaminate the meat.
    The carcass will partly be used for research and partly to feed carnivores at the zoo.
    The UK's Yorkshire Wildlife Park - which has a state-of-the-art giraffe house and the capacity for an extra male - was among several zoos which put in a last-ditch offers to take Marius.
    It said it was "saddened" by the killing of the animal.
    'Good practice'
    Stine Jensen, from Denmark's Organisation Against the Suffering of Animals, said the situation "should not have occurred".

    Start Quote

    I can't believe it. We offered to save his life. Zoos need to change the way they do business”
    Robert KrijuffDirector of Dutch wildlife park
    "It just shows that the zoo is in fact not the ethical institution that it wants to portray itself as being, because here you have a waste product - that being Marius.
    "Here we have a zoo which thinks that putting this giraffe down instead of thinking of alternatives is the best option," she said.
    But Bengt Holst, scientific director at the Danish zoo, defended Marius's destruction, saying that giraffes had to be selected to ensure the best genes were passed down to ensure the animal's long-term survival.
    He told the BBC it was a responsible practice on the part of zoos to manage their animal populations to ensure they remained healthy, with some 20-30 animals put down at Copenhagen Zoo in a typical year.


    The Gonzo Daily - Sunday
    On Sundays I will find the time
    to write my daily blogs in rhyme
    "Why?" you ask (finding it confusing)
    It's simple, I find the task amusing
    But of peace and quiet I'm desirous,
    'cos I'm still getting over rhinovirus
    and have a nasty, chesty cough
    so I'm gonna take the afternoon off
    Maybe I will go to bed
    or curl up in my chair instead
    dislodging the resident blogs
    who sleep there whilst I do the blogs
    I'm not sure what I truly need
    but I have a load of books to read
    if I don't I will get in a muddle
    and while I read them there are kittens to cuddle
    so this afternoon (I have to say)
    I will have quite a fulfilling day
    so while I sleep with my two dogs
    I hope you folk enjoy the blogs

    You will (I hope) be pleased to hear that Issue 64 of the Gonzo Weekly is now here. This issue features Liz Lenten's scrapbook of the tour they did with Jefferson Starship, an exclusive interview with Bridget Wishart about Spirits Burning, Hawkwind and all sorts of other things, new music from Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life, new music from Mike Davis and Lizzy Rowe, the new Small Faces compilation album, the Small School in Hartland, the legendary Roy Weard on why we make music, Clepsydra tour dates and more news, reviews, views, interviews and brindled gnus (OK, no specialised African antelopes but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's COMPLETELY FREE!!!
    I am already working on Issue 65, which will feature an EXCLUSIVE Pink Fairies interview and lotsa other good stuff..
    To make sure that you don't miss your copy of future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe
    PS. If you are already a subscriber but think that you haven't been receiving your copies please check your spam filters. For some reason known only to the Gods of the internet, some e-mail programmes automatically count the magazine as 'spam' probably because it comes from a mass mailer. Either that or they are just jealous of our peerless content

    *  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

    *  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html
    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    *  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 54 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

    CRYPTOLINK: San Francisco Sea Serpent: Our Own Nessie, Go Find Her

    A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

    There she is!
    Forget Bigfoot, Yeti, and Nessie, San Francisco has its own mysterious creature.
    The San Francisco sea serpent, according to Mysterious Destinations Magazine, has been swimming through the bay since at least the 1800s and has been spotted lurking in the waters near Marina Green.
    In artist renderings of our sea serpent, who definitely needs a name -- and possibly a Twitter account -- she (he?) looks like an elongated eel with dorsal and pectoral fins. From a distance, one could say she resembles waves rolling in to the bay.
    While we're not convinced of her existence, we will admit it does appear something is going on in the water in this video at the 1:58 mark.

    Read on...


    This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed on the outskirts of a tiny village that nobody's heard of in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
    all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
    Issue Sixty-Four              February 8th
    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 is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
    What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is:
    C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes:

    "I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem."
                                     Hunter S. Thompson
    Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least someof our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
    Google Plus
    Google Plus
    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: Converting the potato shed
    The other day I had one of those debilitating 24 hour colds (touch wood) and for the afternoon I disappeared off to bed with little Archie and a clear conscience. Archie is, by the way, a small dog, just in case you think I am being even more decadent than usual.

    While I was asleep my new mixing desk arrived. As some of you may know I am upgrading my recording studio set up because I have a whole slew of exciting new projects in the pipeline. However, (as some of you may also know) I have a bad habit of not reading the adverts on eBay properly, and on this occasion it has turned round and bitten me on the bum. Because said mixing desk is enormous - nearly three times the size I thought it was, so the converted potato shed which doubled (triples?) as my study, office, editing suite and recording studio, as well as being home to two colonies of tropical cockroaches and various tropical fish, now needs a major overhaul just to fit the blasted thing in.
    Graham, Mark Raines and I (mostly Graham) manhandled the new mixing desk into the office, and much to my surprise it fits perfectly. We decided not to try and use it until we had sussed it out a bit, but then - to my great pleasure - we found an operating manual for free online.

    I haven't broken the news to young David (my nephew the electrician) yet that he will have to plumb it in, but I am sure he will roll his eyes in horror. Then mutter something about the fact that I should have consulted him before buying it, and then do a magnificent job. (I know that 'plumbing in' is the right word for washing machines, but as no plumbing is actually involved I don't know whether it applies to mixing desks, but I cannot think of a better term, and cannot be bothered to try).

    What are my exciting new projects that rely on me filling the potato shed with second-hand hardware? Well, I am not quite ready to divulge them just yet, so I am afraid that you will just have to wait and see...

    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.
    • Wilko Johnson will support Status Quo’s Frantic Four line-up on six shows of their final tour. The terminally ill guitarist continues to work despite doctors having predicted his cancer would kill him by last October. He’s just confirmed the release of an album, Going Back Home, with Who singer Roger Daltrey. Now he’ll open some of the last shows to be played by the Francis Rossi, Rick Parriff, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan line-up. Johnson says he’s delighted to be “working with the mighty Quo”.  Read on...
    • The post-Super Bowl press conference was temporarily interrupted when a crazed fan seized the microphone to deliver a bizarre rant about the 9/11 terrorist attack. The man stormed the stage where Most Valuable Player Malcom Smith was fielding questions about the game to claim the U.S. government was behind the strikes on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001. He shouted: 'Investigate 9/11 ... 9/11 was perpetrated by people in our own government.'  Read on...
    • There is now Gonzo Beer. It is nothing to do with us, but the blurb reads: Like Hunter S. Thompson...Gonzo Imperial Porter is deep and complex. This turbo charged version of the Road Dog Porter is mysteriously dark with a rich malty body, intense roasted flavors, and a surprisingly unique hop kick. With Gonzo weighing in at 9.2% ABV, it will bite you in the ass if you don’t show it the proper respect. IBU’s: 85. As I said, it is nothing to do with us, and I very much hope that I don't come across as the sort of person who will try and blag a few cases in return for some spurious product placement! Don't answer that question!
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Are you Croz with me?
    David Crosby appeared on US TV show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last week to promote Croz, his first solo album in 20 years. View his web-only performance of the song What’s Broken.

    This is the first album of 2014 that everybody and his aunt are raving about. I'm not. It's OK. In fact it is more than OK; it is exactly what one would have expected, except possibly slightly jazzier, and as such one cannot fault it, but it is not the groundbreaking masterwork that it is being hailed as. I think that it is an unfortunate by-product of the current music press that whenever heritage acts (and I cordially dislike that term, but cannot think of a better one) release a good album the scribes of the industry feel that they have to treat it as if it were 1972 again.

    It's not, and I feel that hailing each new album with hyperbole is counter productive. This is what happened a few months ago with Roy Harper's Man and Myth album, which was and is a perfectly good addition to the Harper canon of work, and is exactly what one would have hoped from him. But hailing these later career albums as if they have the same socio-political effect as the earlier records from an artist's career is both untrue and counterproductive.

    And in a way it lessens the worth of what are perfectly acceptable, interesting, and valid new albums. But enough of my ranting, I'm going off to listen to Croz again..
    David Crosby? You're my hero.
    Oh, you like my music?
    You're a musician?
    The Small Faces were the British archetypal “Mod” band of the sixties.  Formed in 1964, the original line up was Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston. The band were managed by Don Arden and soon secured a record deal. Within a short period of time, The Small Faces were a huge success, with hit singles such as, ‘Whatcha Gonna Do About It’,’ Sha La La La lee’ and ‘Hey Girl’. The band even made the number one slot with the single ‘All Or Nothing’.  Jimmy Winston left the band in 1965 and was replaced by keyboardist Ian McLagan. With the new line up the band continued to have hits including  ‘Itchycoo Park’,’ Tin Soldier’ and ‘Lazy Sunday’. They also recorded the highly regarded album, ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’. This line up remained together until Steve Marriott left in early 1969 to form Humble Pie.  The remaining members would hook up with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, enjoying massive success as ‘The Faces’, in the early to mid seventies.

    The Small Faces would occasionally reform over the years, most famously when ‘Itchycoo Park’, was reissued in 1976.  The reunion did not last long with Ronnie Lane leaving before any new recordings could take place. The re-formed band however, did record two studio albums with new bassist Rick Wills in 1977 and 1978. Steve Marriott died in a house fire in April 1991
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Superb Small Faces compilation
    One thing that isn't journalistic hyperbole this week is the new compilation album by 60s heroesThe Small Faces. The music press has been full of eulogistic descriptions of the quality of these remasters, but as I moaned in the previous piece, I am getting increasingly suspicious of music press hyperbole. As someone who has been a music journalist on and off for over thirty years, I am embarrassed to say that I am probably as guilty of this as everyone else, but as I rapidly become a crusty old git I am getting more and more critical both of myself and everyone else in the genre, and as I try to reinvent my own role within the brave new music business, I become increasingly critical of some of the others..

    However, I digress. All the reviews I have read praise the amazing clarity and crispness of these new masters, and I have to say that from the first few seconds of Here Comes the Nice I found myself offering up a mental apology to the deities of rock journalism. Because they really ARE superb.

    They are so good, that in many cases it is like listening to them for the first time, and you find entire nuances in songs that you have known for four or five decades, which leap out and grab you as if for the first time.

    Archie got massively upset by the dog barking on The Universal and had to be comforted with cuddles and a biscuit, whilst Prudence just grunted and slept through the whole thing. This one CD compilation is so good, that I am going to do my best to get hold of a copy of the entire box set. If it is half as good as this collection, it will be astounding.
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Prince Secret Gig
    I don't know who it was who said that the man who is tired of London is tired of life, but I bet he was not the sort of person who would have enjoyed sitting with Frunobulax and me in the potato shed. I dislike cities intensely and have to be dragged kicking and screaming to leave my garden let alone the village, and the idea of actually living somewhere in the teeming metropolis fills me with horror!

    However, there are a few times in the year when I wish that I lived in London, and one of them came when I read this account of Prince's secret gig in London this week.

    His new band 3RDEYEGIRL is very good, but unfortunately most of the snippets of footage of the gig that were up on YouTube the other day have been taken down.
    PECULIAR STORY OF THE WEEK:  The Cat came Back
    Cat returns home a lot fatter after three years in a pie factory
    Woosie the cat, with owners Helen and Phillip Johns (Picture: SWNS)

    A cat that went missing for three years returned home with a larger waistline having spent his time away in a pie factory.
    When overweight Woosie went back to his home in St Austell, Cornwall, owners Helen and Phillip Johns were shocked – but not just because he had returned.
    The black feline had gained a few pounds after apparently feasting on Ginsters Cornish pasties at one of their factories 30 miles away.
    Mrs Johns said: ‘I was gobsmacked. We never expected to see him again, not after he’d been missing for three years.
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  More tour dates for Clepsydra
    • Saturday April 5, 2014, Progdreams III, Zoetemeer, The Netherlands
    • Saturday April 12, 2014, Sounds from Under the Ashes 2014, Murrayfield Pub, Chiasso, Switzerland
    • Friday May 2, 2014, ROSfest, Gettysburg, PA, USA
    • Saturday May 31, 2014, Dom Kultury Oskard, Konin, Poland
    • Friday June 20, 2014, PPR, Das Rind, Rüsselsheim, Germany
    • Fri/Sat. July 18th/19th, 2014, Night of the Prog, Loreley, Germany
    • Saturday July 26, 2014, Ecosmusicais, Paradise Garage, Lisbon, Portugal
    • Saturday September 20, 2014, Eleven Rock, Kulturfabrik Kofmehl, Solothurn, Switzerland
    • Saturday September 27, 2014, Centro la Torre, Losone, Switzerland
    • Saturday November 1, 2014, Prog En Beauce Edition II, Villemeux sur Eure, France
    More details on the band home page www.clepsydra.ch or on facebookwww.facebook.com/clepsydra.ch

    The 4 CD limited edition deluxe box featuring the 4 remastered albums + one hour of bonus & unreleased material will be shipping on February 10, 2014.
    And here is the band during the arduous task of signing the 1000 certificates of authenticity for the 4CD box to be sent to the factory).
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Galahad for Celebr8
    The first acts for the Celebr8.3 festival have been confirmed – with headliners The Tangent playing two different sets. They’re joined by Twelfth Night, Galahad, Cosmograf, The Fierce And The Dead, Sanguine Hum and Thumpermonkey for the third annual event, which moves from Kingston Upon Thames to the Islington Assembly Hall for 2014. Andy Tillison will be rejoined by former member Luke Machin, who now fronts Maschine, for The Tangent’s bill-topping show on Saturday, May 31.

    The lineup also includes Jonas Reingold, Morgan Agren, Lalle Larsson and Goran Edman. Earlier the same day they’ll also appear as Karmakanic, delivering an entirely different performance. In a change to previous formats both days of the festival will kick off with a big-name act. Twelfth Night open the event with a one-off performance, while Galahad play the same role on Sunday, June 1.

    Read on...
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Mike Davis and Lizzy Rowe record some more
    As regular readers will know, I have been working on some recordings with my old mate Mike Davis for some time now. Mike Davis is one of British music's best kept secrets. Why he isn't a star I have no idea, and when you hear his music I think you are bound to agree with me! Thirty years ago, when I was trying to be the Brian Epstein of South Devon, I picked up a hitchhiker called Mike Davis travelling through Starcross. In all my years in the business they call show, he is still the most talented singer/songwriter that I have ever met!

    Check out the latest two songs that we have recorded together with the multi-talented Lizzy Rowe...

    MIKE DAVIS Featuring Lizzy Rowe: What we Say 
    MIKE DAVIS featuring Lizzy Rowe: Got to be a way 
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  New music from Spirits Burning
    A new song from the forthcoming Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart CD (release date March 3, 2014, on Gonzo Multimedia).

    Crew for this song:
    Bridget Wishart: Vocals, EWI (Bass Flute, English Horn)
    Jude Merryweather: Backing Vocals, Choir
    Nigel Mazlyn Jones: Electric Guitar,12-String Gliss Guitar
    Sam Herzberg: Lap Snare with Brushes
    Don Falcone: Synths, Electronic Drums
    Michael Clare: Bass Guitar

    Produced by Don Falcone
    Mastered by Jakko Jakszyk
    Nice shout out for Spirits Burning in the new 170-page Shindig! magazine... the latest! special on spacerock. Ian Abrahams writes "The movement today that's part ethereal internet collaborations, typified by Don Falcone and his Spirits Burning ensemble..."
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Dave Bainbridge completes Indie GoGo campaign...
    Dave posted this on his website:


    Read on...
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Carol Hodge live with Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life - finally some vids on YouTube
    I have been waiting impatiently for some time for some live videos from Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life, featuring our very own Carol Hodge aka Miss Crystal Grenade. These days with mass communication technology, and even eight year olds having mobile phones which take photographs we have become accustomed to every gig being available at least in part online within hours of it taking place.

    I followed Steve Ignorant's Last Supper tour in this manner, and was sure that as soon as he started gigging with his new acoustic band, that there would be wallages of material available on YouTube. But there wasn't.

    There was one official video showing them down in the garage with their bullshit detector, but that was it. Now, at last, they are beginning to seep through. There are a couple of versions of a new song called Love Under A Lamppost  and a real curio.

    Some months ago when Corinna and I were in Manchester to see Peter Gabriel, we met up with Carol in the cafe at Manchester's Natural History Museum, where I was on an abortive trip to see the Manchester Moth. She told us that the band had been rehearsing a David Bowie song, Sweet Thing from the Diamond Dogs era. Much to my pleasure a version has now emerged on wobblecam video, and it is absolutely excellent. Steve shows what an extraordinary interpretive singer he is, and he brings a completely new dimension to one of my favourite David Bowie songs.

    Steve and I joked some months ago about him doing a cover of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now. You know what? I don't think that is quite as weird an idea as it at first sounds. C'mon down to the Potato Shed Igs and I will produce it...
    And lest you forget, Carol has a brilliant new album out on Gonzo
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The latest on Michael Des Barres' radio show
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
    A couple of interesting items from my favourite roving reporter this week. First of all, an anniversary for Marillion:

    7 February 2014 Brave Anniversary
    We mixed it whilst watching "Apocalypse Now" on a loop. It was to become our "Apocalypse Now". Massively over-budget and behind schedule, dark, strange, beautiful, tricky to follow, tricky to make sense of.

    When we mixed it, we weren't sure you'd like it. When we delivered it to EMI, it was met with confusion. When we released it, many of our fans deserted us. When we came to play it live, I was forced to assume the persona of a female in order to make it clear I was singing some of the songs as a girl. I began as a male priest and became an angry young woman, returned as a priest, threw myself from a bridge, and was reborn. It was an emotionally and physically exhausting performance. It's also a "cow" to play - musically and technically demanding, and imbued constantly with sound-effects and cues that tripped you up.

    When we came to perform it again last year for the conventions, I was surprised to discover it had become even more of a struggle to perform than before.
    And yet as "Brave" arrives at its 20th anniversary, it's regarded by many of our fans as a classic - some say our masterpiece. It definitely has something about it. Even "we" don't know, quite, what makes it extraordinary. It has a darkness in its soul. It has ghosts...
    Happy birthday, you strange, brave, girl.

    'Brave Live 2013' is available now from the Racket Store on Blu-ray, DVD & Audio CD.'The Great Escape' & 'Hard As Love', taken from this release, are now available to view on our YouTube channel.
    And then some exciting news from Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman.

    Following the success of their "Ravens and Lullabies" album and a one-off electric appearance at the Summers End Festival, Lydney in October 2013, Gordon and Oliver return for a short full-band tour in April 2014.
    "Ravens" marks a return to electric music for legendary guitarist Gordon Giltrap whose 40 year career spans acoustic virtuosity and three crucial progressive rock albums in the 1970s, "Visionary", "Perilous Journey" and "Fear of the Dark". His 1978 hit single "Heartsong" was used as the theme music for the BBC "Holiday" programme for many years.
    Following a successful solo career, Oliver Wakeman went on to become a member of The Strawbs and then Yes, where he played in large venues all over the world. Oliver and Gordon have been playing to sold out venues all over the country as a duo.
    The rest of the band is something of a who's who of Progressive Rock, including Paul Manzi, currently singer in Arena, Johanne James and Steve Anderson, currently to be found as the rhythm section of Prog Metallers Threshold, and the brilliant Nick Kendall, fresh from "Rock of Ages" in the West End.
    This short series of gigs are unlikely to be repeated so are not to be missed.
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Gonzo Web Radio
    There is a new episode of Strange Fruit, and 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 56 Part One
    Date Published: 7th February 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 some 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.
    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.
    1. Rick Wakeman    Live in Lincoln Cathedral
    François Couture  writes how this set features Rick Wakeman playing the Grand organ of Lincoln Cathedral. He continues: “There are few recordings of Wakeman at the grand organ, fewer more in a solo setting, without an audience, and majestically recorded. For this rare occasion, he wrote a handful of brand new pieces and structures to improvise within. Melodically speaking, this is not his strongest material, but he is clearly enjoying the thrill of playing the behemoth and he puts a lot of feeling into his delivery.

    2. Brand X    The X-Files - A 20 Year Retrospective
    Disc one consists of ten previously unreleased live recordings in reverse chronological order, from the 1997 Manifest Destiny tour to the group's initial mid-'70s lineup, when Phil Collins and Robin Lumley were the band's drummer and keyboardist.  Disc two technically is not Brand X at all, but a sampling of extracurricular projects by group leaders John Goodsall and Percy Jones, in tandem and separately.

    3. Blodwyn Pig    The Basement Tapes
    THE BASEMENT TAPES contains radio sessions and live material recorded from 1969 to 1974, as well as two bonus tracks recorded in 1996. Basement Tapes buy CD music Previously unreleased BBC recordings from the former Jethro Tull guitarist, recorded 1969-1974. Basement Tapes songs Plus two bonus tracks from 1996. Basement Tapes album for sale Blodwyn Pig includes: Mick Abraham. Blodwyn Pig: Mick Abrahams (vocals, guitar); Jack Lancaster (violin, flute, saxophone); Andrew Pyle, Mike Summerland (bass guitar); Clive Bunker, Graham Walker, Ron Berg (drums). Basement Tapes CD music contains a single disc with 13 songs.

    4. CLEARLIGHT featuring, Cyrille Verdeaux, Tim Blake, Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe, Christian Boule, Gilbert Artman Clearlight Symphony
    This is one of those exquisite records that somehow slipped through the gaps of public consciousness at the time. But now its back, and you have the chance to revel in a warm bath of psychedelic weirdness. In 1975 Virgin Records released the first album of Cyrille Verdeaux compositions titled CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY. Clearlight became the first French progressive rock band signed to a major British record label. Gathering accolades for its unique compositions and keyboard stylings, the music spanned from classical romanticism to lush experimentation. Primarily psychedelic, but also serving as a forerunner of new age music, the album's musical style manages to blend seemingly contrary elements: the symphonic rock concept is flexible enough to permit extensive jamming in both rock and jazz fusion styles. Clearlight Symphony does not officially have an artist name, but is now regarded as the first album by Clearlight who adopted the name later that year, after briefly using the name Delired Cameleon Family. Side one features group member Cyrille Verdeaux and three members of Gong; side two features the group that would become Delired Cameleon Family (Clearlight). Neither group is explicitly named as the artist.

    5. All About Eve    Ultraviolet
    Ultraviolet is the fourth studio album by All About Eve. Despite positive reviews at the time this album was in the wrong place at the wrong time and sadly slipped through the commercial net despite containing one of their most iconic songs - "Outshine the Sun" which is frequently used at the band's gigs for a finale.

    6. The Deviants    The Deviants Have Left The Planet
    Half live, half-studio Left the Planet bristles with the highest octane intake of new Mick Farren songs in years -- and anyone armed with the Barbarian Princes live album will already know what that means. Studio takes on that album's murderous "Aztec Calendar" and "God's Worst Nightmare" are joined by a sinister, semi-snarled take on Dylan's "It's Alright Ma," so battered that it effortlessly snags the honorable title of Most Deliciously Disreputable Dylan Cover Ever. The bulk of the album was recorded with Farren's Deviants lineup of guitarist/bassist Andy Colquhoin and former Motörhead drummer Phil Taylor -- itself an aggregation to make your skin crawl. Four live tracks from sundry Terrastock and L.A. shows, however, add a shapeless shadow to any sense of well-being which familiarity might conjure up -- the spectral "Yellow Dog" is chilling no matter how many times you hear it, while the closing "Memphis Psychosis" blends blues, Elvis, and dark dreams about Bo Diddley to equally spine-chilling effect. Farren walked this way once before, with the deranged take on "Mona" which highlights Carnivorous Circus. But that was a long time ago. This is what happened when Mona hit puberty. An unexpected reprise of Farren's 1977 single "Let's Loot the Supermarket Again" serves up a moment of light relief -- as light, that is, as visions of urban unrest and street fighting can be. But the overall mood of the album remains fearful, foreboding, and absolutely poisonous, a kick in the small of the back to propel you into a world which restructures the sound of the rock revolution before the media middlemen tacked their percentage on top -- and it proves that some things really can't be bought or sold. Peace of mind is one of them.

    7. Rupert Hine    Live TV Show Sweden
    In the early sixties, Hine formed half of the folk duo Rupert & David. The duo performed in pubs and clubs and occasionally shared the stage with a then-unknown Paul Simon. The duo's one released single (on the Decca label in 1965) was a cover of Simon's "The Sounds of Silence". The single was not a success, but was notable for featuring a young Jimmy Page on guitar and Herbie Flowers on bass.

    8. Vangelis    Journey to Ithaka
    Much to the excitement of music fans worldwide, the new feature length documentary on Greek music legend Vangelis titled 'Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka' will be released on November 11, 2013 by Gonzo MultiMedia UK. The two-hour documentary includes interviews with Vangelis and many of his friends and colleagues, including Sean Connery, Hugh Hudson, Jessye Norman, Oliver Stone, Akiko Ebi, Julian Rachlin and many others. It also includes rare, historical footage, most of which has never been seen before. Another highlight includes recent footage of Vangelis improvising new music!
    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: Steven Fromholz (1945 – 2014) 
    Steven Fromholz (June 8, 1945 – January 19, 2014) was an American entertainer, singer and songwriter who was selected as the Poet Laureate of Texas for 2007. Born in Temple, Texas, Fromholz attended the University of North Texas where he was president of the Folk Music Club. Fromholz began performing while he was serving in the United States Navy during the 1960s. After leaving the Navy, he teamed with Dan McCrimmon to create the group Frummox. Fromholz also played with Stephen Stills and Rick Roberts before going solo. He recorded with Willie Nelson, singing "I'd Have to be Crazy" and Lyle Lovett singing "Texas Trilogy" and "Bears." Other artists who have recorded his songs include Hoyt Axton, John Denver, and Jerry Jeff Walker.

    In addition to singing and songwriting, Fromholz dabbled in acting, playwriting, poetry, record producing, narrating, jingle-writing, and whitewater river guiding. In 2007, he was named Poet Laureate of the State of Texas by the Texas State Legislature. His latest book is Steven Fromholz: New and Selected Works.

    He had two daughters, Darcie (to whom the song "Dear Darcie" is dedicated) and Felicity (for whom his record label, Felicity Records, is named).
    THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014) 
    Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014) was an American actor and director. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 biographical film Capote, was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor and also received three Tony Award nominations for his work in theater.

    Hoffman began his acting career in 1991, and the following year he began to appear in films. He gained recognition for his supporting work in a series of notable films, including Scent of a Woman (1992), Twister (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), Patch Adams (1998), Magnolia (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Almost Famous (2000), Red Dragon (2002), 25th Hour (2002), Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and Cold Mountain (2003).

    In 2005, Hoffman played the title role in Capote, for which he won multiple acting awards. His three other Academy Award nominations came for his supporting work in Charlie Wilson's War (2007), Doubt (2008) and The Master (2012). Other critically acclaimed films in his later years included Owning Mahowny (2003), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), The Savages (2007), Synecdoche, New York (2008), Moneyball (2011) and The Ides of March (2011). In 2010, Hoffman made his feature film directorial debut with Jack Goes Boating.

    Hoffman was an accomplished theater actor and director. He joined the LAByrinth Theater Company in 1995, and directed and performed in numerous stage productions. His performances in three Broadway plays led to three Tony Award nominations: two for Best Leading Actor, in True West (2000) and Death of a Salesman (2012), and one for Best Featured Actor in Long Day's Journey into Night (2003). In their front-page obituary following his sudden death at age 46, The New York Times referred to Hoffman as "perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation."

    On February 2, 2014, Hoffman was found dead by a friend, the playwright and screenwriter David Bar Katz, in the bathroom of Hoffman's West Village, Manhattan office apartment. As of February 4, 2014, the medical examiner's office has not stated an official cause of death. Investigators searching his apartment found a quantity of heroin and prescription drugs.
    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... 
    COVER STORY: Leaves from Liz Lenten's mythical scrapbook
    This is another of those occasions where my best laid plans went pear shaped. I had been planning to have the world exclusive of some of the footage that I shot of both Auburn and Jefferson Starship the other day in Wolverhampton in this issue. But, probably because of the ongoing buggerings around in my office, the firewire card on my computer (which for the uninitiated is the doobrie that I use to take film and sound off my broadcast quality video camera and onto the computer) packed up. As a result my plans to have anything using the Sony PD150 were scuppered. This meant that there would be no episode of my monthly webTV show On the Track (of Unknown Animals) this week, and there would be no Jefferson Starship or Auburn video either.

    Now I don't know whether Liz Lenten of Auburn actually keeps a scrapbook, but she jolly well should! And for the purposes of this feature this week, she jolly well does. Totally ignorant of the fact that my feature on them this week had disappeared up the proverbial creek without the benefit of a paddle, Liz sent me a bunch of her pictures from the last tour, and I decided, that they should be presented as her  hypothetical scrapbook.

    So there!
    EXCLUSIVE: Bridget Wishart interview
    Bridget Wishart sang with Hawkwind during what some people (including yours truly) think was one of their most interesting periods. But what happened next?
    1. How did you first get involved with Spirits Burning
    Good question!...I like telling this story. :-)
    My daughter Hannah was a baby, so this must have been around 2003, and while she was napping one day I thought I'd google what Hawkwind were up to...I came across the Hawkwind Museum, I hadn't done much surfing and found the site really interesting
     I hadn't realised how much interest there was in past and present band members so I posted on their guest page to let everyone know that I was still alive,married with a young daughter. Shortly after posting Dave Law got in touch arranged for me to do an interview for the website. He also kindly let me know that my posting left me open to being emailed by anyone who read the post...he kindly removed the post but not before Ian Abrahams, the writer had found the post and been in touch, that was how he found me and got an interview and some photos for his Hawkwind book, Sonic Assassins'.

    We got on well and went on to write Festivalized, a book about the free festivals. Sadly our publishers went bust at the crucial moment...anyways, I got off track a bit there...back to the question. Don, Spirits Burning's trusty multi limbed leader read the interview and asked Dave if he could pass on a message to me, inviting me to contribute to a track. At that time in my life I was adamant to stay 'retired' but had a few unused vocal tracks kicking around from a previous band that hadn't made it out out of the living room. I sent Don one of these...It was the vocals for Salome.  A month or so later he asked if I wanted to add another track...I had one more good recording; Another World, so I sent that. I didn't hear what became of the tracks until Don sent me a cd and vinyl copy of  Alien Injection. I loved Salome but was less sure about Another World. That was the start of a long distance partnership that has been the most creative of my career.
    2. What did you do in the intervening years between Hawkwind and Spirits Burning?
    Ahhh, this question covers a fair amount of ground. Some rather rocky...

    After I left Hawkwind, I formed a duo called Daze with 2000DS guitarrist Danny Smith. We wrote some great songs, did a few gigs and had a song or two played on local radio but Dan had some life issues to address so we folded the band. I got quite depressed. I'd given up my teaching job to tour and record with the Hawkwind and it wasn't easy to find another one. I had a few interviews at schools and colleges in the area but remained unsuccessful in finding work.

    My folks were really supportive and helped out financially so I could retrain. I did an intensive TEFL course. Got work teaching a student one to one and a few days at the local college but I knew to get proper work I'd have to go abroad. It was at this point that Klive (Farhead) approached me about his Techno Pagan project. He'd been Alan's roadie on the European Tour 90 and knew my interest and abilities with costume, performance and dance. He was interesting in forming a UV theatrical dance troupe who would perform while he played. I was captivated by the idea and loved the music. 
    TEFL went out the window and in thru the outdoor came stripey costumes, metal trees, giant UV jellyfish and a troupe of crazy young people to choreograph. The gig I remember best was in Larkhall Square, Bath. Klive organised their local mardis gras on condition his band got the headline slot. We had a huge rig, Anarc Lights (Hawkwind's light show) and a massive crowd.

     All the tree protesters came down from their trees and joined the crowds. Local kids sat on the stage and screamed in semi fear whenever a new costumed character came on stage. Chris Pink cranked the volume up and the neighbourhood quaked. Jeremy Guscott's wife came out of her cottage which was a few  scant yards from the stage and screamed at the local butcher to pull the plug...the butcher looked at the shouting, dancing crowd and rightly decided to leave well alone...ahhh them were the days :-)

    We did a Temple Ball gig in Reading at the Leisure Centre...there was a chap (Tim Carroll RIP) there who I met who was putting up some UV decor. I was struck by the idea of covering large areas of mundaneity (is that a word?) to create a condusive environment for gigs. When I was at Art College I worked with Installations and loved creating them. So when Klive and I had a falling out ( I can be very stubborn and pigheaded!) I knew exactly where to go and what to do. Within a few weeks Tim and I had formed a company called Temple Decor we worked with the Temple Ball crew; Electric Groove Temple (host band) and Pogle (Anarc lights). I designed and we painted, sewed and created a sympathetic, psychedelic UV drapes in order to create Temple like environment for raves and gigs.

    We got a lot of work with WOMAD who loved our environments. By WOMAD 96 I was overworked, underpaid and highly stressed. I resigned but the damage to me wasn't so easily resolved. I became unstable and suffered a complete breakdown. I was hospitalised after stowing away on an aeroplane at Heathrow. (Thought I was catching a flight to Mars) I spent four months in hospital, was sectioned twice, ran away twice, got as far as Gatwick, saw the inside of a few police stations and through out all of it, everyone, the police, my friends, family and the hospital staff, they were all brilliant. As I gradually recovered my health and stamina the thought of being creative through art or music was just unapproachable. I felt like I'd never draw another picture or write another song, ever! I wanted to find work where I could make a positive input into people's lives. I worked for four years in the care sector looking after children and young adults with special needs. Now there's a challenging and rewarding and low paid job for you! The job played havoc with my back and after leaving to have Hannah I decided not to go back. I got a cleaning job which was the same money, not as fulfilling but totally less stressful. Gradually my creativity was seeping back. I became interested in designing cards, I did individual cards for friends and their children and was slowly setting up a business selling cards and collages.
    Ooops...Can't remember what the title of this collage is...it was sold from an Art Gallery in 2003

    The local art gallery took my collages and cards.

    I was on the verge of expansion when I found that I had my music mojo back thanks to Don and to Steve Palmer from Mooch who played guitar on Another World, but only on condition that Don passed on my email address so he could invite me to contribute to his best CD ever; Dr Silbury's Liquid Brainstem band. The songs on this CD; Cycad, Sandman and Silver Violet Flame and were my first song writing ventures in many years and then once started, writing the first SB/BW CD; Earthborn, became a passion that overtook everything.

    I still do collage and make cards for friends and family and also gain an immense amount of pleasure designing our CD covers. Karen Anderson does a fantastic job taking the artwork into the graphics world and creates a whole package that is always beautiful and carefully thought out.
    3. Where were your parts recorded?
    I record all my parts at home. We have Ntrack recording software on the computer(designed by Flavio, an Italian programmer) and though Martin has since moved on to Reaper I'm a stubborn old dog and stick with what I know. Martin records all his parts in Reaper :-)

    We have a good recording mic, a Rhode I think, and a recording shield which is ace, plus the usual sound cards and a diddy mixing desk and a tone port that the mic's and guitars use. 
    When recording with the EWI my preferred option is to use it as a midi controller and use the Garritan software... a fab sampled orchestra...so I can be playing oboe or violin, cello whatever, but not sax, orchestras don't have a sax in them...too recent an invention I hear. Musicians local to us use our house to record their parts too...eg Richard Chadwick, (Hawkwind) and Jasper Pattison (Citizen Fish)

    I have been in a professional studio to record; Rockfield, in Monmouth, with sound engineer Paul Cobbold, fab bloke! when we recorded Space Bandits. It was an unforgetable experience but I have to say I prefer no one around when I record, I quite often don't know where the song is going to go, what harmonies I'll find and quite often the lyrics need some rewriting as I go along. I need an empty house for the creative process to take place.I also like to make my experiments and mistakes in private :-). Once my parts are done to my satisfaction (tho' I have been known to later change my mind and do them again) I clean them up, bounce them down and  upload the wavs to Don. Then, once there has been more work done to the track by him/others he uploads the results and we give each other feedback on the track, the process of addition and subtraction continues until we say yep that's it that's our song! Sometimes they takes years to finish, sometimes just days.
    BELOW: Jasper recording for Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart
    4. How long did the recording process take?
    I guess you're talking about our third CD, Make Believe It Real?

    I checked with Don the other week as it seems to have been going on forever, we reckon this album has taken about three years start to finish.

    Some musicians do take their time when contributing parts. It's understandable; they have other agendas and priorities and it's important they record when  they feel ready to...though it can be hard to be patient. :-)
    We sent one of the songs, Skyline Signal to Keith Tha Bass (Here & Now) he said he wasn't too keen on it, so I sent a different one and passed the 1st song to Jasper (Pattison) who loved it. Then around six months later when Keith sent his bass for Journey Past The Stars , it turned out he'd also decided to record a line for Skyline Signal too! Hah! :-) Don and I decided, as both performances were really good, to have both basses play on the track and, unusual though it is, they complement each other perfectly! Luckily, one is high and the other low.
    5. How does the compositional process work?
    There are no hard and fast rules. Don or I usually start a track. If it's Don it usually has synths and a beat, if it's me it usually has just a BPM and the sung lyrics and lots of space. On the odd occasion we'll invite someone else to start a track.Don sometimes invites musicians to play on a track before it comes to me and sometimes I do the same. Martin might put some guitar on a song.

    If I have a fixed idea of who I think would sound great on the track I might mention it to Don. Usually we go with the flow and send pieces out to musicians and see if they like the track and want to work on it. Some people find it challenging to be presented with a track that has nothing but a vocal line on it and prefer to play their part once others have filled in the gaps and others are inspired by the freedoms offered. Quite often a piece will come back from different directions at the same time and the guitar will have been recorded at the same time as the bass but neither will have heard what the other musician did and it will be up to Don and I to 'marry' the two tracks.

    Sometimes the songs seem to have been already written with just vocals and a guitar there and the rest of the music is kind of filling out and adding to the song. At other times a song isn't written til the very last musician records their part and all of a sudden it all hangs together perfectly. There aren't many songs that fail to work. I think we left one off the first CD, one off the second and none off this one. The last CD we did together, Bloodlines, had a historical theme running through it and many of the songs I felt needed a tight rein on them to ensure they stayed true to themselves...it is hard to argue for edits via email but I did! Lots and lots! This time round I vowed to let the songs flow more and that has been much easier for us both and our servers. Also with a Sci Fi/Fantasy theme running through the album space rock should always have galaxies far and wide to explore.

    So, although there are odd corners in the tracks where my fussy hat perks up, mostly, I am totally pleased and very proud with what we have created. The best yet! Oh yes :-)
    6. What is your next project?
    Uhhh, lets see... I'm in the middle of recording tracks on an album called Moments with Hola One. Once finished the music will be available for free download. You can find Hola One on FaceBook and his music on Sound Cloud, a breath of fresh air :-) ...check out Mandragora's vocals they are exquisite.

    With Don, I have some EWI parts to record for his SB/Starhawk project and we'll be starting work on our second Astralfish CD in the near future. Myself and Martin are still recording our Chumley Warner Bros CD, we are doing less live work this year with the plan that we will record more. Watch this space!

    ...I'll probably also do the odd track with Mooch, Steve is fairly regular at kicking something my way. Late last year I recorded a track for his latest project...love his stuff :-) Recently I recorded four tracks with Spaceseed for their next CD which is due to see the light of day this year. They're even going to be playing in Britain this year (Sonic Rock Solstice) Yay!
    That's enough to be getting on with methinks :-)
                                                         Chumley Warner Bros
    EXCLUSIVE:  Music (and why we do it.)
    by Roy Weard
    Roy (that's him singing above) was the founder member of Wooden Lion a band that played the Windsor and Watchfield free festivals in the 70s. He later went went on to sing, write and record with both Dogwatch' and ' Roy Weard and Last Post'. In 2006, Roy, together with The Cardinal Biggles, synth wizard from the original Wooden Lion, and Steve Bensusan, guitar virtuoso from the Last Post began to put That Legendary Wooden Lion together. This band gigged through to the end of 2011 but broke up the following year. A new line up of the band is now gigging. I have known Roy for many years, and was very pleased and touched when he contributed the following essay to this issue of Gonzo Weekly.
    A conversation that I had earlier on today neatly coalesced some thoughts that have been going through my mind over the last few weeks. Music has travelled a strange and tortuous path over its long history, and for many of us, certainly for me, and possibly for many of the readers of this magazine, it has a very special place in our hearts. It was not always an object of veneration in its own right and has slipped neatly between being an art form and a commodity many times – especially in the last few decades.
    It has existed in every civilisation way back into history and probably beyond. There were no doubt cavemen indulging in, what Douglas Adams called, ‘banging the rocks together’. It probably had some origins in making sounds to lure animals to be hunted and then in repeating those sounds as said animals were being cooked and eaten. No one really knows. Hollow bones with holes in their length were found by archaeologists in ancient settlements and believed to be musical instruments. Whatever its origins music evolved and went from a primitive form to becoming standardised, written down and accepted as ‘art’. Of course, once you paste that self adhesive, ego boosting, epithet to something it magnetically attracts all sorts of other concepts and with them, a whole gamut of poses. People become inflated with the idea that they are ‘an artist’ and therefore need to be respected, paid, or showered with gifts and the favours of the opposite (or in some cases the same) sex.
    My concern here is really with what we regard as modern music and the reasons for making it. If we take a bandsaw and hack off everything prior to the fifties we can examine the concept of popular music in more detail. I have had no real contact with people who were part of the ‘swing’ era but anecdotally it would seem that many musicians of that time saw it as a paid job. Making music for dances and other events - and having a good time in the process. Things began to change radically when recorded music began to be bought in larger quantities and played on radio stations. Payment, in those days, was made through many middle men. If you were a writer you would have a publisher and they would print sheet music to be sold in music shops so that other musicians could play your work. The writer would get royalties on that. If you went out and played for an event you would either get paid, either directly by the organiser, or, if you had an agent, through them. Publishers and Agents would take their ‘cut’ but, in many cases, would work for this by distributing your compositions or by trying to find you work.
    By the time the pop phenomenon has rolled around in the 50s publishers would hawk their clients songs around to the various recording stars of the time. Scores of dodgy deals were done back then with publishers and managers colluding to get artists to take a song and record it and then pocketing a backhander. The actual performers very often had little say in what they recorded and there was no way of knowing if the sales of records or sheet music were accurate. Publishers and agents often got rich while artists and composers received very little. At its height in the early to mid 60s this was a lucrative business and, as the west’s disposable income rose, radios flourished, record sales soared and more and more money was earned by the pop industry. All of this worked in favour of the agents and publishers because they were the ones writing the contracts, controlling the percentages and reporting the sales.
    Everything changed when the Beatles and some of the other bands of that time decided to do their own songs. It changed again when they began to run their own business affairs. Record companies set up publishing arms because they wanted to claw back that part of the money for themselves and not give it to the traditional publishers but bands began to form their own publishing as well as trying to take more control of their output. There followed a struggle between the big labels and the bands and a period in which some of the bigger bands got paid very well and the era of the superstar came into being.
    All of this worked because, if you wanted the latest Stones album, you had no choice but to go and buy a copy. Tours were basically promotional vehicles, often making a loss but racking up more album sales and a nice loss making tour could offset tax as well. Ticket prices were, on the whole, relatively low. Into this mix we introduce the cassette. Suddenly one person could buy an LP and, if one of his friends had a cassette tape recorder, ten of his mates can have a copy – for the price of a tape, and with no money going to the artist. Technology was crude in those days so it was an inferior, hissy thing which often wound up as a string of tangled spaghetti looping out of a tape player but it put the first dent in the business. One other thing that had worked in the bands’ favour in the 1970s was that the established music business of the time did not know how to handle or market them. The most dangerous acts that they had handled in the 60s were people like Elvis, Bill Haley, Tom Jones and the like. Tame little pussycats compared to the drug taking, swearing, and free sex endorsing hippies. By the time that punk had emerged a new, leaner and more streetwise bunch of people had risen and they were onto it straight away. Clip on safety pins, tartan skirts and bondage trousers could be bought on the high street but technology had advanced as well and cassette recorders were cheaper and more widely available. Not only that but they sounded better too. A few bands managed big advances from the music industry but, on the whole, the punk scene was mostly run on small labels and small budgets.
    Bigger blows were to follow though. CDs seemed to be an ideal successor to vinyl with the added advantage that the companies could sell the fans new copies of their old, worn out LPs. That is until cheap CD burners came on the market. Now you could have a copy of a CD your friend bought that sounded every bit as good as the original. MP3s made it even easier to steal stuff. Computer technology and the Internet were the final nails in the coffin of paid for music. A whole generation arose who could not see why they should buy something they could get for free and that leads us to the state we are in today. Back in the 70s labels like EMI would take a chance on a few unknown and unusual acts in case they became the ‘next big thing’, partly because they did not expect bands like Genesis, Yes, ELP, or The Pink Floyd to sell many records when they started out, and partly because they were awash with money and needed to spend it. These days they will put a bit of money into One Direction or the X Factor winners because they will sell enough mainstream stuff to make a profit. Ticket prices are huge because artists are not rolling in cash and cannot afford to make a loss on a tour – in fact they have to make a profit. This is now their bread and butter.
    When I started touring in the 70s the crew would stay in the Hilton or the Intercontinental or one of those big chains. Money was more abundant than the Evian in the dressing room. On the last few tours I did in the 90s we were on a sleeper bus and did not see a hotel unless it was a day off. The conversation I had today was with someone who was going to tour manage a 70s star’s next tour. He had worked with the guy many times but this time the crew was down from 8 people to three with the drummer setting up the keyboards and the drum tech doing follow spot! He had to make a profit.
    If things are bad at that level look at how it is in the grassroots. I live in Brighton which has a very good music scene and a lot of venues but bands don’t often get paid much and many do gigs for free – especially if they are playing their own music and not doing carbon copy covers. In some ways this is understandable because a tight covers band will often fill a pub whereas a band playing their own stuff is a more risky bet for an evening’s entertainment. If a pub has a poster for a band called ‘Slim Tizzy’ you can be pretty sure it is some guys playing ‘Thin Lizzy’ songs and if that is what you like you can go along. If the band is called ‘Partial Regeneration Helix’ or ‘Mr Thompson’s Cat’ or something like that you don’t know what you will get and may not want to risk going to check them out. I know where I will be and that is checking out the bands with the obscure names because if they put that much effort into making up a name and not doing a banal pun the chance is that they might just be interesting.
    The final part of this is the thorny subject of getting paid. I recently had a conversation about bands being paid for gigs. Facebook, the forum well known for its balanced viewpoints and considered opinions, often sprouts status announcement like ‘I asked a promoter to pay us $2000 for a gig and he said it was too much so I asked him to get six plumbers to work for him from 6 in the evening until midnight and we will work for half of that’ or variants on that theme. This is somewhat insulting. I am not denigrating plumbers as such but all the people of that profession I have ever met have only been in the job to put bread on the table. It was not a calling, an inner urge or a creative tendency that drove them to lay under a sink and unblock pipes or install toilets. I don’t know any of them that wake up in the morning and think ‘Great, I will get to bend a pipe today and install a shower’. If I have a gig I always wake up excited about it – even after 40 years of being involved in music!
    For my part I am a songwriter and I put my band together to play my songs. I enjoy it. It is better exercise than playing squash, it gives me pleasure and I hope it gives my audience pleasure. If someone wants to pay me for doing that I will gratefully accept the money but it is not a prerequisite of being on a stage. I don’t mind doing free gigs if the audience gets in for free and the rest of my band are OK with it. I feel that, if a band can get 100+ people to come along and see them every time they play then they can start thinking about asking for a fee. If you make getting paid one of the criteria for doing the gig you will find that no one is going to promote a gig and pay a band if they don’t think they will pull and audience to pay the fees. If you are playing free in a pub then there is no loss to the person who runs the gig. It is 100% down to the band to inspire people to want to go and see them again. Once they can do that they can think about getting paid to play.
    The other side of this is the audience themselves. Many people don’t want to go out and see a band. They may look at a video on YouTube but getting out of the armchair and paying to go to a venue seems to be a step too far. I am completely in favour of original music. The process of creation is what interests me. I don’t want to go and see a band recreate ‘The Dark Side of The Moon’, ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ or any other famous show. I don’t want to hear Rolling Stones covers, or any covers really, and I try to persuade everyone I talk to about this that they shouldn’t either. We only have the classic songs by those famous bands because at one point they played in small clubs in somewhereville, blew the audience away, got famous, and wrote them. If we consign original music to the dustbin we will be condemned to live a life of repeats and re-runs and life is only really interesting when it is fresh, vibrant and in-your-face new.
    Every time you copy a CD, or download an illegal MP3 you are, in effect stealing something from the people who made it and you are cheapening your musical experience. Every time you eschew buying the CD just put it on your Spotify playlist you are spooning a sum of money into a business that pays the artists very little for their product. The circle has almost been completed and the companies have found new ways of making money out of music and not passing much of that cash back to the artists. The one glimmer left is that it is now easier to make a decent recording on equipment that is within the reach of many people. You no longer need the big studios or labels. Artists can, and do, record, mix and produce their own product and the cottage industry ethos that put many punk records out is still there. If you like a band, buy the CD don’t download an MP3 or put it on a streaming service playlist. Buy the CD from the band too if you can. Not from Amazon. At the very least find an independent record shop and get it there. Put the money back into the hands of the people who make the music.
    I don’t want to see a return to stadium tours and bloated superstars but I do want to see a music scene that is blossoming and not festering. Many people say that all the good music was in the 70s but that is because they have stopped trying to listen for it. Take the phone’s headphones off and go to a gig. Recall how it is to feel the music and not just listen to it while reading a paper on a bus.
    Right now the music scene is on life support and looking very sick. Let’s nurse it back to health.

    Ian Pollock's Illustrations
    for Housing Benefit Hill

    1. Ex marks the spot

    It's not every day that you meet an ex-Incredible String Band member turned Lady Mayoress and find yourself picturing her with a paraffin stove perched on her head
    September 9 1995
    September 9 1995

    Signed copies of Housing Benefit Hill available

    If you would like a signed copy of the book of the series, Housing Benefit Hill & Other Places, contact me via HubPages and I'll tell you how.
    Housing Benefit Hill was a series of columns which appeared in the Guardian Weekend between September 1993 and September 1996. Originally it featured a cartoon series by Steven Appleby, which were very funny, but not specifically intended as illustrations of the text. (Mind you, sometimes they could be accidentally appropriate). However in September 1995 the editors at the Guardian commissioned Ian Pollock to illustrate the stories, and the results are shown below.
    They are remarkable drawings, not least because somehow or another Ian seemed to be able to capture not only the essence of the story, but the actual appearance of some of the characters. It was genuinely uncanny. I never met Ian, and, as far as I know, he never visited the people or places I was talking about, and yet, on the scantiest of information, he was able to do a portrait of that person of such accuracy it was as if they were sitting for him as a model.

    2. Deeper and down

    Philippa was concerned at the amount of bad drugs he was taking and the amount of booze he was pouring down his neck
    October 7 1995
    October 7 1995
    The most telepathically precise are Andre Van Der Beest in the third story, Caged Beest, "Kerry" in the fourth story, Ain't life a bitch, "Stan" in the sixth story,Lonesome trucker, and Mark in the twelfth story, Sitting target. You would genuinely think that he was working from a photograph, or that he had met these people.
    Also the pictures of Steve, the Bard of Ely in the second and the fifth stories are pretty good. He doesn't look like that any more of course, having lost much of his hair, but back in the 70s, which is when these stories are set, he really did look like these pictures, as I'm sure he will agree. Steve is also featured in the eighth story Primordial booze, but he doesn't look like Steve there, he looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, which is what, in fact, he had turned into. Even the picture of my son looks remarkably like my son - though his eyes are the wrong colour. As for the rest, they are great illustrations, and worth looking at: particularly if you happen to own a copy of the book of Housing Benefit Hill. It could definitely have done with some of these pictures to brighten it up a bit.
    The images are complimented by the blurb that appeared with the original stories, and in the case of two of them, with the story itself.
    Enjoy these lovely, quirky, humorous pictures by Ian Pollock. I know I do.

    Read on...

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

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

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


    Housing Benefit Hill: 

    Morrissey and Marr: The Severed Alliance Updated Twentieth Anniversary Edition
    by Johnny Rogan
    Paperback: 624 pages
    Publisher: Omnibus Press; Upd Rev An edition (13 Jun 2012)
    Language English
    ISBN-10: 1780383045
    ISBN-13: 978-1780383040

    Once again I would like to thank those jolly nice people at Omnibus Press for having kept my leisure hours amused for the past week or so with this massive re-issue of a classic tome by Johnny Rogan. Bizarrely, in some ways at least, I should have read this book many years ago. Although I never particularly liked The Smiths, this is one of the classic rock music biographies and I am an avid reader of such things.

    The really peculiar thing is that although, as I have said I never particularly liked The Smiths, this book enthused me enough to re-examine their music. And I now know where I was going wrong. Being an anally compulsive sort of cove, I have always approached listening to any band in the same way. I start at the debut album and continue through in chronological order. This has served me well on a number of occasions, but when I read that even the band themselves weren’t particularly enamoured with the mix on their eponymous debut album, this time around I started my investigations with their second (I refuse to call it their sophomore) album, and – much to my surprise – after two and a half decades of missing the point, I finally get The Smiths.

    I had always quite liked Morrissey’s solo albums and in particular the 2006 offering Ringleader of the Tormentors, and had always annoyed purists by saying that his solo stuff was considerably better than The Smiths had been. Now, at least as far as the second and third albums; Meat is Murder and The Queen is Dead, I lay my shoulders down in shame. They are magnificent.

    However, this is where the really bizarre thing comes into play. Although Rogan’s incisive prose finally turned me on to a whole slew of music that I had missed back in the day, there is nothing he said about any of the people concerned, especially Morrissey and Marr, that made me like them even a little bit. They both come over as cold, calculating and selfish, and one ends up feeling more than a little bit sorry for the lesser members of the band, and for the long line of people who did their best to manage them. I’ll re-phrase that; you feel a little bit sorry, but not very much, because most of them don’t come over as particularly likeable. But boy, Johnny M could play a mean guitar (and Johnny R can't half write).

    Well done Mr Rogan.

    Dear Jon,

    A sad day today. Newcastle City hall refunded my money for the cancelled Motorhead gig. This is the second time Lemmy and Co have pulled out due to Mr Killmister's ill health.

    Is this the end of the line for the Icon? Has Keith Richards won the "let's see just how much abuse can I subject my body to?" competition. I hope not, the Newcastle gigs were legendary.


    Not very Happy the Man. Davey. C

    PS I hope Dave Brock stays fit as fiddle for the Shepherds Bush gig.

    That IS one not to miss!

    I REPLY: u at shepherds bush? I am probably filming it

    Oh God yeah! I would not miss it for the world! It is The Space Ritual after all!Emoji Now if only Roger Waters would get out of his Wall fixation and perform Amused to Death live I'll be the happiest of bunnies.

    THE NEXT DAY......

    Dear Jon,

    I was a bit squiffy on vodka last night and missed the best bit.
    When I got the Hawkwind tickets, my work colleague and I were wondering what would be the cheapest option for a stay in London. Bus? Car? Train? Then he had a stroke of luck. He saw in a travel agents window, an old biddy weekend get-a-away!

    Train to London,staying in the Hotel Knitwear full board and a riverboat cruise with sight seeing trip option! All for £180! Result! I said "we don't have to go on the cruise." He said "Sod That! I paid for it, I am going!"

     Happy days


    Davey C
    For those of you not in the know, Davey Curtis (that's him in the unfortunate hat) is an occasional contributor to these pages and to other things I edit, and is one of my closest and most badly behaved friends...
    (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..
    Total Rock Radio has carried an interview with Hawkwind's Dave Brock, during which several pieces of news about events in 2014 emerged.
    Hawkwind are looking to to play in Japan this year. In 2011, Japan had to cope with an earthquake and tsunami (tidal wave) and the Hawkwind dates were cancelled amidst reports that thousands had died and the Fukushima nuclear power station was leaking radioactive material.
    On the festival circuit, Portugal will get a look-in as well. Brock sounded cheerful during the interview, despite the atrocious weather in Devon recently - he commented on how the railway line supports have been washed away, down the coast in Dawlish - this happened three days ago, and currently is hindering train services between Devon and London - this impacted Tim Blake's commute down for a Hawkwind gig in Minehead this weekend.
    Following completion of the 'Warrior 2013' tour, a live 'Warrior on the Edge of Time' album is due in May, and will possibly be a double album. And work's underway on a concept album and tour for the autumn.
    Meanwhile, the 'Space Ritual' gig that's happening in a couple of weeks in Shepherd's Bush will have John Etheridge (a jazz guitarist) as a support act, and his set could well merge into the initial part of the Hawkwind performance.
    Doors open at a somewhat early 6:30pm at that O2 Empire gig, by the way, which is on Saturday 22nd.
    A’la Mode
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe great Depeche Mode played the Shoreline theater the other week to a sold out crowd of devoted rapturous fans.  I was there for every note with my soul mate and a couple of our best friends.  This is a band that’s truly weathered time well – singer David Gahan still bumps, grinds, and belts out the deep notes with aplomb.  Singer multi-instrumentalist and principal writer Martin Gore raises the stakes whenever he comes out to be front and center, most notably on this tour performing slow acoustic versions of “But Not Tonight”, “Home” and “Shake the Disease” hitting all the best long vibrato soaked tones perfectly. Andy Fletcher does his low key celebration in back.  A drummer and second instrumentalist round out the band for their live shows as they have for just over 10 years now.
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe group was out to promote their latest release “Delta Machine” – an album that’s surprisingly good for writers so well into their careers.  From the opening track, also played to start the show, “Welcome to my World” to “Angel”, “The Child Inside (another Martin slow burner) and “Soothe My Soul” (a classic form for David’s best delivery) they covered many of its high points, all of which fit nicely in their catalog.  These new tracks serve to update the Depeche Mode sound, even hinting in parts at dub-step electronica, a variant on the form they practically invented along with German forbearers Kraftwerk.
    Of the later work, only 2005′s “Playing the Angel” was represented with two tracks – “A Pain That I’m Used To” and “Precious.”  The rest of the set list focused on the band’s 80′s and 90′s hits including 1981′s “Just Can’t Get Enough”, skipping to 1985′s “Shake the Disease”, 1986′s “Black Celebration”, “A Question of Time”, and “But Not Tonight”, 1987′s “Never Let Me Down Again” (encore with everyone’s arm wipers to augment it), 1990′s “Enjoy the Silence”, “Personal Jesus”, “Halo”, and “Policy of Truth” (all practically required for these shows), 1993′s “Walking in My Shoes” and Martin’s tear jerker “Home”, now a perennial favorite from 1997. Not as fond of the other selection from “Ultra”- “Barrel of a Gun” which ended up being one of several instances where the drummer drowned out the founding members – a minor complaint, but here’s one fan wishing they more frequently dispense with the live drums.

    Read on...
    the world according to mark raines
    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
    After a particularly poor showing for Yes-related news last weekend, regular reader 'Racine' sent me this interview with Geoff Downes. Geoff, who is still no relation to me as far as I am aware, although we both spell our surnames the same (which is the less usual of the two spellings) has been a busy fellow this week, because there is another interview with him and - yes, golly - a third one! Apart from that there is aninterview with Billy Sherwood, but now't else this week.
    But don't be disappointed. There were only two stories last week, so we have increased that score 100% this time around. Let's hope that the trend continues.

    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! 

    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.

    This is to certify that i have never spied upon the NSA
    nor accused TSA of assault,criminalities and corruption
    Nor have i stopped CIA renditions.I have not closed Guantanamo Bay torture center
    Nor released those digital pix of waterboarding.I have not even asked for documentation
    of black budgets for offshored torture centers,nor any accountability for those
    who lied in public or in private about their complicities in war atrocities.
    I have not checked on civilian casualties,nor the use of white phosphorus in Lebanon and Palestine
    Nor the use of depleted uranium ammunition -and its effect on our troops
    I do not seem to care enough about wars that drain our Treasury 
    and kill and maim the flowers of our youth.I apologise
    for my apathy,inertia,and indifference.I am not sure
    if i can ever change.I keep seeking whistleblowers to blame.
    Yours truly-The Public
    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...
    "I thought, oh yeah, I'll have toast,
    A little piece of toast."    (Streetband)

    Yes, this week I bring you exciting tales of toast.

    Firstly – and I am having to force myself to type the name of the act concerned here – a piece of half-eaten, vegemite-coated, piece of toast that had almost caressed the salivary glands of One Direction’s Niall Horan (yes them again, and no that does not mean that I am holding some kind of veiled adoration of the band – I made sure I wrote ‘force myself’ first, so there) reached a bid of $100,000 before being withdrawn - according to one source - but sold for almost that amount from one of a few other sources.

    A slight difference there.  Withdrawn or sold?  Who cares?

    However, according to the ‘Mirror’, the listing reads: "The item is perishable and although we will package it so that tampering is evident, we do not advise that it is consumed. We will not be including the mouthful that Niall spat out - because that's just gross." How thoughtful.

    And Jo Usmar continues in the same article, “These people LOVE One Direction. We wouldn't put it past some of this lot to sell their organs for a bit of Niall's toast. Which maybe they have. (Please say they haven't or we might vomit up our Vegemite. Hey, anyone want to buy our leftover Vegemite toast? It's fresher than Niall's.)” 

    Jo Usmar….. I salute you.

    Then there was the Justin Timberlake auctioned off left-over French toast.  Whatis it about toast?  Interestingly, we have anomalies on this particular item also.

    Now, whilst I don’t really give a flying doughnut hole,  these various different versions of the same story did, I do admit, mildly get my inner sleuth itching to don deer-stalker, magnifying glass and pipe and go search for answers.  I have none of those items to hand, except a magnifying glass,  so the internet had to suffice. I even began considering the possibility that Mr Timberlake had left a piece of half-eaten French toast on not one, but two separate occasions; a kind of French-toast-in-every-port scenario. However, the dubiously dubbed ‘lucky winner’ of the auction remains the same in every version in which she is mentioned, so I guess it must have been the same piece of French toast after all.

    At least one source states that it was in 2006 when radio station Z-100 nabbed a slice of Justin Timberlake’s half-eaten French toast and sold it to a 19-year-old 'N Sync fan for over $3,000. The proceeds went to Timberlake’s charity.

    Another source says it was in 2000 when an eager N-Sync fan bought it for $1,025.

    piece of French toast half eaten by former N-Sync and Social Network star Justin Timberlake sold for $3,154  on eBay in March 2006. The toast was sold by a DJ from the radio station Z-100, where Timberlake had been a guest. The DJ noted that Timberlake had only eaten one bite of his toast and speedily posted the remains on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity. The toast was purchased by 19 year-old N-Sync fan Kathy Summers who said that she would "probably freeze-dry it, then seal it … then put it on my dresser."

    In March 2000, the boy band 'N Sync sat down for a breakfast interview with New York City radio station Z100, and Timberlake barely touched his food. An enterprising staffer put the two slices of French toast, plate, and extra syrup in a bag, and the radio station put the package on eBay. A University of Wisconsin student paid $1,025 for Timberlake's leftovers, and Z100 threw in an equal amount and gave the whole kitty to charity.

    Justin did not finish a plate of French toast in a New York hotel during an interview.   Some smart waiters were able to pick up the leftover scraps and sell them on eBay for $3,154.

    And another

    I gave up then. Or to be brutally honest, I just lost the will to live and decided, for the sake of my sanity, that enough was enough.

    But isn’t it interesting how stories get distorted?  And this is just with regard to a piece of flipping French toast. 

    Tales from the Fringe
    And now - and I do apologise for the inclusion of this - I am turning your attention to the obnoxious brat Justin Beiber.  And not only did I have to force myself to type that name, I also had to have a blood pressure pill beforehand.  All I can say is that it is just as well I am a touch typist and don’t have to look at the keyboard whilst typing out the name of such a detestable, and every other synonym of that word,  creature.
    DeGeneres will be auctioning the box of hair off to the creepy hair-collector with the most money via her website. The donation will go to her favorite charity, The Gentle Barn, an organization that rescues abused and neglected animals and then invites high-risk children to come visit, where they can be inspired by the animals and feel less alone.”

    A good cause indeed, but more than a little ironic, considering Beiber deserted his pet monkey, Mally, in Germany two years later.

    I also note that if you want to look like the odious little sprout himself before he had the haircut (no that is unfair to sprouts; they are my favourite vegetable) you can follow one of a few video tutorials on YouTube.  All I can say is that it seems a certain Mr. Todd and Mrs Lovett missed out on a perfect opportunity.

    And to close this week ....

    Most toilets flush in E flat.

    They do you know.  That is what I found out this morning.  However, this snippet of information did not go as far as divulging whether this E-flat is a major or a minor one.  But as the major one is often associated with “bold, heroic music", in part because of Beethoven's usage, and even before him, Francesco Galeazzi, who identified E-flat major as "a heroic key, extremely majestic, grave and serious: in all these features it is superior to that of C”.  I think toilet flushing just HAS to be E flat major.

    And whilst on the subject of the great Beethoven, his Fifth was the first symphony to include trombones.  Just sayin’.

    Aren’t I a mine of sparkling, tantalising little gems of information today?
    And to close this week ....

    Most toilets flush in E flat.

    They do you know.  That is what I found out this morning.  However, this snippet of information did not go as far as divulging whether this E-flat is a major or a minor one.  But as the major one is often associated with “bold, heroic music", in part because of Beethoven's usage, and even before him, Francesco Galeazzi, who identified E-flat major as "a heroic key, extremely majestic, grave and serious: in all these features it is superior to that of C”.  I think toilet flushing just HAS to be E flat major.

    And whilst on the subject of the great Beethoven, his Fifth was the first symphony to include trombones.  Just sayin’.

    Aren’t I a mine of sparkling, tantalising little gems of information today?

    Just in case you are interested, here is yer beloved Editor at iTunes

    Bipolar, Jon Downes Lost Weekend, Jon Downes Hard Sports - EP, Jon Downes The Man from Dystopia, Jon Downes

    Check it out now...
    There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts.

    They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.
    Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...
    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.
    the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
    We are students at The Small School in Hartland North Devon. Our school is the smallest secondary school in the country as there can only be forty students in the school i.e. eight in each of the year groups. However we only have twenty four students this year which we enjoy as it makes it feel like a large family.

    Our school is a vegetarian school and other specific dietary needs are also catered for. We all sit down together to eat lunch and we always start by saying the Peace Prayer. We have some lovely meals, a main course and a pudding each day. One of the reasons why our food is so good is because we use lots of vegetables which we have grown in the school garden. The garden is organic as we do not want to use chemicals and we want to encourage the wildlife too. The garden is organised by one of the parents who works as an organic gardener nearby, but she also comes into school every Friday afternoon to teach us gardening skills and to educate us on how to look after the environment generally.

    All students in year 7, 8 and 9 have an hour long gardening lesson each week. During this time we help with the planting, weeding and harvesting of the crops. We have a large polytunnel where we grow the salad crops and we also have a healthy looking grape vine so that we can add grapes to our fruit salads in the Summer.There are raised beds for the vegetables, rhubarb and a couple of apple trees. We have a fully working compost heap and system and a willow structure to sit in during the hot weather. If we cannot grow the food, then we buy it at our local shop so that we support local businesses. We really enjoy working in the garden.

    At the end of the Summer, we collect seeds from the flowers and vegetables and these are saved till February when a local organic gardening group uses the school for a Seed Swap. Anyone can come along to this event and even if they do not bring seeds to share, they are welcome to help themselves to some of our seeds. The event is advertised throughout North Devon and it is a good meeting place for gardeners to chat over a cup of tea and a piece of cake made by parents and students.

    All of the students at The Small School have lots of opportunities to learn about cooking. Every student at the school spends a week helping out in the school kitchen. During this time we work with a different parent each day and we learn how to cook for over thirty people each meal. It is really good fun and we can use the recipes at home too. We also have to learn about budgeting as we can only spend £1 a person on the ingredients. This will help us when we live on our own we will be able to cook for ourselves. There are also other opportunities for us to help with cooking as the school organises a lot of catering events. For example the school organises a monthly Farmers’ Market in the village and students help to cook a variety of dishes from full breakfasts to just tea and cake.

    As well as learning about gardening and cooking, we can also choose from 16 subjects at GCSE level. The subjects are Maths, English Language and English Literature, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Drama, Music, Film, Photography, History, Geography, Latin, Classics, Art and Textiles.
    Our school is in an old chapel building and it was set up just over thirty years ago by Satish Kumar as he was concerned about young people travelling long distances to large comprehensives. As a result of this we do not receive any government funding and parents only pay just over £500 a term. The rest of the money comes from the many fundraisers we have to organise and donations from people who support the philosophy of the school. We get quite a lot of visitors from all over the world and we often have volunteers who come into school to teach a workshop or help out for the day.

    If you would like to visit our school then the contact details are on our websitewww.thesmallschool.org.uk

    Year 8 and 9 students
    The Small School, Hartland, North Devon.
    When I put on ‘Roots’ for the very first time, all those years ago, I was absolutely blown away. Sepultura had come of age and had produced an album I never actually thought possible and they went from being a band on my radar to an outfit I was definitely interested in. Since then I have followed the career of all those involved with both interest and some disappointment. Could Max ever recapture that intensity and power, and would a Max-less Sepultura ever really challenge again? Well, although Sepultura have produced some good work, they have never really hit a home run while Max has been patchy to say the least. The debut Cavalera Conspiracy was a stunner, but have Soulfly ever really done anything to match their own debut?
    Well, there is nothing here to change that. What we have is a very run of the mill album, which for me personally is a huge disappointment. Sure, Max has brought in some guests and there is the odd number that captures the intensity and power, but for the most part this just doesn’t work. I mean, what on earth is “Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla” all about?

    I wanted to enjoy this, I really did. I wanted it to be the rebirth of Soulfly, but all it does is make me add my voice to the many others and ask when on earth are they all going to bury the hatchet and take Sepultura back to centre stage where they belong.
    Originally Theocracy was a one-man project of Matt Smith, and this the debut album was released in 2003. Now, while Matt is a multi-instrumentalist he wasn’t a proficient drummer so instead used a dreaded drum machine to fulfil that part for him. The album gained acclaim, so for future releases he brought in Shawn Benson to undertake that role. Now, after being unavailable for some time, he has decided to revisit the album and Shawn has recorded new drum tracks. Musically that is the only change to the original, but he has taken the opportunity to re-mix it and then brought in Mika Jussila (Nightwish, Stratovarius, Children of Bodom) to remaster it. In addition, he has provided new liner notes and track comments. 
    This album was originally released back in 2003 through Metal Ages, and I didn’t hear it at the time, but am really glad to have the opportunity now as this really doesn’t sound like a project but like a full on band. Given my personal hatred of drum machines I am sure that using Shawn to go over the previous tracks has had a huge impact as he is a large part of the overall sound. Also, Matt has a very powerful voice while also being a very good guitarist, which definitely adds to the band feel. Keyboards are used sparingly and are not really a key part to the overall sound, and this comes over much more as a melodic metal/power metal outfit than a prog metal one.

    Influenced by bands as diverse as Edguy, Iced Earth and Savatage, this is an incredibly solid debut and certainly doesn’t sound 10 years old. Well worth investigating.
    It probably comes as no surprise to learn, having seen the title, that this is the fourth album from L.A. thrashers Warbringer. These guys have been around since 2004, and have toured almost constantly since their inception, playing with the likes of Arch Enemy, Exodus, Suicide Silence, Megadeth, Napalm Death, Suffocation, Hatebreed, Testament, Nile, Iced Earth, Symphony X, Obituary, Overkill, Kreator, Destruction and Nevermore. This is a new chapter for the band, as it marks the first recording sessions for recently added members Jeff Potts (guitar) and Ben Mottsman (bass), both formerly of Mantic Ritual. It certainly sounds like these guys live on the road as they are incredibly tight, albeit not exactly brimming with ideas.
    It is an okay album, and something that I would have bought I had seen them in concert, but I can’t imagine hordes of people rushing out to get this if they haven’t. It isn’t possible to compare this to the latest Testament or Death Angel albums for example, as those guys are in a different league, but this is still good fun nonetheless. If you enjoy good old school thrash then this is worth hearing, and if they are ever playing in your neighbourhood then you definitely should get out and see them as it should be a good gig.
    So, a band with ‘Legend’ in their name release an album with ‘Legend’ in the title, on a label that also contains the word ‘Legend’. That’s not confusing at all. Drummer Heiko Burst and guitarist Siggi Maier were both in Abraxas year sago, but only put together this band in 2010. Since then they have been creating a stir in Germany, winning various awards, but this is their debut album. These guys have obviously taken Savatage as their starting point and have decided that their sound is so good why move on from there? And when a band performs as well as these guys who can blame them? Singer Selin Schönbeck uses the piano to great effect, bringing forward thoughts of the masterpiece that is “Gutter Ballet”, but there are plenty of times where he concentrates on just fronting this powerful quintet as they blast along with some incredible melodic and hard hitting metal.
    They fully understand the use of light and shade, slow and quick, and hit the mark far more often than they miss. There is just no way that this sounds like a debut as they exude confidence with great harmonies, twists and turns and obviously don’t take themselves too seriously (listen to “This Holy Dark” and there is a vocal harmony that definitely shows what I mean). They can riff as if they are the offshoot of Helloween, but it is to Savatage that they definitely tip their hat. Overall this is an impressive debut and I only hope that we get to hear a lot more from these guys, and soon.   
    by Corinna
    Quiet, unassuming, twenty-four year old instrumental composer,  Adrian von Ziegler, hails from Zurich and is one of those  young men whose talent deserves to take him far.  

    The first time I heard his music I thought ‘I’m home’.  I can’t explain any further than that but it was the same feeling that I get when I smell woodsmoke on the air, and hear the sound of calling rooks.  This guy has such pure talent and has produced a whole catalogue of albums.  I cannot urge you enough to give him a listen.

    From his official Facebook Page: "Independent composer from Switzerland who creates different styles of music. (Celtic, Emotional, Relaxing, Dark, World, Metal, Film Music etc.)"

    Try this piece out and this

    Last week I wrote that "It has been a totally peculiar week because nothing actually worked out anything like the way we were expecting, but as always seems to be the case, we got there in the end". This week has been even weirder, but - again - things have just about worked themselves out in the end.
    I hope that you have enjoyed reading this issue. I am rather proud of it because, once again we have more and more outside contributors, and it seems to me that we are becoming the hub of a real community.

    That's why I included the article written by students at The Small School in Hartland in this issue. I have been vaguely aware of the institution for some years, but recently I found out much more about it and realised what an incredibly valuable place it is. And so I want to do what I can to help. I don't want to appear to be an old fogey, and I certainly don't want to insult the teaching profession. My mother was a teacher, and some of my closest friends are teachers. Even my sister-in-law is a teacher.

    But there is something seriously wrong with the present state of education in many schools. One of the young people of whom I am very fond told me last autumn that she had been set an essay by her English teacher on the subject of some Godawful reality TV Programme. Other kids I know don't know the names of the continents, or who our present Queen's father was. They don't know what the Industrial Revolution was but can all operate their mobile phones. There is something very wrong.

    From what I have seen, the Small School, is an institution after my own heart; one where learning and scholarship are prized, but so is respect for the environment, and a sense of emotional and spiritual community purpose that I find utterly laudable. So I am going to get involved, and I am completely certain that you will be hearing more about this in these pages...
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