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 16, 2014

WEIRD WEEKEND 2014: Do your bit for Jon's Mental Health

I realised with a jolt late last night that there is only six months left until the Weird Weekend. This is where I always start to panic that no-one is going to turn up. So if you want to do my mental health a real favour and if you are intending to come, book your tickets early it will reassure my battered psyche.

Every year I panic, and every year it works out OK. But It would be really nice if we could sell enough tickets in advance so that I know it will be alright. We only need to sell another 25 to stop me fretting...


Also, I am proud to announce three new Guests:

John Higgs: "Chaos, Magick, and the band who burned a million quid". A talk based around his extraordinary book about the KLF which includes chaos magick, a history of the Discordian movement, and actually drops hints about the true nature of what we laughingly call reality.

C.J. Stone:  The Modern King Arthur. The life and times, and Chris Stones' life and times with the modern incarnation of the legendary King Arthur; road protester, environmental activist, and victor in several landmark court cases against HM Government.

Carl Marshall: Out of Place animals at Stratford Butterfly Park Carl Marshall is one of the young turks who are rapidly becoming invaluable to the CFZ. His day job at the Stratford Butterfly park has put him in poll position to be given creatures of Fortean Zoological importance


his 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-Five          February 15th
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:

"Politics is the art of controlling your environment".
                                              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: In Search of Space
I have been a rock and roll archaeologist for most of my life. I first began my obsessive interest in the minutiae of rock music culture in the mid 1970s when I read George Tremlett's biographies of David Bowie, Marc Bolan and John Lennon and it was downhill from then on.

Sadly, although I have interviewed hundreds of relevant (and irrelevant) people over the years, and been to hundreds of gigs (having filmed or recorded many of them) I have not yet been to many of the truly historic ones (the Treworgey Tree Fayre in 1989 being one possible exception to this). However, next weekend all this is going to change.

Graham, Rob Ayling and I will be at the fisrt performance of Space Ritual by Hawkwind for something over 40 years, and furthermore we shall be at the dress rehearsal the day before. We will have our film and stills cameras with us, but it is too early to predict what we shall or shall not be able to film. However, I think that I can safely say that there will be some very groovy exclusives for you in the pages of this magazine over the next few weeks.

So watch this space.

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.
  • Bob Dylan has once again shown his fans that he is not so enigmatic that he can't appear in a TV advert. This time for Chrysler cars in a lovingly produced two minute montage of classic Americana. Read on...
  • More from `The Big Zim`: Bob Dylan has been placed under judicial investigation in France for allegedly provoking ethnic hatred of Croats.It follows a legal complaint lodged by local Croats over an interview the American rock star gave to Rolling Stone magazine. In it the singer compared the relationship between Croats and Serbs to that of Jews and Nazis.More...
  • A modern Bayeux Tapestry which features scenes of the Iraq War, the sinking of The Belgrano, and 1971's 'Bloody Sunday' in Derry, is for sale (or at least prints of it are) on Etsy. The artist writes: "I started making these modern day Bayeux Tapestry versions of British military atrocities for my anti-army recruitment comic 'Join the Army' (http://etsy.me/14DzdyT) In the end I only used the Iraq image in the actual book, but I'm making the others available here." Check it out. 
  • Pink Floyd Album Art Exhibition St Pauls Gallery in Birmingham are exhibiting fine art print album cover art including pieces from Pink Floyd, 10CC, Led Zeppelin and others. The event is a celebration of the output from design house Hipgnosis where Aubrey Powell and the late Storm Thorgerson led the design team to create some of the most iconic album cover art in the history of music. Read More and see some beautiful pictures. (Thanx to those jolly nice fellows at Neptune Pink Floyd for this)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Auburn in Wolverhampton
As regular readers will remember, a few weeks ago, Corinna, Mother and I went to Wolverhampton to see and film Jefferson Starship and Auburn. Because of all the ongoing problems with my office/studio/editing suite which is all housed (together with two colonies of tropical cockroaches and four large fishtanks) in the converted potato shed where I spend most of my days, the editing process has taken longer than I had hoped.

My mini documentary about Jefferson Starship is presently with the powers that be awaiting their approval, but I am in the happy position of being able to release the first piece of completed video from the show; the opening number from the show, the sublime 'Sitia Bay'.

I enjoyed Auburn when I filmed them eighteen months ago, but they really have leapt up several levels since then, and the other night in Wolverhampton they were completely sublime.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  A Communique from Pussy Riot
We, the anonymous members of Pussy Riot, would like to say many thanks to all the people who have supported us, those who demanded the release of our members, those who sympathised with us and sympathised with our ideology. We are very grateful to all of you; we deeply appreciate and respect everyone who has contributed to the Pussy Riot campaign.
Our joint efforts were not in vain: Vladimir Putin had to bend under the pressure of the international community and let Nadia and Masha free. Thus, 23 December was a real celebration for us – the liberation day of prisoners of conscience and the liberation of the entire Pussy Riot.
But the amnesty is certainly not the end of our dreams. We demand real justice: that is, the complete abolition of the verdict and the recognition that the entire criminal case against Pussy Riot was illegitimate.
We hope that justice will be restored on 21 February, the anniversary of our teasing performance in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, with the song "Mother of God, put Putin away!"
We are very pleased with Masha and Nadia's release. We are proud of their resistance against the harsh trials that befell them, and their determination by all means to continue the struggle they had started during their time in the colonies.
Unfortunately for us, they became so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group – feminism, separatist resistance, the fight against authoritarianism and personality cults, all of which caused their unjust punishment.
It is no secret that Masha and Nadia are no longer members of the group, and will no longer take part in radical actionism. Now they are engaged in a new project, as institutionalised advocates of prisoners' rights.
But such advocacy is hardly compatible with radical political statements and provocative works of art – just as gender conformity is not compatible with radical feminism.
Institutionalised advocacy can hardly afford a critique of fundamental norms and rules that underlie modern patriarchal society. Being an institutional part of society, such advocacy cannot go beyond the rules set forth by this society.
Yes, we have lost two friends, two ideological teammates, but the world has acquired two brave human rights defenders – fighters for the rights of Russian prisoners.
Unfortunately we cannot congratulate them in person because they refuse to have any contact with us. But we appreciate their choice and sincerely wish them well in their new career.
At the moment we are witnessing an outrageous collision: even though Nadia and Masha are the focus of the media and the international community and crowds of journalists heed their every word, so far no one is listening to them.
In almost every interview they repeat that they have left the group, that they are no longer Pussy Riot, that they act in their own names, that they no longer engage in radical art activities. However, headlines are still full of the group's name, all their public appearances are declared as performances of Pussy Riot, and their personal withdrawal from Pussy Riot is treated as the termination of the entire collective, thus ignoring the fact that, at the pulpit of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, there were not two but five women in balaclavas, and that the performance in Red Square had eight participants.
The apotheosis of this misunderstanding was the announcement by Amnesty International of Masha and Nadia's appearance in Barclays Center in New York as the first legal performance of Pussy Riot.
Moreover, instead of the names Nadia and Masha, the poster of the event showed a man in a balaclava with an electric guitar, under the name Pussy Riot, while the organisers smartly called for people to buy expensive tickets.
All this is an extreme contradiction of the very principles of the Pussy Riot collective: we are an all-female separatist collective – no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality. We are anti-capitalist – we charge no fees for people to view our artwork, all our videos are distributed freely on the web, the spectators at our performances are spontaneous passersby, and we never sell tickets to our "shows".
Our performances are always illegal, staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. The distribution of our clips is always through free and unrestricted media channels.
We are anonymous because we act against any personality cult, against hierarchies implied by appearance, age and other visible social attributes. We cover our heads because we oppose the very idea of using female faces as a trademark for promoting any sort of goods or services.
The mixing of the rebel feminist punk image with the image of institutionalised defenders of prisoners' rights is harmful to us as a collective, and harmful to the new role that Nadia and Masha have taken on.
Hear them finally!
Since Nadia and Masha have chosen not to be with us, please, respect their choice. Remember, we are no longer Nadia and Masha. They are no longer Pussy Riot.
The campaign "free Pussy Riot" is over. We, as an art collective, have an ethical right to preserve our art practice, our name and our visual identity, distinct from other organisations.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Desirable Tat from the Acid Mothers Temple
I have a house full of tat that I have picked up on my travels, much of it related to various musical ensembles with whom I have been involved over the years. I really should be immune to the appeal of such stuff by now, but I'm not. And I have to admit that if I was in Tokyo next month I would want one of these highly desirable combos:

Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid's official mug (limited 20 copies!) and post card will be available at the show @ Club Goodman Tokyo on 15th Mar. 2014!!!

But who are Acid Mothers Temple And The Melting Paraiso UFO? You mean you don't know? Wash your psyche out with soap dudes and dudettes.
Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (and subsequent offshoots) is a Japanese psychedelic band, the core of which formed in 1995. The band is led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto and early in their career featured many musicians, but by 2004 the line-up had coalesced with only a few core members and frequent guest vocalists. The band has released albums frequently on a number of international record labels as well as the Acid Mothers Temple family record label, which was established in 1998 to document the activities of the whole collective.
Kawabata initially formed Acid Mothers Temple (originally ‘Acid Mother's Temple’) with the intention of creating ‘extreme trip music’ by editing and dubbing previous recordings, being influenced by progressive rock, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and krautrock.Kawabata, along with Koizumi Hajime, Suhara Keizo, and Cotton Casino formed the original Acid Mother's Temple lineup as a group; however, the first recordings released were Kawabata's own mixes and overdubs.The band released two self-titled tapes on their eponymous label in 1997 before dropping the apostrophe from their name. They soon released their first self-titled album (see Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.).The group began to tour overseas in 1998.
The band continued to tour and record, adding to the lineup drummer Ichiraku Yoshimitsu and guitarist Higashi Hiroshi. Several non-Acid Mothers shootoff bands formed, including Floating Flower,Nishinihon, and Tsurbami, while The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. played at sold-out shows and festivals all over North America, Japan, and Europe in the 2000s (decade). In 2002, the band released four albums and two EPs in a three-month span while touring the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, including South by Southwest in Austin, being selected as one of the top three groups performing.Kawabata began his own solo offshoot, called Kawabata Makoto & the Mothers of Invasion, in an attempt to create music with a more jazz feel. In 2002, along with Tsuyama Atsushi and Ichiraku Yoshimitsu, the group released their only album under this name.
In 2003, an incarnation of the band called ‘Acid Mothers Temple mode HHH’ was formed to tour Europe, consisting of Kawabata, Tsuyama, and Yoshida, a group who had played together as Seikazoku long before Acid Mothers Temple was formed. The same year, a collaboration of Acid Mothers Temple andGong called ‘Acid Mothers Gong’ performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Soon after, in 2004, long-time vocalist and synthesizer player Cotton Casino left the group to concentrate on her own group and family while Acid Mothers Gong continued to tour. The group again released four albums in a three-month period, while another collaboration between Acid Mothers Temple andAfrirampo, Acid Mothers Afrirampo, released an album as well. Meanwhile, Acid Mothers Temple mode HHH renamed itself to Acid Mothers Temple SWR and released its own album.In 2005, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Acid Mothers Temple, a new group called Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno was formed, starting their first European tour in June, and consisting of Kawabata, Higashi Hiroshi, Tabata Mitsuru, Okano Futoshi, and Shimura Koji and releasing several albums. Acid Mothers Temple SWR continued to tour as well. Acid Mothers Temple & the Incredible Strange Band was formed in 2006 by Tsuyama Akiko, Suhara Keizo, Aiko, Tsuyama Atsushi, and Kawabata Makoto. Kitagawa Hao joined The Cosmic Inferno as vocalist, though she left the band after touring the United States in mid-2007. Tsuyama and Kawabata formed another offshoot in December 2006, Acid Gurus Temple, with Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru, which quickly changed its name to Acid Mothers Guru Guru.
The band has also hosted its own yearly festival in Japan, appropriately titled Acid Mothers Festival, since 2002, which has been attended by Yamazaki Masoof Masonna, Afrirampo, Yoshida Tatsuya, Mani Neumeier, Kuriyama Jun, Ohpia, and Seiichi Yamamoto of Boredoms.

With regards to the often-confusing array of names for the different bands, Kawabata has explained:
‘ Though we shall henceforth be Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno, the new group will also be known in short as Acid Mothers Temple and this will no doubt sow confusion in the minds of many. But the true manifestations of Acid Mothers Temple are many—Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno, Acid Mothers Temple SWR. The future may see yet other groups bearing similar names. But each and all of them will be true manifestations of Acid Mothers Temple. ‘                                                                                                                                                                                —Kawabata Makoto
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The return of the mighty Six Foot Three
This week I had a blast from my own particular past. Over twenty years ago when I was editing a spectacularly unsuccessful magazine called ismo and also toiling fairly thanklessly in the Cockney Rebel vineyard, I became friendly with a dude called Steve Bolton. We were introduced by Roy Weard (who appears in these pages from time to time) and on several occasions I saw his band - Six Foot Three - play live. I also had a copy of their demo tape and a couple of live shows that I taped myself.

Steve was best known for being the stand-in guitarist during the 1989 tour by The Who which spawned the superbly packaged Join Together album. Because of his increasingly dodgy hearing, Pete "relegated himself to acoustic guitar and some electric rhythm guitar to minimise damage to his hearing".

Six foot Three were a superb band; with tightly written and arranged songs which sound much more contemporary now than they did then, and very tastefully limited guitar pyrotechnics. I lost the tapes many years ago during the transition from one life to the next, and I suspect that my ex-wife has them. However, I had an email from Steve this week, closely followed by a CD containing everything that the band ever recorded, so I have been indulging in an orgy of reminiscences and doing what I can to spread the word...
6FOOT3 reunion gigs late March 2014
  • Steve 'Boltz' Bolton(guitar/vocal)
  • Jim Kimberley(drums/vocal)
  • Bob Kimberley(Bass)
"In the early '90s,fresh from my tour with The Who as Pete Townsend's lanky loud helper,I decided to form a 3-piece band playing original songs.

A mutual friend pointed me in the direction of 'the brothers Kimberley'!

The futuristic,mighty  6FOOT3 (we are) was born!

Soaring Stratocaster led Melodic Tunes with loadsa room for improvisation!!

We gigged like crazy...recorded demos like maniacs.. I promised them fame,fortune and a choice of three matching Georgian houses on Blackheath Common... Guess what?
  • Bob moved to France to become a master jeweller...
  • Jim now has 'BRUISE' with his beautiful and talented wife Isobel..
I carried on carrying on!

All these years later I thought what a hoot to reform for a one-off weekend of gigs!...So Roll Up,Roll Up,Roll Up!!

Weekend of:
  • Thurs March 27 (Duke of Cumberland, Whitstable)
  • Fri March 28 (The Hob, Forest Hill)..29/30 2014
  • Sat March 29th (The Duke, Deptford)
(cd 'ROLLERCOAST' everything we recorded will be on sale at these gigs)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Rare Animals at Neptune Pink Floyd
Three studio quality demo recordings have become available that were made as part of the process of recording Pink Floyd’s Animals album.

You can listen to Sheep, Dogs and Pigs with alternative lyrics and often completely different production.  Sheep, for example, is very similar to “Raving and Drooling” as they used to refer to it when they first started playing it live.   Read on...
PECULIAR STORY OF THE WEEK:  A Weapon of Mass Destruction?
Loveable Toy Story cowboy Woody might not seem like much of a terror risk, but that didn’t stop Heathrow airport security from allegedly confiscating his miniature ‘gun’. A bemused father, who uploaded a picture online, claims a member of staff at the west London airport examined the pretend shooter before taking it away. ‘I have travelled the world with Toy Story’s Woody, taking pics for my son,’ he explained. ‘At Heathrow , security just confiscated his “weapon” , keep the world safe boys…’
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  More news on the Clepsydra box set
I really like this band, and I am wondering how they managed to slip through my critical net the first time around. However, Andy Thommen, who is a bloody nice bloke, sent me MP3s of all four albums some weeks ago, and  I have been playing them pretty consistently to anyone who will listen for some weeks now.

The tickets for the Polish gig (above) are now on and the box set has now been released, and for the first time I have the complete details:
CD 1: Hologram (remastered)
1. Sunrise - 1:20
2. New Day (Part 1) - 5:16
3. 4107 - 5:16
4. Fleeting Moment - 3:18
5. Fading Clouds of Time - 3:54
6. Poem For a Rainy Day - 2:15
7. New Day (Part 2) - 6:16
8. Sandflow - 3:22
9. For Her Eyes - 5:11
10. Steve and Jane - 5:24
11. New Day (Part 3) - 2:05
12. Hologram - 7:47
13. Sunset - 1:21

Bonus Tracks
14. No Place For Flowers (raw mix, alternative drum track and percussion, abridged, 1994) - 7:04
15. Into My Cartoon (demo tape, edited 1997) - 3:22
16. For Her Eyes (bonus track of Japanese Fears version, edited, 1997) - 3:47
17. The Nineteenth Hole (live in Barcelona, Spain, 1998) - 8:42

CD 2: More Grains of Sand (remastered)
1. The First Grain - 0:45
2. Moonshine On Heights - 7:12
3. Birthday Party - 7:16
4. Eagles - 5:54
5. Hold Me Tight - 3:17
6. No Place For Flowers - 8:04 • Darkness
• The Return Of The Light
7. The Outermost Bounds - 2:53
8. Fly Man - 4:09
9. The River In Your Eyes - 8:45
10. Grain Dance - 2:04
11. The Prisoner's Victory - 7:15
12. Vienna - 4:39
13. The Last Grain - 3:28

Bonus Track
14. The Missing Spark (live in Barcelona Spain, 1998) - 9:44

CD 3: Fears (remastered)
1. Soaked - 9:02
2. The Missing Spark - 9:03
3. Into My Cartoon - 4:08
4. The Age Of Glass - 5:53
5. Fearless - 3:59
6. Daisies In The Sunshine - 2:31
7. The Cloister - 5:46
8. The Nineteenth Hole - 8:45
9. Sweet Smelling Wood - 2:46
10. Fear - 10:55

Bonus Tracks
11. New Day (Part One) (demo tape, 1990) - 6:11
12. Sandflow (live in Locarno, Switzerland, 1992) - 3:13
13. The Outermost Bounds (raw mix, alternative vocal track, 1994) - 2:54

CD 4: Alone (remastered)
1. Tuesday Night - 13:13
2. Travel of Dream - 10:52
3. The Return - 7:10
4. The Father - 7:30
5. Alone - 6:00
6. The Nest - 6:58
7. God or Beggar - 5:44
8. End of Tuesday - 4:58

Bonus Tracks
9. Old Dream 1993 - 6:30
10. Eagles (raw mix, alternative choir track, 1997) - 5:45
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Galahad's new EP has arrived!

Following on from the release of two critically acclaimed full length albums in 2012 (Battle Scars and Beyond the Realms of Euphoria), Galahad are back again with an EP  ‘Seize the Day’, the first of several which will be released during the coming year.
‘Seize the Day’ has been edited, tweaked and re-mixed by the band and Karl Groom and makes a perfect single, in our opinion of course! It will be available as a download from the band’s website as well from the usual digital on-line platforms such as I-tunes, CD Baby, Amazon etc.
It will be available in physical form as a limited edition CD EP which will also contain the full re-mixed album version as well as a couple of other re-recorded and re-worked Galahad songs:
‘21st Century Painted Lady’ is based upon ‘Painted Lady’ which was one of the first Galahad songs ever written and was first recorded in the mid 1980’s but has now been given a major overhaul and now includes a second verse which should have but didn’t appear on the original version!
‘Bug Eye’, originally from the 1998 album ‘Following Ghosts’ has also been re-worked and brought up to date for 2013. A live version of the original arrangement is also included on the EP.
‘Seize the Day’ should appeal to existing fans of the band as well as those who are intrigued and interested in the band but have yet to dip their toes in to the murky world of Galahad music. 

Track Listing:
1. Seize The Day (Single Version)
2. Seize The Day (Full Version)
3. 21st Century Painted Lady
4. 21st Century Painted Lady (Instr)
5. Bug Eye 2014
6. Bug Eye (Live)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  XNA announce live show
David Hussey writes:

Hello, All,
On the wave of great critical and fan response to our debut album, we're doing a nice, intimate show at the M Bar in Hollywood.  We've been having a great time rehearsing (as always!) and can't wait to get in front of you again.
So, gather at: 

8pm on Friday, March 28th 
1253 N. Vine St. (at Fountain and Vine), 
and we'll have a blast working our way through the journey that is "When We Changed You." 
Cover is only $10, with a $10 food/drink minimum.  
RSVP: 323-856-0036.
It's a very intimate, focused dinner venue right at Fountain and Vine in Hollywood. There's a $10 cover and $10 minimum food and drink purchase. We'll play our entire "When We Changed You" album that's garnering rave reviews across the globe!

We're really looking forward to it and hope you can join us.
Here's some more great reviews of XNA's debut prog epic "When We Changed You" 

“The most exciting prog rock release of the year!”
                       Brent Black CRITICAL JAZZ
“The best of what classic melodic progressive rock should offer.”
                                                  Craig Hartranft DANGER DOG MUSIC REVIEWS
“Apart from ‘Close To The Edge’ and  ‘The Lamb’ you
couldn’t find a more  definitive progressive rock album if you tried.”

                               Alan Jones GET READY TO ROCK!
“Should secure a place in the Prog Olympus.”
                   Steve Braun ROCK TIMES
“A stunning piece of work...simply amazing.”
                                                                            Jim Lawson PROG ROCK MUSIC TALK
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Steve Hackett Genesis Extended World Tour 2014 dates revealed
Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited II album and tour
For details, see TOUR DATES page.
For UK news, see PRESS RELEASE.

MARCH 2014
  • 26 March - Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC, USA
  • 27 March - Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood, NJ, USA
  • 28 March - Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood, NJ, USA
  • 29 March - The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY, USA
  • 31 March - Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta, GA, USA
Click here for details & Ticket links

 APRIL 2014
  • 2 April - Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra, FL, USA
  • 3 April - Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, FL, USA
  • 4 April - Plaza Live, Orlando, FL, USA
  • 5 April - Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
  • 7-12 April - Cruise to the Edge, Isla de Roatan, Honduras & Cozumel, Mexico
  • 23 April - Crocus City Hall, Moscow, RUSSIA
  • 25 April - Lensoveta Theater, St Petersburg, RUSSIA
  • 27 April - Circus, Helsinki, FINLAND
  • 28 April - Nokia Concert Hall, Tallinn, ESTONIA
  • 30 April - Circus, Stockholm, SWEDEN
Click here for details & Ticket links

MAY 2014
  • 1 May - Sentrum Scene, Oslo, NORWAY
  • 2 May - Trädgårn, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
  • 3 May - Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DENMARK
  • 5 May - Dom Muzyki i Tanca, Zabrze, POLAND
  • 6 May - Lucerna, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
  • 8 May - Schwabenlandhalle, Stuttgart, GERMANY
  • 9 May - Ruhrcongress, Bochum, GERMANY
  • 11 May - Circus Krone, Munich, GERMANY
  • 13 May - Event Halle, Basel, SWITZERLAND
  • 15 May - L'Olympia, Paris, FRANCE
  • 16 May - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, BELGIUM
  • 17 May - Markant, Uden, NETHERLANDS
  • 18 May - CCH, Hamburg, GERMANY
  • 19 May - Tempodrom, Berlin, GERMANY
  • 22 May - Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome, ITALY
  • 23 May - Nuovo Teatro Carisport, Cesena, ITALY
  • 24 May - Teatro Comunale Guiseppe Verdi, Pordenone, ITALY
  • 25 May - Auditorium Santa Chiara, Trento, ITALY
  • 26 May - Gran Teatro Linear4Ciak, Milan, ITALY
  • 28 May - Teatro BTM, Barcelona, SPAIN
Click here for details & Ticket links
  • 7 August - Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Oxon, UK
Click here for details & Ticket links

  • 21 October - Regent Theatre, Ipswich, UK
  • 22 October - Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK
  • 24 October - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK
  • 25 October - Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, UK
  • 26 October - Barbican, York, UK
  • 28 October - Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, UK
  • 29 October - 02 Guildhall, Southampton, UK
  • 30 October - St David's Hall, Cardiff, UK
  • 1 November - Eventim Apollo, London, UK
  • 2 November - The Lowry, Salford, UK
  • 3 November - Glive, Guildford, UK
  • 4 November - Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK
Click here for details & Ticket links
* Further dates for the Genesis Revisited World Tour will be announced soon.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Alan Davey announces Psychedelic Warlords tour
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life - in Oslo
I am sure that one of these days I shall eventually catch up with this band. Each week I get more snippets through (like this film clip from The Blitz in Oslo last week, which arrived on YouTube today). From the photographs above it looks like a splendid time was had by all involved. On his Facebook group Steve writes:

"Got back from Oslo yesterday tired but happy. Had a great night at Blitz, everyone was so friendly and helpful. I did a great Q&A session with Jenny and afterwards performed the set. I had to keep reminding myself to speak slowly and I think most people understood what I was saying. Not sure if everyone got the lyrics of the songs but everyone seemed to have a good time. A great night. Thanks to everyone involved and special thank you to Jenny and Andreas."

The write up from the venue was revealing:

Slice of Life: Steve Ignorant delivered from the late seventies and some years to come an invaluable contribution to punk and politics through his work as lead singer of the legendary, controversial and underestimated Crass. Later he irregularly appeared as the front runner in Startford Mercenaries and Schwartzneggar, or recently with Paranoid Visions - always true to anarkopunkens passionate DIY ethos. In his new project Slice of Life set he and Carol Hodge, his wing-woman under the big Last Supper tour for a couple of years ago. Hodge is a firecracker of a singer who would otherwise be experienced in groups like Bad Taste Barbies and WRECKS.Slice of Life is much more than your everyday oi! offers a bizarrely captivating mix of cabaret, spoken word and acoustic punk rock - exercised by some of the genre's most distinctive voices. Ignorant After the concert invites to a Q & A round. Was the black clothes a result of an unfortunate round in the washing machine or was it a protest against fashion chased from gjøglepunkerne? How does it feel to sing about nonviolence while half the audience gets round ass of Nazi skins? If people have burned inside with Crass-historical questions, this is the time to get them answered. See ya! Love from Blitz and Femme Brutal
There is a gig next month in London. The promotor writes:

Less than a month to go before 'Steve Ignorant's Slice Of Life' ONLY London show which will be held here at The Grosvenor. The Astronauts and 'Dangerous Dinky' are also on the bill for this gig which will be presented by Bigstuff Prom.
ADM £8. Doors 8pm - 11.30pm (Late Bar)
Tickets can be purchased in advance from:

And lest you forget, Carol Hodge, whose keyboards and warm vocals perfectly complement the things Steve does, has a brilliant new album out on Gonzo
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Michael Des Barres' in the news
Michael is one of the busiest people I know, and some months ago I gave up trying to keep up with all his various activities. UK glossy AOR Magazine catches up with “the frontman of the filthiest, most decadent bunch of sweethearts in history”… in a remarkably candid and - as ever - entertaining story. Check it out..
But there's more. Michael has been celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles massive success in the United States. On his Facebook page he writes: I pretaped a very special interview today with Peter Asher.A man at the forefront of the british invasion.Confidante of the Beatles.He ran Apple records had many hit singles as a member of Peter and Gordon.Produced James Taylor,Linda Rondstadt etc..etc..incredible career and an incredible conversation.Our show is part of the 50th year of the Beatles anniversary on setting these United states and the world on fire.....
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
My favourite roving reporter sent me two fantastic new stories this week. The first is news of thefirst Asia album since Steve Howe left for pastures new (pastures old, actually), and the other is a fantastic slice of rock history; a never before heard interview with John Lennon from back in 1968.

In 1968, Maurice Hindle, a college student at Keele University in England, wrote a letter to a Beatles fanzine requesting an interview with John Lennon. Remarkably, Hindle's letter was answered by Lennon himself, who invited the student and others to his home in Surrey, England to discuss politics, social change and a possible 1969 Beatles tour, among many other topics.  Read on...
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 57 Part One
Date Published: 14th 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.

STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 57 Part Two
Date Published: 14th February 2014

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.
Something massively peculiar found on a London market stall and sent in to me by Dr Gail-Nina Anderson
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.

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: Shirley Temple (1928-2014)
Shirley Temple Black was an American film and television actress, singer, dancer and public servant, most famous as a child star in the 1930s. As an adult, she entered politics and became a diplomat, serving as United States Ambassador to Ghana and later to Czechoslovakia, and as Chief of Protocol of the United States.
Grew into Republican,supported Nixon's Vietnam
Did not read the pulse of the young.Failed Congress
Ambassador status later,successfully showing
America as a place where all can be born again
She made 85 cycles round one sun-famous in name
for when she and her world were children
dancing for depressed elders-little Curly Top
who just did not make it into the Wizard of Oz
became symbol of precocious charisma
and our need to believe in the young.

                                                   Thom the World Poet
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Steve Fromholz
Thom the World Poet sent me this after Fromholz's death in January, and it unfortunately slipped through the mesh)

There are some folk constants in most Texas towns
Their familiarity a form of local fame.Like extended family
they have songs that almost linger on the edge of your memory
all of this pre-TV,when radio was as local as laughter.
Once,i was in a commercial for some restaurant
with bright Steve Fromholtz having to repeat hi lines
while we volunteer extras just enjoyed watching
Poet Laureate of Texas 2007-we wondered about that
Perhaps a form of recognition before he left us
he lasted until January 19,2014
Folk radio will play his tunes.Community venues
will dedicate a night or two to his memory
We have lost too many to forget
Remember Steve Fromholtz
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: Exclusive interview with reformed Pink Fairies
"Russell has a lovely voice"
I have been in a peculiar situation here, because I have known some of the details of The Pink Fairies reunion for several months. Or, to be more honest, I knew that there was going to be one, and I knew who two of the members of the reunion lineup were going to be.

But I didn't know anything else for sure. When extraordinary rumours started being posted on the internet, when one of the people I KNEW was going to be in the band denied it publically, and - above all - when the other one asked me to keep schtum about it, I realised that discretion was the better part of valour...
Pink Fairies were an English rock band active in the London (Ladbroke Grove) underground and psychedelic scene of the early 1970s. They promoted free music, drug taking and anarchy and often performed impromptu gigs and other agitprop stunts, such as playing for free outside the gates at the Bath and Isle of Wight pop festivals in 1970, as well as appearing at Phun City, the second Glastonbury and many other free festivals including Windsor and Trentishoe.
The group was formed after the three musicians from The Deviants (Paul Rudolph, guitar and vocals, Duncan Sanderson, bass and Russell Hunter, born Barry Russell Hunter, drums), sacked their singer and leader Mick Farren during a disastrous tour of the West Coast of the United States. Prior to the tour these musicians had collaborated on the Think Pink solo album by Twink, former drummer of The Pretty Things, using the name Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All-Star Rock and Roll Band, taken from a story written by Deviants' manager Jamie Mandelkau. Twink (drums), Farren (vocals), Steve Peregrin Took (guitar) and Twink's girlfriend Sally 'Silver Darling' Meltzer (keyboards) hooked up in October 1969 for one shambolic gig at Manchester University, billed as The Pink Fairies,and went on to record Farren's solo album, Mona – The Carnivorous Circus.Within a few months Twink had left, followed by Farren, by which point Took had renamed the embryonic band Shagrat. In 1970 Twink recruited the remaining Deviants to a new Pink Fairies line-up.[3] Took meanwhile continued with Shagrat as a vehicle for his own songs, and the two bands would appear as separate acts at the Phun City festival that summer.
Their music was upbeat good-time rock and roll, often jamming on The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", The Ventures' "Walk Don't Run", "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and other standards. Their sets climaxed with the lengthy "Uncle Harry's Last Freakout", essentially an amalgam of old Deviants riffs that included extended guitar and double drum solos. They were closely associated with the UK underground, being based in the Ladbroke Grove scene and playing festivals, benefits and free concerts. The band had strong connections with Farren's home town Worthing, playing gigs for the Worthing Workshop. These included an appearance on a float in the Worthing Rotary Club Carnival Procession and a free open-air concert in Beach House Park. Playing for in June 1970 free outside the Bath Festival, they encountered another Ladbroke Grove based band Hawkwind, who shared similar interests in music and recreational activities, a friendship developed which would lead to the two bands becoming running partners and performing as Pinkwind. Sensationalist coverage in the (Mick Farren edited) International Times solidified their rebel reputation
Last Saturday, whilst putting the finishing touches to #64 of this august periodical, I was both hungover, and suffering from a horrible cold (which affected my performance far more than the hangover). But this didn't stop me from telephoning a secret number to speak rather croakily to Andy, Russell and Jaki from the band.

Listen to our conversation HERE.
EXCLUSIVE: Sandor Kwiatkowski interview
As regular readers will be aware, even as people who have read this issue so far will know, I am getting increasingly fond of the music of Clepsydra, and never pass up an opportunity to plug them unmercifully. But as well as the musicians, from the beginning they have had the exquisite visuals of Sandor Kwiatkowski. Just after Christmas I got hold of him for a chat...

How did you first meet Clepsydra?

Andy Thommen, Phil Hubert, Lele Hofmann (the first guitar player) and me were school friends years before Clepsydra even was born. When in 1989 the project started, first as an instrumental band in search of a singer, I just had graduated at the art school as graphic illustrator and so it was somehow obvious that I would have designed their first record artwork. Together with Lele I also wrote the lyrics for the song “Hologram”.

As Aluisio Maggini joined the band, things were getting serious!

The “computer”-era was at its beginning and today it’s funny to remember that the “Hologram” artwork was entirely hand-designed by me over months working closely together with the band. We still have a lot of sketches of that period in our archive! In that time I had known the world famous Swiss’ artist HR Giger (Academy Award winner for “Alien”) and so we had the chance to use one of his creations for our hologram on the cover!

Tell me about the artwork for the box set

For the “3654 DAYS”-box I have a “supporting role” for Mark Wilkinson, who is designing the artwork, providing him as much archive material as possible (photographies, original cover material, etc.).

I also redesigned the complete band website for the box release (and the 2014 tour…!) and I do all the graphics of the Clepsydra-Facebook-Page.

Tell me about the animations you are doing for next year's tour

After having created the four teasers for the release of “3654 DAYS”, Andy did send me a few weeks ago the scheduled playlist of their concert, asking me to do some short  animations inspired by the lyrics of the songs to be used during the show.

The first idea I got it for “4107” and in the end I designed a complete “video” for that song, which can be seen on Clepsydra’s Youtube channel.

Right now I’m working on other animations… Come to their shows to discover them…!

What else are you working on?

Right now I am designing the poster for the 2014 edition of “RoSfest”-Festival in Gettysburg, where Clepsydra will perform im May and I am working on the artwork for the new record of Swiss’ rock band “May Day” to be released soon.

Then I go on creating my surreal images. If anyone of you is interested in having an outstanding artwork for your next record, visit my website (which I have just completely redesigned) and don’t hesitate to contact me…!

CJ Stone's Britain: Ghost town (Coventry)
I’m in Coventry, sitting in a café on a wet winter’s morning. In this city of the eternal shopping arcade, the shopper’s are milling about, wandering from BhS to Marks & Spencer and back, and I’m wondering how I can describe something as familiar as this. “Ordinary” is the only word; extraordinarily ordinary, like a carrier bag, the kind you pick up at every supermarket and then discard once you’ve put the shopping away. Functional but undistinguished. Plain.
Well, I have got a terrible hangover: beers yesterday afternoon, gin-and-tonics (super-sonics) in the evening, and a night in a weird B&B. This one had two dogs that barked if you so much as breathed, the walls were pink and the only decoration in my room was a tiny, plaster dog. The proprietors seemed to be under the impression I thought it was a knocking-shop. I was with my friend Emma. The proprietor showed us into a double room. “No, it’s just for me,” I told him. “I only want a single.”
“Your friend will be leaving then?”
“Well in a minute, when we’ve said our goodbyes.”
“Okay, but only for a minute, not 15,” he said.
Later Emma came over to take me to the pub. She was made to stand on the steps.
“Tell me about Coventry,” I said, once we’d sat down with our drinks.
“Well there’s Two-Tone music, the car-industry, the cathedral, the blitz and … er … Two-Tone music, “ said Emma, counting out the points emphatically on the fingers of one hand. “Oh, and George Eliot went to school here.”
I saw George Eliot’s school. It’s now a tandoori restaurant. As for the other things she mentioned, three of them are connected: it was the industrial base which brought the bombers to flatten the city during the second world war. In the process they destroyed the cathedral too. The Whitley Bomber was made here, along with machine tools and components for the car industry turned over for war uses.
The old cathedral is a burnt-out shell which has been incorporated into the design of the new cathedral as a monument to the people’s resilience and patience under fire. In one devastating night – November 14 to November 15 1940 – the fire-bombs raged, the high-explosives rumbled and burst, and the entire city centre was razed to the ground.
In the central shopping area, I saw a banner. “Coventry: Birthplace Of The Car,” it said. I later found out that last year had been the centenary of the world’s first car factory, built in 1896 by the Great Horseless Carriage Company, later to become Daimler. From horseless carriages to virtual gridlock in 100 hundred years, it’s a centenary worth thinking about.
Anarchy Bridge 1982
Anarchy Bridge 1982
It’s where I ran away to when I ran away from home. I took my first drugs here: a cough medicine called Dimerol
The Guardian Weekend March 8 1997
The only part of Coventry’s history that I can talk about with any confidence is Two-Tone music. That was my era. It was nothing original; they just took Jamaican ska music and reconstituted it. What was new was the spirit in which it was performed: as a tribute to multi-culturalism, as an attempt to heal the rift between the races. And Ghost Town, by the Specials, still sums up town (and so many other towns like it): “Bands won’t play no more/too much figh-ting on the dance floor.”
Finally there’s Anarchy Bridge, a narrow, riveted steel structure crossing the railways lines, scrawled from end to end with slogans. “Women are angry, it states, boldly. “If you want to feed the world you’ve got to starve the rich,” it adds, controversially. “Welcome to Anarchy,” it welcomes, welcomingly. “Why arrest skaters?” it asks, puzzlingly. “Sex, drugs and more sex,” it pouts, provocatively. “I got a Cavalier GSI 2000 down this bridge at 25mph,” it claims, startlingly. At this you have to look up and down the bridge, just to check that it is at all possible. And indeed it is, just about: wide enough by about six inches either side.
There ought to be a place like Anarchy Bridge in every town, where people can write their thoughts, state their case, no matter how odd. The Specials were photographed here. It’s a landmark feature in an otherwise featureless town, a monument to humdrum absurdity and to a pointless kind of optimism. “Troops out of Ireland,” it suggests, as if the British government often goes skateboarding over Anarchy Bridge, just to find out what the people of Coventry have to say.
(Maybe they actually did. The bridge was demolished on January 13 1997. RIP Anarchy Bridge.)
I have a special affection for this friendly, unpretentious little city, where people care enough to say hello to you in the pub. It’s where I ran away to when I ran away from home. I took my first drugs here: a cough medicine called Dimerol.

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: 

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (4 Oct 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0670921718
Blimey.  This is a monumentally peculiar book. It is disjointed, repetitive, and meanders from subject to subject with a total lack of focus.  I also like it a lot.

Neil Young writes how he has given up alcohol and marijuana some months before commencing work on this long-awaited autobiography, and there are times within these 400+ pages that he reaches a new lucidity about events of his past, almost as if he is revisiting them with a new and sober vision.
The disjointed and episodic nature of the book is disconcerting in the first few chapters, but after a while one realises that it has its own internal structure and logic and that if he had written the book in a more conventional linear manner it just would not have worked anywhere near as well.  He keeps revisiting his current obsessions; the LincVolt project, and his PureTone process which he hopes will replace mp3s as the industry’s standard for digital streaming of music.

He is a strange, but oddly likeable fellow; and although he appears to have been brutally honest about his chequered past – the break ups of his relationships prior to meeting Pegi, for example – he still comes over as a nice man, and more importantly, a man of steadfast integrity. His accounts of his relationships with his two sons, Zeke and Ben, who were both born with cerebral palsy even though they had different mothers, are oddly touching, and I was very impressed by the way he always refers to them as Zeke Young and Ben Young in the text.  Doing this, rather than just using their Christian names as nearly everybody else on the planet would have done, emphasises that he sees them as true individuals, and wants us to do likewise; not ignoring, but seeing passed, their disabilities. This is a massively laudable thing, and I take my hat off to him.

He also doesn’t attempt to brush over his brief relationship with Charles Manson, although the song Revolution Blues which appears on his On The Beach album from the mid-70s does appear to be more admiring of the Family ethic than the account given in this book.  However, unlike the retrospective accounts by Dennis Wilson, which are quoted in Heroes and Villains by Steve Gaines, Neil Young does not indulge in retroactive histrionics. He just states the facts, gives a wry smile, and moves on.

He is obsessed with cars, and motor vehicles in general. His LincVolt project, for example, seems to be particularly dear to him.  It is an attempt to convert large luxury cars to sustainable eco-friendly methods of power.  This is something that if I had the money, I would be involved in as well.  I miss driving a Jaguar, but I’m only too aware that each time someone does so it is a another coffin nail into the casket of pollution which surrounds the ‘green hills of Earth’.  I like the way he names each of his cars, and most of his instruments; his favourite guitar – the one he recorded so many classic albums with – is called Big Black. I was oddly sad to finish the biography late last night, and I am very pleased that Neil seems to have got the writing bug and intimates that there will be more books of autobiography on the way.  This is good, because he has only scratched the surface of his remarkable life in this book.  Long may he run.
(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..
* the following legal interpretations are Graham's *

The Hawkwind name battle has - publically, at least - been fairly quiet this week, so this might be an opportune moment to recap on events thus far, and bring things up to date.

Firstly, the matter is currently being looked at by the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board - there's no white-wigged lawyers leaping up and down in court and shouting "Objection m'Lud" - well, not at this stage, anyway.

November 2012: Nik Turner, ex-sax player with Hawkwind, applies to trademark the name "Nik Turner's Hawkwind" in the USA.

Various procedural delays and then requests for extra time for annoyed parties to respond filled up most of 2013.

November 2013: Hawkwind's "archive record label" (Cherry Red) lodges an objection, citing confusion.

December 2013: Dave Brock, current Hawkwind member and holder of the "Hawkwind" trademark, lodges a detailed opposition to Turner's application, citing various grounds. The current Hawkwind record label (PlasticHead) also lodges an opposition.

January 2014: Nik Turner's legal representative asks for both of the record company objections to be kicked out, basically (my words) on the grounds that it's all none of their business.

January 29: Nik Turner (through his legal rep) denies the validity of Dave Brock's opposition.

February: the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has just announced that they are going to chew over the Nik Turner idea of kicking out the record company objections.

Or, to put it in more formal language,

"Proceedings herein are suspended pending disposition of applicant’s motion to dismiss."

And we are advised that a decision will be forthcoming "in due course."

Until then, it seems we're in what NASA would call 'another hold' - ie, wait and see.
Flaming Lips Burn!
The Flaming Lips have released an EP 'Peace Sword' which contains music based on the film of Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game'. The NME reports: "Christ knows what sort of therapy Wayne Coyne’s signed up for, but here he follows an album about the emotional anguish of his marriage disintegrating (this year’s ‘The Terror’) with the next logical step: an EP about 22nd-century teenage space-Rambos fighting massive insectoid aliens".

With the recent release of Peace Sword, and planned tour of the UK in May, it's a good time to reflect on the Flaming Lips music and culture, best consumed at their live performances.  Having skipped last year's tour to support The Terror in 2013, here's Doug's take on the prior major tour in the states, after the Embryonic release:
The Flaming Lips burned brightly last time I saw them at the Fox Theater, Oakland on October 1, 2010 when they played to a sold-out crowd of initiated followers.  The music of this band is a jarring combination of funk, progressive, noise, and psychedelic music, that may invoke a dreamy state in the listener.  Their most recent release at that time, Embryonic, is a relentless, percussive masterwork that was not particularly featured in the set list at the Fox.  Instead the band pulled more evenly from material released over the last dozen years, probably because this show fell late in the tour.
In general, there is a lot to applaud in a Flaming Lips show:
  • Front man Wayne Coyne climbing inside his clear plastic ball rolling through the audience
  • Tons of confetti delivered via colorful cannons, showering down on the audience along with a multitude of giant balloons
  • A dozen amatuer dancers – boys stage left, girls right – posing and shimmying to the sounds
  • Wayne donning a giant pair of hands containing palm lasers shooting out in all directions
  • Beautiful light pallet with acid-house projections on clever rear video delivery system
  • Talented musicians that improve on the studio recordings with their aggressive live delivery
He actually IS called Jon Pertwee, and he runs a shop selling  pop culture memorabilia with a special emphasis on Dr Who related stuff. He is an old mate of mine, and from now on will be doing a regular column in this magazine. Hooray!
The way that TV is represented today by magazines in general is "Hey..look at this real life person from this wonderfully crap real TV show.." Blah blah and indeed ..blah.

You see.. in the 1970s the average child on the street was bombarded with a hundred different shows on just the three telly channels..these were largely compressed down into one bitesize weekly magazine.."Look-In"..and here is a run down of this truly beautiful thing.

"LI" was a "TVTIMES"(other listing magazines are available!) spin -off, aimed at the Chopper riding, Opal fruits sucking pre teen.

It came out in 1971 and petered out about 1994 - it had jolly comic strips, crosswords that wouldn't test a backwards horse and had nifty pullout posters of the "pop" star of the day..

The genuinely beautiful covers were drawn by a London-based Italian artist, Arnaldo Putzu. He was a main poster designer for the main run of the magazine, before they were replaced by photoshopped head shots of that week's star.

The magazine carried a wonderful TV advert campaign "la-la-la Loooookiiin" and showed the children's shows and a TV TIMES-esque listing at the back of each issue.

As the '70s rolled on ,"LookIn" struggled to keep up with various teen magazines that were strutting onto the newsagents' shelves.Children didn't want to see comic strips of "Logans Run", they wanted David Essex and Duran Duran.

The covers and magazine changed, it became a punchy snap shot of "Factz" and "Fotos"; in short,a poor quivering darkened corner-dweller trying to bathe in its former Saturday tea time slot, "LookIn" dies and a piece of every kid died somewhat too.

I had nearly all of the magazines. They were duly stored in a neat pile in the corner of a room, gradually bending in on themselves in the stack.

It was a sad day when my "Birthparent" chose to torch the lot, in a no budget reconstruction of the "Towering Inferno", burning about a hundred issues as I stood and watched, bottom lip quivering. Today the magazine has long gone, reduced to long blown away ash. What I still have, however, is the best memories of one of the finest magazines ever, except the one you are reading, obviously..

Jon Pertwee,
News at Ten Washington
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 few mildly dismal weeks for news from the Yes camp and from all their various alumni, this week is a bumper one. I am very tempted to try plotting the amount of these stories each week on a graph, and seeing if I can correlate it against current events. Maybe I will even be able to foresee the future. I could call it PROG-OMANCY!

Starting off with Rick Wakeman for a change, there are loads of stories from him this week starting off with his involvement in a community TV project, and his involvement in a forthcoming tribute to Jon Lord. He is also apparently featured in a new comedy show on BBC4 called The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern
Jon Anderson is apparently putting a new band together, and he also appears on a well known US radio show. But don't be disappointed. He will also be playing Woodstock with students from the Rock Academy. Golly! And finally an interview with Alan White!

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.

The Onion gives better  head   lines-
all that can be imagined has already happened-
survivalists/Seventh Day Adventists stockpiling food
Right Wing Militia arming for a showdown-
Waco,Ruby Ridge,Pine Ridge,Wounded Knee
California both raining and in drought simultaneously
Las Vegas having to pipe in water to their desert
full of swimming pools ,green lawns and golf courses
Water has now become a privitized source 
Post-fracking,owned via Amatil Corporation
sold as sugary Coca-Killa or fluoride solution
Every thing is happening @once
Every thing repeats until addressed
And then begins again..
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...
The other day, the BBC told us that Michael Jackson fans win one euro for emotional damage. 

Wow, was it really five years ago that he died?

"Five Michael Jackson fans have been awarded one euro each by a French court for the "emotional damage" they suffered after the pop star's death.

The case saw 34 fans sue Jackson's doctor, who was jailed in 2011 for the involuntary manslaughter of the singer.

The court in Orleans ruled five fans had proven emotional suffering.

Their lawyer said they had proven their suffering "with the help of witness statements and medical certificates."

"As far as I know this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognised," Emmanuel Ludot told the AFP news agency.

"They have been subjected to ridicule and I am delighted their suffering has been taken seriously by the law."

The damages were symbolic, he added, and the claimants would not be seeking to claim the one euro each from Conrad Murray.

The five fans say they hope the ruling will help them gain access to Michael Jackson's grave in Los Angeles, which is closed to the public

So why should they gain access, just because they won one euro each, which – by the way – at the time of writing is 0.82p? And the damages were symbolic were they?  So did they decide between them on the one euro, or was that the amount suggested by their legal representatives?  If the latter, and call me a cynic if you like (I am …. so sticks and stones…) it could be said that ‘ridicule’ and ‘taken seriously’  could be construed slightly differently.  But, a case like this is bound to make headlines.  And just think what those loosened legal floodgates could see wash through now.

The man had a few problems (yes that is a gigantic understatement) and Lord knows there are plenty of pro-MJ nutters and anti-MJ nutters out there mingling with a large contingent of  general crazies so, to be honest, I am not really surprised his grave is closed to the public.

But….he was one hell of a dancer in his day.

The Haçienda Manchester  

I came across this very oddly-worded sale on Ebay with regard to the above: 

HACIENDA URINALS / TOILETS, FACTORY RECORDS, MADCHESTER, ACID, NEW ORDER, ECT(etc. actually, please get it right). And in the item specifics it notes:  Artist – Joy Division 

Apart from anything else, I did find myself wondering why Joy Division is added there, rather detachedly. Or is it just a weird pun relating to the joy one experiences at being able to empty one’s bladder?

Bids start at £1,050.00 or you can ‘buy it now’ for £1,495.00, and you’ve got till 20th February unless someone gets there first.  But you had better warn your other-half beforehand so you can at least agree on the placement of said article in your home.

The ad makes them sound so delightful and the seller certainly has a way with words.


A TRUE PIECE OF MANCHESTER MUSIC HISTORY COMPLETE WITH ORIGINAL PISS STAINS.” My first  thought after reading this was ‘wow, I bet this chap has great chat-up lines’, and my second was, ‘I wonder if this could lead to some interesting DNA testing?’ Yeah, okay, that is how my mind works, but just imagine: you could find out who actually went for a tinkle in which urinal and then break up the display and sell each urinal separately for many dollars if you could prove someone famous had relieved themselves in it.    However, much to my chagrin I found out that:  
Urine itself does not contain DNA, but it may contain epithelial cells, which do contain DNA. Most healthy individuals, however, do not excrete epithelial cells in their urine.

I shall write no further about that last sentence as I do not want any lawsuits filed against me.

But the guy is generous to a ‘T’: “CAN DELIVER IF LOCAL FOR A SMALL FEE.” What is the going rate these days?  Used to be a penny; “Off to spend a penny in the penny house” and all that in my day.  But I think it is now 20p in some places, or I seem to recollect having to fork out 20p in Bristol Coach Station on several occasions.  “Off to spend twenty pennies in the twenty pennies house” doesn’t really utter forth from the mouth with ease does it?  Apart from not making much sense either.  But hey-ho, on with the show.

“WILL SELL WORLDWIDE BUT BUYER MUST SORT OUT TRANSPORT.” Now that could be a tricky one to fill out on the export/import docket.

Go on…..you know you want to.

And to close the doors on the cabinet this week, did you know that:

“Termites will eat wood two times faster when listening to heavy metal”?

All that head banging you see – the rapid movement makes them tighten up those jaw muscles and gets those termite teeth swinging into double action.  Okay, well it may be to do with the vibration I expect, to be honest. Not that I am an expert on such things.  But I know a man who is…….

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
The guys are back with their fourth album and show no sign at all of slowing down. This is brutal deathcore with the odd tinkle of the ivories to provide some light to go with the shade, but mostly this is all about heads down and lets get rid of the dandruff. It may not be pretty, and in concert will be incredibly intense with a massive moshpit, but this is all about hanging on by your fingernails for 34 minutes of out and out aggression. These guys really mean it, and come at you like a steamroller on steroids that is jet propelled. It is not trying to be anything that it isn’t, and is a refreshingly honest approach to music as they set out their stall and continue to prove time and again that they are the real deal. There is just enough mix of styles (Meshuggah being a main influence, along with Biohazard and Slayer) to make this continuously interesting and the use of keyboards here and there provide a welcome relief. As heavy as lead, but far quicker, this is solid form start to end. 
YGODEH    The Experiment Interrupted     (INVERSE)
Originally formed in Latvia, these guys are now located in the UK, and this is their second full-length album. Comprised of Piton  (Guitars, synthetic sounds, samples programming), Vadozz (drums), Stalker (bass) and Serberus (vocals), they have created something that is really unusual. They describe it as “Synthetic Death Metal for Your Brain!” and that is probably better than anything I could come up with as this is very different indeed. It’s roots are in Death Metal, but add to that a pop sensibility, symphonic and classical touches with electronic overtones and you may start to get close to what 
this is about. The guitars are often strangely muted in some way, as if Piton is riffing hard but playing behind a gossamer curtain, which just removes the brutal edge. This is experimental in many ways, while also being mainstream in others. It would be interesting to see these guys in concert as I would imagine that brutality is much more to the fore in that environment, but here in the studio they have created something that has definitely caught my attention.

This is available physically through Inverse, or digitally through many sites such as Bandcamp, and this is something that definitely deserves to be heard at the very least. In some ways compelling, and always interesting, this is pushing hard against certain boundaries.
COPERNICUS    L’étérnité Immédiate II      (NEVERMORE)
You’re going to have to bear with me on this one, as to say I am confused myself is something of an understatement. If I have my facts right, after the release of ‘La Eternidad Inmediata’ in Ecuador in 2005, Copernicus performed 25 concerts all over the country with a show that was very faithful to the original album. The concerts were always performed in Spanish, but as recording costs were very low in that country Copernicus decided to rerecord the original. Once that was completed he then revisited the album, recording vocals in different languages and releasing them as different albums. So, the one we have here is the one with
the vocals recorded in French, hence the title ‘L'Éternité Immédiate II.’ But, what is even more confusing is that the title of the album does not reference ‘II’ anywhere. Still with me? Leo from Moonjune has been working with Copernicus on reissuing albums, and apparently he prefers the French version, which is why this has now been made available again.

There is a booklet with the digipak, lyrics and notes, but of course it is all in French, which isn’t a lot of help to me, so instead I’ll concentrate on the music. This is also quite different to what I would normally expect from this artist, as while it is still jazz and avant-garde, there is a warmth and delicacy often missing from the albums I have heard from him. Normally he is wild and abrasive, very much in the face of the listener, commanding the band as if is the centre of a whirlwind but this seems to be much more thought out and directed. Maybe that is due to having just played a series of concerts, and then of course re-recording vocals in different languages, but whatever the reason this seems to be a far more structured and controlled approach than I would normally expect. In fact, it was such a surprise that it took a while for me to really get into this album, but musically this is quite superb with some wonderfully restrained playing from those involved.

Copernicus is always going to appeal only to a small audience due to his very nature, but if you haven’t come across him before then this may actually be a good place to start as it isn’t nearly as provocative as some of his albums while Cesar Aragundi (guitar), Freddy Auz (bass), Newton Velasquez (piano, synthesizer), Juan Carlos Zuniga Lopez (drums) and Matty Fillou (saxophone) are a heck of a band – all brilliant musicians in their own right.  
Desert Wizards is an Italian band who started off in 2007 when four friends decided to start a band that would concentrate on classic 70’s hard rock with a strong doom and psychedelic feel. After just a few months they recorded an EP, and a year later recorded their debut album. In 2010 they were signed to Black Widow who released a new version of that album, with a new title and artwork, and following on from the success of that they are now back with their second (or third – depending on how you look at it). The line-up is Marco Mambelli (vocals, guitar, bass), Anna Fabbri (piano, organ, vocals), Marco Goti (lead guitar) and Silvio Dalla Valle (drums), and together they have created a sound that is very true to the period they are influenced by indeed.
There are times when the Hammond organ is the lead, or gentle piano, or they are crunching some classic riffs and while never as heavy as Sabbath they have obviously been taking some pointers. But, there is definite prog here as well and the one cover is the closing song on the album, “Childhood’s End”, which of course originally appeared on ‘Obscured by Clouds’. Not many bands dare cover material by Floyd, and even fewer look to this album, so it is intriguing to say the least. It is also a very good version indeed, staying true to the original and giving it new life yet never moving too far away from the early Seventies.

This is avery strong album, and if you miss music from forty years ago, although even then it would have been a little dated due to the amount of Blue Cheer psychedelia contained within, then this may be for you. As the label say themselves “The music is heavy, dreamy, trippy, reflective and evocative....sit in the dark, light some candles, take a beer and get away from the world....” for more details visit www.blackwidow.it
by Corinna
So folks, I cannot hold it back any longer.  Today is the day I let slip the dogs of war and introduce these pages to one of my top ten bands.  It is time to bolster your defences, hone your battle axes, polish your shield bosses, paint yourself with the blood of your enemies and join me in Battle Metal.

Finnish band Turisas was formed in 1997 by Mathias (Warlord) Nygård and Jussi Wickström, and named after an ancient Finnish God of War.

"Turisas is a folk metal band, incorporating elements of power metal and symphonic metal along with frequent harsh vocals. Turisas is known to play most of their solos on electric violin, as opposed to traditional guitar solos."

One day - just one day - I may get to see them live. One day - just one day - I can then yell my own battle cry and run with my own kind.  Ah yes, Warlord Nygard, then I shall die a happy girl.

They do a mean version of the 1978 Boney M song "Rasputin" too if you fancy a bit of folk metal disco whilst relaxing in the mead hall after a day of marauding.
This week has been defined by two things: rhinovirus (ie the head cold that I have had for weeks and seem unable to totally shake off) and something called the jet stream.
Graham explained to me the other day that the  current filthy weather is coming in on something called the Jet Stream, somewhat like a conveyer belt in one of those educational films about factories that they used to show us when I was at school. This explains how our weather here vacillates from lovely sunshine, to downpours of tropical proportions, but I wish that it would stop and go and do something else. It is cold, grey and horrid outside, and this is one of those days that I truly wish I was somewhere much warmer, greener and less windy, preferably with a large bush of wild lantana covered in butterflies outside my window.

The rain outside is of Biblical proportions, and if I was of that sort of mindset, it would be quite easy to believe that it was being sent to us by a disgruntled deity, angry at the transgressions of humankind.

Well, of course, if you accept the doctrine of human based climate change, and most people do, then that is exactly what has happened. The current filthy weather is exactly a result of the transgressions of our own unlovely species. The only problem that I have with this doctrine is the idea that the weather is becoming ever more unpredictable.

I think it is doing exactly the opposite. I find it quite easy to predict what these weather patterns have to bring...more horrible weather.

Après moi, le déluge
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