Tuesday, 26 July 2016

GONG – REJOICE! I’M DEAD! (Madfish Records 2 x LP, CD, Deluxe 2 x CD/DVD).

We must admit that we approached the first Gong album since Daevid Allen passed to a higher plane with more than a little trepidation. There had been a fair bit of dread and cynicism about when it was announced that there was a new album being recorded by the band that featured on Allen’s final Gong LP, I See You……….was it going to be a tawdry trashing of the Gong legacy that had endured so well over 45 years of musical ebb and flow through dozens of line-up changes??? Absolutely no need to worry………Rejoice! I’m Dead! is a fitting tribute to the late Bert Camembert and a continuation of the freewheeling spirit of this legendary band. Consider it to be “Gong: The Next Generation”, a band with an impeccable Prog/Psych pedigree, where the funky grooves, avant-garde flourishes and counter-cultural stance of the timeless early 70s “Virgin Trilogy” band are safe in the hands of ex Cardiac and current Knifeworld leader Kavus Torabi (vocals/guitar), Brazilian glissando wizard Fabio Golfetti (guitar/vocals), long term Gong family members Dave Sturt (bass/vocals) and Ian East (sax/flute) along with Cheb Nettles (drums/vocals), who also have put their own individual stamp on the record……………this is not purely an nostalgia trip but a fully formed modern Psychedelic Rock LP taking the essence of Gong forward and further out. Some say it couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be done. How could Gong exist without Daevid Allen? A few minutes into listening to Rejoice! I’m Dead! any aspersions will be cast aside. This is undeniably Gong.

Released in 2014, I See You was considered as a return to the heights of the “classic” Gong albums of the 70s after Daevid Allen had spent the best part of 30 years taking many tributaries and distributaries on his musical travels and with guest appearances from Steve Hillage and Didier Malherbehe the new LP successfully follows in its footsteps. Rejoice! I’m Dead! opens with the crashing guitars and squalling sax of ‘The Thing That Should Be’ before easing into the jaunty ‘Rejoice!’ which is more typical of the Gong everybody knows and loves…….quirky sax and twisted guitar lines bounce around tricksy time changes before spacey “Gliss Guitar” takes the listener on a patent Gong pan-dimensional trip out……………….Bits of ‘Master Builder’ emerge from haze, it’s Gong and NewGong all at the same time as the band go backwards in order to go forward. The remainder of the album is in the same vain as new sounds mix with older, familiar vibes…………the longer tracks such as ‘Model Village’, ‘The Unspeakable Stands Revealed’, ‘Through Restless Seas I Come’ and ‘Insert Yr Own Prophecy’ are all variations on the sound of “old” Gong with enough invention to make them relevant to a brand new audience of Prog/PsychHeads and it goes without saying that older fans of the band will be blown away by these tunes. It depends on your knowledge of Gong history and what constitutes as a Gong record, but if Rejoice! I'm Dead! is classified as their 28th album the Gong legacy is the strongest it has been since 1974. Consider the differences between Angel’s Egg, Gazeuse!, Floating Anarchy and I See You, the various splinter projects and collectives and what is it that make Gong who they are? Known for their spontaneity and numerous Phoenix-like rebirths – this is just the latest instalment………nothing more, nothing less. As new members and old coalesce, the sound is unmistakably Gong and even without Daevid Allen they will continue.

Due for release on 16/09/16 on Madfish Records, Rejoice! I’m Dead! will be available from all the usual outlets……………….on 2 x LP, CD and deluxe 2 x CD/DVD the album can be pre-ordered from the Madfish online store here https://www.burningshed.com/store/madfish/.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS – PSYCHEDELIA: A 50 YEAR TRIP (Rhino Records CD).

Strange things are really happening…………………we would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when this 32 track compilation CD from Rhino Records got the green light. Although Rhino has been completely absorbed into the Warner Bros. corporate hub over the last decade, they still have a reputation for well curated reissues and compilations, so the poor quality of Psychedelia: A 50 Year Trip comes as somewhat as a surprise. It’s not a bad album per se, there are some great bands included here, but it is just a shoddy selection of tracks that appear to have been randomly picked out of a hat and thrown together with hardly any thought whatsoever………this is even without mentioning the massively misleading title (the most recent track is over 25 years old). We have absolutely no idea who this album is aimed at…………….it’s too obscure for the baby boomers who want a CD of classic Psych Pop/Rock for the car, far too random selection of mainly second rate tunes for inquisitive baby PsychHeads to check out old sounds and as the majority of the songs here have already turned up on much better compilations, the serious PsychHead will have the bulk of these tunes and no doubt have the parent albums that they were originally from. WTF were Rhino thinking?????..........you could let any music fan with an interest in Psychedelia loose in the Warner archives (which include the entire epic Elektra back catalogue along with other great bits and pieces from now defunct labels they have hoovered up over the years) and they would be able to compile a much better album than this, focused for an intended market.


There is no doubt a demand for a Psychedelic compilation which covers the last half century, side stepping the obvious tunes that turn up all the time on major label compilations and showcases the lesser known but brilliant tracks………….but Rhino have fucked this up good and proper. On the plus side, apart from the Love classic ‘Alone Again Or’, Simon Dupree’s ‘Kites’ and Iron Butterfly’s tedious ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Bloody-Vida’ that have turned up on about a trillion 60s themed collections over the years, the remainder of the 32 tracks are less well known……………however, lose a million points as they are, on the whole, a pretty uninspiring collection of tunes. For every ‘Koeeoaddi There’ by The Incredible String Band, ‘House Of Glass’ by The Glass Family, the great ‘The Clarietta Rag, from Kevin Ayres and a few cool obscurities from The Koobas, High Tide, First Crow To The Moon and Locomotive amongst others, there are a whole bunch of sub-standard tracks from “heavy hitters” such as Tomorrow, The Yarbirds, The Velvet Underground (‘Train Round The Bend’ FFS), Flamin’ Groovies, The Electric Prunes, Vanilla Fudge plus strangely out of place tracks by Dr. John, Van Morrison and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. This could, with a bit of thought when compiling the album, been so much better and not a dog’s breakfast of awkwardly sequenced tracks……..it feels like it has been put together by someone with absolutely no idea about Psychedelia. Nearly all the tracks here could be replaced by a better track by the same band still without being bleedin’ obvious. Calling the album “a 50 year trip” is total bullshit…………………the majority of the tracks are from 1966 -1972 with the most recent track being ‘Inheritance’ from Talk Talk’s 1988 masterpiece Spirit Of Eden, which in this context feels totally out of synch with the rest of the album it could have crashed to Earth from outer space. This could have been so good, Warner’s/Rhino have a big enough archive to have put together a 5 disc 50 year trip with groovy tracks from each decade but they have decided on a crappy budget compilation instead. Compared to the quality collections being released by Cherry Red and a whole host of boutique labels this 2 x CD set really comes across as being really half-arsed, but this record’s almost saving grace is it that it is so cheap (we have seen it Sainsburys for a fiver)…………………..it’s not the best Psych compilation ever but it maybe has enough groovy tracks on it that you could be missing from your collection to consider buying it………….or wait till it turns up in the remainder bins on offer. Here’s the track list so make your own mind up People………..

DISC 1
LOVE - Alone Again Or
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND - Koeeoaddi There
THE IDLE RACE - The Skeleton and the Roundabout
BONZO DOG DOO-DAH BAND - The Equestrian Statue
KEVIN AYERS - The Clarietta Rag
TOMORROW - Colonel Brown
THE KOOBAS - Gypsy Fred
GLASS FAMILY - House of Glass
THE YARDBIRDS - Glimpses
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - Train Round the Bend
FLAMIN’ GROOVIES - I'll Cry Alone
WIZZARD - The Carlsberg Special
HIGH TIDE - Death Warmed Up
IRON BUTTERFLY - In-a-Gadda-da-Vida
VAN MORRISON - Astral Weeks
TALK TALK - Inheritance

DISC 2 
VANILLA FUDGE - That's What Makes a Man
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD - Everybody's Wrong
THE ELECTRIC PRUNES - Onie
THE AEROVONS - Resurrection
EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND - Hotel Room
KIPPINGTON LODGE - Lady on a Bicycle
FIRST CROW TO THE MOON - Sun Lights Up the Shadows of Your Mind
LOCOMOTIVE - Rain
THE MOVE - Message from the Country
JULY - My Clown
SIMON DUPREE & THE BIG SOUND - Kites
THE HOLLIES - Pegasus
HAWKWIND - We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago
LES VARIATIONS - Nador
Dr. JOHN - Mama Roux
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK - Freaks for the Festival

Out now and available from the usual outlets……HMV, Amazon, supermarkets etc. etc. etc.

Monday, 18 July 2016

VIBRAVOID – WAKE UP BEFORE YOU DIE (Stoned Karma LP, Deluxe 2 x LP, CD).

Following the recently released 25 year retrospective, Psychedelic Blueprints, German psychedelic High-Priests Vibravoid return with an album of new material guaranteed to blow your mind. With their patent mix of 60s influenced psychedelic swirl and more experimental spacey explorations, Wake Up Before You Die sees Vibravoid taking up where they left off with their 2013 album Delirio Dei Sensi and continuing their journey beyond the beyond, seeking further highs and revelations with a collection of new studio recordings, some groovy cover versions of classic Psych Pop and recently recorded live tracks.

Opening with the Garage/Psych rush of ‘Alphawave’, there are no radical changes to the psychedelic sounds of Vibravoid……….like the previous records Wake Up Before You Die is still “a massive rave up down the U.F.O. Club circa 1967 which channels the best of early Pink Floyd, July, Tomorrow, Kaleidoscope along with a dash of the classic “Nuggets” bands such as the Seeds and Electric Prunes”…………fans of the band will not be disappointed. Mixing sitar and fuzz heavy freak outs, such as the face melting ‘Raga Baya’, with the immaculately stoned reverie of tracks like ‘When You Are Dead For One Second’ Vibravoid don’t deviate from their single minded mission to Turn On, Tune In and Trip Out for one moment. Not afraid to show their good taste and influences, Wake Up Before You Die includes three classic covers with Vibravoid taking on Traffic’s “Summer Of Love” acid anthem ‘Hole In My Shoe’ (which features Italian singer Viola Road on guest vocals) along with the much covered ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone’ and a very groovy version of The Seeds ‘Just Let Go’………………In a world where many new bands are channelling post-psychedelic 70s Stoner Rock, Vibravoid are keeping the faith and still have their membership cards for Middle Earth.



Due for release towards the end of September by Stoned Karma Records, Wake Up Before You Die is available in a myriad of different versions with various freebie goodies included………….The vinyl version is available as a limited edition of 500 copies on red/black/white splatter vinyl that comes with a poster, a sticker, a psychedelic power pyramid plus a special art print insert and incense sticks which can be pre-ordered from Stoned Karma Records webstore and should be available from all the groovy distributors, your very cool local vinyl vender and all the usual on-line outlets. There is a limited edition of 350 copies of the deluxe 2 x LP version which includes the splatter vinyl LP plus, on black vinyl, Live At Haus Der Jugend………..it’s an excellent live album and includes the Vibravoid classics ‘Colour Your Mind’, ‘Playing With Beuys’ and ‘Seefeel’. The CD release also contains the extra goodies plus four live bonus tracks different to the LP and includes a mind bending version of ‘Ballspeaker’ from the album 2001………………..both the deluxe 2 x LP and CD are available ONLY directly from Stoned Karma and can be pre-ordered now, but hurry they are selling like hot hash cakes. Dig it kidz and turn on, tune in and trip out with Vibravoid.


Sunday, 17 July 2016

THE BONGOLIAN – MOOG MAXIMUS (Blow Up Records LP, CD, D/L).

The Bongolian is back with the feel good sound of the summer……….the summer of 1976 that is. Moog Maximus sees the welcome return of The Bongolian, AKA multi-instrumentalist and Big Boss Man front man Nasser Bouzida. His fifth album under the Bongolian moniker continues the musical journey where 2011’s 'Bongos For Beatniks' left off……….armed with a bank of Moog synthesisers and a bag full of heavy grooves, in a wildly eclectic fusion of Funk, Soul, Hammond Beat, Jazz and Sci-Fi Boogaloo, Moog Maximus takes us on a trip through Latin Prog/Psych, groovy 60s influenced French Yé-Yé Pop, imaginary film soundtracks, Moroderian Space Disco and bubbling Moog instrumentals. Back to analogue and eschewing the cold digital sounds of the 80s, Moog Maximus is a retro romp of funky beats, dancefloor grooves and the warm, rich classic sound of vintage Moogs, swirling Hammond organ, electric piano………..and bongos.

Pitched somewhere between the cusp of the 70s where the synthesizer was a relatively new instrument and towards the middle of the decade, when the Mini Moog was a near ubiquitous part of the sonic arsenal whether it be for Prog, Funk, Rock, Disco and Reggae bands or soundtrack composition, Moog Maximus taps into sounds familiar to anyone growing up in the 70s listening to pop radio. Mix in Soul, Funk and Latin beats and you get a seriously groovy blend of Mod/Psych and late 60s experimental Synth Pop from pioneering electronic composers such as Bruce Haack, Giorgio Moroder and Jean Jacques Perry combined with infectious pop smarts and an ear for the dancefloor. There are some absolutely mind blowing tracks on this album……………….featuring Louisa Hygate on vocals, ‘Googa Mama’ is a delicious slice of 60s influenced Yé-Yé pop with a prominent Hammond groove and bubbling Moogs, it’s floor shaker in the style of another technicolour retro futuristic act, the gloriously psychedelic and funky Dee-Lite………watch the video for ‘Googa Mama’ here. With a pulsing Moroder-esque sequenced synth line, ‘Jan Hammer of the Gods’ is a belter of a tune and is either a top pun or a tribute to the great Jazz Rock fusion keyboardist/composer perhaps?? If so, this Space-Disco mix up of driving beats and swirling, sparkling Moog is more about his work that ended up with him soundtracking Miami Vice than his time with Prog/Jazz fusion titans the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The Bongolian also explores the art of the almost cheesy 70s TV/Movie theme with ‘Vacation in Westworld’, the album’s title track and the outstanding ‘Boudica Rides Again’ all sounding as if they have been lifted from some obscure Hammer Sci-Fi/Horror. It’s an absolute blast of a record that knowingly stays just on the right side of the groovy/cheesy divide whilst ripping the roof offa the mutha. There is something here for almost everybody who digs 60s/70s Mod/Psych/Funk and 90s Acid Jazz and with twelve tracks of top quality tunes Moog Maximus is a total delight, mashing together vintage synth sounds with big beats it’s a kandy koloured kollision of irresistible grooves, psychedelic pop and mad retro vibes.

Out now on Blow Up Records and available on LP, CD and as a digital download from all the usual on-line outlets and groovy record stores. Also available directly from the Blow Up Records web store………………….dig it kidz.


THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN           

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

WILD RACCOON – HALF PINE CONE (Howlin’ Banana Records LP, D/L).

This is so cool………………………stripping Garage/Psych back to its fundamental core of primitive beats and fuzzed out guitar Wild Raccoon (French multi-instrumentalist Raton Sauvage) brings a D.I.Y. ethic to the whole thing and performs as a one-man Garage band. With an impressive degree of co-ordination, Raton plays the drums with his feet, stomping on drum pedals for a solid snare and bass drum backbeat while playing fuzz ‘n’ reverb soaked guitar and singing……………………check the various Wild Raccoon videos on YouTube, it’s quite a sight. Following last year’s debut, Mount Break, Wild Raccoon return with a second album on Howlin’ Banana Records……….Half Pine Cone is a collection of new songs about heartbreak, love, hitch-hiking, woods and…….err…… squirrels that reduces the records of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees down their essential base elements. This is a very impressive record with a great deal of inventiveness and flair from Raton Sauvage that elevates this from yer usual Neanderthal Garage/Punk grooves………the use of loops (for example Tablas on ‘Hitch-Hike Syndrom’) and swirling Acid Rock guitar puts Wild Raccoon way ahead of the Punk/Thrash pack and subtle use of space takes many of the tracks into the areas usually reserved for Kosmik Soundz and dreamlike Psychedelia. The stand-out tracks here have to be the stripped down and twisted cover of the Jefferson Airplane Psychedelic classic ‘How Do You Feel’ and the tripped out ‘Question Mark Mountain’ amongst a whole host of other great tunes. Beautiful and brutal in equal measures…………..well worth a listen.

Out now, Half Pine Cone is available on vinyl from the Howlin’ Banana Records Bandcamp page here https://howlinbananarecords.bandcamp.com/album/half-pine-cone with a digital download available from Wild Raccoon https://wildraccoon.bandcamp.com/.


Saturday, 9 July 2016

HASHISH – A PRODUCT OF HASHISH (Woah Dad! LP, C/D).

Welcome to tomorrow. Let the sounds transport you into a forgotten world where the future looked different from what it became"…………From the ever pulsating psychedelic brain of Subliminal Sounds label-guru Stefan Kèry comes Hashish, a retro-futuristic mash-up of Psychedelic Rock mixed with Afro Electro/Funk moves and vintage synthesizers that will have your head spinning. The debut Hashish album, A Product Of Hashish, is a kaleidoscopic swirl of the sounds 60s and 70s which combines rippling retro-Funk basslines, Krautrock soundscapes, bubbling classic Sci-Fi Moog sounds and a mutant Psychedelic Disco sheen, creating a shimmering vision of the future first imagined when man first walked on the moon…………in this future Hashish are the house band at the swingingest, groovy nightclub on Mars.

With big sweeping retro synth sounds creating huge soundscapes, Hashish are kindred spirits with the post-Ambient sonic architects that fused 60s Psychedelic Easy Listening Loungecore, the kosmic sounds of Krautrock and Funk with ultramodern beats and Electronica………..the band that most readily comes to mind is the French duo Air whose early EPs have the same vibe as this record, which is very much somewhere between “Quincy Jones In Space” meets a freak-out at the Moog factory. Opening with the sound of waves lapping against a beach, A Product Of Hashish is an atmospheric trip of spaced out wide screen cinematic 60’s/70’s sounds that has been described as “ top class Psychedelia that definitely takes the genre to a new level with a sophisticated approach to an Afro-Funk groove accompanied by dreamy and playful melodies that goes by a spectrum from Scandinavian Occult Psychedelia to Minimal Synth and Surreal Electronic Soul Disco with Rare Groove” and takes a whole bunch of cool influences………’Fly Away’ has a Disco groove which is not a great distance from Saint Etienne at their retro infused best while the immense sounding ‘The Light’ has a taut Funk vibe blended with heavy 60s progressive Space Jazz………….think if Magma ever got funky but still kept their portentous edge. Straight outta the 70s both ‘Outer Spaced’ and ‘Make It’ are vintage Psychedelic Electro Funk retro-futurism work-outs with massive heavyweight synth sounds mixed with lithe backbeats. A Product Of Hashish is totally epic sounding record and an absolute must listen for those of you who like their tripped out 60s/70s Electronica/Cosmic Sounds with a solid Funk backbone…….a highly recommended record for any serious MoogHead.

Originally released on Stefan Kèry’s own Subliminal Sounds label, A Product Of Hashish has been picked up by the Woah Dad! Label for wider distribution. Due for release on 26/8/16, a second pressing of the album will be available from all the usual outlets on limited edition clear vinyl or CD……………………check it out you retro groovers.


VIVIAN STANSHALL & biG GRunt – IN SESSION (Mega Dodo EP).

Between the years following the split of the weird and wonderful Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (the Dadaist wing of Psychedelica Britannia) and really getting his mojo back with the deliciously surreal Sir Henry At Rawlinson End broadcasts on the John Peel show, Vivian Stanshall was involved with various short lived musical projects that have more than often been relegated to little more than a footnote in articles and books about him. Somewhat overshadowed by his drunken, and often hilarious, escapades with drinking chum Keith Moon (which included touring the drinking dens of Soho dressed in full Nazi regalia……bad taste for even the early 70s), biG GRunt where one of the many collective alter egos/bands fronted by Stanshall post split………….. If you have ever considered what the Bonzo’s would of sounded like stripped of Neil Innes’s pop smarts but with Vivian Stanshall’s fertile imagination and penchant for musical experimentation given free reign then biG GRunt were that band. Including former Bonzo’s, bassist Dennis Cowan and saxophonist Roger Ruskin Spear (in addition to having been the most manic member of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band onstage and after Stanshall and Innes the third most prolific songwriter of the band, was also a self-styled inventor who built bizarre robots, exploding props and absurd mechanical contraptions for their live shows) along with guitarists Bubs White and Borneo Fred Munt, both of whom had been members of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's road crew, plus powerful drummer Ian Wallace (who was later to join King Crimson and then drummed for a whole host of 70s/80s rock A-listers), even without biG GRunt having played a note of music in public, the background of the individual members made it clear that they were a formidable prospect both musically and as performers. Tipped for “very big things”, music press interviews of the time caught Stanshall enthusiastically discussing his ambitious plans for the band, aiming to create “a fusion of serious music with avant-garde humour and over-the-top visuals” However, Stanshall's well-documented personal problems made it difficult for him to give the project his full attention and keep the line-up together, so by the summer of 1971 biG GRunt were unofficially but obviously defunct. Leaving a slight legacy of a few well received live shows, a B-side of a single which had the dubious honour of being produced by Keith Moon, a berserk live performance on "Marty Amok" (a BBC1 special featuring the comedian Marty Feldman) and a lone session for John Peel, biG GRunt disappeared, reduced to mere mentions when Stanshall was finally recognised as “The Greatest Living Englishman” before his untimely death in 1995 ……..until now. The biG GRunt Peel Session, after languishing in the BBC vaults for nearly half a century, has been dusted down for the first official release of these historic recordings by the good folk at Mega Dodo. What is surprising is that these tracks remained in the vaults for so long with the Bonzo’s/Innes/Stanshall outstanding work from the 60s/early 70s has never being recognized with a full on, deluxe packaged retrospective box set when lesser lights of that era have had every single note of music of varying quality exhumed…….it has taken the musicologists at Mega Dodo to unearth this gem.

Broadcast on 21/3/1970, the biG GRunt Peel Session saw the band perform four tracks of mostly brand new material, each of tune as exciting and invigorating as the initial promise had suggested and totally justifying the buzz around the band at the time. ‘Blind Date’, a track later to turn up as a the B side of a cover of the Elvis Presley tune ‘Suspicion’ by Vivian Stanshall & Gargantuan Chums, is typical of the mannered, over-articulated material Stanshall would write for the Bonzo’s………….a C&W shuffle through a first person tale of boy meets girl for a blind date at Waterloo Station with the twist being that it is a primate and a pygmy monkeying about before the narrator is captured and returned to Whipsnade Zoo. There is an apocryphal tale that ‘Blind Date', had been “written when Vivian Stanshall, for some bizarre and unexplained reason, was asked to provide a song for the wholesome easy listening crooner Matt Monro. The singer's management, who were presumably expecting something more in the style of the Bonzo's crooner parody 'Canyons Of Your Mind' were understandably less than pleased to be presented with a song that, while undeniably catchy, was about a gorilla and a pygmy being introduced by a dating agency”. Revisiting the Avant-Jazz shronk of ‘11 Mustachioed Daughters', a hypnotic and rhythm-heavy track with strange lyrics concerning witchcraft, paganism and voodoo which had originally appeared on The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's second album "The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse" in 1967, biG GRunt retool the tune as an Beefheart-esque psychedelic wig out with dynamic guitar riffs, funky bass and massive drumming underpinnng Stanshall's demented vocal delivery. This is a tantalizing taste of the direction that Stanshall and biG GRunt may have taken if the band had lasted more than twelve months…………ditching the vaudevillian whimsy of the Bonzo’s and moving towards a heavier, far out “Art Rock” sound which has a proto-Prog/Psych vibe, it is unknown whether biG GRunt actually recorded any more material in the studio, but it's tempting to speculate what may be gathering dust in the vaults. Also recorded for this session was 'The Strain'……..another song associated with the Bonzo’s which turned up on the lacklustre 1972 contractual obligation reunion album Let's Make Up And Be Friendly. However, it started out as a biG GRunt number and was noticeably different in its original incarnation, as presented here. The Peel session version is far more rough and ready than the version that the Bonzo’s recorded with a basic good-time Pub Rock boogie feel. The track that is going to get the hardcore Bonzo/Stanshall fans drooling is the final track on the EP, the previously unreleased instrumental ‘Cyborg Signal'. Although its melodic motif would later form the basis for 'Strange Tongues' on Stanshall's solo album Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead, ‘Cyborg Signal’ has, up till now, not been heard since the session was originally broadcast……………………unlike anything you would normally associate with Viv Stanshall, this track is a Progressive Rock outing to the stars and back in time for tea, cramming more interesting and complex compositional ideas into a five minutes than some early 70s bands managed over six sides of vinyl. Light years ahead of its time, this astonishing track is a firm reminder that there was so much more to this man than the eccentric “ginger geezer” who cropped up on John Peel during the 70s and 80s with tales of the gloriously dysfunctional Rawlinson’s and what a genuinely exciting musical project biG GRunt were…………..if not for Stanshall’s unfortunate personal problems at the time, in an era of long haired, ex-Army greatcoat/afgan wearing ProgHeads, biG GRunt couldda bin serious contenders. As Tim Worthington wrote in Issue 26 of the Arts and Culture magazine Paintbox, “For a brief but invigorating moment, they appeared to be doing something that was genuinely intriguing and pioneering. It could be said that it's easy to speculate about what might have been, but the band's Peel session is evidence of what actually was, and it still sounds thoroughly exciting to this day”.

Due for official release towards the end of September as a limited edition run of 500 copies on 12” yellow vinyl, the biG GRunt In Session EP will be available to pre-order in August from the Mega Dodo website……so keep ‘em peeled. It goes without saying that this is an essential purchase for the legion of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band/Vivian Stanshall fans out there.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

THE BIDONS – CLAMARAMA (Area Pirata Records CD, D/L).

They’re a Garage band…………………..they come from Garageland!!!! Blending the UK Mod/Freakbeat/RnB sounds of 1966 with the Garage/Punk vibrancy of 1976 and pitching up around 1986 during the Neo-Psychedelic revival, The Bidons are a Rock ‘n’ Roll force of nature. Infused with the energy and drive of bands such as The Flamin’ Groovies and The Plimsouls, The Fuzztones and The Jim Jones Revue, The Bidons are a distillation of maximum Mod/Garage/Psych grooves that come screaming outta yer speakers at full velocity blowing your both your mind and your cool.

Out now on Area Pirata Records, The Italian Garage Punks third full length album, Clamarama, is twelve tracks of pure, electrifying Garage Rock inspired by Punk Rock urgency, Power Pop sensibility, the Psych/Garage/Surf sounds of the 60s and a R&B/Freakbeat cool mixed with the rough essentialness of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Including additional piano, organ, theremin and sax to enhance the classic sound of a fuzzed up Garage Rock combo, certainly gives tracks such as ‘French Words’, the groovy ‘Backdoor Man’ (watch the video here), ‘Life Is A Bite’  and the wonderfully dumb ‘Let's Start From The Pants’ more depth than anything on the previous albums. Mix in the Punky ramalama of ‘Do It Alone’ with the Stonesy swagger of ‘Keith Is Dead’ and ‘Chain Reaction’ plus  Pychedelic Surf Rock (‘By the Shore’) and the Rock ‘n’ Roll abandon of classic Garage/Punk then you have a perfect Sixties influenced sex and drugs and rock and roll party album from the perfect Sixties influenced party band. Play loud and lose your shit to The Bidons.

Clamarama is available now on CD or digital download to buy from either the Area Pirata webstore or from The Bidons Bandcamp page here https://thebidons.bandcamp.com/music.