Steve and Miquette have a free download of their live set from Boom Festival 2010 available on the System 7 Facebook page. A perfect blast of a hot Summer's day in Portugal to warm up our wet Wintery times.
Talking of Winter…a stoical (bonkers?) British approach says there is no such thing as bad weather - there is just wearing the wrong clothes. An incredibly exclusive solution to keeping warm are the 11 Japanese System 7 'Up' thick fleecy sweatshirts that I have just collected from our secret 'clothes-mules', SH and MG, who carried them all the way from Japan.
As with the 'UP' t-shirts they were made as promotional items in Japan and are high quality that should last years. Images and ordering facility uploaded shortly.
i WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE MY XMAS SPECIAL OFFER FOR COMMISSIONS ON THA WEBSITE that from 1st dec to 1st january all commissions will be a mere 444.44 squids anglais instead of the normal price of 555.55!
Some might say me is crazeee but….
I bow in gratineee
my tattered form.
Jon Olson's Commission actual size is A3 click on image to see a larger version
There are just twenty copies left of this limited edition of seventy-three. There will be no further printings of this book. Twenty-one books were sent to daevid in Australia, seven copies were in the gift of Tin Man (see below), angel of the entire project, and one copy has been placed in the Planetgong archives. If you order a copy you will be sent a list of the numbers remaining to choose from.
muse, a-mused and b-mused
The book's physical specifications: 129mm x 198mm, pp.80 (i–x, 1–70), digital web printed on Munken Premium Cream 80gsm. Casebound with Wibalin Amethyst over 2500 mic boards. Tipped in colour portrait, loose gold ribbon marker. Letterpress printed Hahnemühle Bugra Butten 130gsm wrapper, presented in purple and white candystripe bag with edition plate on front. It is a hand numbered edition of 73 copies.
A companion CD, 'soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012', has been pressed in Australia. Available from GAS very soon.
Tim has some 1979 French TV footage of 'Blake's New Jerusalem' tracks on filmed in playback at his Moonweed Video Page. It's sparkly lights, a brush of lasers and myriad knobs and multiple keyboards - all very interestingly nostalgic and entertaining. There are also some more recent videos of Tim in rehearsal - and if you want something bang up to date why not visit his web-store where I believe he has a new work available for download.
The man himself will be out and about with Hawkwind in the first week of December.
Any of you keeping notes over the past 20 odd years will be more than aware of the work of the late Lady June, poet, artist, party-giver and landlady to Canterbury bands and beyond. June only recorded 3 albums, 'Lingustic Leprosy, 'Hit & Myth', and her mythic final album, 'Rebela', created in conjunction with Mark Hewins. Now thanks to Mark, here is the title track, 'Rebela', posted on Soundcloud. I must admit I miss the occasional, impassioned, curmudgeonly, off the wall phone calls I used to receive from June.
Steve and Miquette recently played some System 7 dates with Japanese band Rovo in Japan. Each band played a set, then they played together. To promote the tour, and just coz they fancied it, they all collaborated on a Japan-only EP.
I was delighted to receive some postcards of this rather beautiful version of the Gong Mandala created by long time Gong friend, artist Jo Thilwind. Click on the Mandala to see the range on offer. She is selling them but they don't seem feature on her website, www.dreamspaceart.com. You could contact her via it to find out more, and I think she also has a Facebook page.
Steve guested on the psychedelic, dancey, hedge-fund show (I would examine my portfolio's standing - if I knew what a portfolio was) - all very strange, but oddly fun.
You are cordially invited to listen to the Monday, September 26th Double edition of the Sony Awards-nominated Naked Short Club : 8-10pm/ 20.00-22.00 hrs., London time, on Resonance FM [104.4FM] within London/online worldwide via www.resonancefm.com.
An intriguing 3 LP set coming to the bazaar shortly is, 'Seeking Major Tom' by William Shatner, yes Captain Kirk himself. It features a track with Steve Hillage guesting on guitar on the re-imagining of Elton John's 'Rocket Man'. The remaining 19 tracks are naturally also space-themed/Si-Fi type songs (Silver Machine, Mr Spaceman, etc.) sung/spoken by Mr Shatner with a host of other well known names guesting. Here's Mr Shatner talking about about the album on You Tube.
Due to it's high price I will not be holding a stock of this set of LPs, it's going to be a pre-order and pre-pay deal this time. If eventually it all seems a bit too pricey for you please remember what Mr Spock said in one of the original episodes of Star Trek, "Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting, it may not be logical but it is often true." The album is released on 11th October.
The Riots my favourite comment on it all [posted Thr 08 Sep]
"Some of the kids looting trainers looked young enough to have made them." - Jeremy Hardy.
Ah well, despite the best of endeavours getting enough gigs to support bringing two members from Australia and two from the States proved insurmountable in the present economic mind-set, there were no Errz in Yurp in 2011. A rolling tour of the smaller stations and halts on 'La Trochita' railway, (The Train of the End of the World), on the high Patagonian Plateau is perhaps being contemplated for 2012. Still a fabulous photograph of the band though.
After a series of explosive Australian gigs the University of Errors, including new drummer Orlando Allen, may well visit the UK and Europe this Autumn. However the logistics of two band members coming from Australia and two from the States are pretty steep. More details as and when.
As we wait with crossed fingers to see if The University of Errors will open for enrollment this year or not, we can be happy in the knowledge that the Magick Brothers do have some gigs already booked for September - and are open to further offers. All the details to date are in the gigs section. I love the photograph of the band (click on the image for a big pic) - these men could seriously mess with your reality.
September also sees that most rare of events, Didier Malherbe and the Hadouk Trio visiting the UK for some gigs - so don't miss them! .
Budding Elders? we have learnt something being here, haven't we? [updated Tue 05 Jul]
Two new books by a couple of mates close to the heart of things Gongish. 'The Ancient Problem with Men - The prehistoric origins of patriarchy and social oppression is by Bruce Garrard, a long time friend of both daevid and myself, and one of my co-directors at the The Old Clinic, Glastonbury, where the GAS office is situated. The subject of the book is one dear to him and upon which he has many insightful and stimulating thoughts. Bruce's book is a private printing and is available in the Bazaar.
Ark Redwood may be known to some older Planet Gong-imbibers as Aardvark, custodian of GAS back in the late 70's and early 80's, when he helped Harry Williamson and Gilli Smyth run the whole fandango from Oxes Cross, North Devon, their communal home. After his tenure nurturing GAS, plus a host of other adventures, Ark eventually became the Head Gardener of Chalice Well Gardens, Glastonbury, and it's with that hat on he has written 'Mindful Gardening', a medititive discourse on working and living with all things green. I look forward to getting my hands on a copy.
Continuing the theme of Gongishness unbounded in the community started by Italian cake (see below) - here is a Swedish record shop, flagged up by Stefan and going strong for 15 years, which uses the artwork and lettering daevid drew for the Caroline Records re-issue of his Bananamoon album in the mid '70's. I trust they stock Gong.
This reminds me that as a idealistic 17/18 year old I convinced myself that daevid allen, aka Dingo Virgin (the clue being in the name) was at least part owner of the fledging Virgin Records. Gong's 'Flying Teapot' was after all the second release on Virgin following 'Tubular Bells'. At last, I thought, an alternative record company owned and run by a load of alternative types - it made complete sense for a while. If only we knew then what we know now….
daevid is not sole or even part owner of a Swedish record shop called Bananamoon, I remain an idealist in my 55th year and the owners of record companies, with a very few exceptions, are what they always were,…(insert preferred adjective here).
As we are aware Gongishness of all shapes and inclinations flourishes in the most unexpected places. I was delighted the other day to receive images of this rather magnificent birthday cake from Italy to share with you - if only I could offer you a slice. It was made by Mela for Mario and Michele. I eagerly await more of the same from the cooks amongst you - pixie-shaped sandwiches, bananamoon cup-cakes and Good Witch Yoni veggie sausage rolls.
A click on the image of the CD cover to the left will all reveal details of the new album including Steve and Miquette's track by track take on it, plus samples of all the tracks. The Up album launch in London and the recent gigs in Cambridge and the Off The Tracks Festival were joyous affairs with System 7 upping the vibe at each gig….and they were pretty UP-there to start with. So if you can catch them at one of the one of the festivals at which they are playing this Summer I think you may in for a bit of a blinder.
Also just released is 'Positive Noise' a most excellent 12" of remixes from the new album.
Beware complacency - you think you've got a task wrangled, sorted and generally put to bed, then along comes some new data which means a radical re-think and re-ordering of information, such has been the case with the BYG Discography which until recently Steve 'shadowjack' and I considered to be verging on definitive. Two new album discoveries has led to a re-write of the section on Japanese releases, and there is a new addition to the compilation section. Those of you who suffer with the same 'condition' as we do and who need to know about such discographic minutiae - click on the image.
In the past few months daevid has been working through the list of drawing commissions, completing one a month. Here is one of the latest. Currently there are about 5 or 6 in the queue but if you would like commission a drawing just
… [more past examples]
Should you find yourself near Alstonville, NSW (Australia), make a stop at Barratt Galleries anytime Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-4pm, from the 5th through the end of March and check out this mixed-media exhibition of new works by Turiya Bruce (formerly known as Wandana), which features the use of Golden Acrylics - really quite stunning. The artist will be leading a workshop at the gallery on Sunday the 27th.
Last week a copy of the Soft Machine's first single from 1967, "Love Makes Sweet Music", sold on e-bay for a whopping £476.66! Admittedly it was an excellent, near mint copy, but even so, what a huge price for a 7" single which was produced in reasonably large quantities. As is the way with e-bay this encouraged someone else to dig out a rather more battered copy which then sold for £137.00. Now where did I put that box of them…..if only.
One 'explanation' of why we collect things, if we do, is that it's displaced hunter gather activity - not much meat on a 7" though.
After several months of deep exploration and high flying musical communication Steve Cassidy, Steffe Lewry and Subs have finally revealed some of what they have been up to. Guruubu is their name - simply go hear, I love it.
The first of eight, largely live improvised and live jammin' tracks, they have made available to listen to, 'DrumandSpace', is a killer which I can't get enough of, another choice cut for me is 'Funky Chicken', a wonderfully Hendrixian track (I'm sure I have on a couple of occasions witnessed Steffe channelling JH at soundchecks).
All the tracks are on soundawesome.com where you can vote for your own favourites and if the mood strikes register and leave a comment for the chaps. You will also find a few other friends there such as Jah Buddha who has posted a rather splendid Gong/Tim Blake homage called 'Buddha Clouds'.
What with the news of Fabio's Invisible Trio CD and Steve, Steffe and Subs - these days it's the power and magic of 3 made real on this third stone from the Sun. Long may it all continue to and grow and develop.
One of the more strange in Gong's extraordinary history of strange gigs was on the high altar of the Benedictine abbey of Montserrat in 1973. Luckily of course we have the window on the past that is the Gong @ Montserrat DVD, which captures sections of the gig (plus stunned audience of elderly French church goers), and loads of bizarre footage of the band communing with the mountains - almost certainly completely off their tits, as common parlance has it.
The mythology is deep and rich around that particular gig so it is great to have a bit more information on events in this interview of Maggie Thomas of the Henry Cow collective.
It has been confirmed that the University of Error's new drummer will be Orlando Allen, daevid is obviously excited and delighted to be playing on stage with his son again. Warren Heugel long time drummer with the University is withdrawing throughout 2011 to support his partner during the birth of their first baby. The entire faculty is very disappointed to loose him, but heartily congratulates Warren on imminent fatherhood.
Guitarist Josh Pollock sez, "Orlando and I finally get a chance to build on the rapport that sparked twixt us when last in Oz, a rapport that, to my ears/soul, sparked fastly and furiously. Warren's Warrenness will certainly be missed, but (I think/hope I can speak for us both) O and I clicked pretty strongly and quickly, and have been wanting to play together again very badly ever since--I'm soooooo psyched that that finally gets to happen! And I think the line-up shake-up will be a good creative kick in the pants. I was excited about this before, but, I have to say, even more so now!"
The University of Errors will be in Australia for some select performances and to record their new album in May 2011, and with a fair wind they will be touring Europe in October.
As well as being deeply immersed in finishing the new System 7 album Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy are also in the middle of an adventurous digital release programme. AAWCD013 – System 7 – Classics was released exclusively on Beatport in December and on i-tunes on January 10th. It features tracks from some of their celebrated 12" singles of the period 1992-2000. These tracks have never been available digitally before and some were only previously available on vinyl.
February 7th sees the digital release of AAWIT702 Seventh Wave (Re-Waved). It has two additional bonus previously only available in Japan:- Soft Rain (After the Rain) a different version of the collaboration with Alex Patterson - and Aquasoul
On March 7th AAWIT703 Mysterious Traveller (Re-Travelled) is digitally released. It has an additional, "only available in Japan" track:- Listen (Thrash's Mix) - and Derrick May's - Icon Montage Mix.
System 7's new studio album will be released on May 30th and it will be proceeded by a new club single to be released digitally and on vinyl on May 23rd. Much more news on this nearer the time.
Here are some re-pressings of reissues, and new re-issue pressings available in the Planetgong Bazaar… (It's been a fact for a few years now - there are more vinyl releases these days since the late 70's, the number released just goes up and up.)
These heavyweight, often limited re-issues are very good, but they are certainly not cheap. They also seem to have the effect of pushing up the price of older Gong and related releases. I have seen used, second-hand copies of LPs we still stock, new, at their original price, on sale somewhat over the odds.
One other rather odd recent vinyl release that you may come across is a one-sided 12", "Flying Teapot (A Sacred Rhythm Extension and Cosmic Overdub)" - by Joaquin Joe Claussell. I think it was released sometime last Autumn and was a limited edition pressing of 400. It comes in a standard plain 12" cardboard sleeve and uses the Virgin coloured, two girl/dragon label. This tells us that the track is, "Extracted from the LP titled Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1" and is a, "Demonstration Not For Sale" item. It seems to be just the basic Flying Teapot track with a bit of EQ tweakage and perhaps reverb here and there. To me it's uninspiring and sonically thin and flattened,it resembles a bit of desiccated road-kill as opposed to the vibrant, alive wild animal that is the original LP track - deeply unimpressed I'm afraid.
CD Releases (Sideways, into the future…) [updated Sat 19 Feb]
During the exciting, Gong-gigging, 2032 album-releasing last couple of years there has been somewhat of an interregnum on the Planet Gong web-site and I have missed presenting a number of releases to you - apologies for that. So having dealt with most of the vinyl, here is the beginning of the CD catch-up.
Here are some CDs recently re-discovered in the stock room and one re-stocked from the label, all with new lower prices. I wonder what else is in the stock room - the rumours of sightings of a lost tribe of pygmies in it's deeper depths have yet to be verified.
Regular customers will know that the Planet Gong shopping cart system is not an automatic system - there is a human bean down-loading the orders from the secure server and making any shipping or VAT adjustments that are required before processing the order via a streamline terminal. This means that 9 times out of 10 the shipping (and any related VAT from European customers) is reduced, sometimes dramatically. Shipping is only ever charged at cost price plus £1.00 per package sent. Occasionally the shipping cost quoted by the shopping cart has to be increased due to the weight of an order, but the same criteria of only charging the cost price plus £1.00 per package always applies.
One day soon will start weighing every item in the Bazaar and move towards a more automated system, but that's a big job and we haven't started just yet.