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2012 news

GONG - NOVEMBER UK TOUR - NOW
[updated Wed 31 Oct]

Last call, all aboard the Teapot time to tune to the Radio Gnome Wave Vibration - The surf is on the rise, so once more unto the beach and prepare to ride the Gong pipe. You KNOW where to be…

UPDATE 31.10 - The 16 date European tour opened all the frequencies to the Mother Planet and the Gong band is now finely a-tuned and vibrating with vital energy. Dave Sturt and Orlando are locked together and grooving, Fabio is playing spiraling guitar lines out of his skin, Ian East is as quirky and inventive (bonkers basically) as Mr Pyxie Bloom himself, daevid is as resplendently daevid as can be, the most perfect guide to magical and musical places within and without - and Gilli, like a Full Moon in a covered sky bursts through and radiates when you least expect, and whether visible or not her essence can not be denied.

UPDATE 14.10 - Manchester and Alston gigs are SOLD OUT. Nearest gigs are Liverpool, O2 Academy on 10.11 and Leeds, Irish Centre on 13.11. This indicates other venues may sell out, perhaps Liverpool where Here & Now are supporting.

UPDATE 13.10 - Invisible Opera Co. of Tibet supporting at Exeter and Falmouth. Gongishness deep and wide with the Invisibles joining us in the South West.

UPDATE 09.10 - Sun 11th Nov. Gig is now at Alston Town Hall, Front Street, Alston, CA9 3RG. The venue has a capacity of just 200 - so get your tickets now.

UPDATE 02.10 - The Leeds gig on Tues 13th Nov. is now at The Leeds Irish Centre, York Road, LS9 9NT. There may be a possibility of a ticket-swap with Leeds O2 Academy tickets.

UPDATE 01.10 - Two UK gigs are cancelled, Newcastle O2 Academy and the Leeds O2 Academy. Slow pre-sales caused promoter panic. After years of Gong concerts I know that the walk-up (tickets sold on the night) is always higher than other gigs. However if you are coming - please buy a ticket in advance to soothe the nerves of the odd jittery promoter.

01.10 - After weeks of interweb communications and musical brainstorming daevid allen, Gilli Smyth, Orlando Allen (drums), Fabio Golfetti (guitar), Dave Sturt (bass) and Ian East (sax'n'flute) are about to begin 9 days of rehearsals in London on Monday 1st October. The energy is high and the band are a-buzzing.

But, but, but….to complete the circle of any concert your presence is vital and eagerly requested - please do not tarry in booking tickets.


daevid Interviews
[posted Wed 03 Oct]

daevid allen appeared on snooker, avant-progger Steve Davis' regular radio show, The Interesting Alternative Show, on Phoenix FM on Monday 1st Oct choosing some favourite music and taking 'bout all manner of stuff including the forthcoming Gong Tours. And if you missed it here's the daevid download. More dates of forthcoming alien on the airwaves in the pipeline.

While we're about interviews here is a recent illustrated text-based one one with daevid - A psychedelic daddy on psychedelicbaby


System 7 - Steve Interview/A kiss of Passion
[posted Tue 02 Oct]

A recent interview with Steve Hillage www.dmcworld.net

An audio-visual taster of the Passion CD EP, physical copies of which only exist in tiny quantities in deepest Nippon and here on the Planet Gong - Passion Bazaar page.

And for full-on contact and everything you may possibly need to know about System 7's current activities and releases it's…www.g-wave.co.uk


Magick Brothers September Dates
[posted Fri 07 Sep]

As many of us know, and are about to experience soon (encore une fois peut-être?), Gong gigs are fabulous head-twirling, tribal gathering events, there's nothing quite like 'em….But if you want a more intimate, up-close and acoustically lyrical encounter, tomorrow evening daevid, Mark and Graham embark on the first of series of nine gigs in the ninth month. The Horse-Chestnuts are already turning, the days are still bright but shorter and there's sometimes a hint of Autumnal mist in the air - time to gather with the Magick Brothers? We'd be pleased to see you.

Magick Brother gigs: There are eight gigs in the UK and the last Magick Brothers gig will be in Deya, a fitting place to end.

'Twang Dynasty' A History of Plucked Stringed Instruments in Australasia. The Players, Makers and Composers from 1836 to 2011
[posted Fri 07 Sep]

An e-mail I was copied in on the other day…

"Dear daevid, The Twang Dynasty guitar book is now available for purchase at, www.twangdynasty.com.au Best, Ron Payne, Boss Publishing"

A root around the web-site reveals that he, hymns'elf(s), alongside some illustrious others, is in it. I know no more than is elegantly described on the site - looks interesting. I will probe the alien to discover more.


Steve Hillage on the Wireless resonating across the ethers
[updated Sat 14 Jul]

On 9th July Steve Hillage was live on Resonance FM - 104.4FM - he seems to be on there about once a year. The actual radio bandwidth is accessible within London, and worldwide via www.resonancefm.com - it's funky, eclectic station worth checking out for many of the podcasts. There was even some live glissando guitarage from Steve in amongst the chat and recorded music.

And here is an edited version to stream or download. Steve Hillage on Dr Stu's programme


Dreaming The Magic Of Your Maya - LP Reissue UPDATE 'Proto'Gong
[updated Wed 31 Oct]

'Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya' by Princess Flower and The Moon Rays is the first ever Gong related release. It was originally pressed as a tiny private pressing of less than 100 copies in 1968 and is about be re-issued for the first time ever in any format in a limited edition of 500 double LPs. With the heartening resurgence of vinyl releases over the past few years it had to happen eventually and thank goodness it has happened with the co-operation and blessing of the main guiding musicians, Loren Standlee and Ziska, and on a good trustworthy label known for it's high production values.

In 25 years lashed to the wheel of Planetgong I have only seen or even heard tell of 5 or 6 copies of the original LP, it is that rare. Whenever a copy in very good or excellent condition appears on the marketplace it sells for some serious money, between $1000 to $1500. If you would like to have what is destined to become a collectable in it's own right do not pass up this opportunity.

The history behind the original LP is on the Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya Bazaar page.


Steve Hillage Band - Amsterdam 2006 DVD/CD G-Wave release everything comes home [Posted Fri 08 Jun]

The marvelous record of that wonderous event that are (to give them their full titles), 'The Steve Hillage Band Live at the Gong Family Unconvention November Two Thousand and Six. The Melkweg Amsterdam" DVD and CD are to be released on the G-Wave imprint on September 10th.

You can however pre-order them here and now as some advance copies are in stock.
SHB Live Uncon - DVD || SHB Live Uncon - CD


I think I may have to be buried or cremated, or something, with a copy of this DVD.


Cipher - Past Lives - New Trailer "The music continues; it is we who walk away."
[Updated Thr 24 May]

The Cipher 'Past Lives' project, Dave Sturt and Theo Travis augmented by a small string section, providing a live soundtrack to previously unseen archive, 'home movie' film footage from the 30's to 70's complied by film-maker Anthony Hatton is about to hit the road once more with dates throughout May - July in the Midlands and the North of England.

Do have a look at the new Past Lives trailer just posted on You Tube, I think it captures the essence of the work very successfully.

Despite the fact that they are quite a way from me I hope to catch one of the performances as I find the whole concept and execution totally charming and quite moving.


Tim Blake - New MP3 download 'Noggi Tar - his Adventures in the Land of Roquefort'
[Updated Wed 23 May]

Tim Blake's first solo MP3 offering, since Live in Exeter - 2006, is now available, exclusively at the moment, from Tim's Web-store.

Soundcloud has some rather nice morsels of 4 of the tracks, 'En Contemplant le Croix de Sud (Southern Cross)', 'Gong, but not Forgotten (Jah Mekan Lay Di)', 'Arrival of Migratory Cranes', and 'Blue Light Zone' - Noggi 'Tar (in the Land of Roquefort) - 1st Teaser - the title is I understand provisional. Always a pleasure to hear what Tim is up to on a musical level.


System 7 - Free gig download UP in Japan
[Updated Wed 23 May]

Here's the link to a soundcloud free download of System 7 Live in Kyoto, recorded in October 2011. It's a great 45 minute set consisting of material from the new album 'UP - enjoy, I did.

If that has wetted your appetite check out System 7's Festival dates for this Summer and the special London gig with guest Banco de Gaia, System 7 Live @ The Garage in October.


UK Postage Prices up, up and away…
[updated Mon 21 May]

At the end of April the obedient, soma-fed, number-crunchers of doom are raising the cost of UK postage as they continue to stealthily prepare to sell off the Post Office to the evil gnomes of greed. When that eventually happens we'll see some real price rises. (Fed up about it? - Moi!)

However as we always re-calculate the P&P, which then ends up being lower than the amount shown by the shopping cart for 7-8 orders out of 10, I hope little will need to change on the web-site. Perhaps the number of orders on which the P&P is reduced will diminish slightly, and maybe the few orders on which the postage needs to be raised will increase. We only ever charge the cost price + up to £1.00 max. for the packing material.

Love your local Post Office, and as with most things in this deeply spooked statistic-driven economy - use it or loose it.


Dreaming The Magic Of Your Maya - LP Reissue 'Proto'Gong
[updated Sat 21 Apr]

'Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya' by Princess Flower and The Moon Rays is the first ever Gong related release. It was originally pressed as a tiny private pressing of less than 100 copies in 1968 and is about be re-issued for the first time ever in any format in a limited edition of 500 double LPs. With the heartening resurgence of vinyl releases over the past few years it had to happen eventually and thank goodness it has happened with the co-operation and blessing of the main guiding musicians, Loren Standlee and Ziska, and on a good trustworthy label known for it's high production values.

In 25 years lashed to the wheel of Planetgong I have only seen or even heard tell of 5 or 6 copies of the original LP, it is that rare. Whenever a copy in very good or excellent condition appears on the marketplace it sells for some serious money, between $1000 to $1500. If you would like to have what is destined to become a collectable in it's own right do not pass up this opportunity.

The history behind the original LP is on the Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya Bazaar pre-order page. Pre-ordering is a must on this one as I won't be carrying a large surplus stock.


The MIGs Michael Clare has fun in the sun
[posted Tue 03 Apr]

With daevid revving to Gong around, Josh Pollock helping his partner incubate the new generation and Warren doing what Warren does, the fourth member of the University of Errors, Michael Clare, has joined a surf band called 'Men in Grey Suits' (well what you gonna do living in Hawaii?) He does seems rather happy though…"new surf band starting to make waves (pun) on the island, people who have seen us realize this it real. It is incredibly fun and we all get along, no massive egos, just a lot of smiles and determination to be as good as we can at it, what more can I ask?".

Their web-link goes to the Soundcloud affair, Reverbnation for samples their fine take on the twang, thrum-m-m and go-go beat of Surf. I particularly like 'Pipeline' and Spy vs Spy'.


daevid allen portrait of an artist as an older chap…
[updated Sat 21 Apr]

This painting of Mr Allen mid-declaim by Kellie O'Dempsey was painted for, as he himself says, "..a portrait competition featuring the graven images of many a local looney….sorry luminary (ahem)" in Bryon Bay.


daevid allen - JC's White Lens Spectacles new commission
[updated Fri 20 Apr]

The latest finished commission from Odd-stralia has arrived. Click on the image for the big pic and see what you make of it all, then why not read his most hi-penshipness' commentary on the drawing which can be opened in a seperate window.

I imagine with Gong duties waiting in the wings if you would like to commission a drawing from daevid you should begin the process sooner rather than later.


daevid allen - It's Debz! new commission
[updated Fri 20 Apr]

The pencils and pens have been hard at work in Australia and daevid has completed further commissions. So here is Debz, plus a few words from the artist himself on how the whole drawing process unfolded for him.


System 7 Soundcloud son nuage?
[posted Wed 07 Mar]

Why not have a look at the System 7 facebook page to find full info about their new Soundcloud page plus all things System 7. Great name Soundcloud, it reminds me of the Cloud in the Clangers which upon request rains down to grow trees covered in musical notes.


Craig's Kiltwalk 2012 charity huff'n'puff
[updated Thr 05 Mar]

Our very good friend is at it again, Craig McFarlane..KILTWALK 2012..Charity walk - and he plays the bagpipes the whole way! It's simple and secure to contribute via the Just Giving web-site. None of us in the Western world think we have any 'spare' cash, despite being akin to gilded, demi-gods on the material plane compared with most people past and present. So let's just add to our 'debt', but in a good way. Giving is always good. Viva the debt!


Welcome Angus Allen the clan expands
[updated Sun 26 Feb]

Taliesin, eldest son of daevid allen and Gilli Smyth, has become a father for the third time with the arrival of wee Angus. Hearty congratulations to Tali, Noey and Angus' siblings Lucy and Oscar. I did briefly hope that Aloysius might be chosen as the new chap's middle name, but it was not to be.


SeNTienT Jammin' Steffe, Steve, Subs
[updated Fri 30 Mar]

From the almost 3 'A's to the 3 'S's. Regular sessions by Steffe Sharpstrings, Steve Cassidy and Subs are bearing some very interesting fruit - have a listen to SeNTienT - 'Fired Up Jam' at Steffe's Soundcloud page to hear what I mean - great stuff with some stunning guitar sonics. There are also a few other tracks posted, a sniffter of '77 era Here & Now, a brush of Visitation and a rumbeleation of Dub. Now if SeNTienT just had a few gigs…


cover art 'soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012' - New daevid allen CD
[updated Mon 13 Feb]

Recently released in Australia on Flamedog Records is daevid's latest album, 'soundbites 4 tha reVelation 2012', a companion CD to the extremely limited book of the same name. The album is also available on download.

Flamedog Records is a recent and rapidly budding enterprise by daevid allen and Gilli Smyth's son Orlando Allen and his business partner Maxwell Volume. As well as recording and issuing the work of new, young artists, musicians and DJs in Australia they also plan to release new and old titles by daevid and Gilli - along with collectors items, e-books and art prints. daevid's intriguing 'soundbites' CD is the first of of these releases. Gilli is also completing a new album with the working title of 'Paradise'.


Didier Malherbe - Bloomin' Marvelous a tiny appreciation
[posted Mon 30 Jan]

Some people only seem to be fully 'complete' with an instrument in hand - Garcia and Hendrix spring to mind. Of all the musicians who have been in Gong you may think, as I did, only Didier Malherbe perhaps falls into that, blessed/cursed, category. When you meet him it looks as if he has nothing to produce music on him, however somewhere tucked about his person will be a tiny ocarina or some little wind instrument few know the name of let alone how to pronounce. And even when he is without such a item he could as easily get a inventive, quirky tune or rhythm out almost anything that comes to hand. But as with most things 'Bloomdidian' it's not as simple or as clichéd as that.

Bloom of course is complete without an instrument, actually (and I must thank Graham Clark for this term)it's a 'totem of aestheticism' that he is never without, this sometimes may be an instrument. The totem could be his little notebook wherein he collects newly heard words that please him with their meaning or with their phonetic, or one of his collection of spinning tops with which to beguile in an idle moment, or simply the hat on his head, always most carefully selected from his large, varied collection to suit a specific occasion or that particular day - there will always be something. I'm told that this kind of aesthetic principle is a very Parisian trait, and Didier is a Parisian. The result is that a highly engaging, entertaining and slightly dandified warm creativity dances through the man infusing any situation with which he chooses to engage. Luckily for us this has often been with an instrument in his hands, continued through many bands and is on many recordings.

On 22nd January M. Malherbe was 69 - one of his favourite numbers.


Didier Malherbe - Releases pure class…
[Posted Tue 31 Jan]

There is finally some UK distribution for Didier Malherbe's latest CD, a double, 'Nuit d'ombrelle', so that is now in stock. And to celebrate the man's 69th birthday a couple of the CDs he graces with his marvelous musical presence are now £6.90 on the Didier Malherbe Releases Menu. Perhaps, if there are any left, after next January 22nd they should be £7.00?


Homage to the fromage daevid allen releases…
[Updated Thr 09 Feb]

It was Le Grand Fromage's birthday on January 13th. Seems churlish not to celebrate his natal day in a similar way to Didier's. daevid was 74… daevid allen Releases Menu.

Those of you of a mathematical bent will have calculated that some time in 2013 daevid will be 75, Didier 70 and Gilli, well will be Gilli - quite a year for traditional anniversaries.

The 6th of February also saw the birthday of Tim Blake, his 60th I believe - so that's nice. If he'd been a year younger he could have joined with anniversarial conjunctions of 2013.


daevid allen - Alien Words x 3
[posted Mon 30 Jan]

Three interviews with daevid of which I was previously unaware have been flagged up the past week:-
1977 - Deya - Archive interview in Spanish
2009 - Fuji Rock - You Tube film, backstage interview


Gong - Film passes 1/2 million plays
[Updated Thr 09 Feb]

Gong's 'How To Stay Alive' You Tube film attained half a million complete viewings at the end of January - a remarkable feat for a mythical Green planet and some time band of musical eccentrics.


Steve Hillage - Vapeur Mauve Free PDF music magazine
[updated Wed 26 Jan]

Here's the link to December's 125 page issue of French language music magazine 'Vapeur Mauve 12' - Steve Hillage, a stylish, well designed downloadable pdf affair (22.3MB). In it you will find an illustrated 12 page overview of, interview with and discography of Steve.

Also still available to download is 'Vapeur Mauve 5' - Gong from 2009. All good stuff as are the other issues on the 'Vapeur Mauve' web-site, but you'll have to brush up your French to absorb their take on Capt. Beefheart, Can, Steve Hackett, the Flamin' Groovies, etc. - boy haven't the French always loved the Flamin' Groovies.


The Black Balloon Film
[posted Wed 26 Dec]

Music from 'Flying Teapot' appears on the soundtrack of a new independent film, 'The Black Balloon'. The film, "a children's film turned Sci-Fi urban fable", by two New York brothers, Josh and Benny Safdie, has just won the Jury Prize in the USA Short Fictional Film category at the 2012 Sunrise Film Festival 2012.

The music comes from Tim Blake's, 'Octave Doctors and the Crystal Machine' and daevid allen and Christian Trisch's 'Zero the Hero and the Witches Spell'.

The gist of the story: "While trying to move forty kids six blocks in New York City alone, a stressed man accidentally loses a bouquet of a hundred balloons. In that bouquet, a lone black balloon scurries free with the rest of them. It dies and comes back to life, returning to the city cruising for a companion. On the beat, it learns that humans are complicated creatures with extreme highs and lows, but full of life nonetheless."

'The Black Balloon' trailer.

If 'The Black Balloon' is anything like as good as Albert Lamorisse's wonderful 1956 film, 'Le Ballon Rouge', which it seems to be partly a homage to, it will be a very fine film indeed - and from what I have seen it certainly looks the business.


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