This was the 2nd ever gig I think by this combination, although some CDs exist. And in all my years of seeing the various Gong incarnations, this was right up there with the very best :-)
I had no idea how this show would work as a trio, given that Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine) and Chris Cutler (Henry Cow) are both virtuosi on the bass and drums, and Daevid Allen, whilst a bona fide genius, is not someone I had previously thought of as a guitar virtuoso.
Well at the age of 68 or so, Daevid proved to be their equal in creating this new music. Two sets of around an hour each, that became amazing from around 10-15 minutes in and stayed at that level the rest of the night. There was no lessening of interest at all, no sense of noodling.
The nearest I could come to describing this music is to say 'GD Rhythm Devils and Space for 2 hours with songs/vocalising interspersed'. An absolutely gorgeous aural treat.
And in fact some of the pieces, many of which flowed into others, turned out to be complex song structures which led one to believe that the vocals just popped up out of the jams, but in fact probably were designed that way - ie as immensely complex songs...
The sound in the very small basement room was immaculate.
One of my big problems with avante garde music is the lack of 'heart'. But Hopper and Cutler were brimming with this quality also. They were also up there with Phil and Molo in their ability to flow as if they were a single heartbeat.
I have no idea how these 3 ever got together, since I am unaware of them having contact for years, and especially since Daevid lives in Australia ! I wish they could tour - but who would go to see them ??
Finally, coming on top of all the Allen incarnations at the Unconvention in Amsterdam last year, this new one, plus another not offered there but which will happen here in 3 weeks time - the Planet Gong/Here and Now/Floating Anarchy (last ever gig together)...
well all you can do is marvel at the sheer extent of this man's genius :-)
(Did you get cut off?)
Great review! Sounds awesome. Were there any tapers there?
NICE review, but where did this happen?
Off the top of my head I've never heard of ANY of these players, but it sounds like I'd LIKE it! I've been seeking out "avante garde" music more & more these days, really getting into Fred Frith lately.
Do they tour?
here's a link to some pics at the 6/10
tapes ? yep i videoed the london gig and i think the other 2 got filmed. Milan , not sure...
And we got Planet Gong/Here and Now last ever gig on the 28th in Lunnon :-)
thanks for pix - wow the Alien's cut all his hair off and shaved since London show...
I always thought u can tell a great bassist by the way they holds their geetar... see Hugh Hopper for confirmation of that stoned theory ;-)
Please let me know if you would be up to trade some live shows. I somehow figure you have a great collection, don't you?