Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pentangle again - Brighton

I spent a couple of days in Brighton last week helping Pok set up a MySpace profile (after much anti-Murdoch deliberation), and archiving more old solo and Spacegoats recordings (now all linked from the sidebar of his blog.

The night I arrived, Pentangle were playing the third date of their tour at the Dome Theatre (part of the Brighton Pavilion). Pok and Aurelie had tickets, and faced with the prospect of an evening back at their house in front of a computer, I decided to fork out for one myself (it hadn't quite sold out). And I didn't regret it! Although they played the same set (understandably, after so much time apart), they'd loosened up a bit since the first night in London...the "Bruton Town" was even further out.

Stella spotted me during the set break, having just been singing along with "Cruel Sister" - she knows all 27 (or whatever) verses. She described herself as "quietly ecstatic", and was happily surprised to see me there. Moments later, she spotted fellow ex-Spacegoat Pok leaning over the balcony above me. This led to a musical picnic on the beach near Hove a couple of evenings later where we sung/played all the old favourites (Dylan, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell), Pok tried out some new songs, etc. Stella sang some of her new-ish songs (some I recorded with her last year), and one I'd not heard before called "Hello". One of the highlights of that evening was a mad, extended "Hurdy-Gurdy Man", including the missing extra verse written by George Harrison (typically, this was taught to Pok by a stranger at the centre of the Mizmaze on St. Catherine's Hill). Another was Pok and Stella singing "Morning Dew". Best of all, though, was Pok launching into the Incredible String Band's seemingly impossible-to-play epic "Three is a Green Crown", Stella and I wailing along with the impossible-to-sing vocals, and me managing to follow Pok's guitar with relatively successful saz parts. I don't think anyone else there knew the song, most had already gone and everyone was packing up at the time, so it was like we were clearing the beach with our outrageously weird music. "You're all nutters!" laughed someone as the blankets beneath us were removed. In the end it was just the three of us, laughing extensively as the light faded and the waves crashed in.

This then led me to remember an idea I'd proposed to Pok and Dave Goodman at Dave's studio about 12 years ago - an ISB tribute album called The Hangman's Beautiful Granddaughter, consisting of different people covering one of the tracks from their classic The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. At the time, it wasn't really plausible, due to the amount of time/effort/organisation/money involved in something like that. But in 2008, it could be an Open-Source-licensed, free download kind-of-thing, very little effort to organise as an online project. I think Pok should record "Three is a The Green Crown" and Stella "The Water Song". I'll write more about this eventually and inform the various ISB forums to see if I can get any interest.

Here are a couple of early Floyd clips Pok switched me on to while I was there - both are versions of "Astronomy Domine" - one with Syd and one without


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