Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lammas Zoo/Boot/Syd party jam (unintentional Lammas gathering)

Liam from Syd Arthur stopped by to invite me to a party at the farmhouse near Boughton where some of the band live and where their rehearsal space is located. A lot of the Furthur crew were in attendance (it was a three-way birthday party for Joel and others), as well as Boot Lagoon (who played a full set) and most of Zoo For You.

On arriving, I got involved in a fascinating conversation with Rob Gambell (whose band had started Saturday's proceedings on the Furthur stage at LOTF this summer) by the outside fire about the ecclesiastical history of Canterbury. He was just about to start work as a stonemason at the Cathedral and had a lot of really interesting insights about the place.

Wandering down the garden to the studio space, I caught the end of a jam involving parts of Zoo For You. Josh the drummer apologised for how awful it had been, but the bit I heard sounded quite OK.

Boot Lagoon's set was the best I'd seen up to that point. They were among friends, very relaxed, and getting quite adventurous. There's a newish piece which seems to change time signature every couple of bars — quite mentally demanding, listening to them.

A mighty jam then kicked off, initally all of Syd Arthur except for Liam (Barney from Zoo playing his guitar). Fred the drummer had turned up unexpectedly. He and Raven played right through the whole session with various people coming and going on guitar and bass (Joel handed his bass over to Cameron from Boot who was playing particularly well). Various people sitting around adding bits of percussion (Josh with just a loose cymbal and drumstick). Boot's drummer joined on flute for a while. All very groovy and organic, a rare opportunity to hear the current Canterbury scene in collaborative/exploratory mode...wonderful stuff.

A dubstep DJ was eager to setup and play, so the jam eventually ended (I could have listened to this stuff all night) and I went back out by the fire. I had my saz with me, lurking in the shadows with my bike, and when I saw Ed (of Ed and Will fame) was tending the fire I got it out and started playing some Irish and English ballads to try and get a song or two out of him. He admitted to not being in a particularly vocal mood that night, so just sang along very softly or listened intently. We keep meaning to meet up for a jam (he's a talented fiddler and plays quite a few other instruments apparently), but it hasn't happened yet. This went on 'til twilight. I ended up in the kitchen for a while chatting with various people, perusing a book on Krautrock which one of Joel's brothers had got him for his birthday, then cycled back in the morning light.

Just as the sun was coming up and I was close to home, I realised that it was Lammas. No one responsible for the party had known this — it was a birthday party, and a weekend, just happened that way.


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