Thursday, September 27, 2012

a day out with Daevid

September 11, 2012

I'm not going to say too much about this, as all will be revealed on a future episode of my Canterbury Soundwaves podcast.

In some ways it doesn't feel quite real, looking back, but it felt remarkably normal at the time — basically, I spent a good part of the day with Daevid Allen (he of Gong) exploring places or relevance in the Canterbury area, chatting about the past and present, veering off all sorts of odd tangents (as you'd expect). I now have many hours of audio to edit (including poetry being read and sung in various locations), but for now, here are a couple of pictures:

And, in Canterbury Wholefoods we just happened to bump into Christine Hopper (Hugh's widow), who Daevid first met in Paris when the Soft Machine were over there in '67. It was through him that Hugh first met her. They were delighted to see each other, embraced and chatted excitedly in French for a while. That was a particularly pleasing coincidence.

Daevid reads his poem "Unriddle Me This" from atop Dane John Mound, looking out over the City

with the stencil of Robert Wyatt which appeared in Dover Street recently...this being next door to where The Beehive was, where they would have played together as part of an embryonic Soft Machine in '66

recreating a scene from Wellington House, Lydden fifty-one years on

* * *

...and then, that evening, Famous James and the Monsters playing a low-key "acoustic" gig at The Ballroom. I was still a bit dazed from the events of the day, and not reall sure what made this any more acoustic than they usually are. Tom was playing electric bass (very well...he's apparently being considered as a replacement for Cam in Lapis Lazuli). No Phil Self on mandolin or John E on congas, though, so minimal, quieter material, not a crazy party set like the one they played at Smugglers Festival. I was sitting next to Andy R and we both found the second song (an arrangement of something Jamie's written, I'm guessing) to be very Jefferson Airplane-like...more of this please!

Another gig that will become part of a blur of memory, as there are so many these days. I missed Lapis playing the evening before at The Black Griffin, just forgot it was happening...


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