Artists: Gong

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Canterbury Sans Frontieres #43


Episode Forty-three

We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières - a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes:

As with Canterbury Soundwaves , a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon. I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up

(i) repeating myself,

(ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or

(iii) becoming increasingly tangential.

This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less  expository – so no interviews, barely listenable bootlegs, etc. I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 features a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli).

And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we have brought you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?

Gong live in Rotterdam 1974 (with Bill Bruford), Matching Mole live in Paris 1972, the Steve Hillage band live in Amsterdam 2006, a "hidden" Robert Wyatt track you've probably never heard, Caravan on the radio in 1968, Soft Machine with current Fairport Convention fiddler Ric Sanders in '78, classics from Hatfield, National Health and Kevin Ayers, and Hugh Hopper collaborating with New York oddball producer Kramer. Also, something from the latest iteration of King Crimson, a lost gem from Mahavishnu Orchestra, more from that Terry Riley/John Coltrane mashup, the Kronos Quartet playing Riley, and tributes to Bobby Hutcherson and Dave Swarbrick.



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Gong Biography

Gong came into being almost by accident in the late sixties when Daevid Allen was refused entry back into Britain following European dates with Soft Machine.  Deciding to stay in Paris, Daevid began working alongside Gilli Smyth and various musicians on what would eventually be recognised as Gong.

The first acknowledged recordings from the band were Magick Brother - Mystic Sister in 1970, then came the albums Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot,  Angels Egg  and  You.  The latter three followed the fortunes of Zero The Hero and told the tale of the Pothead Pixies and became the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy.

Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth and Steve Hillage have all recorded as solo artists and Gilli subsequently formed the offshoot Mother Gong.  Occasionally the three have reunited as was seen by the release of the live Gong album recorded in 1977.  A subsequent reunion at the Gong UnCon in 2006 became a full time proposition with the release of a new studio album in 2009.

Various permutations of Gong have worked together over the years under various names including Mother Gong,  Expresso Gong,  Gongmaison and  Planet Gong.  These included an amazing array of musical talent moving through the ranks of the band over the last forty years.

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