Artists: Steve Hillage

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Canterbury Sans Frontieres #44


Episode Forty—Four

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?


Egg, Steve Hillage's System 7 sampling Gong, Gong themselves celebrating twenty-five years of cosmic silliness, a late period Lindsay Cooper ambient collaboration, four unknown Japanese amateur musicians playing National Health's "Collapso" (having never played together before!), a old Robert Wyatt piece reworked with a Palestinian MC, the Delta Saxphone Quartet mashing up a couple of pieces from Soft Machine's "Third" album, Hugh Hopper with American experimentalists Caveman Shoestore and something from Kevin Ayers 1972 "Banana Follies" stage show. From the Canterbury of recent times, a live set from Lapis Lazuli, an intriguing miniature from Humble Pious and friend, an almost-lost 2010 demo from Bardo Thodol and ambient works from two of the musicians behind that band. Also some spiritual jazz from Pharaoh Sanders, modular synth wizardry from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and an overdue tribute to John Wetton (RIP).

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Steve Hillage Biography

Steve Hillage first came to prominence as a member of the multi-national rock band Gong, appearing on successful albums such as Angels Egg and You.  After Sharmal, his final album with the band, Steve recorded his first solo album in 1975, entitled Fish Rising.  This album was made whilst he was still a member of Gong, but shortly afterwards Steve and his partner Miquette Giraudy left the band, embarking on a solo career that continues to this day.

In 1976 he recorded the album ‘L’ which was produced by Todd Rundgren.  The album was a huge success and Steve subsequently formed the Steve Hillage Band.  The line up included former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and future Camel bassist Colin Bass.  The band made its live debut at the Hyde Park concert staged by Queen in September 1976.  Following this, the band played numerous live concerts including one in Germany in early 1977, for German television. Further albums such as ‘Motivation Radio’, ‘Green’, ‘Live Herald’, ‘Rainbow Dome Musick’, ‘Open’ and ‘For To Next’, were released.   Then Steve decided to opt for a career and style change with the new ambient dance oriented, System 7, which continues to this day.   In addition to this, in 2006 Steve rejoined his band mates in Gong at the Gong UnCon fan convention in Holland.   At this time Steve not only re-joined Gong, but also reformed the Steve Hillage Band.

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