Tuesday, 2 August 2016

I’ll be seein’ you again! GONG & PEYOTE at Club-85 in Hitchin

I'll be seein' you again
I'll be bein' you again
I'll be dreamin' you again
Again and again and again.

Gong are one of the bands I’ve been into since my late teens (in the early seventies), I have followed almost every incarnation of the band over the years and have been to see them in concert, at festivals etc. more times than I can remember, with or without Daevid Allen, Gong have been and continue to be one of those very special bands that live inside of me.

I’ve also been a long time fan, and for a while now, a friend of Lee Russell, he’s an amazing guy and I love his music.
Peyote Lee, Peyote (With Brian Hamlin), Peyote Guru (The smaller band) & Peyote Mothership (The bigger band!) etc. 
Those who frequent Kozfest, Cosmic Puffin etc. will know them well, so just visit the Peyote Archives on Bandcamp where, if electronic / space rock is your bag you’ll be able to fill it and your ears a plenty there. 

So, on Friday the 29th July 2016 imagine my delight when Gong supported by Peyote were appearing at our very own Club-85 in Hitchin!

Peyote, Lee and Brian, use modular synthesisers to explore and create all kinds of ambient and psychedelic music, live, the duo create beautiful evolving improvised soundscapes, ambient, trance, it’s all in there in the mix, this is the sort of electronic music I love and on this night they were amazing, I was away, dancing with the pixies.

Peyote in full flow

The current Gong line up consists of  Kavus Torabi -(vocals/guitar), Fabio Golfetti (guitar/vocals), Dave Sturt (bass/vocals), Ian East (sax/flute) & Cheb Nettles (drums/vocals).

Spanning almost every era of the Gong discography they played many old favourites from as far back as those classics from ‘Camembert Electrique’ as well as tracks from the last Gong album ‘I See You’ and the new album due for release in  September 2016 entitled 'Rejoice I’m Dead', their version of The Glorious Om Riff is up there among the very best versions I’ve ever heard.

Ian & Dave
Over the years Gong have had many line up changes, originally formed when Australian maestro Daevid Allen left The Soft Machine and moved to France towards the end of the 1960s, before re-appearing in 1970 with the first incarnation of Gong releasing the ‘Magick Brother’ album.
Gong have always remained fluid, even carrying on without Daevid from the mid-to-late ’70s, fracturing and reassembling and constantly taking on new forms, an undeniably amorphous unit which naturally evolved and created the whole Planet Gong philosophy and of course the Gong family.
David Bowie said that Daevid Allen’s Banana Moon album was one of his favourites and today an incredible number of artists, poets, musicians, bands claim inspiration from Daevid and Gong’s music, philosophy and ideology.

Fabio, beautiful glissando
The catchy licks, the jazzy bits, the sheer musical anarchy of it all, the avaunt-garde flourishes and counter-cultural stance is timeless, so timeless that Gong continue to exist even without their creator and guiding light, (Sadly Daevid Allen died in March 2015).

Kavus with Cheb in the background

This is just the latest incarnation, nothing more, nothing less, members old and new coalesce, the sound they make is still, beyond any question, unmistakably Gong.

Gentlemen of Gong take a bow, outstanding gig in every way.
Even without Daevid Allen, Gong will continue and long may they do so, on Friday 29th July at Club-85 they were quite simply........................ MAGNIFICENT.

For all things Gong related, go to:-

For what's going on at Club-85:-

The Fellowship were there in the form of me, Kev, Peter and Alex:-

Gong & Peyote 

Psychedelic soundscapes
Painting pictures in our minds
Synthesizers sing to an ethereal beat
The coloured lights enhance the atmosphere
As we trance in the heat
Of a fine summer’s evening
In Club-85
This can only be 

Kevin, Peter, Alex and I are there
Four of the Fellowship
Among so many friends
For tonight we have the pleasure
Of the one and only Gong 
The band that never ends
Timeless, tune in, turn on
Their music spans the decades
In a way that, for me, no other band can
Relevant through every stage of my age
From my teens until now

Had there been no Daevid
There would have been no Gong
Had there been no Gong
There would have been
No Fellowship of the Stick
And our lives would have been
So much poorer for it

Tonight Gong are on fire
Kavus leads them as only he can
Hand picked by the man
To carry on
And they were
And they remain

Grant Meaby

August 2016 

Cheers one and all, now it is time to get ready for Cambridge Rock Festival 2016 so, until the next time round the plastic spiral, GM.

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