Anaïd was a band from the North of France, formed in 1981 by percussionist Jean-Max Delva and vocalist Emmanuelle Lionet. Their original aim was to mix a great variety of musical idioms (from jazz to funk to world music to free rock etc.) into a unique fusion. The name Anaïd (a Russian surname) was primarily chosen for its sound and has no particular meaning. Delva had previously played in rock and jazz-rock bands, as well as an electro-acoustic duo with Belgian musician Axel Libeert, while Lionet had sung in a choir and played cabarets with a pianist. Anaïd started by playing numerous gigs in small clubs around Brittany, augmented by pianist Claude Delvallé. In 1982, they toured Belgium and performed at the Vannes jazz festival, and the Festival des Tombées de la Nuit in Rennes. At that point, they met guitarist Patrice Meyer, who was added to the duo following a memorable jam. Meyer in turn introduced his pianist Patrick Morgenthaler, and for the next three years, Anaïd was a quartet. They toured around France, playing mainly in Brittany and Yonne. In 1984, Anaïd played at the Scandinavy Express festival in Lillers and met Elton Dean, Mimi Lorenzini and Didier Malherbe. Later that year, they added ex-Art Zoyd violinist Franck Cardon for a performance at the Lille festival. In 1985, they played cabarets in and around Paris, and shared the bill with In Cahoots at a festival. Bassist Hugh Hopper enjoyed their show and offered to play in the band. In March 1986, he took part (as did Sophia Domancich) in the sessions for Anaïd's first album, the self-released Vêtue De Noir.
Following these sessions, Anaïd reverted to the original duo for a few months, until Hugh Hopper joined on a permanent basis for a French tour in June 1987. Three months later, they were joined by Pape Dieye, a percussionist hailing from Sénégal, and embarked on an extensive French tour in the Spring of 1988, followed by further dates that Summer. In November 1988, a second album, Belladonna, was recorded by the trio with drummer Christian Hossaine. This marked the end of Hugh Hopper's involvement. He was replaced, on his own recommendation, by his friend Rick Biddulph. The new trio, later augmented by Pierre-Marie Bonafos (saxophones) and/or Jean-Luc Ditsch (drums) for the bigger gigs, toured France extensively in 1989/90. New tracks were recorded in 1990 for Anaïd's first CD, Four Years, which also included material from the first two albums. That same year, they opened for Christian Vander (a major influence on Delva) and on their final gig in Le Havre (December 14th) shared the bill with Lol Coxhill's Melody Four. Delva and Lionet subsequently put an end to their musical activities devote more time to their family life, while Biddulph joined Richard Sinclair's Caravan Of Dreams. Delva now works as a sales representative for Sonor and Kawai musical instruments in the South-West of France.

Carla Bley

American pianist/composer Carla Bley (née Borg) was born in Oakland, California (USA) on May 11th 1938. As a child and teenager, she taught herself the piano and subsequently became interested in jazz. Moving to New York City at age 19, she met pianist Paul Bley, later marrying him. She began composing for his group, and in subsequent years concentrated on that aspect of her work, although she briefly played in a band led by Charles Moffett featuring Pharoah Sanders. In 1964, she met Austrian trumpeter Michael Mantler in the Jazz Composers' Guild. Together, they started an orchestra made up of the Guild's members, including Roswell Rudd, Archie Shepp and Milford Graves. This later became the Jazz Composers' Orchestra. In 1965, she left Paul Bley and married Mantler.
Carla Bley's critical breakthrough came in 1967 with the album A Genuine Tong Funeral by the Gary Burton Quartet, which she had composed specifically for the group. Soon after, she was commissioned by Charlie Haden, an old friend from the California days, to arrange and contribute pieces to his album, Liberation Music Orchestra. Between other people's projects, she also started work on an opera, Escalator Over The Hill, a collaboration with the poet Paul Haines featuring a large cast of singers and players (including Jack Bruce, John McLaughlin, Linda Ronstadt, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, Charlie Haden and Gato Barbieri), which was finally completed in 1972, but never performed live until the Summer of 1998, when Bley assembled a new line-up for a series of festival appearances in Europe.
In 1973 Mantler and Bley formed their own label Watt Works and began to make their own records, starting with Bley's Tropic Appetites, another collaboration with Paul Haines, and a joint album, 13 & 3/4 for which they wrote one side each. In 1975, she formed a shortlived rock group with vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce, featuring guitarist Mick Taylor, but it split up after six months and a well-received tour. She decided to form her own band. In 1976, she recorded Dinner Music with members of the group Stuff, and had a first attempt at a live band at that year's Baden-Baden Free Jazz Meeting, leading a line-up that included Michael Mantler, Gary Windo, Hugh Hopper and Aldo Romano. Around that time, she also played on Michael Mantler's concept albums The Hapless Child (1976) and Silence (1977), both featuring Robert Wyatt on vocals.
In the Summer of 1977, she assembled the first Carla Bley Band, with Hopper, Elton Dean, Windo, John Clark, Bob Stewart, Andrew Cyrille and others. They recorded a studio album, titled European Tour 1977, but strangely enough recorded in the studio, before the actual three-week tour took place in the Autumn of 1977, playing jazz festivals around Europe. Unfortunately, Carla Bley's links with the Canterbury scene stopped at that point, but she has since kept touring and recording with her band, releasing the albums Musique Mécanique (1978), Social Studies (1980), Live! (1981), I Hate To Sing (1982), Heavy Heart (1983), Night-Glo (1985), Sextet (1987), Fleur Carnivore (1989), The Very Big Carla Bley Band (1991), Big Band Theory (1993) and The Carla Bley Big Bang Goes To Church (1996), as well as two duo albums with bassist Steve Swallow (with whom she has been living since splitting with Mantler in 1991), Duets (1988) and Go Together (1992), and another in trio with Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Songs With Legs (1994). She has also composed, at Jack Bruce's request, a mini-opera entitled Under The Volcano, based on the novel by Malcolm Lowry, which was performed at 1985's New Music America Festival in Los Angeles.


After spending six years in such pioneering progressive rock bands as Yes and King Crimson, drummer Bill Bruford felt it was time to lead his own group. Unfortunately, the time was not right, and he spent the following two years either rescuing established bands needing a drummer for a tour or a recording (Gong, National Health, Genesis...) or playing sessions for the likes of Chris Squire, Roy Harper or Pavlov's Dog. In the Autumn of 1976, he attempted to form a trio with his former King Crimson colleague, bassist/vocalist John Wetton, and ex-Yes keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman, but this failed to get off the ground for contractual reasons. This was the first time Bruford contributed his own compositions to a band, including "Beelzebub" and "Back To The Beginning", which were later reused for his debut solo album, Feels Good To Me (1978).
The line-up on that album, which was rehearsed and recorded in the Spring and Summer of 1977, featured his National Health colleague, keyboard player Dave Stewart, who made significant contributions to the arrangements as well as composing additional sections; guitar prodigy Allan Holdsworth, previously in Soft Machine, Tony Williams' Lifetime and Gong; and American bassist Jeff Berlin, who had studied at the Berklee School of Music and recorded with Tony Williams, Al DiMeola, Larry Coryell and Patrick Moraz among others. Additional performers included British flugelhorn player Kenny Wheeler, and pianist, vocalist and composer Annette Peacock (who contributed lyrics to the final track "Adios A La Pasada").
By the time the album was finished, Bruford had started UK with John Wetton and Eddie Jobson. The trio was later joined by Holdsworth, who in the meantime had recorded and toured with Jean-Luc Ponty and Gordon Beck. That quartet line-up lasted long enough to record an acclaimed eponymous debut and tour Europe and the United States, before splitting up in November 1978. At around the same time, Dave Stewart left National Health and he and Bruford teamed up again to start writing for another album. They were eventually joined by Berlin and Holdsworth. Now performing under the collective banner Bruford, they released the all-instrumental album One Of A Kind, and undertook a tour of Europe in the Spring of 1979.
At that point, Allan Holdsworth left to start a solo career and was replaced by one of his students, one John Clark, humorously nicknamed 'The Unknown'. The new line-up embarked on an extensive US tour, recording the live album The Bruford Tapes in New York City. Later that year, they made another album, Gradually Going Tornado (now with vocals, courtesy of Jeff Berlin), which was released in the Spring of 1980 and followed by a second US tour. At that point, the group ground to halt due to high touring costs and Bruford's involvement in a new line-up of King Crimson. He and Stewart collaborated again a few years later when Stewart co-produced the debut album by Bruford's jazz group Earthworks. Holdsworth and Berlin worked together again in 1982 when the latter briefly joined Holdsworth touring group. And Berlin and Bruford were reunited on two albums by the Japanese guitarist Kazumi Watanabe, and on part of ABWH's American tour in 1989 when Berlin deputised for a sick Tony Levin.


Camel's story is a long one! This English progressive rock band was formed in 1972 by the ex-members of the blues trio Brew - Andrew Latimer (guitar, vocals), Doug Ferguson (bass) and Andy Ward (drums) - and the UK blues scene legend, Peter Bardens (organ). They developed a sound not dissimilar to that of Caravan in its glory days, as exemplified by their debut album, Camel (1973), a delightful mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks with a nice jazzy/sophisticated flavour.
A more progressive direction was followed with the next albums. Mirage (1974) and The Snow Goose (1975) show the original band at their peak with a predominantly instrumental music based often based on concepts. The latter album was Camel's commercial breakthrough, leading the Melody Maker to award the band the distinction of 'brightest hope' on the British pop-rock scene!
After another album in the same vein, Moonmadness (1976), the band experienced its first (of many) line-up changes, with the arrival of Mel Collins on sax and flute, and the subsequent sacking of Ferguson, not too keen on the more jazzy direction Latimer and Bardens wanted to go in. He was replaced by Richard Sinclair, whom Ward had long admired for his work with Caravan and Hatfield and the North.
The resulting line-up was possibly the best in Camel's career, as evidenced on side A of the double live set A Live Record (1978), but although Rain Dances (1977) managed to experiment with shorter and more accessible tracks without compromising the band's integrity, this wasn't the case on the following album, Breathless (1978), a very inconsistent effort that combined excellent progressive pieces with pretty appalling attempts at disco-funk.
In September 1978, Bardens left and was replaced by two ex-Caravan keyboardists : David Sinclair and Jan Schelhaas. But this dream line-up (photograph above) sadly never made it to a studio. Both Sinclairs left after returning from a successful Japanese tour. Although it had never been David's intention to remain in Camel longer than the tour, it seems Richard was willing to continue, although it was becoming more and more obvious that he wasn't totally compatible with the direction the band wished to pursue. Latimer got in contact with Colin Bass, a bassist (and occasional singer) with a more solid, less jazzy style, who had previously played in Steve Hillage's backing band among others.
With a new, equally attractive line-up consisting of Latimer, Ward, Schelhaas, Bass and Kit Watkins (the ex-keyboard wizzard from the extraordinary American progressive band, Happy The Man), Camel also failed to find a new breath, although the majestic closing track on I Can See Your House From Here (1979), "Ice", is considered by many to be the band's finest hour. It certainly marked Latimer's move to a more lyrical and symphonic style, away from the intricate time signatures of previous works.
It was then back to concept-albums for Nude (1980), one of Camel's best-ever efforts, which marked a move to both less complexity and less attempts at being commercial, a mostly instrumental and symphonic album that the band's most recent efforts are quite reminiscent of. Coincidentally, it marked the beginning of a fruitful writing partnership with lyricist Susan Hoover. Although it didn't feature keyboardists Schelhaas and Watkins (Duncan McKay played most keyboard parts on the album), they were back for the tour.
Unfortunately, this would be the last album by Camel as a band, at least for the 80's. The Single Factor (1982), was recorded without a full-time line-up, as Ward was in hospital recovering from a hand injury (as it turned out, he never came back to the band). Having met David Paton and Chris Rainbow (of Alan Parsons Project fame) at Abbey Road studios during the recording of Nude, he worked mainly with them, Anthony Phillips (the original Genesis guitarist, now releasing solo albums of instrumental music) and assorted session men (including one Peter Bardens...). Latimer was pressured by label executives to do an album of commercial songs, which The Single Factor is, and not a very good one : Camel's talent and strength is certainly not in catchy pop tunes. Thankfully, there were a couple of good instrumentals like "Sasquatch", and the beautiful "A Heart's Desire/End Peace", which prevented a total disaster.
In spite of all this, the subsequent 10th Anniversary tour (Spring 1982), preserved for posterity on the Camel On The Road 1982, showed that Camel, even when it consisted of Latimer with members of the Alan Parsons Project (and the returning Kit Watkins) as backing band, could still retain the magic of its earlier incarnations.
Stationary Traveller (1984) was yet another concept-album, inspired by the then-divided town of Berlin, and proved more successful than its predecessor, with some excellent instrumentals, although the song-based material was somewhat inconsistent, not to mention the typically 80s production. Virtuoso keyboard-player Ton Scherpenzeel (previously in the Dutch pop-prog band Kayak) and drummer Paul Burgess (who had played with 10cc and Jethro Tull) would both stay faithful to Latimer until the early 90's.
Between 1985 and 1991, little was heard of Camel. It later appeared that Latimer had moved to California in 1988 to establish himself as an independent artist, after negotiations with several labels in London had failed. In the meantime, he had worked on yet another concept-album, this time based on the classic John Steinbeck book, 'The Grapes Of Wrath'. Scherpenzeel (who eventually quit due to his fear of flying, Latimer having to fly to the Netherlands to record his keyboard parts!), Bass and Burgess all played on Dust And Dreams, a very symphonic and dominantly peaceful work, having very little in common with the early days of Camel.
A world tour followed, with Bass, Burgess and ex-Mike Oldfield/Fish keyboard player Mickey Simmonds joining Latimer. The reception from audiences was overwhelmingly warm, and rightly so judging from the excellent double live set, Never Let Go, released by Camel Productions in 1993.
Andrew Latimer spent the two subsequent years working on the follow-up to Dust And Dreams. This time, the concept was an original one, dealing with Latimer's Irish origins. The music was inspired by the stories associated with an Irish harbour named Cobh, also known as the 'Harbour Of Tears' because it was the last sight of their native country that immigrants saw when leaving for the New World. Harbour Of Tears was released in January 1996, and was again considered as one of Camel's very finest.
The tour promoting it was postponed several times until it finally took place (mainly in California and Northern Europe) in the Spring of 1997, with a line-up of Latimer, Bass, Foss Patterson (keyboards) and Dave Stewart (drums), the latter originating (like Mickey Simmonds) from Fish's backing band. It was announced as the final Camel tour, but it was such a success among fans that this may finally not be the case.
Another live double-CD recorded on the initial US leg of the Spring 1997 tour, was released in April 1998 under the title Coming Of Age, quickly followed by its companion video. Both are a fine testament to one of the band's best line-ups. During the band's usual hiatus between albums, Colin Bass recorded and released the first solo album to be published under his name : An Outcast Of The Islands, released in December 1998, featured fellow Camel bandmates Andy Latimer and Dave Stewart as well as members of two young Polish progressive rock bands, Quidam and Abraxas. Its release was followed by a short European tour in the Spring of 1999 (again with Stewart and the Polish team), shortly after Bass had joined Latimer and Stewart in the sessions for Camel's new album.
Rajaz was released in October 1999. For the first time in years, it wasn't a concept-album, although it did feature several tracks with an Arabic feel/theme to them. Latimer has said he had attempted to get a more live feel after two heavily symphonic and highly arranged albums, and indeed the core Camel trio recorded all the backing tracks live in the studio. Latimer's superlative guitar playing was more prominently featured than it had been in a long time, although Ton Scherpenzeel made a welcome appearance as guest keyboardist. In August 2000 Camel embarked on the promotional tour for this release, Latimer and Bass being joined on this occasion by new recruits Guy LeBlanc (keyboards, from Nathan Mahl) and fellow Québécois drummer Denis Clément. The tour continued into 2001 with dates in South America. The same line-up can be heard on Camel's latest studio effort, 2002's A Nod And A Wink, but LeBlanc had to bow out of the 2003 tour for family reasons, and was replaced by Tom Brislin (who had played with Yes on their YesSymphonic tour in 2001) for the US leg, and Ton Scherpenzeel for the European leg. This tour was said to be Camel's last-ever at the time, Latimer intending to concentrate on studio projects in the future, but who knows ?...

Global Village Trucking Company

Fronted by guitarist/vocalist Jon Owen, Global Village Trucking Company were a kind of hippy festival band who lived communally in East Anglia circa 1972-6. They gigged mainly on the college circuit, as well as playing summer festivals. Musically there were two sides to the band. Owen wrote most of the 'songs'; however they are more generally remembered for the spaced out jamming which was quite similar to trilogy-era Gong. The line-up was completed by keyboard player Jimmy Lascelles (who played distorted Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano in the grand Canterbury tradition, with a solo style somewhere between a mellow Jon Lord and Mike Ratledge, as well as experimenting with early synths); bassists Nick Prater, Colin Gibson, Steve Swanberg, and finally John McKenzie; drummer Simon Stewart; and at various times guitarists Mike Medora, Pete Kirtley and John Etheridge. After appearing on the legendary Greasy Truckers double-album (released January 1974) alongside Henry Cow, Camel and Gong, the Global Village Trucking Company recorded an eponymous album in November 1974, which was eventually released by Virgin's subsidiary label, Caroline, in 1976. Around the same time they also recorded sessions for BBC's Top Gear programme. The high point of GVTC's career was a long UK tour supporting Gong in April-May 1975, following which Etheridge left to join Soft Machine. After the band split up, Owen went on to a low-key solo career; Lascelles moved to another band project, Cuckoo, with another keyboard player, Mike Storey, then to soundtrack work for television and films; in 1981 he briefly joined forces with Phil Miller, Richard Sinclair and Pip Pyle to form a Hatfield-style band which sadly never got off the ground (the other three ended up in Miller's In Cahoots); and McKenzie joined Steve Hillage's touring band in 1978 and is featured on Live Herald (fellow Globs member Jimmy Lascelles' brother Jeremy was in fact Hillage's road manager at the time).

The Ghoulies

In 1982, a strange album, Dogged By Dogma, appeared under the name of The Ghoulies, a project masterminded by one Charlie Summers, and featuring no less than Dave Stewart and Pip Pyle alongside a host of anonymous Welsh session musicians. The music itself bore more than a passing resemblance to that of Hatfield and the North, a major influence of Summers, who got in touch with Stewart through mutual acquaintance Green Gartside (Scritti Politti's vocalist, whom Stewart had approached to sing on his debut solo single "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted?"). With his regular drummer Nigel Harris having moved to London, Summers also managed to get Pyle involved, and recording sessions took place in Cardiff sometime in 1981. He then founded his own label, Lounging Records, ultimately selling around 3000 copies, which unfortunately was not enough (in spite of John Peel's support) to envision doing more projects under the Ghoulies banner. Summers, however, still has vague plans for a follow-up. Vinyl copies of the album are still available from him for £6 (overseas add £1 P&P) at the following address : Charlie Summers, 15 Cymric Close, Ely, Cardiff CF5 4GR.

Here & Now / Planet Gong

Here And Now was formed in 1975, at the embryonic stage of the punk movement in Britain, by guitarist Stephen Lewry (a.k.a. Steffi Sharpstrings) and bassist Keith Bailey (a.k.a. Keith The Bass or Keith Missile). The original line-up was completed by Paul Noble (a.k.a. Twink Electron Flo) on synths, Keith Dobson (a.k.a. Kif Kif Le Batteur) on drums, with backing vocalists Annie Wombat and Suze Da Blooz. But the band didn't gain fame until, in October 1977, they teamed up with Daevid Allen to form Planet Gong. Allen found that Here And Now's beliefs mirrored his ideas to strip away the pomposity of the alternative movement. "I started to sympathise with the punk movement. In that period I went quite far into the shadow side of the hippie movement. I was taking a very political stance and advocating anarchy, which I called floating anarchy, which was a more evolved kind of anarchy than the anarchy of the Sex Pistols. But nevertheless I sympathised with the kids that were poor, that came from poor families and couldn't afford expensive instruments. You looked at a band like Yes or all up there, with all this fantastic, expensive equipment... how were these kids going to afford this? They wanted to smash everything up!".
Planet Gong did free gigs where the hat was passed for petrol money for the traveling bus they used. They issued the single "Opium For The People" (which attacked all sorts of everyday drugs, and not just medicinal ones), followed by the Floating Anarchy album, which also involved Gilli Smyth. At that point, Twink had left the group and had been replaced by Gavin Da Blitz. The girl singers left after the first album, and subsequent line-ups involved a series of drummers, none of whom stayed for long. Subsequently, Allen and the rest went their own ways, and Here And Now was resurrected. After sharing one half of an album entitled What You See Is What You Are with another band, Alternative TV, they released several albums : Give And Take (1978), All Over The Show (1979) and A Dog In Hell (1979). In 1981, Steffi Sharpstrings left and was replaced by one Dino Ferrari, and the line-up stabilised with the recruitment of drummer Rob Peters. Here And Now released the album Fantasy Shift in 1983, eventually disbanding in 1986 after a farewell concert at Dingwalls, which was released under the title Been And Gone.
Five years after its demise, in May 1991, Here And Now reformed for a gig at The Fridge in Brixton, with a line-up of Dino Ferrari, Keith Bailey (who was also the bass player in Gong Maison and Gong from 1989 to 1994) and two new members, Andy Roid (keyboards) and Dominick Luckman (drums), and guest appearances by Daevid Allen and Gavin Da Blitz. This was released as Here And Now Live 1991, and later that year the reformed group teamed up again with Allen as Planet Gong, as documented on the Live Floating Anarchy 1991 CD. Subsequently, double-bill gigs featuring both Here And Now and Planet Gong. The setlist included songs from the Floating Anarchy album, as well as early Gong material (like "Change The World" and "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein") and new songs. With Steffi Sharpstrings back in the line-up up and the drummer stool now occupied by Steve Cassidy, work then started on a new Here And Now album.
Although UFOasis was completed in the Summer of 1993, it was only released (on the band's own label) in time for Gong's 25th Birthday Party in October 1994 (with a British tour in the meantime), due to lack of finance. The album included new music with the exception of two reworkings of songs from Fantasy Shift ("Secrets" and "Telly Song"), and was acclaimed as their strongest to date. After performing at Gong 25, Here And Now embarked on a long European tour in April-May 1995 to promote it. This was followed by sporadic dates in England and a brief visit to the Netherlands in November for the Jimi Hendrix Festival. Since then, Here And Now has kept gigging regularly (Steffi Sharpstrings was concurrently involved in Gong's touring line-up in 1994-98), and Keith Bailey runs Space Agency which sets up tours for various bands).

Invisible Opera Company of Tibet (Brazil)

A code name created by Daevid Allen. The original idea, in his own words, was to create "an international ideological/spiritual/aesthetic communication network for artists of all kind... who share the common vision of warm hearted, pan-stylistic, inclusive art forms which serve the drive towards conscious evolution".
Based in Sao Paulo (Brazil). Formed early 1988. Guitarist Fabio Golfetti of the psychedelic/prog band Violeta De Outono contacted Allen to connect the Invisibles in his country under the title Invisible Opera Company of Tibet (Tropical Version Brazil). Jan 1991 : start recording first tape. First gig : June 1991. Nowadays there are Invisible Operas working simultaneously (or almost) in UK, with Brian Abbott, in Australia with Russell Hibbs, and maybe California. In April/May 1993, during a trip through Asia, Golfetti collected ideas for the album Glissando Spirit that was originally released on LP by the Low Life Records label, and reissue on CD by Voiceprint in February 1997 with 30 minutes of bonus material from the same period. Daevid met, played with and got on famously with them all when he went to Brazil for the Rio Earth-summit a couple of years ago (May 15th 1992). Daevid said that Fabio is one of the best glissando guitarists he has heard. Daevid and the band played together at the Omame Festival at Brasilia's Teatro Nacional. Discography : "Opera Invisivel" (flexi single, 1989), "The Eternal Voice" (1992, tape), "Live At Britannia Café" (rec. Aug 1994, rel. 1994, tape), "Cosmic Dance Co." (rec. 1992, rel. 1996, CD), "Glissando Spirit" (rec. Summer 1993, rel. Feb 1997, CD). The IOCOT use many of the classic Gong sounds and incorporate them into their own forward-looking music. The live tape includes covers of Gong's "Flying Teapot" or "OM Riff" and New York Gong's "Materialism". The latest incarnation consists of Renato Mello (alto sax & keyboards), Arthur Greig (drums & percussion) and Alge (bass). It was formed for a festival in Sao Paulo in July 1997 where they appeared under the name Tropical Gong Entertainment and played Gong favourites such as "Master Builder", "You Can't Kill Me" or "Tropical Fish : Selene".
The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet first appeared in a Parisian street café in the year of 1968 and since that time various individuals and groups the world over have worked under their universal, but highly invisible influence.
"There are four Insivible Opera Companies now : one in Australia, one in South America, one in England and one in America. They all have the same name and they all swap material. The ideal would be that musicians from each band could more from country to country and play in the bands that are in each country without moving the band; the musicians can just jump from one place to another".
"I saw the possibility of a new kind of musical collective. Why not create an international umbrella group consisting and several bands, each with the same name and with shared or compatible songs and music, developing and promoting themselves simultaneously in different world centres? This would create the possibility of musicians migrating from group to group while the groups themselves remained active within their own territories. Then I saw the actual existence of this possibility in the three contemporary versions of Invisible Opera Company. One each in Australia, in Brazil and in Great Britain. I realized that, potentially, my vision was in place...".

Invisible Opera Company of Tibet (UK)

A code name created by Daevid Allen. The original idea, in his own words, was to create "an international ideological/spiritual/aesthetic communication network for artists of all kind... who share the common vision of warm hearted, pan-stylistic, inclusive art forms which serve the drive towards conscious evolution".
The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet first appeared in a Parisian street café in the year of 1968 and since that time various individuals and groups the world over have worked under their universal, but highly invisible influence.
"There are four Insivible Opera Companies now : one in Australia, one in South America, one in England and one in America. They all have the same name and they all swap material. The ideal would be that musicians from each band could more from country to country and play in the bands that are in each country without moving the band; the musicians can just jump from one place to another".
"I saw the possibility of a new kind of musical collective. Why not create an international umbrella group consisting and several bands, each with the same name and with shared or compatible songs and music, developing and promoting themselves simultaneously in different world centres? This would create the possibility of musicians migrating from group to group while the groups themselves remained active within their own territories. Then I saw the actual existence of this possibility in the three contemporary versions of Invisible Opera Company. One each in Australia, in Brazil and in Great Britain. I realized that, potentially, my vision was in place...".
1990 : due for release is an album by the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, although Daevid is eager to point out that this is the Australian version of a band which Daevid started with Russell Hibbs, an exiled Welshman, and then left to Russell whilst Daevid himself then formed an English-based IOCT as well! Russell's album, entitled The Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet - Live in Oz 1988, featured a couple of Allen-penned tracks : "Away, Away" and "Trial By Headline".
IOCT UK : Brian Abbott (g/voc), Tim Hall (b/voc), Steve Hickson (d/voc) and Jim Peters (kb/fl/voc). Played their first gig in Totnes on September 11th, 1992. Allen guesting. Play IOCT covers, some Gong material and some of their own. Released their first album Jewel In The Lotus in 1995 (Allen guests).


This British jazz-rock group was founded in June 1972 by guitarist Gary Boyle, who had previously played with Dusty Springfield, Brian Auger and Eclection, as well as guesting on numerous jazz sessions. The original line-up of the band featured former Nucleus bassist Jeff Clyne, as well as two unknown young players he'd met on the jazz circuit : keyboardist/composer Brian Miller (who wrote almost all the tracks on the band's eponymous debut) and drummer Nigel Morris. The original line-up briefly featured Stan Sulzmann (sax) and Aureo De Souza (percussion°.
The band soon signed with Gull Records in England and Motown (!) in the USA, and started touring colleges and clubs around Britain, as well as touring on the continent - France, Germany and Scandinavia. In March 1974, shortly after the release of the first album, a clash of egos led to Miller and Clyne suddenly leaving. They were replaced by Laurence Scott, a semi-pro keyboard player, and Hugh Hopper, whom Boyle had met while working with Stomu Yamash'ta. The new line-up embarked on a UK tour in June and July, followed by dates in Germany and the Netherlands in August. They then entered the studio, with Poli Palmer (ex-Eclection and Family) producing, to record Illusion. The writing was now shared equally between Boyle, Scott and Hopper. Intensive touring in Britain followed, and a US tour was undertaken in March and April 1975. Percussionist Aureo DeSouza was then added to the line-up for a European tour, and drummer Jeff Seopardie also reinforced the band for British dates later that year. In December 1975, Scott left and was replaced by Frank Roberts. At that point, management problems resulted in a very difficult financial situation and Hugh Hopper decided to leave.
In March 1976, a third album, Deep End, was recorded (production duties were handled by Brand X's Robin Lumley), with Hopper playing on only his own composition "Fonebone". Bassist Dan K. Brown and second keyboardist Zoe Kronberger were added at that point, but gigs became sparser. There was one last line-up change in 1977, with only Boyle surviving from previous incarnations, alongside Geoff Downes on keyboards (later in Yes and Asia), Steve Shone on bass and Colin Wilkinson on drums, but this new Isotope never went beyond the rehearsal stage, only recording a couple of radio sessions. Gary Boyle subsequently embarked on a solo career.

"The Last Nightingale"

This mini-album was recorded (in October 1984) and released (the following month) to support the miners' strikes in Britain (under Margaret Thatcher's conservative government), which at that point had been going on for nine months, with miners and their families finding themselves in desperate financial situations. The first side involved several ex-members of Henry Cow - Chris Cutler (the mastermind behind the whole thing, releasing the EP on his own Recommended label) on drums, Lindsay Cooper on reeds and keyboards and Tim Hodgkinson on keyboards and saxophones, with the latter's fellow The Work member Bill Gilonis on guitar and bass - performing two original compositions (with music by Cooper and Hodgkinson and lyrics by Cutler) with Robert Wyatt on vocals. The second side consisted of two recitations by Adrian Mitchell and an alternate version of Henry Cow's "Bittern Storm Over Ulm".


Christian Vander's band is certainly not just a "Canterbury-related" band, but a musical institution in its own right. There are several excellent websites devoted to Magma, the links to which are on the links page. Magma's main link with the Canterbury scene was Gong. In the seventies, both bands were seen as competitors, each displaying apparently opposite philosophies and musical styles. But they, at least, shared a high level of musicianship, which resulted in musicians from both bands playing together. Original Magma bassist Francis Moze joined Gong for the Flying Teapot sessions in January 1973, and rejoined three years later, playing on Gazeuse ! Saxophonist Yochk'o Seffer, also a member of Magma's early line-ups, guested at Daevid Allen's first gigs with New York Gong in 1978, and played on John Greaves' first solo album Accident (1982). Gong's drummer Pierre Moerlen briefly played with Magma in the early eighties. Gong's saxophonist Didier Malherbe and Magma's first pianist Faton Cahen teamed up at Faton Bloom in the early and mid-eighties (Moerlen was the original drummer in the band, too). In the mid-Eighties, Malherbe played in singer Jacques Higelin's band alongside several Magma alumni (Benoît Widemann, Patrick Gauthier...). Magma's longtime bassist Bernard Paganotti, brothers Alain and Yvon Guillard (members of Magma's early Eighties line-ups) and Offering (Vander's post Magma band) mainstay Lydia Domancich have collaborated with Pip Pyle on various projects funded by the Gimini label. Paganotti has also played in singer Renaud's band alongside François Ovide and Caravan's Geoffrey Richardson.

Michael Mantler

Michael Mantler was born on August 10th, 1943 in Vienna, Austria, where he studied trumpet and musicology at the Academy of Music and Vienna University. In 1962, he went to the USA to continue his studies at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Moving to New York a couple of years later, he started playing with pianist Cecil Taylor and became involved in the formation of the Jazz Composers' Guild, where he met Carla Bley. In 1966 they were married and subsequently worked together on many projects.
In 1974, Mantler recorded his first album as leader, No Answer, featuring Jack Bruce singing lyrics adapted from Samuel Beckett. He then embarked on a series of conceptual works : The Hapless Child (1976), with words by Edward Gorey and featuring Robert Wyatt on vocals; Silence (1977), based on the Harold Pinter play, again with Wyatt; Movies (1978), with Larry Coryell and Tony Williams, and More Movies (1980), with Philip Catherine. During that period, he also appeared on albums by John Greaves & Peter Blegvad (Kew.Rhône.) and Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason (Fictitious Sports, a collection of rock songs composed by Carla Bley), then toured briefly with his own small ensemble.
From 1977 to 1985, Mantler was a member of the Carla Bley Band but kept releasing solo albums. Something There, featuring Mike Stern, Nick Mason and the strings of the London Symphony Orchestra, appeared in 1982. Several newly commissioned compositions were performed in Cologne by the Orchestra of the West German radio in 1984, and in 1985 he composed and recorded Alien, featuring Don Preston. His orchestral suite Slow Orchestra Pieces was premiered by the Orchestra of the Opéra de Lille in France during March 1986, and the Danish Radio Concert Orchestra commissioned a new work from him for a radio production in May 1987 in Copenhagen.
In February 1987, Mantler was asked to participate in the International Art-Rock Festival in Frankfurt, for which he formed a live group with Nick Mason, Jack Bruce, Rick Fenn, Don Preston and John Greaves. Material from this concert was subsequently released on his Live album. The following Summer, he briefly toured Europe with a similar band featuring Bruce and drummer Anton Fier. In 1987-88, he worked on his next project, Many Have No Speech, an album of songs in English, German and French, based on the poetry of Samuel Beckett, Ernst Meister and Philippe Soupault, with Jack Bruce, Marianne Faithful and Robert Wyatt sharing lead vocals.
In 1991, Mantler split with Carla Bley and settled in Europe, releasing his subsequent albums on Watt's parent label ECM. His next major work, Folly Seeing All This, appeared in 1993 and featured the Balanescu String Quartet plus other instrumentalists. He then formed his new group Chamber Music and Songs, with its premiere taking place in Copenhagen in September 1993. Cerco Un Paese Innocente followed two years later, and in 1996 Mantler premiered his opera The School Of Understanding, featuring Jack Bruce, Don Preston, John Greaves, Karen Mantler and Robert Wyatt. It was released as a double CD in 1997. Wyatt has also appeared on Mantler's Hide And Seek (2001), with lyrics by Paul Auster.


In the spring of 1969, after five years co-leading the Ian Carr/Don Rendell, trumpet player Ian Carr (born Dumfries, Scotland, April 21st 1933) felt it was time for something new. "I didn't know what kind of band or what kind of music I wanted. At that stage, I knew only what I didn't want... I wanted to abandon the old jazz formula : theme/solos all round/theme again. It didn't interest me anymore, and I felt that the whole idea of structure and the relationship of written or predetermined passages with improvised passages needed drastic rethinking... I certainly didn't want to limit myself to playing "free" jazz (improvisation without tonalities, harmonies, time signatures or predetermined structures)... I was interested in an inclusive, pluralistic conception".
The first line-up of Nucleus was assembled in September 1969, with Karl Jenkins on reeds and keyboards, John Marshall on drums, Jeff Clyne on bass, Brian Smith on tenor sax and Bernie Holland on guitar. The latter left after three months and was replaced by Chris Spedding, after which the personnel remained stable for about fifteen months. Thanks to Pete King, the manager of the Ronnie Scott Club, the band signed with Vertigo Records to record their debut album, Elastic Rock, in January 1970. John Peel and his producer John Walters heard Nucleus, liked the music and offered the group a broadcast on Peel's Top Gear show, at that time the most popular show on Radio One. Then the BBC chose Nucleus to represent Great Britain at the International Jazz Festival at Montreux in June, and they won, which meant that they would next appear at the Newport Festival. They did, to enthusiastic reviews from the American media.
Back in England, however, Nucleus remained virtually unknown. They spent the rest of 1970 playing at a couple of festivals on the Continent (in Italy and Germany), doing a few gigs in England and recording two more albums, We'll Talk About It Later in September, and Solar Plexus in December, the latter the result of Carr receiving an Arts Council grant. But after such a busy year, 1971 would prove to be much more difficult. Chris Spedding, who was much in demand as a session guitarist, left in April 1971, quickly followed by Jeff Clyne. Their places were taken by Dave MacRae on electric piano and Roy Babbington on bass. In October 1971, John Marshall left to join the Jack Bruce band, and proved more difficult to replace, not to mention Jenkins being upset at his leaving (in June 1972, they were reunited when Jenkins joined Soft Machine, Marshall having joined them a few months earlier). Marshall was replaced by Martin Ditcham, then either Clive Thacker or Tony Levin (sometimes both).
In June 1972, Nucleus recorded the album Belladonna (which was actually released as a Ian Carr solo album). This was the band's first recording session for eighteen months because management problems had made it impossible for the band to record in the interim. Actually, Nucleus had hardly worked for the six months prior to the recording. The line-up on the album was Carr, Smith, MacRae, Babbington and Thacker, plus Trevor Tomkins (percussion), Gordon Beck (electric piano) and Allan Holdsworth (guitar). At the beginning of 1973, the band found a new manager and optimism returned. Another commission was completed with the recording of Labyrinth in March, and by August Nucleus was back in the studio to record the album Roots.
In 1974, an augmented version of the band toured the UK for the Arts Council Contemporary Music Network, performing Labyrinth. At that point, keyboard player Geoff Castle had joined Nucleus and was to become a fixture of the group until 1982, as was drummer Roger Sellars. In the second half of the seventies, Nucleus kept touring around Europe, including Scandinavia and the Eastern block. In 1978, the band spent three weeks in India, playing two nights at the first "Jazz Yatra" in Bombay, followed by concerts in Calcutta and Delhi. Meanwhile, more albums were recorded : Under The Sun (1974), Snakehips Etcetera (1975), Alleycat (1975), In Flagranti Delicto (1977), Out Of The Long Dark (1979) and Awakening (1980).
The band continued touring into the eighties, with new members joining - saxophonist Phil Todd (formerly of Jeff Clyne's Turning Point), bassist Paul Carmichael (later in Allan Holdsworth's band IOU and briefly in Soft Machine) and guitarist Mark Wood - and old members rejoining - bassist Dill Katz (who had been in Nucleus in 1978-79, then played with Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia) and drummer John Marshall (who since the end of Soft Machine had played with Eberhard Weber's Colours). In 1984, Nucleus did a 7-week South American tour funded by the British Council. The following year, they spent a week at the Rome Spring Festival and recorded a live album, Live At The Theaterhaus, at a festival in Stuttgart. In 1987, Nucleus toured England and Germany, as well as playing at the Montreux and Red Sea Festivals.
Old Heartland (1988) featured a mixture of jazz and strings, with three tracks by Nucleus and a lengthy composition entitled "Northumbrian Sketches", written in 1986 and performed at the Bracknell classical and jazz festivals. This marked the end of Nucleus : Carr subsequently led the Ian Carr Group, still featuring Phil Todd, from 1989 and 1992. In parallel, he has been a member of Jon Hiseman and Barbara Thompson's United Jazz and Rock Ensemble since its foundation in 1975, participating in its extensive twentieth anniversary tour in 1994-95.

Random Hold

Random Hold was, chronologically, the last band to feature the outstanding talents of bassist Bill MacCormick, late of Quiet Sun, Matching Mole and Phil Manzanera's 801 band. But although the original line-up included another ex-member of 801, guitarist/vocalist Simon Ainley, Random Hold was actually formed in April 1978 by guitarist David Rhodes and keyboard player David Ferguson, who had both previously played in an obscure outfit named Manscheinen. Somehow the duo got in contact with MacCormick, who put some money in the project, and was subsequently invited to join. The line-up was completed in September with the recruitment of Ainley and drummer David Leach.
With this line-up, Random Hold started gigging in early 1979. A particularly enthusiastic concert review in Melody Maker attracted interest from several labels, and the band signed with Polydor. But musical incompatibilities led to the sacking of Ainley by Rhodes and Ferguson, shortly before Random Hold's debut release, a self-titled 12" EP came out in November 1979. Around the same time, Leach was replaced by ex-Glitter Band drummer Peter Phipps. Towards the end of the year, the band got in touch with Peter Gabriel and backed him for preliminary work on his third solo album. Although they didn't play on the final recordings, this proved fruitful: both Rhodes and, albeit to a much lesser extent, Ferguson ended up working with the former Genesis frontman. And Random Hold were signed to Gabriel's management.
The real debut, a full-length album entitled The View From Here, was released in February 1980. Peter Gabriel was going to produce it, but ended up leaving the job to his friend Peter Hammill, late of Van der Graaf Generator. In the end, the band wasn't entirely pleased with the production work. MacCormick claims that the original demos were far better and plans to release ("if I win the national lottery!") an amended version of the album, "remixing the Hammill stuff and where appropriate replacing some tracks with the demos versions". In spite of the tense atmosphere during the sessions, a wealth of material was produced, the leftovers were later compiled by Ferguson for the double-album Avalanche.
A heavy touring schedule followed, first opening for XTC, then Peter Gabriel. In the Spring of 1980, more demos were recorded for Polydor, which formed the basis of the set played on yet another tour opening for Gabriel, this time in the US, in June/July 1980. Sadly, this would be Random Hold's swansong, as internal conflicts developed towards the end of the tour. Shortly after returning to England, they called it a day. Ferguson did release another album under the Random Hold name, Burning Buildings (1982), with a female vocalist and new musicians, before moving on to a successful career in TV/advertisement music; Rhodes joined Peter Gabriel's band after a brief attempt at a solo career; and MacCormick left the music scene altogether to concentrate on a career in politics.

Strontium 90

After quitting Gong in May 1976, bassist/vocalist Mike Howlett started work on a projected solo album. Not wanting to sing on it himself, he started looking for singers. In the Summer of 1976, while staying in Newcastle, he attended a gig by local band Last Exit, whose bassist/vocalist was one Gordon Sumner, alias Sting. Howlett promptly asked him to sing on his demos. Some time later, he met guitarist Andy Summers (at the time a member of Kevin Ayers' backing band, but also a former member of Soft Machine at the time of their US tour with Jimi Hendrix in 1968), and also asked him to play on the recordings. Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler was supposed to round out the line-up, but in the end he wasn't available and Sting brought along a drummer he'd recently met - Stewart Copeland. In February 1977, a demo was recorded by the quartet.
Strontium 90 became a band, and played its first gig at Gong's reunion concert in Paris on May 28th 1977. Subsequently, Howlett sent tapes to several labels, but was unable to get a deal. Apparently, no-one was interested in such a line-up - musicians all with a guilty past... Copeland and Sting had already started The Police with guitarist Henri Padovani, who was then replaced by Summers. The rest is history... Howlett turned to production and his solo project was shelved. In June 1997, Strontium 90's recordings were eventually released (on Sting's own label Pangaea Records) : the five tracks demoed in an 8-track studio in early 1977, three songs from the Gong reunion performance, and one bonus track, a solo recording by Sting of the later Police classic "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", made at Howlett's house in the Autumn of 1976.


This band was formed by Dutch keyboard player and vocalist Robert Jan Stips in 1969. Born February 4th, 1950 in The Hague, Stips started taking piano lessons at age 8, and formed his first band, The Blubs, in 1964. Several line-up and name changes later, Supersister was born, with a line-up of Stips, Sacha van Geest (flute and vocals), Ron van Eck (bass and guitar) and Marco Vrolyck (drums). This quartet was responsible for the first three albums, generally considered to be their finest : Present From Nancy (1970), To The Highest Bidder (1971) and Pudding En Gisteren (1972) - the latter a collaboration with the Netherlands Dans Theater -, all on Polydor. The band managed to establish a unique style, with clearly discernible influence from bands like Soft Machine (the characteristic fuzz organ solos) or Wigwam, with lots of tempo and key changes, mostly instrumental with occasional popsong flavourings.
The following album, Iskander (1973), produced by Giorgio Gomelsky at the Manor, was a less focussed effort, with a more meditative and experimental approach, and marked a line-up change, with the arrival of American jazz veteran Charlie Mariano (saxophone and flute) and new drummer Herman van Boeyen. Then Mariano left (joining Embryo, then Eberhard Weber's Colours), and between March and July 1974, Supersister's links with the Canterbury scene were reinforced with the inclusion of ex-Soft Machine Elton Dean on saxophone. Sadly, in spite of playing dozens of gigs, this line-up is not documented on disc. In the summer of 19674, Stips reunited with Van Geest to record Spiral Staircase (1974), a more humorous affair later adapted into a music theatre production.
Subsequently, Stips joined Golden Earring for the albums Switch (1975) and To The Hilt (1976), then co-led Sweet d'Buster (three albums, in a funk/rock style, and numerous tours) with Bertus Borgers, formed his own group Transistor, releasing Zig Zag (1979), and recorded a couple of solo albums, as well as producing. One of the bands he produced was The Nits, which he ended up joining in late 1981, staying for 15 years. His last appearance with The Nits was in August 1996, by which time he formed his own trio, Stips, recording the album Egotrip, featuring new versions of old favourites dating back to 1969 as well as new compositions. The trio made its live debut at the Canterbury in Harlingen festival in September 1996, opening for Richard Sinclair and Hugh Hopper's bands. Then in 2000-01 the original Supersister reunited for a series of nostalgia shows including the prestigious ProgFest in California. Sadly Sacha Van Geest died of a heart failure shortly after the release of a double live album, Supersisterious. In 2004 Stips reunited with The Nits for the band's 30th anniversary tour.

Stomu Yamash'ta & East Wind

Stomu Yamash'ta is a Japanese percussionist who first came to prominence in the mid/late 60's as a child prodigy in his native country. At age 14, he became a soloist of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, and contemporary composer Werner Henz started composing specifically for him. But Yamash'ta had other things in mind, and in 1965, aged only 16, he left Japan for America. He settled in Boston where he studied at the Berklee School of Music with such contemporaries at Miroslav Vitous and Chick Corea, and played with the Metropolitan Orchestra. Cage and Kachaturian declared him to be the greatest percussionist alive. He nonetheless developed an interest for other musical genres, and started taking jazz drum lessons with Alan Dawson, the former teacher of Tony Williams. He also became involved in film scores, composing the music for such movies as Ken Russell's The Devils (1970) and Robert Altman's Images (1972).
Moving to London and becoming acquainted with the burgeoning progressive rock scene, he formed the rock group Come To The Edge in October 1970 with Robin Thompson (keyboards & soprano sax), Andy Powell (bass) and Morris Pert (drums & percussion). They started touring around Europe, signed with Island Records and recorded the album Floating Music (similar in style to Fourth/Fifth-era Soft Machine), but Yamash'ta took some time off to form his own theatre troupe, the Red Buddha Theatre, consisting of 35 actors and dancers. With this, he wrote and performed the play The Man From The East, with Come To The Edge providing the musical backing. A two-month series of performances in Paris resulted in a self-titled album in 1973.
At that point, Yamash'ta decided to form a jazz-rock group, East Wind, with Isotope members Gary Boyle on guitar and Nigel Morris on drums, Brian Gascoigne on keyboards, Hugh Hopper (ex-Soft Machine) on bass, Sammi Abu on vocals, congas and flute, and Yamash'ta's wife Hisako on violin. They recorded the album Freedom Is Frightening in July 1973, and made their debut at London's Roundhouse the following December, shortly after the end of the Red Buddha Theatre tour. In January and February 1974, after the sessions for a second album, One By One (which contained music written for the film of the same name about racing driver Jackie Stewart), they embarked on a British tour (with Hatfield and the North supporting), during which Boyle and Morris left, to be replaced by Frank Tankowski and Morris Pert, themselves soon replaced by Bernie Holland and Gilgamesh's drummer Mike Travis (at Hugh Hopper's suggestion).
In April 1974, Hugh Hopper left to join Gary Boyle's group Isotope and was replaced by Alyn Ross. Subsequently, Yamash'ta formed a new line-up of East Wind consisting almost entirely of Japanese musicians. In 1975, he released the album Raindog, featuring vocalist Murray Head, who went on to enjoy some success as a solo artist, and in the Spring of 1976 launched the Go project with a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. The all-star international line-up featured such luminaries as Steve Winwood, Klaus Schulze, ex-Santana drummer Michael Shrieve and fusion guitar virtuoso Al DiMeola, but the resulting efforts Go Live From Paris (1976) and Go Too (1977) met with mixed reactions from the critics. After that, not much was heard from Yamash'ta, apart from a few more new-age oriented, synthesizer-based efforts in the eighties, notably Sea & Sky (1983).

Zu Band

This name was given in retrospect to a group of young musicians from New York City assembled by Giorgio Gomelsky in the Summer of 1978 to assist European musicians (Gong and Magma members, mainly) he'd previously managed and now wanted to bring to the attention of the American public. With the help of journalist Michael Bloom, four aspiring instrumentalists were assembled : guitarist Cliff Cultreri, synthesizer player Michael Beinhorn (aged only 15 at the time), bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Fred Maher. They started rehearsing loose arrangements of Art Bears song.
The first Zu Manifestival took place in Manhattan on October 8th 1978. On the bill were Gong (with a line-up of Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Michael Lawrence - who had replaced Cliff Cultreri -, Bill Laswell, Fred Maher, Chris Cutler and George Bishop, with Michael Beinhorn and Fred Frith sitting in on some songs) playing material from Camembert Electrique and the Radio Gnome Trilogy, a solo performance by Fred Frith, The Muffins, Peter Blegvad singing his songs with a pickup band featuring Frith, Cutler and The Muffins' Billy Swann, ex-Magma/Zao saxophonist Yochk'o Seffer, and others including Blinding Headache, which included drummer Rick Brown (later of Fish & Roses and Les Batteries) and Willie Klein (later of Mofungo).
Allen then went back to Europe to record the album N'Existe Pas! (featuring Bishop and Cutler), before returning to America for a long tour, for which he enlisted most of the Zu festival band, with Cultreri back on guitar. At that point, Smyth was performing with her own band, Mother Gong, and Allen's band ended up taking the name New York Gong. They recorded the studio album About Time (1980), and embarked on an ill-fated French tour which ended abruptly when Allen's cohorts discovered they couldn't stand the European way of life. Both sides parted amicably and the Zu Band (with the exception of Cultreri, who ended up becoming a label executive for Relativity Records) more or less became Material, releasing the albums Temporary Music (1981), Memory Serves (1982), One Down (1983), Seven Souls (1989) and The Third Power (1991).