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This album photographs an era!,
This review is from: June 1, 1974 (Audio CD)
(LP format review)
On the first anniversary of the cursed accident that had forced Robert Wyatt (former drummer of Soft Machine) to a wheelchair, a group of friends and fellows performed in the mythical Rainbow theatre, transferring the evening takings to the "pension fund" of the unfortunate artist. This disc, published just 28 days after, is the testimony of the event.
We are around to the "Canterbury School", here represented by professors Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Ollie Halsall (guitarist of "Patto") and even Robert Wyatt on percussion; with them, as lecturer, the PhD Eno. Invited for the occasion, the old student Nico and the young, undergraduated Mike Oldfield.
The first side of the LP is occupied by two songs written by Eno, followed by a classic r&r song interpreted by Cale (who plays the cello in other tracks) and the Morrison's song "The end", interpreted by the spectral Nico, alone with her voice and the harmonium (notes mentioning also the intervention of Eno to synthesizer: not essential.
The highlight of the evening was photographed in the second side, where we can listen to five songs of Ayers: while the last is almost a short "Goodbye" in dropping, the first three songs are enriched by the jazz-styled guitar of Halsall and the fourth by the unmistakable guitar of Oldfield. In particular, in "Shouting in a bucket blues" Halsall becomes protagonist thanks to its precise fingering that allows him to not miss a note (of several) even in the most difficult and fast processing steps.
As I said, this album photographs (the end of...) an era. It is a pity that, among the many unnecessarily lengthy remakes, the entire concert has not yet been published in its entirety: it seems clear, even from as are separate tracks on the disc, that artists performed well for longer time.
A requirement for the "students" of any ... musical school!