Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sonic Rock Solstice Festival, Bromsgrove, UK June 20-23rd, 2019

June 20th

We left home about 15 to head to the bus to take us to Lisboa. It was another cool, gray, windy day. It was raining a bit the day before. Really crap weather again in June this year.  We have not really had much real summer yet. IT shows with the garden as well.  

Bus trip was uneventful. We tried to sleep a bit.  Got a taxi to our room, got some more money and then went out to an all you can eat Sushi place. It was huge and the food was decent but not that good. Run by Chinese people, not Japanese!  I think the only think Japanese was the sake! 

After dinner we walked around and then found an outdoor bar to sit and have a drink (Berião) and a beer/wine before going to bed.

June 21st

UP early, shower and go have some breakfast. We are not in a rush. Flight is not until 12: 30 and we are about 10mins away in a taxi from the airport. You could hear the planes fly over the place if you listen carefully. It was a very quiet place except for the huge obese man, who was clearly not well who was hacking up crap from his throat at 6 in the morning and making a lot of noise.

We are on the plane to Brussels. All has gone smoothly today and the flight is due to arrive a bit early which is good as we only had 1hr to the next flight and I probably have to go through some sort of customs.  I got a mail about it being a small plane and that they will be very strict about hand luggage so I am very worried about my synth. I will not let go of it unless absolutely necessary. No way..

I really look forward to this small festival of 400 people. A lot of great names and I hope to run into some old and new friends. First time ever ØSC plays in the UK. Tim, Jiri and Mogens arrive an hour after us and Vemund not til 18 and then he has to get a couple of trains to Birmingham and arrive at 23 or so. He will miss most of the Hawklords, who headline tonight. Tomorrow we have Quantum Fantay, Silas Neptune, Dr Hasbeen. IT is probably the best day. ØSC closes the festival on Sunday.

Sue and I are a bit nervous about the camping situation and we have our huge suitcases and if we have this tiny tent, where do we store our stuff, etc.. There are a lot of logistics. Food, drinks, are all to be provided to us for free since we play for no fee, only our flights. We will see how it all goes.  Sue has quite low expectations as she has been to a lot of these small festivals in the past with poor conditions but it has been 15 years or so since she was at one so we can hope some things have improved. Showers, bathrooms, etc..  Never know…

Our camping area
We brought two boxes of vinyls, one box of cds and about 30 shirts. I sure hope that we can sell them all. I can at least sell the vinyls in Copenhagen, if we do not sell them but I will get less money for them.  Route 66 or Troldmand.

The main hall building where the bands played
19     All went quite well with the flights, luggage, taxi pick up etc. Mart’s wife met us at the entrance when we arrived and took us to our tent, gave us food coupons, introduced us to Tay, who was in a camper van near us, who would cook us food, provide bread, beers, water, etc. The big tent next to the one for Sue and I was, is where the guys would stay and there was a 24 beers, lots of bottles of water, pepsi, granola bars, crisps, etc.. Nice big air mattresses, sleeping bags of blankets, etc.. Great start..

Capt Roswell
The first band we were able to catch was Capt Roswell and the Lost Alien Tribe featuring Capt Rizz.  This was really good. It featured a lot of the guys from Dr Hasbeen.  The lead guitar player was great! A great mix of psych rock and electronic music. I quite enjoyed this. All the bands played inside the club house of this country club.  Lots of campers and tents. Must have been at least 300 people here I guess. Nice turn out. Met the guys from Quantum Fantay right away. We played with them in Belgium back in 2013.  Met people who I only knew on the internet. 

Mart and his wife Sharon would sell all our merch for us. Wow. So cool that they do this for the bands. I hope that we will sell a lot.  They gave me a whole stack of food vouchers. There were only two choices for food- Dragonjacks, a great vegetarian (can also do vegan) and a standard British fry up with burger, sausage, chips, etc…  That was it…

Dr Hasbeen was next, which made sense since most of the people from the previous group, where in this even bigger band with 3 guitar, two bass, drums, synths. This was more high energy space rock. The singer had this crazy outfit. The light show was so fantastic. Wow. I was really amazed. Very cleaver people doing the projections, lights, smoke, etc..  Good audience. We heard most of it from outside as Mogens, Tim and Jiri had arrived how and they had a really good trip and were feeling great and were so happy to be there. Mood was amazing.. Sadly, I did not get any good pictures. 

Hawklords with Nik Turner
The last band of the evening (the curfew is 0015), was the Hawklords. This is a good group with Jerry Richards and Harvey Bainbridge, who had all with Hawkwind. Nik Turner also joined them but he was looking very poorly. Very weak and tired. They had amazing lights and a great vibe but the sound man was terrible. It was all bass and some loud synths. The drums were buried and there was hardly any guitars unless you were on the sides. In the middle, where most of the people were you could not hear Jerry at all hardly. Nik was playing on some of the old Hawkwind songs but they had him turned down so low you could just barely here him if you were on the sides and not at all in the middle. We complained to the sound guy but not much changed. Pity as it ruined the show. They played the predictable Hawklords/Calvert songs they usually do (Aerospace age inferno, Uncle Sams on Mars, etc..) as well as originals and people really like them. Cool band, just a pity about the sound. Also, I later found out what was a good setting to take pictures so most of these are crap. Sorry. 

June 22nd (Day 2)

The first band was on at 12.  Sue and I did not stay up late at all but the others guy stayed up and partied until there was no party left. We slept ok but getting up to pee in the night was a bit of a challenge. They had portaloos not that far away and good bathrooms and showers at the main building that were cleaned regularly, etc.. This was good.

Dragonjacks, made these night fried egg and mushroom sandwiches for breakfast.  Tay took the other guys into town for a traditional English breakfast burger thing.  They were happy when they came back.  It was a beautiful day and last night was nice as well. Clear starry sky last night.

Gunafoe was the first band and a young instrumental 4 piece band. They played really well and had some good dynamics. Reminded me a bit of Papir a few times but they did not do many guitar solos at all.

Burnt Out Wreck
We missed Leg Puppy as we were talking the Craig Spacepunx and people around Tay’s camp. The next band was Burnt out Wreck, which was a straight up rock and roll band with an AC/DC-Slade vibe. The singer was really like Bon or Noddy with his vocal style. They rocked out and people quite enjoyed them. Nothing musically very interesting but good fun.

It was great to meet the guys from Sendelica.  Super nice people. Great to finally meet Pedro.  This line up was a four piece with guitar, bass, drums and sax. They played a lot of tracks from the new record. Really good band and some great songs but I got a bit tired of the sax. It would have been nice if he used some cool effects some times. He played so much better than Nik can play today.
         Silas Neptune (son of Ed Wynne from Ozric Tentacles), he was up next. I met him and chatted. He was a really sweet and nice guy. His girlfriend was also there but very quiet and did not say much. She joined him and sang on a few songs and played acoustic guitar as well. I think he played some new songs but I recongized a lot from his album. IT was all preprogrammed drums and bass and some synths and then he played a lot of guitar and synth solos with his Novation Supernova. IT was a cool set.

Quantum Fantay 
Quantum Fantay was next and for sure the best band of this day. This was a really good concert and they were having so much fun. They had a new soundman today and he was so much better. Today you could actually hear the guitar for all the bands and not just the bass!! Shit soundman the day before. These guys have a new album and they played some tracks. They were here last year and they invited them back and I can see why.  The guitar player has a bit more of a metal tone now than the past.  Great songs though and they mix a bit of techno in on a few tracks.  Great show.
The Lysergics
The Lysergics was a pretty good psychedelic rock trio from Germany. Guitar, bass and farfisa (she also played the bass lines on a novation). This was straight up psych rock with a heavy guitar tone (SG). He played a teardrop guitar for the opening number and then just the SG. They had some great songs and the last one was a cool psychout jam.

Twink and the Lysergics
Twink can out and the band expanded to add a 2nd guitar player and a female bass player.  It was a fun show and Twink was so happy with his pink boiler hat and scarf. He played all his classic songs from Think Pink (1971), two songs from Tomorrow (My white bicycle), Lucifer Sam (Pink Floyd) and a bunch of tracks from the first Pink Faries record, Teenage Rebel, Do it, The snake (This was the encore), Heavenly Man…  Twink played drums on the 2nd to last song and they had to spent 5mins to switch the drum kit around as the other guy was a lefty and then for the encore, they had to switch it back, was wasted a lot of time. Strange, they don’t just have him finish the set on drums.  It was pretty good fun.

June 23rd (Day 3)

I slept much better this night and so did Sue. The weather was cloudy, cooler and a bit windy. Looks like it will rain today. We had the same fried egg –mushroom sandwich for breakfast. The guys were so excited to play today. Tim was looking tired as he was really partying yesterday and going around to every camp and jamming with anyone who would have him. He played drums, chairs, guitars, … he played music almost all day and was tripping away…

Crossroads 531

The first band today was Crossroads 531, three older gentlemen playing most if not all cover songs. They did voodoo Chile, Bridge of Sighs, Garden (by Groundhogs), and others. Great players.

Strangelove was a group of older guys also but this was all programmed drums (but it sound much more like real sampled drums).  IT was a variety of space rock for sure. IT would have been so much better with a real drummer. Also the next band.

Electric Cake Salad
Electric Cake Salad, was another three piece but here all the drums and synths was pre-recorded and they played over the top. This was quite heavy powerful stuff but all the programming left them very little room to do anything special. Some really great songs and some weak ones as well. IT was pretty good.
Voodoo Sioux
Voodoo Sioux had a great front singer but was straight rock and roll with a high energy. They had a very wild and animated bass player. It was not what I really wanted to hear but people dug it. 

Chasing the Dark
Chasing the Dark was a sort of prog metal thing. The singer had quite the look but I did not think he was that good a singer in the end. The weak link. They were quite a professional outfit it appeared with a big promo banner on the left side of the stage. I think this was their debut show with this line up.  I did not like it very much, so we sat outside. During the day, they have the doors open so it actually sounds really good outside. This is where we heard most of the bands during the day.

Delphini dancer
Delphini, was a huge surprise. These guys had one of the best grooves of the day and people were dancing and had a really good time with this band.  Great cosmic music at times. Wow…

Splink, was an excellent older trio with great players. It was mostly instrumental music. The guitar player used the wah really well and it reminded me of another instrumental band but I could not place them. It was a great set. Excellent bass and drums and lead guitars. Cool band but not very good vocals.

Flutatious, was a folk music quartet with flute and violin and mostly instrumental music played uptempo, so people were dancing and having a great time as well.  This was a fun and totally different band. Excellent.

Around this time my friend Batu and his girlfriend, showed up to say hello and he demonstrated all the latest update to the Kybalion Virtual reality experience. It was a amazing. We could show it to some of the people around and the Quantum Fantay guys. It was great to see him again and the Kybalion experience.

The Trance Dimensionals, was a big band they had Nik Turner guesting with them. I did not like guitar sound at all. It was so thin sounding, no low end or balls to it at all and poorly mixed into the sound. They played a lot of bad versions of Hawkind songs and Nik can not sing hardly at all anymore, he just sort of talks in a slow manner. His sax playing is so weak and lethargic. He comes across as a not well man. Nik is a lovely guy but it is time to hang it up. The people love him and he gets big cheers but he is just hanging onto life and not really enjoying it much. We sat around with him and he is hardly there anymore. This was the first time, that he did not recognize me and say hello Scott. He is not well and needs to retire now while he can still have some dignity. If it goes on much longer like this all people only remember how bad he was, not how great.  Sorry Nik.. Will always love you, man, but it is time to take a break. 
Transdimensionals with Nik Turner

The ØSC band for this gig
Cosmic Ken let these guys played ten minutes extra and cut into Øresund Space Collective’s time so I was very pissed with him as they have a strict curfew and we come all the way from Denmark and Sweden and our set is now cut short. Bastard.. I was not happy.

Anyway, we just set up and did our thing and people loved it. They were dancing and having a great time and the lights were cool. Vince Cory joined us and besides being nervous and not stepping up to solo enough, he was great and played cool guitar. I was standing right next to him and I heard every note he played. Great stuff Vince. Vemund was killing it on the lead and Mogens did a lot of synth solos as well.  Tim was a bit slow to start but he and Jiri really got it going after a little bit. Pity we had to stop right at 00:30. No way to play  a bit longer. Anyway, we were well received and sold nearly 1000 pounds of shirts, CDs, etc… I was very impressed with the people and it was a great and professional crew that took great care of the bands on and off the stage. What a great festival and highly recommended. The main thing they could improve would be a few more food options but the Dragonjack’s place was excellent food and they made different main dishes each day.

Great festival. More foreign people (there were none) should give this festival a chance.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Black Moon Circle- The Studio Jams Vol 1-3 Box Set (Crispin Glover Records MOONBOXCD102)

Black Moon Circle is a band that I have been playing in since nearly the beginning of the band, after we met in Copenhagen in 2012.  It was my idea that we should release a series of studio jam records and these were all only released on vinyl and mostly sold out long ago. We decided to dig into the archive and go back and find a CD of bonus material to finally release this series on CD. To our surprise, we found there was so much great material from the 2013-2015 studio jams, that we ended up with 7 tracks, spanning over 150mins of bonus material.

CD1 starts off with our first ever jam together in April 2013.  The next jam, Lunar Orbital Escape Rocket, actually features a few guitar lines that we would later develop into parts of Warp Speed.  A very intense jam, just powerful bass and drums and later on the guitar…. Wow……  Super Dude and Orbital were from the jams in 2014. Super Dude has a great almost fuky groove and a mean and nasty guitar tone. The synth and guitar freakout is just awesome on this jam. This is really heavy psychedelic rock and roll!  Anti-Reality Vehicle, is from 2016 and features Snah, guitarist from Motorpsycho. This is a slow building journey that gets pretty heavy and loud at times as it goes through several stages with some very cool guitar parts and spaced out synths.

CD2 starts off with the first of 3 long jams and is taken from 2014, the Interstellar Orgasmatron. This one has a slow spacey build with some cool reverberating guitars to start as the bass and drums create the build up.

These titles were all made up for the box set as they were all just numbered as Jam 1, Jam 2, Jam 3, etc.. before this compilation.  Nebulacide and Drowning in a Sea of Fear are both from the 2016 session. Nebulacide is a creeping jam, that grows up in layers of sound between the bass, guitar and synths. Eventually, a steady groove and bass line emerges and off we go into the outer reaches of the universe at a slow pace. A mind melter this one. Drowning starts with a heavy distorted guitar and bass interplay and then Peran decides it is enough and kicks in with the drums and Dr Space adds some, well, spacey stuff.  Such a killer guitar tone on this one.  At 18mins there is a great guitar solo and later, when you think the track is over at 27mins, it starts again with the same opening guitar riff and the journey fades out at 34mins..

            The box set turned out really excellent with the original artwork for the 3 Studio Jams replicated (with some minor changes related to the text, not the images) and two new covers based on the bands logo. A 8 page book with some photos, history as told by Dr Space and complete liner note info about the LPs, bonus material and a discography up to 2019.  The box set is a great value for the money as you get about 280mins of music for 30€!! Lots of incredible space rock jamming from this amazing Norwegian band.  Check it out..

MÅNESKJOLD/DE FORBANDEDE SPLIT 10” (Yoshiwara Collective, Svensk Psych Aften, Vinyltrolden, Virkelighedsfjern)

I don’t know if there is much point in writing about this split 10” release or not as it was made in only 100 copies and is long sold out even though it only came out in May!  The Måneskjold track, Solsejler, was released a few months back and also on a cassette release. I really love this Hawkwind inspired rock track a lot. I have heard it so many times now. Very much like Aerospace age Inferno inspired by Robert Calvert and even uses a section of this song’s lyrics in a small part.   The other track, Dolkhale, is an uptempo psychedelic space rock track with some trippy sounds in the background as the band just powers through at high speed to the other side of the universe!

Flip the record over for De Forbandede track, Åbn dine Øjne (Open your Eyes). This is something totally different. The track is sung in Danish and a moody slower, heavier track but also some nice melodies, with the guitar and keyboard.

Egne Ben is a more uptempo garage rocker with a organ and more powerfully sung vocal. A solid rock and roll number. This band has previously released a couple of 7” records and other misc releases but still not full length vinyl LP.. I look forward to that.. Enjoy, this rare 10”, if you can find a copy..