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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32. No. 25. October 9, 1969


page 22


Funky Abbey...

We hooked a couple of heavies for you this week (ugh!)—but play it cool. Anyway, the Beatles' Abbey Road and the Who's Tommy (thanks Pixie) have come to hand. The first should be released within the fortnight, the second within a month. These albums represent the product of the surviving first and second generation English rock groups. The Procul Harum are the best of the third generation and their utterly distinctive sound comes under review on the new A Sally Dog album. We take it that a new generation of groups appears every eighteen months to two years. Today we're into a fourth or even fifth generation since the early sixties when the rock group first evolved, from the primitive —and great—R'n'B combos Stateside (Coasters. Drifters, Shirelles, Seasons, Everlys), into a major social and musical force. Led Zepplin might represent the fourth generation, Blind Faith the fifth, although one is not altogether sure whether these are the healthy children of intermarriage or the sickly offspring of incestuous relationships.

Cover photo from the Beatles Abby Road album

Patriarchs they may be, but the Beatles still put out a lot of rubbish, sweetly though they sugar it. I'm the biggest Beatles fan this side of the black stump (and t'other, too?)— some 200 to 300 recordings—yet it's true. Not that their new album Abbey Road (Apple-PCS7088) is all rubbish—very little of it is. But the seven-song medley taking most of side two is a mess for a start. And one has the feeling these days that the Beatles are trying to recreate something of their lost youth, when the boyish simplicity has gone. "The Beatles are just a democratic group of middle-aged teenagers", says John in Toronto. And Lennon in London: "I couldn't pin us down to being on a heavy scene, or a commercial pop scene or a straight tuneful scene. We're just on whatever's going now. Just rockin' along."

The Beatles pinch from everyone, good, bad. and indifferent. They are the greatest mimics on the music scene. Platters. Beach Boys. Fleetwood Mac are some of them more obvious styles adopted here. I'm not sure whether this is a sign of the charlatan or the genius—genius supposedly: it always comes out sounding pure Beatles. Shakespeare did it too, didn't he? "We are only a collection of all the things we've ever been influenced by", says George. "We don't copy, of course". The Harrison-Lennon friendship with Eric, Jack and Ginger shows up in the dominant Cream influence on this album. Not that it really sounds like Cream. But its funky Beatles, the Beatles with a fresh face on. There is a lot more instrumental work here than on their past records. Longer breaks, little guitar riffs and solos, little eruptions of sound behind the vocals, drums, bass and keyboard woven into fascinating textures. There's no lyric sheet included with Abbey Road and it's scarcely missed. The The [sic] Liverpool lads have been chatting to Dylan again lately—like him they seem to have left the profound sociological comment way behind. The words are all good time.

Still, the album docs kick off with a great Lennon lyric. The song is "Come Together", with freaky little rolls on percussion.

"Shoom shoom
He'll come home flat top He come
groovin' up slowly He got
juju eyeballs He want
poly roller He got
his knee
Got to be a joker he just do what he please.
Shoom shoom
He wear no shoeshinc He got
toejam football He got
mockin' finger He shoop
Coca-Cola He say
I know
You know
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
Come Together
Right Now
Over Me.
He bad production He got
walrus grumble He got
Ono sideboard He want
spinal cracker He got
down below
his knees
Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease
Come Together, etc.
Shoom shoom
He roller coaster He got
early warning He got
muddy water He want
mojo filter He say
and one
and one
is three
Got to be good looking cos he's so hard to see
Come Together . . .

"Something" is a Harrisong. George has left his fake Orientalism, but the flowing melody line of this beautiful number is perhaps a residue of the Eastern trip. Crying strings, internal rhymes. This is being backed as his best ever, tho' methinks "Long, Long Long" from the double album was that.

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer"—McCartney's jaunty tale of a psychopathic med. student, Maxwell Edison, who goes round bang-banging heads with his hammer. (PC 31 said. "We've caught a dirty one!") Ringo on anvil.

"Oh! Darling"—a gas. Paul doing a big sob late 50's rock-a-aballad. Chung.—chung, piano, echoes and all.

"Octopus's Garden"—Ringo's song. Afraid this self-penned kiddies tune isn't a patch on "Yellow Submarine". Blowing bubbles in a glass

"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"—Lennon should keep away from these low-down tortured blues. It goes on a bit then stops disgustingly in the middle of a bar. Somebody pulled the plug out?

Side Two opens with a summery little song from George, "Here Comes the Sun". More appropriate here. I should think, than in London.

"Because"—(Yoko was playing some classical bit, and I said "play the backwards" and we had tune.) A goan-awful/lovely close harmony song in the Beach Boys Smiley Smile mould. Lots of "Aaaahhooohhh's".

Now comes the piano intro ala Clive West-lake to "You Never Give Me Your Money", first song in the marathon medley session. "In the middle of negotiations you break down." This long medley includes some good ideas but they would have been better developed separately. There seems to be no thematic or musical reason for mixing these seven songs up together. Time magazine has already started gushing about significances: "A kind of odyssey from innocence to experience". Nah!

We merge into "The Sun King" with gentle Mac-type guitar and swishing cymbals. It's got a rib-tickling phoney phonetic Italian chorus too. Through "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" into "The End" where Ringo does a Ginger Baker—bop, bop, bang bang, tiddly-pom. A long pause till we hear "Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl" and it's over Next we run into "Mean Mr. Mustard" ("Keeps a ten bob note up his nose") and "Polythene Pam" ("She's the kind of girl who makes the News of the World, you could say she was attractively built".)

photo from the Beatles Abby Road album

If the Beatles took any notice of reviews and worried at all about coming up with somethin' new, the pressures on them would be incredible. Fortunately, they don't give a damn. I've got a love-hate relationship with this new album—after all we've only spun it ten, twenty times in succession. It's musical whiz-kids mucking round—they're still flexing their muscles for an(other) artistically disciplined work. As it stands Abbey Road is funky, funny, and fun. The LP is already predicted to outsell Rubber Soul, the group's biggest album in NZ so far.

... Phoney Tommy

Eighty minutes on one theme is a development of Wagnerian proportions for Rock Music. At this point on the evolutionary cycle I am not convinced rock is ready for it. If the best the Beatles can do is a medley of songs or the contrived coherence of Sgt. Pepper, one would be wary of offering the task to lesser songwriters. Perhaps a "rock opera" is a contradiction in terms. But this is what Pete Townshend and the Who have attempted in their double album Tommy (Polydor G13013). It can be called a qualified success. Can't decide yet whether it was boring or not. which is maybe a bad sign. But it does give one a certain aesthetic buzz on a various level, emotional and cerebral. There is some fine rock music in a variety of styles among the album's twenty-three cuts and the structural concept is excellent. Comments by Pete Townshend are courtesy of San Francisco's Rolling Stone paper.

The "opera" is built round the tale of Tommy, a strange young man.

"Doaf, dumb and blind boy

He's in a quiet vibration land

Strange as it seems his musical dreams

Ain't quite so bad." ("Amazing Journey".)

Tommy has seen his parents in a mirror murder his mother's lover. They tell him he doesn't know a thing. "The boy", Townshend explains "has closed himself up completely as a result of the murder and his parents' pressures, and the only thing he can see is his reflection in the mirror. This reflection—his illusory self—turns out to be his eventual salvation. Tommy's real self represents the aim— God—and the illusory self is the teacher; life, the way, the path and all this. The boy's life starts to represent the whole nature of man— we all have this self-imposed deaf, dumb and blindness—but this isnt something I'm over heavy on. I'm more concerned about what actually happens in his life".

What actually happens, according to the synopsis, is that Tommy is maltreated by some of his relatives, cared for by others, becomes a pinball champion, reaches a state of grace, regains his senses and starts his own religion, is eventually discarded by his disciples, and finds himself as isolated as he was in the beginning. The somewhat melodramatic storyline eschews sensationalism in the lyric treatment. In fact the words are subtly allusive. "You can circumscribe an emotion with a lyric —by telling of an event and leaving out one important chunk—and that can contain the emotion and put it across." Throughout the opera the recurring motif is Tommy's plaintive cry, "See me, feel me, Touch me, heal me".

Townshend adds: "This one fails because it actually comes out and says it. It's meant to be extremely serious and plaintive; but words fail so miserably to represent emotions unless you skirt around the outside. But there's so much circumscribing in Tommy that I wanted to get to the crunch a number of times".

There are several narrative highlights. Tommy is raped by his uncle in "Fiddle About". This song and "Cousin Kevin" were written by John Entwhistle. "I didn't want to do them", said Townshend. "I didn't think I could be cruel enough. Theyre ruthlessly brilliant songs because they are just as cruel as people can be. I would have avoided a line like "There's a lot I can do with a freak", but it's nice to have it in." "The Acid Queen" explores a possible route to Tommy's salvation. She is the personification of material highs. "The song's not just about acid; it's the whole drug thing, the drink thing, the sex thing wrapped into one big ball. It's about how you get it laid on you that you haven't lived if you haven't fucked forty birds, taken sixty trips, drunk fourteen pints of beer—or whatever. Society—people—force you. She represents this force. On a number of occasions I've got this sinister, feline, sexual thing about acid, that it's inherently female. I don't know if I'm right . . . it's fickle enough."

Of "Pinball Wizard", when things start happening for Tommy. Townshend says: "I don't happen to be divine at the moment. I can't express the magnificence of divinity in music, but I can express the grooviness of being a pinball champ because I'm a pop star which is very close. The absurdity of being a pinball champion!"

The doctors diagnosis in "Go To The Mirror!" is that "All hope lies with him and none with me". The repentant mother cries "Tommy Can You Hear Me" over and over. Then in "Smash the Mirror", with a startling chord from 2001, Tommy achieves liberation. His distant voice backed by a frugal brass riff in "Sensation" sings "You'll feel me coming/a new vibration . . . Love As One I Am The Light". The news spreads, "Extra! Extra! read all about it, the Pinball Wizard in a miracle cure!" and the people come. The ballad of "Sally Simpson" relates how Tommy is transformed into a rocking Billy Graham figure. But in "I'm Free" he tells his disciples:

"If I told you what it takes

to reach the highest high

You'd laugh and say 'nothing's that simple'

But you've been told many times before

Messiahs pointed to the door

And no-one had the guts to leave the temple!"

And they do laugh. Townshend explains. "Rama Krishna. Buddha. Zarathustra. Jesus and Meher Baba are all divine figures on earth. They all said the same thing; yet still we trundle on. This is basically what Tommy is saying. But his followers ask how to follow him. and disregard his teaching. They want rules and regulations; going to church on Sundays—but he just says 'Live Life'. Later on he smashes rules to them".

Actually, the whole interview with Pete Townshend (in Rolling Stone, July 12. 1969 pp. 16-18) is worth reading for perceptive comments on other groups, on broadcasting, on the commercial pop machine (which Pete loves), on musical snobs inside the rock scene and out, and on life in general. If you can get your milts on it it should prove conclusively that there is at least one rock star who is not a gibbering idiot—then again, perhaps it shouldn't.

The final cut is "We're Not Gonna Take It". Tommy yells:

"Hey you gettin' drunk/So sorry. I've got you sussed

Hey you smokin' mother nature/This is a bust

Hey hung up old mister normal/Don't try to gain my trust

Cos you ain't gonna follow me/Any of those ways

Although you think you must."

They retort "We're not gonna take it. we're not gonna take it" raising their voices in an ominous crescendo. Tommy loses his grip. He slips from "My name is Tom and I became aware this year" back to the old cry "Sec me, me feel me, Touch me, heal me". The album fades out on the chant of "Listening to you, I hear music" . . .

The opera has its "Overture" where the main themes are stated effectively on horns, and one cannot help thinking but that a little brass in the arrangements of some of the other numbers would have given them more bits. In this work there is even an "Underture", a rather dull nine-minutes instrumental which doubtless represents the passing years of Tommy's life. Overall, the texture of sound on this album is not as compelling as in other work the Who have done. Perhaps a little too much thought (and not enough feeling) went into this work. It's a change for the rock scene, but the other is the first essential. "You see," says Peter, "each song has to capsule an event in the boy's life, and also the feeling, what has ensued, and cover and knit up all the possibilities in all the other fields of action that are suggested. All these things had to be tied up in advance and referred back to. I can tell you it was quite difficult". They faced up to this difficulty at least; but the more profound problem was to give emotional and musical expression to the ideas structuring the work. "It was approached in exactly the way anti-intellectual rock people would hate" says Townshend. "We went into it in depth before we worked out the plot; we worked out the sociological implications, the religious implications, the rock implications. We made sure every bit was . . . solid. When we'd done that we went into the studio, got smashed out of our brains and made it." They should have got just a little more smashed, and they might have brought it off. The words of an English reviewer. Charlie Gillett in The Record Mirror, are worth a ponder—"The 'artistic' quality of rock and roll is in its ability to move us. emotionally and physically, by engaging our surface feelings. If the singer becomes self-conscious about his effect, and the audience worries about its reaction, most of what rock and roll should be is gone. Which should be enough reason for rock and roll composers to leave opera to a different kind of musical culture."

With its highly intellectualised schema, the rock opera was, however, just right for America where it enjoyed fantastic sales. The critics seized it, just as the academic industry fastened its teeth into James Joyce's "Ulysses" in an earlier decade (is that an appropriate comparison?—probably not.) Yet these are merely different facets of widespread cultural exploitation. Publishers even produce self-conciously learned explications of Beatle Music nowadays. But none of this is too bad when there is work of some substance at the bottom. There is a much worse form of exploitation, a degradation of the youth sensibility, in the successful promotion of a show like Hair. This seems to be a blatantly stupid rock musical—sorry, "American-tribal-love-rock-musical" (with special secret ingredient DDT). I hope its cast of thousands never reaches these shores. Even Time magazine is lately revulsed at the way the hippie ethos has been grabbed by show-biz and bastardised Hair has a few good Broadway tunes mixed in with a load of appallingly obvious lyrics about sodomy, pot. Vietnam and the rest (always excepting the title tune, of course—I really grooved to the Cowsill's contrapuntal harmony arrangement of this dear little lyric). Now we are to be page 23confronted with Hair's misbegotten godchild, Salvation, another fully integrated loving musical with its very own selection of four-letter words And it hasn't even a few good Broad-way tunes The most obvious context for the healthy development of rock music into longer coherent works is in the scoring of films. Since the success of The Graduate, films of merit have been enhanced by using rock musicians and rock songs. Such, from reports, are Easy Rider, Goodbye Columbus and Medium Cool. Will anybody bid for the screen-rights to the tale of Tommy, though? Not a badly looking scenario for a film, is it? This other form of electromedia would probably provide the best visual set for the rock score. In Tommy's mind everything is incredible meaningless beauty".

* * *

Procol Harum has a recent release on Festival. A Salty Dog (SFL-933, 33). This album is full of incredible meaningless beauty. The title track is the biggest mind-blower since "A Whiter Shade of Pale", and is perhaps the greatest single recording ever released (even if Debbie "Krishna" does think it a drag). The Procols demonstrate exquisite taste in orchestration and arrangement—contrast their songs with the flaccid orchestral bubblegum music of the Bee Gees. None of the other cuts on the Salty Dog album match that first track—but they are excellent all the same. The rolling, flowing organ and keyboard work of Matthew Fisher and Gary Brooker are still the group's most distinctive feature. How much has been lifted from the classics I don't know. but all the composing credits are to the group —I prefer to think that they write with merely the feeling of the other in their veins. Anyway, they add their own poetic lyrics with evocative images such as "Where ships come home to die". There is a vague nautical theme, sprung from "Good Captain Clack" of times past, running right through the album. Songs like "Juicy John Pink", and odd low-down blues, and "The Wreck of the Hesperus", ideally matched with trickling piano backing. Every track is a joy.

* * *

Ugly! Ugly! Ugly! Ugly face Of Joe Cocker, ugly synthetic soul music on With a Little Help From My Friends (SFL-933382)-and I love it. A year in the making, the production is perfect, not a drumbeat out of place and what a selection of songs. The only ones I was not familiar with were "Change In Louise". "Sandpaper Cadillac" and "Majorine", all good, penned by Joe himself with bassist Chris Stainton. The other songs, "Feeling Alright". "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Just Like A Woman". "Do I Still Figure In Your Life?". "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". "With a Little Help", and "I Shall Be Released", all come out sounding new and better for it with Cocker's soul-type arrangements. Joe's of "Just Like a Woman" does owe something to Richie Havens. But his treatment of "I Shall Be Released" makes the most of a more mediocre Dylan song. Even "Bye Bye Blackbird" turns out slow and gritty. Behind Joes vocals there are a number of friends—playing concisely and well—including Jimmy Page, Stevie Win-wood and B. J. Wilson. The personnel are wisely listed for each track. Only complaint is the mix-up in numbers on the album cover and on the record label. There is also some distortion on the record which may be due to a local pressing fault.

* * *

Jackie Lomax on Is This What You Want? (Sapcor 6) is not a rock singer who jumps out and hits you as does Joe Cocker. He has a carping voice, like an inhibited Stevie Win-wood. The material, self-penned except for producer George Harrison's "Sour Milk Sea", is not startling either. But there are lots of nice things going on in the subtle, tight backings, provided by Harrison, McCartney, Starr. Manfred Mann. Klaus Voorman and Clapton. Favourite track is "Fall Inside Your Eyes", gentle melody, sweet text.

* * *

Intent on casting a vote at that fee-freaky SGM the other Thursday. I sat in the Common Room and watched all these hairies go past. Wheye they all came from I'll never know, where they were all going I endeavoured to find out. Hard Concert? Memorial Theatre? Agonising decision—politics or art. Well, would've been outvoted anyway. I chose "art!" See Pat's review elsewhere. But most of all. we did enjoy watching Simon Morris skipping about the stage like an incipient Mick Jagger. The less said about a certain unfortunate bass player the better.

* * *

Anyone interested in a Rock Expo we hope to arrange in conjunction with next years Arts Festival can contact me through the Salient office.

All the records herein reviewed are available from your switched-on disc store:

World Record Club.

71 Manners Street,


Eclectic as four Bobby Darins

Remember those old movie clips of early attempts to build a flying machine? A man stands atop a high cliff waving large artificial batwings attached to his arms—black oil cloth held together by wooden frames. After a dramatic gesture to the crowd he leaps into the air, flaps his wings madly and falls two hundred feet to the bottom of the cliff. Splat! Thus it has been in this year of rock. 1969, apart from "Tommy" and minor joys like "Oh Happy Day" and Spirit—strictly the year of the Super-Sell, the super snow job.

The man on the cover of the Chicago Transit Authority is right in saying "the printed word can never aspire to document a truly musical experience". but baby, it can sure aspire to sell one. Apart from none-events like John and Yoko and the rediscovery by Blood. Sweat and Tears of Stan Kenton, we've suffered through all these super-groups ( like Blind Faith. Crosby. Nash, etc.) and super-freaks like Johnny Winter, and. saddest of all. Bob Dylan's trip back into the kind of sentimental slush that he rescused us from originally, in the dim dark days of Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and the Peppermint Twist. All the talk has been taken as indicative of the importance of rock to Western Culture, etc., etc., and I guess the promotion people reason that supergroups need super-hype (or how else we gonna get back those 300.000 advances) but for the record buyer it's meant simply the emergence of a new law. to whit, "that the quality of a record varies inversely to the amount of bull-shit that preceded it". Accordingly, this column covers some of the people you may have missed among all the heavies going down recently.

Most obvious comparison for the Chicago Transit Authority (SBP473676) is Blood. Sweat and Tears, the same big (seven piece) lineup, the same brassy, jazzy overtones, the s ame label and engineer, and the same producer, boy-wonder James Guercio. Main difference is that it's better. Guercio and the group have a whole double album here to stretch out on (priced generously at $7.95) and the result feels a whole lot looser and less contrived than the B.S.&T. session, the home especially taking full use of the extra solo space. Oh sure, there are moments of excess, Hendrix is still the only rock musician to have made full use of four sides; here it's the lead guitar all alone on a seven minute nightmare called "Free Form Guitar", "performed on a Fender Stratocaster through a Shannon amplifier equipped with a twin 15 bottom using a Borgan P.A. amplifier"; sounds like the whole 25 Club kicking it over down at the Taranaki Street lights. Otherwise Chicago Transit is into hard driving, brassy rock, including a Knockout version of the "I'm a Man" song Stevie Win-wood wrote in his Spenser Davis period.

Most of the guys on the cover of the latest Don Ellis LP Autumn (SB473661) are wearing these neat gold suits, which just show you what an unpredictable, progressive sort of group we have here, because when I saw them two years ago at the Monterey Jazz Festival they were all wearing outasight red suits. The music, however, is as bombastic and empty as ever, with lots or tricksy, cutesy time changes (5/4. 7/4. 9/4. 32/8!!) and shrieking Maynard Ferguson type climaxes. As a bonus, gang, you get that far out weirdie rock musician. Al Kooper, writing the liner notes, which come on in pure "Downbeats": "The audience had themselves quit a time that afternoon in Palo Alto", yeah, and 23-skidoo, kid Trouble is, Ellis makes fat money out of this "jazz meets rock" shuck, while musicians like Roland Kirk and Charles Lloyd, who've been giving rock musicians contact highs for years, just keep on. comparatively scuffling".

The Fairport Convention (Polydor-184173) looks very folky. songs by Dylan and Joni Mitchell and a beautiful cover photo of the group sitting round a table under an old lampshade with a photo of the Marx Brothers up front, a sort of English Stone Poneys. But inside is a rock group and a really good one; despite the folky trimmings, the group sounds best on the upbeat numbers like "Time Will Show the Wiser" and their instrumental piece "Portfolio" The repertoire ranges from a very jazzy Harvey Brooks song "One Sure Thing", through their own mod piece "The Lobster" (which features some very fine Bert Jansch guitar from lead Richard Thompson") to a typically sensitive Jon Mitchell number. "I Don't Know Where I Stand" to a rocking "Jack O'Diamonds", a Bob Dylan song from last year. Since this LP, the Fairport Convention have been through changes; they've had a Top Twenty single, their second album is currently in the Top Five in England, girl singer Judy Dyble has been replaced, and drummer. Martin Lamble has been killed in a car smash, which makes the simulated wreck on the final cut here. "M I Breakdown" a little grimly prophetic, as they used to say about the Jim Reeves classics. The second LP will be even better, but pick up on the Fairport Convention now, they're that good.

Fat Mattress (Polydor-583056) is Noel Redding's new group formed as a par-time thing about the time of Jimi Hendrix' heroin bust, but now it's full time with his break from the Experience finalised. Hendrix is currently working with a six or seven piece outfit and talking about forming his Electric Church, a commune-type arrangement of indeterminate size. Traces of the Hendrix influence show up on "All Night Drinker" and the Traffic feeling is Strong throughout —track one actually features an old Traffic hand. Chris Wood. Fat Mattress is as eclectic us lour Bobby Darins, but the whole thing is so unpretentious and low-key that no-one gets mad. The harmonics the band gets out of its three vocalists are its strongest point and they work best on "Bright New Way", one of those moments where everything falls together, lyrics, vocals, acoustic backing, lazy rhythm and the sort of melody you can get inside and lose three minutes and not know a thing.

"One day there will be no pain/and we never will again

know the sorrow of an aching heart/just be thankful you can feel . . .

as the night time steals the day/we begin out bright new way."

Nothing heavy, just good old Top 40 stuff, but this time the term doesn't refer to IQ levels; if you're in the store and want to hear the rock side of Fat Mattress, try "Everything's Blue", a little heavy perhaps for the Brian Hudson Show, but . . .

Footnote: while Blood. Sweat and Tears are currently putting finishing touches to their new LP already hyped like the Second Coming. Chicago Transit Authority are playing the instruments on the latest Three Dog Night album. And finally. Canned Heat has booted out lead guitarist Henry Vestine and replaced him with Harvey Mandel, the crystal redemptor from Charley Musselwhite's old band. Everyone's going through changes, as the swami said.

Hard or Slack

Unhappily the "Hard Concerts" on Tuesday and Thursday nighls, both of which promised so much, did not rise to the occasion. At least the lighting did. The most worthwhile acts were Hillary-bug, the folksinger, who was consistently good on both nights as were Sam Hunt, poet, and The Acme Sausage Company, though the latter had trouble in obtaining a proper balance. The Windy City Strugglers gave competent performances on both Tuesday and Thursday, though the same cannot be said for the other jug band on Thursday, who were something less than mediocre.

The electric bands on both nights, with one exception, were consistently bad. The first of these, an unnamed R & B outfit, butchered "Hootchie Cootchie Man" with great gusto and their other numbers were rather undistinguished "Glass" were only remarkable because the bass player forgot his part and the audience was reminded of this fact by their singer. The varsity rave group "The Original Sin" performed competently enough on Tuesday night, but on Thursday, their bassist and Glasses' singer came the closest I have every heard to making a bass sound like a greasy fart. Personally, the biggest disappointment was another unnamed group, comprising the Capel Hopkins pianist, the Gutbucket drummer, the Original Sin lead and an ex-Steam-packet gutarist. They massacred Blood, Sweat and Tears and Sly and the Family Stone, and, as if to atone, did a passable version of Traffic's 30,000 Headmen.

Why is it so much more pleasurable being introduced to the songe of Jacques Bred by Scott Walker than Alan Galbraith?

In contrast to these the professionalism of the Capel Hopkins Blues Dredge was a welcome relief, with some constructive guitar work for a change. The only thing that marred their performance was the gesticulating of the vocalist, but this is a minor part. Very light and very competent, perhaps it was practice!

And Needham—[unclear: well]

However, at the risk of being called cynical, I think that the organisers should be congratulated for trying something new and because they made a change from the Music Department fare. If the quality can be improved they would be a worthwhile addition to the varsity routine—and if they were not always musically good—they were always amusing entertainment.