Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 34, No. 18. October 6 1971
Off the Record
Off the Record
Say No More Kiwi
In case you haven't heard already. Tamburlaine have made an album which is to be released very soon. Recorded here in Wellington in HMV's studios, this collection of fine new songs (all but one are original) manifest the talent that even the earliest performances by this group revealed They achieve a lyrical coupling of voices and instruments that is attained by very few. The songs are crisp and fesh, the performance confident, and the recording fair.
Various instrumental embellishments are employed to good effect. Flute, harmonica, violin, and cello are used on various tracks to add extra colour and grace. Denis Leong's adroit piano is featured as well.
As in concert there is a mixture of acoustic and electric elements. Some Other Day, Lady Wakes up, and Pass a Piece of Paper were among the songs I enjoyed most, though a more extended track about the Flame of Thoriman developed further.
Tamburlaine have not copied other contemporary artists, nor have they retrogressed. Their album is good, not only for New Zealand, but for a much wider musical scene. It's certainly of that quality.
Taste were an Irish rock-trio who thrilled audiences from Belfast to Birmingham with a solid driving sound. Led by the cheerful Rory Gallagher, lead guitarist, the other members were Ritchie McCracken (bass) and John Wilson (drums).
However things did not go well with the band. There were arguments over the money, and later this year the trio split. McCracken and Wilson complained tha the cheerful, foot-tapping Gallagher was ego-tripping. He treated his ghythmists with disdain, frequently changing the beat during stage-numbers without prior arrangement. Thus Taste died and Gallagher announced he wanted to form his own group but still exercise complete control of the music.
Live Taste is a solo memorial to the Irish Trio, unless the bootleggers hit N.Z. This album is a recording of a performance at Montreux Casino, Switzerland. Although the dressing room punch-ups endangered the groups appearance at time, the personal animosity does not show in the music. Gallagher's playing is very good - he plays and sings with a driving, infectious cheerfulness.
There are five tracks on the album, four of which are Gallagher compositions, marked by his aggressive slide guitar work. Unfortunately the extended tracek I feel so good has been artificially divided into two parts, for record-pressing purposes. A good record though, of an exciting performance.
Gallagher now has an album out, backed by his new men, Gerry McAvoy (bass) and Wilgar Campbell, (drums) and Vincent Crane (piano) of Atomic Rooster helps out on two tracks. There are ten tracks on the album, all Gallagher compositions. On this album his style is mellower, featuring blues style slide-guitar. Though there are driving tracks like Hands Up the tone overall is more relaxed and personal - as heard in tracks like I'm not Surprised.
This album is one of the best albums heard this year and is strongly recommended listening.
Social Gathering Polydor
This album, featuring a rampant hull elephant on cover, is one of the most exciting and original albums to be released this year. It is an album of pure progressive rock music, with some jazz influences.
Food Brain are a group of young samuraii from the Land of the Rising Sun. They comprise Shinki Chen (Guitar) Hiro Yanagida (keyboard), Masyoshi Kabe (Bass) and Hiro Tsunda (Drums). Also on one track the group is augmented by Michihio Kimura (bass clarinet).
The strength of the group lies in Yanagida whose facility on electric organ is absolutely too much. He has a very good hand for extemporisation whilst remaining in total rapport with Kabe. John Mayall after a recent tour of Nippon remarked that many rock musicians there were better technically than their European counterparts, though lacking in originality. Yanagida has both technical excellance and originality He does make Emerson look like a beginner.
Food Brain are an incredibly together-group. They play very much closer than many a Western rock group. Naturally they write all their own material. Though they probably have a classical backgroun they do not use classical form. Side Two features a very short, very beautiful track 'One-sided Love' featuring only Yanagida on electric harsichord; which shows a complete understanding of Rameau and Scarlatti.
Nippon is Nippon, Tokyo is centre of modern electronic industry and electronics play a big part in this album. There is electronic distortion and mixing which creates some unusual and compelling sounds.
Side One may be viewed as a short suite, featuring organ and bass creating a driving, compulsive, totally progressive sound, in which may be detected influences as diverse as early Pink Floyd and traditional Japanese ceremonial music. A short track The Conflict of the Hippo and the Pig (a musical Noh interpretation) ends the side.
Side Two is largely a continuation of the Suite on Side one though Chen's wailing quitar more often is heard predominently. Then the beautiful One-sided love followed by The Hole in a Sausage which is ultra-progressive and features electronic distortion (especially of the clarinet) and frequent tempo changes.
This album is undoubtedly the most original progressive music released this year. It is worth pawning your F.L.P. and Strawbs for.