Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Strange Boat – New Edition

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Strangeboat by Ian   Abrahams


by Ian Abrahams

Giveaway ends August 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

So this is as about as far removed from space-rock as you’ll find posted on this blog, but republished in an updated edition by Gonzo Multimedia (Print Edition) and Lumoni Press (which is me… eBook edition) is my 2007 book on Mike Scott & The Waterboys. There’s a Goodreads Giveaway that runs until 31st August 2014; entries from anywhere in the world are very welcome and I’ve 2 copies to giveaway in this competition.

Otherwise, the book is available here in its print edition from Gonzo’s website (though it’ll also be available from other on-line retailers… I see Barnes & Noble are listing it already for example) and either at Smashwords or Amazon sites if you want to download the eBook version.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Vive Le Rock Issue 20


A few things to mention. The new issue of Vive Le Rock magazine is out now – I’ve contributed a retrospective 30th anniversary piece on the Stonehenge Free Festivals which is compiled from interviews and material collected for Festivalized, which itself has a new publisher contracted and will appear towards the end of this year. Really pleased that VLR have devoted pages to celebrating the Stonehenge festivals and hope blog readers will get along to their newsagent or buy on-line and support this issue!

When I think of the work undertaken on the Festivalized book, one of the great memories was travelling down to Hove railway station and being picked up and driven to a scrap yard that he appeared to be living on by the legendary Gary Bamford of 2000DS. Gary and several members of his family died in a tragic head-on collision in Jamaica two or three years ago and his daughter Josie was serious injured in that accident. There’s some detail on what’s happen to Josie since and her plans for the future on this Kapipal Donations Page (Here) and it would be wonderful if blog readers who remember the free festival scene, Gary and 2000DS could click through, read its contents and make a donation however small (or large of course).

Finally a mention  that at the World Science Fiction Convention, Lon Con 3, at Excel in August, I’ll be on a panel discussing the Music of the Future at 10am on Sunday 17th. There’s also a space rock panel in the afternoon that sadly I’m not on, but for sure will be attending. If any readers of this blog are going to the World Con that day and are sitting on on either of these panels it’d be great to say “Hello”.


Monday, 14 July 2014

The Timelords - Convergence


The Timelords are the great Steve Bemand, of Smartpils, The Demented Stoats, Hawkwind European Tour 1991, Technopagan, The Ancient Ones and plenty of other ensembles fame, and Dani Speakman, who I don’t know but I’m sure is equally great. They describe themselves as The Brothers Von Trippenhoff and Convergence, released on CD by Whiplash Records and alternatively available in multiple formats for download from the band’s Bandcamp page, is their dynamic and properly thrilling debut album. I didn’t get along to Hawkeaster, where The Timelords were part of the bill, and haven’t otherwise seen them play live yet, though I did catch up with Steve for a general chat during the Hawkwind ‘Space Ritual’ day at Seaton a few months back – he’s a really good guy.

They play a really broad vista of soundscapes, elongated mind journeys that twist and turn through space-time with robust guitar chops and sharply descriptive lead lines, simple lyrical space-chants and evocative invocations: “Flying low over the horizon / All eyes on the horizon”. On ‘The Moment’ with its studied rhythms and swirling synth-fxs they start out almost in ‘Valium Ten’ territory momentarily and then head-out in a different direction with a heavy darkness - “into the vast unknown”, a modern space ritual, bass-roving, sythns describing, with Eastern flavours, a mysterious cosmic spaciousness.

‘Blu-ray Monday’ is the album’s sixteen minute (and some more) masterwork, starting out with thoughtful, crystalline effects, sounds swooping in across them and drifting out again before it builds to a sonic travelogue that shifts and changes along its path, Bemand’s guitar chops building in the background, hinting at the riffs that will explode out into the main thrust of the track as though the player is pulling back at something that wants to launch out of its own accord – launch out of its own chords – and disappear out over the event horizon. When it does, it’s one a helluva of head-fuck psych-trip, marching, flying, bursting, imploring, it has absolutely everything, delivered in the brightness of flaring comets. It’s that good.

They undertake one cover, a revision of ‘2000 Light Years From Home’ that does mix-up the texture of the record, bringing in something that has more of a song-structure even while they give it some sturdy guitar chops and purposeful drum beats so that it’s not exactly out of place, but does turn the album on its head for a moment before they get into another couple of opus numbers, ‘Decoding The Senses’ and ‘Rough Diamond’. The first is an atmospheric mood piece, introverted and pensive, the other an equally experimental piece with spoken word and discordant bass and guitar rumblings so that the Stones cover seems to page-mark and divide the earlier driving spacerock parts of the album with these more exploratory kosmische deviations, though by mid-point in the final track they find their space explorer vibe again and once again venture out into deepest uncharted galaxies. Great work – here’s to the next regeneration.

The Timelords @ Bandcamp

The Timelords @ Soundawesome

The Timelords on Facebook