Wednesday 2 September 2020

Dedicated to You... (Manerg's Canterbury Mix)

Deviating from my usual compilations/anthologies, I originally asked my pal Manerg if he wanted to do his own "Desert Island" mix. After thinking about it he came back to me with an idea for doing a compilation of bands who were either originators or inspired by the Canterbury Sound. I agreed it would be an excellent idea, he's much more of an expert on the Canterbury Scene than me. I asked him to say a few words on this mix.

Manerg wrote:
"The tracks and bands I chose for this compilation are what I think is the natural organic movement of the style. The DNA and its mutations if you like. Starting with the originators, members of Soft Machine and Caravan forming the band that was the source of the genre, that band being The Wilde Flowers. The Canterbury Sound was an amalgam of free jazz, classical, pop and a dose of psychedelia. The early Mothers of Invention albums can also be heard as an influence.

The Canterbury Scene spread its tentacles further afield, many groups and artists in The Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain and all points of the compass have 'that sound', which has travelled throughout the years always remaining underground. Some musicians linked to the scene have at times raised their head above ground and even had a modicum of chart success, Robert Wyatt and Dave Stewart (not The Eurythmics guy but a member of National Health) being examples. The latter had a hit with a cover of Lesley Gore's 'It's my Party', accompanied by Barbara Gaskin, who was once a member of Canterbury group Spirogyra (not the jazz funk outfit).

The Canterbury Sound is still alive and thriving. The last few tracks on this mix are recent recordings by bands that pay homage and wave the flag for a scene that even its original movers and shakers can't quite describe.

Vive l'école de Canterbury"

  1. Caravan - Cecil Rons (4:05)
  2. The Soft Machine - Why Are We Sleeping? (5:32)
  3. Kevin Ayers - Song for Insane Times (4:01)
  4. Khan - Stargazers (5:32)
  5. Uriel - Garden of Earthly Delights (2:44)
  6. Egg - A Visit to Newport Hospital (8:24)
  7. Spirogyra - A Canterbury Tale (4:04)
  8. Matching Mole - Instant Kitten (4:59)
  9. Robert Wyatt - Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road (6:08)
10. Moving Gelatine Plates - London Cab (7:30)
11. Cos - Fanfan la Tulipe (2:38)
12. Supersister - She Was Naked (3:43)
13. Hatfield and the North - Fitter Stoke Has a Bath (7:33)
14. National Health - Clocks and Clouds (6:42)
15. Daevid Allen and Kramer - Song for Robert (3:49)
16. Homunculus Res - La Cabala (3:58)
17. The Winstons - Nicotine Freak (4:31)
18. Magic Bus - Distant Future (7:06)
19. Big Hogg - Little Bear (1:16)