Cambridge Junction, 2000-11-29
Sir Eel, pOoTers pSycheDelic shAcK
Once upon a time from a far away planet came a little green man, he told me his name was Mr. Pot Head Pixie and he travelled the cosmos in a green flying teapot. This Flying Teapot gently spiralled down from space tonight landing at Cambridge's Junction and out poured the inhabitants of Planet Gong onto the wet tarmac: Bi-Focal Vocalist Daevid Allen, Shakti Yoni, The Silver Servant, Dr. StratoVIRUS, Chris Taylor and Theo 'Cipher' Travis. The Junction was transformed from its usual drab self to an explosion of retina popping Day-Glo, courtesy of some fine backdrops and other sTrAngE ephemera such as glowing palm trees and an equally impressive array of merchandise from the Gong extended family. The entire pOoTers pSycheDelic shAcK crew were present except for Dr. Sandoz, who, somewhat ironically was ill (eh?...Doctors don't get ill do they?). Poor old Dr. Sandoz had (after finding the Drug Cabinet Key) pushed every pharmaceutical tab and cap down his muzzle in an attempt to get to the gig but alas failed...
Gong entered the stage in fine blissed out style and proceeded to enter the heads of the the gaping audience via crystal machine transmitter with a full on broadcast from RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE featuring POT HEAD PIXIES, OCTAVE DOCTORS and of course the ever Glidding FLYING TEAPOTS. Old and new classics were seamlessly stitched together in a spine tingling mixture of the ultimate in psychedelia, Gong have inspired many and are often imitated but NEVER has anyone come close to what they are capable of when on top form as they are tonight. The nice, almost personal atmosphere of The Junction and the audience interaction from the band made this a gig to remember for a VERY long while.
Allen and Gilli go through several costume changes with Daevid ending up in an awesome one piece 'cosmic angel' suit resplendent with shiny headband and Compact Discs hanging from various places, The Silver Servant that is Mike Howlett pounded his bass like a demented PHP emanating the Angels Egg force field, Gwyo Zepix was the Wizard of The Keys and Theo and Chris blew everyone's minds with tantalising Sax and Space Funk Riddums.
Opening with material from early albums including Radio Gnome Invisible, much of Zero To Infinity is played, intersected with beautiful versions of The Octave Doctors and The Crystal Machine, I Am Your Pussy, You Can't Kill Me (delivered in blistering punked up stylee), an extended Flute Salad running into Oily Way & Outer Temple then Magick Mother Invocation and excerpts from Flying Teapot...
An ecstatic crowd brought Gong back on stage for an awesome encore of I've Been Stoned Before, Other Side Of The Sky (?), Tropical Fish ending with a brain bubbling Selene. Captain Capricorn may be the wrong side of 60 and the band itself may be 32 years old but Gong are just as fresh and powerful as they have ever been.... Long may the King of the PHP's reign.
pOoTers pSycheDelic shAcK verdict: Mush O'Rune : Totally Awesome Sir Eel : See Below pOoTer : Stunning Dr. Sandoz : eh?....
A word also from Sir Eel:
To review this gig is a huge undertaking to find the words to describe these demigods of psychedelia. The Cambridge Junctions' walls had the shit kicked out of them by the raw hard bass delivered explosively by Mike Howlett, the clarity and pitch of Gillie Smyth's awesome tonsils; Chris Taylor's stamina drumming which felt like the very sticks he was using came off the stage, tracked you down then beat you round the head; Theo Travis, flute demon and brain boiling horn hound, keyboard player Gwyo Zepix who sat effortlessly at the helm of his controls delivering psyched out space vibes, and the one and only showman of showmen, teaser of guitar strings who could leave you transfixed by his stage presence and moonstruck vocals , Daevid Allen .
Reviewed by Sir Eel, in awe and still reeling.