2009 news '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12 '11
'10 '09 '08 '07 '06 '05 '04 '03 '02
newsletters : 02/02 · 02/18 · 06/12 · 08/19 · 11/02
daevid allen mINterview - published 4 Nov '09
A couple online pages of Q&A from mINtSOUTH
Radio Gnomonique Invisible? - posted Sun 1 Nov '09
Gong radio show - Monday night! - 'history, influences and inspirations', with daevid allen, Steve Hillage and Didier Malherbe - Monday, 2 November from 9pm to 11pm Euro time on FIP 105,1 FM Paris. It's 'Carte Blanche' - the boys are bringing their own playlist. Should be interesting… n'est pas? - LISTEN ONLINEProg Archives' announcement (English) | Radio France announcement (Français)
Fortean Times - posted Sun 1 Nov '09
Greetings from Planet Gong - daevid allen interview including fresh photos and deep background…
World Domination - posted Thu 22 Oct '09
Keith Dobson (f.k.a. 'Kif-Kif le batter') reports being interrogated recently by an agent of Quietus regarding his designs on World Domination… here's where you can read the report, better still download a free song and best yet purchase the 'Let's Play Domination' CD (a analogue re-master of all the World Domination Enterprises 'A'-sides, plus one previously unreleased track and a 12-page lyric booklet) directly from Free Love Records for a mere £8.88 inclusive of UK p+p, or £9.88 World Wide….
New Jerusalem - posted Tue 20 Oct '09
Pixies in Tokyo - posted Thr 17 Sep'09
Some of you may be familar with Shibuya Crossing in downtown Tokyo, if not by name then perhaps from photographs you've seen (you know the ones pedestrian crossings going every which way), it's the Times Square or Piccadilly Circus of the city, and like both those places neon signs and video screens abound. Well somehow by some means, all this week the Gong 'How to Stay Alive' animated video is part of the loop of films and adverts playing above the heads of the thronging crowds. Will any stop and have a PHP interlude, wonder what all that was, then scurry along? Strange times indeed. Maybe there are some Shibuya web-cams on the net where we can catch it happening live?
Steve Hillage - Date with an Interview + - updated Fri 18 Sep'09
Steve is being interviewed live on the Cerys Matthews' BBC6 Radio programme on Monday 28th Sept - around 3.00pm. I thought I'd better flag this up early as I missed telling you about his rather good interview with Dr. Stu on his Na@ked Short Club programme on Resonance 104.4FM the other night. However very kindly we have been sent an mp3 of the programme which we will make available sometime. There are plenty of further radio and TV interviews by both Steve and daevid in the pipeline, including a host in France. I'll post details of them when I know more.
Gong - New 2032 album - updated Wed 16 Sep'09
The waiting is over…
Having had the great pleasure of watching and listening this new Gong album grow and develop over the past ten months all I can say is that since it's completion and final mastering a few weeks ago had I been listening to a vinyl copy it would now be worn out. The right album at the right time by the right band for the right people - you.
Click on the album cover for more info and a listen in to samples.
daevid allen interview:-
daevid allen and Steve Hillage interview:-
Gong in print:-
Gong Poesy, Live music + daevid allen / Gilli Smyth Book Launch Event - posted Wed 12 Aug'09
'Anything can happen in the next 24 hours' - Poetry and readings from daevid allen, Gilli Smyth and Stephanie Petrik, Glissando Guitar, Space Whisper and live Synthi set featuring Miquette Giraudy, a Steve Hillage DJ set and the launch of three books, yes that's three books - daevid's 'Gong Dreaming II', Gilli's 'Nitrogen Dreams of a Wide Girl' and Stephanie's 'The Artist Vs. The Upstanding Citizen' - and all at our favourite wee London Café, Inspiral Lounge in Camden. Absolutely no idea what will happen but it's bound to be fun.
Gong More Tour Images - posted Wed 05 Aug'09
Here are some links to photographs by our friend Luc Pilmeyer of several of the most recent Gong Summer gigs. The Trieste gig in particular wqas in a fabulous setting. Also love Luc's Vimeo video of a prime slice of an alien 'Banana-guitar' solo - always one of my personal gig highlights (among many) each night.
Gong rebel against Rebellion - posted Wed 29 Jun'09
Due to major non-fulfillment of contractual obligations by the promoter Gong are unable to appear at the Rebellion Festival. Our deepest apologies for any disappointment.
Had contractual agreements been met we would have happily travelled to Blackpool to play. We hate cancelling shows.
daevid allen - live interview on BBC 6 - posted Sun 28 Jun'09
If all goes to plan there should be a live (earthly) radio interview with daevid and perhaps Steve Hillage from the backstage of the Glade stage at Glastonbury Festival this evening, Sunday 28th, between 6.30 and 7.00pm with Gideon Coe, just a couple of hours before the Steve Hillage Band is due on stage.
The band are currently on route down the A303 past Stonehenge and on to the Festival. Everyone is quietly excited and focused for a mega SHB/Gong set (they will run together as at the Amsterdam Uncon), and as at Amsterdam the Glade is blessed with a Funktion One PA (none better) with David Id and John Newsome himself at the controls along with Jasper Johns on Visuals - in fact Jasper has been part of the team zapping the lights and projections all weekend at the Glade.
High on the hill above the Festival site the last three hours and more of the event could be a complete trip… and if you want, you can tune in via Radio Gnome Invisible - broadcasting across the etheric frequencies direct brain to brain. Go on, why don't you try…Steve Hillage Band 9.00pm right through to the close of the Gong set at midnight.
Hugh's Farewell - posted Wed 24 Jun'09
Hugh Hopper will be laid to rest at a natural Burial Ground in Kent this Thursday 25th June.
It will be a Tibetan Buddhist Ceremony to respect Hugh's wishes and there will be opportunity for a few musicians to play by the graveside to say goodbye. Afterwards there will be lunch at a local pub and then a gentle walk. No flowers please; however, donations offered will be shared between the Brabourne Ward at Canterbury Hospital and the Kangyur Rinpoche Foundation.
Do not cry because I die
From me to Hugh and all his great friends and family
For those who wish to offer a donation instead of flowers for Hugh's funeral, Christine asked me to tell you that cheque (€/£) could be done in her name (Christine Janet) and she will dispatch it herself to the Brabourne Ward Canterbury Hospital and the Kangyur Rinpoche Foundation.
There will be a concert in Hugh's homage Saturday 27 June (20H00) at the Club LE TRITON in Paris - Les Lilas. You will find also CDs of Hugh's music. The benefit of this concert and CDs sale will go to Christine.
Hugh Hopper passes away - posted Mon 08 Jun'09
Taken at Hugh's final gig in Bourgoin-Jallieu last year - photo Xavier Marchon (many thanks to Aymeric for sending this)
- photo Xavier Marchon (many thanks to Aymeric for sending this)'>Dear Hugh Hopper passed away the afternoon of Sunday 7th June. Our thoughts and love go out to his wife Christine, their young daughter Rosa, and to all Hugh's close family and friends. He was a lovely, unassuming, gently humorous man who was always a joy to be with - and of course he was a unique, stunning, innovative creative musician.
As we reached Fasano for last Saturday's Gong concert daevid told me he had received a message that Hugh reached the final hours and very early this morning as we queued for US work visas we heard the news that he had gone. daevid just quietly said that besides Robert, Hugh had been the person he had played music with the longest. He will be so missed.
Images taken at Hugh's final gig, in Bourgoin-Jallieu, last year - photo Xavier Marchon (many thanks to Aymeric for sending this).
And here is a link that I was sent today to a nice interview with Hugh from 1998. It gives just a little flavour of what a personable chap he was.
Dave Sturt - Welcome to Gong! - posted Tue 26 May'09
What does it take to be a member of Gong? I have no idea whatsoever - who does? You certainly must get the call somehow. A pixie whispers in your ear, you tune into Radio Gnome Invisible without realising, the voices start 'making sense' - something happens. There has been many a fine up-standing musician carefully mapping out a career and developing along sturdy traditional musical lines, who one day turns around to find themselves in a pair of unreasonable trousers on stage with Dingo Virgin, the Submarine Captain and the Good Witch Yoni transmitting the vibrations of an invisible Green Planet full of pixies to an audience of seemingly the same. No doubt they wonder how they got there ('letting the days go by…'). All I can advise is - stuff happens - and Mr Dave Sturt it's happened to you!
With Dr. Howlett on the other side of the world in Brisbane teaching Sound Technology (with a side-order of pure Gong?) it is not possible for him to represent the luminous green Planet at all the gigs this year, but we are all deeply pleased and delighted to announce the arrival of Dave, who is keen as mustard and simply brimming with as yet unplayed musical notes and sounds. He will co-inhabit that most vital, Basso-Profondo, T-Being type, mother-spot (or should that be Mother being T's-pot) in Gong. Please welcome him and watch out for him, I'm sure yer socks will be blown clean off.
And if you are in Sheffield or Nottingham there are two imminent opportunities to catch Dave and fellow Gongster Theo Travis in action in their Cipher incarnation as they provide inventive, luscious and at times scary music and sounds for the classic horror silent film, 'The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari'. Details in the Gigs Section.
University of Errors - Portugal - posted Sun 17 May'09
Flashes of the Errors in action at the Gouveia Festival in Portugal at the beginning of May. Some very stylish shots from Claude Wacker (click on the image below and scroll down), and an e-mail from hymnself pointing out some You Tubeings…
Gong-rich Downloadable Fanzine - posted Tue 05 May'09
The January issue (I've only just been told about it) of the downloadable pdf French language fanzine, 'Vapeur Mauve' is a hugely Gong-rich one containing as it does interviews with Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe and Tim Blake, along with articles on Pierre Moerlen, University of Errors, Gong related albums and much more.
May Day - Blossomings, beginnings and a life lived well - posted Fri 01 May'09
Gilli Smyth - Deya
(photo Jeremy Dunn)
It is the first of May - a day of celebration in so many spiritual, secular and political mythologies, belief systems, realities and fantasies. We are in close proximity to Beltane (depending on your grasp of calendars or the heavens) a time of bloom and future promise. The sun is shining, the faithful and not so faithful, many gaily attired and garlanded with flowers and blossoms, gathered on Glastonbury Tor to welcome the dawn and they now festoon the High St and the Market Cross a riot of colour and celebration. At the 'heart' the fires are re-kindled, tended and in some cases leapt over.
Last night in Italy daevid along with the University of Errors and Octave Doctor David Id played his first Northern hemisphere gig of the year as he wends his way towards London, the mixing of the new Gong album, '2032' and Gong rehearsals. Yesterday Steve and Miquette left Australia after a joyously productive 10 days of recording vocals for the album with daevid and Gilli. Mike Howlett is in his final preparation for his trip to Australia to settle in to his new 'Professorial' role at Brisbane University before returning to the UK in early June for the Gong rehearsals and the Mid-Summer festivals.
The Gong touring/giggling party has been assembled - in cyber-space at least. Old hands such as David Id and light-show wiz Jasper Johns will be joined by new eager recruits Jez and Dominic - while I attempt to pull logistical strings together, or at least tie them into some kind of pretty bow. Gong's agent, the vastly experienced Dan Silver (a good pirate name that), continues to work away at more Summer and Autumn Gong dates which will be announced shortly.
And it is exactly a week since the visionary, inspirational and extremely personable John Michell left us. His tremendous body of work and it's seminal influence will continue to resonate and grow. He was a true, very special elder of the tribe who will be much missed.
There is so much more to tell you, we have been as bees - all will be revealed, all is change. May your May Day be free of all Maydays - Blessings (as they say).
4000 year-old statues from the Early Bronze Age Cycladic Cluture
(photo Luc Pilmeyer)
System 7 - Live Japanese download - posted Wed 21 Apr'08
Why not put a little System 7 in your system with this electrifying 55 minute live straight from the desk set recorded at Shinjyuku Face in Tokyo on 11th April. The download site is in English, pretty easy to use (you have to register first) and the download only costs about £7.00 or €8.00. Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy are in sparkling form weaving patterns of rhythmic magic, with Steve spiraling out some rather special guitar lines. Just click on the image to get connected.
Pierre Moerlen's Gong - Arista Years offer - posted Thr 02 Apr'08
Until supplies are gone you can buy this fine 2CD collection of three of Pierre's albums for the rather excellent price of £6.80. They popped up at a low price (I think the record company went bust) - so I pass it on. Maybe it's a gift from Pierre?
Gong Nov UK Tour Dates - updated Thr 02 Apr'09
The dates for the first Gong UK Tour since 2000 have been announced. Not only is it the first Gong UK tour for almost a decade, it is 3 times that since Steve Hillage and Miquette were on such a jaunt - they must have been children. This November should see the good band Gong lighting up a venue not too very far from your very good self. We hope to see you there.
There are a limited number of tickets at a reduced booking fee for visitors to our site for all the November dates (except Leamington Spa and Exeter who have their own unique booking system) if you book very soon via www.artistticket.com/link/?s=gong.
April ticket update - The main promoter of the Gong November UK Tour has been sending monthly updates of how the tickets are going. Wow Mancheter! Almost 400 gone there already with London and Edinburgh not far behind.
Gong's Biggest Fan circa 1979? - posted Tue 10 Mar'09
A recent e-mail reminded me of the strange tale of daevid's encounter with, at least for a brief period, Gong's biggest fan.
This is one of the most mind-blowingly weird anecdotes MAGNET has ever published. Ten years ago, writer Mitch Myers profiled prog-rock legend daevid allen (Soft Machine, Gong), who told us of his strange encounter with actor Sherman Hemsley (a.k.a. George Jefferson). Here is the story of Hemsley's obsession with flying teapots and his alleged den of iniquity that housed an LSD lab, a harem of naked girls and crack/freebase depots on every floor…read more…Magnet Magazine.
The moral is perhaps don't be a 'fan' - be a Gongster instead.
Gong 2032 album - posted Wed 18 Feb'09
Gong are currently working on a brand new forward-looking album called 2032 - Yes that's the year 2032 - the year that the Planet Gong makes full contact with the Planet Earth - and a major new chapter in the continually evolving Gong mythology. The album is due to be released in September 2009.
At the beginning of December last year I had the pleasure of hearing 10 of 14 or 15 'work in progress' tracks, pencil sketches of the direction being embarked upon by the band. I won't to try and describe what I heard, but it seemed to me all the right boxes were being ticked, all the right buttons pushed and all the right questions posed. The pixies are definitely with them and I could perceive through the mists of the future a very timely Gong album indeed taking shape - maybe just the kind of album that we need right now. So onwards to the Summer, September, October, November and 2032.
Gong's earliest recording?
2009 celebrates Gong's 40th anniversary - as measured from their first 'proper' gig at the Amougies Festival in 1969. Certainly that was the first gig where they were primarily billed as Gong and where they first publicly performed group compositions. However the concept 'Gong' pre-dates that, as shown on this early 1968 handbill.
What more appropriate way to get the download section of the Planet Gong Kasbah moving and at the same mark the opening of the Bordeaux exhibition than with making available the earliest known live recording of 'Gong' - an excellent six and a half minutes from early 1968.
Perhaps Gong were more of a 'happening' back then than the band into which they were destined to coalesce. Truly nothing seems to be definitive with this strange ensemble.
Space Rock - Record Collector article - updated Wed 18 Feb'09
The March issue of 'Record Collector' has 'a mega-sized Spacerock/Hawkwind feature' by knowledgeable writer/journalist Ian Abrahams. Thanks to the weeks of scanning by Steve 'Shadowjack' over the past few years the GAS archives have been able to provide some pretty rare vinyl images for the article.
Also have a look at Ian's site www.spacerockreviews.blogspot.com for thoughts on some of the newer music of the genre.
Mike Howlett - Dr Down Under - updated Wed 18 Feb '09
Mike Howlett is about to become a Doctor. He is currently completing his PHD after which he will be taking up a post as Associate Professor, Head of Sound and Music, at the University of Queensland in Brisbane - just a couple of hours drive from daevid and Gilli in Bryon Bay. Yes a real Professor in Gong, we rejoyce! However this will mean that he is not available for most of the Gong gigs this Summer, but luckily for all of us ace-bass John McKenzie (Steve Hillage Band, Global Village Trucking Co. and more) will be most happily on-board when Mike can't make it.
Storm in Teacup (Woodford Folk Festival QLD 2008) - posted Mon 09 Feb'09
The beginning of a long e-mail received from daevid just the other day…
The full tale of Woodford including ' The FUCK Poem' and 'The SORRY Poem' might be found at daevid's website