FAREWELL, OH GREAT DRUM WARRIOR!30 Aug 2006

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Pip Pyle
, one of the Canterbury scene’s most celebrated percussive talents, passed away at 2.00am on August 28 after returning to a Paris hotel following a gig with Hatfield And The North. Here, his friend and Gong cohort Daevid Allen pays his respects to “a great original drum warrior”.

Pip Pyle, original Gong drummer & creator of unusual bands was an honours graduate of the Viv Stanshall School Of Creative Self Derangement. A great original drum warrior & cultivator of the spontaneous and unexpected, he grabbed life by the scruff and consistently re-wrote the book of survival in a rolling thunder of imaginative unpredictability.

From the brilliant young chancer in a vivid green suit whose tumbling chaos theory enveloped Gong music in 1970, to the thinking man's funambulist of recent times, he installed elegantly deviant time signatures into otherwise pedestrian constructs (a good example: Gong: O Motha Don't Do It Again).

A priceless provocateur with a huge heart full of fun and an endearing concern for wounded fellow warriors, he generated the funniest tour stories ever told. In making mischief his creativity and risk taking were legendary. Right now I am full of laughing memories despite my hurting heart. Yet he was equally capable of musical arrangements of such subtlety & delicious intelligence that he leaves a sea of beautiful compositions.

Pip equally inspired us all constantly by overcoming physical pain and discomfort. He broke all records for endurance at GONG25 in 1974 by filling in for the absent Pierre Moerlen while amply filling his own trousers in an already crowded schedule. With the dosh earned he bought a car outside the London venue, drove home to Paris without sleeping and terminally crashed it into the corner of his house, totalling the car but emerging unscratched.

He lived always on the brink, from Gong's first UK gig at the first Glastonbury Festival where he played on heroically despite being stricken with rheumatic fever to the mid nineties Gong tours where, with knees seizing up, he was on a formidable nightly roll bursting into new dimensions with Keith Da Missile on holding bass.

Pip's brilliant drumming, wicked humour and huge heart will forever be luminous in the oral histories of Gong the Planet, Hatfield and his many extraordinary outfits. He died in the arms of the goddess returning from his last great gig.
Ahhh Pip you crazy ole prankster! May you jam on forever in paradise!!

Daevid Allen – August 29, 2006

MOJO now inivites you to leave your own Pip tributes at www.planetgong.co.uk

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WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE LIVE!25 Aug 2006

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William Elliott Whitmore, the acclaimed Iowan troubadour, guests on MOJO Rocks, MOJO Radio's weekly rock show, this evening at 9.00pm. Whitmore - whose new Song Of The Blackbird album has been described by MOJO magazine as "pure, vital and indomitable" - will join your host Phil Alexander and play four songs while laying bare the inspiration behind his unique old world view.

Also on MOJO Rocks this week, new music by The Answer, Muse, The Datsuns and The Bishops, while The Young Knives's Voices Of Animals And Men is our Album Of The Week.

Tune in to MOJO Radio via Sky (channel 0182) or Freeview (channel 721), or log on to the radio player on this very site. MOJO Rocks with Phil Alexander airs at 9.00pm every Friday and is repeated at 9.00pm every Sunday.

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Win Slade reissues

Slade

There is no noise here. There is, however, vast quantities of Noize. Slade are re-releasing their back catalogue and three of you lot could win four albums each: Beginnings/Play It Loud, The Slade Live Anthology (featuring Slade Alive, Slade Alive II, Slade On Stage and the Reading ’80 EPs), the classic Slayed?, and Old New Borrowed And Blue. More importantly, you get to chuck out your dictionary and subscribe to the Noddy Holder school of spelling with songs like Coz I Luv You, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and, of course, Cum On Feel The Noize. God bless you Noddy Holder.

For a chance to win one of the sets, just answer this question:

Noddy Holder sold his soul to telly advertising for which pub snack?

a) McCoy’s

b) Nobby’s Nuts

c) Pork Scratchings

>Send your answer, with your name, address and email address to competitions@mojo4music.com by Friday 8 September. Usual competitions rules apply - for full T&Cs, email the above address.

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MOJO’S GREEN MAN BEANO!24 Aug 2006

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Last year it was described as “the festival of the year”. This year, rehoused in the picaresque surroundings of Glanusk Park in the Brecon Beacons, the Green Man three day hoe-down showed no sign of losing its homely and human qualities.

Lovingly developed by folk duo Jo Barlett and Danny Hagan (ak It’s Jo And Danny), this year’s event was also proudly sponsored by MOJO and included over 60 acts over three stages plus several DJ sets, readings and workshops during the weekend of August 18-20.

Entering into the spirit of the event, MOJO’s Ice Cream Sunday – hosted at Shepherd’s Ice Cream stand on August 20 – whereby Green Man-ites big and small received a free cornet and a copy of the magazine purely by bowling up. The magazine’s venerable scribe Phil Sutcliffe was also on hand to conduct a live MOJO Interview with Friday night headliner Donovan who elected to recount his life story through song.

Despite variable weather conditions – and assorted members of the MOJO Team’s ill-advised attempts to scale the nearby Sugarloaf Mountain – the Green Man 2006 emerged as another triumph for Britain’s most organic of festivals, with noted highlights consisting of sets by Jozé Gonzalez, Bert Jansch, Aidan Smith, Archie Bronson Outfit, Mica P Hinson  and jazz-tronica duo Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid.

MOJO invites all those who attended Green Man – and those who didn’t – to indulge in the spirit of the event via this month’s bespoke CD that accompanies the new issue of MOJO magazine which is on sale this weekend. Entitled  The Quiet Revolution, it features tracks by Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Akron/Family, James Yorkston, Vashti Bunyan, Josephine Foster, Kevin Ayers, John And Beverley Martyn and many, many more.

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Photos from the Cambridge Folk Festival21 Aug 2006

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Free ale, intimate busking sessions and a pair of giant kangaroos.  If you weren't there at this year's sold out Cambridge Folk Festival, take a look at what MOJO and friends got up to in the bell-jingling, tambourine-shaking sunshine of Cherry Hinton's annual shindig.  Or, better still, pick up the new issue of MOJO magazine (on sale August 26) for a full review of the festival.

Click here to view the photos (opens in a new window)

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Mojo Radio - Summer Of Reggae18 Aug 2006

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Join Lee "Scratch" Perry's biographer David Katz for Monday Night Reggae, at 9pm throughout August exclusively on Mojo radio.

David continues the series with a look at Jamaican R 'n' B Monday 21st August at 9pm.

The Playlist is:

Laurel Aitken - Back To New Orleans
Laurel Aitken - If It's Money You Need
Higgs & Wilson - When You Tell Me Baby
Karl Walker - Riding With The Crown
Theophilus Beckford - Little Lady
Theophilus Beckford - Goin' Home
Charlie Organaire - Merry Twist
Lascelles Perkins - Lonely Robin
Chuck & Dobby - I Love My Teacher
Basil Gabbidon - 3X7
Duck Reid's All Stars - Unknown Instrumental
Prince Buster - African Blood
Prince Buster - They've Got To Come
Toots & The Maytals - Helpin' Ages
Bunny & Skitter - Get Ready
Keith & Enid - Worried Over You
The Echoes - I Love You Forever
Yvonne Harrison - Cry To Me
Duck Reid's All Stars - Unknown Instrumental
Clancy Eccles - Freedom
Derrick Harriot - Everybody Needs Somebody

Listen again to David's First two shows - The Sly and Robbie Story via the Mojo Radio player on this site. You can hear Mojo Radio on Freeview Channel 721, Sky Channel 0182 and via our online Radio Player.

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VILLAINS ROCK MOJO!

Vincent

Vincent Vincent And The Villains appear on tonight’s instalment of MOJO Rocks – MOJO Radio’s weekly rock show. Recorded live at the MOJO Club in Camden, the hotly tipped West London rock’n’roll troupe will preview their new single Johnny Two Bands – their first since signing with EMI - which is due out on October 2.

MOJO Rocks – which is presented by MOJO’s editor-in-chief Phil Alexander – will also feature new music by Wolfmother, Bat For Lashes, 747s, TV Smith and Tapes And Tapes, while Song Of The Blackbird, the new long-player by farm-dwelling Iowan troubadour William Elliott Whitmore occupies the Album Of The Week slot.

Tune into to MOJO Rocks at 9.00pm on August 18 (repeated Sunday August 20 at 9.00pm) on MOJO Radio via Sky (channel 0182), Freeview (channel 721) or right here.

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VOTE GONG!

Gong

They created a universe of their own making! And a vast intergalactic catalogue to match! They are post-psychedelic cosmonauts Gong and MOJO needs your help in compiling the ultimate ‘How To Buy Gong’ guide.

So does the fromage-fest of Camembert Electrique top the warped genius of Flying Teapot? And where do the shimmering sounds of Shamal fit? Simply leave your comments on what you consider to be the most mind-blowing Gong releases here and we’ll compile our guide from your suggestions and print your thoughts on their finest work in the November issue of MOJO magazine.

[NB: All albums selected must have been released under the Gong moniker rather than by individual band members so Steve Hillage’s Fish Rising is out. So too are Daevid Allen manifold solo outings.]

Oh, and check out the Gong Unconvention – a gathering of the entire Gong Family. It happens at the Melkweg, Amsterdam, on November 3-5 and tickets are on sale now via Jonny Greene’s wondrous www.planetgong.co.uk site.

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ARTHUR LEE REMEMBERED16 Aug 2006

Tributes and farewells running the gamut of Mojo’s musicianly massive...

Robert Plant, lifelong Love votary who played at Arthur’s fund-raising benefit show at NY’s Beacon Theatre on June 23.
“Reaching so far back to those remarkable works of dark beauty then witnessing his wild, unsettling presence in the present, I was convinced there could be no end to Arthur. He careened five minutes then five light years away from gathering the shards of creativity to compete with his unassailable past – a tough call; I believed he could do it; I was waiting. Alas, the Vindicator moves on.”

Bobby Gillespie faxes from his honeymoon. The Primal Scream frontman has championed Love from the moment his band first commanded airspace.
“Forever Changes was the LP that made us want to start a group and seriously write songs, and I'm sure Arthur Lee's music/words/soul will continue to inspire future generations of psychedelic renegades. I once sat playing guitar at The Chateau Marmont in LA as Arthur sang Signed D.C. to me and Andrew Innes. The three of us spent the rest of the night singing classics from Forever Changes, and other Love songs. I feel blessed to have experienced such glory.”

Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake began his pop life aping the style and attitude of Love’s lost leader.

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“Before Teenage Fanclub, me and Raymond [McGinley] had a band called the Boy Hairdressers. The [2005 Turner Prize nominated] artist Jim Lambie was in the band, too, and he was a Love obsessive. We had these photographs taken where we’re trying to mimic the back sleeve shot from Forever Changes – Jim holding a broken jug!

“The unique thing about Love was these really unusual chord structures. If you sit down and play them with a guitar – it’s like jazz. Then there are those odd lyrics – with Arthur, you could never be sure where the song would go to next. The other thing that appeals about Arthur Lee, when you’re a kid starting a band, is that kind of arrogance and aloofness. It really came across that Arthur didn’t give a fuck. The way Love stared at you out of the sleeves of the first two albums – that was a real antecedent of punk, I think. Plus the ethnic mix, the Spanish influence, it gives it a different dynamic.

“Later, they became Creation’s favourite band, but before that, when Bobby Gillespie had the Splash One club in Glasgow – before the Mary Chain or the Primals – they’d play Love and the 13th Floor Elevators. If you see the images of early Primal Scream, the huge belt buckles and Bobby’s bangs – you can see how influenced they were. All the Glasgow bands on Creation were indebted.
“I saw Arthur at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut a few years ago and it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. A young band and Arthur so charismatic – just the best tambourine playing and an object lesson in garage rock performance. It’s a shame he never really came to terms with Forever Changes, but if you speak to a lot of these guys about their legendary work, they have mixed feelings. It’s like Alex Chilton; to us the Big Star period means great records, but to him it means no money and no acclaim. Arthur, too, was a troubled man, but I saw him a couple of times recently and he looked like he was having a great time. I really hope that was the case.”

Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah represented the new wave of Arthur acolytes at the Doing It For Love benefit in June.
“Arthur was one of the greatest musicians America has produced. To do a benefit show for someone like Arthur Lee was an absolute for me, and the idea of recovery in my mind was optimistically an absolute. However ill I knew he was, I was shocked when he died. He’ll always be alive for me. You can feel the strength of personality coming off those albums. I love listening to the outtakes [notably, on Rhino’s reissue of Forever Changes], where you can hear Arthur demanding things from his band. Arthur Lee’s songs required such precision; he knew what he wanted and demanded so much. Then there’s the juxtaposition of that with the gorgeous melodies and songs about the intricacies of life, but always with an undercurrent of wild emotion and absolute sincere emotion. With any of Arthur’s records, they’re not immediate – he’s not gonna pop up on ya like a David Bowie – but keep going with him and you’ll be rewarded time and time again.”

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SEE YOU AT GREEN MAN15 Aug 2006

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The Green Man festival takes place this weekend (Aug 18-20) in the new and rarified environs of Glanusk Park, Usk Valley, in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. And, as proud sponsors of the event, MOJO will be on site to help administer good vibes. How? By giving away free stuff!

First of all track down one of the MOJO gang and demand your gratis commemorative Green Man/MOJO badge (be warned we only have a few, so get in quick!). Then enjoy MOJO’s Ice Cream Sunday. How? By turning up at Shepherd’s Ice Cream stand on Sunday August 20 between 12.00pm-2.00pm and blagging a free copy of MOJO magazine and a cornet from MOJO’s ice cream purveyor of choice. What could be simpler? See you there!

In the meantime here’s a reminder of the full festival line-up:

FRIDAY AUG 18
Main Stage: Donovan, Teddy Thompson, The Aliens, Circulus, Fields, Philip Roebuck, Josephine Foster, The Shortwave Set, Chris T-T.

Folkey Dokey Stage: Simple Kid, Gruff Rhys, Skygreen Leopards, Sol Seppy, The Television Personalities, Adrian Crowley, Elaine Palmer, Jesus Licks, Shoreline.

The Green Man Festival Cafe: A Hawk And A Hacksaw, James Blackshaw, James Green, Marc Meon, The Gentle Good, John Smith, Benjamin Weatherill, Wooden Spoon, Don’s Mobile Barbers.

SATURDAY AUG 19
Main Stage: Jose Gonzalez, Silver Jews, Micah P. Hinson, King Creosote, Tunng, Euros Childs, Quasi, Voice of the Seven Woods, Vito.

Folkey Dokey Stage: Keiran Hebdon and Steve Reid, James Yorkston, John Renbourn, Little Wings, Bat For Lashes, Misty’s Big Adventure, Aidan Smith, Nalle, Foxface.

The Green Man Festival Cafe: Malcolm Middleton, Jack Rose, Gareth Pearson, Brave Captain, Culprit One, Silky, Dan Arborise, Charlotte Greig, James Reynard.

SUNDAY AUG 20
Main Stage: Calexico, Bert Jansch, Adem, Archie Bronson Outfit, Juana Molina, 18th Day Of May, Woodcraft Folk, Cymbient.

Folkey Dokey Stage: Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Alasdair Roberts, Richard James, The Yellow Moon Band, Marissa Nadler, Merz, 9Bach, Fink, Shady Bard.

The Green Man Festival Cafe: Wizz Jones, Meic Stephens, Viking Moses, John Stammers, Andrew Hockey, Rob Sharples, Emma Tricca, Lord God, Onions.

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