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Pays : England
Genre : Scene Canterbury
Dates : 1966 - 1976
URL : cliquez ici
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Few English bands from the mid-60's had the mystique of the original Soft Machine. Several have acquired it in retrospect - the Soft Machine actually had it (albeit uninternationally) at the time. They may have lost it in time (through musical self indulgence) but there is no denying their place in the cultural history of 'those days'.
The Soft machine formed in 1966 but their story starts several years earlier at the Simon Langton School in Canterbury, whose pupils at the time included Robert Wyatt, Mike Retledge and Hugh Hopper - all of varying ages, but sharing a common interest in jazz. Much has been made, over the years, of the idyllic and liberal atmosphere of the school and its influence on a Canterbury supposedly on the brink of turning into a kind of English Haight-Ashbury. But Robert Wyatt has since dispelled the myth by saying: 'It was an extremely dull grammar school and I can't remember a single stimulating thing about Canterbury.'
Around this time Wyatt and Hopper met a genial Australian by the name of Daevid Allen. Aged 21, Allen was a fully fledged beatnik - he knew and had worked with William Burroughs and the then unknown Terry Riley in Paris; He had taken LSD and had long hair. With Hopper playing bass and Wyatt learning the drums, the three of them performed occasionally as an avant-garde trio but spent much time in Paris, on Allen's houseboat, working on tape-loops with all manner of new delights.
By 1964, with the Beatles and the Stones sweeping all before them, Canterbury was developing its own healthy music scene. At the center was a group called the Wilde Flowers, the initial line-up of which comprised Hugh Hopper, his brother Brian on saxes, Robert Wyatt, Richard Sinclair on guitar and Kevin Ayers - who had been recommended because he was the only other long-hair in Kent - on vocals. The Wilde Flowers played a strange mixture of R&B, soul and experimental jazz. The band continued in various incarnations until mid ...
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