Amougies (Belgium), Actuel Festival
26 October 1969
source: audience recording (mono)
1. Place Of My Own (5:35)
2. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (7:36)
3. As I Feel I Die (4:45)
4. unknown (7:26)
5. And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don't Worry (7:55)
6. unknown (6:11)
7. Magic Man (6:34)
8. Feelin' Reelin' Squealin' (8:32)
9. Where But For Caravan Would I ? (11:33)
Pye Hastings - guitar & vocals
David Sinclair - organ
Richard Sinclair - bass & vocals
Richard Coughlan - drums
Frank Zappa - guitar (2)
This is a reseed of a set I picked up here 3 years back.
At the time it seemed most Caravan that was around live was from later line-ups.
The material I really like by the band is on the first 3lps, I think they're more psychedelic at this point. They do show elements paving the way for prog, but there's something about proto-prog ( if people still use that term) that I find more promising than later fullblown prog.
The roots of Caravan lie in the Canterbury band The Wilde Flowers that also gave birth to the Soft Machine. As with Soft Machine there are jazz elements in the band's sound but Caravan also have folk/classical leanings that combine with the melancholy in singer Pye Hastings vocals to great effect.
So finding this live set from 1969 was a bit of a godsend. On this night, part of a Festival organised by the Actuel record label, they are joined onstage by Frank Zappa. I listened through this set last night and was amazed by the near Detroit level dunt in the second track here. I was thinking the band are normally a lot more pastoral. Only later did I see info about that being the track where they were joined onstage by Zappa .
Zappa had originally been supposed to be MC for the first few days but his minimal amount of French combined with the audience's minimal ability to understand English led tothis idea being scrapped. He went on to guesting on guitar with several of the acts instead.
The festival had originally been supposed to be held outside of Paris but permission was not forthcoming so was instead held on ground just inside Belgium.
When this was upped in 2007 it came as part of a series of the recordings from the festival. I'm not sure if I have any of the others, if I find them I might up them at some point in the future.
the original linernotes are included and other than the above blurb this is reseeded as originally downloaded, except for a quote from an interview with Richard sinclair I added
"Zappa & Caravan at Amougies, an extract from an interview with vocalist/bassist Richard Sinclair; Interviewer: Do you recall jamming with Frank Zappa? Sinclair: That was later, at the Actuel Festival in Amougies in Belgium, in a big marquee that held about five thousand people. It was a double, round-ended tent with a big gantry through the middle. The Festival was compered by Pierre Lattes, who was a radio presenter. On the bill were artists like The Nice and Archie Shepp. It was like a whole job lot. I?ve still got the programme. That?s where I first saw Gong. On the day that we played they had The Nice, East Of Eden with Dave Arbus, the violinist who still lives in Canterbury [the town Caravan were from], The Band, and Zappa was there to play with everybody. Just before the concert got going he spoke to every group that he?d seen doing a quick rehearsal. He just said ?Hello I?d like to play with you for about ten minutes, have you got a tune that could work with us?? I think Pye [band member] suggested that we play ?If I Could Do It All Over Again?. We made it last ten minutes and he played a solo on it. He was quite a small man actually and he looked very stoned indeed, but actually he made a good job with everybody he played with. I remember him climbing onstage with us and it was like someone putting in the handle to start up a vintage car engine. He just wound it up and it was amazing, just incredible. We were just playing a 7/4 figure over a small amount of chords and Dave was rocking it up. It was really good. The band that played before The Nice, Germ they were called, were like a 15 piece, maybe more, and they did an ?experimental? bit of entertainment. Amongst all of this Rock & Roll and Jazz they played one note for thirty minutes and it disturbed the audience so much! They were just going ?Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr?, all one tone, all of the lot of them. In total contrast to lots of notes and rhythms it was just one note with varying rhythms, droning on and on and the audience just pelted them and made them leave the stage. They pelted them with everything they?d got, cans and everything. The Road Manager of The Nice, Baz Ward, came shooting on stage and turned all the Marshall cabinets the other way so that all the speakers didn?t get broken because all the tins were hitting everything in sight. Then he had to dash off stage and hope the gear would survive. They had to wait until the audience had calmed down and then The Nice came on and everything was OK, but that was one of the highlights. It was like "What IS that?" Bang, Bong etc because they didn?t like one note being played for thirty minutes. Caravan: If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (7:55 Oct 26th) Pye Hastings (guitar & vocals); David Sinclair (keyboards); Richard Sinclair (bass & vocals); Richard Coughlan (drums) " ...namaste...b.