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Here & Now - Live In London CD (album) cover


Here & Now


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.09 | 3 ratings

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4 stars HERE & NOW - a band with a wide history - grew out of loosely celebrated festival jam collaborations in the early 1970s, closely related to Daevid Allen's GONG family. Musicians randomly came in and left, as it was usual, operated under several aliases and for different band incarnations, just to mention Planet Gong or Ici Maintenants for example. Thus the floating membership must have played a part in contributing to the band's name necessarily. Well, this is a brand new album, released on 4Zero Records, offering one of the later band performances, which still shows Stephan Lewry, better known as Steffe Sharpstrings, in the line-up on guitar - a benefit per se.

Keith Bailey (bass, vocals), another original member right from the beginning, still holds up the band today - and he's carrying it to extremes by the way, while being busy in variating his aliases over the years. Next is drummer Steve Cassidy, mostly around since the recordings for their last studio album 'Ufoasis' in 1994, currently though working with Steffe under the moniker Sentient; they have their debut in the pipeline already. 'Live In London' - what a classic unique title :-) apropos - has been recorded in 2007 at Dingwalls, Camden Town ... except the fine Intro though, which was captured some years before with Joie Hinton (ex-Ozric Tentacles) on synths. I would say a typical gig opener initiated by a spheric flow, as for that surely useful for the sound fine tuning task.

The songs appear in a more purposeful, compact, structured outfit, vocals are very present, the jamming component is not that dominant, as one might expect probably. Some excerpts from 'Ufoasis' are given, the raggae/dub tinged Telly Song, the heavy space rocker Rattle The Cage where guitar and drums are shredding the scenery in between, and also Love Of This World with variating organ and synth work, contributed by Howard Scarr aka Gwyo Zepix - the fourth band member this evening. The rest of the songs seem to be new or at least previously unreleased. For example the fantastic Touched ByTime which caught my attention soon - a favourite here - groovy, variating pace, for me a perfect example when it comes to the musicians' interaction.

I would call up the instrumental Moonrise in the same way - representing Steffe's soaring guitar style in a perfect manner first and foremost, but one should also have a good ear for the sensitive drumming and spaced out synths. Crazy Lives on the other hand sounds close to a collaboration of Groundhogs and Jimi Hendrix. Here and Now - Hear and How - Near and How ... ??? ... some pun required? ... we are trying to find truth in the world ... okay, a valuable approach - in any case the album finishes with the ultimate band hymn, guitar and synths are going wild here.

But then comes 'We will see you in about half an hour ...' - oh, an announcement for the second set? Yes and no, albeit they will return back to the stage soon, as Planet Gong including Daevid Allen. I'm quite sure this must have been recorded in the same way, eh? Makes me curious anyhow. Sound quality on 'Live In London' is excellent, nothing to complain about, you can hear a fat groovy bass and powerful drums as for the driving force, lively guitar as well as synths are completing a magnificent menu overall. This album is a big recommendation to lovers of heavy space rock music.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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