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Hugh Hopper - Hugh Hopper & Alan Gowen: Two Rainbows Daily CD (album) cover


Hugh Hopper


Canterbury Scene

3.77 | 48 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In the liner notes Hugh Hopper says "The first time I saw Alan Gowen playing was in London in November,1973. His band GILGAMESH amalgamated for a concert with HATFIELD AND THE NORTH-two drummers, two bass players, two keyboards, two guitars !" He goes on to say he didn't come across Alan again until five years later. Hugh received a call from Elton Dean who wanted him to join forces with Pip Pyle, Alan Gowen and himself to form a quartet that would eventually be called SOFT HEAP. Elton, Pip and Alan were rehearsing in Alan's front room in the south of London when Hugh set out to join them. He says "Thus it was that one day in January,1978 I arrived from Canterbury(i'm not making this up ! Priceless !) with my bass gear packed into the tiny Honda 600 I laughingly called a car(Alan and his wife Celia inherited the Mighty Honda from me a couple of years later) and started a friendship that became important for me both musically and personally. We had some great rehearsals. It was the first time i'd played with Pip as well as with Alan, and the rhythm section immediately developed a very tasty insanity..." Later that summer Alan asked Hugh to play on his new GILGAMESH record called "Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into". And of course he did. Hugh goes on to say "Meanwhile,by the end of 1978 I has stopped playing. Didn't even take the bass out of it's case for over a year. But Alan and I still got together socially and he never gave up hope on me as a musician. Two years later, when he saw the glimmer of interest rekindling itself in me, he gently suggested we do what was to become "Two Rainbows Daily"-just the two of us playing bass and keyboards, overdubbing parts to add colour if necessary, but not trying to make it sound like a band."

On the cd version there are five live tracks added which were recorded at a one-off concert in Bracknell a few months after the record was recorded. Hugh says "We invited percussionist Nigel Morris-he was the obvious choice to add for an improvising gig and also I hadn't played live with him since leaving ISOTOPE in 1976. We didn't rehearse at all-sometimes it's an idea just to trust everyone's musicality and let things flow. This was the last time Alan and I worked together. Two weeks after the Braknell gig, Celia called with the shocking news that Alan was in the hospital with leukemia. He died less than a year later."

So being a big Alan Gowen fan, this record and especially these live songs of his last concert are very sentimental to me. I owe Tom Ozric big time for all his recommendations, but especially this one. I don't know if it was their close friendship that made this record as good as it is, but this is one of those albums that goes beyond the music. It's almost as if Alan knew this was going to be one of his last records, so he made a masterpiece. As for the music, it is at times atmospheric, dark, intricate, uptempo, but above all it's beautiful. So beautiful.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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