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Daevid Allen - Bananamoon CD (album) cover

BANANAMOON

Daevid Allen

 

Canterbury Scene

3.16 | 38 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
4 stars ESSENTIAL LISTENING FOR GONG and SOFT MACHINE FREAKS!

This album (with its splendid cover picture) has long been a favourite of mine. If you enjoy Daevid Allen's Gong, you shouldn't be without it. In my opinion it's even more fun than CAMEMBERT ELECTRIQUE, while its original A-side is as brilliant as FLYING TEAPOT (despite the absence of Tim Blake or Didier Malherbe).

BANANAMOON is a predominantly electric album. It seems to have been written and performed in a VERY good mood, and its high spirits are infectious. The opening track, featuring out-of-control drumming by Pip Pyle and ditto lead guitar by Allen himself (I think) sets the pace. The only truly melancholic moment on the album is track No. 2: the definite performance of the lovely Soft Machine ballad 'Memories', featuring Robert Wyatt on vocals and drums, sensitively accompanied by Daevid on rhythm guitar and by Archie Legget on bass. Until BANANAMOON appeared, this song had never officially been released. To my mind, it's as good as anything on the Soft Machine's first two albums. (Which is saying something!)

The album continues with the far out 'All I want is out of here', which sounds just like a performance by Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. Spirits are raised even more by the faux-Bluegrass of 'Fred the Fish', which has Daevid singing about packing his bags for Australia. This two-and-a-half minute track alone is worth the price of admission.

But even greater stuff is to follow, as the original A-side ends on a hilarious parody of a typical Kevin Ayers-type ballad. Daevid sings in the lowest register he can manage, and he's even borrowed two of Kevin's original backup singers. Fabulous. All that's lacking is one of those pristine Mike Oldfield guitar solos - but they would have prettified BANANAMOON too much.

In fact, this album's forte is that it sounds so spontaneous, and so delightfully messy. Especially on its original B-side, which opens with yet another cheerful rock dittie, 'Stoned innocent Frankenstein', seguing into the all-out psychedelic/space-rock assault of 'And his Adventures in the land of Flip'. 'I'm a Bowl' forms a thoroughly Canterburian conclusion: childlike and whacky.

fuxi | 4/5 |

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