Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Cary Grace - The Uffculme Variations CD (album) cover


Cary Grace


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 7 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Kozfest, which was previously known as Kozmik Ken's Psychedelic Dream Festival, has been an annual event since 2011, and in 2016 it took place at Bobbie's farm in Devon near Uffculme, hence the album title. This is Cary's first live album and featured a band who had actually never played together prior to that day, not even in rehearsal. They had all played with Cary previously, but amazingly this was the first time that Steffe Sharpstrings (guitar) and Graham Clark (violin) had ever shared a stage, despite both being in different incarnations of Gong over the years and knowing each other. The line-up was completed by Cary providing just vocals and EMS VCS3 (no guitar this time), her long-time collaborators Andy Budge (bass) and David Payne (drums) as well as Victoria Reyes (keyboards, vocals, percussion). Cary described the event to me as "a truly magical happening, and that at least 80-90% was completely improvised on stage. There were no rehearsals. Some tracks are based on pre-existing compositions, but not in any rigid way. The last track, "The Grand Theme of Things" was completely impromptu, with improvised lyrics, even."

Just taking a look at that year's line-up will allow people who have not previously come across Cary's music to be able to judge her by the company she keeps: Astralasia, Hawklord, Gong, Sacred Geometry Banned, Babal, Deviant Amps, Metropolis, The Azimuth Coordinator, The Glissando Guitar Orchestra, Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet, Zofff, Harvey Bainbridge, Sentient, Pfrp, PsiGong, Roz Bruce Infusion, Red Sun, Pure Mischief, Inspiral Trio, The Magick Brothers, Spiral Navigators, Kev n Gregg, Jackie Juno, Scgroovmachine, Ben Graham, Al Stokes, Dean Phillips, Mandragora, Glowpeople, Shom, Dubbal, The Tea Project, The Archetypes, The Trolleymen, Cary Grace, Paradise 9, Spiral Navigators, Nukli, Peyote Guru, The Sumerian Kyngs, Tanglemist, Andy Bole, Phaselock, Spacedogs, Black Light Secret, The Alice Syndrome, Schroedingers Cat, and Modulator Esp. I mean, what a list for anyone remotely interested in psychedelic and space rock.

In David and Andy, she had two musicians who had been working with her for years, who were able to keep everything tight and controlled, which allowed all the other musicians to play around and through the music. At times everyone sits back and allows Steffe to do what he does best, mesmerise everyone with some astonishing guitar, while Andy and David just keep playing the same underlying melody to give him the freedom. There is no need for everyone to be playing at once, they are all into the music, feeling it, and then taking part when the time is right.

Of all her albums this the one which is the most tripping, and not surprisingly given the environment, and the audience reaction is that of people who are amazed by what is happening in front of them. The keyboards are incredibly important to the overall sound, and sometimes the major impact they have is that they are not being used at all. There are times when Cary pits her vocals against Steffe's guitar, others when she sings gently and melodic, and many others when there is no need for vocals at all. Possibly this is not the best place to start investigating Cary's music, but for those who have already become fans then this is enthralling.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this CARY GRACE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.