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Cary Grace

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Cary Grace The Uffculme Variations album cover
4.00 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Orange Sky (8:18)
2. Trouble (7:27)
3. Kozmik Eye (15:15)
4. The Uffculme Variations (7:17)
5. Cassiopeia, 2016 (11:04)
6. The Grand Theme Of Things (5:34)

Total time: 54:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Cary Grace / vocals, EMS VCS3
- Andy Budge / bass
- David Payne / drums
- Victoria Reyes / keyboards, vocals, percussion

special guests:
- Steffe Sharpstrings / guitar
- Graham Clark / violin

Releases information

CD/Digital Download Door13Music (2016 UK)
recorded at Kozfest 2016

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
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CARY GRACE The Uffculme Variations ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CARY GRACE The Uffculme Variations reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Uffculme!?? "... is a village and civil parish located in the Mid Devon district of Devon, England ...", that exactly is what Wikipedia recently returned when inducing a quick search. Well, admittedly I've never heard of that location before. Good to know that this connotes the homebase of the Kozfest actually. A three-day music event, taking place once a year, since 2011 at least, what I can see. Cary Grace had the honour to celebrate a gig there recently. And I really mean celebrate. Take your time in order to bring the cover pic into effect, this alone is good enough to express a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. To me somewhat symptomatic for a non profit event, where everybody on board will feel like being a member of a big family, just taken for granted.

Not an everyday occurence in these times, or what do you say? And this applies to Cary's live band line up at Kozfest as well. Besides the trusted longtime rhythm duo Andy Budge and David Payne on bass and drums Steffe Sharpstrings is participating, who took on a rather important role regarding the realization of her current studio album 'Tygerland'. Now due to Victoria Reyes on keyboards and Graham Clark (violin) the sound contrasts pleasantly with what I've heard before from diverse band incarnations. And really impressing, they are getting started with so much ease, as if they were coming together for 50 gigs a year or so.

Although definitely applicable Cary does not handle the guitar as far as I can see. Her passion - not a surprise really - goes for the analogue synthesizer, this somewhat similar to OSC's Dr. Space over the course, I would say. So the first sounds you can hear are typical twittering electronics which initiate a more singer/songwriter oriented Orange Sky, ideally suited to open this affair. Immediately the second part of the album title comes into realization, due to Graham's violin first and foremost. What definitely strikes furthermore is Cary's voice, amplified by some effects, ethereal, though crystal clear when it comes to the recording and mix.

Trouble runs next, a new song with Victoria dressing up, also Steffe is involved concerning the song writing. Somewhat different when it comes to the behaviour, claiming Hawkwind relations for some reason. And then ... the point of no return ... let's continue with some more spaced out excursions furthermore. Initiated by a groovy bass line they are entering the extended Kozmik Eye, a modification of a song from the 2008 'Projections' album. Similar to 'Windsong' too somehow, including slicing respectively soaring guitar again and again. This is very much Steffe's show. Nice, occasionally Graham substitutes a rhythm guitar with his instrument.

And Cary is continuously underway with diverse synthesizer variations, as well as some really beautiful vocal presence. Consequently you will recognize (standing?) ovations in between. In the context of the following title track this may define the highlight - savour the moment! Light years away from this [&*!#]ty mainstream stuff you're faced with, day by day. Cassiopeia then will make a time travel from the year 1572 to the present age, where the closing The Grand Theme Of Things is said to be a completely spontaneous song. An impressing performance of variations overall. So if you are not too far out, unfortunately I am :-( - please move your arse and attend one of her future gigs.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars UK based artist Cary GRACE first appeared back in 2004 with her debut album "Book of Rhymes", and have since been a feature in the UK rock scene issuing new material at a steady pace with six studio albums available so far. "The Uffculme Variations" is a live album that appeared in 2016, and unless I'm much mistaken this is also her first live production.

Those with an interest in psychedelic progressive rock and space rock will probably be rather familiar with the talents of Cary Grace already, but for those who aren't, and that tends to enjoy a live set where substantial parts of the concert comes across as having an improvised spirit present, could do a lot worse than tracking down this live album for their possible enjoyment.

Review by kev rowland
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.

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