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Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom

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Here & Now biography
After untold earlier attempts, the line-up that was to define the shape of things to come finally gelled at the WATCHFIELD FREE FESTIVAL in 1975...
The line-up featured Steffe Sharpstrings (gtr) Twink (aka Paul Noble) (synthis), Keith tha Missile (bass) and Kif Kif le Batteur (drums)
Their first ever show was in the form of a free-floating, anarchical 6-hour jam in front of 15,000 people. Amongst the musical luminaries who joined them that night were ARTHUR BROWN (as in: "THE CRAZY WORLD OF...") and REEBOP KWAAKU BAH, the percussionist from TRAFFIC - whose bandleader, STEVIE WINWOOD, was watching avidly from backstage, along with VIV STANSHALL (of the infamous "BONZO DOG DOODAH BAND"), who would have joined in but was too paralytically drunk to climb the steps onto the stage - a star-crossed meeting indeed!
In 1976 the band undertook their first tour - "electrically busking" their merry way around France, and riding a crazy roller coaster that took them from extreme poverty to comparative affluence every couple of days - stopping at all points in between - and which lasted 3 months...
Their first show was in a circus tent near Versailles, after which they travelled south to pick grapes and play "anywhere that would take us". The tour finished up with a 5-night stint at the "CLUB GIBBOUS" in Paris and a live nationwide broadcast for "RADIO FRANCE" - which, to those who've heard it, offers some indication of the wild and unpredictable musical anarchy which was to become their hallmark.
By this time, they'd evolved a uniquely tight yet shambolically loose - but above all very powerful - style. Mike Howlett - then bassist with GONG - spotted them at a typically anarchic gig in Notting Hill's "Tabernacle" venue and recommended them to DAEVID ALLEN, erstwhile GONG leader, who was looking for just such an outfit to help him out with a "Space-Punk" project he had in mind...
Thus was the legendary "PLANET GONG" formed - a combination of DAEVID ALLEN and GILLI SMYTHS' subtle and mystical subversion and HERE & NOWS' in-your-face anarchism.
It was a deadly combination, and was - not unnaturally - massively successful, leaving behind a 250,000 selling album - "LIVE FLOATING ANARCHY '77" - and a legend which lives on to this day.
HERE & NOW went their own way from there on out - their fiercely independent attitude reinforced when DAEVID ALLEN had to pull out on the eve of the projected follow-up tour in spring '78 with a collapsed l...
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HERE & NOW discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

HERE & NOW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 31 ratings
Give & Take
3.98 | 9 ratings
Fantasy Shift
4.00 | 2 ratings
3.15 | 7 ratings

HERE & NOW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.76 | 5 ratings
What You See Is What You Are
3.56 | 8 ratings
All Over The Show
4.00 | 2 ratings
Been & Gone
4.20 | 5 ratings
Gospel Of Free
4.00 | 2 ratings
Coaxed Out From Oxford
5.00 | 1 ratings
Bristol Gardens
4.00 | 3 ratings
Wild And Free
4.00 | 1 ratings
Wild And Free Part Two
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rivington Pike (1)
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rivington Pike (2)
4.00 | 1 ratings
Oxford Poly
4.09 | 3 ratings
Live In London

HERE & NOW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HERE & NOW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HERE & NOW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Dog In Hell
4.00 | 1 ratings
End Of The Beginning
4.00 | 1 ratings
Standing Forever

HERE & NOW Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fantasy Shift by HERE & NOW album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.98 | 9 ratings

Fantasy Shift
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars The forgotten prog album by The Police

I had the most amazing experience here the other day whilst listening to this album. Sometimes music can illustrate brief encounters like nothing else. No words are necessary and you feel as if your entire worldview is reduced to mere chords and sonic ambiance. I'll get back to that at the end of this little write-up, but safe to say that this album not only challenges what most on here would consider 'prog', it also tattooed itself on my brain in the most ingenious manner conceivable.

Here & Now is probably best known for being Daevid Allen's backing band for his punk prog release 'Floating Anarchy'. It's a sonic fingerprint they carried on with them on their subsequent debut album named 'Give and Take' that also quite wonderfully bridged the two seemingly odd bedfellows in punk and prog. I remember when I first heard that album. To say it was a revelation would be a small understatement. It literally blew my socks off!

In finally getting hold of their second album 'Fantasy Shift', I realised just how closely knitted the group was with the punk scene. Not that they continued the path of spikey riffs and floating psychedelic Gong like sections, but moreover in the way they blossomed into something that from a very early stage influenced the young punks: Reggae! No, I haven't lost my marbles ( not that many at least - I still have some in me back pocket), I'm merely trying to explain the close ties these two genres of music had back in the day. The folks who frequented the now infamous punk nightclub 'The Roxy' were obviously into the prevailing fad of 50s rock n roll tunes played at the speed of light, but what many nowadays seem to forget is what the soundtrack to those days mostly consisted of. Yep reggae. In between sets there'd be dj's spinning all kinds of exotic bouncy music emanating from the lands of Bob Marley and Yellowman. When you think about it, that's probably also where The Police got their white-boy ska vibes from..........and incidentally also where Here & Now got their inspiration for this marvellous little record from.

The Police is actually not that far off soundwise, if you're looking for an easy parallel. While coming off decisively more adventurous, 'Fantasy Shift' still reminds me of what The Police would have sounded like had they spent the better part of the 70s jamming alongside the likes of Daevid Allen. It's easy on the ears, filled to the brim with hooks, memorable choruses, fickle ska rhythms and that oh so persuasive bass boom that feels as if it was lifted directly from an underground reggae band in down-town Kingston.

I love everything about this album - even the cover of Bowie's 'Man who sold the World' is delightfully fresh with all it's stuttering ska beats and melodic saxophone toot. There's a youthful exuberance running through the heart of this record that continues to make my head bop and my feat stomp. It's also an album you can spin with other folks in the same room (!!!!).....oh yes, I've even had females dancing to this one, and I hadn't even spiked their drinks.

Going back to the start of my review, here the other day I was walking through the streets of 'lborg Denmark - just chilling to this album, then decided to go for a wee pint in one of the more obscure bars hidden far away from the high street. I sat there with my beer and noticed this middle-aged Afro- American man looking at me from across the room. He looked like he needed someone to talk to, and I was obviously right in my assessment as he then approached me with a big smile on his face and a cold beer in his hand:

"Hey! I'm the invisible black guy! *laughs*" "Why hello there! Gotta say, you're doing a pretty bad job at being invisible. I saw you the moment I stepped in the door."

He laughed again and offered me his beer - trying his best to start a conversation with me. Those who know me well also know that you don't need to do much in order to get me talking, so I instantly welcomed him and commenced one of the most memorable conversations I've had in a long while. At one point he was on about vibrations and how they effect the human body, which I in turn mischievously directed towards music. He started talking about Daniel Lanois and how he once took the studio out of the studio and placed it in old wooden homes to get that warm and sensuous feel to it. He obviously had no hope whatsoever that I knew about the cat, yet I did and proceeded to talk about his collaboration with both U2 and Bob Dylan, and that then lead to more music and we ended up talking about his favourite bands such as Yes, King Crimson and a lot of the more well-known acts featured on this very site. "Wow" I said.... I think he said the same. He was so happy that he'd finally met somebody with the same taste in music as himself - hell even his first love, jazz, is something I adore like the beach bathed in sunset.

After he'd given me a huge hug, I went on my way with my earplugs safely in place, and this album returned in the most magical way. The dreamy 'Secrets' invaded my ears with it's No Wave synths and pensive drum work, and as I proceeded to walk down the street with the sun going down behind me, the music suddenly blossomed into this beautiful middle section and I had goosebumps rolling through my body. I stopped and looked up at the baby night sky and saw one single star shining oh so brightly. Just one. I thought to myself: this must be a coincidence and immediately thought of the friendly encounter I'd just had. What a coincidence though.....and what an album!

 All Over The Show by HERE & NOW album cover Live, 1979
3.56 | 8 ratings

All Over The Show
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Progressive Punk!

Every now and then there's a thread in the forum about progressive punk, does such thing exist? and who's playing it? well I always give this album as one of the best and fitting examples. Here & Now must be one of the most interesting and intriguing bands I have come to know, while the band's core style, which is psychedelic/space rock, is always present, the overall shape of the music can be very different and change pretty drastically by each year of their playing, their persistence on evolving and changing is very admirable. 1977 saw them collaborating with Daevid Allen on the legendary Floating Anarchy album and releasing their debut album Give & Take in the following year. Their style was mainly a mix between Daevid Allen's Gong and more long psychedelic improvisations with tasty synths and guitar playing, reminding me of how Ozric Tentacles would have sound if they had been recording in the 70's, this style is captured by many live albums released from that year. 1979 saw the band taking in pure punk and reggae influences while still keeping their space rock trademark, this can be seen in their singles released that year "Dog In Hell" and "End Of The Beginning". "All Over The Show" is one of the very few striking documents of their punkish influences from that period.

Their sound is not as slick and smooth like before but very distorted, powerful, raw and heavy (this is also due to the raw sound quality of the recording itself), I guess some would not appreciate how this recording sounds, but I myself have grown to like it, there are shows recorded when you can't hear the guitars or the vocals, but here the problem is that you can hear everyone, too much!! so the outcome is a little chaotic. The songs have taken a turn and now are relatively short, gone are the long improvisations (almost) and in comes very powerful outbursts of punkish space rock. Because of not releasing any material except for one album and two singles, like always is the case with Here & Now concerts, most of the show contains material that was never recorded or was improvised, only two songs were released before. The album starts with a bang, "Think For Yourself" is like beginning from the middle of the song, with everyone plus vocals bursting out from the speakers uncontrollably, it's a hard rocking punk song featuring a second guitarist playing with a slide, a very good addition actually, the slide guitar and synth really prevents from this song being too straight forward. "Open Door" is another exploding punk rocker with some ass biting guitars both from Bernie Elliott and Ol' Steffie. "70's Youth" is the only song appearing from their debut, and was massively overahauled, this rendition is a more ballsy short version of that trippy song. "Surgeon's Knife" is I guess the main piece here and of course the longest, clocking at over 11 minutes, it can single handedly sum up this show. The first half contains a relentless synth line over the pounding rhythm and it is quite straight forward but nice, it then calms down and changes to the best moment on this album I guess, a spacey long improvisation which evokes the first version of the band. This part really cooks with tasty synths from Da Blitz and some excellent guitars from Steffy, later on it picks up and becomes more hard rocking, Damn I like this one! The flip side is just a little progier, "Only Way" is a beautiful atmospheric and calm tune with excellent singing, which gives you a nice break from the pounding rhythms. The simply titled "Jam" is no more than an old fashioned powerful and upbeat jam, more hard rocking than spacey with very nice solos as expected from them. Very enjoyable.

I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone who's looking for a full on prog rock album, since the punk influences kinda keep it closer to the ground, but still I believe after a few spins the progressive features are starting to become clearer, because they are there. But I think any fan of the band might find this document very interesting in the overall evolvement of the band. 3.5 stars really but not enough to be rounded up to 4.

 Live In London by HERE & NOW album cover Live, 2013
4.09 | 3 ratings

Live In London
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

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.

 Give & Take by HERE & NOW album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.52 | 31 ratings

Give & Take
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by maryes

2 stars I will join to the 14% of collaborators that quoted this album with only 2 stars (Collectors/fans only). And I want say, that, even if PSYCHEDELIC/SPACE ROCK is not my favorite style of progressive music, I already checked good quotations for disks of the style, as for instance ELOY "Coulors" (4 stars), "Ocean" (4 stars) and INSTANT FLIGHT "Coulor & Light" (3 stars). However I cannot make the same to HERE & NOW (Give & Take"), although the disk presents great musical moments as for instance the guitar solo in the track 6 "Improvisation" that begins approximately 4 min, 48 seconds, however in this same track the passage that precedes the mentioned solo with a repetitive rhythm and with a vocal one feminine without t melodic sense, left me simply "displeased", as well as the initial passage of the track 1 "What You See Is What You Get ", only to mention some moments that didn't please me!. Although it recognizes the musicians' competence , I cannot give more than the already mentioned 2 stars.
 All Over The Show by HERE & NOW album cover Live, 1979
3.56 | 8 ratings

All Over The Show
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by beebfader

4 stars Ah the days when live music really was a gathering of like-minded souls determined to share their political frustrations and let it all hang out. What better soundtrack than Here and Now to the late 70's reaction against the new era of Thatcherdom, and anarchy as peace rather than the manufactured chaos of the Sex Pistols. Originally released in 1979 and newly reissued by Esoteric, it is a live album from 3 gigs on Here and Now's August 1979 tour. In those days they never charged admission to gigs, believing people should pay what they could afford, sometimes with amazing results according to the excllent and informative sleevenotes.

Their brand of `Floating Anarchy' was brought to a wider audience with a brief but brilliant dalliance with the Gong-meister Daevid Allen in 1977 before they took the ball and ran with it alone. This is a high energy live album very much in keeping with the new wave/punk spirit of the times. Songs about thinking for yourself, the crimes of the state against the individual are carried forth with gusto with the Hillage influenced guitar of Steffy Sharpstrings, and synth lines of Gavin Da Blitz to the fore, with spacy high energy jams their brand of dope rock found parallels with Steve Hillage's high energy approach to the end of the seventies' new found urgency.

With the band tight after "God knows how many tours of England" this is a reminder of just how central live music was to the cultural fabric of the UK at grass roots level a long way from the nightmares of corporate sponsorship. The music is direct, well played and the lyrics heartfelt. There's a sophistication beyond punk's 3 chords, a belief in self expression and communal living and search for a soloution to living in a country going through irrevocavable changes. It speaks of an alternative lifestyle of cheap dope, squat living, not having a television and helping each other through dark days by creating good times for yourself on a dole budget. It will of course be very nostalgic to those who were there living it, and really is a snapshot of the times. "It's the little getting busted on the street" indeed.

This new issue comes with a bonus pair of 7" tracks, a studio version of stand out track `End Of The Beginning' and the obligatory studio jam `Choke A Koala'. Ozric Tentacles would make a career out of carrying on the bloodline here, while Here and Now would continue to have their ups and downs, but as Keith Missile says "it really did change the people inside the bubble,and that is priceless".

 Fantasy Shift by HERE & NOW album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.98 | 9 ratings

Fantasy Shift
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by stuartbladen

4 stars Only 3000 copies ever pressed, I bought my copy of Fantasy Shift at a brilliant Here and Now gig at Oxford Poly in 1983, just after they made the album, and where they played it to an audience of around 500 students.

This was the second time I'd seen them - the first was in a field ! - and there was a real feeling (wrong as it happened) that they were going to break into the big time.

Fantasy Shift was a departure from previous recordings - much less punky and with stronger reggae influences. You could - if you were so minded - call it more commercial and lighter weight, almost frivolous. It still sounds fresh and quite simply put together compared to the much more processed music of today. Keith da missile Bass, Gavin da Blitz, and Dino Ferrari all feature and there are guest appearances from the inimitable Steffi Sharpstrings - and they are pretty good musicians, even despite the clown names.

What saves Fantasy Shift from being the failed commercial album are some brilliantly subversive lyrics, and some first rates tunes and beats. The Mega Number and Ways to be Free are simply fantastic, there is a surprising cover of The Man who Sold the World and not a single bad track.

24 years on, it has become an old friend and makes for happy evenings with happy memories. I've not rated it 5 simply because there's no point - you wont find it so it cant be an Essential for any collection and also because it's not quite serious enough in a genre (prog) where taking yourself too seriously is essential !! But it is an easy 4.5 and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers.


 Fantasy Shift by HERE & NOW album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.98 | 9 ratings

Fantasy Shift
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Tony Holly

4 stars Pleas note that Fantasy Shift has been digitally remastered from the original tape masters and has now been re-released by Chic Records. It is available at at a cost of 11.95.
 Give & Take by HERE & NOW album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.52 | 31 ratings

Give & Take
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by burgersoft777

3 stars A few cassette albums were in circulation before this or the 1977 floating anarchy LP but only among Gong fans perhaps one of these will surface in due coarse ( I must go through my old cassette collection) Certainly this represents their first studio LP. However this is a disappointing recording in many respects. As they moved away from free form space rock jamming around a theme and tried to become a more professional unit they lost a lot of their edge in my opinion. There are way to many vocals on this album and as they did not have a vocalist worth his salt this is a major problem. Kif Kif just doesnt do a good job. That aside the music is Ok here with some memorable moments"what you see " is almost a catchy number with a pretty good set of hooks. "nearer now" is quite a sad number but why I feel that way about it may not be obviouse on the surface. Here and Now are a very Niieve band at this point and still have illusions about a revolution and a alternative life style, this also makes this Lp quite hard to listen to in some respects. "fire of London" is a stab a doing a more gong like track but simply falls flat on its face. The vocals are OK but the sytnth was not good enough to achieve what they really wanted which was a Tim Blake like sound as it is the poor quality oscillators make the sound harsh and unpleasant."This time" This time I wont take no for an answer this time I wont take no LSD this time I'll try to work it out for myself man..This track may be the best number in so much as it starts the long road back down to reality that was so needed at the time. More punky and aggressive than anything else here it remains my favorite track on this LP. The rest of the record just seems to pas me by and is disappointing. As an example of an enthusiastic but armature band Here and Now certainly were one of the best of the working class groups on the Hippy circuit. More real in ever sense than Gong they shared a similar philosophy but instead actually live it out and played many free festivals and free tours. The strain of touring and living on a bus eventually got the better of them and later line up produced far more polished material. This record is worth buying as an example of the music of Here and Now at the time and a social document of Britain at the Start of the Thatcher era. Oh the LP also has a great little gimmick on the center label but I'll leave you to find out what I it !
 What You See Is What You Are by HERE & NOW album cover Live, 1978
2.76 | 5 ratings

What You See Is What You Are
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by burgersoft777

2 stars Not A Studio LP.

The Here and Now side brings together live versions of all of their Charley records single releases. Starting with the rather twee "What You See Is What You Are" Tis starts off with a some rather un-together girls singing but finally takes off and becomes a rather powerful pop song, There is of course an excellent and spirited guitar solo by Steffi and a rather badly delivered vocal by Keith the Bass, all held in place by some plodding but sound bass work. " Dog In Hell" how much is that doggy in the window the one that cries bonafide tears Kif Kif continues to wallow in his moment of stardom and wrecks yet another otherwise competent space rocker. this time the lyric is quite interesting and its only by bellowing it out that he manages to kill the feel. "addicted" end this poorly produced and disappointing side of here and now's music. I caught Here and Now many many times over the years and its true to say that at times they played some scorching space rock, most notably when given the opportunity to play through Hawkwinds PA at Stonehenge. When ever Kif Kif shut up and they just jammed they certainly would have given gong or hawkwind a run for their money. Later Kif kif left and they improved immeasurable as a live act playing sensible space rock with just a little prog twist. Other low points of this recording are the synthesizer burps pops and weals live they sounded OK but on this recording they are almost always miss-timed. Possible this was due to the home made nature of their synth. Steffi sharp-strings really was a great guitarist but the rest of the musicianship is only a littel above awful. Kif Kifs drumming is terrible throughout possibly because he was singing most of the time. The bass playing is a little better and that sexist on sax is actually quite good who ever he was. The ATV side is utterly unmemorable and is also badly produced into the bargain. A strange release in any case this is worth buying as a document of this period of Here and Now sadly it is neither there best period or the best recording. The Charley singles of this time are incredible hard to find and worth seeking out as they bring the material presented above into focus and although they also suffer from Kif Kif they are not half bad a must for serious Gong collectors as well as Here and Now fans.

 Give & Take by HERE & NOW album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.52 | 31 ratings

Give & Take
Here & Now Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must say that a previous reviewer gave the break-down of this album in detail, and I agree with what was said, but I dislike giving an album a rating without some banter.... The very first offering by Here and Now (that I know of) was actually 1977's 'Floating Anarchy' - a collaboration with Gong, where Space-Rock meets Punk. 'Give and Take' is H&N's debut release and really enjoyable. Very crisp production, and the musicians involved are bursting with energy ; the drummer is really good and he has a great sound, and the overall music incorporates Gliss guitar and fiery Hillage-like leads, bubbling synths, energetic bass and a sort of rebellious humour that works fine, not unlike Daevid Allen's ideals. A very consistent effort, with honourable mentions for 'What You See is What You Are' , 'Grate Fire of London' and 'Improvisation'. And for sure the Ozric Tentacles picked up something from this bunch of Space-Heads. Quite essential. 4.5 stars.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Angelo for the last updates

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