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Canterbury Appreciation

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    Posted: February 25 2015 at 00:00
Originally posted by lady_rachel lady_rachel wrote:

Hi people, I need help
I might sound stupid but It's been years that I'm obsessed with the Canterbury scene and  I'm about to make a trip to Europe. Since the city is only one-two hours from London, I have this idea of actually visiting Caterbury. But It doesn't seem to exist any kind of structure, dedicated to what happened, musically, there.
I can't even locate the prog fans community there. I don't know if its me not looking effectively or people in Canterbury that simply just don't care (?)
Ermm
 
Maybe this will help......it explains the connection in some detail regarding why it's called the Canterbury scene.
 

There is debate about the existence and definition of the scene. Dave Stewart has complained at the nomenclature as he and many other musicians identified with the Canterbury scene never had anything to do with Canterbury, the place. The former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper, who lived in Whitstable, near Canterbury, said: "I think it's a rather artificial label, a journalistic thing... I don't mind it, but people like Robert [Wyatt], he in fact hates that idea, because he was born somewhere else and just happened to go to school here. In the time when the Wilde Flowers started we hardly ever worked in Canterbury. It wasn't until Robert and Daevid went to London to start Soft Machine that anything happened at all. They weren't really a Canterbury band [...] if it helps people understand or listen to more music then it is fine." [4]

Hopper's family, however, lived in the city and the Wilde Flowers did play many of their early gigs in Canterbury, notably at the Beehive Club, in Dover Street, and the city's various colleges. It was at a Students Union-organised event at Canterbury Technical College that Soft Machine gigged with Pink Floyd twice, before and after Floyd were signed to a record deal, and it was in a house in Whitstable (within the Canterbury City Council area) that Caravan went into rehearsal for some months before moving to London and a recording contract.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hellogoodbye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 23:20
I know them. We're god, happy accidents and Ridin on a Bummer are among my favorite albums. Fantastic and unclassifiable music. I admit that we can hear the sound of Canterbury there, but also all the harmonious and melodic madness of Frank Zappa.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayleur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 16:51
Listen to some of the earliest Rascals.
There is some pure organ-driven Canterbury sound there. Better than many of the origionals, I'd venture to say
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hellogoodbye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 13:47
Rascal is more RIO or avant prog than Canterbury, no ? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayleur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 13:15
Have US band, RASCAL REPORTERS been mentioned in these 18 pages?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lady_rachel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 12:51
Hi people, I need help
I might sound stupid but It's been years that I'm obsessed with the Canterbury scene and  I'm about to make a trip to Europe. Since the city is only one-two hours from London, I have this idea of actually visiting Caterbury. But It doesn't seem to exist any kind of structure, dedicated to what happened, musically, there.
I can't even locate the prog fans community there. I don't know if its me not looking effectively or people in Canterbury that simply just don't care (?)
Ermm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 18:30
Originally posted by Raff Raff wrote:

Though I agree with If I Could Do.... being the better album in many respects, ITLOGAP has the gorgeous "Winter Wine" (in my view, Richard Sinclair's finest hour as a singer). I also love "Nine Feet Underground", which in my opinion is a better "epic" than many other celebrated examples of the genre.


I love both... but you know.. my opinion has sort of flipped on this.  Do you remember how we would always follow the rare DT playings we do have, with If Could Do...   It was therapeutic hahah.  It was the for the longest time my favorite, but I think in the last few years my opinion has slid more toward In the Land ..  oh well.  Both great album albums regardless.


Edited by micky - January 23 2015 at 18:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 17:55
Though I agree with If I Could Do.... being the better album in many respects, ITLOGAP has the gorgeous "Winter Wine" (in my view, Richard Sinclair's finest hour as a singer). I also love "Nine Feet Underground", which in my opinion is a better "epic" than many other celebrated examples of the genre.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 17:54
Yea for Nine Feet I actually dislike the intro. The ending section is great though, yea. For some reason i really dislike the obvious change in the "semi-songs". The fade-out then just starting again kind of annoys me. I much rather have something more cohesive. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 17:52
Originally posted by Horizons Horizons wrote:

I know it has probably been mentioned and discussed in this particular thread, but I was curious on the general thoughts of In the Land of Grey and Pink by Caravan. 

I just finished posting a review of it and to sum up my thoughts on it 

"In the Land of Grey and Pink just falls flat for me. Their previous album "If I Could I'd Do It All Over Again.." is a dignified masterpiece, and my favorite Canterbury album, but I just get a sense that a lot of the magical melodies and Canterbury flair was all used up around the time of this record. A Side 1 plagued by monotonous compositions and a surprisingly annoying sound while Side 2 just can't keep the heat it builds up every so often, ending up with a semi-enjoyable but obviously 22-minute long composition. In the end I would recommend any other album from Caravan from their '68-'73 period."

Anyone else agree?
Can't say I agree, but you've put forth a well-considered opinion.  ITLOGAP for me is an album of great moments, but it's not my favorite album from them. (For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night is my favorite).  I'd say "Golf Girl" is fun but after 25 years of listening its charm has worn a little thin; "Winter Wine" is probably the best track, and a winner straight through.  "Love to Love You" is good but not great.  The title track is another favorite - working more on a folk level than a prog level, but good all the same.  That one gets by on its moodiness and whimsical lyrics.  The sidelong suite on side 2 I have mixed feelings about.  I really love the jam that starts it off - the first 5-7 minutes or so.  I think what wins me over is the constantly climbing chord progression - a Canterbury trademark.  It goes through an unnatural number of cycles or phrases before hitting home again for the cathartic chordal resolution.  But then the song just turns into a so-so suite of semi-songs.  I dunno.  I typically just listen to the first part and shut it off.  Anyway, overall, it's a good album, even a great album in ways (legacy-wise), but I don't put it on a whole lot compared to other Canterbury albums.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 17:51
Looks like overall we agree. 

I gave it a 3*
Mentioned the semi-failure of the 22minutes 
and prefer both of those albums heavily. 

mmm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LearsFool Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 17:47
It's as cute and groovy as any other classic Caravan album, but it doesn't grab me as much as Do It All Over Again or For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night. And I think switching from having several semi-long medleys to a single sidelong epic wasn't something they were the most cut out for. 3/5 for me, prefer the albums that bookend it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 17:41
I know it has probably been mentioned and discussed in this particular thread, but I was curious on the general thoughts of In the Land of Grey and Pink by Caravan. 

I just finished posting a review of it and to sum up my thoughts on it 

"In the Land of Grey and Pink just falls flat for me. Their previous album "If I Could I'd Do It All Over Again.." is a dignified masterpiece, and my favorite Canterbury album, but I just get a sense that a lot of the magical melodies and Canterbury flair was all used up around the time of this record. A Side 1 plagued by monotonous compositions and a surprisingly annoying sound while Side 2 just can't keep the heat it builds up every so often, ending up with a semi-enjoyable but obviously 22-minute long composition. In the end I would recommend any other album from Caravan from their '68-'73 period."

Anyone else agree?


Edited by Horizons - January 23 2015 at 17:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 16:43
Personally, I think the best Canterbury album released in a long time is Ut Gret's Ancestor's Tale (my # 1 album for 2014). Though the band are from Kentucky, they have truly made Canterbury's distinctive sound their own, and without sounding derivative.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was looking for this thread in order to post news about the third documentary in the Romantic Warriors series, wholly dedicated to the Canterbury scene. Micky and I had the privilege to attend a rough screening of the film at the end of December, and I can tell you that it will be a must-see for any Canterbury fan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LearsFool Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 16:18
Yes, it is excellent. A very fun listen, and a throwback done right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stool Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2015 at 07:29
Have you heard the new Gong album "I See You"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Utnapishtim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2014 at 06:10
Originally posted by Warthur Warthur wrote:

I think part of the reason pure "Canterbury" releases have become a little thin on the ground comes down to the way people categorise this stuff. To a lot of people, "Canterbury" denotes those projects which involved a particular set of individuals - the ex-Wilde Flowers crowd and their collaborators - and those groups who succeeded especially well at emulating them, so as the original Canterbury crowd age and get less active the natural consequence is that there's less releases which clearly and obviously fall into the "Canterbury" category.

It is possible to tease out a set of features that define a "Canterbury" sound, but these overlap with other prog subgenres a lot - lots of Canterbury groups presented a very particular take on fusion, for example. To my ears, there's a strong strand in RIO - especially groups which take their inspiration from Samla Mammas Manna or Henry Cow - of artists showing a strong Canterbury influence.

Hi Warthur. Yor opinion is really exhaustive and actually correct! 
What I'm searching for are not other bands that with no doubts had emulated what pioneers of Canterbury made. To play that kind of music needs of a certain "cohesion" with the sound, that inevitably become a sort of emulation. Try to think if someone would play RPI. To use its atmospheres and the texts so poetic and complex. How is it possible if not followed its musical canons? As Italian I can say that valid examples are Picchio Dal Pozzo and Homunculus Res (that I put in my Canterbury Scene folder) with no doubts. Examples where the complexity of sung in Italian in this kind of music are well masked. So actually is very hard, as you can say  to find bands in that style. Maybe will be impossible. 
I will follow your advice for RIO bands (a sub genre in which I am really a stranger) that I noticed some time ago but never listened to well.

Thanks for your opinion really precious! I would like to know your opinion for Homunculus Res if you have already listened to them.Thumbs Up

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Warthur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2014 at 05:19
I think part of the reason pure "Canterbury" releases have become a little thin on the ground comes down to the way people categorise this stuff. To a lot of people, "Canterbury" denotes those projects which involved a particular set of individuals - the ex-Wilde Flowers crowd and their collaborators - and those groups who succeeded especially well at emulating them, so as the original Canterbury crowd age and get less active the natural consequence is that there's less releases which clearly and obviously fall into the "Canterbury" category.

It is possible to tease out a set of features that define a "Canterbury" sound, but these overlap with other prog subgenres a lot - lots of Canterbury groups presented a very particular take on fusion, for example. To my ears, there's a strong strand in RIO - especially groups which take their inspiration from Samla Mammas Manna or Henry Cow - of artists showing a strong Canterbury influence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Utnapishtim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2014 at 03:54
Classical Canterbury is something special... with no doubts!

Enjoy them when you can...maybe you'll find new interesting Canterbury momentsThumbs Up
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