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JUNE 1ST,1974

Kevin Ayers

Canterbury Scene

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Kevin Ayers June 1st,1974 album cover
3.07 | 39 ratings | 6 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Driving Me Backwards (ENO) (6:07)
2. Baby's On Fire (ENO) (3:52)
3. Heartbreak Hotel (CALE) (5:19)
4. The End (NICO) (9:14)
5. May I (AYERS) (5:30)
6. Shouting In A Bucket Blues (AYERS) (5:07)
7. Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes (AYERS) (3:27)
8. Everybody's Sometime And Some People's All The Time Blues (AYERS) (4:35)
9. Two Goes Into Four (AYERS) (2:28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Kevin Ayers / Bass, Guitar, Vocals
- John "Rabbit" Bundrick / Keyboards
- John Cale / Keyboards, Viola
- Brian Eno/ Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals
- Ollie Halsall / Guitar, Piano
- Archie Leggett / Bass
- Nico / Harmonica, Marimba, Vocals
- Mike Oldfield / Bass, Guitar, Vocals
- Eddie Sparrow / Percussion, Drums
- Robert Wyatt / Percussion, Drums, Vocals

Releases information

Island ILPS 9291

Reissued on CD

Recorded with other artists John Cale, Nico, Eno. Principal artist indicated against each track. Recorded at the Rainbow Theatre, London, June Ist 1974 on Island mobile. Produced by Richard Williams. Tracks 1and 2 written by Brian Eno; 3 by Mae Axton; 4 by the Doors; 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 by Kevin Ayers.

Record is an edit of the complete show and is Ayers only live performance captured on official 12" vinyl format. Its release on 28.06.74 made it the quickest ever release at the time, only 28 days after the event.

Thanks to Hendrix828 for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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KEVIN AYERS June 1st,1974 ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (53%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KEVIN AYERS June 1st,1974 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Can be titled as Ayers and Friends, we hold here one of the most unique and bizarre experimental line-ups ever, but it is only partially successful. And believe me this album holds an even more stellar cast than the four big names of the title. A bizarre mix of the Velvet Underground and Soft Machine arbitrated by former Ayers collabs, this album makes certainly for a worthy listening experience. This album can be seen as one of the best example of Art Rock

The opening track is greatly underlined by John Cale's great violin and a solid intro as well as a highlight of the album. Equally interesting although a bit nerve- shattering is the Baby's On Fire with its cringey guitars. An odd-beat rendition of Presley's Heartbreak Hotel follows, but if interesting, it is rather unsettling and holds no real correlation with the original. Those of you aware od Belgian band dEUS, will note that they certainly listened to this track intently at some point in their lives. However the Doors cover The End is rather overlong and IMHO a real bore past the initial surprise, Nico's voice not paying homage to the original singer's voice. Eno's minimalist arrangements of this tune are very reminiscent of Terry Riley's A Rainbow In Curved Air.

The second side starts with a selection of three of Ayers's better known tunes (although not my favorites) of which May I holds one verse sung in French (Ayers was coming back from southern France back then). A slow and acoustic blues, is rather boring and seems top be an awful waste of vinyl time given the superb line-up at hand in this concert especially when the original studio version is so much more interesting. The closing track Two Goes Into Four goes back a bit to the first side but is ended abruptly and leaves the listener a bit frustrated.

This one time only formation had tremendous potential and started quite well, but seemed to run out of steam halfway through the album. Please note that this is one of the last albums Wyatt played drums on, as his accident will happen soon after leaving him paraplegic. This album is at the image of Ayer's career: very uneven and should be approached with caution by progheads. I rounded it up to the third star.

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

After the release of THECONFESSIONS OF DR DREAM, it was time for KEVIN AYERS to promote on the road the new album.Instead of touring solo, KEVIN or the brains at Island records (depending who you ask!) got the good idea to organize a mini-event where KEVIN AYERS would be the main star, but also other artists from the record company would be joining on stage to promote a few of their own songs. This would be a 3 date ''mini-tour'' event playing in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

''Coincidentally'', the 3 guest stars were just releasing at this time their own records. ENO freshly debarked from ROXY MUSIC had just put out the excellent HERE COME THE WARM JETS. JOHN CALE and NICO both from the VELVET UNDERGROUND came out respectively with ''FEAR'' and ''THE END''. The four of them, all recent signees from Island records, were all at the same popularity level. Everybody in the prog community knew their names, were well respected, but they had yet to reach the next level of success ,even within the rock world where they were more ''cult'' artists than the popular ones.

At least, ISland records believed in them and did their best to help their respective careers. The music the foursome was playing was not really full prog, but is better classified as Art rock. This is not about instrumental virtuosity or jams or long suites, this is just about songs, but songs with a twist ,definitely not mainstream rock. Songs which reflect the complex personalities of their authors, often tormented souls or exhuberant characters like KEVIN AYERS.

Not only, these concert evenings had a ''star'' appeal with those 4 names, but everybody made sure it would be a success as more stars were asked to join to help.RABBITT, ROBERT WYATT and the very successful MIKE OLDFIELD came to make sure the event was a success. ENO, CALE and NICO would open the show for KEVIN AYERS who would provide the meat of the concert with a dozen tracks. The concerts would all be played ''sold out'', but we are not talking about stadiums here. When we say ''sold out'', it means 3000 people in the attendance. But that was not bad anyway!

On the LP, ENO with 2 songs. CALE and NICO with one each took the first side and KEVIN AYERS got the second side all for him. That was perfect as they are also very different artistically. The 3 guest performances are very dark, moody and even sometimes creepy when the AYERS songs selected for this recording are well more upbeat and joyful as one would expect.

I do like the ENO 2 songs as they are my 2 favorites from his first album, especially the very dark athmospherique DRIVING ME BACKWARDS where ENO is more groaning than singing; a very powerful rendition complete with a CALE creepy violin that gives me goosebumps everytime i listen to it.BABY'S ON FIRE is more ''conventional'' rocker, but as this is still ENO, it holds its own weird character,sure to never reach the top of the charts.

JOHN CALE follows with another weird piece of music covering the famous rock and roll classic HEARTBREAK HOTEL from....ELVIS PRESLEY. I don't know if ''the king of rock'' ever heard this version, but if he did, i am sure he was in for a schock! This is barely recognizable from the original as JOHN CALE put a very, very depressing spin on this song.He is not singing, he is almost crying ready almost to commit suicide. ENO is not helping either adding a gloomy soundscape with his synth. Some may not like it, but i do...when i am in the mood.

Looking at the next number, you know already there is no chance of spirit uplifting as we go deeper into darkness with a haunting THE END cover from the DOORS. Nico sounds as ''joyful'' as CALE earlier, singing only accompanied by a very creepy soundscape played by ENO synthetiser :a very 9mn minimalist interpretation that could be featured on any horror movies.

Knowing KEVIN AYERS, we had the idea his part of the show would be definitely more of a upbeat performance as KEVIN was never known to be an artist singing about depression and gloom. The sun shines hard usually in AYERS material. KEVIN AYERS selected (or maybe the staff at Island record) 5 songs out of the dozen he played this particular night. And that's where i have some problems with the track selection. I know everybody has their own favorite tracks, but some of the ones chosen for this recording never have been part of mine.

MAY I is a good start , a typical sweet ballad from his second solo album SHOOTING AT THE MOON, a typical AYERS tune with a verse sung in French as there are 2 studio recordings of this song, one in English, one in French. However, the next 2 tracks SHOUTING IN A BUCKET BLUES and STRANGER IN BLUE SUEDE SHOES are rather kind of pedestrian compositions that have nothing to do with prog or even art rock . Not that they are bad, but it's not, at least for me what we want to hear from KEVIN AYERS. I know these 2 songs are part of his shows staples, a lot of his fans like them, but i could see ...THE ROLLING STONES performing them. Just imagine JAGGER voice over them and tell me.

Things get better with EVERYBODY'S SOMETIME AND SOME PEOPLE'S ALL THE TIME BUES that includes a wonderful MIKE OLDFIELD guitar solo and TWO GOES INTO FOUR from his last LP CONFESSIONS OF DR DREAM, 2 great songs representing the ''real'' KEVIN AYERS. This is sad that the track selection was not better as Kevin performed this night also WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING, INTERVIEW or the great part 4 of the suite CONFESSIONS OF DR DREAM. I would have prefered songs like TOWN FEELING or THE LADY RACHEL, but that's just me.

We were in 1974 now and our stars on this recording had to promote the new material and that's understable. ENO with BABYS ON FIRE or AYERS with SHOUTING IN A BUCKET BLUES were trying at least to get some minor hits, not that it happened but at least they somehow widen their fan base.And they all have a good time together.That's what counts!

JUNE 1 1974 is a good album, every fan from the quartet should have in their collection, but i won't say it is essential for everybody. i have to be honest! This is not a turning point of prog music, but it's always enjoyable to listen to, at least for me.


Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Spots of ACNE

A month after the release of 'The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories', Kevin Ayers gathered together a small group of friends and friends of friends for a one off gig at the Rainbow Theatre in London, UK. These friends happened to be well known musicians in their own right, thus creating significant interest among fans. The other musicians credited here are Nico, Brian Eno and John Cale (The album is actually by the four artists collectively), but Mike Oldfield, Robert Wyatt (only recently returned to drumming following an accident which left him paralysed from the waste down; he could no longer use his feet when playing drums), Rabbit, and several others also played. That the gig went ahead at all is in retrospect quite surprising, with Ayers having reportedly been caught in bed with Cale's wife the night before!

For the purposes of the album, the set is split into two halves, with the latter part being assigned to five songs written by Ayers. The Ayers songs are taken in chronological order from his releases up to that point, including two from the current album. One further Ayers song, 'I've Got A Hard-On For You Baby" was played live but not included on the album (perhaps withdrawn at the last minute?).

Before we reach the Ayers led set though, we have a couple of Brian Eno songs and a couple of cover versions. The Eno songs are not from his Ambient catalogue, but from his first solo album 'Here come the warm jets'. '"Driving Me Backwards" is a slow, tedious tuneless dirge of questionable musical integrity. 'Baby's on fire' is rather tastelessly about a baby on fire during a photographic session. Musically, the song has the tones of Roxy Music, but here it is devoid of the Robert Fripp guitar solo on the studio album.

John Cale takes lead vocals for the cover of Elvis's 'Heartbreak hotel', which turns the song into a plodding and rather disturbing affair. Nico's time in the limelight is heading up a nine minute performance of The Doors 'The end'. Given that the song is really a vehicle for the late Jim Morrison's personal indulgences, this seems an odd choice here, and despite Nico's fine voice tends to outstay its welcome by some distance.

The Ayers' set kicks off with 'May I' from his second album 'Shooting at the moon'. For me, the highlight of the track is the keyboards contribution of John "Rabbit" Bundrick, who plays on all the Ayers songs here. Ayers is in full Leonard Cohen style vocally, but sounds good nonetheless. 'Shouting in a bucket of blues' (bizarrely mis-titled 'Standing in a bucket of blues' on the CD cover) is the first song on the entire album to give the audience something to move to. "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes" is in a similar vein, the two tracks being at odds with the mood of rest of the album.

The last two songs are from 'The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories'. "Everybody's Sometime and Some People's All the Time Blues" features a fine lead guitar solo by Mike Oldfield (who receives a name check), the song being a melancholy blues. The album closes with the brief but atmospheric "Two Goes into Four", a song featuring Ayers voice and acoustic guitar only, prior to the big ending

In summary, an album which fails to live up to the expectations placed upon it by the all star line up. Kevin's set is adequate but brief, while the other four tracks are largely forgettable.

Latest members reviews

4 stars ENO, Cale, Nico and Ayers in one album... Oh my God! It is true that this Edit version of June 1st, 1974 concert at Raindow Theatre (London, UK) is great. 2 songs of Brian Eno are the start of this album: good start, with good feelings and magic. John Cale's "Heartbreak Hotel" not have the sa ... (read more)

Report this review (#414597) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Saturday, March 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars An inebriated Wyatt fell from a third floor window on 1 July 1973, during an alcohol fueled party for Gong's Gilli Smyth and June Campbell Cramer (also known as Lady June) at the latter's Maida Vale home. If this concert was recorded on June 1st 1974, Wyatt could not have played drums on it, he ... (read more)

Report this review (#164490) | Posted by fabiofrizzi | Thursday, March 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Really: 3.5 stars were it possible. This is an odd one. I say so because it is no way a 'conventional' record in that it is a live concert of a one-off gig of avant-luminaries. Thus, there really isn't much to compare it to. I am prompted to do so because I saw that there was only one exist ... (read more)

Report this review (#73353) | Posted by warmjets | Tuesday, March 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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