257

Kevin Ayers And The Whole World: Hyde Park Free Concert 1970

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Kevin Ayers And The Whole World: Hyde Park Free Concert 1970 Thirty-eight years on, and Hyde Park Free Concert 1970 sounds like the kind of thing that would have present day festival goers running for cover from something other than the weather. In other words, it's a set of songs loosely jammed and punctuated by freakouts; a record of a moment in time when audiences expected something other than predictability.



They got it in abundance on this occasion. "Clarence In Wonderland" is punctuated by Lol Coxhill's always scintillating soprano sax and Robert Wyatt's drumming (despite being buried in the mix to a certain extent) driving the music forward. On "Red Green And You Blue," bassist Mike Oldfield—in those happy days before he inflicted Tubular Bells (Virgin, 1973) on us—serves the same cause, before Coxhill gets the chance to put out one of his patented solo inventions and the whole descends into a form of cod reggae, the sheer fun of which is beyond words.



"May I?" affords exposure to guitarist/vocalist Kevin Ayers's lugubrious voice, punctuated by Coxhill and the siren of a passing ambulance just to add period color. Again, Coxhill takes the music somewhere else over David Bedford's electric piano before the brief "Hat Song" gives him the chance to hold forth on the slide whistle.



"Did It Again," the same song known elsewhere as "We Did It Again," amounts to an English take on the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat (Verve, 1967), but with Wyatt providing something other than Mo Tucker's nihilistic drive.



In a setting such as this, "Why Are We Sleeping?" is not only a title but a debatable question, especially as it offers ups more of the same but with even more punk drive. The question becomes something more than rhetorical as the band freaks out, in what would have been the prescribed fashion under the circumstances; the result is a blast on a number of levels.



The sound quality here isn't extraordinary; it's the kind of thing that might get audiophiles sobbing. However, it's also a clear picture of how the music might have sounded on the day, and that's good enough.


Track Listing: Clarence In Wonderland; Red Green And Blue You; May I; Hat Song; Did It Again; Why Are We Sleeping?.

Personnel: Kevin Ayers: guitar, vocals; David Bedford: electric piano, organ; Lol Coxhill: tenor sax, soprano sax, Gibson Maestro, slide whistle, percussion; Mike Oldfield: bass; Robert Wyatt: drums.

Title: Hyde Park Free Concert 1970 | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Reel Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Signaling" CD/LP/Track Review Signaling
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Aquarelle" CD/LP/Track Review Aquarelle
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau" CD/LP/Track Review Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Morph" CD/LP/Track Review Morph
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.