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Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds asome new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks). Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is currently working on a book about rare albums for Gonzo Multimedia.
The show is broadcast on Miskin Radio every Sunday from 10-00-midnight.
PLAYLIST FOR THIS EPISODE
THE 1967 SHOW, ALMOST!
Strawberry Alarm Clock: Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow
Tintern Abbey: Beeside
John’s Children: Smashed Blocked
John Martyn Fairy Take Lullaby
Donovan: Three Kingfishers
The Velvet Underground: All Tomorrow’s Parties
Jimi Hendrix: The Wind Cries Mary
Jefferson Airplane: The Battle of You, Me and Pooneil (Live- Long Version)
The Tremeloes: Sunshine Games
Traffic: Paper Sun
The Smoke: Girl in the Park
John Martyn: Rollin’ Home
The Beatles: Within You, Without You
Higher Elevation: In the Diamond Mine
Kaleidoscope: Flight from Ashiya
The Accent: Red Sky at Night
Strange Mix: (Incl: Jimi Hendrix – EXP/ The Monkees – Band 6/ The Beach Boys – Fall Breaks and Back to Winter/The Doors – Horse Latitudes/ The Beatles Srawberry Fields Forever (Demo)/ Moby Grape – Naked If I Want To/ The Monkees – Don’t Call On Me / Lothar and the Hand People – Rose Coloured Glasses/ Love – Hummingbirds (Demo)/ Moby Grape – Rounder/ The Doors – Strange Days/ The Beach Boys – With me Tonight/ Jefferson Airplane – Embyronic Journey/ Jefferson Airplane – Today)
John Martyn: Who’s Grown Up Now?
Incredible String Band: Alice is a Long Time Gone
Consortium: Cynthia Serenity
The Syn: 14 Hour Technicolour Dream
The Beatles: A Day in the Life
REGAL WORM AND RELATED
Les Diablos 21-7-69
Vince Taylor: Brand New Cadillac
Pete Wylie and Wah: Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me)
…Native Hipsters: Mr Magic
Pure Reason Revolution: Bright Ambassadors of Morning
Regal Worm: Cherish That Rubber Rodent
Pink Floyd: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Ultramarine: Kingdom (Extended Mix)
Regal Worm 08 6-17pm The Aunt that Turns into an Aunt
Cocteau Twins: Musette and Drums
Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man: Mysteries
Beach House: Norway
Strange Mix: Inc. Olivia Tremor Control – Combinations/ Jimi Hendrix – Manic Depression/ Dao du Noize – You Suffer/ The Cardboard Lung – The Patient Lifted: Silver Lino/ Del Close and John Grant – Basic Hip/ Queen – Cool Cat/ Memory Tapes – Bicycle/ R.D. Burman – The Bullet Train
Regal Worm: Apple Witch
Kevin Ayres: Blue
Deepest Blue: Say Goodbye
Vera Lynn Goodnight Children Everywhere
This week Judy Dyble released what is possibly the most beautiful, poignant and touching video that I have ever seen for a pop song. It is a video for 'Wintersong' from her Flow and Change album, and was directed by an eminent Italian film director called Francesco Paladino. Since music has been made there have been love songs, and since the music video was first made there have been videos for love songs. But I have never seen one like this.Featuring Paladino's own parents, his mother in her eighties and his father in his nineties, this is a love story; a story of what love really means. Nothing to do with chocolate boxes and soft focus camera effects, this film shows his parents about their daily routine, when first thing in the morning his mother cares for his bedridden father, washing him, cleaning him, and cuddling him, but above all loving him. I defy anyone to watch this video without crying.I telephoned Judy for a chat about the video. Listen to the conversation HERE.
Keith Levene is certainly best known as one of the founder members of two seminal 1970s bands; Public Image Limited and The Clash. I got to know him recently, and I must say that he is a fascinating bloke, and I am off to London next weekend to film him. He left PiL in 1983 and what happened next is documented by Wikipedia. In the PiL article it claims: “Atkins, like Levene and Lydon, was a control freak, but Levene had the disadvantage of having repeatedly fired Atkins over apparent trifles, and of being incapacitated on heroin much of the time—so when conflict arose again, Levene was the one to go. An aborted fourth album recorded in 1982 was later released by Levene as ‘Commercial Zone’, which included contributions from bass player Pete Jones. Lydon and Atkins claim that Levene stole the master tapes.”, and in a separate article for ‘Commercial Zone’ they go into more depth: “In May 1981 PiL moved from London to New York City, but in October 1981 their American record contract with Warner Brothers expired and was not renewed. In January 1982 the British music press reported that PiL had tried to record a new album in New York with producers Adam Kidron and Ken Lockie, but split instead – this was promptly denied by the band in a press release the following week. "In May 1982 drummer Martin Atkins rejoined the band and PiL started recording their new studio album for Virgin Records at Park South Studios in Manhattan, with sound engineer Bob Miller co-producing. On 29 August 1982 new bassist Pete Jones joined the band in the studio, the new line-up played its debut concert four weeks later (28 September 1982 in New York City). During the second half of 1982 the band planned to form their own record label (Public Enterprise Productions) and license its releases to Stiff Records USA for the American market, but these plans never materialised. "In early November 1982 PiL announced the imminent release of a new single "Blue Water" and a six-track mini album You Are Now Entering A Commercial Zone on their new label. This did not happen, with the band instead continuing to record a full-length album at Park South Studios. "By March 1983 a new track "This Is Not A Love Song" was earmarked as a new single by the band, but PiL broke up when first Pete Jones and then Keith Levene left the band. The single "This Is Not A Love Song" (with "Blue Water" as a 12" single B-side, both from the South Park sessions) was released in Japan by Nippon Columbia in June 1983. Virgin Records released it in the UK in September 1983, where it went to no.5 in the UK single charts. "The remaining members, John Lydon and drummer Martin Atkins hired session musicians to fulfill touring commitments and carried on under the PiL name. "In mid-1983, in PiL's absence, Keith Levene took the unfinished album tapes and did his own mix. He then flew over to London and presented them to Richard Branson as the finished new PiL album for Virgin Records, but John Lydon decided to completely abandon the tapes and re-record the whole album from scratch with session musicians. This new version of Commercial Zone became This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get in 1984. "Levene decided to put the album out himself on the American market and on 30 January 1984 registered the label PIL Records Inc. for this one-off release. "The first limited pressing was heavily imported to the UK and European market. A second pressing (with the track listing changed around and a shorter mix of "Bad Night") followed in August 1984 in an edition of 30,000 copies, to compete directly with the official re-recorded album This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get. Virgin Records promptly took legal actions and stopped the distribution and any further re-pressings of Commercial Zone.” But according to Keith this isn’t the way it happened at all, and as he works on a reimagined version of the record, he described to me what actually happened. You can listen to our conversation HERE.
We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières - a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes:
As with Canterbury Soundwaves, a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon.I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up (i) repeating myself, (ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or (iii) becoming increasingly tangential. This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less expository – so no interviews, barely-listenable bootlegs, etc.
I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 features a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli).
And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we have brought you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?
EPISODE TWELVE: Something from one of Hugh Hopper's favourite albums along with a couple of things from his first solo album. Also Robert Wyatt, Matching Mole, News From Babel, System 7, Fred Frith goes Motown and a celebrity Kevin Ayers cover from the Royal Albert Hall last March. From the Canterbury of today: Ekoda Map, Bison Bonasus and Syd Arthur plus a couple of live semi-acoustic sets from semi-dormant prog-monsters The Boot Lagoon. And a surprise cameo from reclusive novelist-genius Thomas Pynchon.
Playlist for this episode
Mountain meets bioethics! Legendary Mountain drummer Corky Laing teams up with two internationally acclaimed philosophers (Prof. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala) in this joint effort that brings together '70s style music and contemporary moral problems of gene technology. 'Playing God' is a concept album. 'Playing God' is a musical metaphor for today's attempt to attain perfection. Musically the album covers many feels and approaches from soft ballads to riff-driven guitar rock, from meditative instrumentals to operatic melody lines.
At its core, the guitar-bass-drums combo is complemented with powerful singing. While Corky Laing, the drummer, is known - and his forceful, innovative and mesmerizing drumming features heavily on the album - 'Playing God' also introduces Corky Laing, the singer. There is such strength and depth to his voice that one can only wonder why the world has not, prior to this, known him as the lead singer he is. The main female leads are sang by Maya Paakkari (an entrancing raspy voice from Finland), Bonnie Parker (a wide-ranging singer from the band Tang), and Denny Colt (another voice of power and attitude from Tang). The album also features Eric Schenkman (from Spin Doctors) on guitar. 'Playing God' was recorded and produced in Finland and further benefits from the local talent of Finnish musicians, singers, and sound engineers. While 'Playing God' is a rock album, it is also a soundtrack to a rock opera. It takes the listener to tomorrow's world by introducing the small town of Happyville, where the people have enjoyed the benefits of genetic engineering for years without any thought. There's a man who sells science and parents seeking to perfect their children, there are difficult choices and the need to find someone to blame when things don't go to plan. The choices these people are making are not new, it is just that the tools available are more sophisticated.
'Playing God' is a study of the human condition. The themes of the rock opera are based on theoretical research, but the practical questions it poses are relevant to us all. 'Playing God' is something new. It represents a crossover between academic research and rock. The ethical and philosophical questions raised by modern biotechnologies are made accessible by using rock music as a medium. On the surface, the storylines are easy to follow, but they also lend themselves to deep philosophical questions about the future of humanity. Just enjoy the music - or allow yourself to be taken on a journey into your own moral convictions. In both cases, you will find something new amidst the familiar.A couple of days ago I gave him a ring at home, and we had a long chat about the project. Listen to our conversation HERE
Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds some new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks). Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is currently working on a book about rare albums for Gonzo Multimedia.
I have been in a peculiar situation here, because I have known some of the details of The Pink Fairies reunion for several months. Or, to be more honest, I knew that there was going to be one, and I knew who two of the members of the reunion lineup were going to be.But I didn't know anything else for sure. When extraordinary rumours started being posted on the internet, when one of the people I KNEW was going to be in the band denied it publically, and - above all - when the other one asked me to keep schtum about it, I realised that discretion was the better part of valour...
Last saturday, whilst putting the finishing touches to #64 of this august periodical, I was both hungover, and suffering from a horrible cold (which affected my performance far more than the hangover). But this didn't stop me from telephoning a secret number to speak rather croakily to Andy, Russell and Jaki from the band.Listen to our conversation HERE.
Galahad are an English Progressive rock band formed in 1985. They have released 8 studio albums, 4 live albums and 3 rarities collections. Over the last 25 years they have played with the likes of Pendragon, IQ andTwelfth Night. Galahad have performed their own shows and at festivals in Europe and North America, and have sold tens of thousands of albums despite never having had a major record deal. All releases are on their own 'Avalon Records' imprint other than some re-issues which are released in association with Polish label 'Oskar Productions'. In 2012 and after 27 years of existence Galahad released their first ever LP 'Battle Scars' in conjunction with Ritual Echo Records, on high quality 180 gram vinyl, in a gatefold sleeve, as a limited edition pressing of 300 which is already fast becoming a collectors item.
Stuart Nicholson talked about Galahad's early days: "...the band was formed just after the so called second wave of ‘Prog’ bands such as Marillion, Pallas, IQ, Twelfth Night, Pendragon etc. of Prog bands came to the fore in the early Eighties. They all started around 1978 – 1981 and we started in 1985 after the bubble had effectively burst, but didn’t really get going seriously until 1990 onwards. To be honest we really did play just for fun in the early days and weren’t really that concerned about record deals etc. It was only after playing with some of the bigger bands when we thought. Actually, we are just as good as these guys so why not give it a go..."
Galahad are releasing three EPs this year, and the arrival of the first one is imminent. So I thought this was a good time to ring up Stu Nicholson for a chat. Listen to our conversation here...
Lorde: Tennis Court Asha Bosle: Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Diwani The Open Mind: Magic Potion Stuart Masters: Bhakti Jah Wobble: Gone to Croatan Harpo Marx: Laura The Future Sound of London: Snake Hips Bill Nelson: Wildest Dreams/Contemplation Lorde: Ribs R. D Burman: Freak Out Music The Fut: Have you Heard the Word Stuart Masters: Heart Shaped Box Nirvana: Heart Shaped Box It’s a Beautiful Day: White Bird Sheila Chandra: Shehnai Song Stuart Masters: J.M. The Dragons: Food for my Soul Mogwai: My Father My King
A blast from Judy Dyble's pastI found this on Judy's Facebook page, where someone had found it on YouTube and posted it. It shows a very young Fairport Convention doing their thing back in the days when folk music was only one of the influences that had been chucked into their cultural melting pot, and the days of being the founding fathers of British folk rock were far in the future.Watching this video you can see where the people who described the early Fairport Convention as being akin to the British analogue of Jefferson Airplane were coming from. On a personal level it is weird to see this, because Judy on April 27, 1968 when the show was first broadcast is the spitting image of a girl called Sandra who I went out with when I was a student in the early 1980s.Weird huh?But my dears, it gets even better! This afternoon I had a chat with Judy about her memories of this - her first ever TV appearance - and other reminiscences of early Fairport Convention.Listen to our conversation here!
Auburn, featuring the lovely Liz Lenten are currently on tour with the legendary Jefferson Starship. We are going to see them next week at the Wolverhampton show, but decided that we wanted all the backstage gossip. So this afternoon, just after putting down the telephone on Judy Dyble, I gave Liz a ring.Listen to our conversation here.
Twink is one of the legendary figures from the British 'underground', and - after a career that has lasted just over half a century, and has included working with such people as Syd Barrett, Tomorrow (with Steve Howe), The Pink Fairies, Mick Farren and The Bevis Frond (amongst a whole slew of others) he is still active. Now a Muslim and living in Morocco, although he is soon to return to the UK, he is still writing and recording, and has recently contributed percussion to the latest project by Spirits Burning.He is someone I have always wanted to meet, and when I telephoned him, despite the technical problems caused by trying to talk to Morocco from a small cottage in North Devon, he was utterly charming, and I very much look forward to meeting him in person.You can listen to our conversation here.
EPISODE ELEVEN: This episode is dedicated to the memory of Richard Coughlan, Caravan's drummer since 1968, who passed away in December shortly before the last episode went out. The centrepiece is an hour of the finest live Caravan recordings I could find from '68-'75, and although Richard hardly ever played with anyone else, there are a couple of other relevant pieces included in this episode. Also this lunation: Soft Machine at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1970, Yusef Lateef in a club in 1964 Philadelphia, Terry Riley and Don Cherry in 1975 Köln, National Health in the South of France in 1979, a mystery ensemble playing a Kevin Ayers tune at an uknown location in space and time, new stuff from Bristol's Spiro and Canterbury's Koloto, Snarky Puppy, Spirogyra (the good one) and some quintessentially English musick from the 17th century
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