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Gong - French TV 1971-1973 (DVD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 4th July 2011

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST037DVD
Price: £10.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Gong - French TV 1971-1973

Gong came into being almost by accident in the late sixties when Daevid Allen was refused entry back into Britain following European dates with Soft Machine. Deciding to stay in Paris, Allen began working alongside Gilli Smyth and various musicians on what would eventually be recognised as Gong.

The first recognised recordings from the band were Magick Brother - Mystic Sister in 1970, followed by albums such as Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You. These last three albums followed the fortunes of Zero The Hero and told the tale of the pothead pixies, which was told over the course of the three albums and became the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy.

Shortly after the release of You in 1974 Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth left the band and Steve Hillage became the de facto leader although he also left in 1975 for a solo career. The band did continue in a more jazz-orientated direction, which was far removed from the original musical output of the band.

The material on the DVD features two distinct periods of the band's history with the earliest footage coming from an in the studio performance filmed in 1971 for French television. This is a rare outing and a rare line-up of the band, which during this session, featured Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Christian Tritsch and Laurie Allen.

The material featured on this DVD will also include further footage from 1972 and 1973. In fact there is good news for fans of the Angel’s Egg period as there is over twenty minutes of footage featured on the DVD. None of this rare footage has ever been made available commercially making this release a real treat for fans of Gong who in 2009 re-established themselves in both the live arena and the albums market.


'This DVD surely is an interesting package for all the Gong fans… The disc includes five different clips of early 70’s Gong freak-out that have been shown on French television. First, we’ve got about 25-minute-long, very interesting black and white documentary from autumn 1973 when the band was about to leave their commune in the middle of forest near Sens. We get to have a peak into the daily routines and weird rituals of the commune and hear how they run their chores and what occasional problems turn up when you live together with little money. They of course also believe that their mansion that hadn’t been lived in for twenty years is haunted and stuff like that… The locals only give positive comments about the collective. On this section we also see tracks ”I Never Glid Before” and ”I Am Your Pussy” and the going is really psychedelic.

Then we see a rarer track ”Never Fight Another War” in colour and this one was shot in the studio in January 1971 for the Pop Deux program. As usual, Allen talks pretty much nonsense in the short interview section and we get some more freaking-out too. The section filmed in May the same year for Jazzland is really psychedelic jamming and entitled “Dreamin’ It”. There’s also some violin on this one. The black and white video for the track “Dynamite” filmed outdoors in 1972 is guaranteed Gong foolery and finally we still get an amazing clip of the track ”Fohat Digs Holes In Space” shot at a live gig in April 1972 at Nanterre University. The DVD also includes a 12-page booklet about the early Gong written and illustrated by David himself. This is a must-have for all the fans of the band.' Santu Laakso, Psychotropic Zone

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