1 - IN CAHOOTS / St.Jean-aux-Bois, March 1998
A magnificent performance by the quartet version of the band - Phil Miller,
Peter Lemer, Fred Baker and Pip Pyle - in an intimate countryside venue. An
almost magical atmosphere, and a superb set of which versions of "Above And
Below" and "No Holds Barred" were particular highlights. That line-up
proved an invaluable opportunity to hear more of Phil's and Pete's great
2 - CANTERBURY MUSIC IN HARLINGEN festival / Harlingen (Holland), Sept.1996
Great memories, and not just musical ones. A week-end of Canterbury music
"at the end of the world" (or so it seemed to me arriving there after a
long train ride), with a particularly fine performance by the Hugh Hopper
Band (an unforgettable fuzz bass solo from the man himself, and stellar
soloing from fellow Frenchman Patrice Meyer), a great rendition of the
"R.S.V.P." material by Richard Sinclair and his band (Meyer again, Tony
Coe, David Rees-Williams and a Dutch drummer) and other surprises - Richard
performing old classics with Pleegzusters, the band of promoters Teatse
Vogelaar and Jacques van den Oever, and an uneven but at times really good
set by Stips, the new band of ex-Supersister leader (and ex-Nits) Robert
Jan Stips. Also a good opportunity to meet fellow Canterbury enthusiasts
Manfred Bress (Canterbury Nachrichten), Jasper Smit (CoCaCamp) and Mark
Deren (Radio Hermskeerk). And an equally unforgettable night... a glimpse
of the typically cold Dutch weather.
3 - GONG / London, The Forum, Oct. 1997
My first opportunity to see Pierre Moerlen play drums, and a first class
performance. The venue was great to start with, suitably psychedelic
atmosphere and crazy audience. The set of classic Gong material was largely
similar to the one I'd heard a year before at Paris' Bataclan, but the band
was even tighter. Overall, a true moment of magic.
4 - PIP PYLE'S EQUIP'OUT / Montreuil (France), Apr. 1995
I don't know why I remember this gig more vividly than others I've seen.
Maybe it's just the superb line-up - Pip Pyle on drums, Elton Dean on sax,
Patrice Meyer on guitar and Paul Rogers on double bass. You can't get much
better than these on their respective instruments. A very tight band, and
plenty of virtuosic yet moving soloing. Too bad they didn't make an album
with this line-up.
5 - CARAVAN OF DREAMS / Paris, June 1993
My first time seeing Richard Sinclair with any band, and certainly his
first French gig since the Camel days. A typical COD set (trio line-up),
with the added bonus of Didier Malherbe's presence for the encores (I think
they were "Keep On Caring" and "Share It"). A close tie would be Gong's
1992 gig in Marseille, my first Canterbury-related gig ever (I'm not that
old, you know); or Mashu's gig in Paris in April 1995, the one where some
of their CD was recorded, another magical experience shared by an
enthusiastic audience including people like John Greaves, Pip Pyle and
Faton Cahen, not to mention Elton Dean and Didier Malherbe who joined the
trio for some inspired jamming.
Aymeric, of course, is the publisher of the excellent
issue 20 - the issue that never happened!
- aymeric leroy's top 5 gigs