#1 Going Going (The Fridge, Brixton 199?)

Simply the strangest tribute band I've ever witnessed. Going Going
supported Gong at the Fridge and could have been billed as a Canterbury
Supergroup. The lineup of Richard Sinclair, Mark Hewins, Hugh Hopper,
Andy Ward, Jimmy Hastings and Vince Clarke (if memory serves), kicked
off with "Hope for Happiness" and continued to present a whole bunch of
various other "Canterbury Classics" - like an affectionate respective
of the entire genre. Shockingly beautiful.

#2 Phil Bates "trio" plus Jimmy Hastings/Phil Lee/Alan Marshall (Red
   Lion Twickenham c1995)

Just another of the regular jazz sessions I attended at the (then)
thriving Red Lion. This week's session was eagerly anticipated as the
guests were to be Jimmy Hastings and Phil Lee. I'd seen them both,
individually with Phil Bates' resident trio but had no idea that the
star of the show was to be the Soft Machine's monster rock-jazz
drummer: John Marshall. Standing in for the absent resident drummist,
Mr.  Marshall was awesome, none of the reserved politeness of normally
displayed by drummers of this genre. At the end, Phil Bates, who'd
manfully struggled to keep up with the most perverse and contorted
rhythmic variations throughout,  introduced the drummer as "the man who
put the 'hard' into Soft Machine". Excellent!

#3 In Cahoots (supporting Caravan at Astoria October 1996)
Phil Miller's jazz/progressive/compositions band presented to an
enthusiastic rock audience: great sound, great audience and an exciting
(if sometime approximate) performance. The best InCa gig I've ever
seen to date.

#4 RSVP (Stoke Newington 1994?)
This tempestuous ensemble was assembled by Richard to tour the material
from his 1994 album of the same name. I caught them at the "The Samuel
Beckett" in Stoke Newington ("don't look for it, it's not there
anymore"). The line-up, containing Pip, Didier and Patrice Meyer
self-combusted shortly afterwards. Big shame. I'm left wondering
whether the team were ever captured on tape during their short life...

#5 GongFest
'nuff said?
Highlights, for me:        
day1 Fluvius, Short Wave
day2 Tim Blake, Here & Now, Classic Gong

issue 20 - the issue that never happened!
- nick loebner's top 5 gigs