Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong – Gong [#537]

Gong_Gong_Est_MortWhile, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong were churning out jazzy numbers and being all “normal” and long after teapots were flown about by pixies and Zero the Hero’s head floated up the vagina of a witch, Daevid Allen and chums had a bit of a break and entered a period of releasing “best of” compilations, live gig recordings and other such lazy productions.

Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong is one such live compilation from Allen’s Gong. Included are tracks from Flying Teapot and Angels Egg as well as a few tracks from You from the Radio Gnome cycle and some from Camembert Electrique.

Unfortunately, there is a wife imposed jazz embargo at Gnomepant’s cottage at present, so I am unable to report on the more jazzy tracks, however I did manage a good listen of the less jazzy tracks, and, do you know? I wish I had gone to see the band back in 1992.

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Gazeuse! – Gong [#512]

Gong_-_Gazeuse!In true prog fashion, flying teapot hippy group Gong, split and became two entities; Daevid Allen’s Gong (the one responsible for all the pot head pixies) and Pierre Moerlan’s Gong a jazz rock based band.

Gazeuse! is the band’s first album and is very clearly jazz orientated. Unfortunately, due to a “jazz embargo” imposed on Gnomepants Cottage by jazz loathing Mrs Gnomepants, I am unable to bring you much of a detailed  entry today. The only statement I can make is, if jazz is your thing or maybe you liked the theme tunes to late seventies chat shows like Wogan, Russell Harty or Parkinson, this will really float your boat. I’m not that much of a jazz fan, but I occasionally like to dip my toes into the murky cheese sauce that Pierre Moerlan’s Gong produced.

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Flying Teapot: Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 – Gong [#484]

220px-Gong_Flying_TeapotDave Allen, Steve Hillage and friends float about in a gnome filled teapot with some pot head pixies and a witch.

Back in the nineties when I was experimenting with life, my former acquaintance, Shitbag, introduced me to this album, stating as he did with Pink Floyd’s Animals that the album was rare and not available on CD except to an elite group of music lovers. In fact, he added, the band had floated away with pot head pixies so would never be seen live or in any branch of HMV.

Not only was I able to gather myself a copy of Flying Teapot, but I was also able to gain a copy of the follow-up album, Angel’s Egg using patience and a twenty pound note from the HMV in Church Street Liverpool. I like proving people wrong.

I regret never being able to see Gong live. Flying Teapot is one of those eye opening albums that bring a whole new experience to prog and the band, together with Pink Floyd, held my hand through my musical development into the mid to late nineties. Indeed, whenever I wanted some music to enhance my mood and spiritual yearnings, I’d choose Flying Teapot first, as a result, the album features heavily in my life soundtrack of that time. Which, on reflection, is bizarre when considering the concept behind Flying Teapot draws from Russell’s Teapot idea. Sadly, due to my introduction to darker, goth music, and exploration of new progressive rock, my appreciation of later chapters in the Radio Gnome story was missed. Not helped by frequent cries of “This is a right racket can we turn it off now please”.

Not an album for haters of jazz.

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Fish Rising – Steve Hillage [#476]

220px-Steve_Hillage_Fish_RisingUncelebrated guitar king and one time Gong member, Steve Hillage’s first solo album following his departure from Gong.

By all other regards, this really sounds like a Gong album. It has Gong members Howlett, Moerlen, Blake and Malherbe but also features Dave “no the other one” Stewart who you might know from helping to arrange Fear of a Blank Planet or his work with Barbara “Spirogyra” Gaskin or his TV work.

This is exactly what I like about prog. Former band mates, guys you meet in the pub and pals from different groups getting together to make music. You don’t get that in modern times. You never see the likes of Gary Barlow getting together with say, H from Steps, Noel from Oasis and Mel C to do an album about a fish. For a start their agents and recording labels wouldn’t allow it but also it’d be complete bollocks.

As I said, Fish Rising by all accounts sounds like a Gong album but without the Gnomes, Pixies and Flying Teapots. A more relaxed background album than a fully fledged “concentrate or you’ll miss it” progressive concept album. It is however something you – if you’re a fan of Gong, Hillage or embarking on a life changing journey through prog – might want to listen to as an appreciation exercise to see if you can detect distinctive musical styles and flourishes. Or maybe you’re just high on something and have the old oil projection lamps going and need something to help you focus on.


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Dreamtime Submersible – Evan Marc & Steve Hillage [#395]

Dreamtime submersibleEvery so often during my exploration of the aural soundscape, I find interesting albums. Usually they are collaborations of some artist I like or a member of a band I like getting together with another band or artist that I like.

This is an example find.

Steve Hillage, formerly of Gong, plays guitar along side Evan “Bluetech” Marc, a chap who has made a living out of playing records at people. Of course such a collaboration is either going to be mind-blowing or a pile of steaming manure.

I guess my aural rhubarb is going to be bountiful.

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Continental Circus – Gong [#307]

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 14.59.40This album is the soundtrack to a film about a motorcycle racer. The greatest private rider in the world.

The film Continental Circus (1972) is a kind of documentary about motorcycle racing across Europe at a time before sponsorship money and safety took hold. It’s a bit like the motorcycling version of Rush with real life sports people rather than actors and motorbikes over F1 cars.  Jack Findlay talks about the sport, how it affects the mind and body.

The soundtrack is by French progsters and previous entrants in the music project, Gong, whose founder, Daevid Allen, died last month. This is possibly my most favourite of all Gong albums. It’s a proper driving album for driving long journey’s on wet late nights when there’s nothing good on Radio 4.

The film is difficult to get hold of though I have a copy if anyone wants one. Alternatively, there are versions on Youtube and via Amazon for those wanting a quicker access to it.

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Classic Rock: Symphonic Rock – Various Artists [#276]

Classic Rock: Symphonic RockClassic Rock: Symphonic Rock – Various Artists

This is another compilation where the core idea works but the choices of tracks don’t.

Curiously, it appears that 70% of the artists featured on the album have previously featured on this project, so if you’ve missed those entries you’ll find that the links take you to those articles.

Anyway, Classic Rock: Symphonic Rock has a relatively good mix of tunes really but not ones I’d have chosen to highlight how rock can be symphonic. It’s a little too…. “twee”…for my liking. There are far better bands that could have featured on this compilation. There’s no Queensryche. No Meatloaf. The Yes option is pretty much mundane and the inclusion of Clannad, of all bands, confuses me no end. Clannad are not what I’d call rock for a start.


1-01 Vangelis Pulsar
1-02 Sky Toccata
1-03 Hawkwind Urban Guerilla
1-04 Focus P’s March
1-05 Electra Scheidungstag
1-06 Gentle Giant The Advent Of Panurge
1-07 Triumvirat A Day In The Life
1-08 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe Brother Of Mine
1-09 Roger Waters The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range
1-10 Procol Harum A Salty Dog
1-11 Mike Batt Losing Your Way In The Rain
1-12 Clannad Sirius
1-13 Jon Lord Aria
1-14 Barclay James Harvest Child Of The Universe
1-15 Jon & Vangelis So Long Ago, So Clear
2-01 Mike Oldfield Sentinel
2-02 Moody Blues* The Story In Your Eyes
2-03 Rick Wakeman Catherine Howard
2-04 Electric Light Orchestra Standin’ In The Rain
2-05 Alan Parsons Project, The Damned If I Do
2-06 Herd From The Underworld
2-07 Jethro Tull Aqualung
2-08 Gong Ard Na Greine
2-09 Vanilla Fudge You Keep Me Hanging On
2-10 Ekseption 5th Of Beethoven
2-11 Aphrodite’s Child It’s Five O’Clock
2-12 Strawbs Autumn
2-13 Camel Tell Me
2-14 Genesis The Silent Sun
2-15 Yes Heart Of The Sunrise

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Camembert Electrique – Gong (#240)

Camembert Electrique -- GONG Camembert Electrique – Gong

What more can one say about Gong? French weirdos play odd music about gnomes, pixies and floaty things of all varieties. Heavily drug influenced. Far out.

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Album #72 = Angel’s Egg – Gong

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 19.51.48Angel’s Egg – Gong (1973)

Take one impressionable teenager. Play them The Flying Teapot Radio Gnome Part 1. Sit back and wait.

I bought this in on CD in 1990 after having my mind blown by The Flying Teapot. Gong are kind of like Bonzo Dog Doo Dah band meets King Crimson. Jazz, with bizarre fantasy world inspired lyrics and a hell of a lot of jazz influence.

Several years later I was at Sheffield Hallam University and Gong were playing at the Nelson Mandela building (now demolished). Of course I was too shy to go and see them by myself and regret that I never had the balls to do so. I would probably have given up on them there and then.

French band, Gong’s second Radio Gnome but fifth album tells the story of Zero, the hero, and his continuing exploits on the planet Gong with the Pot Head Pixies. Yes, you guessed it, this album is heavily drug inspired. Perfect for your spotty teenager in the early to mid nineties at a time of naive mysticism and pre-millennial optimism. Great stuff, if only for a song about vaginas.

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