Get this crazy baby off my head!


Robert Wyatt & Friends


Robert Wyatt & Friends - Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974 - 2005 - Hannibal Records

Recorded on September 8, 1974, this set features Robert Wyatt (post-accident) with a slew of mates, including Ivor Cutler! Introduced by John Peel and recorded by the BBC — only a little over half the concert survives — this is a wild, freewheeling document featuring Wyatt, Cutler, and Julie Tippetts on vocals; Dave Stewart and Tippetts on keyboards; alternate drummers Nick Mason and Laurie Allan; Hugh Hopper on bass; Fred Frith on guitar, violin, and viola; the late Mongezi Feza on trumpet; the late great Gary Windo on reeds; and guitarist Mike Oldfield. It's quite a lineup and an awesomely inspiring performance. Wyatt is in excellent form here, and the bandmembers, who are a bit ragged in places, are nonetheless tight and full of fire. From "Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening" and "Memories" to "Alfie," "Instant Pussy," "Mind of a Child," and "Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road," this set is alternately an early tribute recording to Wyatt and a fine get-together of friends from the Canterbury scene. Sonically, the recording is very present, though a bit overloaded in places, but the music more than compensates for this. All Wyatt fans will need this, as it is as close to an essential document of 1970s experimental/prog as one is likely to find. Thom Jurek © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved

Recorded live 8th September 1974 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, this is an album of really original and upbeat progressive rock in the Canterbury style from the great drummer of Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, and a few distinguished friends. Listen to Robert Wyatt's great "Rock Bottom" album, and Soft Machine's "Fourth" album. For music in a similar vein, it is worth checking out band's like Hatfield And The North, Caravan, Gong, Matching Mole, and other bands from the giant "Canterbury Scene" family tree of British progressive rock artists. Robert Wyatt's "Shleep" album can be found @ ROBWY/SHLEEP


Introduction By John Peel - John Peel
Deticated To You But You Weren't Listening - Hopper
Memories - Hopper
Sea Song - Robert Wyatt
A Last Straw - Robert Wyatt
Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road 1 - Robert Wyatt
Alife - Robert Wyatt
Alifib - Robert Wyatt
Mind Of A Child - Tippetts
Instant Pussy - Robert Wyatt
Signed Curtain - Robert Wyatt
Calyx - Miller, Robert Wyatt
Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road 2 - Robert Wyatt
I'm A Believer - Neil Diamond


Lead Vocals - Robert Wyatt
Guitar - Mike Oldfield
Bass Guitar - Hugh Hopper
Keyboards - Dave Stewart
Vocals, Keyboards - Julie Tippetts
Violin, Guitar, Viola - Fred Frith
Drums - Laurie Allan , Nick Mason
Trumpet - Mongezi Feza
Reeds - Gary Windo
Vocals - Ivor Cutler , John Peel


An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter. Born in Bristol, England, Wyatt came to Soft Machine during the exciting, slightly post-psychedelic Canterbury Scene of the mid-'60s that produced bands like Gong and Pink Floyd. Unlike many of the art rock bands that would come later (Jethro Tull, Yes, King Crimson), Soft Machine eschewed bloated theatrical excess, preferring a standard rock format that interpolated jazz riffing, extended soloing, and some forays into experimental noise. Wyatt, then Soft Machine's drummer, left the band during its initial wave of popularity. His solo career was built less around his abilities as a percussionist and more around his frail tenor voice, capable of breaking hearts with its falsetto range. It was not long after his first solo release, End of an Ear, that Wyatt fell from an open window during a party, fracturing his back and permanently paralyzing him from the waist down. After months of painful recuperation, Wyatt reemerged with the harrowing Rock Bottom (1974) and the bizarre Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), the former dealing explicitly with his post-accident life, the latter a series of surreal fables. And while the music on these records is trance-like and experimental, Wyatt shockingly recorded a straight version of the Monkees' "I'm a Believer" in 1974 that became a big British hit. Controversy ensued when the BBC's long-running weekly pop music program Top of the Pops refused to allow Wyatt to perform the song in his wheelchair. After a significant protest played out in the music trade papers, Wyatt did perform. Despite his success, Wyatt remained quiet for much of the rest of the decade, breaking his silence during the punk era with a handful of singles recorded for the great English indie label Rough Trade. Again, going against audience expectations, he recorded a beautiful version of Chic's "At Last I Am Free." This signaled the start of a full-fledged career renaissance that included numerous albums and artists such as Elvis Costello writing songs for him. His albums were lush, at times almost meditative, and Wyatt's voice — clear, emotionally charged, and always on the verge of breaking — brought great depth and soul to songs that, if recorded by a lesser artist, would have sounded terse and tired. Always on the political left, Wyatt's radicalism increased exponentially during Margaret Thatcher's years as Prime Minister, as he maintained an unwavering support for Communism even as glasnost was nigh. The resulting music he recorded during this period reflects his strong, bordering on strident, political beliefs. As of the mid-2000s, Wyatt has comfortably worked in and out of the music business. He records when he feels like it, paints, writes, devotes time to political work, and continues to show no interest in the machinations of the music industry. But, despite his occasionally strident political posture, he has recorded some stunning music, full of wonder, possibility, and pure emotion, that remains undiscovered by many. John Dougan © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:3ifixqr5ldfe~T1 http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:kjfyxq8sldse