Saturday, March 31, 2007

Kevin Ayers

Let's pay hommage to Kevin Ayers today, member of the early Canterbury band Wilde Flowers, and also in the early stages of Soft Machine. I guess Kevin was too much of a pop guy to fit in with the art-prog-jazz guys in SF. Later he published a lot of good records on his own, and with The Whole World. Look at this video, it is just beautiful, with Lol Coxhill on sax and Mike Oldfield on bass!
Curiosa: Kevin Ayers sings in a pub in Hanif Kureishi's book:The Buddha of Suburbia.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jazz festivals

Are you planning a holiday in Norway this summer? We have several good jazz festivals.
Some of the web pages are less than satisfactory in english unfortunately, and programs are not yet 100% ready, but please check them out. Festivals are in Voss (hurry up for this one!), Stavanger, Kongsberg, and the best of them all Molde.
And yes, there are more of them too! Map of Southern Norway.

I want Robert Wyatt to appear at the Molde festival. Thank you!

Wyatt's MySpace

Soundclips and videos on a Wyatt MySpace page. Not run by the man himself. Some of the videoclips from YouTube are no longer available.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Some Robert Wyatt quotes collected on BrainyQuote.

Friday, March 23, 2007

John and Robert

Nice pair of guys, or what? The late John Peel was a fan of Wyatt, and you are welcome to buy Peel sessions of Robert Wyatt, Matching Mole and Soft Machine.
The picture is taken by pinecolonel, and found on Flickr.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Live Wyatt?

I finally got Bruno Coulais' album "Stabat Mater" (Naive, 2005). Robert Wyatt is on sveral tracks of this live recording, but he was only present with his voice at the concert!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ivor Cutler

If you like Robert Wyatt, I bet you like Ivor Cutler too. I strongly reccomend the DVD "Looking for truth with a pin/Cutler's Last stand". You get a concert, and a documentary where Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge are interviewed (among others).
Rest in peace Mr. Cutler.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mongezi Feza

The South African trumpet player Mongezi Feza (1945-1975) guests on several Wyatt records. He is on "Rock Bottom", "Ruth is Stranger than Richard" (composed "Sonia") and the live album "Theatre Drury Lane".
If you can take some noise, please check out the Norwegian album "Two bands and a legend, featuring Cato Salsa Experience and The Thing with Joe McPhee", on Smalltown Superjazz. They play Feza's composition "You Ain't Gonna Know Me ('Cause You Think You Know Me)", and also covers PJ Harvey ("Who the fuck?"), James Blood Ulmer ("Baby Talk), The Cramps ("I can't find my mind") and Richard Berry ("Louie Louie").

Friday, March 16, 2007

Robert Wyatt and literature

Picture by Helena Dornellas, from Flickr

Michael Mantler: Silence (1976) - Harold Pinter
Michael Mantler: The Hapless child (1976) - Edward Gorey
Michael Mantler: Many have no speech (1988)- Samuel Beckett (and others)
Michael Mantler: Hide and seek (2001) - Paul Auster
Sigmatropic: Sixteen haiku & other stories (2003) - George Seferis
Max Richter: Songs from before (2006)- Haruki Murakami (Wyatt reads short extracts from "South of the border, west of the sun")

In Ian Rankin's book "Black and blue", there is a scene where our (anti-)hero Rebus is listening to music-cassettes in his car. He switches Wyatt's "Rock bottom" for Deep Purple, to hear "Into the fire". Scary?

Robert Wyatt - The Pink Floyd connection

Nick Mason: I'm a believer (7" 1974) (production and drumming)
Syd Barrett: The Madcap Laughs (1977)
Syd Barrett: Opel (1988)
David Gilmour: In concert (DVD 2002)
David Gilmour: On an island (2006)
Nick Mason: Nick Mason’s fictitious sports (1981)

Since Richard Wright guests on Gilmour’s DVD, only Roger Waters is missing a Wyatt connection on record? But hey, Pink Floyd played a benefit concert after Robert was paralysed, so let's be generous!

Around the world with Robert Wyatt

Some, not so British, artists working with Wyatt, and a strange video from one of them (C. Dona):

Norway: Anja Garbarek "Smiling and waving" (2001)
Iceland: Bjørk "Medulla" (2004)
France: Pascal Comelade "September song" (2000)
France: Dashiell Hedayat "Obsolete" (orig. 1971 på CD 1992)
Italy: Christina Dona "Nido" (1999)
Greece: Sigmatropic "Sixteen haiku and other stories" (2003)
Israel: Gilad Atzmon "Re-arranging the 20th century" (2004)
Namibia: Robert Wyatt with The SWAPO singers "The wind of change" (1985)
Pakistan: Robert Wyatt "Grass"/Dishari "Trade union" (split 7" 1981)
Japan: Ryuichi Sakamoto "Beauty" (1990)

Robert Wyatt - The Norwegian connection

Robert Wyatt is not exactly "big in Norway", like Leonard Cohen and Anthony and the Johnsons, but let’s try to tie him to appearances on records from Norway, or with Norwegian artists:

Henry Cow "Concerts" (1976). First record on the Norwegian company Compendium. Some of it is recorded on the Høvikodden art centre in Oslo.
Michael Mantler "The hapless child and other inscrutable stories" (1976). Terje Rypdal plays some mean guitar.
Anja Garbarek "Smiling and waving" (2001). Yes, she is the saxophoneplayer Jan Garbarek’s daughter, and an artist in her own right. Wyatt even arranged a concert with her, when he was curator for the Meltdown festival.
Michael Mantler "The school of understanding. Sort of an opera" (1997). Per Jørgensen sings (but Mantler won’t let him play trumpet on this one).

Added March 2008:
Terje Rypdal and Robert Wyatt is on Don "Sugarcane" Harris' "Sugarcane's got the blues" (1972, 2008).

Added January 2009 (yes, I'm pushing it):
Maja Ratkje and Robert Wyatt (and Kevin Ayers) are on "An Anthology Of Noise And Electronic Music vol.4 (2006).
Røyksopp and Robert Wyatt are on the Japanese sampler Sound Concierge #401: "Do not disturb" (2004).

Added November 2009:
Lindstrøm does Fact Magazine´s Mix no 100, with "Little Red Riding Hood".

Added December 2009:
Soft Machine: "Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971" (Reel Rec 2009)

Robert Wyatt for beginners - Matching Mole

This band existed in 1972, buy these albums:

Matching Mole (1972) (with beautiful "O Caroline")
Matching Mole's Little Red Record (1972)

Live albums:
BBC Radio 1 live in concert (1994)(uten grevling på coveret)
Smoke signals (2001)
March (2002)
On the radio (2007) (contains all of BBC Radio 1 live..)

All songs recorded by Matching Mole:

Beer as in braindeer (RW)
Brandy as in Benj/ Brandy as in Benge
Dedicated to Hugh, but you weren’t listening (RW)
Flora fidgit
Gloria Gloom
God song
Immediate curtain (RW)
Instant Kitten (RW)
Instant Pussy (RW)
Lithing and gracing /Lighteing and graceing/Lything and gracing
Marchides/March Ides I og II
Nan true’s hole
No ‘alf measures
O Caroline (Sinclair/RW)
Part of the dance
Righteous rhumba
Signed Curtain
Smoke signal
Smoke rings
Starting in the middle of the day we can drink our politics away
Waterloo Lily

(RW= composed by Robert Wyatt)

These were in the band: Robert Wyatt (dr,voc), David Sinclair (keyb), Phil Miller (g), Bill McCormick (b) and Dave McRae (keyb).

Added 29 Mrach 2012: Check here for more!

Robert Wyatt for beginners - Soft Machine

There are loads of SF albums. Robert Wyatt was on the first four originals, and a bunch of live albums. Why not start with these:

Soft Machine Vol. 1 & 2 (Both on one CD 1989)(Published in 1968 og 1969)
Soft Machine Third (1970) (with "Moon in june")

A good collection:
Out -bloody-rageous. An Anthology 1967-1973 (2xCD 2005)

Recommended live albums:
The Peel sessions (1990) (Live 1969-1971)
BBC Radio 1967-1971 (2xCD 2003)

Why not read:
"Soft Machine: Out-bloody-rageous" by Graham Bennett (2005).

Robert Wyatt for beginners - The solo albums

Start with these records:

Rock bottom (1974) (you have to have this one)
Ruth is stranger than Richard (1975)
Old Rottenhat (1985)
Shleep (1997)
Cuckooland (2003)

Two good collections:
Nothing can stop us (1982) (with "Stalin wasn't stallin'")
His greatest misses (2004) (Japanese, but easy to get hold of)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


There are more than 50 million blogs, so why another one? As a long time Robert Wyatt fan and collector, this is just another way to spread the disease! This blog is a (slightly broken) mirror of my Norwegian blog “Wyatting”, but will not be as peppered with other stuff I am interested in (books, food, cats etc etc). I might sneak in comments on other musicians or records you just have to check out. Study Norwegian if you want to read my other blog.
Please look at the fantastic discography on the french site “Une discographie de Robert Wyatt”, and listen to the fan club song by Karen Mantler. On this site you will also find an article about a sport we all like: “Wyatting”. A good site on Soft Machine is Hulloder.

Let’s see if this blog is a survivor, it will not be updated daily, but regularly (I hope).