Saturday, 4 February 2012


There has always been the other side, the music I meditated to before taking my final year structures exam for example (magik powers indeed). There have always been the Soft Machine's, Crimson's, and the Van de Graafs, the Caravan's, the Hatfields and the North, the gigs you came out of not knowing whether they were any good or not, one twiddle being much the same as another to the untutored ear, but sort of liking it anyway, respecting it certainly. I didn't go so far as to deconstruct transistor radios in pursuit of my own Eno like sound, but I watched my friend Rick Sanders do it. However once I got through the art room arguments around the relative virtues of the Sex Pistols or Dire Straits, and certainly beyond 'bedroom rock' (see below) and set off as you might say on my own, I gravitated heavily towards hippie eccentricity and especially the music of Gong and it's political as well as melodic significance. This was at that time hardly a contradiction. As a result I was the guy sitting at a party while the shrieking young ladies from Clifton tried to stuff a toy stuffed elephant up the sizable flares of my stripey trousers, and was certainly known as 'Hairy Paul'. I believe the lady responsible is now one of the world's most successful lighting designers. Funny what you remember, and what happens. At the time, well Mike, Carina and I had a revolution going on, and they studied politics, literature, and so on.
However that world, with it's festivals and perpetual revolution, fruit picking and tractor driving in the rain, has stayed with me as a somewhat alarming second string. We played Steve Hillage on Christmas Day. What happened to it as the space of appearance? London happened, but I still have the hair.

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