Monday, 17 September 2007

Six degrees of Kevin Ayers

Posh-voiced Soft Machine member and legend of British psychedelia Kevin Ayers has just released his first new record in 15 years, titled The Unfairground. Like everything he ever did, from what I've heard it's pretty damn good. But hark at this, readers! Collaborators on the record include Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, former Gorky’s frontman Euros Childs, Neutral Milk Hotelier Jeremy Koster, BMX Bandits’ Francis Macdonald, Roxy Musician Phil Manzanera, illustrious Scottish jazzer Bill Wells, up-and-coming indie soulstress Candie Payne, beard-wearing coke-rapper Rick Ross, Trashcan Sinatras’ Francis Reader, Psychedelic Furs’ keyboardist Joe McGinty, most if not all of Elephant Sixers Ladybug Transistor, Noonday Underground and Morcheeba vocalist Daisy Marty, as well as Canterbury scene fellow-travellers Bridget St John and Robert Wyatt. Pizazz!

In honour of this ridiculous embrace of social networking, GMS takes you from Kev to the subject of our last post, Richard Hawley, in six fun steps. Watch out for ‘bangers’ along the way!

1. Kevin Ayers’ Unfairground has backing vocals by scouse Dusty Springfield revivalist Candie Payne

2. Candie Payne’s new single, ‘One More Chance’, was produced by transatlantic myspace enthusiast Mark Ronson

3. Mark Ronson’s debut single ‘Ooh Wee’ featured a verse from brolic-armed shoe-fetishist Ghostface Killah

4. Ghostface recorded an unlikely cover of the Beatles’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, a full version of which will appear on the forthcoming Wu-Tang Clan album, 8 Diagrams, with axework by John Frusciante

Ghostface - 'My Guitar'

5. John Frusciante also did the wibbly guitars for his band, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’, god-awful chest-beating smack whinge ‘Under the Bridge’, semi-famously covered by sulky combat-trousered girl group All Saints

6. … the guitar solo of which was played in the video by a young lady, but in "real life" by none other than jobbing northern guitar-hero Richard Hawley

As there were only a couple of cracking songs in that pointless excursion, here are Gorky’s paying tribute to the man himself.

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – ‘Kevin Ayers’ (from Tatay)

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - 'Why Are We Sleeping?' (Soft Machine cover) (from Llanfwrog)

And here’s, urr, the man himself, doing the same, in 1972 ... and with serial collaborator John Cale, doing 'The Howling Man' in 1981.

More fun:

Hear bits of The Unfairground at Kevin Ayers' website.

Or buy it.

Or buy some Gorky's.

No comments: