I had known Trevor Simpson for many years and had played violin, sax and guitar with Nyam Nyam, whom Trev played bass with, on an ad hoc basis for a while in the early 1980's. Trevs' interest in playing acoustic slide guitar collided with my desire for a simpler, acoustic approach for the stuff I was playing and the songs I was writing in late 1987. At the beginning of 1988 we decided to give it a go and see what happened. Mr. Rudeforth was still with us, there's a Son House recording from the 1930's where a train passes by the store they were recording at and it's very atmospheric, so Mr. R. added recordings of steam trains to his repertoire in which the use of tapes were superceding the radio. Gary Burroughs decided to get back on board (when he bothered to turn up) using mainly a snare drum with brushes. We were based in a room at Trevs' house and started rehearsing in January 1988, also doing some playing in Garys' garden. We did a gig at the Blue Bell Inn pub on 17.5.88 which was supposed to be a monthly residency but finished the next day when the cleaners found evidence of dope-smoking all over the room. The same kind of deal resulted in a gig at The Haworth Arms pub on 21.6.88 but afterwards the landlord said "You're ok, but I don't like your tribe!" Banned again. We carried on regardless and brought out a cassette-tape which was sold in local shops. We were always interested in many, many different types of music/sound and in August did three electronic tracks on Garys' very primitive equipment, we would have carried on with this at the time but Gary lost interest as usual.
Saturday, 31 January 2009
It always takes time for things to come together when group activity is involved in creative endeavours. On these compilations of the first few weeks of playing regularly at the Riverside rehearsal rooms you can hear us getting ourselves sorted out and moving forward, with a nod to the past, even if we did not know where we were going. There was an old piano frame in there and we utilised it (that's a euphemism for 'beat the shit out of it') at various times. This is a compilation of weeks 4 and 5 of The Riverside Sessions. Paul Moller, Mr. Rudeforth, Terry Parkinson and Gary Burroughs. Guitar, bass, drums, radio, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, keyboards, voice.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
I got a bit pissed off with the amount of time spent going through the old tapes, transferring them, cleaning them up and putting them onto cd. I was frustrated and felt I had no time to do anything new so one day I woke up about 4am, poured a whisky, turned the machine on and plugged my Strat in. The machine never says "I don't want to do it" or "I can only do one day a week", it just gets on with it. I got a rhythm going and played for 15 mins. Then did a few different mixes. The result is Marmalade Jam, the first music from What Katy Did Next in 2009.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
This is a compilation tape from the first 3 weeks of The Riverside Sessions recorded in 1985. The basic line-up is Paul Moller - guitar, saxophone, clarinet, voice, Mr. Rudeforth - radio, voice, Terry Parkinson - bass and Gary Burroughs - drums, keyboards. There is Mark Fells' trumpet kicking around too. We had a tradition of swapping instruments and going through the old tapes now it is difficult to work out who is playing what and when sometimes. During The Riverside Sessions most of us played most instruments at one time or another.
Find it here...
Monday, 26 January 2009
This is the final performance of Mark Fell with What Katy Did Next. It was recorded during The Riverside Sessions in 1985 and is week 10 but the exact date is unknown. Mark had taken a snippet of week 5 and dubbed some vocals on it to create a song and that is what we start off with, unfortunately the vocal is almost inaudible but it is Mark singing "Let's all be the billowing gut of an aged giraffe." There is a great version of Pink Floyds' Interstellar Overdrive here too. Although we hadn't played together for about a year Mark fit right in like he'd never been away. The basic line-up is Mark Fell - vocals, guitar, trumpet, Paul Moller - guitar, saxophone, vocal, Mr. Rudeforth - radio, Terry Parkinson - bass and Gary Burroughs - drums. There was the usual swapping of instruments and for the medley of popular songs Paul Moller was on vocals, Mr Rudeforth - radio, voice, Gary Burroughs - guitar, voice, Terry Parkinson - bass and Mark Fell - drums, voice.
An aquaintance of ours (who shall be called Turdy Minghole) moved to London and became involved with Genesis P. Orridges' Temple records, or so he told us. I struck up a deal with him which was "You record something and I will put it out." In February I got everything together for a couple of days recording done by Gary Burroughs. WKDN at this time was Paul Moller - guitar, vocals, Mr. Rudeforth - radio, voice, Jonathan/Cess - home-made elecronic things, voice and Steve McDermott - voice. Steve left just before the first session however. I never wanted to sing and didn't think that I could sing but around this time I started to write songs again and the only way they were going to get played was if I sang 'em myself so I worked on singing whilst playing guitar as a matter of necessity. We did the recordings and mixed selected items for release only to be let down by Turdy, the turd. Everything wasn't ship-shape on his boat. Things were changing around this time and became about 50/50 structured/improvised. In September we hooked up with Mike - bass and (another) Ian -Drums and had a few rehearsals in Sept./Oct. but it was going nowhere except down the pan. Somebody pulled the chain, it was probably me. During the Riverside sessions I played a lovely Gibson Les Paul Gold-Top but had to sell it in early 1986 and was relying on borrowed instruments, my sax was stolen and the clarinet broke. Towards the end of 1987 I became increasingly interested in playing acoustically as it seemed easier than getting rehearsal rooms and recalcitrant musicians together so I got a cheap Yamaha acoustic guitar from a catalog (amazingly enough I've still got it and it is the guitar I used on the 2008 stuff until Swine), hooked-up with Trevor Simpson and off we jolly-well-went again.
Friday, 23 January 2009
The process of living on the Earth is the process of discovering who we are as creatures of the Earth and ultimately to return to our Source with that knowledge which becomes part of the Self-knowing of the Source itself.
From - New Cosmic Crystals by R. A. Bonnewitz.
Thursday, 22 January 2009
This is a photo of Mark taken in late 1983 I would guess, at the old Silhouette Club in Hull, a favourite hang-out of ours, they moved to new premises and it was shite.
Mark recorded The Voice Of Pan on a lo-fi tape at his flat in 1985 and I have tried to clean it up, I put some echo on it too because I think he would have probably done the same if he had the equipment.
In 1985 while WKDN were playing nearly every week creating what shall be known as The Riverside Sessions, Mark was concentrating on his art and film-making. I always felt very fortunate to be associated with two very talented artists like Mark and Mr. Rudeforth, I tried a bit myself, mainly collage but didn't have a lot of talent for it. My favourite of Marks' was a collage called The Meat Is Pink, The Fat Is White and it was a collage with the title and a hunk of meat from a sainsburys advert. On the bottom of the meat he had added an erect penis and balls from a porn mag, it was an incredibly striking image. I had a lot of his artwork but they disappeared. He made a film in 1985 called Lipstick Arcade which I still have but it has not been seen for 23 years. This is the soundtrack for it. I'm not sure what equipment he used but it was very primitive. http://www.archive.org/details/LipstickArcade
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Mark arranged for a guy named Gary (who later became known as Kim and had a child with Alf) to come and film us playing in the little room. He came with his girlfriend and didn't know what to expect, they hated every single minute of it. I had played with Grant Ardis in Section 60 in 1978/79 and he's an amazing drummer, I was trying to get him to join WKDN at the time (WOT! 3 drummers!!!) and he came along to watch. Gary got bored/pissed-off filming half way through and laid the camera down. Mark picked it up and filmed for a while then I think Gary finished it off. I thought that there was only 1 copy, which was destroyed by a nameless shite-eating-scum-sucking-she-bitch-from-hades. Amazingly another copy turned up but unfortunately an anonymous turd-gobbling-snot-dribbling-psycho-whore-from-the-pit got hold of it and that one too is gone. What we have left, however, is the soundtrack which is the only recording of the six-piece Katy to survive. It was named after our silent, invisible mentor of the time who conveyed inspiration to us through etheric waves of everywhere. Chup's the name and Chupping's the game. It was certainly an experience for all concerned. There is some instrument-swapping going on, mainly Mark and I. Mr. Rudeforth and Johnny Tasker are both on radios', Paul Moller on guitar, saxophone, clarinet, and bass, Mark Fell on bass, trumpet, clarina, whirly-thing and cymbals for the grand finale, Ian Butler on percussion and Terry Parkinson on drums. It was recorded on 24.10.83.
Here be monsters...
Friday, 16 January 2009
I had become friends with Gary Burroughs, a drummer friend of Terry's, and we had had a few plays, we found a rehearsal place called Riverside near the rivers hull/humber conjunction and things fell back together again. We started on 4.5.85 with me on guitar, sax and voice, Mr. Rudeforth on radio, Terry on bass and Gary playing the drums. I tried to get Mark to come along, he wasn't interested but he took a bit from a tape I lent him and overdubbed some vocals to create 'Let's all be the billowing gut of an ageing giraffe'. He turned up one night and played guitar and sang, joining in with the swapping of instruments and helping us create an amazing hour-long medley of popular songs. As we were leaving I said "fantastic, you're back", he replied "I won't be coming again" and never did. I used to spend all my money in the boozer beforehand and hid behind the amps until Bill (the owner) had given up trying to collect. In the end we knew someone who had a set of keys and went in at midnight after the previous band had left. We regularly played til 5 or 6 am. We had a friend called 'Noddy' and I can remember chasing him around the room with a power tool on a long extension cable. Terry had a friend called Ian Cravan, he came one night and was really nervous but at some point went up to a mic and started doing vocals. It was absolutely amazing with his stream-of-consciousness rants etc and he got really into doing it, never having done anything like it before. I once lent 3 tapes to Johnny Tasker and Dave Stead (who had the spare keys and was also the drummer in the Luddites and later the Beautiful South) and they 'lost' them and weren't particularly sorry in a shrug-your-shoulders kind of way. Mr. Stead doesn't realise how close he came to be on the receiving end of 'Mad Moller' and serious injury. He once walked past my gate just after joining The Beautiful South and I just said "Paul Heaton's Bum-Boy!" at him. Towards the end our improvisations had become so tight that it was as if some of it had been worked-out beforehand. We played for 23 weeks and did a gig at the Adelphi Club on 7.11.85. After that I couldn't even manage to get all 5 of us in one room for a meeting. A big problem was that Gary and Terry both had regular Fri/Sat/Sun club gigs drumming, it was how they made some money and it was always "oh, we can't do gigs on a weekend" or "I can only do 1 night a week" or somesuch pish. I wanted to carry on with Ian and Mr. R. but Ian wasn't very confident. So once again What Katy Did Next disintegrated into the ever-beckoning void...
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
This was recorded on 13.4.83 in the little room on George Street and was part of the transition period in which Mark and I decided that we wanted to play electric rock music again. We had never done it properly since we started WKDN but had done it seperately in other bands beforehand. It was something there in the percussion that started an itch you just need to scratch. Chris was going to be moving and Johnny had come to the end of the line in terms of what you can do with gas cannisters. Change was always a constant factor for us whether voluntary or involuntarily, to keep us interested. I always said I would rather work in a factory than play the same songs the same way every time. I worked at the scampy factory in Whitby for 6 weeks and when I would walk in on an early shift at 6am after a skin-full the night before the stench would hit you and I would bork a few times almost puking before I got used to it. This is a recording of the quartet of Fell, Hunter, Moller and Tasker, we never did any live performances. There is a lot of tape hiss on this but once you get used to that and the sound of Taskers' gas cannister extravaganza I believe it's a very rewarding listen and a pointer to other parts of Katy sound later...
The tracks are...
- Square Of The Appalling Mobile.
- It Must Not Be Forgotten.
The Line- up is...
Mark Fell - Trumpet, Whistle, Clarina, Percussion, Wobble Board.
Paul Moller - Guitar, Saxophone, Clarinet, Radio, Voice.
Chris Hunter - Bass.
Johnny Tasker - Gas Cannister, Percussion, Wobble Board.
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
On 8.4.84 we did a gig at The Wellington Club with Johnny Tasker and Mr. Rudeforth - Radios, Paul Moller - Guitar, Voice, Saxophone, Mark Fell - Bass, Trumpet, Terry Parkinson and Ian Butler - Drums. We managed to find a full drum kit for Ian from somewhere. Chris Hunter was going to play with us but ended up catching the last bus home cos we went on too late.Paul Heaton came up and played Trombone for about 5 mins, Mark had met him on a film course. It was filmed but of course the video was stolen later, a testament to my reckless lifestyle for a while. This gig was a warm-up for the extravaganza that followed on 11.4.84. For this final Mato Chup Live Experience performing Gorgeous Geoffrey's Rubber Zoo we had the stage set with standard lamps and tv's etc. like a living room. Two female friends dressed up in sexy gear with fishnets and old-men masks cooked up a concoction of semolina on the stage. The rest of the band had weird face paint on at the flat beforehand but I refused, the girls went round feeding the semolina to us but I kept avoiding them (my bit of non-conformism amongst the rampant non-conformism going on). Cheryl joined in and it started getting messy, the gunky semolina brew was being flicked around everywhere. We played for over three hours and it ended with Mark sat on the floor with a pyramid cloth/cloak around him, tripping out of his skull not wanting to stop playing the bass. It was a fine, fine ending to what was his last ever gig with us and the last gig with that line-up. Packing up was fun, the P.A. people were disgusted that everything was covered in this 'muck'. The management had a smokin' blue fkn duck fit about it all and we were told to get out as quick as we could and never come back. "You're Banned!" The band fell apart after that (no pun intended). Strange things were happening. I remember Mark telling Mr. Rudeforth that he couldn't be in the group because he had never taken L.S.D. It all gets a bit hazy but I also remember a 'rehearsal' where Mark wanted 'structure' brought in and the rest of us having none of it. Any road up, that was the end of that...
In the early '80's Robert Fripp reformed King Crimson after going solo for a few years. He said he was driving along one day and heard music in his head that could only be King Crimson and so it came to be that they returned. It wasn't like that at all for me but I just decided that like Bob Dylan, music is the thing for me and I want to do it until the day that I shuffle off me mortal coil. It's like Ken Dodd dying on stage (did he? no...Doddy!), he once played Glasgow and they shouted "away hame 'n bile yer heed".
So in early 2008 I bought a digital 12 track so-called 'studio-in-a-box' and started slowly but surely doing stuff again. I am also using it to clean up the old tapes and stick 'em onto those new-fangled cellulose disks. The first few tracks that I did with the banjo are just demo's really but this is the real thing, even better than the real thing (remix). I used to sing it in the folk club when I used to live in Whitby and it was always very popular so I thought ok I can do it and try dubbing it up 'n all, by the way. Dub reggae on the banjo seemed a WKDN type thing to do 'n that. If you listen from 1 thru to 5 you can watch with your ears as the song disappears into Double-Dob Dub.
- Armageddon Time 1.
- Armageddon Time 2.
- Armageddon Time 3.
- Armageddon Time 4.
- Armageddon Time 5.
Monday, 12 January 2009
The next item up for the edification of your ear-goggles is something that arrived out of serendipity when I was putting two old tapes onto my machine to clean them up and transfer to cd. I happened to play both things together and it sounded great so I thought a-ha, I can do a bit of trickery and create summat what didn't exist before. They are both performances by the trio of Fell, Hunter, Moller recorded in the little room in early 1983. One is called It Vanishes and the date on the tape was 14/13/83 so that's not such a greatly accurate time-fix, eh, but good enough for our porpoises nevertheless. The other is called We Have Seen Nothing and is dated '83 so that'll do. The whole thing is called It Vanishes And We Have Seen Nothing. This effectively makes it a double trio or phoney sextet if you will. The line-up is the same as Make Her Rainbows except there are two of each of us.
You can find it here...
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Chris left Hull and Johnny got sick of the gas cannisters, we got to know Terry Parkinson and started jamming with Mark on bass, me on guitar and Terry on drums in the little room. Johnny came back playing radio, Mr. Rudeforth joined and we played a gig at Wellington Lane Community Centre on 3.9.83. Mr. R. switched to radio and Ian Butler joined on percussion. Ian was a friend of Terry's. Our first introduction to him was when some of us were tripping on acid and he came to visit Terry but Terry wasn't in, hearing Captain Beefheart playing Ian went round to the back flat which was mine. The window was open and he was tripping too so he climbed in shouting "Ooobie doobie man, oobie doobie man!" He was in, literally. He had been a merchant seaman and had some great tales of jumping ship and spending a year in Australia and the smell approaching the African continent which he would tell 'in yer face' replete with enormous sniffing sounds so you could virtually smell it too. Now a sextet - the Mato Chup Experience was born. We made a video in the little room, the video is gone but the soundtrack will be coming shortly as it's the only recording of the sextet left.
This was taped in the small room above my Dads' shop in George Street, Hull in early 1983. Mark and I were really thrilled when Chris came along and started to play bass with us, he fitted right in straight away like a comfy old... improviser, willing to and understanding how to play this crazy shit. It helped us realise that we weren't totally crackers or if we were then it was three basket cases not two. Safety in numbers. Another band rehearsed there called Nyam Nyam and we used to use their drum kit and do mad funk stuff but unfortunately the tapes of those sessions are no longer with us.
The tracks are...
1. Make Her Rainbows.
2. Has Anybody Any Idea Where It Came From.
The line - up is...
Mark Fell - Trumpet, Whistle, Clarina, Wobble-Board.
Paul Moller - Guitar, Saxophone, Clarinet, Clarina.
Chris Hunter - Bass.
Friday, 9 January 2009
That which changes our way of seeing the streets is more important than what changes our way of seeing painting.
Thursday, 8 January 2009
I found some notes that I made in 1993 about the history of WKDN and with their help I will elaborate further.
Played as a duo. Mark Fell and Paul Moller.
Mid 1982 we did a gig at the New York hotel in Hull. We played two sets of 30 mins each with The Luddites doing the same. For the first set I was on guitar and vocals with Mark playing violin, we had two friends with us - Yana and Tanya who played a radio each. For 10 mins of the second set I played Sax and Clarinet while Mark played the Drums then we swapped and Mark played the Trumpet while I played the Drums for the next 20 mins. We had a strobe light going continually for 30 mins. Yana and Tanya fought, whipped each other, pulled and cut hair, bit and wrestled each other very convincingly for the duration. Afterwards one of them (can't remember which) was upset because it had moved from being a 'pretend' fight into something that looked very real to me.
Our friend Chris Hunter joined us playing bass. Chris had been in a band called Aphasia with John/Willy on guitar, I only saw them once, they did a great version of the Stones' Jumping Jack Flash. He's out there somewhere I hope, probably drunk, I don't have a clue how to find him. My notes say that we sat freezing in overcoats and occasionally gloves playing in a small room above my Dads' shop where we did a lot of our playing. We did one gig on 14.3.83 at a deserted Bridlington Spa, a massive place and I couldn't see a single member of the audience as we played. The best jazz thing we ever did was performed at this concert. We were allowed 17 minutes having an alarm clock onstage so we finished perfectly on time. Our friend Cheryl walked up towards the end and put her young daughter Gemma on the stage, she wandered about for a few minutes. Mark wore a gold lame tutu. I threw a chair offstage (we played sat down) at the end in disgust, I was like that in those days.
Johnny Tasker joined in about April playing percussion mainly on gas canisters, we also had a sheet of hardboard used as a wobble board just like Rolf. We also had a thing which was a length of tube on a trumpet mouthpiece that you blew into and twirled around your head. We recorded a video in late '83 and I had been up getting twatted beforehand, I demonstrated the twirly-thing to Grant Ardis before we started filming and promptly passed out! Everything we did was totally improvised so we used to tape as much as possible.
The line-up is...
Mark Fell - Guitar, Guitar with violin bow, Voice.
Paul Moller - Violin, Clarina, Clarinet, Saxophone, Stringed-Thing, Table Percussion, Vocals.
You can find it here...
Monday, 5 January 2009
Down With Imperialism are just about the only words of Mr. Rudeforths' that are audible on this live recording. It was recorded from behind the PA system and unfortunately the quality is not great. Later when I joined in on vocals I can just about be heard saying "My uncle Frederick was a good man with an axe". Of course I never had an uncle Frederick, I did have an uncle Frank though, he was my Grandads' brother and they lived next door to each other. Bob (my Grandad) was a cantankerous old git and would sometimes not speak to Frank for months on end even though they would be in their respective gardens a few feet away from each other for hours.
So, Down With Imperialism it is then.
This is the oldest surviving live tape from WKDN, it was our first gig as a five piece. Terry and I had flats very close by so we could get out of our trees in the comfort of our own home and go round the corner to play, it was a community benefit type thing and we played in the afternoon just after the children's entertainer who is heard right at the beginning.
Mark and I had been jamming with Terry for a few weeks and this concert marks his first live appearance with us. The tapes of the three of us were stolen many years ago, a very sad loss as they were very special. The improvisations were of a flowing structure that knocked us out at the time. A little of that is discernable through the murk of this tape.
This is also Mr. Rudeforths' first appearance with the group. I asked him to come along and recite some stuff, the only proviso being that he said What Katy Did Next at the beginning, which he duly did although I don't think it's audible. He moved on to radio, tapes and sound effects for the rest of his considerable stint with us.
Johnny Tasker was the first singer with the Luddites, I got to know him and invited him to join, he didn't want to sing and we didn't have any songs so since he was a non-musician he played the short-wave radio. He first started jamming with us playing a gas cannister from a portable gas heater but the novelty very soon wore off. Unfortunately Johnny died a few years ago.
We often used to chuck in a bit of Interstellar Overdrive by Pink Floyd just for jolly but on this occasion it was excruciating as my guitar was out of tune cos I'd been messing with it and detuning the E string so I abandoned it to shout shortly afterwards. We went over our allotted time limit and the tape ends as they turned the power off. That's me at the end saying - "The trouble with these sort of people nowadays is they never know when to stop, they never know...".
What Katy Did Next - Live at The Wellington Lane Community Centre in Hull - 3.9.83.
Mr. Rudeforth - Voice.
Paul Moller - Guitar, voice.
Johnny Tasker - Short-Wave Radio.
Mark Fell - Bass.
Terry Parkinson - Drums.
You can find it here...