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TRIBADELIC MUSIC 1992-99
" To enhuru the planet." This was the cry around which the Space Goats first gathered to make their musics. The mysterious and mystic waves of sound had wound them down to a field in Devon where one night, the 17th of August 1992, they played together for the first time in a dumbell shaped crop circle formation. It was the 23rd anniversary of Woodstock and as soon as the music stopped, it rained for three days solid.
During the early days, the Goats played in one key only, C sharp, whether major, minor or modal. This was due to the pitch of Clive's didgeridoo, which was named 'Huruhorn' from the story of Inamorata they were telling at the time. So it was that the music happened to coincide with Twyford Down road protest late '92 and '93 and the assembling of the Earth Warriors.
Space Goats joined with the Dongas Tribe for actions and celebration. The connection gave their words and music context. People singing about and taking action for the Earth. Close links are made during times of duress, and when people sing together, their spirit lives and grows. Beltane for example, was the most astonishing dreamtime revelation and the first time the tribe came across a sound-system in retreat!
Here was told the legend of one Wyntun Dragon, who stretched from Old Winchester Hill , 17 miles to St Catherine's Hill, where the protest was going on . It was said that when attention was drawn again to St. Cath's, (as was certainly the case with Twyford Rising!) this Dragon would turn it's head and the Tribes of England gather once more.
You distinctly got the feeling that something was happening! On many occasions would we visit the protest and make our music among the firelight and chalk daubed faces, or down upon the scarred land where corporation bulldozers that ripped up the land were overrun by yipping love warriors. This come-what-may crowd regularly disrupted the Department of Transport in the performing of their tasks, termed either contract work or EarthRape depending on your ethics. (In the meantime they also caused police and security to run around many a merry goosechase.)
Squatting at the time in Brighton, having moved up from Somerset, the band met and inaugurated Matt Zeggy Stargoat to the fold, then made a recording. This was 'Inamorata and other Tales.'
"We were getting our name about busking the streets, doing all sorts of gigs and festivals, talking mumbo-jumbo, earth ranting, chatting up girls, posing for the media, travelling about. Living the reality of the romantic ideal" said Pok once.
Slowly, the magic wove its way through 1993 and a seminal Glastonbury Festival where Chrissie joined, and the herd met good friend Dave Goodman of Mandala records and the then Wind Travelin' Band with Hiroki Okano, over from Japan.
These were friendships formed that would span the years, which are still opening up what could be called a Global Rainbow Family network, and allowing the vision of our musics to permeate the world.
Then there was the Autumn tour of Ireland, where we were to see even greater diversities of tribal people coming together at the beautific Tullamore International Rainbow Festival. It was one of those times and places where you knew you were with people on some edge of our new making and shaking, sharing of stories and warrior- life, forming a new global reality from our collective aspirations for the future.
The Goats found it particularly asserting to win first prize in the busking section at Killorglin Puc Fayre in county Kerry. The biggest billy goat from the mountains is hoisted up a 30' high platform and below are held dancing and music competitions for all ages. After three days the goat is freed; never to be harassed King Puc!
Back in England again, and after a Samhain of sexy airborn vampires and Goaty extra-zonk guarana-muesli balls, the motleys walked into what had been, up to that point, a parallel universe.
Kentish Town One Earth Rainbow Church (!) became our new London residence. It was a veritable cauldron of environmental activism grown in response to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where 179 countries had met to talk about the state of the planet, and form some new legislation about it. However ridiculed by the media at the time and however much some felt apathetic about political doublespeak and noncommitance, it became clear that people from all walks are being inspired to organise, to 'empower' ourselves to do something, anything, everything ...for the environment, for the survival of life on Earth.
This was the beginning seed of the variously named Earth Circus. Now at time of writing, a collective of independent, earth-related performance artistes and groups...but more of this as the story weaves. This was the time of the 'No M11' in Wanstead and Leightonstone. Also, the 'Save Salisbury Hill' campaign just outside Bath, Avon. This hill, now adjacent to the Batheaston bypass, is as ancient and powerful a site as one could expect to find. Could it be singing its own legend with us as well? Were the new bards singing a message of earth-change and healing for all who could heed such magic? Had the tribes gathered for no reason, or were we being drawn here deeper into the Earth's story and mystery for some unfolding purpose of destiny?
Back in the Choke, all sorts were happening, this year of 1994. If it wasn't Clive and Pok dressed up as suffragettes with other real women who were chained to the railings outside the Houses of Parliament, it was singing for media and passers by from a minstrel's gallery cum second storey Westminster window. That was Artillery Mansions, as squatted for London's homeless by Freedom Network, the Green Party and friends, diagonally opposite New Scotland Yard. Outrrrrraaaaaageus !
Then again, this year, the blue van broke down near Stroud for 3 or 4 months and much time was spent smoothing the crankshaft. (instead of going to see Donovan play at the Marquee.) We had played New Year in at Chalk Farm Roundhouse, an early Earth Circus Time-Travelling event itself, and an auspicious start. Then there was the insidious Criminal Justice Bill (Now 'Act') and the activist response...the notorious Velvet Revolution Tour!!! It went to colleges, universities and even the Manchester Hacienda. Information and rave, but pure rock n' roll really. I think it was geared to inspire dissent. For that matter, do you remember the banner hung from the roof of Westminster, by 5 people with heads for heights. It read "DEFY THE CJB". One time, the 23rd October, many people set out to levitate the whole edifice."Out demons out!" declared the posters, which depicted the Governmental seat flying away on bats' wings. People have attitude about that building. Space Goats were the chill- out band. At the time when the Tory government finally lost power, the Goats took a cruise along the river Thames with the Rainbow dream-ticket Party, communicating their colourful manifesto to all and sundry. Dave stood for Crystal Palace and Camden Candidate, Captain Rizz aided us with his megaphone. Clive: " More than one boat was rocking that day."
At the end of '94 things got a bit fried and so the band fled to Europe to wind up in Amsterdam, via Rouen, Paris and Brussels. It was a gas, I think you'd call it, even though some of the episodes almost led into the proverbial fire. Yet it was at this time that the good fairy Stella Pod Louisl joined the numbers and they have told me right stories about it I can tell you.
Stella, Zeg and Pok staggered their return to Blighty to introduce sister band, 'Heathens All' to Billy Bragg who had got in touch with an eye to some recording. (He had also sung on the Velvet Tour.) They didn't even have a candle at the time, living in a beloved purple Sherpa van outside a huge grain silo squat by the river Amstraad, mid-winter, with very little food. It came as good news.
Billy wanted instruments and...voices. Pok thought it a good idea that 'Heathens All' sung on that record (and later with Billy at Glastonbury Festival).....because they could ...Others travelled to the South of France and Portugal and, "Had a nice break.".
1995 saw new energies coming into play, and a re-arranging of what had been known. '94 had been a blinding year, and now they were diversifying themselves more, with individual travels and talents.
Goats returned variously from Spain and Wakefield, to rejoin at the July "Big Green Gathering", arriving synchronistically and at the same moment from different directions. (They're like that)
Things were changing within the group, yet always there is this pervading unity. " I suppose it's because the music brings us together, or something along those lines."
Pok put on a few performances of his play 'Chameleon', a new mystery play if you like, about Earth healing. He was very pleased to do this because he was always on about it to the other Goats. Here's where pianist Jimvisible and Freya (a.k.a. Demeter) make an entrance. There were funny costumes and a hybrid, kind-of funky band to boot. It ran to 5 or 6 performances, at different festivals, protests, prestigious homes and venues. They swapped about characters, got into the healing, and allowed gateways for a future Circus to open just a little more.
Now the Eco-Warriors had moved on from Avon to Devon, and Fairmile, near Ottery St Mary. This was the 'A30Alert' campaign. The longest lasting protest camp at the time, and deep in tribal heartland. A festival of dignified mischief, a reinstating of older ways of relating to the land, a community of travelling craftsmiths... all these things was Fairmile, and arguably it tipped the composite public opinion of Earth Warriors, why and what they were doing, into a new arena.
Newbury bypass. Berkshire. 9 miles of tree protesters, car art and tunnels, also at this time fully ongoing.
Perhaps these two protests, more than any before, opened the public consciousness to the idea that actively protecting the land among your community and on the front line, was a thing that happened.
You could feel the music, with its words of love for the earth, connecting with people's hearts and minds all over the place. The songs travelled far. Truly dreamtime had descended among the oaks and leafy glades of threatened England.
There was a gig with
Cope, Feb'96 at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. He had come down to Newbury quite a few times and once introduced Top of the Pops wearing a yellow security jacket and hardhat. This might well have caused some concern.
Significantly around this time, they came together to record with Dave Goodman, the renowned producer, now of Mandala records. The second album was called 'Thirteen Moons in Motion'.
(A Mayan Time/Space-Traveller paradigm for replacing the idea that time is money, clocks and machines, with experience of the cyclical nature of reality and the ability to be anywhere anytime. 'Time is art.' A calendrical peace proposal for the planet earth and beyond.)
Throughout the next year, different recordings were made.Tracks from 'Magpie Glisters' and 'Goatissimus Takkimost goes Fourth' (4) are featured on this compilation, but the albums (at the time of writing) have not been released.
After circumnavigating Australia in a beetle, Clive and Chrissie released 'Tribal Voices 1'. a compilation of many artists from the tribadelic scene. More recently have come 2 and 3, the latter of which was recorded at an idyll of a camp in North Devon. More such musical meetings to come.
Meanwhile, Pok in some ramblings on a mountaintop in Eire realizes that he is one of a whole planet full of starpeople, who are all one. One with the whole Earth and greater Universe as well. Nothing new of course, but of it he scrawled 'One we are Star People' in a red notebook as a kind of life asserting mnemonic.
These musings appealed to Phoenix, he of the Rainbow Environmental Time- Travelling Church, and 'Star People 2012, the Musical' was founded, along with friend Spiral, down in Brighton, late '96. Various ring-a-roses singalong, dance/dreamtime- related convergences have been held since then and a show is taking shape.
Matt Zeggi has been honing his skills as a sound technician and producer at Mandala, and after variously visiting India and Australia, he and Krishmael grounded in England once more to create the bands 'Jabberwocky' and 'Taara Mu', with friends respectively; Andy Bard and Tom Tabla, and also to frequently guest with 'Praying for the Rain'.
Krish is an accomplished solo artiste, a songwriter and player of hammer dulcimer, mandolin and percussions. His solo album 'Songlines' is available through Mandala.
August '97 and Space Goats were invited to Japan for a short tour including the Glastonbury inspired 'Rainbow 2000' at Mount Fuji. The final track was recorded at our host's (Hiroki Okano) family studio, the Sunshine Club Osaka.
This CD exists due to the friendship between our two countries in music. It is to stand at a dimension door where possibilities of a worldwide unity through cultural exchange are glimpsed in song. All our dreams are within this cosmic bowl, inclusive of all peril and intrigue in these times, and conjured with crafts brought into this world through the courage of love.
PO Box 19, Mellieha, Malta MLH 01
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