Goldmine, September 22, 2000

New Captain Beefheart albums seem to have been cropping up all over the place over the last year or so, but few can match "Merseytrout" (Ozit, U.K.), a 72-minute live album recorded in Liverpool, England, in 1980. Twenty-one tracks strong and featuring the Doc At The Radar Station-era band, it's a nice sounding disc, even if the performance itself is a little on the rough side. It comes, with interesting annotation from one of the Magic Bandsmen who, oddly, wasn't actually along for the tour - guitarist John French.

The same label also brings us Nik Turner's "Live At The Deeply Vale Free Festival, 1978" - actually a recording of one of those Egyptological spectaculars performed by Turner's Sphynx, discussed in Footnote Archives in the previous issue of Goldmine. It's a very ambient performance, largely instrumental, and one can see why festivals were Sphynx's forte - you really want to rush out into the garden and play it very loudly on a boombox while throwing mud at the neighbours, which means it's not too dissimilar to some of those early (pre-Space Ritual) Hawkwind live recordings.

Pete Farrow "Who Says There's No Beach In Stockport?" (Ozit, U.K.) The occasionally Mike Chapmanesque Farrow and his Biscuit Tin Band ruminate wryly across almost 30 years of British folk-blues. Little (if any) of this material has appeared on CD before, making this an essential purchase for Farrow admirers.