Steve Hillage "Live At Deeply Vale 1978"
Ozit Morpheus CD OZIT781

A Real Festival Experience

The Deeply Vale Free Festivals - there were four of them, mid-70s, set within Rochdale's stark idyllic moor lands - seem to be edging deeper and deeper into the mythology of the North West history. Articles, television programmes, DVDs all presently clamour for your attention, and at first glance one might be forgiven for wondering why. After all, visions of a mud-encrusted crowd built from a disparate cocktail of latter-day greying hippies and thin-tied spike-topped punks might not appear immediately inspiring. But the magic lay within that disparate street cocktail. Deeply Vale stood for an unlikely tolerance in fractured times.

This Steve Hillage set absolutely typified the prevailing feel. With his Gong days receding - offshoot Here And Now also performed in a moveable package that included The Fall and ATV- Hillage was given licence to follow the extensive wanderings of his guitar-driven muse. While this may hint at insular improvisation, Hillage always seemed to emit an invigorating freshness. This is apparent from the outset here, as his naturally attractive playing pulls the set immediately out of the sea of lo-fi festival background noise. Lovely, invigorating, organic, evocative. You can almost taste the mud.

Record Collector, November 2004