December 13, 2018

A crap useless DVD bootleg of the TEB on sale on the Web!


Please, don't waste your money, TEB collectors! This time it's not worth.
A DVD titled "Third Ear Band 1969-1971" with videos of the band is available on the Net at € 21,50 (HERE), but it shows just only well-known videos easily available for free everywhere.
Here's the description of the "product": 

"A rare and beautiful DVD (2 hours & 23 min'. excellent quality of picture and sound) of the unique UK 70s band with its unique blend of prog-folk-classic. (the disc is a top quality printable dvd-r disc with all the details and the band's photo beutifuly printed on the disc)."

As for the t-shirts on sale on e-bay (see HERE), the worst thing is that someone is trying to make money from this NOT AUTHORIZED product and the  group members and their families don't get any royalties from this.


December 12, 2018

Carolyn says...


Glen Sweeney's life partner Carolyn Looker, graphic designer of many TEB covers, received the new remastered expanded 3CDs writes me: 

"Firstly, yes as always l enjoyed your writing. Some of the quotes from other band members were not quite as things were but l guess over time our memories deceive us! 
So far l've only listened to  CD3 which has tracks 1 and 2 which l cannot remember at all! 
Who is singing?
I realise I appreciate the music far more now as l'm able to be a listener rather than being involved in the reality and stressy times of the gigs.   Anyway I truly think it's absolutely brilliant!
Thank you for the link to Ghettoraga archive, I read it through and was totally engrossed! What a wonderful past we all had!  
Thank you so much Luca for collecting all those memories and writing about them with such love.
I will be in touch with any more that come to mind.
All the best for now."

December 10, 2018

Italian musician and composer Alessandro Monti reviews Third Ear Band's new release.


Here below Venetian musician and composer Alessandro Monti reviews the "Third Ear Band" remastered and expanded edition focusing some interesting aspects of the Electric Ear Band's composition/arrangement approach to the sound.


THIRD EAR BAND Elements 1970-1971: first impressions.
 
Two days ago I received from Burning Shed my advance copy of the 3CD set released on Esoteric/Cherry Red... and what a surprise it was! 
I was asked by Luca Chino Ferrari to write a review for the revitalised Ghettoraga Archive, but after two days of immersion in the timeless music of TEB, I can only say a few words about it: the package has to be heard to be believed.
The research of original master tapes in the EMI vaults led to an amazing amount of unreleased material we could only dream of! 

Alessandro Monti
On the 1st disc the classic 1970 album is augmented by two beautiful studio outtakes and three pieces taken from a BBC session; the alternate version of "Earth" seems to be the most exciting: a totally different approach to the piece by the band, probably studying new possibilities in the studio while recording, a fascinating glimpse "in progress" of TEB's compositional methods sometimes obscured by their freewheeling improvisational side. 

On the 2nd disc, we find an excellent remaster of the "Abelard & Heloise" soundtrack from the best sources available: improved by recent technology it's definitely a major addition to TEB's recording legacy and one of the most important sessions by the 1970 line-up, showing different perspectives at each rotation.
And here comes the extra good news! I've always thought that the Sweeney/Minns/Buckmaster/Bridges era created some of the most advanced sounds in the UK at the time. Three unreleased sessions from November 1970 are included: "Very Fine...Far Away", "The Dragon Wakes" and "Sunrise". The new electric sound recently documented through the "Beat Club" DVD is here in better focus. The new TEB sound was clearly influenced by electric Miles Davis and Paul Buckmaster's interview on the "Miles Electric - a different kind of blue" DVD confirm all that; detailed technical notes by the late arranger/producer/composer can be found here on Ghettoraga (https://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-first-cellist-to-go-electric.html) deeply analyzing all harmonic and musical connections. The use of VCS3 synthesizer and psychedelic voices are more in tune with the underground sound of Hawkwind, Gong and early Pink Floyd, but the intelligent use of space on free rhythms is typically vintage TEB. Paul Buckmaster explores new territories on bass and cello, while Denim Bridges creates some jazzy noises on his double neck guitar far removed from Soft Machine or similar bands of the era. 

The appearance of three more tracks on the third disc (recorded intermittently from February to June 1971 at Abbey Road) "Mistress To The Sun", "Evening Awakening" and "In D", give us the unique experience of a "Lost Album". The 20-minute "Evening Awakening" is a major find: it seems a sort of unusual suite edited from different sketches and experiments closing with a circular riff reminiscent of Joe Zawinul's style with Weather Report. In my opinion, it could be linked to Weather Report's 1st LP and "I Sing The Body Electric" for the new approach to group improvisation using written structures only as a vehicle for the extended electric sections. Looking back Oregon shared a similar path on acoustic instruments at the time. Here Glen Sweeney's basic use of a real drum-set change the ethnic and ritual rhythms of the group leading to an almost rock idiom. The stunning listening marathon closes with the famous "BBC in concert" from 1971 presented here directly from the John Peel show in a slightly improved audio quality from the previous edition; particularly revealing at this stage is the evolution of the track "Eternity in D" in a barely few months, starting from a Miles Davis riff slowly becoming a more organic and "open" TEB piece. 

As I wrote the above 6 unreleased tracks make a fantastic "Lost Album" that needs repeated listenings to be fully appreciated, lots of inventions appearing at once on the speakers. Listening to this marvellous 3CD set was like opening a forgotten box, a secret treasure: we could only imagine of its existence but few seriously believed in it. The music of the 1970 TEB described the four elements but it could also be about the four seasons: a truly spiritual and otherworldly musical experience by one of the most loved bands of progressive music definitely coming from a parallel universe.
 
Alessandro Monti :: Unfolk


Read an exclusive interview with Alessandro Monti in this Archive at the page: https://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-unfolk-music-of-alessandro-monti.html

December 08, 2018

Another bad oversight on the latest remastered TEB album!


TEB Italian fan Mario Calvitti gets a Big Encomium for being the most attentive listener of our Holy Band. Detecting another inexcusable oversight, he sent me this e-mail just today:

"I received today my copy (that I am listening to right now!) and unfortunately I have to report another mistake: tracks 3 and 4 (side two of the original LP) have their titles reversed, Fire should come before Water as in the original sequence (tracks themselves are OK, only the names are wrong). 
In addition, Paul Buckmaster and Denim Bridges are not mentioned in the lineup, but only in the liner notes; it should have been made clearer who plays where (and what). 
In spite of these flaws, the release is excellent, and I cannot wait for the next ones (Macbeth and Alchemy).  
Thanks, Luca for all your work and commitment to preserving the memory of this great band of musicians. Tried to send this as a blog comment, but couldn't make it.
Regards,
Mario Calvitti."

As written on another post of this Archive (read here), I didn't have the chance to listen to the master before the printing, so it wasn't my fault.
Anyway, I've sent a note to Cherry Red just to inform them about this.


December 05, 2018

"Art form or con?". Mike Ferguson reviews "Third Ear Band" on "International Times".




Probably the first review written (November 10th, 2018???), even if full of little inaccuracies,  Mike Ferguson reviews "Third Ear Band" new edition CD on "International Times" Web edition at http://internationaltimes.it/art-form-or-con/

November 28, 2018

"Third Ear Band" out on December 7th, 2018, "Macbeth" on January 25th, 2019.



News from the Cherry Red-Esoteric Recordings with TEB's remastered albums (re)scheduled here: 

November 27, 2018

Errata corrige, my apologies...

Dear Third Ear Band readers,
the recent wonderful 3 CDs remastered edition with the original "Elements" album shows a big, incredible misunderstanding: on side One, the track n. 6 is not "The Sea" ("Fire") as printed on the cover but actually "Water".
This rough error was due to the fact I couldn't listen to the unrealised tracks and Cherry Red told me just that title because it was printed on the original reel box.

For the future, I asked them to let me listen to all the unrealised tracks before to write the booklet. In fact, for "Macbeth" Cherry Red firstly told me the unrealised tracks was five: three from a studio session at Trident Studios recorded in December 1970 and two from a radio programme recorded in January 1972 by a 'strange' line-up including Buckmaster, Bridges, House and Pavli.
Just listening to the tracks I realized the radio programme was older because all the instruments were acoustic and I identified Ursula Smith's violin and probably a viola played by Richard Coff. Also, the tunes were three and not two as stated.
Thus I suggested to cut the tracks off for using them on the remastered edition of "Alchemy"...
So I'm sorry for this naff mistake but it's not my fault...

November 23, 2018

The remastered "Elements" album out now!


Thanks, Cherry Red Records-Esoteric Recordings here's the wonderful remastered album every TEB fans was waiting...


The "Elements" album is now out in a brilliant 3CDs edition with:

- the original legendary four tracks about elements (1970 Harvest album) 
- the complete "Abelard & Heloise" TV soundtrack (remastered from the original German masters);
- twenty unrealized tracks from the vaults and BBC radio sessions (1970-1971): actually the real unrealized tracks are eight, because the other tracks included are "Abelard & Heloise" soundtrack (6 tracks) and two radio programmes already realised by Gonzo Multimedia  (6 tracks);
- a long historical essay by your devote LCF...

                                                (photos by  Elena Blasi)





 

November 17, 2018

"Macbeth" scheduled with three unrealized tracks!


Just finished writing the booklet of new TEB remastered CD, no dates of publication yet.
Here below you can read the official schedule of Esoteric Recordings about "Macbeth" soundtrack with three unrealized tracks in, the definitive edition... 
Working on the text I've been so lucky to listen to the tracks and, apart from the great sound quality, they sound fantastic! 
So, dear TEB aficionados, stay tuned! 


"Music From Macbeth" track listing
THIRD EAR BAND: “Music from Macbeth”
ESOTERIC RECORDINGS PECLEC 2656
Released as Harvest SHSP 4019 in March 1972
  1. Overture
  2. The Beach
  3. Inverness: Macbeth's Return / The Preparation / Fanfare / Duncan's Arrival
  4. The Banquet
  5. Dagger and Death
  6. At the Well / The Princes' Escape / Coronation / Come Sealing Night
  7. Court Dance
  8. Fleance
  9. Groom’s Dance
  10. Bear Baiting
  11. Ambush / Banquo’s Ghost
  12. Going to Bed / Blind Man's Buff / Requiscant / Sere and Yellow Leaf
  13. The Cauldron
  14. Prophecies
  15. Wicca Way

Previously unreleased bonus tracks:
  1. Court Dance (first version)
  2. Groom’s Dance (first version)
  3. Fleance (first version)
Recorded and mixed at Trident studios, London – 5th December 1970
Previously unreleased


Music from Macbeth:

Third Ear Band

Paul Minns Oboe and Recorder
Glen Sweeney Drums
Paul Buckmaster Cello and Bass Guitar
Simon House Violin and VCS 3
Denim Bridges Guitars

Produced by Andrew King and Third Ear Band for Blackhill Enterprises Ltd.
Recorded at AIR Studios, London
Engineered by Dave Harries

All compositions written by Denim Bridges, Glen Sweeney, Paul Minns and Paul Buckmaster



November 09, 2018

Cherry Red Records' plans for the future...


The next Cherry Red’s Third Ear Band reissue is “Music from Macbeth”, a single CD with few unrealized tracks taken from the vaults. The booklet will be edited and written by Luca Chino Ferrari.

For the beginning of 2019, Cherry Red is planning a big reissue of “Alchemy”, a triple CD with a great amount of unrealized/alternate tracks, BBC radio programmes, and curiosities...

October 20, 2018

TEB book update...



Here's a brief note from Martin Cook, a talented editor and graphic designer about my 'legendary' book about the Band:

"Hi,
Have started getting the text back in the book... Will get finished by next week.
Hope that all is well.
"

So apparently here we are with it. Cross your fingers and... hope!

Yours TEB Esoteric Archivist (& "aficionado"),
Luca Chino Ferrari

September 26, 2018

New TEB's record scheduled for November 23th, 2018!


New TEB's triple album is scheduled for November 23th, 2018.


"A NEWLY RE-MASTERED 3 DISC EXPANDED EDITION OF THE 1970 ALBUM
FEATURING 11 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS DRAWN FROM AN UNRELEASED ALBUM AND THE ENTIRE RARE “ABELARD & HELOISE” SOUNDTRACK

Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the expanded and re-mastered release of the self- titled 1970 album by THIRD EAR BAND. Formed in 1968 around a nucleus of GLEN SWEENEY (percussion), PAUL MINNS (Oboe), RICHARD COFF (Violin, Viola) and URSULA SMITH (Cello), the Third Ear Band were unique in their exploration of exotic baroque music fused with experimental rock. Signing to Blackhill Enterprises in 1969, the quartet opened for many of the legendary Hyde Park free concerts by Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Blind Faith. One of the early signings to EMI’s progressive imprint, Harvest, their debut album, “Alchemy” was released in June 1969.
This, the band’s second album, was issued in June 1970 and gained good reviews in the underground music press. Always fluid with their line-ups, Ursula Smith and Richard Coff departed the band in September 1970, some weeks after recording a soundtrack to a German television film, “Abelard and Heloise”, to be replaced by Ben Cartland and Paul Buckmaster. At this point the Third Ear Band began to explore a more experimental rock direction, stating that they would go “electric” for their next album, tentatively entitled “The Dragon Awakes”. Despite an album’s worth of studio sessions being recorded at Abbey Road studios in late 1970 and the Spring of 1971, the project was eventually shelved.
This 3 disc digipack edition of THIRD EAR BAND features eleven previously unreleased tracks; the entire “Dragon Awakes” sessions, all previously unreleased, along with alternate session takes, two BBC John Peel sessions from 1970 and 1971 and a newly re-mastered version of the “Abelard and Heloise” soundtrack produced from recently discovered first generation master tapes. The set also includes a booklet with new essay by Third Ear Band Ghettoraga official archivist and biographer Luca Ferrari."

August 19, 2018

Brand new Third Ear Band album out soon!



Soon Cherry Red Records (https://www.cherryred.co.uk/) edits a brand new triple CDs of TEB's music related to the wonderful 1970 second album (a.k.a. "The Elements"). 
The package shows newly remastered edition of the studio album and the full "Abelard & Heloise" TV soundtrack, two rare BBC radio sessions and 8 (eight!!!) totally never issued studio tracks from the Abbey Road vaults (among them the legendary "Mistress of the Sun" recorded in 1971 and different studio takes of "Earth" and "Air"). 
The booklet is edited by Luca Chino Ferrari.

July 02, 2018

Steve Pank writes about Ursula's concert, Glen, Carolyn and the Electric Universe...


"I was just sitting down to write a review of Ursula's concert in Burgh House when I saw that Will had beaten me to it. Good one!
I will just add that of the three pieces played, the ones sounding most familiar to Third Ear Band aficionados would be the two string trios by Schubert. The sound of the string trio (violin, viola, cello) is leaner than the more usual string quartet, and it also puts more responsibility on the individual musicians.
The other two string players in the group met when they were both in the orchestra of the English National Opera. Frank Cliff (viola) moved up to East Anglia some years ago, Jane Faulkner still plays and teaches in London. 
 
I am off to the Electric Universe conference in Bath, the first one outside Arizona USA. Glen would have loved the Electric Universe movement, he was a big fan of Velicovsky, whose theories about the evolution of the solar system were an inspiration to the movement.
I have been in touch with Carolyn regarding a collaboration to write an account of Glen's early life, before he formed the Third Ear Band.
Good wishes
Steve Pank."

June 08, 2018

Will Hulbert tells his evening at the Burgh House meeting Steve Pank and Ursula Smith!


Here's an exclusive report for Ghettoraga Archive of the evening Will Hulbert and his wife Veronica (who took the wonderful pictures) had at the Hampstead Burgh House where they met Steve Pank and Ursula Smith, who played her cello at a classical concert.

"So! To try to put a story to those photos, Sunday does not start well! I forget to charge the camera and we find out that there are no trains running on our line up to London.
I start to think that we are never going to get there! Who would have thought a short trip across London would be so long and complicated?
After a couple of hours, my wife and I find ourselves at our destination, the leafy suburb of Hampstead.
I promised my wife Veronica that I would buy Sunday lunch. Think Sunday lunch, wine, followed by a classical recital in a Georgian house in a very select part of town.
What’s not to like?
Well! Lunch took forever to turn up and was somewhat cold when it did. During the interminable wait I did notice someone pacing the grounds around the house who I was sure was Steve Pank.
After lunch we head upstairs to the Concert Room, Steve was standing alone, so I thought to reintroduce myself.
To clarify, some forty years prior (albeit a couple of weeks) Steve had introduced himself to me, in the bar downstairs at the Roundhouse (by coincidence a couple of stops on the tube from Hampstead).
The 1978 incarnation of the Third Ear Band (not the best in my opinion but not as bad as later incarnations) at a time when punk and new wave where at their height, TEB’s musical direction of folk songs seemed to be somewhat out of touch with the late 70’s zeitgeist with minimal guitar, violin oboe (Paul Minns hiding in the background). It really needed a cello to give it balance (Oh! and drop the folk singing).

So nearly forty years into the future, my chance at last to see and hear 25% of the Third Ear Band live for the first time. So a classical recital, we sat in the second row with Steve Pank and Sue Rose (she was at the Cambodian Embassy squat with Dave Tomlin, she is now his landlady). Dave couldn’t make it due to ill health. Also, Carolyn was on holiday in Greece and also couldn’t make it.
Shame we nearly had another TEB reunion!

Ursula looked just as she does in that TEB French TV video (I did try in my mind to block out the classical stuff and do a TEB soundtrack, but gave up after a bit).
During the intermission Steve suggested we go backstage and he introduced us to his other half, the rest of the Quartet seem a bit puzzled by the fact that Ursula seems to have her own fan club! She explains that she “once used to be in a pop band”.

We return for the second half, my wife taking photos and videos.
Then after that, we head downstairs for some refreshments and a long chat. I can’t stress enough how friendly Steve and Ursula were, it was as if we had known them for years, I think you can tell by the look on my face in the photos that I had a day to remember.
Anyway, I swopped e-mail addresses with Steve and we all headed off to catch the Tube, Steve & Ursula and the Cello having a long drive back up to Norfolk."

May 25, 2018

Ursula Smith concert at the Burgh House, London: some exclusive pictures!


Great TEB's fan and music expert Will Hulbert, attending to the concert Ursula Smith played at Burgh House in Hampstead, London on May 13th, 2018 kindly shares with Ghettoraga Archive some pictures were taken there. 
Thanks, Will for your enthusiasm and your rare generosity!

Steve Pank (left) and Will Hulbert (right)


Ursula and Frank Fligg (viola)


Ursula, Steve, and Will






Ursula and Steve on a train going home 

April 24, 2018

Ursula Smith will play live in London soon!

"Hi Luca
What does the message on the website mean?
It seems to me that the interest in the Third Ear Band is still growing and I hope all the information you have collected will remain available.
Ursula is doing a classical concert in Burgh House, in Hampstead, London on Sunday 13th May in the afternoon, Carolyn has expressed interest in coming, and I will be there too.
 
Any loyal Third Ear Band supporter who is also interested in classical music would enjoy the music, and a chance to hear Ursie in a classical setting.
I have attached a flyer.
Good wishes,
Steve."


March 05, 2018

The reasons why this Archive folds up now.


Dear TEB's fans and listeners, this is the last post I write for this Archive.
When in 2009 I had the idea to start this, my main intention was to contribute to re-write the story of the band, looking for documents and making new interviews about its obscure legendary short career.

Today, after 8 years (Ghettoraga started in November 2009), we have articles and books published, rare studio & new music recorded (thanks to Gonzo), a huge amount of photos, ads, posters, original documents of/about the band - de facto a brand new story written about the Third Ear Band, instead articles where journalists write the same old few commonplaces about it (one of the strongest that upset me is that  TEB was a "progressive" band "born in Canterbury"...).

But dear TEB passionate listeners let me tell you now the reasons why I've decided to finish with this Archive.
Even if I've written books and articles mainly about old musicians/groups (Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Captain Beefheart, Pink Floyd...), most of them unfortunately dead very young, I've been always firmly against nostalgia. For myself, that was powerful psico/socio/political stories to tell, just that.

 

Nostalgia is one of the most disgusting traits of the global cultural mainstream market, most of the so-called 'new music' products are actually old, bringing us to a far past of the previous Century.
Global commemorative campaigns  try to persuade us to buy 'new products' of Beatles, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Fabrizio De Andrè... in name of that glorious past when the music was "more autentic", "real", "honest" and "not compromised"... (of course, all bullshit!)
Scarce few chances for the contemporary creative artists to be known in this world!

 

Promoting a celebration of the 50 years of Sgt Pepper's or Rolling Stones' "Their Satanic Majesties Request" is a very safe market, you know, better than promote a young unknown new band or a new kind of sounds.
Everywhere I hear people tells that there's no anymore that kind of "old great music", alluding to that sound that is only in our memories, in that dangerous, slick, patetic Mental Land of Nostalgia. The main psicological reason of it is that we are becoming older and older and mental laziness retires us in that old order of reassuring things.



Of course, the reality is very different because men's creativity is still there: there's so much new music around (and this Archive has testified it many times) that a mentally sane man might forget the old '60's-'70's-'80's-90's music and listen just this.



So I suddenly realized that the risk is to be just one of the many islands of Nostalgia in the Internet for old fans (people who now are 60-70 years old), a thing that I didn't want to be when I had the idea to launch this Archive.

I just wanted to tribute the memory (and the art) of two great artists I'm proud to have known - Glen Sweeney and Paul Minns; nothing more and nothing less.
 

I confess also I had high expectations about fans interested into writing things about this Magic Esoteric Band, but through these 8 years very few was the real contributes and sometimes I asked myself how many fans (maybe music journalists?) had taken informations and documents totally free here without write a word of contribution (an hello, a critic, something else...).

Even if I didn't need it, I feel all of this very sad and miserable now.

So please sorry for this my decision, anyway it's been great to do all this and meet (virtually) many good people around the World to share the fascinating, wonderful epic of the Third Ear Band!
God luck to everyone and... carry on!
Yours
Luca Chino Ferrari 


PS: I wish to thank these very friendly persons: Carolyn Looker, Mary Haynes, Dave Tomlin, Steve Pank, Martin Cook, Sean Beredin, Mirco Delfino, Spirito Bono, Francesco Paladino, Alessandro Monti and all the musicians/artists who helped me with this Archive!  

In loving memory of Paul Buckmaster (1946-2017). 


PS2: I will ad here the new coming book about Glen and the Thirds, still on editing by Martin Cook... 

Ps3: Anyway you can follow me on my brand new Italian/English Web site (with blog) at https://chino6339.wixsite.com/gelatoaicorvi

February 23, 2018

Danny Baker on the late Kate Chegwin...



 
"Keith Chegwin. Friend, a fellow euphoric, grafter. I would greet him as 'former member of the Third Ear Band." He sang this magical song when a career in legit film and theatre seemed his destiny. See ya, mate..."
 
 
At the page https://twitter.com/prodnose/status/940231771278454784 198 retweets follow.  



About "Fleance" and Keith Chegwin in this Archive:


 no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)