December 16, 2018

The "Third Ear Band" CD's unreleased tracks: some philological evidence.


Perhaps it can be interesting to write some explanations about the new recordings emerged from the EMI/Trident Studios/BBC radio programmes thanks to Cherry Red Records-Esoteric Recordings. A historical excursus can facilitate the order of things and clear up some philological evidence:

1. "Third Ear Band" was published in June 1970. The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in some difficult sessions in April: this is stated by Paul Minns in his personal diary, so we have to assume it as the truth.

TEB on stage for France TV (May 28th, 1970).

Thus, it's not correct to consider the two tracks emerged from the vaults - "Earth" (take four) and "The Sea" ("Fire") - as part of those recording sessions that lead to the Harvest album because they were recorded months before:
"Earth" (take four) was in fact recorded on January 6th, 1970 and "The Sea" (Fire)" on March 16th, 1970, as an effect of a creative process developing through the months, with attempts and errors, sketches and proofs... until the band started the proper recording sessions for the album.

(Please note that a first version of "The Sea" was recorded on September 12th, 1969 at Abbey Road Studio (it will be published on the remastered edition of "Alchemy" in March 2019), confirming that the title was around from the very beginning...)

Denim Bridges in September 1970.
From a very first listening "The Sea" is clearly "Water" (but the sea is made of water, isn't it so?), a version very similar to the original one; more difficult is to tell what exactly is "Earth", because it seems there are no clear relations with the published version of it: a folk uptempo ballad with a solid rigid structure, no improvisations, only little variations from the main theme with violin and oboe leading. A rural, very earthly tune in the great pagan British folk tradition... that can be considered the link between the "Alchemy" phase with the following one.

It's important to note that those were the titles written on the reel boxes, so editor Mark Powell made a simple philological choice publishing the things as they were, not as we think they might be (in a chrono/logical sequence).
 
Paul Minns on oboe in 1970.
Again, as every TEB listener well know, Glen was always obsessed by the titles for copyright reasons, so often he used to change the titles to the same tune...
In fact...

2. Some weeks later, on June 16th, 1970, the band played at "Sound of '70's" BBC radio programme three tracks: "Dog Evil" (actually "Mosaic"), "The Sea" (a.k.a. "Air") and "Druid One", already available among the fans.
We have to consider two interesting things:

a. TEB's attitude for giving different titles to the same tune, typical of Glen and
b. here, "The Sea" has become "Air", confirming the idea that for the TEB every time is a brand new time, and a tune cannot be played two times in the same way...


Bridges and House at Abbey Road Studios in February 1971.

3. On July 2nd and 3rd, the band recorded in Germany at NDR Studios the soundtrack for the TV movie "Abelard", published for the first time on a CD in my old book "Necromancers of the Drifting West" (Stampa Alternativa, 1999), then on a single CD by Blueprint (1999). Now is included on the second disc of this Esoteric remastered edition because Powell got the original masters from NDR, even if Stampa Alternativa edition was taken from the original reel Paul Minns kept in his attic for years: if you compare the two editions few quality differences appear...

4. In September, Ursula Smith and Richard Coff left the band. Sweeney and Minns reformed the group as Electric 3rd EarBand replacing them with Denim Bridges (on guitar) and Paul Buckmaster (on bass). One of the first documented recordings of the quartet (with congas player Gasper Lawall) was the session at the programme "Beat Club" (German TV) on September 11th, where they played "In D", "Hyde Park" and "Druid Grocking". The set is documented by a DVD produced by Gonzo Multimedia in 2015 as "The Lost Broadcasts" (HST069DVD), reviewed in this Archive at the page https://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2011/11/lost-broadcasts-dvd-review.html


Ad announcing "The Dragon Wakes" in August 1970.

5. From November 1970 this new quartet (with Richard Coff  involved sometimes) started to record at Abbey Road Studios a new album announced as "The Dragon Wakes", never published. From a session set on November 11th, are now available on Esoteric new CD three unreleased instrumentals:

- "Very Fine... Far Away"
- "The Dragon Wakes"
- "Sunrise"

6. A new session is documented on December 5th, 1970 at the London Trident Studios where the TEB recorded three tracks (then re-recorded for the "Macbeth" soundtrack):

- "Court Dance"
- "Groom's Dance"
- "Fleance"

These tracks (described on the reel boxes as the "first version") will be included on the "Music from Macbeth" remastered edition that Esoteric Recordings will publish in January 2019.

If "Court Dance" and "Groom's Dance" are an acoustic version of the tracks (i.e. in "Groom's Dance" there's no electric bass...), is very difficult to consider "Fleance" actually a different version, because it seems to me exactly the same...


Bridges playing at EMI Studios in February 1971.

An evidence that force us to make some observations about the events: why they recorded a "first version" of the track many months before and then they decided to use the same? Were this tracks thought for "The Dragon Wakes" album or, as, early versions of the "Macbeth" project? And if "Fleance" is actually the same version, why they use that for the soundtrack without trying to record a better version? (or they recorded them but this one was the best)...

7. On January 17th, 1971 the band played live on air at the BBC radio programme "John Peel Concert" three tracks (already published by Gonzo Multimedia in 2015 in a rough form):

- "Water"
- "Druid One"
- "Eternity in D"

this last one very different from "Raga in D" and "In D": was this track recorded in the studio before (and cancelled) or this is the first official 'appearance' of it?

Interesting DJ John Peel presenting "Eternity in D" quite ironically said: "The next is from the third LP which will be realised in February, March, April, or May or somewhere... and the title of it is very secret or unpronounceable...", because the band was in the process to record "The Dragon Wakes" and there was apparently no evidence the TEB was recording the Macbeth soundtrack...
 
Sweeney and House at Abbey Road Sudios in February 1971.

8. In February 1971 TEB went to the Balham Studios (Bridges doesn't remember it and thinks it was Abbey Road Studios) for recording other tracks for "The Dragon Wakes" album.
A rare 3:00 video document with the band recording a rendition of "Fire" is available on the Net at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF7sZU_xUCg&feature=youtu.be, with the band playing

Paul Buckmaster at EMI Studios in February 1971.
Denim Bridges recalled: "I don't know why the session was held although I do remember it. I was never included in those matters. I hope the purpose will be discovered now the video is on the Internet. Because of the faux wind sound (from Simon's VCS3 I think) and the fact the Paul Minns played something reminiscent of the opening to 'Air' off the 2nd LP I'm assuming the track is supposed to be 'Air'. The performance soon departs from the above-mentioned version but with cello being replaced by both bass guitar and guitar that might be expected. That is also (probably) to be expected as TEB was primarily an improvisational band".

Another track "Raga n. 1" (8:31), recorded at E.M.I. Studios (with Richard Coff again) was kept for years by Paul Minns, and I asked Gonzo Multimedia to include it on "Necromancers of the Drifting West" CD published in 2015 (HST311CD).

 
Paul Minns recording a rendition of "Air" at Abbey Road Studios in February 1971.

Other six tracks, never mixed, are still in Denim Bridges' hands, and we can only hope he can decide one day to realize them (read in this Archive at https://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/09/very-rare-sampler-from-1971-recording.html).
Interviewed by me in 2010 he explained: "The problem with much of our discussion is that sometimes the same (or very similar) piece of music had different titles. The piece "Eternity in D" was called "Genetic Octopogillar Goo", which was also used, at one time, for "The discrimination against Runny Custard", which I call "Custard" for short but "Discrimination" is a more appropriate title. "Discrimination" is now the title, ok? "Eternity in D" musically had nothing to do with the poem of the same title on your archive. Another example of using the same title  for different things. To the converse, the same (or very similar) piece had the same title...".

Minns, Buckmaster & Sweeney recording at Abbey Road Studios in February 1971.

9. Recorded and mixed on February 12th, 1971, finally we can now listen to "Mistress to the Sun", a rare vocal song is sung (and presumably composed) by Denim Bridges. A sort of art-song in the style of Faust's "IV" or Slapp Happy with a strong flavour of the '70's...
The band intended to make a single out the new forthcoming album...

10. Going back to Abbey Road Studios, on March 11th, 1971, TEB recorded and mixed another instrumental tune, "Evening Awakening", maybe for "The Dragon Wakes" album, even if the nature of this long piece of music (23 minutes) suggests it was a sort of jam in the studio or at least a mini suite formed by three different tunes:
- a first (wonderful!) 9:40 tune in the same mood of the "Beat Club" TV studio recordings;
- a second (quite boring!) 3:20 section based on some improvisations of Sweeney at the drum kit with bass explorations by Buckmaster and a hypnotic iterative sequence of notes by Minns on a distorted oboe;
- a 10:00 extraordinary part with impressive percussive work by Coff on violin and great interplay of musicians inspired to Davis' "Bitches Brew" new course.


Ursula Smith playing cello on stage for France TV (May 28th, 1970).

11. A new recording session, on June 4th, 1971, signed the end of the troubled "The Dragon Wakes" album with an 11:00 recording of "In D.

Interesting compare this version to that played at "Beat Club" in 1970 because very little elements seem to have in common: this version in fact, with Richard Coff on violin, has a completely different time signature, very different (and high quality!) guitar work by Bridges, a great interplay between Coff and Minns on oboe, the real soloists of the tune...

Since from the incipit, the version played in Germany has that chords sequence Bridges played in "Eternity in D", taken from Miles Davis' "So What". So, the title is the same, confirming the TEB attitude to improvise every time with no predefined harmonic/melodic structures, as a matter of fact, we have two very different tunes...


Richard Coff playing  on stage for France TV (May 28th, 1970).

12. In July and August 1971 the TEB went to Air Studio for recording the Macbeth soundtrack: so, apparently, a chronological approach to the things would suggest that the band before tried to record the third album and then they were involved into the Polanski's project (even if that session at Trident Studios seem to contradict it...).


"The Dragon Wakes" (ghost album):
Apart from the tracks owned by Denim Bridges, we can now suppose a track-list for the aborted "The Dragon Wakes", based on recordings at Abbey Road Studios between November 1970 to June 1971:

- "Very Fine... Far Away" (November 1970)* - 2:30
- "The Dragon Wakes" (November 1970)* - 10:27
- "Sunrise" (November 1970)* - 12:55
- "Mistress to the Sun" (February 1971)* - 6:24
- "Fire" (February 1971)** - 3:06
- "Raga n. 1" (February 1971)*** - 8:31
- "Evening Awakening" (March 1971)* - 23:00
- "In D" (June 1971)* - 11:00
- "Eternity in D" (January 1971)**** - 6:28

Note:
*published in 2018 by Esoteric Recordings in "Third Ear Band" (PECLEC 32653) 
**in video format only on YouTube channel 
***published in 2015 by Gonzo Multimedia in "Necromancers of the Drifting West"  (HST311CD)
****published in 2018 by Esoteric Recordings in "Third Ear Band" (PECLEC 32653)


The Balham Studios recordings: 
(February 1971)

- "Air" (different version from 1970 track) - 7:31
- "Mini Mac" - 4:21
- "Ghoo" (a.k.a. "Eternity in D") - 3:58
- "Game Six" - 2:34
- "Discrimination" - 6:39 
- "Fire" (different version from 1970 track)* - 3:06 

Note:
* Probably the same version of the video circulating on YouTube 
 

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."