KEVIN AYERS WITH ROBERT WYATT
The Whole Wide World [no label, 1CD]
Live at Gemeendecentrum, Drijbergen, The Netherlands; July 30, 1970. Broadcast on VPRO Piknik radio and TV. Ex stereo broadcast.
As oddly disconcerting as any live Ayers experience ought to be, this live broadcast from 1970 catches the Whole Wide World at their most maddening, a collection of songs that veers deliberately between the whimsical and the obtuse, with little middle ground in between.
So a fractured “We Did It Again” rubs shoulders with a mystifyingly brief “Lady Rachel” (oddly dominated by a piping Stylophone), “The Hat Song” rattles manically alongside a disheveled “Clarence In Wonderland,” and “Why Are We Sleeping” spreads out over close to twelve minutes of sheer madness, including a lengthy snatch of Ayers doing his best impersonation of a kitschy nightclub balladeer.
The Dutch broadcasters themselves add to the chaos with barking dogs and snatches of speech, while the general air of lunacy is only heightened by some positively leviathan improvisations. “Clarence In Wonderland” is extended out over more than 13 minutes, via solos that all but become sound effects; “We Did It Again” touches the quarter of an hour mark, as it rides a grinding garage riff that makes Mick Farren’s “Mona” sound restrained; and “Colores Para Dolores” is essentially a Lol Coxhill showcase that really wants to burst into the theme from the Benny Hill Show.
So, all is as one would expect to find from a period Whole Wide World show. - Dave Thompson
Note: Dave Thompson is the British-born author of over 100 books, largely dealing with rock and pop music (including U2: Stories For Boys), but also covering film, sports, philately, numismatics and erotica.
Thanks to the person who shared this on the net in 2005.
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
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Track 01. Oyster & The Flying Fish (5.2MB)
Track 02. Lady Rachel (3.5MB)
Track 03. We Did It Again (24.4MB)
Track 04. Hat Song (2.5MB)
Track 05. Clarence In Wonderland (22.2MB)
Track 06. Colores Para Dolores (17.3MB)
Track 07. Why Are We Sleeping? (20.0MB)
Kevin Ayers - guitar, vocals
Robert Wyatt - drums, vocals
David Bedford - keyboards
Lol Coxhill - sax, vocals
Mike Oldfield - bass, guitar
Bridget St. John - vocals on Track 1
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