March 5, 2013 – 4:32 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

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.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

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

Click here to order Kevin Ayers’s releases.

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  1. 7 Responses to “KEVIN AYERS WITH ROBERT WYATT - HOLLAND 1970”

  2. Gemeentecentrum, Driebergen

    By Jan Smink on Mar 5, 2013

  3. Mike Oldfield on bass and guitar makes this worth a listen. Thanks, bigO.

    By NAMoosedog on Mar 5, 2013

  4. i dont know why but theres only one wyatt item on sugarmegs from 08 and it really doesnt include him in any of the performances on the recording. there is a q&a with him tho.
    still only the same two ayers items as previously mentioned 92 and 94. approx 33 soft machine items incl one from last year and 2011 oddly enough. there are 9 oldfields from 73 to 93. i was at 2 of them. those shows are incredible that sugarmegs have available. theyre all recommended. i also highly recommend david bedford items keith tippet etc. pretty much anyone these people have worked with but then we’ve been thru that now havent we. haha.

    By darth on Mar 6, 2013

  5. Yes! More Kevin! Thanks. Keep ‘em coming!

    I can’t imagine that any of you wouldn’t know, but EMI really did a nice job with their series of all Kevin’s Harvest and Island albums. Extra tracks galore, including MANY radio concert highlights (and whole shows sometimes) quite a number hosted by the man himself, John Peel. Nice remastering, too IMHO. Pick ‘em up if you haven’t already.

    By Scott Brookman on Mar 6, 2013

  6. Fantastic, thank you for sharing this. The VPRO Piknik shows were outstanding. Not a lot seems to have survived.

    By Dan Uneken on Oct 14, 2014

  7. Really enjoyed that. plenty of lol which was pleasing. Plenty of anarchic mischief. And mr tubercular balls on bass - nifty. Liked the barking dogs bouncing off lols soprano (or did they)

    By nige robinson on Jan 23, 2015

  8. Love it…thanks for sharing

    By daniel thérien on Feb 8, 2015

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