Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Out From Under

Gary unleashed in the Australian Outback, Earthcore Global Carnival, 11/26/05

GL onstage with Amorphous Androgynous, Earthcore Global Carnival

GL and Dave onstage, Earthcore Gobal Carnival

Click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)

Just back from Down Under, wotta cool country, my first time evah, great trip, several smoking shows with the Amorphous Androgynous crewe (the brainchild of Future Sound of London's Gaz Cobain), we rocked the Aussie fans' collective billabongs off at several massive outdoor rave festivals held outside Melbourne and Brisbane way-out in the Outback (so far out a train don't go there, in fact), and also played an incandescent set at the Prince Bandroom in the heart of Melbourne's swinging Fitzroy Street beach scene. Out there on the perimeter, vivid primeval skies mad with a million blazing stars arched o'er us in the deep country twilight, especially Saturday night, our last gig of 3, as we made our way by caravan on pitted dirt roads to arrive at a lush promontory with sweeping views of the surrounding volcanic foothills, a verdant plateau bedecked with medieval food and drink and tchotchke stalls (very Camden Townish, very Glastonbury) over which exotic purple birds and flocks of giant bats with huge pterodactyl-like wings zoomed out of the trees as night came on strong, monstrous electric green toads with glowing gold eyes were sighted hopping and frolicking in the public bogs, and fuzzy spiders with the leg span of an open hand crept up somebody's jacket...

and we set up our gear on the main Pyramid Stage (also very Glastonbury) with multimedia screens flanking us on both sides and above and behind us and began blasting a set of state of the art psychodelicate selections from the band's new album "Alice in Ultra-Land" and our last disc "The Isness", strings in the earth and air began to shimmer and vibrate as me and Stewart Rowe set off a firestorm of electronic guitar pyrotechnics, Baluji Shrivastav flashed his scimitar-sitar, Dave Sanderson let loose with unearthly ululations, Virgil Howe set up a thumping great tribal beat, and Gaz conducted the whole affair from behind his nest of synths, samplers and laptops, as the great god Pan chased Aphrodite down a rabbit hole while Dionysus looked on in amusement--and the neo-hippies and children-of-the-gospel-rave and rainbow-chasing warriors, dread-locked sun worshippers and blissed-out surfer boys and girls were smote as one by our electronic sonic barrage and multi-screen light show and yea verily begin to shake and undulate rhythmically. We were hurtling headlong into the heart of the early summer madness in a majestic rush of music, o the summertime is comin' and the leaves are sweetly turnin', and the endless summah down undah hits you right between the eyes and ears...

and guitarist Steve Hillage (Gong, Rachid Taha, the great "Arabesque" series) was there with his lovely French partner and newSystem 7 project, and Porno for Pyros/Jane's Addiction/Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell (one of Jeff Buckley's and my own favorite musicians) was there doing his DJ Peretz thing, and I ran into Ben Watkins, the former lead singer of the UK band The Hitmen (remember their great "Bates Motel" single? Ben's now a psy-trance shaman with his electro-band Juno Reactor) who recalled a conversation we had about Beefheart up at Black Rock (CBS Records) 25 years ago-- and I had a nice reunion with Daevid Allen, international zig-zag wanderer, charter Soft Machinist, Gong founder and actual native Australian now living in bucolic Byron Bay, who I first met at Kramer's Jersey studio in 1992 and had last laid eyes on when we both played at the Next Festival in Tel Aviv about 7-8 years ago...it was some swell party in the woods on Saturday night!

Big Thanks to Danielle and Spiro and JD and Devaj and Jason and Clay and Mariella and Zack and all the folks of the Earthcore organisation who set the whole thing in motion. Please, do yourself a favor and visit Australia, you won't regret it...warm friendly good-hearted people, warm friendly country. Back now in freezing snowy Manhattan, dreaming of the Earthcore witchwoods...

meanwhile please take a look at my homepage at www.garylucas.com, where you'll find details on the 4th annual auction for People For the American Way--the auction is now in full swing, and you have only a week to bid on Ebay for my tour Chapeau circa summer 2003, plus sundry other goodies from folks like Patti Smith et al.--the money raised will go to a very worthy cause indeed, 'nuff said.

And, lastly, to get a very reasoned and well-thought out take on present-day political realities in these United States, check out Howie Klein's impassioned and informative blog, Down With Tyranny, at HowieKlein.com. Not to be missed.




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