Kevin Ayers

BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert

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After leaving the Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers assembled the Whole World, a band designed to play his solo material. The group's members, including David Bedford, Mike Oldfield, and Lol Coxhill, would eventually go on to great success in the UK art rock realm. Together with Ayers, they created a kaleidoscopic, endearingly shambolic brand of psychedelic art rock full of the notorious Canterbury whimsy much beloved by Ayers fans.

These BBC live recordings begin by focusing on Ayers the balladeer, the singer's luxurious baritone moving smoothly through such gentle tunes as "Lady Rachael," and "May I." The soul side of Ayers' roots comes through on the celebratory, unhurried "Whatevershebringswesing," while early Pink Floyd/Soft Machine-isms are indulged on "There is Loving," combining charging rock riffs, spacey psychedelia, and a subtly arranged orchestra. As Ayers himself admits in the liner notes, the band/orchestra combination goes occasionally awry; but even this fits in with the heady, experimental spirit of the times, adding to the attractively freaky ambience of this document from Ayers' most progressive period.

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