Daevid Allen / Euterpe

Daevid Allen & Euterpe: Studio Rehearsal Tapes 1977 (Banamoon Obscura, Vol. 1)

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This is the first volume in what is promised to be a series of 20 CDs of archival Daevid Allen-related material, each disc pressed in a limited run of 1,000 copies and packaged in a simple yet elegant black-and-white cardboard sleeve. And the Bananamoon Obscura series is off to a very fine start with this release documenting a little-known period in Allen's career. Listeners are treated to 50 minutes worth of Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth rehearsing with the group Euterpe, just before their 1977 "reunion" concert at the Hippodrome in Paris. The lineup includes Pepe Milan and Juan Biblioni (both acoustic guitars) and Cloudhairy Pepe Riba (violin, double bass, and sousaphone). This acoustic band (except for Allen's glissando guitar) delivers tasty renditions of early Allen classics like "Magick Brother" and several tunes from the Good Morning era. Gong's "classic" repertoire is largely ignored, the only exception being Smyth's "Prostitute Poem," but the Pothead Pixie mythology is represented by the rarely heard "Sittin in a Teashop." The mantric "Deva Goddess" provides the smooth highlight of the set, thanks to Riba's inspired violin playing, while the then-new piece "Wee Bit More" and the silly reggae "Time of the Bananamoon" are the other standout pieces. The sound quality is fair, with some distortion, tape deterioration, and a lack of bass, but quite listenable overall. Don't let the mention "rehearsal tapes" fool you: this is not a set of partial takes interspersed with conversation, but a tightly edited sequence of complete performances, akin to a studio demo. Obviously a fan item (and prior knowledge of this particular era in Allen's career is an asset in enjoying it), this CD fills a gap in the man's discography (some of this material has been previously available, with worse sound quality, as the bootleg Deya Daze).

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