Here and Now in 1975
Human survivors of Here Now, including Kif Kif and Jose Gross, got together
with Jol on guitar in November 1974 and the "second incarnation"
of the band began.
Alan Dogend played with us for a while and connections with the Latimer
road squat-scene escalated with the addition to the group of Richard Heley,
poet, singer and artist of that indisputably bohemian street. As well
as jamming, songs were formed from the music of the jamming. Among these
songs was "Soviet Kommercial Radio", the chorus line "Violence
is caused by governments, armies, police force" is an old anarchist
slogan, and its inclusion in the song was influenced by the police violence
at Windsor the previous summer.
Early in 1975 Twink joined with his famous home-made synthesiser. This
version of Here & Now gigged at the Greyhound in Fulham Palace Road,
The Cabbage Patch in Twickenham and, on occasions, upstairs at the Chippenham
Pub in West 9 with the 101'ers.
Twink's Synthi swoops and gurgles didn't always sit well with all the
members of the band. And when we got to the first festival of the summer
there was some discomfort with the "looseness" of the whole
shambolic scene. A totally spaced-out set at this festival (Stonehenge,
June 1975) was to be the swan-song of (this) Here & Now... the only
survivors of the trip into "spacejam universe" being Twink and
Kif Kif. You'd have thought it would have been easier to just chuck KK
and Twoes out the band, but no, Jose, Richrd, Nick and Chris the Violin
simply declared, en masse, a few days after Stonehenge, that they were
leaving. And off they went - to form the seminal space-punk band "Blank
1975 was the first Summer of almost continual Free Festivals, and KK and
Twink set about trawling them for other contenders for Mr. Shiva's cosmic
masterplan. Without a lot of success. That is, until Watchfield Free Festival,
when Keith and Steffy played with the band for the band for the first
"Crazy" Alan Dogend was playing guitar on stage with the band
when Steffy arrived and plugged in: "It was like a cascade just streaming
out of Steffy's guitar. There was no way you could fit any other notes
in! After about 5 minutes I just ambled off the stage and left them to
it. KK and Twink had found a bass player and now a guitarist who could
match them for intensity."
fh [reprinted from the 'Gospel of Free' booklet].
Keith the Bass recounts the story story the night Steffy showed up...
This line up, Kif Kif, Twink, Steffy Sharpstrings, and yours truly "The
Missile Bass", first got together in August 1975, at Watchfield Free
Festival, somwhere near Swindon. The first time we played together was
a str crossed occasion, the last night of the festival and we were jamming
in front of a crowd of at least 5000. It was an incredibly intense experience,
particularly for myself, as I had a rather a lot of, ahem, stimulants,
and with all the energy flying around, found myself at some point, hovering
40 feet above the stage, looking at myself playing away, and wondering
how the hell I was doing it....... something else!
After an hour or so onstage we were joined by Arthur Brown (The "God
of Hellfire" himself!) who belted out stream of consciousness lyrics
and danced like a dervish possessed for an hour or so. We just carried
on - I think we'd hit such a strong (energy) line that we couldn't have
stopped anyway - and after a while we were joined by the late Rebop Kwaku
Ba, who was an extraordinary African percussionist. he stayed with us
all the way through till dawn, playing any drums he could find and singing
African folk songs across our rather racous space-punk-funk backdrop...
Keith the Missile Bass
|| Above - Kif Kif with Here and Now at Tarrent Keynston Pop
festival (?), Dorset, Spring 1975. Pic John Pearce