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Thread: Gilgamesh anyone?

  1. #1

    Gilgamesh anyone?

    Scrolling through the "Looking for obscured prog of the 70's etc." thread I saw this name come up.. What's your take.. From reading reviews of their albums they seem to be in the vein of National Health / Hatfield and the North.. Anyone got a favorite from them?

  2. #2
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    They're all good, they are a bit more jazzy than other Canterbury bands with a keyboards focus. I'd start with the debut s/t.
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    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    The archival Arriving Twice is good but I pefer the debut. If you like this, you should check out Gowen/Sinclair/Tomkins/Pyle's "Before a Word is Said", the last recorded work by Gowen.

  4. #4
    Love Gilgamesh. I have a very slight preference for their second album, Another Fine Tune, but I really like them both. If you've never heard them, I'd probably recommend starting with the debut which seems more of a consensus favorite. I also agree about Before a Word is Said, definitely worth looking into if you like the Gilgamesh stuff.

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    From reading reviews of their albums they seem to be in the vein of National Health / Hatfield and the North.. Anyone got a favorite from them?
    There should be several threads mentioning them, some in-depth:

    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...ight=Gilgamesh
    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...ight=Gilgamesh
    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...ight=Gilgamesh

    They were a great band, IMO - but probably less "rock" altogether than their compatriots Egg and Hatfield. Alan Gowen, obviously, contributed quite substantially to the early National Health.

    I have an extremely soft spot for the s/t Gilgamesh debut, which was indeed produced by Egg/Hatfield's Dave Stewart, although their second (and last original) album, Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into, was arguably more accomplished in terms of elaborate composition. But oh boy, what amazing players they were! Just listen to the very dynamics of the following:

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Scrolling through the "Looking for obscured prog of the 70's etc." thread I saw this name come up.. What's your take.. From reading reviews of their albums they seem to be in the vein of National Health / Hatfield and the North.. Anyone got a favorite from them?
    The debut is a borderline classic of Canterbury very much comparable to the best of NH’s stuff, and highly recommended. Probably Alan Gowen’s finest hour as both a keyboardist and composer. The second went more into that very ordinaire Brit-jazz sound akin to Nucleus and the later Softs stuff; fine if you like that sort of thing, but not to my tastes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    The archival Arriving Twice is good but I pefer the debut. If you like this, you should check out Gowen/Sinclair/Tomkins/Pyle's "Before a Word is Said", the last recorded work by Gowen.
    Yes, Before a Word Is Said sounds absolutely like Gilgamesh album. Very good. My favorite though is Another Fine Tune...

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    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    they are a bit more jazzy than other Canterbury bands with a keyboards focus. I'd start with the debut s/t.
    +1 on both counts.
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    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    YES

  10. #10
    2nd album excellent

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    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Both are indeed excellent. For me the second is the better one by a hair. I agree with most of what's has been said to date - Gilgamesh produced highly polished Canterbury flavored jazz rock that was very laid back and centered on the mellow and glowing & dancing keyboards of Alan Gowen.

    If you like Gilgamesh and Alan Gowan's playing I highly recommend "Two Rainbows Daily" which is an atmospheric blend Alan and Hugh Hopper on keys and bass respectively - a lovely little gem of an album IMO.
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    Thanks for all the input..

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    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Love Gilgamesh. I have a very slight preference for their second album, Another Fine Tune, but I really like them both. If you've never heard them, I'd probably recommend starting with the debut which seems more of a consensus favorite. I also agree about Before a Word is Said, definitely worth looking into if you like the Gilgamesh stuff.

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    Cookie Monster Guitarist Onomatopoeic's Avatar
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    "Looking for obscured prog of the 70's etc." thread...

    Gilgamesh.... laughing at "obscure."

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    Love the debut, the second too free for my taste.

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    The archival Arriving Twice is good but I pefer the debut. If you like this, you should check out Gowen/Sinclair/Tomkins/Pyle's "Before a Word is Said", the last recorded work by Gowen.
    For some reasons, I prefer Arriving Twice to their historic two albums , but yeah, their debut is better than their second Fine Mess
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  17. #17
    I've only heard Arriving Twice but plan to check into the other albums soon. Aside from Gowen, they had some great British jazz/rock guitar from Phil Lee. His playing reminds me of McLaughlin at times.

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    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    The archival Arriving Twice is good but I pefer the debut. If you like this, you should check out Gowen/Sinclair/Tomkins/Pyle's "Before a Word is Said", the last recorded work by Gowen.
    That would be a pricey undertaking it would seem. (Though it seems to be up on YT, will listen later)

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    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    The archival Arriving Twice is good but I pefer the debut. If you like this, you should check out Gowen/Sinclair/Tomkins/Pyle's "Before a Word is Said", the last recorded work by Gowen.
    Second this. I like all three, but rate them:
    Debut
    Before a Word
    Another...
    Arriving Twice
    Last edited by wideopenears; 01-12-2016 at 05:55 PM.

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    What about my member? rottersclub's Avatar
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    I've always had a soft spot for the debut. I searched for it on vinyl for years without success, but eventually bought it on CD.
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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I wonder if there are any live recordings floating around? Aymeric?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I wonder if there are any live recordings floating around? Aymeric?
    Not as far as I know. The band didn't perform much. About 20 gigs in 1973, 1 in 1974 and a couple in 1975.

    Of the two concerts in double-quartet with Hatfield in November 1973, recordings exist of both, or at least used to. The Leeds concert was recorded by the same guy who recorded the Roundhouse tracks on the Egg "Metronomical Society" CD, but he sent the tape to Dave Stewart, where it now resides, and whether it is ever heard is up to him. The London concert... That's a strange one. I heard a tape of Hatfield's set, which had a snippet of unknown music at the end, about a minute, recognisable at having Richard Sinclair singing on it and sounding like the possible finale of the double-quartet piece. There is a possibility that the Hatfield set was recorded over the double-quartet set immediately after it happened, but it seems absurd, especially since Hatfield likely played BEFORE the double-quartet set. So, perhaps a copying error ?

    There are a couple of unreleased BBC sessions from September 1975, one with Dave Stewart sitting in (but only occasionally prominent), but neither were of good enough quality to be included on "Arriving Twice". Gilgamesh (with Stewart) played their final gig that same month. Sadly no recordings appear to exist.
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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post

    There are a couple of unreleased BBC sessions from September 1975, one with Dave Stewart sitting in (but only occasionally prominent), but neither were of good enough quality to be included on "Arriving Twice". Gilgamesh (with Stewart) played their final gig that same month. Sadly no recordings appear to exist.
    Ummm.

    We had / have a perfect quality recording of one of the pieces from the September, 1975 BBC gig, but, honestly, the idea of attempting to get permission from one person who is just a guest on one song, after laboring so long to get permission from everyone else for an entire album of material, and possibly putting the entire thing in jeopardy, made me decide that a bird in the hand was worth much more than two in the bush and we put out what we put out.

    Sorry, but that's the way the tone generator crumbles.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    We had / have a perfect quality recording of one of the pieces from the September, 1975 BBC gig, but, honestly, the idea of attempting to get permission from one person who is just a guest on one song, after laboring so long to get permission from everyone else for an entire album of material, and possibly putting the entire thing in jeopardy, made me decide that a bird in the hand was worth much more than two in the bush and we put out what we put out.
    My impression was the track in question was an alternate take from the ALBUM sessions, not a BBC session. My impression from the one time I heard it was it was also an incomplete, although lengthy, excerpt from, I think, "Jamo & Other Boating Disasters".
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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    My impression was the track in question was an alternate take from the ALBUM sessions, not a BBC session. My impression from the one time I heard it was it was also an incomplete, although lengthy, excerpt from, I think, "Jamo & Other Boating Disasters".
    You could be right. (could be? my memory vs Aymeric's? I will always lose!)

    It's so long since I heard it, I don't remember.
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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

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