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Thread: FEATURED CD : Hatfield and the North : The Rotters' Club

  1. #51
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Earlier than Hot Rats too; Hugh saw the Mothers Of Invention on at least one of their UK tours, as did Chris Cutler; both of them have told me that they saw the 1968 Royal Albert Hall show with the BBC Symphony Orchestra people that is captured on the Ahead Of Their Time and the Uncle Meat video.
    That is so wonderful and amazing. Amazeful?

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    Some Hot Rats in there, I think. Not sure if anyone from Hatfield mentioned his influence but I think Hugh Hopper did.

    I remember Dave Stewart also said that he developed as a keyboardist through playing Mont Campbell's compositions for Egg.
    Definitely interesting! Thanks

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Earlier than Hot Rats too; Hugh saw the Mothers Of Invention on at least one of their UK tours, as did Chris Cutler; both of them have told me that they saw the 1968 Royal Albert Hall show with the BBC Symphony Orchestra people that is captured on the Ahead Of Their Time and the Uncle Meat video.
    Thanks for sharing that! Really quite interesting

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Earlier than Hot Rats too; Hugh saw the Mothers Of Invention on at least one of their UK tours, as did Chris Cutler; both of them have told me that they saw the 1968 Royal Albert Hall show with the BBC Symphony Orchestra people that is captured on the Ahead Of Their Time and the Uncle Meat video.
    From my e-mail correspondence with Hugh :

    Q: re: "Facelift", you've cited Zappa's "King Kong" as an influence while composing the piece. Since "Uncle Meat" hadn't come out by the time you started playing it with Soft Machine, I would assume you'd seen the band play live (on the Autumn '68 UK tour) or heard/seen radio/TV broadcasts of the Mothers performing it ? (There's a particularly memorable, 20-minute TV performance of it from the BBC that I have on DVD and it's great)

    HH: I saw the concert at Albert Hall, the one that's shown in the documentary. But was that in 68 or 69? The first Zappa record I heard was Absolutely Free. So in fact, I was probably remembering wrongly that I had already heard "King Kong" before writing "Facelift".

    (Note: Hugh's assumption is wrong as the concert he saw was in September 1968, so he would have heard "King Kong" on at least that occasion.)
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  5. #55
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^^^^^

    Thanks, Aymeric!
    Steve F.

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  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    From my e-mail correspondence with Hugh :

    Q: re: "Facelift", you've cited Zappa's "King Kong" as an influence while composing the piece. Since "Uncle Meat" hadn't come out by the time you started playing it with Soft Machine, I would assume you'd seen the band play live (on the Autumn '68 UK tour) or heard/seen radio/TV broadcasts of the Mothers performing it ? (There's a particularly memorable, 20-minute TV performance of it from the BBC that I have on DVD and it's great)

    HH: I saw the concert at Albert Hall, the one that's shown in the documentary. But was that in 68 or 69? The first Zappa record I heard was Absolutely Free. So in fact, I was probably remembering wrongly that I had already heard "King Kong" before writing "Facelift".

    (Note: Hugh's assumption is wrong as the concert he saw was in September 1968, so he would have heard "King Kong" on at least that occasion.)
    This is fascinating!

  7. #57
    The Rotters Club starts out with the song "Share It" and then the band plays instrumental pieces that are guiding me through an experience. ..almost like watching a film. Two or three minute excerpts from certain instrumental pieces on their 2 studio albums are reminiscent of Gong to me. Periodically and not consistent because Hatfield And The North were very original. Very unique.

    On "Shaving Is Boring" from the first album the band develops a kind of vamp that is repetitive while the Northettes are singing notes that sound like they're from the tri tone interval. The dissonance in the piece creates a kind of dreamy affect that ends in madness

    One particular Pip Pyle drum intro has a phase shifter effect. Jimmy Hastings adds a lot to The Rotters Club. ..His solos add personality to the entire album. Certain sections of Rotters Club bring Soft Machine Third to mind or perhaps Shortwave playing "Nan's True Hole". ...but it's not consistent throughout the Rotters Club as Hatfield And The North were very original ●♡

  8. #58
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    This is one of my favorite albums of any genre. My favorite moments are the lush part before the guitar solo in Fitter Stoke Has a Bath, the delicate synth part at the end of It Didn't Matter Anyway and almost all of Mumps

  9. #59
    I believe in "Fitter Stoke Has A Bath" it builds up slowly creating a Gothic or creepy atmosphere of a vibe. It's not very long . It leads into "It Didn't Matter Anyway" . At first I thought it sounded like King Crimson but after several listens I began to think of it as experimentation of their own. Yes..they had influences from other bands , but it was always interspersed between their own originality like a slight sprinkle of seasoning ..
    That's what blew me away about Hatfield And The North! I think Dave Stewart is a genius of a composer. His music is so beautiful and melodic...yet very dangerously challenging and complex. You can sit with your instrument and learn his stuff...and play along with the record...but try putting together a 4 piece band to rehearse Dave Stewart's music. Particularly Hatfield And The North and National Health. ...and even after you get the material tight..take notice that it's the kind of composition that requires concentration .

    You may have it memorized, but it's easy to make a mistake even if you'd been performing it live for months. Several pieces from The Rotters Club have a rhythmic pattern that is not always difficult to follow, but then the composition will either flow to the next change or abruptly change not unlike a dramatic Broadway Play. Hatfield And The North albums contain some 3 or 4 minute songs that are lyrically odd, romantic, psychologically deep, and humorous.

    The piece "Mumps" is very dissonant and yet totally melodic. The vocal arrangement that The Northettes are singing is so incredibly sad. It's very melancholy...yet creates that particular dissonance which separates it from artificial composition. When I think about The Rotters Club what I value the most is its originality .

  10. #60
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    ^ Great post and agreed. The only thing I would add is that Mumps is dissonant in parts, but then very tonal/melodic is other parts. A beautiful balance within this absolute genius composition.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    ^ Great post and agreed. The only thing I would add is that Mumps is dissonant in parts, but then very tonal/melodic is other parts. A beautiful balance within this absolute genius composition.
    Yes!! That's perfectly correct

  12. #62
    I've come to personally enjoy the s/t debut even more, but Rotter is probably - "objectively" speaking - the musically better record.

    For instance, there are parts on the second half of side 2 on the debut that I find almost disappointingly semi-pedestrian, yet the overwhelming strength of finely-cut conceptual ideas and makeouts on the remainder renders a total impression of artistic triumph.

    To me, they are both 14-out-of-15 point records and completely indispensable in understanding the overall oeuvre of 70s progressive rock history and aesthetic. Additionally, they come seriously close to equally "serious" theoretical ideals and criteria of timelessness in art as formulated by authorities as diverse as Aristotle to Mayakovski to Berenson. They are absolute treasures of actual prog-rock artworks.
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  13. #63
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    For instance, there are parts on the second half of side 2 on the debut that I find almost disappointingly semi-pedestrian, yet the overwhelming strength of finely-cut conceptual ideas and makeouts on the remainder renders a total impression of artistic triumph.
    Blasphemy !

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    For instance, there are parts on the second half of side 2 on the debut that I find almost disappointingly semi-pedestrian...
    You need to be more specific about what parts you're talking about. Am I right in thinking you're referring to the Caravan-like mini-suite of songs ? When I first discovered Hatfield, this was my favourite part of the album, and I expected a lot more singing from Richard. There's so little of it that I can't see it being a problem even if one prefers the more left-field instrumental stuff that's all around it.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
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  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    You need to be more specific about what parts you're talking about. Am I right in thinking you're referring to the Caravan-like mini-suite of songs ? When I first discovered Hatfield, this was my favourite part of the album
    No, it's what comes after that and my own impression that this is essentially one lengthy outro or at least functions as such. Not a letdown ar anti-climax or anything, just passages that somehow signal how the duration is nearing its end.

    That "Caravan-like mini-suite of songs", on the other hand, is one of my absolute fave moments of Canterbury lore altogether, and the entire glide-drift (?) of the album's conceptual run up 'til that point leads onto it. As I hear and see. After all, the somewhat montage-half-collage narrative of structure only serves as long as a listener happens to believe in its internally-defined "logic" of natural development, and for me it's as if there should follow something else after the "mini-suite" thean what actually occurs.

    Like I wrote; it's arguably my fave of those two fantastic records, although it's as arguably also more uneven as a whole. To -me-.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  16. #66
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    I think they are both absolutely perfect masterpieces in virtually every way *for me*. If I had a time machine, I would want to alter the mix of Pip's drums differently on the debut, that's it. It's difficult to rank them, both would be 15+'s if I were allowed into the cool club of Gnosis.

  17. #67
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    I'd give both Hatfield albums a 15 rating on both Gnosis and Richter's scales. On Richard's scale too, for Pyle's sake.

  18. #68
    Member Czyszy's Avatar
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    I love this album. Highlights for me are: "Share It", "Didn't Matter Anyway" and of course "Mumps".

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    No, it's what comes after that and my own impression that this is essentially one lengthy outro or at least functions as such. Not a letdown ar anti-climax or anything, just passages that somehow signal how the duration is nearing its end.

    That "Caravan-like mini-suite of songs", on the other hand, is one of my absolute fave moments of Canterbury lore altogether, and the entire glide-drift (?) of the album's conceptual run up 'til that point leads onto it. As I hear and see. After all, the somewhat montage-half-collage narrative of structure only serves as long as a listener happens to believe in its internally-defined "logic" of natural development, and for me it's as if there should follow something else after the "mini-suite" thean what actually occurs.

    Like I wrote; it's arguably my fave of those two fantastic records, although it's as arguably also more uneven as a whole. To -me-.
    I always pair The Rotter's Club with In The Land Of Grey & Pink perhaps for obvious reasons!

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    No, it's what comes after that and my own impression that this is essentially one lengthy outro or at least functions as such. Not a letdown ar anti-climax or anything, just passages that somehow signal how the duration is nearing its end.
    I'm even more puzzled by this. The "Lobster"/"Landcrabs" mini-suite has some of my favourite Dave Stewart music, and a good amount of Mont Campbell's too (the "Landcrabs" organ solo is borrowed from Egg's "Wring Out The Ground"), and it's a high point of the entire album, not just a finale to the album. Perhaps it helps hearing those pieces at a different point in an album/live set. "Landcrabs" had some of the insanest jamming in the Hatfield sets, and there's a good example of that on one of the archive collections.

    Like I wrote; it's arguably my fave of those two fantastic records, although it's as arguably also more uneven as a whole. To -me-.
    I'm not sure I agree with that either. The first is clearly my favourite of the two, because of the wild range of musical styles and the way they cohabit within continuous sidelong "sets". My main issue with "The Rotters' Club" is that the contributions by Miller and Sinclair in particular no longer feel part of a cohesive whole. Tracks from the first album like "Calyx", "Fol De Rol" or "Aigrette" don't belong to any identifiable genre, whereas "Didn't Matter Anyway" and "Share It" are pop songs of some kind, and "Lounging" and "Underdub" are basically a form of jazz. I love them all but I'm more impressed by the genre-defying approach of the debut.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
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    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
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  21. #71
    ^ I listened yet again to side 2 last night, and you're probably right. Those concluding parts certainly establish their own valor of sorts. I suppose my initial position was due to the fact that it contrasts so severely to what preceded.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  22. #72
    I thought they linked "Share It" and "Lounging There Trying" nicely, but it is true the pop, jazz and classical/prog styles feel more separated on Rotters, odd since you'd think they would be more integrated after the band had spent more time together.

    Miller's songs remind me of Gary Burton's group ("Underdub" has a Light As A Feather-era Chick Corea feeling as well).

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