We’re delighted to announce a 21st Century schizoid night out on Monday January 20, a celebratory evening of stories, rumination and tear-stained nostalgia to mark the arrival of two splendid new books about the British prog explosion. Expect fond discussion of fearless musical adventure and, possibly, spangled capes.
The music writer Mike Barnes is onboard to talk about ‘A New Day Yesterday’ which begins in Itchycoo Park with the Small Faces and heads into psychedelia and the prog underground where he interviews over 100 key players – Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, ELP, Curved Air and Soft Machine among them. And from there – taking in “the politics and pop culture of the time, sex, drugs, rock festivals and Gryphon playing crumhorns”, it ends in 1979, surely the most entertaining and comprehensive prog chronicle ever published. “I wanted to overturn the received wisdom that it was all about hobbits,” he points out. Quintessence, you need to know, had a “live-in swami” in their Notting Hill flat.
And Sid Smith is on the sofa with his updated and expanded new edition of ‘In The Court Of King Crimson’ as it’s now 50 years since their first album. It’s “a turbulent tale” involving internal feuds, Hyde Park and the Stones, the inscrutable genius of Robert Fripp, the bizarre Bryan Ferry audition and “the importance of cashew nuts, mud and telepathy in King Crimson’s sound”.
Two highly entertaining speakers.