Here and Now 1976

 
Twink's bus, Edge of the Alps, France, Late 1976 pic:Baron?
 
Here & Now 1976
It was the Ides of march of 1976 before we would all meet again. Cramped into a tiny rehearsal room that was a carpeted coal shed, we were amazed to find that the music of the spheres blessed us with its presence yet again. Equally amazing was the fact that it even allowed itself to be recorded! Captured by the cassette recorder of Brian Assiter (the Frestonian Phil Spector) two of those very recordings, "Bom Shiva Shanka" and "Soviet Kommercial Radio" are included on this album. All things considered, the quality of sound from these tapes is pretty amazing.
Shortly after this 5-day Full Moon session, Twink, KK and Steffy quit the smoke of London for Bath in somerset, but Keith the Bass declined to go, and we soon lost touch.
The scorching summer of 1976 lay ahead...
Early in1976 Twink moved to Bath, dolecheque in hand, and found a lovely old bus which he moved in to. A month or two later KK and Steffe and Steffe's family (Lizzy and Gabrielle) decided to follow him. We somehow got the bus upto Stoneleigh Street in London and rammed it with tat, turned round and drove straight to a house in Bath we'd been told about that was ripe for a-squatting. - A whole new adventure was beginning!

 
Anno, Twink and Linda from Jupiter's child. Meigan Fayre 1976. pic: Jezza

 

 

The squat-scene in Bath was much less "tolerated" than it was in London - services (like electricity) were refused. But tha band, now joined by Max Cann on bass, warmed up for the festivals by doing a (naturally unauthorised) free tour of all the public bandstands in the city. On occasions, park keepers would try to stop the performance. Once , they asked if we had permission - and we all said we had. "Who from?" they demanded. "Mr. Shiva" we replied.
"Does he work for the council?" we were asked. (Pause). "Well, yes he does... (and under the breath)... he works for everyone!" "Right, we're going to find him!" and they marched off, leaving us to finish our set.
Twink had bought an old police bus to live in and we decided to go in it to every Free Festival we could find. The first of the season was Trentishoe in North Devon in late May. It was called Trentishoe after a previous festival but it wasn't at Trentishoe. It may have been near Pinhoe. Anyway it was freezing and the bus got regally stuck in a stream at the bottom of a huge hill. Eventually, about a hundred people pushed and pulled and dragged it up to the festival site. There was a great set where Suze the Blues first danced with the band and Grant Showbiz also introduced himself to the band as an impromptu stage manager.

Steffe. Here and Now at Trentishoe (Pinhoe?) 1976. pic: Jezza
 
BOM SHIVA SHANKA 11m 06s
HERE & NOW  
FREE 1 MIN CLIP
 
 
 
GOSPEL OF FREE  
©here & now 1976
 
 
Here and Now at Trentishoe Free Festival Devon May? 1976

The first festival of the fab summer of 76.
The mist came down and stayed down.
I was working at a cafe and it was a bit miserable the second morning and the mist was still here.
I made a big pot of peppermint tea. There was loads left when i came to make the porridge for the cafe, so rather than waste it, i invented 'peppermint porridge'!
Well i quite liked it, but the idea of it didnt go down too well with the clientele and we sold about 2 bowls.
Keith the Bass had left the band about a month or two before and a guy called Max Cann who we'd come to know in Bath had joined on bass. We met Suze the Blues for the first time at the festival and asked her to dance with the band. Granto arrived shortly before the gig as i recall, and the band had not met him before either. He instantly appointed himself as head bouncer of the show and introduced himself to Suze by trying to throw her off the stage!
It was a hell of a show, everybody in the whole cell block (field) was playing with lucy's diamonds or sam's dice apparently except me as i'd given up this hobby some months before. But i can still remember the utter madness of it now. It felt great.
Anon
Steffe and Max Cann. Here and Now, Trentishoe 1976. pic: Jezza
 
SOVIET KOMMERCIAL RADIO 6m 33s
HERE & NOW  
FREE 1 MIN CLIP
 
 
GOSPEL OF FREE  
©here & now 1976
Mushi (guest) and Steffe. Here and Now, Trentishoe 1976. pic: Jezza  
 
Twink atop Twink's Bus. Meigan Fayre (?)1976 pic: Jezza
Later that summer was, for me, the best festival ever. A few miles from Rhayader, in mid-Wales, in a wilderness spot in the mountains. A shallow river ran through the festival site and it was easy to paddle across. About 150 people were there. A hundred yards downstream from the middle of the site, the river formed itno a large diving-pool, bordered by several flat rocks. here you would find half the people of the festival swimming, or laying around naked, blowing a pipe or two, in the fantastic Summer heat.
There were two buses on site, ours and Solar Ben's. Solar Ben had a generator and P.A. system and we took it in turns to be "the band". One night when Here & Now were playing there was a huge electrical storm. There was no covering for the stage (in fact there wasn't a stage. We were just set up on the grass and rocks) and the rain poured directly onto us, but (don't ask why) we just carried on playing, We were jamming with the thunder and lightning. We were out there in it for fucksake! It was like letting go, into the hands of the spirit of the storm... if you want us, here we are, take us now! Thankfully we were let live - but the ride was some thrill!
After about a week, the festival was (peacefully) evicted by the local police, and it moved en-masse to a new site in North Wales.
 
 
Twink and Steffe and the oher bus dwellers go for a romp in the snow. Grenoble 1976. pic: Baron?
As the summer all too quickly ebbed away we had the brainwave to follow the Sun south and take the bus to France. Max decided it was time to get off and we tried to locate Keith the Missile to invite him along. A twenty-four hour epic search of Cambridge (his last known where-abouts) eventually locate him and, suitably impressed, he agreed to come with us to France.
The motley crew of blighters left for France in September, arned with a one-way ferry ticket, a sack of carrots, a sack of rice, a full calor gas bottle and enough petrol to get to Paris. It's amazing what a few giros stuck together will buy.
No-one who was on that journey will ever forget it. We rode out luck totally for about four and a half months. The events of it could one day fill a book of their own. It was like a lot things around this time, very hard and very beautiful. Suzy Blooshoes, Jean the Green, Hugo on driving, and Janet came too. Gavin appeared en route and was appropriated into the travelling throng. Grant Showbiz stayed behind, as did Drucilla (who was halfway pregnant with Gem). The illustrious Baron - brother of Jezza (on percussion and camera) came over to join us for a while.
fh - from the Gospel of Free plus other bits
 
Stir crazy. Twink, in some kind host's flat. Grenoble 1976. pic: Baron?
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