Daevid Allen and the University of Errors, Knockengorroch Festival, May 2008

Posted on the What’s Rattlin’ newsgroup, May 2008

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Just got back from Knockengorroch Festival, which was absolutely fabulous – 3 days in a Scottish wilderness, 3000 or so people camped up in a beautiful valley, constant sunshine, dips in the river, good music – bliss!

Quite out of character with the rest of the festival (mainly Celtic jiggery of various descriptions, plus a bit of reggae) was the University of Errors, playing next to the top on the final night. Total knockout stuff – this is such a fine band: apart from Gong themselves this is probably Daevid with his best ever backing.

Set list was mainly material off Jet Propelled Photographs, a smattering of songs from other Errors albums, plus a couple of other oldies: a slowed down, extended version of the coda from Fohat Digs Holes; plus Pot Head Pixies from Flying Teapot. Daevid resisted calls for Opium for the People (good for him), but did allow a saxophonist up for a quite extraordinary finale of Clarence in Wonderland – the saxophonist was quite stunning too – who was he, I wonder?

The reworking of Jet Propelled Photographs on CD was remarkable enough, and re-awakened my interest in some of the early Softs songs I’d probably rather dismissed, but the music gains something extra again live. Josh Pollock is quite a stage presence; Daevid looked pretty relaxed, the rhythm section tight – just superb. Can’t remember how far into the tour we are, but if there’s dates still left, miss them at your peril!

And see you all at Gong at Meltdown!