Henry Cow C/D and S/D

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i've seen quite a bit of henry cow love around this board, but i've never heard them. I just read Dominique's review of "Western Culture" on pitchfork and it made me hungry. Anything else by them that i should check out?

Felcher (Felcher), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 15:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Frankly, all four studio albums are quite wonderful, IMO. But Western Culture might be the safest starting point, as it's probably the least abstract one. Well, maybe "In praise of learning" is even more easily approachable.

Anyways, my big favorite at themoment is "Unrest"
I've heard great, great things about the concert album too.

So uhh, superduper-classic!

Øystein Holm-Olsen (Øystein H-O), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 16:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Western Culture is an interesting record. As is Unrest and Leg End, but IMO Art Bears are so far superior to HC it's really not funny.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 16:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Concerts" is a good starting point, as it includes both their vocal/more structured material as well as the more abstract improvisations all on one record (plus Robert Wyatt's on it, which makes any album better in my opinion).

"Leg End" is more reminiscent of a Canterbury sound (eg: Soft Machine, National Health), and no Lindsay Cooper yet, alas.

"Unrest" is simply phenomenal, scary and beautiful.

Your liking of "In Praise of Learning" will depend a bit on how you feel about Dagmar Krause's singing. Not everyone likes her -- she's in the German artsong tradition and a bit dramatic. I think she's great, though.

"Western Culture" is more reminiscent of some 20th-century composition or Anthony Braxton-type jazz; quite good and the Pitchfork review is accurate.

As dleone mentions above, Art Bears are also fantastic (I wouldn't go so far as to say so far superior that it avoids humor (paraphrased). They have less of an improv influence and don't incorporate some of the interesting keyboard and woodwind elements that H.Cow do (except on "Hopes and Fears", which began life as a Cow record).

In sum: classic and extraordinary, go get 'em.

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 17:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Also check out the album they did with Slapp Happy called Desparate Straights. It's more song-oriented than the pure HC LPs and so more accessible. One of my favorite discs.

nickn (nickn), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 17:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Forgot about that one! Yep, it's great as well.

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 17:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

...and post HC, see:

Science Group w/Cutler and Frith of HC, 1999, playing updated version of Art Bears-esque stuff. Excellent, also features Bob Drake, Amy Denio and Steven Tickmayer (who wrote all the music).

Cutler/Glandien/Krause, Domestic Stories: same story but from early 90s. Not as good as Science Group, but interesting.

Fred Frith Gravity and Speechless: Frith wrote all the music for Art Bears, and these LPs definitely expand on HC and AB sound. Very good.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 17:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

a great, great great great great great post-HC band that one remembers is The Work with Tim Hodgkinson.

j fail (cenotaph), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 18:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Well-noted, dleone and jfail, and to those might I also add the two News From Babel albums, "Letters from Home" and "Work Resumed on the Tower" -- C.Cutler, D.Krause, and L.Cooper from HC on both, along with Zeen Parkins, Phil Minton, and the splendid Robert Wyatt. Both albums are on one CD, as well.

Has anyone here heard the band After Dinner? Also on ReR, and probably would appeal to Slapp Happy/Art Bears fans.

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 18:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

After Dinner are great, especially their first record.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 18:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, Slow Crimes is an unhinged stomper. That's the only one I've heard. Are other records good?

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 18:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Don't forget the Skeleton Crew (==Frith and Tom Cora), also excellent, especially "Learn To Talk". These Cow ramifications are a mess, aren't they? The Work became the Momes (with a slight change in the line-up) after what I believe is their only long playing record.

nestmanso (nestmanso), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 18:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Henry Cow is the only band that gets classified as 'prog' who never let me down. You can call it 'wheat germ' if you like but most other prog (even the stuff I can occasionally enjoy and respect) too often sounds more like thin sugary water to me, so I guess it's a matter of taste.

xpost with Nom de Plume led to me deleting my sketch, he's got it right. Though I usually tell friends to start with 'Unrest', side 1 has three of their most classic pieces and side 2 has the improvised-in-studio tape works.

The recent ReR CD edition (with the covers appearing within frames) absolutely beats the early 90's ESD edition, which had inferior sound and radically different, glossier remixes for 'Legend' and 'Learning'. (The remixes are interesting, but start with the originals.) The ReR edition ditches the bonus tracks (improv excerpts) from the ESD edition, but I don't miss them that much. Buy 'Concerts' last, then move on to bootlegs, and send Cutler e-mail asking him when the live box set is coming out etc.

y'know apart from a few tracks towards the end I never warmed much to Science Group. the notes are okay, but that sequencer kind of kills it for me. and the uncredited samples bug me. but as always, buying the next one on sight.

My favorite Cutler-involved song project from the 90's was the first (ec) Nudes album, 'vanishing point', with Amy Denio & Wadi Gisi. Tightly composed songs, weird production, and they fucking rocked. (Cutler retired from the later records, which drift and do not rock).

Of Cutler's two records with Dimuzio, I like 'Dust' a great deal. Epic layered drones with thousands of odd acoustic details. 'Quake' not so much. Cutler's solo album is also a very odd soundscape of rattles and drones, very distinguished in that it does come across as a live album, not a studio construction. Perhaps it helps to have seen him live performing the sounds, it's astonishing to watch. But the solo album is great for listening too.

dleone's right in that the Art Bears are a thing unto themselves. Nothing can really compare to them, so best not to...

jl (Jon L), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 19:15 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The first song on Vanishing Point is like RIO arena rock, which if anyone had bothered to follow up on it, could have been the great lost prog sub-genre.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 19:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I really love all ov henry cow's ouvre pretty much w/o eXception. I would check out the "concerts" album, which was the first one I got, and as mentioned above, "desperate straights", w/slapp happy. Ypu could get a budget cd pressing of it w/ slapp happy's "casablanca moon" squeezed on it as well. That's worth looking out for.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 19:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

a favorite moment from a recent Blegvad interview in Sound Projector:

SP: What do you think Slapp Happy brought to Henry Cow?
PB: Dagmar...

love Slapp Happy. the Art Bears would encore with beautiful versions of Slapp Happy songs.

jl (Jon L), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 21:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh my lord, does anyone have recordings of live Art Bears? Please e-mail me if so...

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Wednesday, 6 August 2003 23:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

oh, i thought this was about henry cowell. moving along, then.

JOOLS, Thursday, 7 August 2003 04:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

haven't heard anything by them except "desperate straights", which is so damn awesome.

The Lady Ms Lurex (lucylurex), Thursday, 7 August 2003 05:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

concerts is really good.

'rock-hating' is good.

[/chuck eddy] ;)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 7 August 2003 07:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have been lucky enough to see Frith, Dagmar Krause and Cutler, all at different times mind you, and I would say grab anything you can find.

Brandon Welch (Brandon Welch), Thursday, 7 August 2003 15:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Another interesting thing: that Recommended compilation from 1982, because it features not only pretty good songs by both Art Bears ("All Hail") and Henry Cow ("Viva Pa Ubu") side by side with Robert Wyatt's classic rendition of the Internationale, but it shows how HC and remains saw their context at the time. So you get the prog you always had in mind when you thought about the word 'progressive' (ie. Homosexuals, This Heat, The Honeymoon Killers, etc.) and a load of continental European approximations of left-wing avant pop. (Some of which is classic in its own restricted way.)

nestmanso (nestmanso), Thursday, 7 August 2003 17:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Along those same lines, This Heat did a split cassette release with French RIO-esque composer Albert Marcoeur in the early 80s that would probably appeal to anyone in this thread.

dleone (dleone), Thursday, 7 August 2003 17:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Albert Marcoeur is a name I've been meaning to check out more, can you expound a bit on starting points beyond that cassette which I doubt I will ever be able to locate a copy of?

That 1982 Recommended compilation opened a lot of doors for me... it's just got so much on it.

jl (Jon L), Thursday, 7 August 2003 17:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Marcoeur writes music that is kind of a junk-symphony version of Zappa/RIO/carnival music. Lots of saxophone, clarinet, odd, clanky percussion, but all impeccably played and arranged. His first two records have been reissued, and you can get them from his website (marcoeur.com), and I say start with the first.

dleone (dleone), Thursday, 7 August 2003 17:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Crass were better

dave q, Thursday, 7 August 2003 18:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I agree wholeheartedly!

I really think Fred Frith's entire career has been one long steady climb.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Thursday, 7 August 2003 18:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I find Henry Cow to be an amusing and entertaining little combo but largely second division and in no way comparable in importance to their inspirations: Zappa, Beefheart, Soft Machine or exact contemporaries like Faust. By far the best thing they ever did was "In Praise of Learning" because it was the one time in their career they added some flesh, blood and bone to their cerebral, aren't-we-all-clever meanderings. Much as Ian Penman famously nailed Zappa, Ben Watson (now there's irony for you!) famously nailed Henry Cow and their RIO confreres and all this "To show solidarity with the struggles of our brothers in Clydeside shipyards I will now play a bassoon solo in 13/8 time" bollix.

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 8 August 2003 12:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Has anyone heard 'Sketch of Now', a set of compositions by Tim that came out on Mode last year. I'm slightly curious.


xyzzzz__, Thursday, 3 January 2008 22:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

six months pass...


Stockholm [£11] ReR HC7.
Limited Edition
Ahead of the 40th Anniversary box set (see below) there will be a limited release of this CD in September. Stockholm will form part of the box set, and if you subscribe to the box, we will send this CD alone as soon as it is out and the rest of the box will follow when it is released. If you want this CD alone and decide later to get the box anyway, we’ll send you the box minus Stockholm, cheaper than the full price, so either way you won’t have to buy anything twice. Stockholm is a high quality Swedish Radio recording, made in 1977, that includes Tim’s epic Erk Gah (now known as Hold to the Zero Burn), Phil Ochs’ No More Songs and The March - none of which we ever recorded for CD release - plus Ottawa Song & other, untitled, pieces. Over an hour of music, taken from the original radio tapes and re-mastered for this edition by Bob Drake.

THIS IS ALSO PART OF SUBSCRIPTION 2, which will be released toward the end of the year:


40th ANNIVERSARY BOX SET Volumes 1 & 2
9 CDs and 1 DVD with 2 substantial books - in two solid Boxes. LIMITED EDITION.

Assembled over 15 years, this collection gives for the first time some idea of the breadth and depth of Henry Cow’s work. Always very much a live band, performance was their metier, and a concert might range far - always driven by an intense dialogue between tightly knit compositions and radically open improvisation. The officially released LPs tell at best only half this story, and one purpose of this definitive collection is to set the work back into its broader context. These are all previously unreleased recordings, that include many compositions and improvisations new to anyone who only knows the official releases, documentation of a number of one-off projects and events and - where different or remarkable enough to justify inclusion - live versions of parts of the LP repertoire. Many of these recordings are high quality radio transcriptions taken directly from the original masters, others are less hi-fi, but justified we think by their historic and musical quality. And everything has been carefully transferred and re-mastered by Bob Drake to the best audio quality that current technology allows without interference or tampering. It’s all a million times better than the terrible bootlegs that are swimming around. Altogether, these 9 CDs embody some extraordinary, and occasionally prescient music. Taking this box together with the officially released albums, it is possible at last to get some impression of the extensive ground Henry Cow covered in it’s 10 short years. Finally, there is the DVD: 80 minutes of the 1976 Cow (with Georgina Born and Dagmar Krause) performing many unreleased pieces as well as Living in the Heart of The Beast, Beautiful as the Moon &c. This is the only known video recording in existence - professionally made, multi camera - and has not been recovered since its original broadcast (just scour U-Tube, HC is conspicuous by its total absence). And last but not least, there is a great deal of written, photographic and textual documentation. Since this will probably be the last and definitive collection, it has to be thorough. For reasons of fairness and cost we have decided to split the set into two boxes - which can be bought separately or together. VOL 1 covers the period 1971 to the 1976 Hamburg radio show which documents John Greaves’ last concert with the band, as well as the extraordinary Trondheim concert from the quartet tour that immediately followed. VOL 2 takes the story through to 1978 and includes more previously undocumented compositions as well as the Bremen radio recording. The Stockholm CD belongs to this second box, which also contains the DVD.

better order this before I figure out what the exchange rate on 99 pounds is

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 19:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

well damn. i already have the studio album box set... swoon.

Mackro Mackro, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 21:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Just got the Stockholm disc. Haven't had a chance to listen to it :( . Anyone else? (I'm guessing it's great, but just want to hear others salivate.)

obamaloverholeinyohead (Mackro Mackro), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 04:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

don't have the disc yet, only a 15 year old cassette. but from the hours of cow bootlegs I've heard I can tell why they led with that one, it's incredible

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 04:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'll give a listen tonight, time permitting, but just wanted to clarify I got this disc as the teaser for the big live box set order... so if you ordered the box set re: the deal above, you should be getting your Stockholm CD shortly!

obamaloverholeinyohead (Mackro Mackro), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 16:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

stockholm is pretty good but it may pall in comparison to some of the rest.

1st review (and it's extensive) of the whole thing at allaboutjazz:


I can't wait for that DVD.

Also: apparently there is a very slight delay in despatch due to another new find being added to the special disk for subscribers.

nonightsweats, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 04:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

let's try:


nonightsweats, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 04:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

I can see why they chose Stockholm / Goteborg as the lead CD -- they way they edited those two shows together to feature almost of all of the compositions that didn't make it onto their last record, it basically becomes an approximation of what their 5th original studio album would have sounded like, so it's a good choice to have it available seperately -- the first time I heard the CD, I was pissed they faded out the (incredible) live version of 'Ruins' from the Stockholm show, but since they played that at almost every one of their shows, making a listenable box set means they had to

But I agree, it's the live improvs that's going to wake people up. this band's studio albums were great, but they didn't touch what they got up to live.

most of the sets are available online for the people who want every last second of what happened & don't care as much about fidelity, but that review confirms that every one of these discs has been sequenced like an album

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 05:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

I mean the whole reason I'm into this place is the cleared playing field where Asmus Tietchens threads pop up right next to Billy Joel but if you guys can't keep a thread on the best prog band in the world in new answers for more than a day I'm seriously going to give up on this place

Milton Parker, Thursday, 15 January 2009 01:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

I don't own any Henry Cow -- some Frith. But this set looks incredible.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 15 January 2009 03:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

i'm glad there's no more version of "erk gah" (although i'll be happy to see it on the dvd). it still annoys me for whatever reason and it makes the stockholm disk a lot less appealing. the version of "no more songs" is terrific.

nonightsweats, Thursday, 15 January 2009 03:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm into it, but it's pretty clear why the group broke up over that piece, it defines uncompromising at the exact moment that cutler & frith were getting into writing songs. the freeform noise sections of the disc are incredible and 'No More Songs' and the Frith march at the end bring the tunes.

I like this version of 'Erk Gah' a lot better than the studio version Hodgkinson put out later, so maybe it's just relative

The '74 Halsteren gig where they loop and stretch out on all the chords & riffs that ended up being 'Living In The Heart Of The Beast' shows that even Hodgkinson's trickiest compositions have very catchy melodies all over them, he just goes for density instead of repetition so the choicest bits only come out on repeat listens

Milton Parker, Thursday, 15 January 2009 04:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

i always heard the melodies in "living" but "erk" just doesn't seem to have them for me: i've listened to the solo hodgkinson version many times and various bootlegs too. i'm sure it's just one of those pieces i'll never like. but, yes, the improv tracks are terrific and i'm sure there'll be lots more of those in the package. if there's anything as good as "udine" from "concerts" i'll be well pleased.

it's interesting that hodgkinson also went to a more song driven group - the work - after a little while. they all seemed to keep this going in the 'post-punk' years, even lindsay cooper to some extent. maybe we should blame georgie born for the insistance on long-form stuff? but how could you with that fabulous cd-tray photo of her in the stockholm disk - completely blissed out whilst playing live.

nonightsweats, Saturday, 17 January 2009 05:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

the box has been despatched, apparently.

nonightsweats, Wednesday, 28 January 2009 22:30 (ten years ago) Permalink


(at the news of the box sets being sent out. This might be the last time I drop money on a limited box like this, but o how great this will be.)

Ashee Bolanalli (Mackro Mackro), Wednesday, 28 January 2009 22:33 (ten years ago) Permalink


Vicious Cop Kills Gentle Fool (Tom D.), Thursday, 29 January 2009 11:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

Classic classic classic. Gave me a whole new appreciation for sox.

factcheckr, Thursday, 29 January 2009 19:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

got it today - the DVD is fantastic. dagmar is mostly still throughout the 60 mins but ecstatic nonetheless, frith is on the run from one piece of equipment to another; cooper is quiet and concentrated, born is even more so, cutler is just magnificent, the kind of drummer any band would want and hodgkinson actually smiles from time to time - completely unexpected. much more visceral when you can see them play. 3 guys, 3 women, playing extraordinary music. the amount of sideburns on display takes hirsute to another level.

of the discs i've listened to - they're well worth the price: excellent selections from their whole timespan that expands their current suite.

more later, no doubt.

nonightsweats, Tuesday, 3 February 2009 07:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

So those of us who only have the studio albums should plunk down for box 1 & 2 I take it? Or is there some reason to get box 3 beyond "ooh, matching boxes" completist enthusiasm?

Funny to see an old post here where I'm enthusing about Unrest. I just listened to that last week, and that shit still blows me away.
Can't say I have much use for the DVD though, but I suppose it's kind of cool that it even exists.

Øystein, Tuesday, 3 February 2009 11:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

as a subscriber i got an empty 3rd box but i already have all the remastered releases so they fit in quite neatly. truthfully, the DVD is excellent - you need it.

my favourite recordings so far are disks 4 and 5 - trondheim where "john had just left, dagmar was unwell and the tour was already booked. we had a meeting where we abandoned the idea of attempting a written programme and decided to improvise in the dark instead". tim h, fred f and lindsay c prepared 2 hour tapes that were started at the same time and ran throughout the concert. they then faded them in whenever they though it might be a good idea but they had no real idea what was on the tape at that particular time. over this they improvise superbly with limited equiptment - the overall effect is quite dark and disturbing with snatches of vocals interspersed with stark organ chords, etc.

nonightsweats, Wednesday, 4 February 2009 05:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

Cutler's response was actually written a few years ago in response to filesharing and repurposed as a response to Kenny's column but it's still a live topic

"As Cutler notes, plumbers do not work for free. But capitalism is not the end of history and perhaps one day plumbers will work for free"

this struck me as a slightly patronizing tone to take towards the individual who wrote the lyrics for "In Praise Of Learning" & "The World As It Is Today" but the Internet means that the conversation usually gotten started before a round of formal introductions. I agree that RoR's (ha ha) idealism is kind of charming but Cutler's been living in the real world for a few decades

as the owner who started what I basically consider to be the most important independent art music label of the 80's and early 90's, Cutler gets to hardline his points -- I learned the canon of most of what I consider to be important through Recommended Records' catalog during that time, and there was no one -- no one else keeping this music in print at that time.

Milton Parker, Friday, 27 May 2011 18:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

is there really not a RIO thread?

Posting here then: http://www.indiegogo.com/RomanticWarriors?c=home


Anyone interested in Henry Cow, Univers Zero, Samla, Magma...basically any experimental prog, needs to watch this and contribute to this documentary. They have all the major players, and the story needs to be told, and out there for all to see.

Dominique, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 16:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Listening to Unrest now for the first time. I think I understand how this is In Opposition; quite clearly, in fact. The very hills, the hedges, the birds, they are all rising to face the oppressor. Ancient, paganistic squalls of defiance; beauty and savage horror.

imago, Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:19 (five years ago) Permalink

feels like a plausible alternative soundtrack to Watership Down

imago, Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:24 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

RIP Lindsay Cooper, she had been unwell with MS for some years and apparently died today.

Addison Doug (Matt #2), Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00 (five years ago) Permalink

time to listen to Angel On The Bridge then

Milton Parker, Thursday, 19 September 2013 01:19 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh nooooo that sucks! I love her playing on Art Bears and that David Thomas record so much!

i believe we can c.h.u.d. all night (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 19 September 2013 02:01 (five years ago) Permalink

oh shit, that's sad news

i'll be your mraz (NickB), Thursday, 19 September 2013 06:13 (five years ago) Permalink

RIP. First time I encountered her playing would've been on Children of God by Swans, still one of my all-time fave albs.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 19 September 2013 07:43 (five years ago) Permalink

Never made the connection back in '87 when Children of God came out. It was only when I was comparing that record with the first Comus album on ilx that Marcello pointed out to me that *she played with both bands*!

i'll be your mraz (NickB), Thursday, 19 September 2013 08:41 (five years ago) Permalink

RIP Lindsay

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Thursday, 19 September 2013 12:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Shit. RIP.

emil.y, Thursday, 19 September 2013 14:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Had an email about this when I got up, not the best way to start off the day.

Amazing musician, by all accounts a great human being. RIP.

Some live Cow in homage.


alb indys, Thursday, 19 September 2013 14:38 (five years ago) Permalink

...had no idea she was on so much.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 28 September 2013 15:52 (five years ago) Permalink

thanks for those links! sounds like a good show and a great way to mark her passing. wasn't previously aware of lindsay's friendship with sally potter

i'll be your mraz (NickB), Saturday, 28 September 2013 16:25 (five years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

One-off Cow reunion in memory of Lindsay Cooper just announced:


goth colouring book (anagram), Tuesday, 17 June 2014 22:04 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

been really broke recently so i haven't been able to get a ticket for the barbican thing yet, but i am seeing the artaud beats at a little local festival tomorrow and i'm pretty excited about that. just watched a few videos and fuck, yumi is a monster

john wahey (NickB), Friday, 12 September 2014 20:39 (four years ago) Permalink

Funny, I thought this reunion would have sparked more ILM interest. Anyway, there are now two further concerts, Huddersfield on 22 Nov and Forlì, Italy on 23 Nov.

Cutler talks about Lindsay Cooper and the reunion:


goth colouring book (anagram), Wednesday, 24 September 2014 13:09 (four years ago) Permalink

I am very interested, and very frustrated to have no chance in hell of seeing these. I'm psyched to read that interview-- there's not that much talk about Lindsay Cooper online.

von Daniken Donuts (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 24 September 2014 16:38 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Just finished listening to to Western Culture and so also finished the studio box set. Desperate Straights was my favourite by far but it seemed to be far more of a Slapp Happy album than a Henry Cow one.
I enjoyed the rest but never really loved them, might have to return to them in years ahead. I did particularly like "Beautiful As The Moon", "Half The Sky" and "Nine Funerals Of The Citizen King". Love Dagmar Krause's voice.

Definitely want to get the Art Bears album.

I once saw Cutler saying that Henry Cow was way more of a live band. Does that mean the live albums are better? I don't think I could go for the two live box sets. Too much.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 October 2014 23:21 (four years ago) Permalink

"concerts" is pretty essential

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 10 October 2014 23:22 (four years ago) Permalink

Thanks, that was quick.

Arts Bears albumS I should have said above in the middle paragraph.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 October 2014 23:25 (four years ago) Permalink

There's some live HC (maybe SH/HC because Dagmar sings) youtubes that are very good. Search for the ones recorded at a place called Veysey (or Vesey, I think) in Switzerland (or is it France?). It's probably a good hour in total, and includes the "Beautiful as the Moon, Terrible as an Army With Banners" piece from Concerts.

nickn, Saturday, 11 October 2014 00:28 (four years ago) Permalink

Art bears in perpetual deadlock with Crimson for my favorite prog band of all time

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Saturday, 11 October 2014 01:03 (four years ago) Permalink

Vevey, Switzerland. (couldn't do this at work)


nickn, Saturday, 11 October 2014 06:37 (four years ago) Permalink

And I see it was linked above last year (couldn't see that at work either).

nickn, Saturday, 11 October 2014 06:39 (four years ago) Permalink

The dvd of Vevey was in the Live box set. I haven't heard if any of that box was available separately since, apart from the first disc if you payed on the instalment plan. So even that option may be gone now.
Would think they might make more money by having discs available separately especially the dvd which is pretty Recommended, as are the rest of These

Stevolende, Saturday, 11 October 2014 07:33 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'd buy the DVD for sure. Maybe I'll find a box used somewhere.

nickn, Saturday, 11 October 2014 08:05 (four years ago) Permalink

I highly recommend the two live Henry Cow boxed sets (40th anniversary) - if you are thinking of splurging, do it. (Same with the Art Bears box.) Studio HC is great, but live HC is insanely awe-inspiring. Bob Drake did an *incredible* job on the sound for the boxes. On this page, Bob talks about the meticulous and painstaking work he did to get the absolute best mix of HC's cover of "We Did It Again": http://www.bordebasse.fr/henrycow/wavs/index.htm

"Somewhere along the way I noticed that the two versions I had of this song were actually two different recordings of the same performance. The one I'll call version 1 sounds like a portable cassette recording from the audience point of view close to the stage. It has a lot of audience reaction, a lot of guitar, thin-sounding drums and bass, and only a faint echo of the vocals. Version 2 sounds like a desk recording and has almost no guitar, but plenty of drums, bass, and vocals. (The sax isn't very present on either.) Once I noticed they were the same performance I thought I could combine them to get the best of both. The tricky thing was that the audience recording runs much faster than the desk recording, and I couldn't simply resample it to the same pitch/speed because it wasn't a consistent difference. You'd immediately hear the flanging effect as the two recordings drifted out of synch. This is always a problem when synching analog recordings so I wasn't surprised, but this was made extra difficult because of the extremely jittery speed of the cassette recording. So I chopped it (version 1) into very short segments of perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 second length, resampling each segment seperately and manually synching them with the desk recording. It took a while, was it worth it...I don't care, I just had to do it!"

ernestp, Saturday, 11 October 2014 16:43 (four years ago) Permalink

OH YEAH - ReR is currently having a CD sale - free shipping to the USA as long as you buy at least four. CDs are each five British pounds, which is around $8. http://www.rermegacorp.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=RM&Screen=SPECIALOFFERS

Henry Cow's "Stockholm and Goteborg" is part of that sale, so there's a low-cost entry point to the 40th anniversary live boxes. Also, I see two Art Bears discs there.

I just splurged on that sale and got a ton of Bob Drake, Sun Ra, the two News from Babel discs (finally), Lindsay Cooper's "Rags/The Golddiggers," a bunch from The Work (Tim H.'s post-HC band), The Necks, etc. It is absolutely insane how much quality stuff is on that sale list.

ernestp, Saturday, 11 October 2014 16:53 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

nice piece by sally potter on lindsay cooper:


no lime tangier, Thursday, 20 November 2014 22:28 (four years ago) Permalink

henry cow reunion, tomorrow night

tim hodgkinson played a concert in SF last week and it was astoundingly good. one solo clarinet, one slide guitar + mixer & toys

Milton Parker, Thursday, 20 November 2014 23:05 (four years ago) Permalink

Xpost awesome can't wait to read. There really isn't a lot of substantial stuff about her online.

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Friday, 21 November 2014 00:19 (four years ago) Permalink

rags is such a great piece of work, really need to seek out her later solo work too (see comments in the link for a certain very familiar name)

no lime tangier, Friday, 21 November 2014 01:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Really hoping for some high quality footage/recordings of the reunion show.

Brad Laner, Friday, 21 November 2014 01:41 (four years ago) Permalink

London has gone up on d1m3, I expect Huddersfield will go up too, judging by the comments.

Rita, Sue and Peter Gabriel Two (MaresNest), Monday, 24 November 2014 19:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Nice to hear but the "News From Babel" portion of the set really blows away the Henry Cow portion. It's kind of weird how Henry Cow specifically got canonized in a way the frequently superior post-Cow projects by various alumni didn't.

rushomancy, Monday, 24 November 2014 21:59 (four years ago) Permalink

Henry Cow are just the best so I can't personally agree with that directly. I'd agree that it is kind of weird how News From Babel don't come up more; out of all the post-Cow projects where they really went all in on concise songwriting, Lindsay's tunes are so beautiful


Milton Parker, Monday, 24 November 2014 22:24 (four years ago) Permalink

A nine-minute piece from one of the shows. I haven't listened to it yet but the fb poster describes it as "A very droney, cathartic piece in a precise, dirty, post-Weillian sort of way - love this stuff."


nickn, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:27 (four years ago) Permalink

That's 'England Descending' from Lindsay's 'Oh Moscow'.

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 18:09 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

xpost you mean you don't have both the remasters and the original early 90's ESD reissues with the remixes? get cracking

― Milton Parker, Friday, February 6, 2009 2:43 PM (7 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

sadly no, I just got the plebeian remasters box set with the bonus 3" CD instead. excuse me while I go harvest the potatoes for me lord.

― System Jr. (Mackro Mackro), Friday, February 6, 2009 2:50 PM (7 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This just resulted in the longest, hardest laugh I've had all year. Thanks ILX

Wimmels, Thursday, 14 April 2016 02:46 (three years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Nice version of "Little Red Riding Hood..." with Hodgkinson and Cutler, with Yumi Hara and others.


nickn, Monday, 25 June 2018 04:45 (eleven months ago) Permalink

? maybe just copy and paste.


nickn, Monday, 25 June 2018 04:47 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Oh well, just search for this: Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road, THE WATTS + Canterbury Favourites

nickn, Monday, 25 June 2018 04:48 (eleven months ago) Permalink

nine months pass...


Incredibly excited to dive into the page proofs for Ben Piekut’s massive “Henry Cow:
The World is a Problem,” to be published in September by @DukePress. pic.twitter.com/YAGuZvaxl3

— David Grubbs (@blackfaurest) April 12, 2019

kolarov spring (NickB), Friday, 12 April 2019 21:05 (two months ago) Permalink

Great to hear. Want to read an in depth history of them.

Stevolende, Friday, 12 April 2019 22:10 (two months ago) Permalink

ben is the man for the job. it'll be interesting to see if it gets into the personal stuff. in the case of a band that lived their politics this intensely, it's never merely gossip, their lives were the work (perhaps I am being sentimental but this is still the only progressive band for me)

Milton Parker, Saturday, 13 April 2019 01:30 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

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