Skronkin’ with Werewheels

Last year, myself, Roger Wootton and Bobbie Watson from Comus, along with our sometime violin player, Dylan Bates, appeared at a gig for a Lush cosmetics launch event in London as Cominus (Bobbie’s wordplay: Comus minus some members – geddit..?). Also on the bill that evening were Chicago’s Werewheels. Consisting of Steve Krakow (AKA Plastic Crimewave) guitar & vocals, and Dawn Aquarius (analogue synth & vocals), Werewheels punk-splattered ‘why use two chords when one chord will do’ attitude to psychedelia results in mesmerising sonic worlds. Steve refers to this act as ‘skronkin’, and that seems apt. They asked me to join them on bass clarinet for the last number of the set, ‘Nuclear Winter’, and this was the resultant aural maelstrom. It was a bit like a Red Square gig, but with a regular beat. Note, if you will, the fifteen oil-wheel light show firing off around us……. SKRONKIN’! ‘Nuclear Winter’, including skronkin’ bass clarinet,  has since been committed to tape for release on an upcoming Werewheels album.

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Just bought some vinyl………..

Feiffer hipster 1

…..a 12″ LP….haven’t heard it in years………

.LP-packaging

I bought it on Discogs…….

Feiffer hipster 5

…from someone in Spain……

Feiffer hipster 4

I used it on mixtapes and DJ’ed it at parties in the 70s…….

Feiffer hipster 3

This stuff is the bomb, hepcats……….

Feiffer hipster 2

I had a grimy cassette copy, and from the notes I made on the cassette cover, I’ve managed to track down a copy of THE ORIGINAL VINYL that I borrowed from Southend Library all those years ago.

Feiffer hipster 1

Don those berets, whip out those shades and let’s WIG OUT!

Venetian-polychoral-cover

Gabrielli, Giovanelli & Grillo; Venetian Polychoral Music from the 1600s……..

………..über-cool.

(all finger-poppin’ hepcats above courtesy of the great Jules Feiffer)

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Comus amidst the fjords………

At least the Norwegians can turn the scrofulous old wight into a half-decent poster. Scandinavian design, eh…? No wonder IKEA rules the world (as does – by extension – the Bauhaus, of course)……..

Comus Oslo poster

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We are all Area Sales Executives now……..

……..punting our various creative bits and pieces, in relentless bouts of bleary-eyed online self-promotion. It’s a plan for life with failure built-in because no matter how much you do, there’s always a bit more that you could have done. Mark Zuckerberg sets up a content-less website, and we all work like lemmings to fill it up with ‘interesting’ stuff. Now just remind me again; who is it who’s done rather nicely out of that arrangement…. (apropos of which, FB seems to have developed something of the flavour of MySpace recently)…..

Anyway, back to relentless Area Sales Executiveness; I’ve added a ‘merch’ page to the site, where you can buy some ‘merch’. I will get round to clothing it in a fig-leaf of artistic merit by renaming it a ‘Discography’, and adding in the albums that I’ve been on that I either haven’t got ‘in stock’ or are now out of print, etc., etc. But for the time being you can browse the Shop of Jonny right here.

Thank you for shopping at Shop of Jonny.

Not that you’ll probably buy anything, of course; you’ll probably just try to sell me some bloody trinket of your own…….

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The celluloid dream of the Psychedelic Raiders…….

A very good friend, Colin Harrison, recently took the time and trouble to comp together the following ‘promo’ video for the Psychedelic Raiders. The footage of the band is real enough – captured by Colin one evening at a rather atmosphere-less gig in an Oxfordshire pub – but the artistry is in his cinematic narration of the audience……….

What follows is a promo for the Psychedelics’ new album ‘Cosmic Wheels’, featuring a song that’s not even on the album. As Colin himself noted in the Youtube publishing notes – Warning: this video contains hyperbole, distortions and downright fibs…

Success guaranteed then!

The song, by the way, is a Staples’ original called ‘I Don’t Believe’…….

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Death, Decay & Renewal vinyl release……

This is slightly old news. Maybe just a few strands of mould on the loaf kind of slightly old. But you can always pick that off, and it’ll be fine. This is from July 2014, to be exact. So there we are; almost only yesterday, or at least no earlier than the day before yesterday.

We were asked by Steve Krakow, Lush cosmetics packaging art uber-meister and Chicagoan psychedelic skronk loafer extraordinaire, to contribute the bookend tracks from ‘Deathless‘ to a limited-edition double vinyl LP he was compiling to celebrate the launch of a new range of Lush perfumes called ‘Death, Decay & Renewal’.

I melded the two pieces into a seamlessly-segued continuous track by means of Subtle Artifices of Digital Specification and the resultant quite short track (with a quite long title) duly appeared on the album below.

Jon Seagroatt_Lush vinyl album

Bobbie and I also played at the launch event as part of a cut-down version of Comus, which Bobbie rather nicely dubbed ‘Cominus’. This consisted of Roger Wootton, Bobbie, Dylan Bates (Comus’ stand-in violin player when Colin Pearson is unavailable) and me. I also got to do a bit of scronking on bass clarinet with Steve Krakow and Dawn Aquarius as part of their Werewheels manifestation.

I really must find out what skronking actually is one of these days. Steve……?

There’s other news as well, of course: I’ve really got to get a grip and post some of it……..

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Current 93 @ Incubate Festival 2014

Just discovered the video below on the Incubate Festival page devoted to Current 93’s appearance there next month. It was shot at the Union Chapel launch of C93’s most recent album ‘I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: A Channel’, and includes two manifestations of tracks from that album. I contribute flute to the first, and bass clarinet to the second.

Despite Bobbie and I only having worked on three tracks for the album, David – as is his way – decided, during the rehearsal for the Union Chapel gig, that we should play / sing throughout the set. This required a bit of fleet-footed key / mode determination, and some high-wire improvisation, but the gig was one of the most satisfying I’ve played in a long time.

Like another friend, Steve Krakow, (AKA Chicago’s very own Plastic Crimewave), DT has fashioned a highly expressive, idiomatic written language. He is very good at the poetic trick of implying networks of meaning between words in a phrase, and over time he has constructed a rich, meaningful relationship with reality from the accretion and layering of arcane, sometimes archaic, religious and hermeneutic ideas.

He is also, famously, a ‘hallucinatory cartoonist at Docetic Mountain’. So not a muso then!

I’m very much looking forward to to playing the Incubate Festival in David’s ‘Final Hallucinatory Patripassianist rock group’ (that’s Current 93 to you and me)………..

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