Gong - Live at Sheffield - 1974

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The ultimate 70’s CULT ALBUMS for collectors with the "Vinyl Replica" deluxe re-issue!

Those limited editions includes all the essentials Gong ingredients… The prime line up: Daevid allen’s guitar rhythms and pixie chant, Gilli Smythe’s space whisper, Tim Blake’s slowburn Crystal machines, Steve hillage’s sinuous glissando guitar, Mike Howlett’s stellar guitar, Pierre Moerlen’s lush percussion and Didier Malherbe’s cosmic sax!

Gong at its best needed time to leisurely build to aching crescendos that maintained lengthy peak level! Two masterpieces of Captain Capricorn’s band: GONG live in Paris (Bataclan) Gong Live Sheffield (UK)!

The most hypnotic performances of Daevid Allen’s band are now available as Vynil Replica! The first ever and complete re-issue of thoss famous Gong’s tour! Two essentials albums of Planet Gong history!

Gong – Live at Sheffield 1974

Daevid Allen (Dingo Virgin): guitar, vocals Gilli Smyth (Cakti Yoni): space whisper Didier Malherbe (Bloomdido Bad de Grass): saxophones, flutes Tim Blake (H.T. Mooneweed): synthesizers Mike Howlett (Mr. T. Being): electric bass Pierre Moerlen (Pierre de Strasbourg): drums Steve Hillage (Hillside): guitar Francis Linon (Venux de Luxe): sound François Decourbe (Whizz): lights

Gong Sheffield 1974:

It was a dark and stormy night… Or was it a clear night? That, I don't remember. But Sheffield City Hall – you bet. It's one of those vast concert spaces, dating from the Victorian era, that honors the emblem of English architecture. It can be rented for contemporary art exhibitions, including rock and jazz. Oval, imposing, coiffed with a rounded glass canopy that resembles a flying saucer or a jellyfish, it can accommodate a thousand pilgrims, and once filled, as it was on that night, sounds great. The backstage is similarly adorned, luxurious and old-style. After a good half-hour of radio on the brain (nothing like it to erase travel fatigue), and a few dozen scales, I heard the road crew beckoning me to come up for sound-check. I noticed that the first rows were already filling up with pointy hats – including a few with propellers – the members of G.A.S. (GONG Appreciation Society). Venux de Luxe at the sound console, Whizz on the lights, the sound check didn't take very long – the band is already well on point. Rehearse, relax, and replenish. Half fed, as is appropriate before a concert, we had a leisurely listen to the opening act - the excellent Hatfield and the North, which includes an ex-member of Gong, Pip Pyle, on drums. In the middle of a solo, Pip took a hammer, and started demolishing a little brick wall laid out on the front of the stage. Ah, the seventies - a decade rich in experimentation…

Our set represented, more or less, a day on the planet Gong. I will try to do the commentary, listening to this tape, alas incomplete, and reconstituting a "stage mix", for which you will excuse, I hope, certain disproportions, due to this fact.

Sunrise. Tim Blake's puffs of curling synthesizer, Space Whisper murmured by Gilli Smyth set the decor. The Octave Doctors in hieratic procession, straight as candles, meditate and telepath. The Pot-Head-Pyxies (gliding sprites) are already playing. Yawns and stretching of the soprano saxophone: the Soft Funk. The warm guitar of Hillside evaporates the dewdrops and returns them from their slumber.

BAMBOULE! - “get to work! ” Allen exhorts. The repetitive music wants to be an encouragement to it's own existence. For one repeats, in theory, what one likes. At the moment when it would become robotic, this dash towards work skids into jazz-waltzes. The gnomophone leads to the end of a sinuous slide of chords, and splashes back into a bubble bath of cymbals. The communication time: Invisible Radio Gnome

Wobbling like a Walt Disney ostrich, the first statement of the day: "I see you, but you can't see me, I feel you, one day I was you, Oh Gnome! R.G.I. – or how to believe, and receive Telepathic powers, Who knows where the wind goes? Well open the window While you believe in me, I believe in you." (wow!)

When one says "wind," he says "flying carpet." First visit to the Persian market. After a condensation of a thousand & one nights on the road, the orientation:

“Banana Nirvana, mañana. ”

Ah good! Singing tomorrows… Stills, nevers, alreadys, always… And Here & Now, then? Note from the translator: In the original French, he makes a play on words: the French word for "now" (maintenant) is broken into two words: main (hand) & tenant (holding), then repeated: "Main-tenant-main-tenant-main-tenant-main-tenant-main-tenant maintenant." (Hand-holding-hand-holding-hand-holding-hand-holding-hand-holding-now.)

And yet it turns…the green planet, the propellers on top of the hats, smoke in whirlpools towards the canopy of the Sheffield City Hall, the Gongman circledance, Mister T. Being's bass, the crossing laser rays from Whizz – fire chief on duty…How can you doubt, under a sky so filled with flying teapots.

R.G.I. stronger than the tube! Musical aside from Bloomdido. Gosh, golly, that was a weird one!

Dingo (which means "crazy" in French) Virgin, great Australian pataphysician evokes the ham clocks, in a world where everything, by the way, would be made of ham. This delicate image leads naturally to a declaration of courteous love:

“Mister Pyxie, (the sprite) I love you, I would like to be in your place, I like your mouth, the space where you breathe, and I highly encourage you to stay here tonight! ”

Beautiful example of a wah guitar solo & scat, in the camembertien style, followed with a spanish-ish lyrical improv on two chords, by a gnomophone sure to please gonfanons.

TIC-TOCK Ode to time. Saturnian ambiance. Long live time! Time is coming back in fashion! "Eternity," said this blasé god, "it lacks rhythm…"

I remember Daevid's guitar had a big enameled number 13 on it. It was a Telecaster he got from Jimi Hendrix, and that he would sometimes swing like a scythe. There is a scene like this in the Jacqueline Wester film, "Gong and the Tarots," if memory serves me.

Here, he subjects it so a surgical intervention baptized "slide," armed with an intimidating scalpel, caressing its strings. (How many times didn't we steal his scalpel!)?

The rhythm recalls a Babylonian parade. After a chorus of hair-raising tenor sax (in spite of the gel), here are the famous Hillagians, where the valiant salmon jumps again and again, all in his anadrome and patamotoc quest. The piece falls into pieces…


Slide again. Continuum of tightrope for a funambulist. Beautiful, smooth bass of T.Being-Howlett. Tim Blake (High-tea Moonweed) brans his comet-like hair. Polish the launching pad. Countdown. The sacred English refrain, “Have a cup of tea!” is sublimated by the repetition: “Have another one!” Our dear audience raises their eyes. A shiver, between the more tangible objects, circulates. Doilies, saucers, cups, teaspoons, forks and knives of Sheffield, it all takes off! The dance of the great Cosmic Riff shakes all the way to the ghosts of City Hall.

Flying saucer, flying teacup From out of space, flying tea-pot…

The melting pot; already so far from the angles of the earth, Pierre de Strasbourg tells us a story about aerolites, solo in a hail of tom-toms, crash and thunder of the lightning snare, which causes us to worry about the resistance of the glass canopy mentioned above. How can we doubt that the drums would be capable of bringing in the rain? (In this case, happily, they bring only applause).


This Marlherbe title, inspired by orthographical vermiculate raises the symbolically anthropophagic attitude of one who loves his friends so much, he wants to know their phone numbers by heart. The piece begins suddenly with an intro of a rubbled tenor-sax on hubcaps, followed by a theme of four-by-four for people hurried by hunger. We pass to a Javanese pentatonic mode decorated with a motto very in vogue at that time in the gongery:

"Don't dither, do it!"

Admittedly, this recommendation seems fraudulent with respect to the commonly allowed hippy attitude, of "Slow motion shoes, plenty of time to choose!"

It echoes what was written by the poet Maurice de Guérin to his father on June 30, 1838: "Nothing is more annoying than uncertainty. It's better to make a bad decision on the spot, than the best after long hesitation.

On the subject of the real existence of the planet Gong, just listen: "Yesterday, I climbed a tree to become closer to her And then I realized that she was one of the points behind my eyelid."

“Banana Nirvana? - Mañana! Tombola Bamboula oulah oulah!

Second visit to the Persian market.

Send: "At the end of the day when there's nothing left to play and you find yourself alone with R.G.I. You still have an angel's egg for tomorrow's breakfast!"

After all this clutter of experiences lived, hope is intact, like the first day of the earth, horizon freshly mown, rehearsals on rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals, So, when is the show?


To the question: “Does the heart die as quickly as the body? ”, Allen gives his answer: "YOU CAN' T KILL ME!"

You can reduce my body to pulp - my forefathers, my offspring, my family tree, but beware of my avatars! Me = mama/papa's boy, but not only. It's your choice to spare me, please, do what you want, anyway.

Here, Dingo offers himself metaphorically to the holocaust. Hillside, putting to the test the flexibility of the ego, takes a guitar solo to 200 per hour, and Bloomdido, a whiff of lunar tenor.

"One time for the pleasure, once for the pain…"

Tough, the soul, do you know? Or did you think differently? "…and you, old Sun, funny target, wicked old target, what do you say?"

15 years later, a new hit of Gong.

Another incarnation of Gong, called "GONG-MAISON (GONG-HOUSE)," in Glastonbury. The festival of Glastonbury, a great hippy moment that rounded up around five thousand people is its first quasi-legendary grinding, attracts a hundred thousand in 1989… The selected piece of this concert introduces Wandana: "There is woman, she lives in the sky, see how she spins, spins, and how her fingers fly…

She changes everything she touches, everything she touches is changed…”

Graham Clark is on the fiddle, Bad de Grass on flute, Harry Williamson at the keyboards, Daevid on guitar, Shyamal Maïtra playing tablas, Wandana with the Indian harmonium and voice.

"C’est une femme qui vit dans le ciel, voyez-là tourner, tourner, et comme ses doigts volent … Elle change tout ce qu’elle touche, Tout ce qu’elle touche en est changé … "

Translation: "There is woman, she lives in the sky, see how she spins, spins, and how her fingers fly…

She changes everything she touches, everything she touches is changed…”

Changes, changes, changes, changes, changes, changes, changes, and more changes…



When translating artistic works from one language to another, there is a step that goes beyond mere word substitution.

These album notes were written in a beautiful, poetic, boundary-free French, using colorful, and sometimes "imaginary" words and phrases.

I have done my best to interpret the feeling and atmosphere of the original texts, as well as the use of "inventive" words and word-plays. I apologize, both to the author and the reader, for any inaccuracies or shortcomings.

Ron Sorter

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