25 aprile 2015

E' pronto e in distribuzione l'atteso terzo capitolo in dvd della serie Romantic Warriors prodotta e diretta da Adele Schmidt e Jose Zegarra Holder per Zeitgeist Media, stavolta dedicato ai campioni storici della cosiddetta 'scena di Canterbury', ai loro emuli e discendenti nel corso dei decenni: Canterbury Tales.

Così scrive Bruce Lee Gallanter, di Downtown Music Gallery, presente nel film tra gli esperti intervistati: "The Canterbury scene started in the mid-sixties with the Wilde Flowers, mostly school friends from the Canterbury area, who by 1967/1968 split into two bands: Soft Machine and Caravan, two odd/pop/psych bands who had a number of similarities at the beginning of their careers. The original Softs featured Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers, Mike Ratledge and Robert Wyatt, four very different creative musicians with distinctive and different personalties. Soft Machine recorded eleven albums between 1968 and 1976, the personnel changed on every record, so their sound was always in flux. Since a handful of key members of the Canterbury scene have passed away over the past decade (Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Steve Miller, Kevin Ayers, Pip Pyle and very recently Daevid Allen), there are dozens of interviews with many of the survivors: Daevid Allen (ever-enchanting, longtime leader of Gong speaks the most), Brian Hopper, Richard Sinclair, Roy Babbington, David Sinclair, Bill McCormick, Didier Mahlherbe, Phil Miller, Mont Campbell, Robert Wyatt, Chris Cutler... A number of Canterbury-related bands are mentioned as well: Egg, Matching Mole, Hatfield & the North, National Health, In Cahoots, various versions of Gong, Soft Works and Soft Machine Legacy. There is a large amount of rare footage of different eras of Soft Machine and Gong, Caravan, Hatfield and Softs Legacy, making this a deep treasure chest unending gems. The complex histories of many of these bands are unraveled as best as could be done, making this consistently compelling.
About a third of this long film features interviews and live footage from the many bands worldwide who have been influenced by the Canterbury scene from the time it started until today: Supersister, Moving Gelatine Plates, Forgas Band, The Wrong Object, The Muffins, Glass, Planeta Imaginario and Sid Arthur. A trio of Canterbury experts also get to make a number of their own points throughout: Americ Leroy (Calyx website, historian & liner notes writer), Leonardo Petrovic (head of Moonjune label) and yours truly (DMG founder & 1/2 century Canterbury devotee).
There are a number of magical musicians here who give their own charming perspective and are quoted throughout: Daevid Allen, Didier Mahlherbe, Richard Sinclair, Phil Miller and David Sinclair, who closes this film with a poignant solo version of the Caravan classic Nine Feet Underground. Bravo here to both directors who have done a marvelous job of capturing the spirit of something most elusive yet still so important to many of us who are long nourished by it."