Robert Wyatt – A Tribute – The North Sea Radio Orchestra – Live at FIP Radio – December 4, 2019 – Radio France FIP –
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A tribute to Robert Wyatt, one of the most influential, innovative and purely revolutionary artists of the 20th (and now 21st) century.
Performed by the North Sea Radio Orchestra, the concert is largely dedicated to his ground-breaking album Rock Bottom and this live performance took place only hours earlier in the studios of FIP, the Radio France eclectic station.
My first experience with Robert Wyatt came by way of his association with Soft Machine and seeing them live as opening act for Jimi Hendrix. I knew what to expect from Hendrix. I did not know what to expect from Soft Machine and it was a game and life changer for me. More than almost anyone else, Soft Machine was a revolutionary step in the progression of Rock music – this came at a time when a lot of bands were exploring and finding new avenues of getting a message across. Soft Machine were riveting and what was to become the basis, the formative first steps in what later became Progressive Rock, happened for me on that stage that night. The tragic turn Robert Wyatt’s life took, going from one of the greatest drummers of the late 60s to being wheel-chair bound by the early 70s was shocking – but it was the end of the story. Far from it. Drumming was merely one avenue of expression Wyatt used – his accident, in a strange and somewhat abstract way, opened up an entirely new world of musical possibilities, no longer confined to percussion. The end result has been a continuing legacy of ground-breaking work and an artist who is still very much an influence over countless musicians and composers.
The show is a little over 90 minutes long – it feels a lot faster than that.
And here’s a list of the participants who make up the North Sea Radio Orchestra:
CRAIG FORTNAM direction musicale
JOHN GREAVES BASSE, piano, chant
ANNIE BARBAZZA chant, Farfisa
CRAIG FORTNAM guitare, Farfisa, chant et arrangements
NICKY BAIGENT clarinettes
TOMMASO FRANGUELLI vibraphone, congas
WILLIAM D. DRAKE piano, Farfisa, chant
STEPHEN GILCHRIST batterie
LUKE CROOKES basson
HARRY ESCOTT violoncelle
LAURENT VALERO violon, alto, flûte basse
And here’s what they play:
TRIBUTE TO ROBERT WYATT
1. Bad Alchemy (John Greaves/Peter Blegvad)
2. Kew.Rhône (John Greaves/Peter Blegvad)
3. The Song (John Greaves/Peter Blegvad)
4. God Song (Phil Miller/Robert Wyatt)
5. Forest (Robert Wyatt/Alfreda Benge)
6. Free Will and Testament (Robert Wyatt/Mark Kramer)
7. The British Road (Wyatt)
8. Maryan (Philippe Catherine/Robert Wyatt)
9. Shipbuilding (Clive Langer/Elvis Costello)
Chansons de l’album « Rock Bottom »
10. Sea Song
11. A Last Straw
12. Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road
15. Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road
16. O Caroline (Wyatt/Sinclair
Enjoy. This certainly made my day. Now you know why I love French Radio.