Mediæval Bæbes with Katherine Blake in conversation with David Eastaugh
The Bæbes' first album, Salva Nos (1997), reached number two on the UK specialist classical charts, and was certified silver 15 May 1998. Subsequent albums include Worldes Blysse (which went to No. 1), Undrentide, (co-produced by John Cale), The Rose, (produced by Toby Wood), and the Christmas-themed album Mistletoe and Wine.
Mirabilis (2005), was launched at a concert and party in London, August 2005. A self-titled DVD was released in July 2006. The first 300 preorders were autographed by the band and received a special mention in the DVD credits.
A live album was released on 25 November 2006 and features two new studio tracks.
Each album features traditional medieval songs and poetry set to music, mostly arranged by Blake specifically for the ensemble, alongside varying numbers of original compositions. They sing in a variety of languages, including Latin, Middle English, French, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Scottish English, German, Manx Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh, Bavarian, Provençal, Irish, modern English and Cornish. Their vocals are backed by medieval instruments, including the recorder and cittern, played by the singers or fellow musicians.
The Bæbes' musical pieces run the gamut from extremely traditional, such as their version of the "Coventry Carol" on Salva Nos, to songs that feel traditional but are much more modern, such as their rendition of "Summerisle", a song written for Robin Hardy's 1973 cult film, The Wicker Man. John Cale added non-medieval instruments, including saxophone and electric guitar, to some of the arrangements on Undrentide, although with subsequent albums the band returned to more traditional instruments. Even with these instruments, however, the band's current style is quite different from medieval authentic performance groups, as it displays significant modern influence - this juxtaposition is apparent in the album Illumination (2009) produced by KK (Kevin Kerrigan).
Tav Falco in conversation with David Eastaugh
Impressed by a 1978 performance of Falco's at The Orpheum in Memphis that culminated in the chainsawing of a guitar, Alex Chiltonteamed with him. They developed the self-styled "art damage" band, Tav Falco's Panther Burns. The group recorded a first album for Rough Trade at Ardent Studios in Memphis. Their previous 1980 session for the label at Phillips Recording was temporarily shelved (it was later re-released in 1992 on Marilyn Records as The Unreleased Sessions).
Falco devoted some of his musical career highlighting great traditional artists who had not gained media attention. He introduced their work to his audiences and to writers following his work by performing Panther Burns shows on billings with these artists, recording interpretations of their songs, and occasionally collaborating with some of them on projects for small record labels he's been associated with, such as Au Go Go and New Rose. Among these artists were blueswoman Jessie Mae Hemphill and rockabilly pioneer Charlie Feathers. Falco and Lux Interior of The Cramps worked on the photography and liner notes, respectively, for the 1982 Honky Tonk Man album by Feathers. Both younger vocalists had been influenced by Feathers' energetic, hiccup-styled vocals of the 1950s. Falco has invited such musicians as Cordell Jackson, R. L. Burnside, Mose Vinson, and Van Zula Hunt to perform at this Panther Burns concerts. Falco has released numerous Panther Burns albums on small international indie labels. He also has co-released some recordings by his band and other Memphis-area artists on his own Frenzi label.
Falco has appeared as an actor with small parts in films such as Great Balls of Fire! (1989 - USA), The Big Post Office Robbery (1992 - Hungary), Highway 61 (1991 - Canada), Downtown 81 (2001 - USA), and Wayne County Rambling (2002 - USA). Long a student of the tango under European and Argentine instructors, he appeared in Dans Le Rouge du Couchant (2003 - France) as a tango dancer, and choreographed his part in the film. He has appeared in several short films, most of which he produced and in some cases served as the filmmaker. These have been shown in underground arts venues such as The Horse Hospital in London.
In 2003 six of Falco's short films were accepted and archived into the permanent collection of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. The short films archived are Love's Last Warning(1996), Born Too Late (1993), Helene of Memphis (1991), Memphis Beat (1989), Shadetree Mechanic (1986), and 71 Salvage (1971). A selection of Falco's short films were shown in a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française in 2006. His first feature film, Urania Descending, was announced in 2014, having been completed the prior year.
Tav Falco has collaborated with Erik Morse, an American underground author, rock writer and journalist, on a two volume encyclopedic history and psychogeography of the city of Memphis, Tennessee, entitled MONDO MEMPHIS. Falco's book, Ghosts Behind The Sun/Mondo Memphis: Volume 1, is a study of Memphis beginning with the Civil War up to more recent autobiographical accounts set in the city. Morse's Bluff City Underground/Mondo Memphis: Volume 2 roman noir follows a West Coast graduate student and his encounters with a Memphis secret society. They were published by Creation Books; a paperback edition of Falco's volume was published in November 2011.
Falco has said his main artistic purpose is "to stir up the dark waters of the unconscious."
Falco has released more than nine album recordings.Conjurations was released in 2011 on a German label, Stag-O-Lee, and a French label, Bang! Records, followed by an American CD release on the Cosmodelic label in October 2011. A live album, Live In London, was released on Stag-O-Lee in 2012. In 2014, Falco compiled a double album of some of his favorite tracks from his music collection, Tav Falco's Wild & Exotic World of Musical Obscurities, released on Stag-o-Lee Records. The album set included a Panther Burns song, "Real Cool Trash", and liner notes by Falco.
In 2015, Falco's first book of photography, a collection of images of the gothic South called Iconography of Chance: 99 Photographs of the Evanescent South, was published by Elsinore and distributed by University of Chicago Press. The same year, he toured with Panther Burns and released another album, Command Performance.
Tav's most recent studio album is Cabaret of Daggers, released by ORG Music in November 2018.
Salad special with Marijne van der Vlugt in conversation with David Eastaugh
Van der Vlugt had previously worked as a model, and as a video jockey for MTV Europe. The band started performing as The Merry Babes but changed to Salad in 1992, when Pete Brown was recruited on bass. Their first two releases, the Kent EP and "Diminished Clothes", were released on their own Waldorf label, gaining them significant music press coverage and leading to a deal with Island Records, initially on the 'indie' sub-label Island Red. Early singles reached the top 75 of the UK Singles Chart, with "Motorbike to Heaven" just missing out on a top 40 placing. First album, Drink Me (1995), reached No. 16 of the UK Albums Chart. The next three singles were all minor chart hits, but second album Ice Cream (1997) failed to match the success of the first. The band were dropped by Island Records and ultimately disbanded in 1998.
Van der Vlugt later formed Cowboy Racer, whose song "Yellow Horse" featured on the US television show, Grey's Anatomy. Pete Brown and Rob Wakeman established the popular entertainment site, BoreMe, which Pete Brown now runs on his own. Charley Stone has gone on to play in a number of bands including The Fallen Women and The Abba Stripes. Rob Wakeman released a few Tech House and Techno singles between 1999 and 2002, including Legs With Wings on City Rockers (2002). Wakeman, together with Jo Addison, formed the band Lapwing in 1999, appearing on various compilation albums from record labels including Mind Horizon Recordings and Dishy.
In 2016 Van der Vlugt and Kennedy began performing Salad songs acoustically as "Salad Undressed". They also performed their first radio session in 19 years at Phoenix FM in Brentwood. The duo, now joined by long time collaborator Donald Ross Skinner released an album entitled Good Love Bad Love in March 2018 – their first as Salad Undressed.
In 2017 the band announced that they would be playing two dates as a full electric band (with original bassist Pete Brown, guitarist Charley Stone and drummer Donald Ross Skinner joining van der Vlugt and Kennedy) in London before releasing a new album as a full band. Third album The Salad Way was released on 30 August 2019.
Dissidenten special with Uve Mullrich in conversation with David Eastaugh
Around 1981, "Embryo's Dissidenten" were founded in India by Friedemann "Friedo" Josch (b 21 July 1952, Mainz, wind instruments, keyboards) and former Embryo band members Uwe "Uve" Müllrich (b 7 December 1947, Rügen, bass, oud, guitar, vocals) and Michael Wehmeyer (keyboards,piano). Still in 1981, Marlon Klein (b 13 December 1957, Herford, drums, perc, keyboards, vocals) replaced Wehmeyer, and the band renamed themselves to Dissidenten. 1982/83, they founded their own record label Exil in Berlin.
Following a one-year tour of Asia, the group decided to stay in India to produce their first album Germanistan, with the help of the Karnataka College of Percussion, female singer R.A. Ramamani and percussionist Ramesh Shotham. The live line-up was joined by Indian pianist Louis Banks and American saxophonist Charlie Mariano. Concerts in Calcutta, Madrid, Casablanca and Stockholm are documented on the live album Germanistan Tour 83.
They then moved on to Morocco to record Sahara Elektrik in 1982 at the Palace of Abdesalam Akaaboune in Tangier with the help of friend Paul Bowles and local sha'abiband Lem Chaheb. The track "Fata Morgana" became a dance hit in Europe (especially Spain and Italy) and Canada, and the group toured worldwide.
In 1986 the Dissidenten moved to Spain, producing Life At The Pyramids and began to receive recognition in the US and UK.
In 1989 they moved back to Morocco, recording Out Of This World with the Royal National Orchestra of Morocco, and other leading North African musicians including Cherif Lamrani and other members of Lem Chaheb. The album was released world wide and the band toured around the globe to promote it. In 1991, the album Live In New Yorkwas released, and the following year The Jungle Book was recorded, weaving recordings of Indian life into dance tracks.
In 1995, Klein stayed in the US to work as producer for two albums by singer Gary Wright, featuring George Harrison. In 1996, the group reunited to produce the album Instinctive Traveler, their first album with mostly English-language songs sung by Müllrich's daughter Bajka, which was followed by a tour of international festivals. Two years later they appeared at the Glastonbury festival and released their second live album, Live in Europe.
In 2000, with American composer Gordon Sherwood, video artist Stefanie Seidl and the Bratislava Orchestra under Petr Feranec they created The Memory of the Waters, a “documentary opera” about the River Danube, debut performed at the International Danube Music Festival in the city of Ulm. The following year, they issued an album of remixes, A World Beat Odyssey, which they then performed live with accompanying DJs.
In 2005, the opera "La Memoria de las Aguas" with the choir and orchestra of Pamplona under the direction of conductor Tomas Garridoand was broadcast by the Spanish National Radio at the Navarra Festival. In 2006 the group worked on a new Moroccan project, The Tanger Sessions, with the legendary Moroccan cult group Jil Jilala.
In 2007, Dissidenten toured North Africa with Jil Jilala. Between concerts they worked together in Tangier and Casablanca to complete The Tanger Sessions. Also in 2007, the band composed and arranged the musical program for the final party of Germany’s spectacular CREOLE-Award for World Music. French/German TV ARTE and German TV WDR broadcast a lengthy feature about Dissidenten’s Moroccan experiences, "The Hippie Trail".
In 2008, The Tanger Sessions was released and they toured Europe and North Africa. The first gig of the tour was broadcast live and online by German National Radio SWR in April 2008. Since summer 2008, Dissidenten & Jil Jilala performed live in Europe and North Africa. 2009 sees them again at various festivals around Europe/Northafrica and North America.