I had thought this album was released earlier than 1969 as it was around this time that I first encountered cannabis. Ah well.
There used to be a hall on China Street in Lancaster. I think it was called Priory Hall but I’m not sure. if I ask Steve, he’ll know. Anyway, it was there that we (Steve and I) went to watch Liverpool Scene. They were a group of poets with musical accompaniment. The best known member was Adrian Henri, a poet from Liverpool who had already become fairly well known from two poetry books, ‘The Mersey Sound’ (1967)and ‘It’s World that Makes the Love Go Round, (1968)I don’t know who did the cover for this book, but it certainly fits the times.
So we went to the concert. It was good. Before Liverpool Scene we had what seemed like several hours of Jeff Nuttall reading from his book ‘Bomb Culture’. Then came Liverpool Scene.
*DISCLAIMER – all of the following is based on my admittedly faulty memory. To repeat the saying, ‘If you remember the sixties, you weren’t there!’
In the late sixties Steve had gone from group manager (The Mind Machine, which I will write about at some point), to light show creator. He has always been a creative whirlwind and if this was a superhero comic he would be the mad professor and I would be the trusty sidekick. Light shows seem to have come into being independently both in Britain and the United States. Pink Floyd were, as far as I know, the first British band to use a light show and, in America, bands such as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane were employing lights at the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms in San Francisco (somebody correct me if I’m wrong).
Anyway, Steve had started playing around with various lighting effects in The Cellar, using an old slide projector. He had added a motorised drive so that when a circular slide was placed in front of the light source the motored rotated it causing the effect to change. The main ones I remember were:
- circular slides filled with coloured oils – as the slide rotated the blobs of oil moved around causing a constantly changing pattern of coloured blobs
- Sheets of diffraction grating
- two circular pieces of polarised glass with strips of sellotape between them