Friday, September 13, 2013

Het up

Another cool issue of Your Heart Out, with Kevin Pearce this time tracking the tangle of tangents  twirled around Hector Zazou and Noir et Blanc, his 1983 recording with Bikaye and CY1. The cats cradle includes Don Cherry, Lizzy Mercier Desclouz, Brion Gysin, Jacques Thollot, Zap Mama, The Honeymoon Killers, Cold Storage, ZNR, Aksak Maboule, Joseph Racaille, and more. Download the pdf here.

Most interesting revelation for me was discovering that two members of Furious Pig went on to do some wild 'n ' wacked-out stuff under the name Het, in tandem with Henry Cow's Tim Hodgkinson and Continental avant-warbler Catherine Jauniaux. File under late postpunk meets Rock In Opposition meets "extremists of the human voice".

Hear, here, the embedding-disabled "Throw Out That Rag"

What do you mean, you've not heard of Furious Pig? The single oddest inclusion on C81. One very strange EP on Rough Trade.

An account of Furious Pig from the band's Stephen Kent, who went on to do Lights In A Fat City, the didjeridu + percusssion ensemble, which I faintly recall reviewing live or the LP thereof.... but I could be wrong.

"Furious Pig was a group that emerged out of the High School experiences of a group of friends and relations in Totnes, a little town in South Devon, England. Influenced by listening to an eclectic mix of early Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, The Beatles, Ethiopian Polyphonic chants, The Doors, Stravinsky and Edgar Varese, among other things, we moved to London in 1979 a year after reaching the final of the National 'Melody Maker' Rock/Folk Contest - an event at which the judges included Bob Geldof, Justin Hayward [of the Moody Blues] and Ray Coleman [editor of Melody Maker]. Needless to say Furious Pig didn't win with their stirring renditions of 'I'm Going Round the Bend' and the jarring 'In Order of Height' but Bob Geldof said we'd 'Gotta Lotta Bottle'[Nerve] playing what we played. Squatting in houses around North London we developed a form of intense acapella vocal chanting, highly orchestrated with choreographed passages. It became a cult sensation on the London and N.European club scene. We toured on the bill with bands like This Heat, The Raincoats, Pere Ubu, The Slits, The Fall, The TV Personalities. We played on the streets, in clubs, pubs, schools. At the Comic Strip in Soho we were a regular music act - playing alongside all the comedians who became 'The Young Ones' and 'Absolutely Fabulous' on TV. We scored a live soundtrack to a William Burroughs book, 'The Wild Boys'. Our session on Radio 1 DJ John Peels show so divided the listenership between those who loved and those who loathed our music that it was repeated in record time. We'd spend 8 hours a day for months working on extending our vocal ranges, often in grotesque and hilarious ways - we had fun! Rough Trade Records got us into the studio and we recorded a vocal set including versions of 'I Don't Like Your Face', 'Jonny So Long' and the 'Kingmother'. I always regretted not recording 'Frozen Tarzan' with its alternating Shouting Through Cardboard Tubes and simply Shouting choreography and its Rolling On The Floor section. However, tapes do exist......
Furious Pig came to an end when I left to become MD of Circus Oz in Australia. However all the other band members continued recording careers: Martin Kent aka Martin Pig with a series of singles on Rough Trade and Dominic Weeks and Cass Davies with two full length LP's on Recommended Records: Het - 'Lets Het' and another with french chanteuse Hermine.

[Footnote] Years later I was amused to see Furious Pig's record cover judged to be one of the 5 WORST EVER on a popular TV talk show."

via here

In the May 23 1981 NME, Furious Pig shared a page with Pigbag, fairly aptly. They talked about being fans of Beefheart, Zappa, This Heat, Raincoats and pygmy music, taking special inspiration from the way the pygmies sing all night. Percussion consisted of found objects - blocks of wood, film cans, long cardboard tubes, rods of wood and metal. Stephen Kent enthused about "the voice" as "the ultimate instrument”. They started out as rock group but this restricted the bizaree, intense music they wanted to perform. They talked about preferring to record in rooms rather studios (so "Johnny's So Long" was  recorded in the loo at the studio. Title track of the EP "I Don't Like Your Face" is a sort-of-punk song “based on the sort of things kids say in the playground. Kids are really nasty… cruel.”

You can hear the EP at ubuweb 

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