Heavy Jack
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Heavy Jack


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Mark Bignell

Syd Barrett tribute

Psychedelic Syd Night: Lamplighter, Saturday, August 26th, 2006
Tribute to Syd Barrett & Psychedelic Music: Surreal & Sublime!

Just in case you're not the foremost authority on Pink Floyd, their original founder, singer, songwriter and guitarist, Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett, sadly passed away from complications of diabetes on July 7th. Surprisingly, there hadn't been any tribute shows for the recently passed Syd anywhere, perhaps not even in his native Cambridge, England. Therefore, with a little coaxing from a few local musicians, a tribute was finally put together. In a rather bizarre turn of events, the tribute, held Saturday, August 26th, was allegedly promoted as being presented the night before in some media circles, so attendance was rather a disappointment. The performances, for the most part, were anything but. The opening set by Bottleneck's Robyn Carrigan & Ron Samworth (a well respected guitar wizard, his projects including Dark Blue World) was just the experience Syd would call for: trippy, looping electric guitar and vocals. Robyn has a voice to die for: soft and angelic and then bold and belting. The loops further demonstrated Robyn's massive vocal ability. By the closing of "Flaming" Robyn and Ron got everybody in peak, psychedelic mode.

The light show was just as trippy and colourful, with multi-tinged swirls, circles, and dissolving images, playing along sublimely with the proceedings.

The ragtag duo of players from The Capitals and The February March gave the evening a more surreal feel. After treading through a brave take of "Arnold Layne,” they completely self-destructed halfway through "See Emily Play,” leaving the audience a little bemused. An apology was issued via e-mail about this misfortune. Music events being so demanding of time, eating is sometimes, unwisely, put on hold, this writer included. Kevin House settled things down with his solo acoustic versions of "Dark Globe,” "Effervescing Elephant" as well as an Arthur Lee song ( late of the band Love, who also passed away recently ) , as all acts were not limited to just Syd songs( hence the title "Psychedelic Syd.” Syd Barrett songs are tad more involved and challenging to master as opposed to the well-known psychedelic catalog played to death on the radio. The much underrated Willy Krueger Band stepped up and presented spirited versions of Barrett-Floyd fare, including "Golden Hair" and "Lucifer Sam,” and one of Willy's own, inspired by Syd called "Underneath the Sun.” If you listen to Radio Bandcouver, you'll be familiar with this song. Willy also provided some enlightenment on the songs as well, even going as far as revealing how Syd Barrett gave Pink Floyd their name. From Syd's favourite blues performers: Pink Anderson & Floyd Council. (Try finding albums by these acts.)

Orchards & Vines were up next with one of Syd's lesser-heard songs "Vegetable Man,” which got some in the throng singing along with "Vegetable man where are you?" Lead vocalist Cindy Tomlinson, coming across very Grace Slick-esque, got a chance to stretch her vocals out with their triumphant closer: The Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit.” The Orchid Highway, not being too familiar with Syd Barrett's material, did give some chestnuts such as the Byrds' "8 Miles High" such a Floyd-like, manic energy to them, the audience didn't mind one bit. The Feminists, ( at the Lamplighter for their tour kick-off show on Saturday, September 8th ), were not to be outdone, and looked like they were born to play "Lucifer Sam" and "Have a Cigar,” flailing away with robust abandon. Keith's and Allyson's vocals really complimented each other. The closing band was a last minute addition, and they ' brought it ' too! Heavy Jack ripped into such psychedelic-heavy rockers as Hendrix, and seamlessly inserted one of their own, ensuring the night went out with a bang! An act to watch for! A small film crew was there collecting footage for an upcoming documentary called "The Psychedelic Revolution,” to be released next year. With any luck, we'll be in the annals of history next to Syd and all the music he inspired.

Mark Bignell is a pro-active supporter of live, original, independent music in Vancouver. His Radio Bandcouver show is heard Thursday afternoons from 2:30-4pm on CFRO, Co-op Radio 102.7 FM, and heard on-line form his website: http://www.bandcouver.com. You can contact him at: mark@bandcouver.com

Mark Bignell & Arseniy Vodopyanov
Radio Bandcouver
Thursday Afternoons, 2:30-4pm, 102.7 FM CFRO
604-682-3269 Ext: 3018
Heard on-line at: http://www.coopradio.org/listen
Heard on: Starchoice satellite: Channel 845 - The Columbia Journal


Heavy Jack Live at the Media Club ~ 2005
Heavy Jack Soup EP ~ 2006



Riding the vintage waves of sound in the outer blastosphere of space, Heavy Jack the swash-bucklin', space travelin', buccaneer swaggers about his stratoship (which consists of pure one-hundred percent micronium vibratone ~ the toughest space rock in the entire multiverse). Blasting Led Zeppelin from radio waves of past worlds, Jack soars without destination - he's just there for the ride. Him and his crew are the roughest and toughest space pirates on the inner rim of The Big Three (a tri-galaxy traveled by too few these days), they rock the system in a way few can ~ and with a class and groove like none other. What adventures will Jack come across in the coming years, no one knows for sure ~ all that is for sure is that there is no one in the multiverse that can touch Jack's power.

Pirate Rabbit design
Copyright VA 1-010-721 Whitfield Jack,
Key West, FL
Used with permission