(See the Live List for recent and historical gigs)
A tribute to Tim Locke
Supermarket swing: Sainsbury's launches own-brand vinyl albums - The Guardian

"Hi Fidelity resurrects more crates in the attic classics including Roxy Music’s Avalon, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, 10CC’s I’m Not In Love and the immortal Van der Graaf Generator’s Theme 1."

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Image Peter Hammill: "At long last the latest solo album is now finished and ready for release. It's titled From the Trees and will be out - on Fie! as ever - on November 3rd 2017.

I've played and sung all the parts on the disc, as so often of late. There are ten songs, all at the short end of things and probably as close to conventional song structure as I get. I have, of course, already played quite a few of these live."

SofaSound

Review by Jim Christopulos:

The new Peter Hammill cd, From The Trees, could have been called Anagnorisis (you have to settle for a mere song with that title rather than the CD as a whole), as the tragic characters in many of these pieces experience an awakening, a moment of discovery where long held beliefs relating to their situations and what works for them are revealed to be misguided facades / falsehoods that result in emptiness, nonfulfillment, and contemplation of where it all went wrong. In "Reputation", it's sought-after fame and fortune that ultimately leave the protagonist devoid of happiness; in "Charm Alone", it's one's predilection for masking his true feelings and intentions, thinking he can get by on his charming personality; in "Milked", it's a performer (possibly) who had the 'it' factor, revelled in it, and could "charm the birds from the trees" but loses his significant other (and thereafter everything else) as a result and unravels, wondering at the swiftness of his fall from grace. Peter has described the characters here as edging toward twilight and residing in the "third act of life", so they don't even have the comfort of catching their mistakes in their youth with ample time to correct the ship. One would choose to make and realize their follies in their 20s or 30s rather than their 60s or 70s. Of course, better late... (maybe). This could be terribly depressing in the wrong hands, but (as ever) Hammill pulls it off with such grace, power, honesty, and conviction that, paradoxically, the net result is immensely satisfying. These songs may not recall "Joy To The World" but neither do the great literary tragedies we still celebrate, enjoy, and love today. And there is much to identify with here, regardless of one's age. "Torpor", in the context of the rest of the album, could be describing the rigors of senior citizenry, but on its own it describes in acute fashion the exhaustion anyone feels during a particularly trying period in their life. And you don't have to be in the twilight of your years to mull over a former flame, wonder where she/he is now, and come to the realization that the romanticizing of the relationship manufactured a situation in your mind that wasn't grounded in reality ("Girl To The North Country"). The man has no equal as a lyricist and for those who take the time to delve into From The Trees' collection of poignant musings and tale-telling, the rewards are abundant.

Intelligent, well-crafted lyrics demand corresponding music and, as is to be expected with a Hammill album, there is no unequally yoked coupling here. The songs on From The Trees can stand with any of the "classic" stuff he did in the first / second acts of his performing career. It's absolutely amazing to me that I can pop this cd in and have to replay a tune three or four times before moving on because it's grabbed me that much. But that happened with the second song, "Reputation". I'm very familiar with the whole (almost) 50 year Hammill / VdGG catalog (all of it) and I can honestly say that "Reputation" is one of my all-time fave PH tunes, from any era. I didn't see that coming, and it's wonderful that it's the case. There is something infectious about the piano chords, played waltz-like, coupled with the theme of the lyrics. It just grabbed me, and continues to do so. But other tunes are not far behind. "Anagnorisis" is the sort of wistful, beautiful piano piece that Hammill excels at and, like all the others from this collection, is right up there with the classics of the (distant and recent) past. Elsewhere, some truly great guitar work augments various murky tales and offers up infectious rhythmic backing on "My Unintended" and "Charm Alone", while the technical proficiency (and sensitivity) on display in "Torpor" and "Milked" works tremendously. There are real chops and maturity in his playing and, while no one would ever confuse his guitar prowess with that of Al Dimeola (nor would PH ever claim or intend to be as such), the A level performance is notable. And then there are the vocals. To me, he sounds as good as he's ever sounded on this disc. As ever, if you didn't know that he collaborated with himself on multi-layered backing vocals, you'd think he had other singers come in to accompany him. Such is the vaunted Hammill range of styles, and it's great to hear someone at this stage of the game still able to deliver the goods vocally (such is not the case with many of his vocalist contemporaries from the late 60s / 70s).

Peter sings and plays all the instruments himself. The arrangements range from stripped down to quite lush (although they can sound deceptively sparse), a good example of the latter being the track "What Lies Ahead" with its piano, guitar, bass, and multi-vocals melding into a rich soundscape. The arrangements work nicely and are never overbearing. Indeed, despite the multi-layering of some sections, there is an inherent live-ness to the proceedings that make the tunes pop.

As Peter Hammill approaches the half century mark of a groundbreaking, wholly unique career in musical trailblazing, we should pause to reflect on just how successful he truly is (at least in artistic terms). While we cut some slack to many legends who are still recording after several decades and accept that they'll never be as good as they were, we don't have to patronize Hammill with any such lowering of the bar. On From The Trees, he's as good as he ever was, which is saying a whole lot. Now there's a reason to actually celebrate and feel good about a person still with us in the twilight / third act of his career. No anagnorisis or O Henry twist here... he's been spot-on the whole time and continues to be so.

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Charles Snider has just published "Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock" - 'Strawberry Bricks offers a candid reappraisal of rock’s most cerebral genre.'
There are contributions from Hugh Banton and David Jackson.
Further info here.
Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
Image Judge Smith finally realeased his "Requiem Mass", written in 1975. Described as a "lost prog rock masterpiece", this rather good CD can be ordered from www.judge-smith.com. ImageImage

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PH has released a limited edition CD sampler of his forthcoming solo album. Only available in Japan in November, it sold out. Click on image for the track info.

David Jackson appears on an excellent new album by Tony Lowe and Mark Brzezicki's ESP Prog Band - 'Invisible Din’ More info.
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Do Not Disturb
(Click on image for album page - updated 4th December - Review in The Afterword)

Peter Hammill was interviewed on BBC's Freak Zone on Sunday September 18th at 8:00pm (UK time).
Image Hugh Banton played again at the Chipping Campden Festival Chorus summer concert on July 9th, this time playing organ.
HB before the event: "This is the first time I have accompanied live choral music upon organ literally since 1967."

HB was also on the performers list for this on July 15th at the Cheltenham Music Festival. HB played on the Friday on an old upright piano.

Herman has digitised his Cats Eye Promo. Image
Image MOJO - info about the forthcoming new studio album.
Click on the image.
Guy Evans interview on the New Untouchables website Part Two.

Part One.

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Image Carl Wilson, long time member of the VdGG road crew, has released a photo book entitled "Van der Graaf Generator at work.........technically". Click on the image for more info.
PH was awarded an honorary degree in Italy on January 16th. Click on the image for more info. He also performed a short set. Image

PH: "Finally, yes, I have been and continue to work away. I'm in writing mode, heading toward both the next solo disc and the next VdGG one. It'll be awhile before either of these get properly under way, mind..."
From the Journal Entry (9th July 2015)

"Demo CDs have arrived with HB and Brain. Likely that we'll start cranking up that machine again some time in October." (PH on Twitter)

"We're now well into the recording of the next studio effort, which is sounding very exciting indeed. It'll be out in 2016 and of course I'll write more about it in due course..."
From the Journal Entry (3rd December 2015)

Image Guy Evans re-visits Folkestone's Leas Cliff Hall. The Live List has VdGG playing there on 15th August 1970, 5th February 1972 and 13th May 1972.
Universal released a double CD of VdGG BBC sessions on April 27th. The CD is called "After The Flood" and covers the periods from 1968 to 1977.
Order Here
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Image VdGG's new live album, recorded during their 2013 European tour, is called "Merlin Atmos" and was released on Feb 2nd 2015. The album is out in 3 physical formats: single CD (CD1), double CD, and a special vinyl gatefold edition containing the main events - 'Flight' and 'A Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers'.
Order Here
Order Vinyl Here
PH interviewed in Goldmine

PH: "...the fruit of my recording labours over the last months is also going to be released at the end of November.
"The title is '..all that might have been...' and it comes in a number of different formats."
See Sofa Sound for more info.

Image Sadly, former PH violinist Stuart Gordon has passed away.
PH: "I'm sorry to have to report that after a short illness my dear friend Stuart Gordon died late last night, 28th August.
"I had so many adventures with him in music and in life and his loss is nigh unbearable.
"I have no other words for now."
As a tribute I have made available PH and SG's rendition of "Comfortable?" from The Bottom Line, NYC in Nov 1999.
Guardian Obituary
Peter Hammill and Gary Lucas have collaborated on a new album titled "Otherworld", released on 3rd February 2014.
Click on image to order.

Interview on The Progressive Aspect

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David Jackson appears on a new CD of contemporary chamber music released by Ricardo Odriozola. It is called "DRAGNING - CHAMBER MUSIC BY KENNETH SIVERTSEN"

It can be purchased here: www.amethyst-records.com

Further info

Image Peter Hammill made an appearance in Italy on January 18th 2014 (click on poster for details).

PH met the students of the local Conservatory (the lecture was also open to all musicians and music lovers) at 6pm for a lecture on music writing techniques and played a short live set in the Auditorium at 9pm:
My Room
Siren Song
Just Good Friends
Don't Tell Me
The Mercy
Unconscious Life
Undone
A Better Time
Traintime
House With No Door

Image Auditioning for Auntie

"Pete Paphides delves in the BBC archive to reveal audition processes for aspiring bands and artists to gain radio exposure in the 1950s and 60s, among them the Rolling Stones, Elton John, the Who and Pink Floyd. Plus, musicians including Peter Hammill of Van der Graaf Generator, Judy Dyble of Fairport Convention and Alvin Stardust discuss their recollections of these sessions."

BBC Radio 4 - Monday 21st October at 4pm
Radio Times listing

PH Wins Visionary Award (2012).

What prog-rock albums should politicians listen to?

COUNTDOWN 2 APOCALYPSE by Graham Smith, the sequel to At Risk... A Perfect World is out now on Amazon Kindle.
Click here for information
Image Another Italian Book!

"A philological and musical journey through the VdGG albums; as the subtitle of the book suggests: 'descent into the progressive maelstrom'. This book is not just the enumeration of events but a point of view about musical matters offering some secrets of one of the most original bands of the 70s. Coralli's musical transcriptions help the reader (and VdGG fan) to understand the Hammill methods of composition, as well as the instruments (as we can read through the Hugh Banton interview which discovers some forgetten background about the 'Pawn Hearts' sessions).

"Michele Coralli is a journalist specialising in music who deals with contemporary music and classic progressive rock. This is his second book following 'Swingin’ Canterbury. Viaggio nella provincia del rock progressivo britannico 1967-1981'."
Click here to order (In Italian).


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Van der Graaf Generator June/July 2013 European tour!

See the Live List for the recent shows.

"VdGG will be performing a couple of long-form pieces at the core of their sets in their upcoming June dates.

"Flight", originally a PH solo/K group piece, has already been aired in North America and Japan last year. It's partly as a result of the reworking of this in the trio format that we've been tempted to go for something even more ambitious...or dangerous.

Our intention is to play "A Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers", from our 1971 album "Pawn Hearts" each night.

We will not be attempting to recreate the album version but hope to come up with a new, in-the-present approach to this important piece from our past, which has only been played live a handful of times before now.

It's a scary prospect, but very exciting!"

Judge Smith has a new album out called Zoot Suit. "Judge's 11th solo release is an album of songs, and only his third full-length collection of songs in twenty years. Featuring the spectacular arrangements and production of David Minnick, and some amazing American musicians, 'ZOOT SUIT' is perhaps Judge's most accessible and downright entertaining album to date."
Image Click on the image for a brand new, in-depth interview with Peter Hammill on Innerviews. "It's a comprehensive look at much of Hammill's recent and forthcoming activity, both as a solo artist and with Van der Graaf Generator."
VdGG were massive in Italy during the early 70s and there remains a thriving Italian fanbase. Paolo Carnelli: "Though 40 years have passed, there was still a chance to be able to track down some of the Italian people who were involved with the band at the time: musicians, opening acts, managers, writers and, of course, fans. As the work went on, it was clear that there were some pretty interesting stories to tell, especially the ones related with the collaboration between Peter Hammill and Italian band Le Orme, the very first years of Hammill's solo career and the making of the Long Hello album, which was deeply linked to Italy. The core of the book deals with the 1972/1975 period."
Contributions from current VdGG and David Jackson. In Italian.
(Click on image for more information)
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Graham Smith's first novel has a change of title and cover and is now called "AT RISK... A PERFECT WORLD". Those who do not have a Kindle can download a free app from Amazon. If anybody has the older version, there is no difference in content, apart from a few words; but they can obtain the new version by contacting tech@thepowerofgray.com and submitting their Kindle address.

Elbow's Guy Garvey talks to PH and others about sequencing: Listen here.

Image Sadly, former VdGG bassist Nic Potter has passed away.
More here including a link to an obituary and a tribute from Guy Evans.
David Jackson in collaboration with Le Jury has released a new album entitled "Jaxon Faces The Jury". Le Jury are a three-piece from Bergen, Norway that include Ricardo Odriozola, the talented musician who co-wrote "The Musical Guide to Pawn Hearts".
Buy the CD here (postage included in price).
HB gets in some practice in readiness for the 2004 reformation...
V is for Van der Graaf Generator!
(You can hear An Epidemic of Father Christmases on the Mp3 Downloads page.)
Peter Hammill wins "Visionary" award
at Progressive Music Awards ceremony.

BBC     YouTube     Speech

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Van der Graaf Generator's new instrumental album "ALT" released
on June 28th 2012. Buy the CD here, the LP here.
Check out the Live List for the tour of North America! Image
Van der Graaf Generator Live At Metropolis Studios was released as a 2CD/1DVD set by Salvo/Union Square Music on June 4th. Thanks for all the competition entries - the winners reside in the UK and France and have been notified.

SDT

SDT

SDT

SDT
String Driven Thing (above) featuring Graham Smith played a gig in Sutton, Surrey on May 13th to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their signing with Charisma. They have also released a live CD from the 72/73 Genesis Foxtrot tour. Details Here.

There is a 5 page piece and interview with PH in May's MOJO magazine.

PH's new album "Consequences" was released on April 16th. - Buy Here.

A new live box set release by PH: "Pno, Gtr, Vox Box" is out now - Details Here.

Book Scott Faragher's new book "The Hammond Organ" features a section on HB and VdGG. Click on image.

A new double CD live release by PH: "Pno, Gtr, Vox" is out now - Order Here.

"This Too Shall Pass", the new album from the Subterraneans, is available for free from Here.

VdGG in Record Collector

David Jackson appears on the new album from Stelios Romaliadis called Meadow Rituals.
Book A new book published is Paul Hegarty and Martin Halliwell's Beyond and Before - Progressive Rock since the 1960s.

Information and a downloadable sample can be found here.

For paraphernalia from the Spring 2011 tour,
visit The Live List - 2011
.

VdGG Italian Special on RAI 5.

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CD The new album from Van der Graaf Generator is out now and is entitled: "A Grounding in Numbers".
The Grounding page includes an interview with Peter Hammill who also did an interview for the Barbican website.
You can read about the making of the album on SofaSound and hear clips here.

There is an interview with PH and HB on the French Lost and Found website (in English and French).

The CD can be ordered from SofaSound.

For International Record Store Day on 16th April, Esoteric put out a limited edition single of "Highly Strung" with B side "Elsewhere".

VdGG
The VdGG trio     
London Nov 2010.  
The Van Der Graaf Generator
2011 Easter European tour
is over!
VdGG
VdGG at Propagation House studios in April 2010.
HB Planets Hugh Banton's new recording of The Planets by Gustav Holst has now been released on CD, as well as a download, along with his Goldberg Variations. Click Here for downloads
or Here for the CD.
The DVD of Peter Hammill's 1992 Passionskirche solo performance is now available on Voiceprint. Buy Here.

Also available from Voiceprint is the official DVD and CD of Van der Graaf Generator's show at the Paradiso in 2007.
You can Buy Here.

Interview with Peter Hammill on Voiceprint Web Radio

VdGG
John (ny "Rotten") Lydon likes VdGG?
Van der Graaf Generator's 2009 tours: Click here for tour photos etc.

Peter Hammill's new album is out. It's called "Thin Air".
Buy Here!

Piece in Mojo.

VdGG
VdGG in 2009
Private Eye Which '70s prog rock band does Gordon Brown remind you of?
(Private Eye - July 2008)
Time Vaults has been released in re-mastered form by Plastic Head Records.
This is much brighter and clearer than previous issues and worth the outlay.
LUUP David Jackson appears on the first solo album from flautist Stelios Romaliadis, "LÜÜP", entitled Distress Signal Code. Buy it Here.

Interview (in Greek)

LUUP

www.peterhammill.com Goes Live!
"...where, finally, some lyric-labyrinthine adventures await."

Van der Graaf Generator - The Book is available for purchase online from this website for £25 plus p+p. The front cover features a specially commissioned painting of the members of the band which has been produced as a poster, also available online - Details Here
The Book "Their research for this project has been diligent and wide-ranging and they've come up with a fascinating collection of interviewees and an even more fascinating range of photographs and other pieces of documentary evidence of all the lives and times of the band(s)."
- Peter Hammill

"I cannot recall being as excited about a book since Armando Gallo's Genesis book when I was 12 in 1978 or Mark Lewisohn's first Beatles Sessions."
- Daryl Easlea 5 Star review in Record Collector Feb 2006

"As a group travelogue and potted history of the era, it's a rollicking good read." - Keith Moliné The Wire Mar 2006

"Backed up by an abundance of documentation, photographs, and trivia... this thorough history balances the gravity of VdGG's music and their mostly difficult tale with a narrative of considerable exuberance."
- Ian Harrison 4 Star review in MOJO July 2006

"Spiccano poi le dichiarazioni rilasciate de preziosi del tempo come membri dei Genesis, degli Audience e delle Orme, ma anche l'opinione di fan insospettabili come Marc Almond, Graham Coxon e John Frusciante." - Mario Giammetti Jam (Italy) Feb 2006

"Een absolute must voor de echte fan." - Harold van Zessen ioPages (Netherlands) Apr 2006

"An immense amount of information is presented clearly and respectfully, without ever descending into obsequiousness, or becoming mired in details. The Book will obviously be of interest to fans, but it also provides fascinating insights into the culture of the times." - Guitar Player July 2006

"...un'opera straordinaria, che si colloca fin da ora quale punto di riferimento assoluto sull'argomento."
- Enrico Ramunni Rockerilla (Italy) June 2006

"No Van der Graaf fan should be without it." - Review in Ugly Things #24

"Such a band deserves a good book about it, and now it's got one." - ROCK'n'REEL Jan/Feb 2008

Image Hugh Banton made an appearance on Harmonium in Chipping Camden.


Jaxon and Judge in Como, Italy - November 2011

Dave Jackson continues to enthral the disabled and abled with his Soundbeam extravaganza. Below are photos of him taken in Modena, Italy in May 2011.
(All photos by Emilio)



"I have never received another letter from Classic Rock Direct Ltd. or any other associated company and no royalties have been paid since then for any release. The last period for which any accounting was sent was the six month period ending 30th June 2005...
"Of course, the fact that royalties have not been paid on no less than four different releases, by four different labels does, in my mind, raise a question about whether the terms of the contract have been met." More...
- Peter Hammill in his journal entry "A Complex Web".

The new album was released on 14th March 2011 and is called A Grounding In Numbers.

"Well, the next VdGG album is now finished and fully mixed. Sounds very good indeed, too. Needless to say the next steps - with whom/how/when will it be released? - now await negotiation, which might take a bit of time. We all wait, then, with bated breath." - PH

"So...next? We’re looking at VdGG recording activity. That means, necessarily, an amount of VdGG-style writing so that we’ve got stuff we can get our teeth into. It’s getting there, gradually, and so are we, though as I write we still don’t know where, when or how we’ll be going about things. Expect news of something or other in the very near future." - Peter Hammill in a Newsletter.

"The VdGG album in prospect should start to get under way around spring for possible release later in the year." - Peter Hammill in an interview with Prog-mania.

Van Der Graaf Generator - ITV Legends
Live Filmed Concert at Metropolis Studios - December 18th 2010.
"Led by the unique vocal of Peter Hammill, VDGG join us as the last concert this year at Metropolis, and will provide an audience of just 140 people an opportunity to meet and sit in on a concert with one of the most revered progressive rock bands of the seventies. Often compared with King Crimson at their finest, respect and indeed reverence for VDGG has never waned."
SOLD OUT

The Courting Ground David Jackson's daughter Dorie has a great first album out called The Courting Ground, on which David plays saxes and flute.
Equally great is the first single by The Tribal Elders. The band consists of Judge Smith, David Jackson, John Ellis, Michael Ward-Bergeman and Rikki Patten.
It can be ordered through Judge's website at www.judge-smith.com
along with Judge's latest release: "The Climber".

Real Time was released in Japan on July 25th in a cardboard sleeve with a bonus CD containing tracks from other 2005 shows and a piece recorded at the Amsterdam soundcheck.

June 28th Interview with Peter Hammill for the Russian site.

DPRP Interview with Peter Hammill in Verviers on Jan 28th 2010.

PH interviewed in Performing Musician - December 2009.

My tribute to Jamie Fogg can be found here.

Progression magazine The Spring/Summer (2009) edition of Progression magazine featured a 12 page article about VdGG that includes in-depth interviews with PH and HB.

The VdGG 2009 Tours

On November 6th 2008 National Public Radio in the USA featured a piece about VdGG
that included input from PH. Read and listen to PH on NPR.
VdGG Trio The Italian Magazine Wonderous Stories featured a big spread about VdGG in the July issue.
See Jim Chamberlain's PH/VdGG site for coverage of PH's June 2008 trip to the USA.

Peter Hammill in Spain (May 2008).

A new live CD: 'Nic Potter and Friends - Live in Italy' was released on June 12th..

Schizo Fun Addict released a limited edition coloured 7" vinyl single of their cover version of Theme One on May 19th. The single is out on the Fruits de Mer label and you can listen to the track here.

VdGG in the Manchester Evening News

David Jackson playing with Italian band Osanna at Stazione Birra in Rome on April 23rd 2008.
Photography by Luca Fiaccavento.

Italian TV Channel RomaUno broadcasted the Umbertide show of July 22nd 2007 as part of the TV program INDIE during the two weeks beginning Nov 4th.

The German TV station WDR broadcasted the complete VdGG concert from Leverkusen (5th Nov 2005) on Monday 20th August at 0.45 a.m. (CET). The show lasts 105 minutes (a shortened version was broadcast in Jan 2006).

Astonishing News! A second copy of the un-released UK version of the Aerosol Grey Machine has surfaced, this time with a white label LP. The album was found by a second-hand record dealer in the UK (Replay Records, Grimsby, Tel 01472 351125, email).
The sleeve features a picture of a girl with a spray can - see the Aerosol Grey Machine page.

VdGG Trio 2007 Live...

Hugh Banton interviewed on Planet Prog - June 3rd 2007

Peter Hammill's solo albums Sitting Targets, Skin, And Close as This and The Love Songs were released in re-mastered form on September 3rd. "You Hit Me Where I Live" is a bonus track on Skin - Buy here.

Peter Hammill in a video interview on www.faceculture.nl
(June 25th 2007)

Peter Hammill

Dave Jackson has been working with Judge Smith on the scores for "Twinkle", which will be performed at The Anvil, Basingstoke on July 11th 2007. It will feature young able singers and dancers, some large monsters and disabled Soundbeam musicians. It is a musical story about Greek mythology.
- News from Dave Jackson - October 2006.
See Sean Kelly's pictures here and here.

Guy Evans playing with Subterraneans - December 06
(Thanks to Sean Kelly for the photo)

Peter Hammill is interviewed in the March 2007 issue of The Wire The Wire

"After a period of consideration and some exploratory rehearsal sessions over the summer, Hugh Banton, Guy Evans & Peter Hammill are now looking forward with excitement to the next phase in the VdGG reunion.

They expect to be doing shows in the first half of 2007 and will also be recording new material in this period with a view to releasing an album later in the year.

Van der Graaf Generator is now a trio consisting of the three surviving members of the original 1968 formation. David Jackson has not been a member of the group since November 2005."
- News from SofaSound - September 27th 2006.

From July's Mojo: Has The Graaf Sunk?
"As a longstanding Van der Graaf Generator fan, last year's album Present and the live reunion gigs were pure manna. Since then Peter Hammill's written that, 'At present there are no plans for any further shows or recordings for this incarnation of Van der Graaf Generator', but stopped short of saying never. Will this great group ever play together again?" - Russell Goff, Liverpool
Fred says: "Good news. We asked a Van der Graaf spokesman, who revealed, 'VdGG are continuing - they're reconvening [in July] with the intention of future live dates and recording.' He added that a live CD from the Royal Festival Hall show of May 6 2005 is being readied for release, as is a live DVD, possibly from a performance in Germany. Release dates to be confirmed!"
Long live Van der Graaf Generator!

"At present there are no plans for any further shows or recordings for this incarnation of Van der Graaf Generator. After the experiences of the last couple of years I'm reluctant to utter the word 'never' in the context of the group but it does seem unlikely that this line-up will attempt anything else in the immediate future. A fascinating ride it's been but time's up. In due course I expect we'll explain things further."
- Peter Hammill, 30th December 2005 (Latest Newsletter)

Re-masters released on July 25th: World Record, The Quiet Zone and Vital.
Van der Graaf Generator at the Royal Festival Hall - 6th May 2005.
Present - the new VdGG album.
Judge Smith at the Cobden Club - 6th May 2005.

Re-masters released on May 30th:
The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other, H to He Who Am The Only One
and Pawn Hearts.

Re-masters released on June 27th:
Godbluff, Still Life and Fool's Mate.

Van der Graaf Generator were mentioned in the Guardian's Friday Review on April 1st.

And in a piece about the funeral of Tommy Vance in the Telegraph.
Vance died on March 6th.

Judge Smith has recently been in Italy (March 2005) mixing his latest release "The Full English" at LOL Productions, and entertaining the Italian Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator Study Group.
The Study Group hosted a party for the members, including Francis Tamarit who sent in the pictures (taken by Mazug), and Judge, during which Francis and Pietro Poggi, on flute, accompanied Judge on a few of his numbers. By the sound of it a good time was had by all.
Guy Evans in Devon during the recording of Subterraneans album Soul Mass Transit.
Err... Is that a guitar Guy?
www.subterraneans.co.uk
In case you missed it on the front page, both the VdGG and Judge gigs on the 6th May are sold out.

Judge Smith London Gig and CD announced
This from the Judge publicity machine: "...In fact, after a two year lay-off, during which he built and equipped a new studio and wrote a large book (yet to be published), he has now completed two new CDs. The first of them to be released will be 'The Full English', on the Italian label 'Labour Of Love'. 'The Full English' is an album of songs, rather than a songstory like 'Curly's Airships', (and a single CD rather than a double). It features Curly guitarist John Ellis, and Michael Ward-Bergeman, the American accordionist, pianist and organist, with René Van Commenée (who played tabla for the Curly project) on drums and percussion. The album will be launched at a lunchtime concert on Friday 6th May, in London, at the Cobden Club (170-172 Kensal Road, W10 5BN), a delightful miniature Victorian theatre, with food available, within easy walk of Westbourne Park tube station. Judge will be appearing with the musicians from the album, and will play an hour's set, (including one number from 'Curly's Airships'.)"

Van der Graaf Generator in the Guardian

Another mention in the Guardian

And yet another mention in the Guardian

On Monday 29th November Van der Graaf Generator announced their reunion, a reunion concert and a brand new double album release for 2005.
Read All About It!
On the night of 6th November Italy's RAI 2 broadcast Peter Hammill receiving the Tenco Prize recently. Although Hammill played 5 songs, only one was broadcast. The setlist was: The Siren Song, A Better Time, Bubble, Vision (transmitted) and Still Life.
Thanks to Peo Campora for the piece (translation to follow).
Peter Hammill at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, 8th October 2004. A poor picture because my camera decided to play up, but a good show. David Jackson and Guy Evans were in the audience but didn't join Hammill on stage this time.
Setlist: My Room, Siren Song, Better Time, Gone Ahead (From Incoherence), Vision, Comet, If I Could, Amnesiac, Shingle Song, Patient, Easy To Slip Away, Bubble, Four Pails, Stranger Still, Traintime, Still Life, In The End (Encore).
This is String Driven Thing, the band that Graham Smith was in prior to joining Van der Graaf in early 1977. Graham is actually a violin teacher in the Bristol area but plays the occasional get-together with Chris Adams and the rest of the band. This gig took place on Thursday May 13th 2004 at the Buttermarket in Shrewsbury.
There will be an interview with Graham on this website in the near future.
Here are some pictures of David Jackson playing in an old church in Guastalla, Italy during the period 9-14th March 2004.
Francis Tamarit travelled to Italy from Geneva in Switzerland for the event and was lucky enough to play with David on the 14th. The trio, shown above right and including singer Pamela Acestilli, played Peter Hammill's The Birds and Vision.
Billed as "Jaxon and Friends", other participants included Martin Mayes on horn, Tony Pagliuca (ex Le Orme keyboard player), Gigi on percussion...
...and Max Theme One.
David also played with Re-Collage at Dolo and it is expected that this session will be released on DVD.
You heard it here first! Thanks to Francis for the material, Mazug and Stefano for the pictures.
Here are a couple of pictures of Nic Potter, post Van der Graaf.
On the left, Nic is playing with The Tigers in 1980 at the Whisky-a-Go-Go club in Los Angeles. He also appears on the Tigers 'Savage Music' album.
On the right is a picture of Nic taken by John Ellis at Hamburg railway station. Nic had just been to buy a newspaper prior to their rail journey to Berlin through East Germany. This was in either 1981 or 1982. Thanks to Nic for the pictures.
A new CD from David Jackson. This is live performances from 1992 and 1993 with René van Commenée. For further details and a review click on the image.
A bit late coming as its been out for a few weeks now but here's a link to www.thetangent.org, where you can buy "The Music That Died Alone", the product of David Jackson's latest collaboration.
The Lost Demo Tape featured in Record Collector, September 2003.

Judge Smith with John Ellis just prior to Judge's gig at the Vortex in Stoke Newington
on the 7th October 2003.

              
Judge Smith and the Young Offenders in full swing; Lene Lovich enjoys the show.
The Young Offenders consisted of Ian Fordham on bass and Michael Ward-Bergeman on piano and accordion.

The setlist:
Tell Me You Love Me - Accordion
Seemed such A Nice Boy - Piano
We'll Always Have Paris - Piano
Like A Rock - Accordion
Waving Not Drowning - Piano
The Final Taboo (It's The Silence That Kills You) - Piano
Advance The Spark - Piano
Carpet Tiles - Accordion

Paul Whitehead, creator of early VdGG album artwork has a retrospective gallery show in Turin, Italy running from 10 October to 2nd November 2003. Click on the image for more information.
(www.paulwhitehead.com)
Thanks to Augusto Croce for this picture of Peter Hammill playing with PFM in Italy this summer.
David Jackson has released a DVD (July 2003). This is an official recording of Jaxon's show in Guastalla, Italy in November 2002. Click on the image for more information.
Guy Evans seen here playing on a Saturday afternoon (14th June) at a pub in London called The Prince, as part of the Stoke Newington Fringe Festival. He was part of a three piece called Reconnaisance which included Julia from Echo City.
This is what the programme says:
"Reconnaisance:
Guy Evans - percussion, electronics
Julia Farrington - bass, flute
Mark Thomas - bass, french horn
A welcome return to this intriguing ensemble after a festival debut in N16 Flowers last year. As its name suggests it sets out on daring sorties into unusual musical terrain that can be hazardous. Deftly piloted by Van de Graaf Generator drummer Evans the ride is guaranteed groove-rich and lyrical."

Sean says that the Reconaissance gig was a small set up in the corner of a pub. They started at about 5.30pm, Julia on bass and flute, Mark on bass and french horn and Guy on drum kit and electronic pads - set to all kinds of sounds - oh yes and that yellow pot with holes in - a kind of indian hand-drum? They played what sounded like jazzy improvisations - making much use of sample and repeat on the lead instruments - flute or fr. horn - controlled by way of foot pedal. It was a free gig - amongst a multitude of free gigs as part of the fringe festival - but the punters there seemed to really enjoy it. The french horn in particular made a very impressive sound when, in effect, multi-tracked. The band had one or two technical problems with the sample / loop system which seemed to have bothered them more than it did us crowd. I thought it was a real nice mellow gig for a hot sunny afternoon - the doors were open and people floated in and out whilst Julia's flute became a multi-tracked horde of diving and swooping twirls. Real good for free - as Joni Mitchell once said!
(thanks to Sean Kelly for the picture and info)

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Peter Hammill's UK tour - February 2003, with a surprise in store...
Peter Hammill gave this interview to Uncut magazine in January 2003.

Judge Smith, pictured with Guitarist Rikki Patten, in Sussex, UK, in November. Judge's first live performance for ten years.
The event took place on November 29th 2002 at the All Saints Centre in Lewes. Judge was supporting a concert by Arthur Brown and sang three songs; "Carpet Tiles", "We'll Always Have Paris" and "The Final Taboo". Thanks to Sean Kelly and Peter Ostrowski for the pictures and information.
                        
Fire?
Peter Hammill gave this short interview to Classic Rock magazine in September 2002. Thanks to Kate George for the scan.
Hugh Hugh Banton has just released J.S.Bach's Goldberg Variations on Peter Hammill's FIE! label (17th November 2002).
Check out the page for info, reviews and soundbytes.
Paul Whitehead has just completely re-vamped his website, has a new manager, a record label that he has signed to and a band called the Borg Orchestra. They recently performed excerpts from their upcoming "Borg Symphony" CD in L.A. (see poster on the right).
Luck would have it that I found myself able to attend the UK debut of Chicago blues band Howard and the White Boys on Tuesday, the 3rd of September 2002, at Riffs Bar, near Swindon in England. Jim Christopulos, an avid VdGG fan and sometime contributor to this website, is the drummer, and had invited along a few members of the band. Peter Hammill wasn't able to make it but Judge Smith and David Jackson were. Jaxon turned up with a pair of saxes and played a couple of numbers with the band. I was there too, and took a few pictures:
       
David Jackson was gigging in Italy in November. For more details check out www.jaxontonewall.com, a website set up to publicise the event.
(Follow the links below PH at the Lyric for more information about the Soundbeam shows)
Peter Hammill played three concerts at The Hammersmith Lyric in London, accompanied by Stuart Gordon on violin, over the weekend of 14th/15th June 2002. I wasn't able to make it but a few artefacts have fallen into my inbox so here's a page.
Thanks to Francis for the pictures and Jamie for the autographed ticket. You will also find the lyrics to a new song, "Just a Child".
Check out Van der Graaf in MOJO - May 2002.
Beams and Bells: Live at the QEH released on CD - Feb 2002

Tim locke interviewed David Jackson in Wellingborough in May 2001.

Anvil Rings - What's it all about?

DJ in Wellingborough
Gordian Troeller left the music business and became a horse dealer.
Strange but true.

www.gordiantroeller.net

Tim locke interviewed Hugh Banton in Lymm in October 2001. Hugh
PH at Norwich
©Phil Smart 2001
(please don't use my photographs without permission)

Not a brilliant picture but the lighting was particularly bad.
Anyway, here's Peter Hammill at Norwich, England on the 8th Oct. 2001.

VdGG in July 2001
(Photo courtesy Hugh Banton)

The band had a get-together on the east coast (of England) in July 2001.

"Making a big percussive contribution to SOUL MASS TRANSIT is GUY EVANS, formerly of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, now of ECHO CITY. Guy has been the backbone of mad magical musical space odysseys since before most of us were born and, in a world sadly devoid of Pete De Freitas, is the best drummer anywhere. If you thought you knew what rhythm was, think again…"
www.subterraneans.co.uk.
Peter Hammill playing in Turin, Italy in April 2001.
Photograph courtesy of Marco Zatterin.
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PH in Mexico Peter Hammill playing in Mexico City, 25th February 2001.
Photograph courtesy of Fernando Aceves.
In the year 2000 the members of VdGG helped Chris Judge Smith launch Curly's Airships.
This piece appeared in Q magazine some years ago.
picture picture picture
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