Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.
In 2018 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.

August 2013

This page contains all the articles that were uploaded in August 2013, chronologically sorted, from old to new.
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2013-08-08

Reverends and Sydiots

5 years Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit: 5 years.

(This article contains a much concealed review of the Rich Hall album Birdie Hop and the Sydiots, to immediately access it, click here.)

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrates its fifth birthday.

An official statement by the Reverend:

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is five years old. It has always taken an independent road and has maintained an ironic and satirical view on the Syd Barrett phenomenon and its fans.

We will, however, never spit on the fans. We have embraced the term Sydiot as our Geusenwort, meaning that we have reappropriated this derogatory nickname as an honorary title.

While we have the utmost respect for the casual Barrett fans, the cosmic brides (persons [m/f] who claim to have a relationship with Syd of some kind, often crossing spiritual boundaries) and the Sydiots, we intuitively question the official Barrett organisations, record companies and nincompoops who circle around Syd like vultures. We will not automatically endorse their websites, their records and their books... and this has not always been appreciated. It seems that nothing has changed much since those days in 1967 when Norman Smith was reprimanded by his boss:

EMI were ignorant, lazy and paranoid. I'd once been carpeted by Sir Joseph Lockwood, almost fired, told to stay away from courting Pink Floyd. But I took no notice.

If Norman Smith had obeyed we would never have had The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Taking no notice was, is, and will always be the Holy Church's attitude, even if this puts us in the firing line of some of the minor half-gods and makes us wonder if this Church was just a waste of time. But:

This is my church
This is where I heal my hurt
It's a natural grace
Of watching young life shape
It's in minor keys
Solutions and remedies
Enemies becoming friends
When bitterness ends
This is my church
(Faithless, God is a DJ, 1998)

All tomfoolery aside, we are proud to have put a thing or two on the Floydian agenda in the past five years that would otherwise have stayed unnoticed. If we may lead you to one paragraph on this blog, that we are particularly fond of, it is this one and we constantly try to live by those standards. So-called social media make witnesses easy accessible nowadays but this doesn't give the Sydiot nor the Reverend a wildcard to constantly harass them with questions about how 'Syd really was'. Remember:

A granddaughter's smile today is of much more importance than the faint remembrance of a dead rock star's smile from over 40 years ago. (Taken from: We are all made of stars.)

And for those who don't agree the Church can only bring solace by citing the following words of that great Cantabrigian band:

So I open my door to my enemies
And I ask could we wipe the slate clean
But they tell me to please go fuck myself
You know you just can't win
(Pink Floyd, Lost For Words, 1994)

But this speech has been going on for too long, so...

Let's party!

It's a fucking birthday godammit! And we have exactly the right party album for that... and you can have yours too!

Rich Hall
Rich Hall.

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots

Richard Michael John Hall is a self-publishing artist in the 'alternative' or 'indie rock' genre with about a dozen releases on his name. In March 2013 he surprised the world with his songs The Reverend and Uncle Alex and it came to the Church's ears that this was going to be a part of a quintessential concept album. Written in about a month's time the album has been released a couple of weeks ago.

Birdies and Barretts

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots is named after a rather decent Facebook group and its members who range from the wacky to the insane now that an old cricketer has left the crease. Its first song, Birdie Hop, is a pastoral tune about this relatively calm oasis and how it is a reference to all who have enclosed Syd Barrett in their hearts.

I've seen your mother (and she's beautiful) is a track about our most cherished and most hated family member. Rich Hall perfectly catches that ambiguity (see also John Lennon & Roger Waters) but apparently that is not what the song is about. Let's just resume by saying that Barrett fans come in different colours and sizes. Cosmic brides are fans, who declare their unconditional love for Syd and sometimes meet him on a higher esoteric level. It is good that what happens in the spirit world cannot be seen by the naked eye although sometimes weird erotomanic anecdotes drip through. Cosmic brides are usually harmless, although they can be annoying when they start messaging people with important directives from the other side.

With Cheesecake Joe, a catchy hard rock tune built around one of Birdie Hop's most flamboyant members, the Birdie suite lifts off into the higher stratosphere. Cheesecake is the deadhead equivalent of the Floydian fan. He is the UFOnaut who still claims Pink Floyd is a stoner band and that their main message is to turn on, tune in & drop out...

The Reverend is the first highlight of the album, what a psychedelicate song, what a fine realistic description of this genius, what an adoration for Iggy the Eskimo, what a magic looking glass. But even after having heard this song for about 45 times I still don't know if the song really isn't an insult packaged as a gift. But walking the thin line between praise and mockery is what the Holy Church is all about. Great song. It should be a hit. Really.

A high-res Flash clip of this song can be found here.

The Reverend, by Rich Hall
The Reverend. Sound: Rich Hall. Vision: Felix Atagong. Hi-resolution Flash movie.

And for those who prefer a somewhat lighter YouTube version:

Just when you think that it can't get any better there is Uncle Alex, an ear-worm of a song. Not wanting to go too far into details I can only say that some of the apparently throw-away lines are far closer to the truth than you possibly can imagine. Rich Hall is a poignant observer. This should even be a bigger hit.

A videoclip for this song can be found on the Reverend's YouTube channel.

Solo en las Nubes could be the theme song for a Sergio Leone spaghetti western with Antonio Jesús as the vengeful balded bad-ass. On his own this man is responsible for most of the Barrett admiration in the Spanish-speaking world and thus he is, by definition, regarded as a potential danger by the powers that be. Speak out his name in a certain provincial university town, close by the river Cam, in East Anglia and gallows are spontaneously risen again. This is a song that should be played around camp-fires all over the world. This is an urban hymn.

Jenny and Libby makes me think of the Television Personalities for one thing or another. Throughout the song Rich Hall name-drops several Birdie Hop alumni and their doings. I wonder if the artist has amazing powers of observation and if he knew, when he wrote the song in spring 2013, that the refrain was predictive for the shape of things to come.

Jenny and Libby ends, what I call, the birdies section of the album. This is being followed by the madcap suite, a trilogy about the darker side of Barrettism where the weirdness, the madness and the obsessiveness turns into a Stephen King nightmare...

Blow Syd
Blow Syd.

Madcap Laughter & Hammerings

Fuggitaboutit, build around a fifties teenage tragedy song, is based upon the endless laments of certain self-proclaimed Barrett scholars.

Your Significant Other is a track about those weird trolls who infests groups with different aliases, spreading false information and starting discussions, sometimes among themselves, just for the sake of argument. So what's your name today, which identity will you choose?, is the question Rich Hall asks. Based upon a true story.

Yer List Monger. Call it this album's The Trial but with a haunting Twin Peakish atmosphere, a hot burning sun, a mad priest preaching on the telly about sin and redemption, a fat red-neck orating conspiracy theories at the end of the bar, suddenly spitting out the venomous question: are you real Syd Barrett fans? Dwarfs are passing by, walking backwards and speaking in tongues. Meet the Hannibal Lecter of the Syd Barrett world.

A Cry From The Outside

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots has its coda with a rather alienated version of Barrett's Feel that leaves me with a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth. It's puzzling, it's not nice. It's all dark, as a matter of fact.

At times Rich Hall's way of words makes me think of Jason Lytle and Lee Clayton, his music is a kaleidoscope of sounds that reminds my fragile memory of T-Rex, neo-psych or garage rock. But of course Rich Hall is at first Rich Hall and nobody else.

Throughout this article I have dispersed some quotes from Pink Floyd and I did catch some resemblances here and there with themes from The Wall, but that is probably because I've recently watched a Mr. Roger Waters show. Let's hope this album will never grow into a monster and that a 69 years-old Rich Hall will not be obliged to lip-synch next to a 130 metres long plastic wall with hi-tech projections and a ridiculous flying cactus balloon in the air.

You don't need to be a Birdie Hop member to enjoy this album as all songs stand by themselves, but if you grab this and listen to it why don't you let the birdies know what you think of it.

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots @ Bandcamp

Birdie Hop and the Sydiots
July 2013
Instruments & vocals by Rich Hall.
Mixed by Rich Hall and Ron Bay.
Mastered by Ron Bay.

Streaming & digital download (name your own price system, 0.00 is an option as well).


Sources (other than the above internet links):
Jefferies, Neil, Dartford's Finest Band, Record Collector 417, August 2013, p. 54-55.

Website: Richard Michael John Hall
BandCamp channel: RichMFHall
SoundCloud channel: RichMFHall
YouTube channel: RichFMHall

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Thanks: Anonymous • Freqazoidiac • Solo En Las Nubes • Psych62 • Anni • Bill • Euryale • Brooke • Jeff • Prydwyn • Chris • Helen • Sean • JenniFire • Sadia • Herman • JenS • Vince666 • Nipote • Gretta • Viv • Adenairways • Giuliano • Dolly • John • Babylemonade • Duggie • Synofsound • Mark • Xpkfloyd • Rich • Brett • Krackers • Peter • Phil • Zag • Warren • Listener • Bob • MOB • Nina • Dark Globe • Emily • Retro68special • Natashaa' • Vic • Jenny • Neonknight • Lord Drainlid • Ebronte • Simon • Ian • Will • Motoriksymphonia • NPF • Greeneyedbetsy • Anton • Hallucalation • PF Chopper • Lee • Felixstrange • Michael • PhiPhi • Eva • Cicodelico • Julian (Gian) • Denis • Dallasman • Emmapeelfan • Paro नियत • Ewgeni • Matt • Kiloh • Elizabeth • Alexander • Kirsty • Paul • Mohammed (Twink) • Nigel • Rusty • Braindamage • Pascal • Mark • Stanislav • Anthony • I Spy In Cambridge • Mick • Alain • Wrestling Heritage • Bloco do Pink Floyd • Moonwall • Rod • Charley • Amy • Joe • Griselda • Eternal • Dominae • Russell • Beate • KenB • Dan5482 • Tim • Antonio • Party of Clowns • Anne • Late Night • Lori • Colleen • Brian • Christopher • Jose • Göran • Jancy • Banjer and Sax • Ron • Vicky • ...and all those we have forgotten to mention!


2013-08-16

Men On The Border, Syd Swedish version

Shine! Men On The Border.
Shine! Men On The Border.

Is it already over a year ago that this blog reviewed the Men On The Border's Shine! CD? Lots of things happened meanwhile to the Reverend who was recently spotted at an Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. Since then, when he sits in the evening in his comfy chair, a glass of Amontillado in his hand, you can hear him murmuring the immortal refrain...

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then...
Thinking that we're getting older and wiser
When we're just getting old
But I have grown older and
You have grown colder and
Nothing is very much fun any more.
(Taken from: Memory [Cats] / Near the End [David Gilmour] / One of my Turns [Roger Waters])

Roger Waters:

Andrew Lloyd Webber sickens me. He's in your face all the time and what he does is nonsense. It has no value. It is shallow, derivative rubbish, all of it... (Taken from: Who The Hell Does Roger Waters Think He Is?, Q Magazine, November 1992, hosted at: A Fleeting Glimpse.)

But it is not because the Reverend deliberately ignores Roger Waters' warnings that he can't recognise decent music any more.

Shine! from Men On The Border is a splendid album that shouldn't be ignored by the redneck Sydiots out there. Luckily, neither did the Spanish Syd Barrett blog Solo En Las Nubes and that's how the following self-interview came into place, an interview with some old friends...

Solo en les Nubes

Men On The Border, who or what are they? Are they men or myth? With an album, artwork and history myth-busting/building, they have rocked the psychedelic foundations of the Syd Barrett world with a pop mentality. Yes, pop. This sounds too cool to be true. We decided to find out more.

MOTB!
Men On The Border.

Men On The Border, Syd Swedish version

So who are these mystical Men On The Border?

Phil: Well, wouldn't you like to know! We're just a couple of sticky Swedes, except for me, because I'm just a Brit with Swedish tendencies.
Göran: And I am just a Swede with British tendencies.
Phil: I've now lived longer in Sweden than I did in Britland. I moved here because of my spiritual affinity with the elks and they're thin on the ground in London. Apart from that I've been a fanatic guitarist most of my life.
Göran: They are very thin is what I've heard.
Phil: Disappearingly thin.
Göran: Disappointingly thin.

How long have you been involved in music?

Phil: All my life, actually from a very early age and my earliest memories are musical - banging on boxes, as I wanted to be a drummer.
Göran: I wanted to be an astronaut. The space age - and the music that came with it. Ahhh.
Phil: From age 10 and onwards, everything was guitars. My life is littered with musical tags which can take me back to specific events in seconds - like most people probably have.
Göran: Indeed. Some good events, some less good, some joyful, some simply embarrassing.
Phil: Music has also steered major life-choices, like my conscious decision to reject both schooling and religion in my teens.
Göran: My music universe imploded and exploded at the same time. I was a punk rocker, a prog rocker and a 60s pop fan – all at once. My first band was named Läder, the second one Yeah. Then I ditched music for education and... things.
Phil: My first band was at the age of 17. Unfortunately I was unable to also reject the other very basic family philosophy: you have to have a proper job! Getting a good education was obviously less important. If I'd put my energies into music instead of a string of shit jobs in my teens, maybe this album would have been made 20 years ago.
Göran: Maybe it WAS made 20 years ago in a time vortex kind of thingie.

Why did you make the album Shine!?

Phil: I love to make music, I love to play and I love to record in my studio. If it's my music or someone else's doesn't really matter as long as it has something to offer.
Göran: As it happened, Syd Barrett had something to offer.
Phil: I hadn't actually heard any of his solo material when we started. I was a Pink Floyd fan, but had completely missed out on Syd.
Göran: This helped to motivate me. I sent him a first primitive demo.
Phil: Making Octopus whetted my appetite for more.
Göran: And this in turn drove me further. To convince people like Phil! The joy of discovery. Squid for dinner!
Phil: Well, he was dead keen to continue, so to make a whole album was an easy decision.
Göran: We made an early promise to be ready for a festival the next summer.
Phil: Yes. The absolute deadline for mastering was June 8th 2012.

Men on the Border
Men On The Border.

Can you describe the creative process of making Shine!?

Phil: Göran made acoustic demos which he sent to me. Sometimes I made an initial draft recording, which I sent back for suggestions on how to proceed and a few times we sat together and played.
Göran: It was a case of working out some new types of arrangements that would fit Syd’s songs without losing too much of the feelings behind the songs. Some of them were “road tested” in some acoustic gigs and more.
Phil: And more?
Göran: Dreaming in a forest, Phil. Then I just recorded on my smartphone and mailed over to Phil and he sent me some new amazing twists back. Every time was such a joy!
Phil: As an example of the process my string quartet arrangement in the Golden Hair part of No Man's Land was axed by Göran.
Göran: Sorry!
Phil: He came up with another suggestion, the one that ended up on the album. I thought that was SUCH a good idea, but was actually easily persuaded by Göran to ditch the strings....
Göran: Creative conflicts. We bounced things between us to create the right blend. Those strings were brilliant, but did not work in the context of No Man’s Land. It would have worked as a stand-alone.
Phil: I also waited until all the Shine! recordings were completed before listening to the originals and was thus not influenced by them at all.
Göran: Well, there was one where you cheated.
Phil: Yes! I actually listened to Gigolo Aunt because I couldn't figure out the timing from Göran's demo -there's a half-bar in there.
Göran: The fun and beauty of Syd's songs.
Phil: All-in-all there was a LOT of bouncing back and forth.
Göran: Happy bouncing!

Which are your favourite songs on Shine!?

Phil: All of the songs have elements in them which I love. But if I had to choose one song it would be Opal, because it has everything. Poignant lyric, great vocals from Göran.
Göran: Well...
Phil: And also my best performance ever on a recording. 7 minutes of stark beauty.
Göran: Opal was always special and I knew it had to be on the album. We saved it for last really. It's tricky and I had to record my demo to Phil in several segments.
Phil: Oh yes. A bit of a puzzle really.
Göran: I am very pleased with how it turned out. Personally I like the duo of Long Gone and No Man’s Land, moving in that punk/prog territory. Feel is also such a wonderful melody and we stretched that to tell a bit of a story, but with sound only. Wonderful guitar work from Phil.

Which great Syd Barrett songs did not make it to be included on Shine!?

Phil: Terrapin, which we recorded a week after the album was released. I love that song, but because of the deadline we didn't have the spare week we needed to record it. We'd planned to include that with a string quartet, though fortunately the quartet idea wasn't included. I love the result on that. There may be others....
Göran: Terrapin works best as a bonus track really. There is a thematic structure to Shine! and I am not sure how it could have fitted in. We had some ideas to include obscure Pink Floyd stuff, like Scream Thy Last Scream. I am sure that would have been really interesting, but then again it was never a Syd solo song.

Octopus (Jennifer D Andrea)
Octopus. Artwork: Jennifer D Andrea.

What can you tell us about the artwork included with Shine!?

Göran: Back in March 1971, Syd admitted that at heart he was really a painter. We just felt we should try to reflect this in our little tribute.
Phil: But none of us can paint.
Göran: We tried sonically to bring more colour to his rather bleak songs and also to illustrate the whole album with colourful art.
Phil: The cover was specially made for us by a wonderful Swedish artist, Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson. You can read all sorts of things into that painting.
Göran: Yeah. I first met her at a festival and played some of the early demos for her and she really liked it. Then later, I described the overall ideas and parts of Syd’s life. She made that painting to reflect all of this.
Phil: The booklet has one painting for each song in a sort of an exhibition, where you move through different rooms actually. The paintings were made by a Syd Barrett fan in the USA, Jennifer D’Andrea.
Göran: I really love those. I have Octopus framed as a constant reminder in my working room.

Now honestly, what is really so great about Syd Barrett?

Göran: It's all great. You cannot easily separate the life and the art of Syd Barrett. It is all so interwoven, as indeed it is with many great artists through history. Van Gogh springs to mind, but also many more. Their art might not have reached their true audience during their life time, but would grow in importance.
Phil: For me it has been a bit of a discovery really.
Göran: So Syd made some great stuff with Pink Floyd and got that band on track for stardom, but I think he actually did his best work after Pink Floyd. In a similar way that John Lennon did his best work at a very vulnerable stage after The Beatles. Their respective music is so extremely honest, but also very unpredictable and full of layered meanings. Entering the “Syd universe” is very worthwhile. We just want to help more people find it.
Phil: Turn on, tune in, rock out!

OK, you've convinced us. Where and how can we buy Shine!?

Göran: We have a few hundred copies left still, stored in USA, UK and Sweden. Just visit our website and drop us a mail. We are quick to answer and will happily send the CD to wherever you are.
Phil: By interstellar overdrive. We have fans on our Facebook page from all over the planet, but no worries, we can mail the CD to all locations!

Last question! Where is the pussy willow that smiled on this leaf - and if it’s there will you go there too?

Phil: I've been advised by my lawyer not to answer this question, but Göran, being brave and foolhardy in equal parts, probably has an exclamation up the sleeve of his kaftan.
Göran: The pussy willow is in springtime Cambridge, and yes we will certainly go there one day to gig and make recordings. Right Phil?
Phil: You’ll have to talk to my manager……

Men on the Border
Men on the Border.

Göran Nyström and Phil Eheridge are preparing a new album called (at least for now) Jumpstart that will at least have two other Syd covers and own material. On the third of October 2013 they are billed at the Floydian Cruise gig in Sweden.

© 2013 Antonio Jesús, Solo en las Nubes. Pictures courtesy of Men on the Border & Solo en las Nubes.
Translation mistakes, typos and all possible errors are entirely the responsibility of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.
The Holy Church review of the Men on the Border album can be found here: Men On The Border: full of guitars and no dust... 

Links:

Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kajsatuva/sets/

Jennifer D'Andrea

Deviant Art: http://missjennifyre.deviantart.com/
Flickr 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/missjennifire/sets/
Flickr 2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennyandbrett/sets/
Weebly: http://jennifiresart.weebly.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MissJenniFyre


2013-08-24

O tempora o mores!

Deleted: Mark Blake's Iggy Rose interview.
Deleted: Mark Blake's Iggy Rose interview.

Be careful what you post on the Internet they say.
Everything you publish on the Internet will stay there forever, they say.
But when the Reverend, a couple of days ago, wanted to check the (excellent) Mark Blake article about Iggy Rose, that was published on the Mojo blog, way back in January 2011, he couldn't find it. Vanished.

Mojo's big spring cleaning

Apparently Mojo, that still is the world's best music magazine, no doubt about that, has refurbished its website and with refurbish we really mean that they threw a few year's worth of articles in the dustbin. These are the days when publishers are more interested in selling printed paper than in maintaining their archives. So be it. It's a stupid joke, we know it, but apparently the magazine seems to have lost its mojo.

Luckily the Holy Igquisition still had a copy somewhere and Mark Blake was so cool to allow us to stick it on our memo board in our cyberkitchen where it will stay until eternity or until we are too old to renew our domain. So if you can all step a little closer you can, from now on, read it here:

1. EXCLUSIVE: The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo (hosted at the Church)
2. The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo Pt. 2 (hosted at the Church)
3. The Strange Tale Of Iggy The Eskimo (hosted, since January 2016, at Mark Blake's blog)

Peeterman
Peeterman.

Stella by Artois

Similar thoughts came over the Reverend a couple of weeks ago when he remarked that the Louvain Stella Artois brewery, whose history goes back to 1366, keeps on weeding in its beers now that it has become the biggest concern in the world. In its social responsibility program that has been called Better World there is no place for local tradition. Gone are the 56 Louvain brewers, each with their own brands, tastes and flavours. Peeterman from brewery De Eendracht, in the 18th century the most popular beer in Louvain and surroundings, disappeared after Stella Artois bought its competitor.

Tumblr & Twitter

But this is called progress, we guess, so The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit gladly joins internationalisation. To conquer the world we have now, next to a Facebook and a Twitter division, a Tumblr blog as well. We are not really sure what the point is of having a Tumblr blog other than having it, but surely something will come out of it some day. Or not. The future will bring what the future will bring.

Keep on visiting the Church, sistren and brethren, and certainly don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do.


Many thanks to Mark Blake.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit can also be found on:
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Notes:
O tempora o mores! (Oh the times! Oh the customs!) is an exclamation from a speech by Marcus Tullius Cicero in 63 BC.
Peeterman (from brewery De Eendracht) may not be confused with Peeterman Artois that was put on the English market a couple of years ago (and that also has disappeared). Brewery De Eendracht started in 1901 but Peeterman beer was already mentioned in a dictionary from 1773.