In case you were wondering where I was, I'm right here! Let's kickstart December with an anniversary.
For 'twas a mere 38 years ago this evening when one of my personal favorite groups made their US debut.
They had been a thing for the better part of the preceding decade, having had their first record on Brian Eno's incredible Obscure label in the mid-1970s.
Something like a traditional Chamber orchestra of eons past, but with an eccentric taste in instruments and a very pronounced sort of Rock energy throughout the repertoire.
They were at first the brainchild of a delightfully strange multi-instrumentalist named Simon Jeffes, but he passed away 25 years ago this week. The remaining folks, plus new ones, still reunite and tour from time to time.
This concert -- as good an introduction to them as any I could think of -- was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and broadcast over the great WNYC-FM in New York City.
I edited out some of the dead air and tuning, and remastered it a little bit to optimize its eyes and size.
Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Next Wave Festival
Brooklyn Academy of Music
New York City, NY USA
02 Air à Danser
03 Music for a Found Harmonium
04 Yodel 1
05 Cutting Branches for a Temporary Shelter
06 Isle of View (Music for Helicopter Pilots)
07 From the Colonies
08 White Mischief
09 Salty Bean Fumble
10 Paul's Dance
11 Numbers 1-4
12 Prelude & Yodel
13 Chartered Flight
14 The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas
15 band introductions by Simon Jeffes
16 Giles Farnaby's Dream
17 The Toy
Total time: 1:15:00
Simon Jeffes - harmonium, guitars, percussion, bass, violin, ukelele, keyboards, whistle & toy autoharp
Steve Nye - piano
Helen Liebmann - cello
Geoffrey Richardson - viola, bass & percussion
Marcus Beale - violin & percussion
Neal Rennie - ukelele, cuatro & percussion
Gillian McGregor - dancer
master off-air reel of the original WNYC-FM broadcast of the complete USA debut concert of the PCO
remastered, denoised and retracked -- with 4 minutes of tuning & dead air eliminated -- by EN, December 2022
445 MB FLAC/direct link
445 MB FLAC/direct link
This is a beautifully captured show all around and, as I said, a perfect introduction to this most unusual little combo.
I've got a trippy holiday season planned for here, with a bunch of posts backloaded in the last two weeks of the year, but don't blow it on the PCO show!--J.