Robert Wyatt | REWIG48 | Released: 27/10/08
Robert Wyatt & friends, Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974 (2005)
Convening something of a supergroup to play through Rock Bottom upon its release in 1974, the cast Wyatt assembled is testament both to the high regard he has always been held in - along with his natural ability to blur boundaries between such constraints as the mainstream and the avant-garde. Here the assorted heavyweights: Mike Oldfield and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason lock with the avant jazz sensibilities of Mongezi Feza, Julie Tippetts and Fred Frith. The result is a glorious sound that frequently edges towards chaos and back with Wyatt’s scat falsetto soaring above proceedings like a dove. The Rock Bottom tracks take on a dreamy physical shape, ‘Alifi B’ starts with Wyatt miaowing before the band begin turning Drury Lane into the Fillmore West. Listening to Wyatt and Tippetts duetting on ‘I’m A Believer” as all hell breaks loose around them is to be transported into the front row to witness a very kind of Robert Wyatt magic.