CHOU PAHROT LIVE

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As I related in an earlier post,…  https://stuwho.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/chou-pahrot/ … the mighty Chou Pahrot were a weird 70’s Glasgow phenomenon that only the truly stoned & deranged could and would appreciate

A cacophony of deranged syncopation and discordant mayhem which would take you to the point of teeth-gritting surrender, and would then suddenly drop off a cliff of feedback and bass to emerge as a beautiful violin melody of exquisite toe-tapping sensibility … and all done with a huge tongue wedged in a Clydesdale horse’s cheek

Their studio recordings were enjoyable diversions but could never even come close to the sonic assault of musical claustrophobia and joyous dementia that their live performances could induce

Here is a hissy, old recording of that experience that is worth the effort … if you dare

Not for the faint-hearted

Chou Pahrot – Live at the STUC Birthday Party, in 197?ish

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http://soundcloud.com/chou-pahrot

CHOU PAHROT

Back in the mid 70’s, when the progressive rock scene was slowly disappearing up it’s own drug-addled arse, and the fledgling punk scene had still to fully take flight, a truly strange hybrid of prog & punk appeared on the Glasgow music scene in the form of the mighty Chou Pahrot ( pronounced Chow Parrot), a four-piece hailing from the small town of Paisley, just outside Glasgow.

At that time, Chou Pahrot were nothing less than an amazing burst of vitality, musicality, and deafening vibrancy. Their humour, originality and bizarre antics were a welcome change from the po-faced seriousness of their hip contemporaries


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MONICA ZARB – (Bob Donaldson)

Everything about them was unique

The band, Monica Zarb (bass & vocals), Fish Feathers McTeeth ( drums & hitting things), Mama Voot ( guitar, vocals and saxophone), and Eggy Beard (violin), and,  eventually, The Amphibian,  were a Zappaesque conglomerate of Beefhartian elements &  influenced by the US band The Residents, whose stage-presence was truly shocking to the uninitiated at that time. Uncompromising, deafeningly loud, agressive, and whimsical in equal measures, with Mama Voots trademark appearance in wedding dress and aged crone face-mask leering through the smoke and flashing lights.

I was a FAN … big style

I helped promote their gigs, here in Cumbernauld, and the band I played with, Flat Out, filled various support slots with them

I also designed posters, badges, their record sleeve … and even made the odd apearance with the band, playing the doppelganger clone of Mama Voot, in dress & mask, at a couple of their more memorable gigs … even resulting in me being hit with a bottle at their final Kelvingrove Bandstand appearance!

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FISH FEATHERS McTEETH (Dave Lewis) / EGGY BEARD (Martin McKenna) / MAMA VOOT (Tony O’Neill )

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Their impact at that time is indescribable, as they truly were a LIVE phenomenon, and that experience was never even remotely captured on tape.

The recordings of Chou Pahrot, good as they might be, come nowhere even close to the monsterous tsunami of cacophonic noise and the sheer tornado of sound they could create … a sound which could change, in a heartbeat, to the most melodic of riffs … the contrast and relief creating a dynamic tension of beauty that few musicians have ever achieved, in my experience

Chou Pahrot were a child of their time, and a bratty, self-indulgent, nursery-rhyme screaming wee demon he was … but oh how I loved him, and remember fondly those blisteringly sublime moments his tantrums could create!!

Here’s some of the stuff I helped produce, including unseen artwork from the time

This poster was for a gig at the Glasgow Film Theatre – an unlikely double-bill – The Pahrots & The Beatles film, “Yellow Submarine” …. Oh there were a lotta stoners present THAT night, as I remember!! … and as Monica’s demonic form loomed through the dark, and  jumped from the stage in his manic splendour, I sprang from behind him, identically dressed & scared the crap outta the stoned front row!
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Here’s a design for a Chou Pahrot badge that never actually materialised … badges were very popular at this time, as badge-making machines were on the go, and soon became standard memorabilia for every fan of every band

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Man – C’mon / Keep on Crinting

Back in those heady days of the hippy, dope-smolking, 1970’s, I would head up to Bob Cairns hoose, where he and his younger brother Jimmy would be sitting in the sweet-smelling fug of hash bliss, playing their guitars and introducing me to a whole new world of music
There were no cassette recorders available on which to get a copy of stuff I might hear, and many of the albums were termed “underground” and not readily available, unless you went into Bruce’s Records in Glasgow and ordered these strange esoteric offerings
It was in these situations that I first heard the likes of Yes, Murray Roman’s Backtrack 13, Spirit’s 12 Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus, Roy Harper, John Martyn, Frank Zappa, Can, Pink Floyd, and a myriad of other bizarre and unusual influences
Much of this stuff disappeared in the mists of times and the clouds of stoned oblivion, but every now and then someone will post a track on Facebook which I absolutely adored some 30 years ago, and as I didn’t own the album, I’ve never heard since
This, in particular, falls into that category
Kenny Aird posted it on FB, and when I heard it there was such shock of nostalgia and a rememberance of forgotten moments
Bloody Hell!!

STEPHEN FRY: WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN WHEN I WAS 18

Mr Fry constantly amazes me as he seems to be the only person I ever hear nowadays whose pronouncements, wisdom, humour and outright common sense  constantly makes me nod in agreement, and occasionally sit upright in shocked awareness , as I learn something that I’d never before realised … and at my age, that really is a surprise
Stephen Fry … nearest thing I have to a hero … makes me smile when I imagine what a dinner party with Stephen Fry, Frank Zappa, Emilie du Chatelet, George Carlin, John Pilger, Charlie Chaplin, and Maya Angelou would be like .
Me? … I’d be the waiter!!