Van der Graaf Generator, ABC1, 24th March Act #28

Jeez, it’s quite hard to recall a time when I didn’t love and listen to t’Generator. I can recall sitting in the ‘groovy’ basement of Pettigrew & Stephen, early 1970, with m’wife to be, eating huge cream cakes (still at an age where your birthdate was queried by sanctimonious barmen) and listening to Aerosol Grey Machine on vinyl.

Tonight they and we are stripped down to a trio. In their corner it’s Hammill obviously, Banton and Evans and ‘we’ are me with Billy Bones and Spanner.With this minimalist line up PH has to provide a lot more guitar now that the sax has gone. He’s far from great, but does sufficiently well to satisy the die-hards.When they launch into Lemmings early in the set, the surprise and perfect sound has me considering whether the three of us should be entered for the Eurovision Grinning Contest. Last time I saw The Spanner so ecstatic was when Acid Mothers Temple hit that Gong groove in Sleazy’s! VDGG really surprised me tonight. I didn’t think the trio could do it, but they did in spades!

For nerds who like setlists:

Interference Patterns
Your Time Starts Now
Over The Hill
Mr Sands
Meurglys III
Childlike Faith in Childhood’s End

Nutter Alert


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