“Gew-Gaw’s Journey To Nowhere Street”

(Gew-Gaw fanzine’s compilation of latter-day British and European psychedelia is as duffel-ya (mixed) bag as you could wisli for, ranging from the ridiculously sublime to the sublimely ridiculous in two bars and a quick-step. All but a couple of the artists featured should already be familiar to most of you so there’s probably little point in shopping on tracks other than to pick out the highlights with our wide-eyed beam: in no particular order we have Alan Davidson’s Kitchen Cynics and a gloriously subdued magic-carpet ride to faery-land entitled ‘\muddy Mistress’; Alan Tepper’s Fantassy Factoryy and his fearfully evocative, echoing ‘Book Of Hours’-his work unfsilingly reminds me of spirit, in this instance something from the ‘Spirit of 76’ sessions; our very own Nick Saloman’s Bevis Frond and a kaftan-blistering piece of guitar-led acid-rock called ‘Three Mile Wall’-no idea why this has remained otherwise unreleased until now to be honest, it’s a gem-Todd Dillingham’s whimsically tripped-out ‘Golden Girl’ and ‘Oh Wot A Bore’, the latter featuring the memorably catchy refrain “My face is melting, it’s dripping on the floor / can’t do anything about it. Oh wot a bore!”; Neal Heckford’s Art Snobs who turn in an extremely trance-like and rhythmical ‘No-thing-Ness’ (no doubt a few readers will remember Neal fondly from his ever-vivacious presence at Terrastock II) and Ross  Stephens Reefus Moons, donating the brilliantly introspective ‘Candle Moon’, a piece not dissimilar to Paul Roland and/or Nick Haeffner at their best in its delivery and composure. Elsewhere, the Smell of Incense out-petal the Petals on ‘(I Wanna Live In The) Golden State’, a song originally released as a flexi on some long-forgotten ‘zine of yesteryear; the increasingly fascinating German psychonauts Mandra Gora Lightshow Society somehow meld Mad River, the Elevators and the Marshmallow Overcoat into one glorious, coagulating mess on ‘Sundials In The Night’; Belgium’s Tribe of Cro lend us the inevitably Hawkwindesque ‘Hydrocultura’ (the title track of their last album, drooled over in Terrascope 25, although for some odd reason this wasn’t included) and to cap it all Purple Overdose trip over their own frills and laces with the middle-eastern influenced, almost Kaleidoscopic ‘Funny Decoration’. There’s at least three Purple Overdoses that I’m aware of: this is the Greek version, and sound equally as worthy as their Australian and American counterparts. Anyway, there we have it: a worthy successor to Freakbeat magazine’s forays into psychedelic compilations of a few years back, and with sleeve art to rival the same. Isn’t it interesting, incidentally, that a significant proportion of the better contributions to this collection are each principally the work of one person? Just a thought.

track list

Chateau De Fleurs-memorial sleep (unreleased)
Todd Dillingham-golden girl (unreleased)
Mandra Gora Lightshow Society-sundials in the night (from a very rare single)
The Art Snobs-no-thing-ness (unreleased)
The Smell Of Incense-(i wanna live in the) golden state (unreleased)
Kitchen Cynics-muddy mistress (unreleased)
Tribe Of Cro-hydroculture (from their album ‘Ηydroculture’-different version)
Reefus Moons-candle moon (unreleased)
Barbie’s Dead-joy (unreleased)
Fantasyy Factoryy-books of dreams (unreleased)
Bevis Frond-three mile wall (unreleased)
Purple Overdose-funny decoration (from their album ‘Solemn Vision’-different version)
Todd Dillingham-oh wot a bore (unreleased)
Melting Ashes-angels of sunrise (from their album ‘Green Fuzz 1987’-({very} long version)

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