peter blegvad The Peter Blegvad Bandbox (6 CD boxed set, £71.95)
ReR released the first Peter Blegvad Trio LP in 1988 and since then there's been a new one along about every 10 years, the latest adding Karen Mantler and Bob Drake, so it's a quintet now. In between, the trio toured Europe, America and Japan, did various projects and mounted a music-theatre performance. 30 years in, it seemed timely to collect everything together, add unreleased materials from concert recordings and out-takes, and write a fat illustrated book to tell the story so far. That box does this. In addition to the original releases, now re-mastered by Bob Drake and comprehensively repackaged, there are two full CDs of unreleased materials - and the book. That's 72 pages of documentation, recollections, reactions, insights and testimony - alongside priceless drawings and photographs, and all presented in a beautiful sturdy box. The trio was part of the fallout from the merger between Henry Cow and Slapphappy in the mid 1970s. Once they'd unmerged, Henry Cow's bassist John Greaves joined Peter in New York to make Kew, Rhone - at Carla Bley's Grogkill studio (which is where they met Karen, who X years later joined the band). Drummer Chris Cutler, also from Henry Cow, masterminded and released Peter's first independent recording, during the execution of which the trio instinctively came together. Since then, whatever other projects the three may have been engaged in (and there have been absurdly many), they kept coming back together to play Peter's songs. A proper artist: his songs have been covered (amongst others) by The Fall and Loudon Wainwright III - and have featured in movies; his cartoon series Leviathan ran in the Independent on Sunday for a decade [Peter Blegvad's comic strip is one of the greatest, weirdest things I've ever stared at. Matt Groening]; he's a regular on BBC Radio 3's The Word and author of several experimental radio dramas; his paintings appear in galleries and his stories are published in books. This box brings all the strands together - with additional help from B. J. Cole, Adam Philips, Eddie Reader, Loudon Wainwright III, Syd Straw, Phil Shaw, Geraint Watkins, Stoffer Blegvad and Jakko Jakszyk. 6CDs, a 72pp book, and a solid box.
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