Here & Now: Live In London

Gong-affiliated squat-rockers tripping out in the capital.

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While all of it bar the first track was recorded in London Club Dingwalls, this absorbing live album might well have been captured four decades ago, in a far-flung, wind-whipped tent of some swampy free festival. Amorphous, protean and suspended in time like a fly in amber, that’s always been Here & Now’s trip.

By 2007 guitarist/vocalist Steffe Sharpstrings was joined by Keith Tha Bass, Gwyo Zepix (ex-Gong/Zorch) on keyboards and Steve Cassidy on drums, and their set here draws on recordings including 1995 release UFOasis.

The jammy psych-blues of Love Of This World still sounds charged with care for/despair of the state of things, Telly Song is the lolloping skank of a much younger band, while mid-tempo Rattle The Cage showcases their spacey atmospherics well. Crazy Lives proves Sharpstrings’ love of Hendrix remains undiminished, while the bittersweet Only Way gets extra points for rhyming ‘bad vibrations’ with ‘delegations’.

It’s clear from this convincing show just why Here & Now have a small but fervent following. It’s made all the more tantalising by the fact that Daevid Allen joined them for a set right after this one. Would love to hear that too.