the FOURFATHERS england
since their fist gigs in july 1998 with some captain beefheart covers this four man band has worked on an extensive repertoire of van vliet material, which they fully exposed at a few concerts in august of the following year. after the short tour they used the bloody form they were in to hire a studio and record a mini ceedee with four of their own songs and - given the amount of material they could handle: quite amazingly - but óne beefheart cover. that version also can be heard on the web in real audio now.
england 1999 ceedee FAR FURTHER private production [no cat. no.]
THE WITCH DOCTOR LIFE ice cream for crow 1982 studio 2:39
the other tunes they performed at those concerts still are unreleased:
CHINA PIG trout mask replica 1969 live
I'M GONNA BOOGLARIZE YOU BABY the spotlight kid 1972 live
ORANGE CLAW HAMMER trout mask replica 1969 live
PLASTIC FACTORY safe as milk 1967 live
TROPICAL HOT DOG NIGHT shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live
YELLOW BRICK ROAD safe as milk 1967 live
most of the cover versions also were played on the next tour, in late august 2000. and although they couldn't afford a professional equipment for it, they recorded the shows and put parts of two of the live performances on a ceedee they produced themselves. eventually, it included ten of the 'old' ones they were familiar with.
england 2000 ceedee LIVE private production [no cat. no.]
live 210800 the rose & crown, burwash:
THE WITCH DOCTOR LIFE ice cream for crow 1982 live 2:50
CALL ON ME safe as milk 1967 live 2:48
SUN ZOOM SPARK clear spot 1972 live 2:09
WHEN IT BLOWS ITS STACKS the spotlight kid 1972 live 3:47
live 270800 the king's head, east hoatly:
A CARROT IS AS CLOSE AS A RABBIT GETS TO A DIAMOND doc at the radar station 1980 live 2:21
ALICE IN BLUNDERLAND the spotlight kid 1972 live 2:45
BAT CHAIN PULLER shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live 4:51
HAIR PIE (bass bake) trout mask replica 1969 live 2:19
ICE ROSE shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live 2:28
MAKING LOVE TO A VAMPIRE WITH A MONKEY ON MY KNEE doc at the radar station 1980 live 3:25
during this second gig they also recorded one of the new tunes they had learned in july.
WELL trout mask replica 1969 live 2:23
on those concerts in august they also performed two other songs they had added to their repertoire a month before.
AUTUMN'S CHILD safe as milk 1967 live
TOO MUCH TIME clear spot 1972 live
though they rather don't call themselves a 'cover band', these four fathers (and the occasional sax player) sure are beefheart maniacs anyway. not only is their own material full of beefheartian and similar weird twists (evident in some of the titles given to it), the fact that they have covered so many tunes shows they're much impressed by the captain's music. which also means they take the job seriously, and don't bring the covers as fillers or quickies.
despite the fact that they don't have a second lead guitarist - a standard in the magic band - they know to hide that handicap very well. their precise interpretations of the originals are wonderfully arranged, and sometimes even are bétter ('call on me')! and when, just like don van vliet live, you dare to bring a cappellas and instrumentals, you must be on the right track.
and they are. because besides the 'easier' material they have no fear for the more difficult things like 'making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee' - and even make it to a highpoint of the shows. in fact, every cover is so tight it really is a joy to hear them (even if you would not know the originals).
both the ceedees are worth to get, also because of the stuff which they have written themselves. as these products are brought out under own supervision instead of by a record label - which they deserve - the only place to order it is at their internet page (which contains some further reviews and information). people who only have e-mail facilities should contact firstname.lastname@example.org what to do.
england 2002 ceedee ARSE INFERNO private production [no cat. no.]
during a period without performances, one of the four fathers concentrated on his own music. on stage ben horrendous (last part is a nickname) plays bass guitar, but at home he does much more - as he shows on his seventh self-made album. it's filled with songs in different styles, but at the whole it is a mix of bluesy tunes - rather the emotional feeling than the musical style - and 'experimentals'.
both approaches are found back in the two beefheart-related opening tracks of the ceedee. first there is a more traditional rendition of john lee hookers's 'old back snake' (singer with slide guitar) than the very personal, ear blistering a capella version don van vliet brought on stage around '72. of course nobody can sing like the captain did, but that doesn't mean someone else can't bring it with a similar fire....
the second track on the album is a genuine beefheart cover, but in fact isn't totally new. for A CARROT IS AS CLOSE AS A RABBIT GETS TO A DIAMOND (2:29 minutes - original on 'doc at the radar station' 1980) is his solo piece when the fourfather are on tour. i don't think he put this instrumental on the ceedee to show he's ready for another live performance, but rather because he's satisfied with this studio version despite some slight technical recording imperfections.
he made the nice lay-out to the product himself, and as an extra service put (an extented version of) the sleeve notes on the information page at his website.
click clack back to other covers or return to the power station
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo