The Archive.

updated June 2021

The Ninth National Jazz and Blues Festival.
8th-10th August 1969.
Plumpton Race Track.
East Sussex.

Soft Machine

Hugh Hopper.
Mike Ratlidge.
Robert Wyatt

 The Softs were a bit unlucky , as they bore the brunt of the technical problems on the opening night . Power failures led to much of this set being dogged with problems. Just how long they performed for is debatable. However, an audience tape exists of 10 minutes of their set and If I can find it I'll review it .

Soft Machine were a fairly impenetrable band, you either loved them or loathed them .Originally the Softs featured the well known 60s rock eccentrics Daevid Allen and Kevin Ayers, but they left fairly early on in the piece . I used to like them quite a bit and I saw them once at the Top Rank in Swansea in either late 1969 or early 1970. Now I fnd their music a bit mechanical, but they had great chops and were masters of the extended prog rock number.

Their third album, titled, strangely enough - Third , is a very good example of this and is generally considered the best of their efforts. After this they became progressively more jazz orientated, Wyatt left soon after and after a few years none of the orgiinal members were left in the line-up.This show would be in their middle period, where Wyatt took the vocals. Most of their set would have been instrumental with Wyatt ( who has a very strange, but somehow lovely voice)  occasionally chiming in with brief vocal interludes.

Soft Machine © Random Punter.

To view a huge number of top quality photos of almost all the bands at the 1969 festival ( including Soft Machine ), visit Repfoto( note : you shouldn't copy Roberts photos -support his efforts to give us a record of the festival by buying his prints)

1969 Festival Menu
Known recordings of the 1969 Plumpton festival.
With set lists and recording details if available.
If you have any more details of tapes of the event then
Contact us

The early festivals.

You can find out the complete line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below.

Festivals 65-83

Most of these have fairly complete documentation .

Richmond 1965
Windsor 1966
 Windsor 1967
Sunbury 1968
Plumpton 1969
Plumpton 1970
Reading 1971
Reading 1972
Reading 1973
Reading 1974

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