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Formatted at 1280 X 1020 res or higher -.Created May 2007.
Updated June 2021
The Archive is as usual interested in this topic as regards to it being an aspect of social history of the counterculture , traveller and rock festival scene of the 60s to the late 80s and does not condone or encourage the consumption of any substances ,illegal or legal which may lead to mental or physical incapacitation by those who consume them :-)
Treworgey Tree Fayre.
July 28-30th 1989
Gone To Earth, The Seers, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, The Ululators, R.D.F, M.D.N.A ,Culture Shock,The Dark Side ,The Hypnotics, Loop.
Voice, Indecision , The Janitors, Gaye Bikers On Acid , No Alternative, Watershed Blues, Javelin Story, Rhythm-ites, Misty In Roots, Here and Now ,Croab Rua, Paul Metsers and Leslie Davis.
Florence and the Bears ,The Last Gang, Metal Groovers, Giant International , Dynamite Daylight, Beat Directors,Climax Blues Band, Nick Turners All Stars,The Trojans.
Unscheduled- possibly playing Wango Rileys stage
Hawkwind , Ozric Tentacles and others -DJ Jas. Blue Aeroplanes are on flyer but not on the program list
Flyer - thanks to Marpete !
© Dick Short
Excerpts from "The Magic Mushroom" radio programme broadcast on 14th and 21st September, 1989, on Radio Centraal in Antwerp, Belgium (of all places) – texts for the broadcast written by Marc Mushroom (1951 – 2017) – technical stuff and translation by Louis (that's me)
OZRIC TENTACLES – Erpriff – 4'30
Four months ago (in June 1989) I contacted Ed Ozric, with a view to ask him about the British free festival scene for a couple of radio shows I was planning. He said "why not come to Cornwall at the end of July, we'll be playing there at a three-day festival, the Treworgey Tree Fayre". So on Wednesday 26th July I drove my car onto the festival site, which was situated in one of those beautiful southwest Cornwall natural settings. The grounds were definitely not desolate, as thousands of travellers and other like-minded young people had gathered there, some already weeks beforehand, in their colourfully painted buses, vans and caravans, thus forming a fast-growing hippie village. After having put up my own tent I went to look for the PR man of the event, Graham Gilley and had a long interview with him. The sound wasn't too good in places, because of a slight summer breeze and an overly sensitive microphone. One of the most remarkable gigs of the first festival day was played by The Ullulators.
ULLULATORS – Ul ul ul hé – 3"42
The musical happening at Treworgey did not limit itself to one big stage: there were three of them (1 large, 2 smaller) spread out over different fields. So every moment of the day there was a choice of at least three acts playing. In theory. In practice, apart from the 3 official stages, there were more than a dozen smaller, improvised set-ups on which strange looking people plied their art. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. By Friday 27th July, the 'village' had grown to encompass about 20,000 freaks and the festival really hit its stride. One of the first bands to come onto the main stage was The Seers. I recorded part of their show, but the quality of the recording was not really hi-fi. It does bring across some of the atmosphere.
SEERS – Freedom trip – 4'40
2000 DS – Calling all crows – 6'00
HIPPY SLAGS – Cat's mother – 3'24
After The Seers, I played some of the acts on the smaller stages: 2000 DS and Hippy Slags, one of the scruffiest bands I've ever seen. One of Friday's first highlights was the show by The Ullulators: six or seven people producing a Gong-like sound, incorporating reggae, North African and Arabian music. One of the key figures of this multicultural ensemble is singer Julie, who, with her painted face and remarkably high-pitched voice, brought the place to a boil. The cuteness factor was enhanced by her two small daughters coming to dance onstage and throwing confetti into the audience.
ULLULATORS – Special brew – 6'40
ULLULATORS – EE-a-whappaamohé – 4'25
After the Ullulators came Culture Shock. This five-white-person band is virtually unknown on the Continent, but has a lot of fans in the English post-punk scene, playing reggae and skas. A fact that was illustrated by the first few rows of the audience during their show. Culture Shock's music reminded me of the reggae outings done by bands like The Clash and The Ruts about ten years ago, and tends to sound quite predictable after half an hour or so, but the energy and intensity quite made up for that.
CULTURE SHOCK – Messed up – 4'00
CULTURE SHOCK – Civilisation – 2'53
DARK SIDE – Can't think straight – 3'41
Good vibes by Dark Side, the band that had the unenviable task to try and win the crowd after Culture Shock's energy explosion. At first, this didn't really work. Their slow, full 'early seventies' sound was a bit too much contrast when compared to the previous act, but towards the end of their show the band got the applause they deserved. During a short backstage conversation, band members told me they hailed from Rugby, home to better known acts like Thee Hypnotics and Spacemen 3. Peter, the guitarist and singer of the Dark Side, actually played for the latter. They're now touring the Britsh club circuit and are scheduled to go into the studio at the end of the month, to record their LP début, to come out on Beggars Banquet. They did give me a demo cassette, from which I played "Can't think straight" and now "Oceans of fire".
DARK SIDE – Ocreans of fire – 5'44
THEE HYPNOTICS – 3'53
After the Dark Side came one of the highlights of the entire festival: Thee Hypnotics. From the first few notes, it was clear this wasn't going to be a laid-back experience. The band went at it hammer and thongs. It had gone dark in the meantime, and the psychedelic light show really came into its own during their over one hour guitar storm. Thee Hypnotics' singer has some Jim Morrison moves and knows how to grasp an audience, while their excellent guitarist flattened everyone with a real wall of sound and feedback. There'll be a live album by them out later this month.
THEE HYPNOTICS – Justice in freedom – 8'40
PSYCHO'S MUM – Out of date – 6'18
While Thee Hypnotocs were wreaking havoc on the main stage, one of the other stages saw the appearance of one of England's noteworthy new bands: Psycho's Mum. Their loud guitar rock with punk and psychedelic influences couldn't compete with the pandemonium on the main stage, of course, but I was told they played a more than competent set. I didn't witness it myself. Psycho's Mum has one album out, "A Sibilant Sin" on the Bevis Frond's Woronzow label. As Treworgey was preparing for its first festival night, the main stage was set for receiving the top of the bill of that first day. Around half past eleven, three sombre looking youngsters came out, plugged in their instruments without saying a word and started playing.
The main event closing off Friday's official business was Loop. Live, they sound more or less the same as on record, only all their songs get a lot longer. The trio are not a very dynamic act, so apart from the psychedelic lightshow still going full swing, not a lot was happening on stage. This meant their endless repeating two/three chord balanced on the edge of boredom, but the audience seemed to like it and after about one hour part of the spectators were clearly into a trance of some kind. I truly doubt if this was only because of Loop's music, but everyone was having a good time, and that's what it's all about.
LOOP – Staight to your heart – 6'10
LOOP – Black sun – 3'44
LOOP – Too real to feel / Fix to fall – 9'36
After the last notes on the stage had died away, the party really got going: hundreds of camp fires dotted the valley and there were small improvised gigs in dozens of places. And this lasted until dawn.
+++ Part 2
OZRIC TENTACLES – Og-ha-be – 4'45
The three-day Treworgey Tree Fayre festival was the brainchild of one man: Kevin Crabb, on whose nearly 200 acres of land the whole thing took place. Despite the fact that there wasn't a lot of advertising, by Friday 28th July about 20,000 freaks had gathered there. And the next day, about another 5,000 showed up. Apart from the three main stages, there were a lot of impromptu gigs by unannounced artists, many of whom were 'survivors' of the Stonehnge free festival circuit, if I may call it that. The anarcho-hippîe atmosphere was strengthened by the presence of some thousands of Travellers, many of whose colourful buses, vans and caravans had been on the site for weeks already. The P.R. man of the Treworgey Tree Fayre organization, Graham Gilley, was himself a traveller, of Scottish origin.
SCREECH ROCK – Gateway take away – 2'26
SCREECH ROCK – Baby, you're a scab – 3'25
One of the many groups playing the smaller stages was Screech Rock. Saturday afternoon, while The Janitors and Faye Bikers On Acid played the main stage, interesting things were happening on stages 2 and 3. Stage three, the smallest of the lot, was reserved for punky sounding bands like Chaos U.K., Doctor And The Crippens and Bastard Kestrel, who tried to convince the audience of their anger and indignation. Stage 2 featured some of the weirder bands, of which The Oroonies definitely were one. This 7-person formation (5 male, 2 female, to be precise) plays a hard to define repertoire, melding old hippie music and ethnic Third World sounds in a remarkable way.
OROONIES – Wild world – 5'09
OROONIES – A scary hole – 5'34
OROONIES – Yahoo – 3'45
After the Oroonies show I did an interview with them, punctuated by the sounds of the next band onstage, Los Bastardos. Quite friendly guys. During the concert of The Magic Mushroom Band, I went to grab a bite to eat, their stage performance being about as weak as their first album (now about 2 years old, I think) predicted. Meanwhile, night had fallen and the next musical high point was coming up: The Oztic Tentacles. The night before, this lovable bunch of wacky freaks had been jamming in a psychedelic way about 70 metres from my tent, from the top of a flat wagon. The Ozrics have been in existence for about 5 years now and their popularity in festival circles is clearly growing. Their gig (the 'official' one) was astonishingly good. The ethereal, floating sound of the band was enhanced visually by a very psychedelic light show, in wich liquid slide projectors, smoke, strobe lights and computer graphics made sure of a total mind fuck.
OZRIC TENTACLES – Soda water – 4'13
OZRIC TENTACLES – Dissolution – 6'20
OZRIC TENTACLES – The code for Chickendon – 4'50
Later that night, The Ozrics were to play again, on the Pyramid stage that had been erected on the Travller camp site. The stage plus tent are owned by Nik Turner, apparently, but he lets the Travellers use and manage them. Meanwhile, The Ozrics had cleared the stage for the biggest name of the entire festival: Hawkwind! Public interest in this legendary band is still immense and the mass of people gathering in front of the main stage attested to the fact that Dave Brock and his cohorts still are the ultimate festival band. Round about midnight, the P.A. spewed forth the high-pitched whining sound of a departing rocket. Four strobe lights started a slowly-but-surely mindfucking visual spectacle, while out of the speakers came…
HAWKWIND – Brainstorm '88 + Blue dreamer – 6'37
That was Hawkwind's traditional opening song, "Brainstorm". Describing the following 2.5 hours' sound and light storm is impossible. What is amazing is that there seems to be no metal fatigue in Hawkwind's show and stage presence after 20 turbulent years. Noteworthy facts: Dave Brock's grey hair, Simon House's long violin solos, a new female Oriental drummer (could this have been bridget Wisheart?, L) and the additional fire-eater show presented by the Fire Drones, a circus company. Audience response was ecstatic, although the penetrating smell of fine herbs emerging from it may have had something to do with that as well.
HAWKWIND – Hassan I Sabha – 5'21
HAWKWIND – Prelude + Who's gonna win the war – 6'23
As a consequence of the several hours of 'sonic attack', a lot of the spectators were stumbling around unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed (to coin a phrase). In spite of this, several thousand punters assembled in front of the stage were the Here & Now Band were expected to play. The band have been around since 1978 and has grown very popular in the underground and festival scene. Musically speaking, their sound is reminiscent of Gong, with some punk elements thrown in. Their gig lasted until dawn and could be dubbed 'very atmospheric'.
HERE & NOW BAND – Grate fir of London – 7'10
HERE & NOW BAND – Only way – 6'35
The third day of the Treworgey Tree Fayre festival was not as interesting as the two previous ones. Exhausted from the previous day's and night's proceedings, a not inconsiderable part of the audience was still quite zonked by noontime, so it took a while before things kicked off again. One of the better bands of the Sunday afternoon was Mandragora. This Brighton formation delivered a solid set, punctuated by floating keyboards and heavy psychedelic guitar outbursts. Mandragora has a tradition as a festival band and, miracle of miracles, is expected to be seen live in Belgium and Holland next month. They have a self-released debut LP out, called "Over The Moon".
MANDRAGORA – Dancing round the fire – 6'34
MANDRAGORA – Solstice song – 7'08
The rest of the afternoon and evening sounded quite tame compared to the past two days. Rather bland bands like the Beat Directors and Dynamite Daylights came on, as well as the slightly more interesting Metal Groovers. As the day progressed, things were hardly getting better: Climax Blues Band, risen from its ashes, played a two-hour set that was technically perfect but also perfectly boring. In fact, the evening was saved by the last two acts (Nik Turner's Fantastic All Stars and the Trojans). A couple of years ago, former Hawkwind sax player Nik Turner axed his band Inner City Unit. Apart from some occasional appearances with Hawkwind things got pretty quiet around him. Until this year, that is, for he's assembled a new musical project in Nik Turner's Fantastic All Stars, featuring nothing but brass and percussion instruments (no guitars). The sound of this remarkable formation is a mixture of jazz, brass band music, old rockers and disturbed mayhem. They gave the evening a much needed kick up the arse. Rounding off proceedings were the catchy rhythms of the Trojans, veterans of the reggae scene.
NIK TURNER'S FANTASTIC ALL STARS – Brand new Cadillac + Mellow saxophone – 7'44
And then it was Monday morning and the festival was over. Bleary-eyed survivors broke down tents and loaded cars. The great exodus got on its way, although some thousands of Travellers stuck around for a while (I bet some of them are still there). Summing up, the whole experience was an enjoyable one: an old-fashioned jolly affair presenting some varied and colourful musical and side activities. In spite of the overall good atmosphere and all the other positive aspects, there are some critical notes to be made: the lack of hygienic facilities became a real drag after some time and the third day's programme was too meagre. We'll have to put that down to the organization's inexperience. Should there be a second version of the festival next year, the Magic Mushroom would be there to document the proceedings, but I doubt if there will be another festive occasion of this kind in Cornwall: the local press was yelling "murder, hellfire and doom", mentioning "drugs", "dirty hippies" and the local populace being "scared and terrorized". The same rags mentioned over 100 people arrested for possessing and/or dealing drugs. Personally, I think this is a pretty poor result: if the fuzz really would have had their eyes peeled, they could have arrested all 25,000 spectators, organizers and artists!
translated from Flemish texts written by Marc Mushroom (1951 – 2017). Marc used to be a deejay, worked since 1982 for Delta Radio, FM2000, Radio Carina and Radio Centraal (all in or around Antwerp) and was a reporter, record reviewer and writer for Crohinga Well magazine. The radio show he and Louis have been doing since 1982, called The Magic Mushroom, is still running on Radio Centraal, 106.7 FM, streaming on streaming.radiocentraal.org
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