Vocalist from Can Performs In NZ
12 November 2004
Damo Suzuki Vocalist from legendary German rock group Can performs in New Zealand with the Flower Orphans
Sunday, December 12th, 2004 Happy Underground, cnr Tory and Vivian Sts Wellington
In December the legendary Damo Suzuki is bringing his Eternal Tour back to New Zealand, this time joined by Wellington group, The Flower Orphans. Suzuki, since leaving Can, has carved a career in music unlike any other.
In recent years he has engaged in his Eternal Tour, a constant series of concert dates across the world. In each country he performs with local musicians who have been inspired by his music, both with and without Can. The Eternal Tour is a unique project that unites musicians across boundaries and borders.
In Wellington, New Zealand, The Flower Orphans, lead by Anthony Donaldson, are performing with Suzuki at Happy.
Formed in 1968, still active and always at least three steps ahead of contemporary popular music, Can was the leading avant-garde rock group of the 70s. From their very beginning, their music didn't conform to any commonly-held notions about rock & roll -- not even those of the counter-culture. Inspired more by 20th century classical music than Chuck Berry, their closest contemporaries were Frank Zappa or possibly the Velvet Underground. Yet their music was more serious and inaccessible than either of those artists. Instead of recording tight pop songs or satire, Can experimented with noise, synthesizers, non-traditional music, cut-and-paste techniques, and, most importantly, electronic music; each album marked a significant step forward than the previous album, investigating new territories that other rock bands weren't interested in exploring.
In May 1970, Japanese singer Kenji "Damo" Suzuki joined Can after having been spotted by Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit in Munich's Leopoldstrasse; a globetrotter making money for his return trip as a street musician, Damo had also been a cast member of the musical 'Hair' . The same evening of his discovery by Czukay and Liebezeit, he performed with Can in Munich at the Blow Up club. The chaotic performance, a pandemonium of feedback and ingenious noise, is one of the most notable shows in Can's history.
The Flower Orphans
Led by legendary drummer, Anthony Donaldson, the Flower Orphans are the culmination of many years’ musical work and experience in both avant-garde and popular music fields by Donaldson.
Inspired by the likes of jazz luminaries Sun Ra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago as well as German legends, Can, The Flower Orphans bring together the rock, jazz, improvised music and experimental music to create a driving mix of songform and improvisation unlike anything else currently in New Zealand.
“Highly rhythmic . . . the musicians were all really versatile and listened intently to each other . . . Jonny Marks’ vocals were amazing. He sang, growled, yodeled, shouted through a harmonica . . . a highlight was Alphabethead’s melodic turntable solo.” The Dominion Post, on the Flower Orphans at the Wellington International Jazz Festival, October 2004
Anthony Donaldson has a long and full history in New Zealand music. Former member of Don McGlashin’s classic group, The Front Lawn as well as former Six Volt, and member of the seminal Primitive Art Group, Donaldson has over the last three decades performed in groups creating music for the mainstream and the avant-garde. In recent years his close association with Wellington’s avant-garde jazz and improvised music scene has inspired and created many musical groups and projects, including The Village Idiots, the Labcoats and the Flower Orphans.
Plus with Damo Suzuki – David Long David Long is another New Zealand music legend. From his beginnings with the Front Lawn, the Six Volts and the Muttonbirds he has constantly pushed New Zealand music, working as a composer, musicians and producer. Long won Best Producer of the Year for his work on Fur Patrol’s debut album, has composed music for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as Baxter at the New Zealand Arts Festival, and is an integral member of Plan 9 and the Labcoats.
Anthony Donaldson – drums, percussion Jonny Marks – vocals, percussion Maree Thom – electric bass Nigel Patterson – organ Dean Hunter – guitar Alphabethead – turntables