JASPER - a FISH is born...
Though probably known better for his association with TOYAH WILLCOX (he produced her first album with STEVE JAMES and went on to write 'IT'S A MYSTERY') and BLOOD DONOR, KEITH HALE was dubbed JASPER FISH when he joined HAWKWIND in 1980 by drummer GINGER BAKER. Exactly why Ginger chose this moniker is not known, although it could be that Keith revealed that he spent his early years in Hull, then the centre of the fishing industry in the UK.
Ginger and Keith left Hawkwind owing to 'musical differences' in 1981 and joined up with BILLY JENKINS & IAN TRIMMER plus bassist RIKKI LEGAIR and spent the next year successfully touring Europe. Keith metamorphosed into Jasper during that time and remains a Fish to this day.
Although Jasper and Harry have worked individually with many of the same musicians (most notably bassist JOHNNY B) over the years, they didn't work together until Jasper spent a period in the early 90's playing keyboards with Harry's band the MONEYMAKERS. Jasper and Harry also worked as a duo and recorded an as yet unreleased album 'FAMILY FAVOURITES'. This features them playing 'unplugged', again with Johnny B on bass.
When his flat was demolished in 1995, Jasper relocated to Canterbury. After installing a basic recording studio in his new home, he invited Harry to collaborate on some tracks he was working on. It was the first time they had written together, and spurred on by the results, they found themselves working towards what would become 'AROUND THE ROOM IN EIGHTY DAYS'.
HARRY KANE was described by writer Sean McGEE as 'one of those musical eccentrics who play chiefly for the sake of playing and carry on oblivious of fads'. Although unsure of his status as an eccentric, Harry took it as a compliment - 'I do actually feel as if there is something missing if I am not involved in some sort of creative process - words, music, or increasingly painting.' (Harry is responsible for the back cover on the CD.) 'The end product is the icing on the cake for me - I get the most satisfaction from mixing the ingredient's and baking the cake.'
AROUND THE ROOM IN EIGHTY DAYS
Lurching between house-husbandry and mid-life crises Jasper and Harry create an uncompromising aural landscape; echoes of deserted pier ballrooms, endless sanatorium corridors, 60s children grasping greedily for a new dream, only to find themselves fragmented by having to exist in the real world. And even now, between suburban renewal programmes and computer-generated virtual worlds the wallpaper still cracks and tears under the strain; isolated strands of memory collide with the present to demand attention and point out what might have been... what could be if only....
Media manipulators, uncaring and two-dimensional, assault the lost boys; their complacency renders them helpless as language itself distorts and mutates. Elders are left as bewildered guardians of fractal space while history repeats itself, repeats itself...
As the world clamours to be let in, Jasper and Harry strive to project their nightmares and dreams on to the bare walls and give them life. Inevitably, the world wins; a lone piano battles against a thousand drummers; the voice becomes dislocated in a sea of manic marimbas and flamenco guitars. Reluctantly reaching out for that elusive magic that nourishes and sustains us all.
NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES
NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES documents a transitional period for the band. Jasper's main collaborator on the first album, writer and vocalist Harry Kane departed after a particularly gruelling discussion one evening about the band's direction - hence the NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES. Ironically, this was also a line taken from the lyrics of their last (and possibly best) joint effort, the cinematic final track - "For Ricardo: the time we nearly got it right"
Already aware that they were swimming in to uncharted territory, Jasper and the band decided to document their evolution and progress. NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES attempts to capture the band's live sound as accurately as possible with a minimum of overdubs.
|© Behind The Lake 1999/2000 contact webmaster|