ORGAN THING: Hear a just released remix of a Robert Calvert classic from Rat Scabies here. He of The Damned and he once of Hawkwind of course…

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Now if he hadn’t been so cruelly shot and in such mysterious circumstances back there at the end of that gig at the Hammersmith Odeon it would have been rather interesting to ask Tom Mahler what he made of this rather big remix? The original version is of course a classic, it sounded great when the Tom Mahler band were all in black and white and colour film wasn’t needed back there that time at the Music Machine, the original is a beautifully sparse thing, as were all of those songs of Tom Mahler on that album Hype. I dig get to ask Robert Calvert about it once, the shooting that is, what did really happen? And what happened to that A&R man, the one in the Tommy Nutter suit? Hype, both the book and the album are excellent, as are the third party digs at Bryan Ferry, Robert kind of smiled and said there might have been more, he wasn’t sure whe nwe did ask him, he said he had herd rumours about Mahler surviving..

This new remix from The Damned’s Rat Scabies, following on from that Flock Of Seagull remix featured onthese pages a couple of weeks back, is the second track to be let loose ahead of the much anticipated Robert Calvert remix album (we no, it is in fact the third, see furtrher down, we missed the second).   This mix of Lord of The Hornets sounds heavier, fuller, bigger, real drums added, more guitars?  The new wave drum machine Kraut sparseness of the original, that and the greenfly, I guess this sounds more like and update on Calvert period Hawkwind/lords, it works, if you’re going to remix than do something interesting, something ambitious, daring, something that holds on the the spirit of the late great Rebert Calvert, Rat, like the Flock of Seagulls before him. certainly has done things well. I imagine if Robert was still with us, he would be doing something very different noe, I rather think he would have approved of this though, wouldn’t he? He was notoriously hard to pin down      

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The press releases that just landed here from L.A – “When two rebellious, boundary-pushing artistic minds come together, sparks will definitely fly. And if those two minds happen to belong to two of Britain’s most creative experimentalists, namely, punk musician/raconteur Rat Scabies and the enigmatic poet/visionary Robert Calvert, then you can guarantee the result will be utterly unique. Although Calvert shed his mortal coil in 1988, after an astounding career as the lyricist and vocalist for the legendary Hawkwind, multiple solo albums and collaborations with the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Brown, and Motörhead’s Lemmy, his music continues to inspire and Scabies remix of Calvert’s watershed track “Lord Of The Hornets” will most certainly keep the flame burning bright. The track originally appeared on Calvert’s 1981 solo album Hype, an ahead-of-its-time masterpiece that has received renewed attention in recent year.

Scabies describes his involvement with the remix, saying “Bob Calvert and I buddied up during the ‘80s. I loved his approach to making music and his ability to write great lyrics about the most random and everyday topic. It was with a great deal of respect and caution that I approached a remix of one of his best-known songs. While I mixed, the back of my mind had a constant nagging as to whether Bob would have approved of the treatment I was giving one of his most iconic songs. Him and the legions of Calvert/Hawkwind fans out there who will happily lynch me if I’ve messed it up. In truth, and without a Ouija Board, I’ll never know what Bob would have made of it. For my part, I freshened up the backing tracks, added real drums and guitars and as Bob was such a consummate performer his vocals were untouchable and best left alone. The rest of you can make your own minds up as to whether it meets with your approval or not. So, twist one up, hit the couch and enjoy!””
The Scabies remix also features additional contributions from Chris Constantinou (Adam Ant/One Thousand Motels) on bass and backing vocals, and Billy Shinbone (Neville Staple Band/The Sinclairs) on guitar. It is available now on all music platforms”.

Oh look, they’ve re-issued Hype as well, don’t like that cover, where’s the yellow cover! I bought my copy along with the book in Nottinghill back whe nit first came out, I like to think I wasn’t that far from that basement in Portobello Road that Tom hung out at, it certainly wasn’t far from the Hall of The Mountain Grill cafe….

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Oh look, here’s third remix, we missed that one…

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More soon, we like that there will be more Robert Calvert soon, the silver machine is still flying… The last time we saw Robert he had several pints in one hand, his pipe in the other and he was trying to find money to buy an Organ while a Hell’s Angel was trying ot tell him something – he wouldn’t take a free copy, it was at the Black Rhino benefit gig at the Forum, he always seemed like a very decent man to us…

Futher reading –  ORGAN THING: A Flock of Seagulls release a remix of a rare track from Hawkwind’s Sir Robert Calvert…

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