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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Preview: Soft Machine @ Sage Gateshead - November 6

(Preview by Russell)
The Soft Machine. That's how they were billed in the sixties. Over time they became known simply as Soft Machine, later the Soft Machine Legacy, but not for long. On Tuesday (Nov 6) at Sage Gateshead, it's good old Soft Machine. 

Three long-serving members of one of Britain's most influential jazz-rock bands - John Etheridge, guitar, Roy Babbington, bass and drummer John Marshall - will take to the stage in Sage Two with Soft Machine's 'new boy' Theo Travis, reeds. Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayres, Elton Dean...just three of many familiar names to play an important part in the formation and development of one the Canterbury Scene's enduring outfits. John Marshall was there in the early days, so too Roy Babbington. John Etheridge got on board in the seventies and it’s only these last dozen or so years that Theo Travis signed up. 

Etheridge's CV includes working with Stéphane Grappelli, Trio North and countless straight-ahead gigs. Babbington has worked with many big names, not least Keith Tippett, Stan Tracey and Nucleus. Marshall's résumé boasts being a founding member of Nucleus and stints working with Graham Collier and John Surman. 

Twenty and more years younger than his bandmates, Travis has released a dozen or so albums of his own, collaborated with Robert Fripp and enjoyed a lengthy tenure with Gong. 

Soft Machine's world tour takes in Canterbury (of course!), then Sage Gateshead (Nov 6) with further British dates seeing out the year ahead of a 2019 trip to the States. Tickets for the band's Sage gig are available from 0191 443 4666.      
Russell.

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