After my bizarre dream about Kavus Torabi the other day, I figured it was time to badger him into sitting down to answer a few questions. On the off-chance you’ve forgotten who he is, he’s the wild-haired guitarist from Cardiacs, Knifeworld, Guapo, The Monsoon Bassoon, Chrome Hoof and a dozen other collaborations.
I figured I’d start with asking him how he wound up working on The Interesting Alternative Show, a weekly prog-rock indulgence co-hosted by Steve Davis. Dare I ask he wound up doing a radio show with some bloke famous for playing snooker?
KT: Well, it was fairly straightforward. Steve is a massive music fan and has impeccable taste. We met at a one month residency Magma were doing at this wonderful venue, Le Triton, in Paris. We pretty much hit it off straight away. He came to a couple of Cardiacs shows, we started hanging out quite a lot, he had me as a guest in The Interesting Alternative Show which he had been doing for a couple of years or so. It was such fun he suggested, if I was up for it, perhaps I could come in on a more full time basis … which ended up being every week.
Everett True reckons that Artists Should Stick To Art instead of making mixtapes of obvious dad rock. If mixtapes made by artists are so disappointing in real life, I think we should invent some fantasy selections.
Funny how these random tweets keep panning out. This one was via The Quietus to Knifeworld‘s twitter, in which Kavus Torabi urged us all to tune into The Interesting Alternative Show on Phoenix 98 FM. It’s actually an Essex-based community radio show, but it streams here and every Monday plays some pretty spellbinding stuff. This is this week’s playlist: Continue reading →
I just realised I hadn’t done a follow-up post about this. I also realised that I don’t have any photos of Tim anywhere: I once lost my entire photo collection in a house move. At least with most of the subjects in the other pics I have the possibility of taking new photos to replace them.
I’m not going to “review” The Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute To Tim Smith, because it’s too painful to sit there grading a musical hug to someone who deserves it. Suffice to say the album is great, since it’s predominantly by people in/ex Cardiacs, and associated acts (Levitation’s Bob White and Bic Hayes, Medieval Baebes’ Katherine Blake, etc). With well-known folks from XTC, Ultrasound and All About Eve contributing, it might even find an audience beyond Cardiacs’ devoted fanbase, and they’ll find plenty to enjoy.
I was very pleased to see it topping the “best sellers” chart over at thegenepool.co.uk
This is actually an incredibly difficult post to write. Most people reading this blog will know that I’m a long-time Cardiacs fan, and will probably have an inkling that they’re one of the most innovative bands of the past 35 years. Acts as diverse as Faith No More, Radiohead, Battles, Smashing Pumpkins, Blur, the Pixies, the Melvins and System of a Down have cited them as an influence. The band has also been a huge influence on me personally – and are just such lovely human beings that I feel truly lucky to have spent as much time with them as I did in the 90s.
The awful thing is that Tim Smith suffered a severe stroke and heart attack in 2008 and is still being treated in hospital. To raise money for his continuing medical care, a tribute album, Leader of the Starry Skies, has been recorded and will be released on Believers Roast on 6 December. The contributors are “friends and family” of the band, and include XTC’s Andy Partridge, Julianne Regan from All About Eve, Ultrasound, Knifeworld and Oceansize. Each has donated their time and energy freely as “a testament to the love we all have for Tim.”