Simon Finn + The Wingless Heron

Simon Finn + The Wingless Heron

30th June 2016


Arts Centre favourite and local psych-folk legend. This time we'll leave it to him:

"I came to London in 67. My first performance was about 3 months later, opening for Al Stewart at the Marquee on their "Wednesday Folk Night". I used to get paid a pound, Al probably got paid two or three times that. I was in heaven. And a pound goes a lot further if you don't squander it on shelter. Back then one could eat for 3 days on a pound. My songs at this time were vaguely Donovany and probably around half of them were about a girl who went out with me despite my sleeping on park benches. Her name was Jane and we have remained friends for life.

About six months after I arrived I landed what I thought of as a "really cushy number", regular employment; a bleat-while-they-eat job in a restaurant called the "Borsch and Tears" on Beauchamp Place in London. The proceeds of this paid for a bedsit that was almost more disturbing than the street.

By the spring of 1969 I had completed a new batch of songs and played them to Vic Keary. Vic was just starting a new studio opposite the Round House. He liked them, which I realized even back then, made him a very unusual producer in the music world of that period. "Pass the Distance", released on Mushroom Records, had commenced its rather long journey. A year or so later, legal action connected to the cover forced its withdrawal from the market making it a collector's dream come true.

A few weeks after my meeting with Vic I ran into David Toop and Paul Burwell at The Round House, we jammed for an hour or so in the Cafe, after which I asked if they'd like to do a gig with me in a pub that Vic had organized for me for the following Saturday. They agreed to, and a week after the gig we were in Chalk Farm Studios together.

In 1974 I moved to Canada where I taught Karate and tried my hand at organic farming with my then wife Emily. (She has remained tilling the soil ever since)
In 1980 I moved to Montreal where, other than a few stints in New York & Toronto, I spent most of the next 20 years, writing books, songs, and generally chancing my arm at this and that, sometimes successfully, sometimes less so.

In 2003 I saw a review of Pass the Distance in a music magazine and got in touch with David Toop who said, "Simon, yes, people are looking for you, do you want to be found?" I did. A few days later I heard from David Tibet and after exchanging many delightful letters we arranged to meet in London. It was extraordinarily good timing; I'd been intending to go into partnership in a cafe & pool hall, which had fallen through. Thanks to David's enthusiasm and the help of so many, I have been playing and recording since that time.

In 2008 I moved back to the UK and about 3 weeks later the whole place collapsed back to 1970 levels, so my re-entry has been almost seamless."

Support:THE WINGLESS HERON

Tickets £7 / £6 concessions.
Doors open 7.30pm.
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