Exposé Online banner

Soft Machine — Live at the Baked Potato
(Moonjune MJR102 / Tonefloat TF 195, 2020, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-09-17

Live at the Baked Potato Cover art

A lot of credit must go to Steve Feigenbaum of Cuneiform and Leonardo Pavkovic of Moonjune, the former for releasing all kinds of Soft Machine archival and live material in the years after the band called it a day in the early 80s, keeping their legacy on the radar, and the latter for his tireless efforts to put the band back together, which finally happened in 2003 with the Soft Works Abracadabra album, followed up with numerous Soft Machine Legacy releases, and then finally in 2018 the first new Soft Machine studio album since 1981’s Land of Cockayne – the amazing Hidden Details. The album at hand, Live at the Baked Potato, is the live follow-on to the 2018 studio recording, featuring the same lineup on the West Coast leg of their US tour in February 2019. Drummer John Marshall, bassist Roy Babbington, and guitarist John Etheridge were all members of Soft Machine at various points prior to the original band split in 1981 (though not at the same time), the newcomer being Theo Travis on keyboards, saxes, and flute. The fact that none of these four were original members of Soft Machine matters not; the band was always a revolving door of personnel changes, and through the years proved to be more of a concept, with new members chosen carefully to fit the style and pre-existing repertoire, which was most likely the key to their longevity and success. Here, the band plays several of their classic pieces from the pre-1980 period including “The Man Who Waved at Trains,” “Hazard Profile I,” Kings and Queens,” “The Tale of Taliesin,” and “Out-Bloody-Rageous,” a few of which were presented in newer versions on Hidden Details with the remainder of Baked Potato’s dozen tracks culled from the new material on the studio album, composed by Travis and Etheridge, plus Marshall’s high energy drum solo, here titled “Sideburn,” which leads right into “Hazard Profile.” The band smokes effortlessly through all the material, old or new, my only regret after hearing this is that I wasn’t there!


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Soft Machine, Theo Travis, John Etheridge, John Marshall

More info
http://softmachine-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-the-baked-potato

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Gourishankar - 2nd Hands – In 2002, Russian guitarist Nomy Agranson and keyboardist Doran Usher formed The Gourishankar, a Russian neo-prog band that now also includes vocalist Vlad MJ Whiener and drummer Cat Heady. 2nd Hands...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues