English psych-folk musician, Simon Finn, will be performing an exclusive London show on 10th December in celebration of two important landmarks in his life – the 40th anniversary of ‘Pass The Distance’ and his 60th birthday.
Simon was barely out of his teens when Pass the Distance was released on Vic Keary’s ill-fated Mushroom Records in 1970. It went against the grain of much of the acid and psychedelic folk being released at the time. It was a dark album and it became one of those albums that fell into the love or hate camp. Simon had been playing guitar since the age of 12 and was influenced by Roy Orbison and Ray Davies of the Kinks. He began to play the folk clubs at the age of 16. It was during a trip to Spain in 1968 where he stayed for months that he was inspired by the ’emotional integrity’ of the atmosphere he found himself in, in-turn, his music shifted to a stronger and more personal lyrical focus. Jeanette Leach, author of ‘Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and Psychedelic Folk‘ described the album as a:
…strange, stark album but also fascinating and multi-layered, it’s subject matter opening into apocalyptic vehemence while also narrowing into private headspace. With the skin-peeling ‘Jerusalem’ at its centrepiece, Pass the Distance feels like it’s at the precipice of psychosis, but there’s a lucid and lyrical focus to it. Its depth of insight is both tortured and torturing, almost intrusive, as reflected in Finn’s anguished vocals.
The choice of album cover was also very different which led to it being removed from the shelves. Finn had seen a billboard near the studios where the album was recorded advertising childrens shoes. So it was that the Start-rite twins appeared on the album cover with an acid tripped out version on the reverse. Unfortunately the shoe company objected and the album had to be pulled, there wasn’t enough money to finance a new album cover. Of course, this in turn gave it an underground cult status when people began sharing the records. Finn however went into a thirty-five year hiatus relocating to Canada.
The troubled LP made a remarkable comeback when re-released in 2004 on David Tibet’s Durtro Records and has since attained legendary status. Known for his wildy hypnotic shows, the past decade has seen Finn return to music writing many new albums, performing with, and as a member of, Current 93 and began touring worldwide.
Neutered Air (from Accidental Life)
Current 93 (Simon Finn) `The Courtyard`
Simon Finn + Black Carrot
Saturday 10th December
£8 advance / £10 door
Cafe Oto – Ashwin Street Dalston E8 3DL