The Interesting Alternative

Another blog begins it’s journey into oblivion!

magmaontour1I’ve decide to tie up a few different strands into one nice self contained unit. The Ork Alarm! website was launched into the aether a number of moons ago with the intention of cataloging all the known Christian Vander concerts since the inception of Magma at the start of the 1970′s. The task, started by Paul Mummery, continued to grow in enthusiasm and the challenge of updating and correcting was taken up by a number of aficionados and improved upon by the good people of Zeuhl Music. The “Christian Vander on Tour” pages within this blog are kept in sync with the Zeuhl Music site. The only difference is that this is the English version whereas Zeuhl Music hosts the French version.

The other static page area of this blog is the digital rehash of the Ork Alarm! fanzine, edited by Paul Mummery during the early 90′s. I attempted to maintain his good work by producing the odd “Ork Alarm! Continued” online issue, but I ran out of steam a number of years ago. However my enthusiasm for the music had not waned and my energies manifested themselves in my weekly radio show on Phoenixfm called The Interesting Alternative Show, which has been on air and streamed online since 1997 (I think!).

Kavus Torabi joined as co-host a while back now and the show has never been more popular. We have a variety of guests coming on the show and many of the shows are up for re-cue at mixcloud


The music policy is pretty varied. Obviously the usual suspects crop up, i.e Zeuhl, RIO, Canterbury, Zappa etc but also there is a healthy sprinkling of music that really doesn’t fall neatly into any genre. Think Progressive rather than Prog. Bands like The Skeletons, Stars In Battledress, Trojan Horse, Kavus’ own band Knifeworld, Thumpermonkey, The Gasman, certainly don’t fall easily into any pigeonhole. The guests that come on the show not only talk about their careers, but also have the task of choosing the content of show. The tag line “music you may never have known existed” applies, not just to the listener, but also to the presenters as well! Highlights (off the top of my head) include Fire alarm bells being played by the This Heat founder Charles Hayward, Chris Cutler choosing a track of Loretta Lynn. A Jazz bagpipes track and the Pièce de résistance, Daniel O’Sullivan choosing to play a field recording of Vultures feeding on a carcass.

The show goes out at 10pm til 12 Midnight here in the UK so many people are tucked up in bed well before the witching hour approaches. As an appreciation of that fact, we used to make the shows into downloadable mp3′s.

Many are still available by scrolling down the Interesting Alternative show page on Phoenixfm but there are also some archive shows going back to 1859 or was it 2007 here 

So the plan for the blog is to compliment the Interesting Alternative Show. To give anyone who is interested a one-stop portal of info, releases, concerts, reviews and a heads up on music they may never have known existed (but may well appreciate now they’ve been told about it). First off, two marvellous items that have recently been posted on the avant-progressive facebook page.

Firstly the amazing Israeli band Anakdota – The Girl Next Door

An secondly the superb Chamber Rock outfit (although that doesn’t really do them justice!) which is out now via Altrock Five Storey Ensemble.

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