Kevin Ayers
The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories

Released 1974 on Island Records Ltd
Reviewed by 67 Shelby Mustang, 03/09/2005ce

Where do I start with this Record. It's influenced me from the year dot.
I used to hang around with nothing to do when i first left school and ended up ( through Murph the drummer) be-friending a guy called Dave the Hippie. He worked at a small company called Appro Hydraulics, (huh'? it's funny how i'm meant to be reviewing this lost classic and all i'm doing is reviewing my melancholy) and we used to wile away the bored hours by painting and putting stinging nettles in vases, infact anything that had nothing to with hydraulic hoses.
He was older than me n' Murph and was one of the infamous 'Orange Squash Squatters' ( it's a Reading thing) and i thought he was pretty fucking cool.

Then he played me the Confessions of Dr Dream and i thought he was a fuckin' God.

The opening tracks 'quirk' along as you'd expect an psychdelic academics album to do. the wit in the lyrics and the band he mustered were sublime. Mike Ratledge, Lol Coxhill, Steve Nye and fuckin' Mike Oldfield ferchrissake.

and Nico. Fuck off and die man!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So as i was saying there was nothing to prepare me for what was to come. From half way through side one i knew my only salvation was rock and roll, fuck the assholes that booted me out of school with no ambition or objective.

The Album goes in the space of minutes from a witty English psychdelic garden party to something far darker, something from over there. Listening to 'IT BEGINS WITH A BLESSING/ ONCE...etc still takes me to a different place. The vocals in the chorus crunch onto the ears as much as Ayers mellifluos vocal warms you by the fire on a cold night when there's no one there for you.
Then behold his FUCKING guitar breaks at the end of the song, they're possibly the best chops this side of Hendrix. I'm not exagerrating, Like me old mate Dave the Hippe, those licks are Fuckin' God Like.

This album consists of truly fucked up shit kicking music that sits in the dark waiting like the apparition in the corner that you don't want to see, but know is there when you come downstairs in the middle of the night for another glass of wine.

He calms you down with thirty seconds of gentrified dust called BallBearing Blues just before closing down the first side of the record.
But by then you're involved so i defy you not to lift the needle and drop it back onto those chops at the end of 'BLESSING...'

Side Two and you're there, sat in an air thickened room on a Sunday morning on the Kings Road, your friends are laying all around, smoking the remains of the night before and it's 1967 ( yeah' i know, not 1974), the needle goes back on and the room's awash with rotating guitars (not looped), Ayers deep deep vocal comes in first then Nico replies and even though i've placed us seven years before the albums release we all know it's got class.

Just go with it, i promise it'll take you there. 'Irreversible Neural Damage' with Ayers primal scream over girls singing lalalala which then seagues into 'The One Chance Dance' more unbelievable feelings slashing across the years.

It closes on a dark note or two. At the end I feel empty at the loss of it.

I can spend entire days writing with this album on, it takes me as close to 'that place' as i've ever been. Download it, try and find it in secondhand shops, it's so fucking worth it.

Dave the Hippie still (More years than i care to remember) has exquisite taste. Every now and again we bump into each other ( when i want a Hose for my truck or something) but you know, nothing has or i think will get anywhere near the high water mark that The Confessions of Dr Dream did/does for me.

blue skies...(they're out there somewhere)

67 Shelby Mustang

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