Gilli Smyth first came to the attention of the rock buying fraternity
through her work with her then husband Daevid Allen in Gong.
Gong came into being almost by accident in the late sixties
when Daevid Allen was refused entry back into Britain following
European dates with Soft Machine. Deciding to stay in Paris
Allen began working with Gilli Smyth and various musicians
on what would eventually be recognised as Gong. The first
recognised recordings from the band were Magick Brother,
Mystic Sister in 1970. Followed by albums such as
Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You.
The first three albums released followed the fortunes of Zero
The Hero and told the tale of the pothead pixies and was told
over the course of the next three albums and became the Radio
Gnome Invisible Trilogy. This mythological story was extremely
popular and the resultant albums sold exceptionally well
however following the departure of core members Daevid Allen,
Gilli Smyth and Steve Hillage citing the age old musical
differences reason for leaving the band Gong moved in a more
jazz oriented direction with the addition of Allan Holdsworth
alongside Pierre Moerlen and Didier Malherbe. Allen, Smyth
and Hillage have all recorded as solo artists and Smyth
subsequently formed the offshoot Mother Gong.
Mother Gong's first album Mother was released in 1978 and
the band found Gilli Smyth collaborating with many musicians
including Harry Williamson and various friends and family
including on this album Owl In The Tree from 1990, former
partner Daevid Allen. The album is split into two halves and both
Allen and Smyth work well within the limitations set out by vinyl
bearing in mind that the days of vinyl made for a more
convenient division, which is defined, by the individual styles
of both Allen and Smyth. The album is a mix of both styles
including Allen's blissed out space rocker style and Smyth's
more laid back fairy tale recitations and a smattering of typically
Gong like instrumental work.
As far as Gong fans are concerned many cite this album as
some of the most focussed work to come from both Smyth and
Allen. This re issue has been re mastered and Gong fans will
welcome the improvement in sound quality.