“The Greenhouse concerts were arranged by Robert Powell and performed in his garden. The first was in November 1991.
It was dark and cold, and the rain continued all evening. The greenhouse was heated by a paraffin burner. The performers were myself and Adam. Adam arranged his equipment on the staging, I sat near the doorway and faced the rain that was being blown in and Rob, our only audience member, sat next to the heater.
Three of us in an 8ft x 6ft greenhouse devoid of plants.
The next summer, we returned. The greenhouse was still largely empty, with melon plants flowering but not yet bearing fruit.
In the early 1990s everybody knew Robert. I met him the afternoon of 21st September 1991 at the Polar Bear Club in Vauxhall.
The club and associated tape label was curated by Nick Couldry and Andy Hammond. I was playing in a duo with Adam.
Robert was in the front row of the audience with his cassette recorder, an array of Tibetan silver adornments hanging from his nose and ears at a time when this was hardly fashionable. His cassette player and microphones were from Radio Shack.
We talked and I mentioned that I was playing again that evening at Club Integral in Brixton. Robert wanted to go, but would have had several hours to kill before the second concert and having no money would probably just go home.
I took Robert to Nick Couldry’s house where some food had been arranged and where we could spend the remainder of the afternoon talking before trekking to Brixton. I recall Robert bristling visibly when someone said that they just couldn’t bear to listen to another Evan Parker record. He held very strong beliefs about music and had a wide taste but wouldn’t tolerate any criticism of his idols.
Robert lived in Uxbridge and it became the habit to pick him up on the way to the Red Rose Club on a Sunday for a Mopomoso evening. Rob would have been at both of the concerts which make up the remainder of this release.
I learnt that at an early age he had wanted to attend a Buddhist monastery in Seoul, South Korea. His parents had finally relented and put him on a plane without expecting him to return. He said that he probably would have stayed, but had become ill and needed to return to England. He told many stories from this time there of rats and flies and the oddities of human nature. Apparently even the Abbots in Buddhist monasteries tend to be ruthless and ambitious.“
released September 16, 2022
1 & 2 recorded 19 June 1994 at the Red Rose Festival, London
3 to 5 recorded Summer 1992 in Robert Powell’s Greenhouse, Yiewsley
6 to 8 recorded 18 July 1993 at the Red Rose Club, London
all recorded onto DAT by Mark Browne
DAT transfers by Steven Cossar
artwork assembled from details of a painting by Mark Browne
download includes photographs by Robert Powell from Yiewsley 1992
supported by 10 fans who also own “The Ruthless, The Ambitious and the Buddha”
Reminded of the movings about of tiny autonomous creatures. Waiting for a clearing, turning around, carrying objects or stopping for whatever reason. Always busy. Maybe an ant colony. Zoom way out to a high rise, look down and see it again. Richard Erickson