‘Somewhere there is a parallel universe where Clayson and the Argonauts are bigger than The Beatles’
Rock ‘N’ Reel, June 2007
There are people around today who’ll tell you the legendary ALAN CLAYSON AND THE ARGONAUTS were the greatest group ever formed – and who will be twitchy with anticipation during the build-up to the unleashing of THIS CANNOT GO ON…, the first non-compilation studio album in over three decades.
You may recall the CLAYSON name from the late 1970s when he was of a vintage of composer-entertainers that also embraced the likes of Wreckless Eric, John Otway, Tom Robinson, Jonathan Richman and Elvis Costello.Moreover, his and the ARGONAUTS’ surreal stage act (‘not so much a performance as an experience’ [Village Voice]) defied succinct description – and still does!Indeed, response to CLAYSON recitals on both sides of the Atlantic suggests that he and the group are becoming more than cult celebrities. Indeed, they could be happening again – as they have done already at various points since they first impinged on national consciousness in the late 1970s after being championed by Melody Maker for occupying‘a premier position on rock’s Lunatic Fringe’.
If the tour bus had drawn up outside a ballroom on Pluto, it mightn’t have seemed all that odd afterCLAYSON and his boys starred in a BBC In Concert in the midst of a long run of headlining spectaculars at the Roundhouse, the Marquee,Amsterdam’s Melkveg and venues of similar standing round Britain – and sur le continent where a B-side, ‘Landwaster’ (remade for THIS CANNOT GO ON…), penetrated the Top Twenty in Belgium after a radio presenter in the Netherlands started spinning it by mistake
These first episodes in the saga of ALAN CLAYSON AND THE ARGONAUTS climaxed with 1985’s What A Difference A Decade Made album, a critical cause célèbre, earning rave reviews in both Folk Roots (!) and The Observer. That was presumed to be that until Sunset On A Legend, a double-CD retrospective was issued in 2005 – and, twenty years after what was thought to be a final public appearance,the group was very much back in business after, ostensibly, a one-off spectacular at an ultra-trendy West End venue, attended by fans from as far away as France, Holland, Scotland and the USA.Moreover, the proceedings were filmed for release on the DVD, Aetheria: Alan Clayson And The Argonauts In Concert – and, immediately after the dust settled, CLAYSON AND THE ARGONAUTS undertook a still-continuing itinerary – that shows no sign of slowing down – of ‘farewell performances’ as a ‘tribute band’ to themselves.
ALAN CLAYSON is available for interview, and he and the ARGONAUTS will be launching THIS CANNOT GO ON… with a special concert on Friday 20th October 2017 at The Dublin Castle, 94 Parkway, London NW1 7AN (see www.bugbearbookings.com) with all the attendant media attention (including the shop-windowing of a track on Rock ‘N’ Reel (RNR) magazine’s free cover-mount CD). It is difficult to explain to the uninitiated quite what to expect – but, for the faithful, this and further THIS CANNOT GO ON… showcases will be more pivotal an event than Pink Floyd at Live 8, possibly on the scale of Moses re-appearing before the Israelites from the clouded summit of Mount Sinai.
ALAN CLAYSON AND THE ARGONAUTS NEW ALBUM: THIS CANNOT GO ON… Release date: 15th October 2017 (Rush Music Records)
TOO GONE TO EVEN KNOW THE WORDS is a book containing original lyrics committed to paper by ALAN CLAYSON between 1972 and 2017. These include discographical items recorded solo; with ALAN CLAYSON AND THE ARGONAUTS – and by other artists, among them Dave Berry, Stairway, Jane Relf and The Electronic Males.