Do you know? I had some really big ideas for this review, but ... to my naive astonishment, it would seem that just about everyone’s memories of the very first Deeply Vale, are lost in a haze.
My husband was there, and recalls very little at all after his 3rd bowl of stew (stew?), my good pal Sage from the ‘Not Sensibles’ also couldn’t offer more than a vague recollection, and beyond that I was met with sniggers and such sentiments as “Ah yeah, Deeply Vale ... F**K ME man, that was a mental gig ...” – but why was it so monumental?!!
I’m afraid the answers to that may well be locked inside the heavily intoxicated long deceased brain cells of those who think they remember being there.
If you were there, and didn’t ingest 3 bowls of stew, please drop me a line!
Meanwhile – for all those of us who were not present / all those who were not even born at the time of the first one ; for ALL fans of GONG, and those who are suddenly overcome by nostalgia – news that there has just been released to the masses, a full on psychedilitastic 3 DVD recording of the 40th Anniversary weekend, is highly likely to bring immense joy!!
I must admit that I was thoroughly engrossed by this 12 hour long journey into the live mind of Steve Hillage, GONG, and the rest of those who contributed to the making of this epic package.
Chris Hewitt is certainly going out of his way to keep the legacy, if not the memories of Deeply Vale, alive and well.
For the purposes of health and safety, I want to categorically declare that I found it is best enjoyed without the use of mind altering substances.
More info below ...
DEEPLY VALE FESTIVAL – 40TH Anniversary Weekend Ltd Edition 3 DVD set
(12 hours +) 24 page in hardback colour book, inc interviews with performers and organisers
Featuring: Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy, System 7, Segs (Ruts), Graham Massey (808 State), Nik Turner, The Drones, George Borowski, Mike Howlett, Graham Clark (Magick Brothers) and many more!
What we have now is a Deeply Vale and Gong reunion 12 hour dvd set filmed on the 40th Anniversary of the festival, in September 2016. With the sad departure in the last couple of years of Gong founders Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth, it is a priceless document of a reunion of several former Gong luminaries who got together for a short Sunday night jam at this event captured stunningly on DVD No. 3. The Gong jam features Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy, Mike Howlett, Steffe Sharpstrings and special guest Nik Turner.
Steve Hillage “Deeply Vale was slightly ahead of the Southern festivals as it introduced the fusion between the classic psychedelic festival movement and the new New Wave music”
In case you don’t know Deeply Vale was a classic 70s North West England free festival starting in 1976. In 1977 it was the first hippy festival to put punk bands on with hippy bands, growing like mad from 300 to 3000 then 20,000 over the four years it was in the original Deeply Vale valley.
20,000 hippies and punks watched Steve Hillage play on the final night of the 1978 festival
The Ruts were formed there, The Fall met Here and Now and Grant Showbiz there. The Fall played three years of the festival and went on anarchic hippy tours with Here and Now and Graham Massey’s (later of 808 State) Danny and The Dressmakers.
Mark E Smith (The Fall) “Deeply Vale was great to play, It was just up the road for us. I don’t like festivals but I loved Deeply Vale”
In the audience (but too young to perform) through the years of the festival as teenagers or younger, Deeply Vale festivals helped germinate the seeds of wanting to get into rock and roll for a whole raft of music fans, who all went on the make their own mark: Andy Kershaw, Ian Brown, Andy Rourke (Smiths), Dave Gedge (Wedding Present) , Boff Whalley,(Chumbawamba), Jimi Goodwin (Doves) aged 9, The Chameleons, The Mock Turtles and music journalist Luke Bainbridge, aged 5.
Bob Harris – “Deeply Vale definitely has a place in rock history, because here in the late 70s were held the best loved and silliest rock festivals of all time”
Graham Massey (808 State) “I’m always sort of harking back to Deeply Vale as the blue print for a festival -for me it just had that sort of made up for the people vibe- the thing about Deeply Vale is it felt like local action”.