Henry Cow's early performances happened as far as of 1968 supporting Pink Floyd at a concert on Homerton College, in Cambridge.
The Group started life when Fred Frith met Tim Hodgkinson on early May of 1968 at a Blues Pub. They started playing a variety of musical styles due to their affinity and open minds. Later that year other Musicians came aboard: Andy Powell on bass guitar, Dave Attwood, drums and Rob Brooks rhythm guitar. This formation would last very shortly until Frith, Hodgkinson and Powell became a trio. Powell was a Music Student at King's College and his teacher Roger Smalley, had knowledge of all diverse and eclectic new sounds coming from groups and Musicians like: Soft Machine, Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. Such Music influenced them in their writing and compositon.
The band suffered several changes int their formation till they signed contract with a new emerging Label called Virgin in May 1973, by that time the personnel consisted on: Fred Frith guitar, violin, bass guitar, piano and xylophone, Tim Hodgkinson organ, alto saxophone and clarinet, John Greaves bass guitar and piano, Chris Cutler drums, percussion and Geoff Leigh on saxophones, flute and clarinet.
On Sunday March 12 1978 Henry Cow organized a Festival in London called RIO (Rock in Oposition) Bringing on board; Stormy Six from Italy, Samla Mammas Manna from Sweden, Univers Zero from Belgium and Etron Fou Leloublan from France, the theme was: "Five Rock groups That Rock Companies don't want you to hear from!". Many Bands across Europe performed on this established event throughout the years promoting such unique styles as they were Improvisation, Progressiveness and mainly Expressionism proclaiming their beliefs against pressure from British and American Rock labels and commercial industries alike who compromised their Music.
After five albums and a couple of live recordings and extensive live work Henry Cow's last concert was held in Milan on 25 July 1978, The Band existed almost untouched until they disappeared after finishing Western Culture a little bit later in May that same year
Coming soon from ReR - http://www.artist-shop.com/rer
Henry Cow/40th Anniversary Full Box Set ....CD box set + DVD $179.99
(Boxes 1 & 2, 9 CD's, 1 DVD, 2 Boxes, 2 60 Pg Books) The 5 full-length discs in Box 1 cover Henry Cow's career from the pre-Virgin Records days up to roughly 1975. These are all previously unreleased recordings, some live, some demo, some studio, all sonically enhanced by Bob Drake's painstaking re-mastering. We are treated to everything from early BBC sessions to somewhat later live improvisations, alternate recordings with Robert Wyatt, to the full 18 minute version of "With the Yellow Moon And Half Star" (The Bacchae). There are many compositions and improvisations new to anyone who only knows the official releases; The disks also document a number of one-off projects and events and - where different or remarkable enough to justify inclusion - live versions of parts of the LP repertoire. The hefty, 60-page booklet is chock-full of historic information and exclusive photos.
The 4 full-length CD's + 1 DVD in Box 2 cover the Cow's career from roughly 1976 to the band's demise, with an emphasis on the later era. Nobody knew that this 75-minute concert broadcast of the band existed, so the DVD is a real boon, and has spectacular versions of "Beautiful As The Moon", "Living In The Heart Of The Beast", "March", "Erk Gah", "No More Songs" and a great, improvisational piece. The music discs are also excellent, and include as highlights the original version of "Joan," as well as a 12 minute, hitherto unreleased piece by Lindsay Cooper, and great versions of "Erk Gah" and "Viva Pa Ubu." There's also some immaculate improvising, including a 17 minute foray from the original RIO Festival, and Fred's "Awake Against Sleep" from the Western Culture sessions - and all that's just the tip of the iceberg. The hefty, 60-page booklet is chock-full of historic information and exclusive photos. And everything has been carefully transferred and re-mastered by Bob Drake to
the best audio quality that current technology allows without interference or tampering.
foreword by Rodrigo Trupp