“’Stanton Walgrave'(1976-1978) Wildly avant-garde outfit that attempted everything from Henry Cow style multiple time signatures to Faustian free improvisations. Line up included Glyn Bush & Pickle”
“I first met Alan in ’76 when STANTON WALGRAVE were invited to do the music for the play ‘Another Suburban Romance’. This great surrealist drama, a cross between Beckett and Peyton Place, had been written by Alan and Jamie Detano and was then in rehearsal. Glyn Bush and Pickle wrote an incredibly complex score which was exhaustingly perfected and mostly recorded only for the project to founder when a couple of actors dropped out.”
Alex Green, Apollox 1995
Stanton Walgrave was an occasional totally improvised band comprised of Glyn, myself, the aforementioned Seaweed and last but not least Shrivs. We played mainly instruments that we couldn’t play and prided ourselves on producing hours of unlistenable twiddles to arrive at a few seconds of astounding beauty.
Pickle (Mr. Licquorice)
„I REMEMBER Mr. Licquorice as a strange and angular youth with many unsettling ways. He used to affect a resemblance to an anorexic Adolph Hitler, albeit in a totally unselfconscious fashion.
Mr Licquorice seriously believed that swept-across black hair and tiny tooth-brush moustache had their origins with him and him alone.
Wags in the street would accost him with cries of “Achtung Schweinhund” and “Heil Hitler” only to be met with a puzzled shrug, a frown of annoyance and incomprehension.
I recall receiving a letter from Brum-based Bizarro, Grant Series of the D-Go-Tees in which he enquired after his old chum Licquorice with a cheery “And how is our man in the bunker?” When I relayed these salutations verbatum to their subject I was met with a familiar sight of brows crinkling beneath a black slash-fringe.
“Who does he mean?” asked Mr. Licquorice. In that moment I understood that the being before me, while not mad in the conventional sense, was a being not of this world.
Naturally, there had been clues… like the ghastly rumour that Licquorice had eaten nothing but Heinz baby foods until the onset of puberty. At the time I laughed. But now, as Brecht’s Artoro Ui remarks, “Nobody’s laughing anymore”.
And then there were his friends.
There was Seaweed, who had a young ladyfriend called Fin. A quirk to the set of eyes and mouth, a certain pallid lower-depths luminosity… all these features conspired so that in conversation with Seaweed the sensation was one of talking underwater.
And of course, there was Spawnwash. Spawnwash had the weirdly-crafted skull and glittering marble eyes of a changeling, although it was difficult to imagine just what he had been changed with. Sworn doctor’s certificates were believed to exist revealing that he possessed two separate sets of vocal chords… a strange anatomical atterration that fecilllteted his later use of the terrifying ‘Stereo Voice’ technique.
This ear-wrenching display of Vox Abhumana was known on occasions to reduce strong men to convulsions and cause mothers to smother their offspring by placing Reticules over the heads of the doomed infants.
There was also the garish and frightening Grant Series in his blue plastic spectacles and his nightmarish silver ties. And the spectural Max Akropolis, a Beardslay grotesque with a tiny head and a large double-breasted suit.
Together these five Phantom-Zone exiles made up the subterranean quintet known as Stanton Walgrave.”
Alan Moore, Sounds article, Mystery and Abomination”, 1981-08-08
We did a freeform session there [at Wild Willy Barret’s place in Northants] with members of Stanton Walgrave and Tom [Fawcett] and his mate
Pickle (Mr. Licquorice)
Trefor Goronwy was also in stanton Walgrave after I left Northampton and met Fin. Insofar, that is, that anyone was in the SW. It was really more a state of mind than a group. Lol
29-30 October 1977, Northampton