Kevin Ayers – Shooting At The Moon

Shooting At The Moon

Canterbury scenester and louche bohemian singer-songwriter Kevin Ayers was a founding member of the Soft Machine, and a major yet laid-back force in the English psychedelic movement. The late, great John Peel wrote in his autobiography that “Kevin Ayers’ talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it.”

He was also the ‘bugger’ infamously referenced in the John Cale lyric on the Slow Dazzle album track Guts (“the bugger in the short sleeves, fucked my wife/did it quick and split”).

With affectionate, heartfelt introductions from his daughter, Galen, fellow Softie Robert Wyatt, and writer John Payne, Shooting At The Moon includes the collected lyrics from his gloriously erratic solo career, covering such cult works of wonder as Joy Of A Toy, Bananamour, Whatevershebringswesing and his 2007 reflective swansong The Unfairground. It also contains pages from Ayers’ own notebooks, a slew of exclusive photos and even the occasional recipe (mixed smoked fish platter anyone?). Ayers passed away in 2013, and this book is a great way to remember him.

8/10

Gary Tipp

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