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AN INTRODUCTION TO ANTON BARBEAU (Fruits de Mer) (2024)

Updated: 6 days ago

As part of a (hopefully) continuing series of introductions previously reviewed on DISS, this is another especially welcome one. A wall of sound opens a stunning 5 minute plus tremulous version of DAVID BOWIE’s ‘Scary Monsters, Super Creeps’; the keys, guitar and those thumping drums hit the spot and every word is audible! A Barbeau original ‘Heavy Psychedelic Toilet’ is about an unwary individual on a heavy trip getting pulled into, well, a psychedelic toilet diving for a pearl apparently and seeing “the face of God in a three-eyed girl” - it has everything any psych obsessive could want. Anton’s taste in cover versions is impeccable, with that wondrous psychedelic nugget ‘Dr Crippen’s Waiting Room’ unearthed; it actually started off life as the B-side of a sing-along attempt at a hit called ‘You Can All Join In’ (the Traffic song that gave its name to an early Island budget compilation album) by short-lived Dublin band THE ORANGE MACHINE on Pye Records in 1969. This weirdly magical song refers to a hypochondriac whose “constitution is failing” who “if he doesn’t leave the drink he’ll blow up like a bubble” as “patients patiently wait”. They don’t make like this anymore! A wild version of JULIAN COPE’s ‘Out of My Mind on Dope and Speed’ has some great synth work.


These are just a few of 19 generous slices of psychedelic cake, with Anton’s originals rubbing shoulders seamlessly with songs by ROBYN HITCHCOCK, BIG STAR, as well DAVID BOWIE’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and DONOVAN’s ‘Sunshine Superman’. Barbeau’s stories are legendary including his meeting with BARRY ‘THE FISH’ MELTON who lived near Anton in Sacramento. While supporting Melton on his UK tour made up a story about him being a CIA agent paying off part of a karmic debt.  Far out! Head on over to the FRUITS DE MER website (Linked on this site) for the full story.

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