The Invisible Band – Private Tape – 1983

The Dream Machine / Lost Worlds / Mobius Loop / 1984

Tyranny Of Taste / Glimpses Of Reality / A Box Of Stolen Dreams / There’s No Place Like Home

A band that I know not too much about other than they seem to have been based in south London and that these recordings were completed on an eight track mixer based at the home of Rory Cargill’s Alma Road in Wandsworth. Rory Cargill remains the only constant member of The Invisible Band from the bands formation in 1981 until, well today.

The line up of The Invisible Band that recorded these tracks onto this tape, consisted of Julia on vocals and percussion, Rory on the guitar, bass and keyboards along with Jerry on the drums.

These tracks by The Invisible Band would appeal to anyone that likes Here And Now, Gong and Ozric Tentacles. The cassette tape is a grower and the listener ‘gets it’ after a couple of plays, or at least I did.

The band were regular performers at the Stonehenge festival in the early 1980’s and were known to the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe, a group of colourful entertaining travellers who between 1982 and 1983 were based, when not on the road, in the squatted bus station near to Brougham Road in Hackney.

The Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe started in Kingston when it was called the Bombay Bus Trucking company and Mr Bombay was the boss, whoever he was the troupe never saw him, he did not exist. Perry Balfour, Perry Hazard was the young inspirational influence and Mike and KP got given the Blue and White marquee so they took it out on the road. Perry’s dad was Michael Balfour, a professional movie actor and the troupe’s show guru and link to the tradition of performance. He was also very impressed with the notion of love and peace as a youth movement.

At the end of 1979 at the festival of Fools in Penzance, wanting to take the mickey out of the so called alternative theatre scene, which they saw as an imitation of traditional stuff and nothing new, they came up with a sketch which was the sand dance, throw sand on the floor and do a silly dance to Egyptian music with a trio of idiot and dumb artists. As they were leaving Perry’s ‘Bella Vega’ bus, they needed a name so Perry dragged it off the ethers, and came up with the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe, a troupe from another planet or another place which would always be bizarre and so it was.

Or

The name Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe was kind of a yin -yang thing. The Tibetan part represented the spiritual, metaphysical aspect of life whereas the Ukranian bit was the more physical, down to earth side of things. The deliberate miss spelling, although originally a sign writing error, was kept in for numerological balance. The Mountain bit because it was there, and the Troupe because they were!

Or

Some ancient clown thought of it off the top of his head!

Take your pick.

There is no doubt that the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe hold a unique place in the ranks of great British hippie eccentrics .Their activities were by no means confined to free festivals, as they appeared at almost all of the commercial East Anglian Fairs and Peace Fairs of the early 1980’s.

The Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe stopped being called a Troupe by 1986. By this time it had become clear that they had evolved into something more and myriad diverse. Although the troupe had roots in the UK Free Festivals and Albionic fairs of the 1970’s and early 1980’s their travels and exploits in Europe in the early to mid 1980’s had brought them into contact with a whole and other world of colourful opportunities, excitement, challenge and medical conditions of great interest.

Thanks to Chris Low for the lend of this cassette tape uploaded today. The artwork that heads up this post is by the late Wilf, known mostly on this site at least for the artwork that adorns the records by The Mob. Credit to the etherealmusic.co.uk site for some snippets of information on The Invisible Band and the photographs and to ukrockfestivals.com site for some snippets of information on the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe and the photographs.

6 comments
  1. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    October 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I downloaded this and gave it a listen but must admit I found it quite hard work. And I actually usually enjoy the likes of Gong, Here & Now, Ozrics, etc… Sorry, I did try and like it, honest…

  2. luggy
    luggy
    October 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Remember this lot always playing for ages in the corner of the field at free festies when I was trying to crash out. Can’t say I as too keen on them, mind you no-one else seemed to ever be watching them doing their nocturnal guitar-wanking.

  3. Chris
    Chris
    October 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    For the record, Invisible Band came to my attention as Rory was a mate of either Andy Martin or Dave Fanning. Bizarre tho it may sound, Rory was meant to play on the third Apostles EP but for some reason I can’t recall, this didn’t happen.

    Apparently Rory used to be a regular busker around Leicester Square not that long ago but don’t think I ever encountered him myself.

    Also, last time I looked there was an Invisible Band website but I can’t seem to find it now, probably due turgid colostomy-rockers Travis releasing an LP by the same name.

    Hope Rory’s well whatever he’s up to anyway. Always used to like getting parcels of tapes from him. And an INCREDIBLE guitarist whatever anyone may think of his work.

  4. PeteDaBeat
    PeteDaBeat
    November 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Now I may be wrong here but theres a mural down the bottom of Fore St in Exeter (still a road of veggie cafes, records shops, head shops, new age shops and more) Looking up the Hill its on the left hand, end Terrace, of shops and apartments. I think its a 3 story building. I seem to remember that the mural depicts the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe in all its splendidly colourful glory! Its (I think) a vanishing point pic of the troupe and other colourful types making their way down Fore Street. The first time I visited Exeter around 89/90 I was taken to see the painting (then onto the church we squatted nearby). I was told that it dated from the 70s. At least one of the nippers in the foreground went on to live on the road in the 90s. PS “turgid colostomy-rockers” Is pure bloody wordsmith magic!

  5. Sven van Dweller
    Sven van Dweller
    November 16, 2019 at 12:29 am

    This is an old thread but I’m going to gather up a fragment.
    We jammed about with these guys at Stonehenge in 84… Very strange times.

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