Nektar – The Band Zappa Wanted
Bees like Nektar and pretty soon people will too. Already they've got people sniffing out their two previous albums and by the end of the year I predict,
we'll all be getting a whiff of them.
There's no need to get your hay–fever pills out, because Nektar attack the ears, not the nose. Across most of Europe ears have pricked up at the sound
of Nektar and strains of their music have even reached Frank Zappa. More about that later.
Nektar are an all–British band who've made their home in Germany. From their centrally situated house stuck in the middle of the Odenwald, the band
hide themselves away in a "Forest of the Gods," and plan on various assaults on the music scene.
Their most recent is an utterly amazing double album, "Sounds Like This," a whip–lashing cosmic work that at times leave bands like Hawkwind
severely bogged down on earth.n earth.
Nektar came together nearly four–years ago from the remains of a number of ill–fated British groups who had gone to Germany to find success.
The group's bassist, Derek "Mo" Moore, left England in 1964 with a group called Beast, when they were lined–up for an extensive tour of Germany.
Half–way through the tour, the group ran out of money. Beast split up and Derek stayed behind to scrape a living. The rest of the group, Roye Albrighton
(guitar), Allan Freeman (keyboards), Ron Howden (drums) and Mick Brockett (light musician) all have similar tales to tell.
In 1968 the band jammed together in Hamburg's Star Club, found they could work together and set about to form Nektar. Brockett, because of contractual
problems, eventually linked with the rest of the band the following year.
The work of Brockett as light musician (he's quite heavy really), added another dimension to the group's music and has subsequently given the band a new
approach to music by means of a light show. Many are going to say it's old–hat, but, Nektar use their lights in a relevant kind of way, unlike most bands
"We've got a house to live in and rehearsed until things were right. It's taken us a long time to break–out onto the scene because we've had to do
everything ourselves — including management," says Derek Moore. "We started off very slowly just playing the occasional gigs, then our name
seemed to spread across Europe. Since that time we've been steadily gigging around the Continent building a following and reputation for ourselves,"
Says Moore, "Although we're all British musicians, I think we've lost most of the influences we had."
"The light and sound show is quite original. With us, the lights are another instrument which are used to try and paint pictures of our music."
"In England everything is so expensive. I don't know how bands manage to survive there. We couldn't" says Moore.
The success is due, Moore believes, to the fact that the German jamming element are now looking for something different and in Nektar they found it.
"Life over here is so much quieter than in Britain. We have loads of time to think up new ideas," says Moore.
They are close friends of both Amon Duul and Can and frequently play with the two groups. That's where the relationship ends, and where the group's music
begins to be vastly different.
Last month Nektar paid a visit to Britain. They've gone back to Germany now and won't be returning to Britain until the end of next year.
"The last tour of Britain was particularly pleasing. We'd play some places and the kids would be singing music before we started. It's a good sign
when the kids remember you," says Derek.
As their latest album continues to sell well, sales from their previous two, "A Journey To The Centre Of The Eye" and "A Tab In The Ocean,"
have been stimulated.
"Financial problems are the only thing that are holding us back now," says Derek.
"But I can see a breakthrough within the next six–months or so."
"We've got a European tour with Frank Zappa later this year and it's also planned for us to tour America as well."
"We've been signed to Zappa's record label after Herb Cohen came over to Germany and heard us. Zappa actually wanted us to support him on his next
So what of the future? "Nektar aren't pop stars although we want to be commercial. It's important that we keep prices down and things like that,
because we that we're a peoples band. People are a most important part of our music and we want to treat them fairly."