SOFT MACHINE Ce Soir On Danse Avec Les Soft Machine (Live Video)

Alexfripou was kind enough to send us a link to a very cool, high quality, 25-minute Soft Machine live performance for French TV, entitled Ce Soir On Danse Avec Les Soft Machine (Tonight We Dance With The Soft Machine). There’s even actually some dancing going on, despite the band’s challenging alt-psych/jazz/pre-prog stylings. The original poster pegged this as being recorded August 25, 1968, but some Machineheads are pointing out that it might be from 1967 (45 years ago), as the Softs were on tour in the States in August ’68. Was Robert Wyatt ever really that young? Bless French TV. Visit the original Vimeo post to download the show for yourself. Thanks Alex.
0:00 – A Certain Kind
3:52 – Save Yourself
5:55 – Priscilla
6:30 – Lullabye Letter
14:10 – Hope For Happiness


  • buzzbabyjesus
    August 30, 2012 - 12:50 | Permalink

    Thanks for keeping on. The clip is probably 1967.


    Soft Machine (billed as The Soft Machine up to 1969) were formed in mid-1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Kevin Ayers (bass, guitar, vocals), Daevid Allen (guitar) and Mike Ratledge (organ) plus, for the first few gigs only, American guitarist Larry Nowlin.[1] Allen, Wyatt and future bassist Hugh Hopper had first played together in the Daevid Allen Trio in 1963, occasionally accompanied by Ratledge. Wyatt, Ayers and Hopper had been founding members of the Wilde Flowers, later incarnations of which would include future members of another Canterbury band, Caravan.
    This first Soft Machine line-up became involved in the early UK underground, featuring prominently at the UFO Club, and subsequently other London clubs like the Speakeasy and Middle Earth, and recorded the group’s first single ‘Love Makes Sweet Music’, as well as some demo sessions that were released several years later. They also played in the Netherlands, Germany and on the French Riviera. During July and August 1967, the promoter and manager Giorgio Gomelsky booked shows all along the Côte d’Azur with the band’s most notorious early gig taking place in the village square of Saint-Tropez. This led to an invitation to perform at producer Eddie Barclay’s trendy “Nuit Psychédélique(fr)”, performing a forty minute rendition of “We Did It Again”, singing the refrain over and over, achieving a Zen-like quality. This made them instant darlings of the Parisian “in” crowd, resulting in invitations to appear on leading television shows and at the Paris Biennale in October 1967. Upon their return from their sojourn in France, Allen (an Australian) was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom, so the group continued as a trio, while he returned to Paris to form Gong.
    Sharing the same management team as Jimi Hendrix, the band were rewarded with a support slot on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s North America tour throughout 1968.[1] Soft Machine’s first album – a psychedelic rock/proto-prog classic – was recorded in New York in April at the end of the first leg.

  • Doug
    September 1, 2012 - 19:48 | Permalink

    Flat out amazing stuff! I got into Wyatt late in the game – after hearing the Nick Mason/Carla Bley LP Fictitious Sports. Then I remember finding a double LP (talking vinyl here) of Ruth is Stranger than Richard/Rock Bottom in my local record store for mere dollars and being really hooked. I’ve not really been exposed to his pre-accident work and I must say, his drumming in this video is inspired. Groovy dancers add to the allure. Thanks for posting this.

  • Willard
    September 1, 2012 - 19:58 | Permalink

    Thanks for commenting.

  • Joerg
    July 2, 2014 - 13:19 | Permalink

    Most likely filmed in October 1967, this was broadcast by French TV in the Guy Béart show under the title “Ce Soir On Danse Avec Les Soft Machine” on August 25, 1968.

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