British rockers Caravan return to Israel to mark 50 years of music

The band has previously performed here in 2011 and 2014.

CARAVAN in concert (photo credit: Courtesy)
CARAVAN in concert
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Much-loved British progressive rock band Caravan is marking its 50th anniversary with a return to Israel on December 9 at Reading 3 in Tel Aviv. The band has previously performed here in 2011 and 2014. Led by its only remaining founding member, Pye Hastings, Caravan was considered to be one of the finest groups to emerge from England in a wave that came to be known as the Canterbury scene that included such contemporaries as Soft Machine, Gong, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Hatfield & the North.
“At the time, there wasn’t a feeling of a ‘scene’ at all. We were just making our music and competing with the other bands,” Hastings told The Jerusalem Post in an interview before one of the band’s earlier shows in Israel.
Mixing psychedelic rock, folk, classical and jazz, intermingled with droll Pythonesque humor and lyrics drenched in Stonehenge-crazed fantasy, the band attracted fans to their live shows in England but barely made a dent in the charts despite releasing accomplished albums like In the Land of Grey and Pink. But thanks to free form FM radio in the US, which was willing to play 20-minute spacey album tracks, Caravan’s music earned its admirers on the other side of the ocean as well.
However, the band and its music stayed on the fringes during its entire initial lifetime, which sputtered out in the late 1970s.
“We never got that big break,” said Hastings, adding that musical trends have done a full circle, and the hunger music fans felt for live music, without electronic embellishments and playbacks led the band back to active duty.
“Music has gotten to be more and more controlled by computers,” Hastings said. “I think audiences at shows miss the interaction of a good live band playing and bouncing off the audience. You do something and the audience gives something back and it lifts it to another level.”
Tickets to the show are available at or *9066.