Soft Machine to Perform at The Linda, October 12th

ALBANY – Coming to The Linda on October 12th is Soft Machine. Since arriving on the music scene during the 1960s, the British Rock band has experimented with different creative sounds, and due to this, the band’s music has come to be synonymous with the concept of psychedelia culture. Though the members of Soft Machine have changed over the years, the sound has remained the same.

Some of the most prominent figures who helped to create the adventurous psychedelic rock genre, such as Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, and Elton Dean, have been members of Soft Machine. These musicians formulated the sound of Soft Machine and have inherently passed that unique sound on to the band’s current lineup, which includes John Etheridge on the guitar, Theo Travis on the flute, sax, and electric piano, Fred Baker on the bass guitar, and Asaf Sirkis on the drums.

Despite the configuration of the band members changing, Soft Machine has been able to keep their familiar sound alive. However, the band has always been open to experimentation in their music, and Theo Travis recognizes numerous elements that makeup Soft Machines’ “sound” that entices their fans. Travis states, “I like the freedom; I like the variety of colors, the band improvisation. It has such a strong catalog of music going back over 50 years from which we dip into and play. With a lot of jazz stuff, you do it, and people come up and say ‘good gig’ or whatever, but it’s not like it means something in the same way as a band that has history and a cultural significance in the way that Soft Machine has. For me, it’s a suitable combination of rock, jazz, improv, melody, risk-taking, textures, and experimental looping. It’s pretty much all the things I like to play in.”

We hear more of the band’s experimental sound in their released album “Other Doors.” “Other Doors” intertwines the original psychedelic rock-based sound that Soft Machine is known for with jazzy electronic undertones.

The release of “Other Doors” is significant not only for its experimentation with sounds but also signifies a change within the Soft Machine roster as this is the first record to include a new bassist, Fred Baker. “Other Doors” also marks the end of an era for the legendary member, John Marshall, who joined the band in 1972. Marshall’s place has been taken by the very talented drummer and composer, Asaf Sirkis, who is also a good friend of the band.

Marshall’s retirement from the band now leaves John Etheridge, who joined the band in 1975, as the last remaining group member with roots tying back to the earlier era of Soft Machine. Being the talent he is, Etheridge has had a long and eminent career. However, it does not seem like he is leaving the band anytime soon as he states, “I definitely feel when I pick up the guitar and play under the banner of Soft Machine, I feel different to any of my other gigs. It’s my favorite of all things I do by far. When I play with the Soft Machine, that is when I really feel like I’m contacting the player I want to be.”

Soft Machine has remained a vital and prominent band in the genre of rock, and both old and new fans can appreciate the sound this band has brought to the music industry. With roots deep in the sound of the 60s, Soft Machine continues to grow and experiment into the new age, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. To experience an eccentric show like none other right here in the Capital Region, come check out Soft Machine, playing at The Linda in Albany on October 12th. 


The show will begin at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for the event start at $32.64 and can be purchased here.

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