In the early Sixties, Doctor Humphrey Osmond (no relation to Donny), invented the term "psychodelic", later altered to "psychedelic" to jettison the bad associations of the term "psycho". But perhaps the original term, complete with connotations, is better suited to the cult Japanese combo Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO. Arriving in Scotland fresh from Japan, where they live in the Nagano mountains, this intensely psyched-out group of beatniks are here to headline the Astral Plane festival which takes off in Glasgow tonight.

Fuelled by a desire to kick against corporate mentality, Acid Mothers actively resist the lure of showbiz, choosing instead to wave a banner for the international underground. With support from - as the organisers put it - "no-one", the group arrives with a promise that "the kids are taking the situation into their own hands."

The hardcore approach of Acid Mothers is to be leavened with the music of Richard Youngs, whose universe is infused with drones, huge reverbs and surprisingly, some lonesome English folk. For tonight's gig he is stripping his sound down to dark midnight, folk-strummed guitars and vocals, previewing material from his forthcoming downbeat LP Sapphire.

Add to this the improvised unit, 36 Snowfall, founded by David Keenan after he split from Telstar Ponies, whose surreal floating mix of modern classical, country blues and free jazz can be heard on their debut album Sweetheart Come. Interestingly, the US performance artist Lydia Lunch appears as guest vocalist on this release. The Glasgow-based band National Park will also be there to offer their own brand of blasted pulsebeats. And just when you thought this event was as tripped out as it gets, along come the kings of infinite swing, The Pastels, with their otherworldly sensibilities and space-pummelled urban blues.

The only thing missing from this aural assault on complacency is the arrival of Ken Kesey's Magic Bus and his zonked out Merry Pranksters.


David's press release for the Astralfest