The "Soft Machine" was a pioneering English psychedelic, progressive rock and jazz band from Canterbury, named after the book ''The Soft Machine'' by William S. Burroughs. They were one of the central bands in the Canterbury scene.
The Soft Machine emerged out of an earlier band called the Wilde Flowers (a reference to Oscar Wilde). The Wilde Flowers included, at various times: Brian Hopper (guitar, saxophone, flute), Hugh Hopper (bass), Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Kevin Ayers (vocals), Richard Sinclair (guitar, vocals), Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals), David Sinclair (keyboards) and Richard Coughlan (drums). These last four formed another successful Canterbury band, Caravan.
The Soft Machine was formed in 1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Kevin Ayers (bass, vocals), Daevid Allen (guitar) and Mike Ratledge (keyboards). This line-up recorded the group's first (and only) single, as well as some demo sessions that were released several years later. In 1967, upon their return from a performance in France, Allen (an Australian) was denied re-entry to England, so the group continued as a trio. In 1968 they toured the USA, opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experien...