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|Born||1946 (age 71–72)|
Hampstead, London, England
|Associated acts||Magic Carpet|
Alisha Sufit was the singer songwriter with the 1970s Magic Carpet (band) whose eponymous first album was released on the UK Mushroom label in 1972. The Mushroom label, not to be confused with the Australian label of the same name, was master minded by Vic Keary from the late 1960s from Chalk Farm Studios in Belmont Street, London.
Alisha Sufit was born in Hampstead, London, UK, in 1946. She attended the Arts Educational School in London, where she studied dance and drama. She went to Chelsea College of Art, London, to study painting and etching, and then to the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, after which she began performing in clubs and colleges around the UK, singing her own compositions plus traditional folk songs, self-accompanied on acoustic guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. She is also a visual artist, author and poet.
In 1971 Alisha Sufit joined with ex Chelsea School of Art fellow student Jim Moyes plus two musical friends to form the psychedelic progressive folk-rock band Magic Carpet. The line-up consisted of Alisha (vocals, guitar), Clem Alford (sitar, esraj, tamboura), Jim Moyes (guitar) and Keshav Sathe tabla, Indian percussion.
The Magic Carpet band made an eponymous album released in 1972 on the UK Mushroom label, described as one of the first Indian-influenced psychedelic folk albums of the era. After a launch at the 100 Club in London, a performance at Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth's Stables Theatre Wavendon, radio airplay on Pete Drummond's Sounds of the Seventies on BBC Radio, plus several club and festival appearances, the group disbanded in 1972.
During the 1970s and 1980s Alisha Sufit performed solo and was also supporting artist alongside numerous musicians including The Enid, Fairport Convention, Terry Reid, the guitarist Davey Graham (also known as Davy Graham), The Incredible String Band, amongst others. She was invited to appear at the Incredible String Band's I.S.B. Convention concert in Leeds in 1994.
Some fifteen years after its release, the Magic Carpet album began to receive acclaim, the original LP now a sought-after collectible on the international vinyl market, reissued on CD and limited edition vinyl by Magic Carpet Records (UK).
In 1993 Alisha Sufit released the album Alisha Through the Looking Glass, on CD and heavy-weight EMI audiophile vinyl. The album includes contributions by Ray Warleigh (saxophone), Bernard O'Neill (bass), Magic Carpet percussionist Keshav Sathe (tabla), Mamadi Kamara (congas and percussion), Chris Haigh (fiddle) and Alan Dunn (accordion). In 1994 Alisha Sufit released the album Love and the Maiden recorded in 1974, a signed limited edition CD with sleeve notes by UK guitarist Davey Graham.
In 1996, Magic Carpet sitarist Clem Alford and Alisha Sufit collaborated again to record the album Once Moor, subtitled Magic Carpet II, featured in Sound on Sound magazine. In 1999 she contributed two tracks to the compilation album Women of Heart and Mind, a collaboration of women singer-songwriters, and in 2005 she was included in the compilation CD and vinyl album Many Bright Things, contributing her own composition Silver Witch, accompanied on mandolin and bass by Frank Defina.
In 2008 she was invited to join the live band The Amorphous Androgynous on tour for the Creation of Peace free festival in Kazan, Tatarstan and a performance in Moscow, plus for the following year in Kiev, Ukraine, Green Man Festival, The Electric Picnic and the HMV Forum, London.
She sang lead vocals on The Amorphous Androgynous Oasis reissue of Falling Down and was also invited to sing lead vocals on The Amorphous Androgynous' Let It Be track on the Let It Be Revisited album issued on CD and vinyl by Mojo magazine in 2010.
In 2015 Alisha Sufit contributed two tracks to the anti-war pro-peace Not in Our Name CD – a song entitled Mr Blair and a poem entitled Bliar, the latter read by David Erdos.
- Magic Carpet – 1972 and 1993
- Love and the Maiden – 1974
- Alisha Through The Looking Glass – 1993
- Once Moor – Magic Carpet 2 – 1996
- Not in Our Name CD Not In Our Name CD (album) – 2015
- Women of Heart and Mind
- Many Bright Things – 2005
- A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind, Volume 1 – 2008
- Falling Down (vocals) Amorphous Androgynous remix commissioned by Oasis
- Let It Be Revisited / Let It Be – 2010
- Vic Keary. "Mushroom label". rateyourmusic.
- Keary, Vic. "Chalk Farm Studios". Phil's Book.
- Unterburger, Richie. "Alisha Sufit artist biography". AllMusic.
- Psychedelic Baby magazine (25 March 2014). "Magic Carpet Interview". Psychedelic Baby.
- Magic Carpet, Prog Rock Resource. "Prog Archives".
- Magic Carpet band (1993). "Magic Carpet". Magic Carpet Records.
- Sufit, Alisha (1994). "Love and the Maiden". Magic Carpet Records.
- Shirley, Ian (June 2009). "Rediscovered 70s gem and Noel Gallagher favourite" (363). Record Collector.
- Magic Carpet (1996). "Once Moor – Magic Carpet 2". Magic Carpet Records.
- Sound on Sound magazine (1997). "MAGIC CARPET: Recording A '90s Album With A '70s Ethos".
- Compilation / various artists (1999). "Women of Heart and Mind". Quail Records.
- Compilation, various artists (2005). "Many Bright Things". Wild Places.
- Green Man Festival, Alisha Sufit (2009). "Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble 12 Hour Spectacular".
- Amorphous Androgynous (2008). "Falling Down". Big Brother.
- The Amorphous Androgynous (October 2010). "Let It Be – Revisited". Mojo.
- Sufit, Alisha (2012). "Falling Upwards". Magic Carpet Books.
- Sufit, Alisha (1997). "Moon Clippings". Magic Carpet Books. ISBN 1902217004.
- Amorphous Androgynous, Magic Carpet (2008). The Phoenix. Platipus http://www.discogs.com/Amorphous-Androgynous-The-A-Monstrous-Psychedelic-Bubble-Vol-1-Cosmic-Space-Music/release/1587086. Missing or empty