Kevin Ayers 是摇滚史上那种最异类，不可捉摸的谜，即便他常常被认为是浪费了很多他的天才。大概是他从来也没有把音乐看得很严肃吧，这点也成为他的本质的迷人之处却也是让人遗憾的地方。60年代末期起，他发行了很多专辑，这些专辑都带着鲜明的英伦风情，平平常常的歌词用他那低浅，带点颓废的桑子唱来是那么动听，玩玩字谜，困惑而闲散的态度，都是他的特点。其中的《Joy Of Toy》被一些乐迷和Syd Barret的《The madcap laughs》一起评为英伦迷幻民谣的两大瑰宝。不过72年的《Whatevershebringswesing》是个人最喜欢的一张专辑，低缓散漫，是小溪的流水，是满满飘散开的烟雾，百听不厌的。
Ayers自小就培养伯希米娅的生活方式，童年在西班牙的Majorca长大，使其的音乐总带着些异域风情节奏。后来随着母亲回到了Canterbuery。真是在那里，结识了Robert Wyatt,Hugh Hopper, Daevid Allen等人，他们开始自己组地下乐队玩。最早的乐队是The wilde Flowers，后来这个乐队解散后，分开两批，一批组成The soft Machine, 一批组成Caravan。这两个乐队是整个Canterbury Sense里最辉煌的两个乐队，Soft Machine可不比Pink Floyd差的，只是他们拒绝商业上的过多发展而变得鲜为人知。其实Canterbury Sense里的乐队个个都很精彩，因为就是那批人不停的解散这个乐队，组成那个乐队。Robert Wyatt可被誉为拥有最迷幻的男人嗓音的。下次来写写Canterbury Sense吧。Kevin Ayers是最早的成员，后来在Soft Machine的贝斯/主音/写歌等。虽然Wyatt被认为是Soft Machine背后的核心，不过早期Ayers可以说也起到同样分量的作用的，除了负责贝斯，Soft Machine的早期Demo和同名专辑的大部分歌曲都是Ayers创作的。
后来Ayers开始单飞。Soft Machine是带着硬式迷幻的，即兴的。单飞后，Ayers像一个民谣歌手，懒散的，温和优雅的。很多方面，他都被拿来和Syd Barret比，当然他没有Syd那么大的成就，不过确实很多方面味道都很像的。怪异，短小的快乐的曲子，叙事民谣，唱着闲散甚至懒惰的生活，而这一点真是这个花花公子最迷人的地方。同时还带着即兴创作，大概他身上从来不乏前卫的气息。虽然单飞，还是和Soft Machine的人一起完成专辑录制，同时还有Syd的帮忙。Syd的专辑也多有Soft Machine的帮忙参与。Ayers从来没有进入过主流，不过这一点是成为Cult Artist的条件之一。
The Soft Machine was formed in 1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Kevin Ayers (bass, vocals), Daevid Allen (guitar) and Mike Ratledge (keyboards). Allen, Wyatt and future bassist Hugh Hopper had played in the Daevid Allen Trio, occasionally accompanied by Ratledge. Wyatt, Ayers and Hopper had played in a band called the Wilde Flowers, which included future members of another Canterbury band, Caravan.
This first Soft Machine line-up became involved in the early UK underground, featuring prominently at the UFO Club, and recorded the group's first single, as well as some demo sessions that were released several years later. They also played in Holland, Germany and on the French Riviera. In 1967, upon their return from a performance in France, Allen (an Australian) was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom, so the group continued as a trio.
In early 1968, eventual The Police guitarist Andy Summers joined the group, but left shortly after. Later in 1968 they toured the USA, opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.  During this tour, they recorded their first album, The Soft Machine, in New York. Disbanded after Ayers's amicable departure at the end of this tour, Soft Machine reformed with former road manager and composer Hugh Hopper on bass added to Wyatt and Ratledge, to record their second album in 1969.
From the odd psychedelic rock style of the early period, featuring Ayers and/or Wyatt singing on most of their pieces, Volume Two, with Brian Hopper playing saxophones, launched a transition towards a purely instrumental sound resembling what would be later called jazz fusion. Notwithstanding the disconcerting personnel changes that came about during this period, this is a fascinating period of creative tension. The base trio was late in 1969 expanded to a septet with the addition of four horn players, though only saxophonist Elton Dean (†) remained beyond a few months, the resulting so-called classic Soft Machine quartet (Wyatt, Hopper, Ratledge and Dean) running through Third (1970) and Fourth (1971), with various guests, mostly jazz players (Lyn Dobson, Nick Evans, Marc Charig, Jimmy Hastings, Rab Spall, Roy Babbington). Fourth was the first of their fully instrumental albums.
All members of the classic lineup were highly literate in various musical backgrounds, but foremost was the eclectic genius of Ratledge, who through composition, arrangements and improvisational skills propelled a collective output of the highest standard, in which the vocal charm and extraordinarily original drumming of Wyatt, the lyricism of some of Dean's solos and the unusual avantgarde pop angle of Hopper's pieces all had a major role. Their propensity for building extended suites from regular sized compositions, both live and in the studio (already in the Ayers suite in their first album), reaches its maximum in the 1970 album Third, unusual for its time in each of the four sides featuring one suite. Third was also unusual for remaining in print for more than ten years in the United States, and is the best-selling Soft Machine recording
01. Nettle Bed
02. Carol Ann
03. Day's Eye
04. Bone Fire
08. Penny Hitch
10. Down the Road
11. German Lesson
12. French Lesson