Lip Machine is a funky and flexible group based around the nucleus of Robert King (onetime singerof Edinburgh‘s excellent Scars). guitarist Alan Rigg (formerly ofDeIta 5). keyboard player Kenny McLeod and Chilean percussionistErnesto Leal Jr. who moved over here after the fall of Allende. plus any other musicians and singers that are needed atthe time. It‘s a formatthat King is happy with. ‘We‘re strong in that every one of us has got positive ideas in the area of music. in the direction we want to go. Lip Machine is like a collective of us. a chairmanship ofme—notdeciding but distilling the ideas.‘
That distillation has resulted in one 12in single sofar. with anotherto follow soon. ‘AstronauURocket Love‘ has been out for a couple of months now. and it's a long way from King‘s unashamedlyrock-based work with The Scars. He is. though. quickto squash suggestions ofmusical opportunism. Both King and Rigg. recording in neighbouring studios. were becoming disillusioned with the musicthey were making atthetime. The sounds coming over from New York showed them the way out. These days. it‘s mostly electro. coming direct from —and literally from the streets of—the BigApple. that King mostly listensto. ‘l‘m sick of listening to rock music. | dinnae thinkthere‘s anything left in rockmusic worth listening to, and I find itvery insipid. this crashing guitar sound wi a wee voice ranting away — sub-Velvet Underground crap. A lot of pe0ple don‘t like electro. It's a shame: I think it‘s got the same vibrancy as punk did when it first strated. It‘s basically a celebration of youth. which doesn't existitt Britain today. A guy with a turntable. a microphone and an echo box . . . that‘s more primitve than anything rock could everdo.‘
In conversation. Robert can leap off atquite bewildering tangents sometimes. Asking about the significance ofthe ill-fated shuttle. picture on the sleeve of ‘Astronaub’Rocket Love'. we start on the slippery slope towards Talking
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About Politics. ‘The quickerspace is conquered,‘ he says. ‘the more chance there isforthe world to getbetteriobs in information technology. That‘s true. It‘s more relevantthan complaining about right-wing policies. lthink. or anything likethat. Acelebration of technology‘s betterthan supporting Luddite attitudes. just because a lot of people are unemployed. We've got quite a few political songs. ‘Look The World In The Eye‘ is about people who join the navy as a way of getting on in life. That‘s as political as singing about Sten Guns in Knightsbridge.‘
When I finally manage to catch Lip Machine live I like them more thanl expected to do. and decide Rocket Love is a grower. resolving to play it again as soon as I get home. On stage King is an intense. stangely anxious-looking figure andtheirmusic. though lacking something ofthe authority itcould have. has the right touch and cries out for bodily movement. The audience however. expecting to see Fini Tribe. are too cool/sober to oblige. You wait untiltheirthird hitsingle. Edinburgh. Then you‘ll dance. In the meantime. you‘ll find them atthe Cambalache Club. Cafe Royal Bistro. 17 West Register Street. Edinburgh on 27 March. (Mab)
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0 LISTEN! LISTEN TO WHATII More bad. bad news on the Glasgow live scene side of things this week with the temporary suspension olperrnissionto have live music in the Fixx Bar in Miller Street. Regular readers will knowthat Fixx has all the up and coming new local acts playing Tuesdays and Wednesdays inthe pub andthat admission isfree—a pretty good deal by all accounts. so itis particularly sad that they have had to stop putting on live music because of complaints from nearby businesses. All is not lost. however. as the management stressed particularly that the suspension is only temporary whilethey dothe necessary soundproofing. Let‘s hope they are backwith us soon. as small gigs are so importanttothe growth of local talent— and—let‘sface it-there aren‘teven many big gigs around.
a Rumours that Bluebells bassistand man abouttown Robert Hodgens(aka Bobby Bluebell)was spottedinthe West End buying a Picasso have been somewhat overblown as the (Yes-We- Still-Do-HaveA-Record-Deal) Bluebell was merely buying a print. ..
0 Sick Sick Smutnick hit town last week —ordidthetownhittnern-with chaos ensuing at the end-of~term gig they played atGlasgow University. Although the band claims to have ‘toned down' theirfive aclatterthe lead singer. Martin Degville. received stitches at theirReading gig. nothing like understatementwasapparentattheir Glasgow date with Degville callingtlte audience an ‘abbatoir‘. Unsurprisingly. the audience didn‘t take too kindly tothis and. forthe first timethatlcan recall. The Sputnicks got a record numberofplastic glasses and cansthrown atthem and absolutely no applause at the end of the gig. What did happen was the taking into custody of one of the security men for the concert bythe friendly Glasgow bobbies foran alleged assault...
0 Best wishes for a quick recoveryto Nigel Hirst. drummerforThe Painted Word. who was duffed up and got six stitches in hisfacejust round the corner from his home. Little trouper that he is. he still managed to play drumsforthe recording forradiooftwo excellent shows at the Tron by Glasgow'sfinestnew comic actorBing Hitler.
0 Back at the Slick Slick Spurious gig. Dirty ManagerialTricks Part300 was put into motion. All the support bands at the gig received a letter from SSS telling them theirbands were notvery good (not quite theirwords either). One supportthey wouldn‘t have written suchevil things aboutare ‘Black Elvis 2000‘ the support on this tour. the lead
singer ofwhich was seen in a serious
téte-ététe with Martin Degville. Sources close to the band suggested that the reason why Degville was so upset after the gig was a suspicion that they really didn‘t have the material to backup the hype. I could‘ve told them thatagesago...
0 Stop press! Contrary to very silly rumours spread bythis very organ, the forthcoming Shop Assistants LP is to be produced by none otherthan the luscious poutingshop Assistant themselves . . . and there are hintsthat TV stardom may not be too faraway.
o Astute hipsters may have noticed an upsurge in acitivityin Edinburgh‘s The Place(below Nicky Tams on Victoria Street). Moves are being made by the painfullyhip Coronationlnnsto transform The Place into something more of a music venue than it has been in the past. The Soup Dragons (we‘ll have something aboutthem very soon-— promise!)trodthe boardsthere recently. and there‘s more to come. though much ofitremains shrouded in mystery. Current music papers. even Smash Hits. are available to browsers atthe bar—hopefully The Listsoon. And ityou‘re dropping into Nicky Tams. be sure and take along a sockful oftDp bits forthefinestjukeboxin Edinburgh. The Place will be closing for renovation soon. it‘s rumoured. and there are high hopes. music~wise. for the re—opening.
0 Be prepared forjustifiably sycophantic press. cries of ‘Next Big thing!‘ and promises ofeight-figure advances on the strength of the first BMX Bandits single. coming soon. hopefully accompanied by live dates. Fabulous stuff.
0 the Crows. pencilled in fora gig at Glasgow Lucifer‘s on Sunday 30. to hit the profitable soundtrack market? It seems so; they‘re recording the theme tune (‘generic title music‘. as it's known in the trade) for a film to be shown on Channel 4 laterthis year. and in cinemas in at least 18 other countries. Its title isn‘t known yet. but it‘s thought to concern growing pains of adolescence in East Kilbride (sounds familiar?) and the director is known to be the man who made the Everyman John Lennon programme into the Quantel spectacular it was. (Mab)
1. Prince: KisslPaisley Park
2. Fire Engines: Candyskin (Popzaural) 3. Witt: You've got the Power (SwamplandS)
4. BMX Bandits: EtUZiSubwayl
5. HuskerDii: Don'tWantto Knowif You Are Lonely(Warnersl
the List 21 Mar— 3 Apr 23