OFF THE WALL
After a long, and frequently welcome, break, the star of the American singer-songwriter seems to be in the ascendent again. Considerthe waves being made by Peter Case, after only a few appearances down south, an echo of the stir caused by the emergence of the beautiful Suzanne Vega last year. (Two shows at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Monday 24). Frequently compared to an early Joni Mitchell, she cuts an unassuming figure on stage, a diminutive wail cradling an acoustic guitar, but with a captivating mystique.
Although she began as a folk singer, and watched the accolades piling up at her feet as she rose through the New York folk clubs, Suzanne Vega doesn’t like to think of herwork being described as pastoral or escapist. ‘l grew up in tough New York neighbourhoods, where what you see looking out the window is harder and colderthan the things you’d see in the country. A lot oi my imagery is about confronting, notescaping.’
She will admit to being influenced by Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, two of the New York music scene‘s most prominent figures, as well as her folkier roots (it’s even rumoured that Reed's ‘I Love You, Suzanne’ was written about her), and her eponymous firstalbum has a rockierleel to itthan might be expected. Co-produced by ex-Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, and generously washed with electric guitar and synthes’iser, the tracks picked for it were the ones with the
in advance). The press seem to be proclaiming him as the future ofjazz. so the 22 year-old tenor saxophonist should put on a pretty good show, accompanied by a quartet.
FRIDAY 21 Edinburgh
0 Ausgana (To be confirmed). The Venue. Calton Road. Alternative types. sound pretty gothlike to me. o Tomatoes Hoochie Coochie Club. West Tollcross.
0 Catburgers Clowns. High Street. 9pm. Free. How come it‘s always a Clowns band that gets the Name Of The Week award?
0 Rootsie Tootsie Band Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Centurion Shadows, Bath Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Kevin McDermott Dowanhill Centre. 7.30pm. A launch night for poetry books! Kevin will be a TV star as of 28 Nov. when he will appear on The Tube.
0 The Penetrations The Ladyton, Bonhill. 8pm. Free.
o Snakes ol Shake Warehouse, Kirkgate. Fairly mediocre Glasgow band. with album Graceland and the Natural Wood, and single Southern Cross. re-released in a dodgy sleeve which will do nothing to endear first-time buyers.
most ‘modern feeling‘, a tack which paid off when Suzanne was rewarded with two hit singles, the classic ‘Marlene on the Wall’ and the slower, darker ‘Small Blue Thing’. These were followed by ‘Left of Centre’ (the world’s first Compact Disc single) from the ‘Pretty In Pink‘ movie soundtrack. Succinctness and strong, striking imagery are hallmarks of a Suzanne
SATURDAY 22 Edinburgh
0 Incantation Usher Hall. Lothian Road. 7.30pm. £6, £5. Folk music from the Andes.
o The Styng-Rites Moray House Union. Holyrood Road. They're trying so hard to ditch the psychobilly tag (they‘ve had haircuts!) and now like to be seen as a (ilk-inﬂuenced beat combo. Students and guests only
0 Billy Jones Chambers Street Union. Students and guests only.
0 Blues Brothers Preservation Hall, Victoria Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Roulette Clowns, High Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Pete Shelley Strathclyde University Union. 9pm. Part of a mini Scottish tour for ex-Buzzcocks man. Unfortunately, his past is much more interesting than his present material. 0 Randy Crawford Hospitality Inn, Cambridge Street. Cabaret in aid of Unieef. Phone 041 332 3311.
0 Salem Foundation Warehouse, Kirkgate. See Thurs 20.
SUNDAY 23 Edinburgh
0 60s International Playhouse
Theatre, Greenside Place. 7.30pm. £6, £5, £4. Blasts from the past with The Mersey Beats, The Searchers,
Vega lyric and have earned her plaudits like ‘potentiallythe most powerful poet-singer since Bob Dylan’. ‘I like my songs to be concise,’ she says. ‘I like themtto have a point of view; I like them to have an angle, like a photograph. The way you angle the song and the way you frame the subject say something about you.’
Ben E. King. The Jangles and The Fortunes.
o Tam White and the Dexters Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 9pm. Free. See Sun 16.
0 Scheme Rooftops. Sauchiehall Street. 10.30pm. Why are there no good gigs in in Glasgow on Sundays? 0 Earthworks Crosskeys. Peebles. 8pm.
MONDAY 24 A Edinburgh
0 Suzanne Vega Usher Hall. Lothian Road. 7.30pm. SOLD OUT. Tickets available for the second show at 10.30pm. £6. £5. See panel.
0 The Shrubs and The Ligament Blub Brothers The Mission. Victoria Street. 9.30pm. The headliners. ifl remember correctly. did a good job ofbemusing a Half Biscuit audience a while back. Support are sub-Mary Chain types from East Kilbride.
0 Earthworks Chadwicks. Cambuslang. 8pm. Free. Earthworks may not be the future of rock and roll — but I think that they are slightly better than a pub band.
0 Pete Shelley Stirling University. 9pm. Students and friends only.
TUESDAY 25 Edinburgh
0 Alice Cooper Playhouse Theatre.
Greenside Place. 7.30pm. £8.50, £7.50. See feature.
0 The Peristalsis Brothers Boston Bean Co. St James Centre. 9pm. Sec Wed 19.
0 Tribe of Benn Shadows. Bath Street. 9pm. Free. Iwonder what tht name means? A benefit for the Militant Tendency?
0 Hollywood Beyond Rooftops. Sauchiehall Street. 10.30pm. Now is your chance to find out ifHollywood Beyond will be the one hit wonders that they seem destined to become. I for one won‘t shed many tears if that is the case.
WEDNESDAY 26 ~ Edinburgh
0 Alice Cooper Playhouse Theatre. Greenside Place. 7.30pm. £8.50. £7.50. Second night. See feature.
0 The Peristalsis Brothers Boston Bean Co. St James Centre. 9pm. See Wed 19.
0 Scheme Rooftops. Sauchiehall Street. 10.30pm. No comment.
THURSDAY 27 Edinburgh
0 George Benson Playhouse Theatre. Greenside Place. 6.45pm and 9.45pm. SOLD OUT.
0 We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Going To Use It Coasters. West Tollcross. Well I like 'em. Amateurish. bubbly and with a minimalism and freshness that reminds me ofthe early Slits. Can‘t predict ifthey‘ll be any good live. but take a chance.
0 The Charge Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Ammo Clowns. High Street. 9pm. Free.
0 The Gathering Cardinal Folly. 197 Pitt Street. 10.30pm. You may recall them from a past incarnation as Deja Vu.
0 Trident Shadows. Bath Street. 9pm. Free. Imagine calling you band after a nuclear missile system. To quote Bing Hitler: ‘The kind ofguys you see standing at bus stops with crash helmetson.‘
0 Van Morrison SEC‘CT. 7.30pm. The kind ofguys who sit in limousines with crash helmets on?
0 Pure Glass Napoleons. Merrylee Road. 9pm. Free. Average. White. Bland.
0 Strip Rooftops. Sauchiehall Street. 10.30pm.
0 The Painted Word Fury Murrays. 10.30pm. Saving the best to last. A new lineup. and hopefully another stunning live show from a fine. innovative band.
0 Fruits of Passion and Del Amitri Queen Margaret Union. University Gardens. 8pm. £2.50. Students and guests only. Headliners. as seen on FSD. have a sweet-toothed pop twang with a tinge ofcountry. Guests Del Amitri have been treading the boards for years. to little noticeable effect.
36 The List 14— 27 November