THE HAPPY MAN
Adding interest to the appearance at Suzanne Vega at the Glasgow Pavilion on 2 June is the appearance oI Thomas Lang. A Liverpudlian, he signed to Epic Records last year, and has recently released his debut single, ‘The Happy Man’ which was previewed on the final series of The Tube. An album called ‘Scallywag Jaz’ (with one ‘2’) will follow 6 July.
The main attraction of Thomas Lang's music is his voice. Offering a clarity and control that is uncommon among the current selection of would be British ‘soul' singers, it perfectly complements the music: classically structured songs with a depth beyond the capabilities of Curiosity Killed The Cat, Brother Beyond and others to whom the term ‘soul’ has been applied. It Thomas Lang is a ‘soul’ singerthen it is in the true sense of the word.
He cares intensely about his music, largely created with David Hughes, a well known session musician with the likes of DMD and the Lotus Easters, while maintaining a suspicion of the charts: ‘I don’t understand the mentality of the singles market,’ he said. ‘I have never bought a single in my life — so I have no idea what makes a good single. To me, choosing a single is like standing in front of a mirror and trying to describe yoursell.’
‘The Happy Man’ is a solid debut, and has achieved reasonable sales in the North at England, although once again, Thomas is dismissive: ‘l am not really conscious of how well the single is selling.’ he calimed. ‘I suppose it is a bad mentality, but it just isn’t something that bothers me. I don’t really give singles enough respect, but I have no greatambition to be a pop
star. I am just happy to spend my time singing and being in a band, and having the opportunity to do that is great.’
I wondered how the album had come to be titled ‘Scallywag Jaz’: ‘Mainly because it Idols good and sounds good, ’ he explained. ‘I thinkthe word Scallywag just about sums us up -we are basically live hustlers who haven't a clue what we are going to do next. The idea of spelling jazz with one ol the ‘z’s missing is just to show people what we are not, as a lot of people have compared us with the likes of Sade. I would rather think that the album will
appeal to the type of person who buys Tom Waits’ albums.’
The Suzanne Vega tour at Britain has been lairly extensive, and should have helped Thomas Lang achieve a solid step towards the kind at success he envisages for himsell. ‘For me succes is not being on Top 0t The Pops,’ he explained. ‘I would rather build up a IoIlowing through my workthat I could rely on to go out and buy my records.‘
This is a welcome attitude tor a major label artist, but a Thomas Lang appearance on Top or The Pops at some stage would be a welcome bonus. (John Williamson)
Residency for hard working pub band.
0 Billy Jones The Canny Man‘s. Morningside Road. 447 1484. 8.30pm. Free. See Sun 31.
o The Peristalsis Brothers Boston Bean Co. StJames Centre. 55601 1 1. 8.30pm. Free. Swing and skiffle.
o Plague Of Fools L M Club. The Cavern. Cowgate. 226 5641. Edinburgh band with more than a passing resemblance to Killing Joke.
THURSDAY 4 Glasgow
0 We Free Klngs/Nyah Fearties Fury Murrys. Maxwell Street. 2216511. 10.30pm. We Free Kings‘ album is recorded. and should surface in the late Summer, while Nyah Fearties offer sharp humour and totally over the top lyrics. as sampled on ‘Lugton Calling‘.
O The Force The Videodrome. York Street. 10.30pm. Fresh from supporting Gary Glitter. the Force are maintaining a high profile in Glasgow at the moment. despite the disappointment of two ﬂop singles in ‘Eye To Eye’ and ‘Tomorrow May Never Come.‘
0 Glasgow The Warehouse. Dunlop Street. 221 3623. £3. A special live
event at the new ‘Rock City‘ club. Glasgow are a rare entity these days — a heavy metal band that are both good. and tongue-in-cheek. Their forthcoming single ’Secrets in the Dark‘ is worth a listen. and was penned by Chris Thomson of Manfred Mann fame. An album has been recorded and is arousing record company interest again. This is their first gig in their home town for almost a year.
0 The Soup Dragons and The Thanes The Venue. Calton Road. 557 3073. Doors open 7.30pm. Pete Shelley‘s best songs get an overhaul. but at least the Soupies are reminiscent of his best songs. The Thanes, in a similar way. regard late 605’ Nuggets-type garage bands outpourings as stone tablets to be imitated as slavishly as possible. They‘re both good bands. though. Funny that.
o The Cateran and The Mole People Moray House Student Union. 556 8455. 9pm. £2 (£1.50). Student and guests only. To describe The Cateran as a thrash band is a bit wide of the mark, but they have that energy with a clutch of good songs discernible through the power chords. The Mole People are also described as thrashy, but I haven‘t
heard them yet. so it‘s up to you to check 'em out. This gig is a Shelter benefit for the Scottish homeless.
O The Alice House Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 226 3816. 9pm. Free. Edinburgh rock band now pursuing a jazzier direction.
0 Three Dancers L M Club. The Cavern. Cowgate. 226 5641. New band ofex-Shop Assistant John Peutherer.
0 Capital CYC and Fierce and Stylee Calton Studios. Calton Road. 556 7066. 9pm. Capital CYC are a new Edinburgh band who have received comparisons with Cabaret Voltaire.
0 Voodoo Child Rooftops. Sauchiehall Street. 332 5883. 10.30pm.
O The Force Ayr Pavilion. Ayr. 7.30pm. Part ofa mini Scottish tour. 0 The Straight Men Riverside Tavern. Gorbals. 9pm. Free.
0 Jamie Barnes 8: Cochise Platini‘s. West Nile Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Hue and Cry The Venue. Calton Road. 557 3073. Doors open 7.30pm. Strong on melody and soulful gestures. sparse instrumentation. Hue And Cry have
also garnered quite a few column inches in their time with little reward so far. Here‘s hoping that will change soon. with their new Latin-tinged single. Labour Of Love. featuring strings by Sinatra and Streisand arranger Jimmy Biondolillo.
O Wasted Days (To be confirmed). Rolling Stone. Greenside Place. 558 1270. 9.30pm. Free. See Fri 2‘).
o The Blues Brothers Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 226 3816. £1 after 9.30pm.
0 The Bootsie Tootsie Band The Cavern. Cowgatc. 226 56-11 . Blues and boogie.
0 Colour Code The Amphitheatre. Lothian Road. 22‘) 7670. Doors open 10pm. £3.50. Halfprice before
"SATURDAY 6 Glasgow
0 Hollywood Beyond Queen Margaret Union. University Gardens. 33‘) 9784. 8pm. £3.50. Their last Scottish appearance was cancelled through lack ofinterest. Their current single is hardly setting the world on fire. and students are in the middle of exams. It all points to an empty QMU on this occasion.
0 Close Lobsters (ilasgow College of Technology. (‘owcaddens Road. 10.30pm. Perhaps more interesting: The Close Lobsters have established a healthy local and indie following after their singles ‘(ioing to Heaven to See ifit Rains‘ and ‘Never Seen Before‘ on Fire Records.
0 Nyah Fearties Weavers. Maxwellton Drive. Paisley. 8pm. £3. 0 Big George and The Business Platini‘s. 115 West Nile Street. 9pm. Free.
0 Jamie Barnes and Cochise Montego Bay. Jamaica Street. 2pm. Free.
0 Bald Cormorant Lord Darnley. West Port. 229-1341. 3pm. Free. See Sat30.
0 Rock At The Boss Ross Bandstand. West Princes Street Gardens. Beginning 12 noon. Free. Hosted by the Merry Mac Fun Show. this afternoon in the sun features. in no particular order. Cosmo. Splash Me I‘m Drowning. Heart Industry. G-Spot Tornado. Capital CYC. Ranacanteen. Cry. and Strategy. Looks good. but why does this event clash with the Meadows Festival EVERY year'.’ Grrr. . .
0 Sonic Youth and Firehose The Venue. (‘alton Road. 5573073. Doors open 6pm. America's leading dabblers in noise. better known for their Madonna fixation (and the version of Into The (iroovy they recorded under the name of Ciccone Youth) than for their own music. Youth gigs can last a good couple of hours. so be there before nine. Powerful new album Sister out now. Support band Firehose used to be called The Minutemen (and excellent they were too). changing their name after the death of singer/guitarist D. Boon recently. Third band also on the bill. and Mission Control club will still be on afterwards.
o Alter Eight Mince Ne’gociants. Lothian Street. 225 6313. See Sat 30.
32 The List 29 May — 11 June