Chris Thomson has neverreally received the recognition he Ll deserveslorhis I undoubted
songwriting cratt. From the Friends Again debut single ‘Honey at the Core‘ through to his last release - ‘Fancy Dress‘ as the Bathers, the songwriting has remained the solid rock around which a changing musical landscape has been based.
Friends Again disintegrated alter one album on Phonogram, and a minor hit single with ‘The Friends Again E.P.‘ Three ol the Friends Again members stayed with Phonogram to lorm Love and Money. while Thomson remained silent. leaving the countryto seeklresh inspiration.
While Love and Money had a lew line songs on their first album, the naively of Friends Again was replaced with cynicism (perhapsjustiliably) andthe naturalness oltheirsongs was replaced by the heavy New York lunk productions ol Tom Dowd and Andy Taylor. The Bathers. on the other hand have retained the spirit ol Friends Again without merely reotlering the same formula.
The Bathers‘ album—‘Unusual Places To Die' — was recorded on money received as part ol a publishing advance. in Edinburgh, belore some abortive attempts were made to sell its contents to a major label. However, Go! Discs managing directorAndy MacDonald was convinced by what he heard. signing Chris Thomson almost immediately.
“Fancy Dress—released back in
1 ‘."ll. ‘1. 311pm. .'\ppearance depends on ayailability ol name.
9 La Paz and Hold The Frame (‘alton Studios. ( altoti Road. 556 7066. “pm l_2.5llt L2 before 1 1.3(lpml l.a l‘.i/. based llil anarkshire. are attracting a lot of interest. lleayy rock metal.
0 Big George and The Business l‘iesei \ .ition l lall. Victoria Street. .126 3816 (ilasgow'spremier blues band.
SATURDAY 1 Glasgow
0 The Proclaimers/The Force/Julia Please/Hollow Horse & Others ‘t‘he Renfi cw l’op l’estiy al. .-\t the titnc of writing details are ycry sketchy — so
w .itch the local press for more details.
0 The Repercussions Blackfriars. Bell Street. "pm. Free. An interesting band: their lirst demo hints at something what 1 am not quite sure. as the good ideas only just outnumber the bad ones. Worth a lt‘ok though
0 Nailan & Friends Blackfriars. Bell Street. 2pm free.
0 U2 .‘slurrayl‘ield Stadium. Starts ltlam. £14. The biggest rock band in llTk world. or w hat‘."l'hey seemto be outsellmg Bow ie‘s gigs anyway. See feature elsewhere in this issue.
(.61 March was a solid debut, received favourably by the music press. in particular the Scottish sycophants who are working with the London based papers. They took great delight in labelling Chris Thomson as part at a new heritage ol Scottish songwriters along with Gary Clark at Danny Wilson and Ricky Ross ol Deacon Blue.
All these three bands shareis a vaguely similaraccent—hardlythe basis lorthe unlair comparisons. Bands like Black, The Bible and Thomas Lang all write line songs, but that is hardly a basis lor boxing them together in the waythatthree diverse Scottish bands have been — probably because they are part of the Gael Force/Celtic lringe as viewed by Londoners.
The album was recorded quickly— eight tracks in two weeks, with another
Support acts include 'l'he l’ogues. o Bald Cormorant l.ortl Darnley.
West Port. 22‘) 4341. 3pm. Free. See ~
o Tam White and The Dexters Platform 1. Rutland l’lace. See Sat 25.
o Alter Eight Mince Negociants. l.othian Street. 2256313. ()pm. Free. See Sat 25.
o Toto and The Bostons and Grey By The Gun. l’reser'yation llall. Victoria Street. 226 3816. As usual. 'l”oto struts his stuff for free between 2 and 4pm. but to see the high energy rock hand from Aberdeen will cost £1 alter t)pm.
SUNDAY 2 Glasgow
0 Erk Alors Bad Ass Club. (‘lyde Place. 9pm. Free. A good hand from l.anarkshire. whose songwriting ability is impressiye. This year seems to have been a bit of a non-eyent for them to date.
0 Straight Men Briggs Bar. Bishopbriggs. 9pm. Free. Residency
0 Scheme McKinlays Place. Shettleston. 2pm. Free.
0 The Ambassadors 'l‘he Cavern. (‘owgate. L'p-and-coming local reggae band. Recommemled.
o Tarn White and The Dexters
two tracks later being added — featuring James Grant at Love and Money on backing vocals. The songs include lyrical relerences to among others— Tom Verlaine and Sam Cooke. It is sell-produced, although Chris seemed wary olthe idea: ‘The album is quite underproduced—intheluture I would only work with a producer it I tell comlortable. lthink with Friends Again the character was produced out of us— solwouln‘twantthatto happen again.‘
Chris Thomson has the songs, the voice and the looks to be lairto middling chart success. Whether his introverted personality— evident in the live shows—will act as a major barrier remains to be seen, but in any case. ‘Unusual Places To Die‘ should be one olthe year‘s best debut albums. Wait and see.(John Williamson)
Preser'yation l lall. Victoria Street. 226 3816. £1 afterUpm. See Sat 25.
o The Last Detail l.ord l)arnley. \Vcst l’ort. 2294341. lllpm. Free.
MONDAY 3 .
0 Band Contest'l‘hc Mission. Victoria Street. 225 656‘). £1 (511p). First heat of the mammoth competition's third week. This week it’s for contemporary rock bands. See Mon 27.
o Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts lch Venue. (‘alton Road. 557 3073. Doors open 7.3(lpm. Stalwartson the linglish scene for more years than they probably care to remember. ‘the ultimate biker band' seem to haye grown into fashion. what with your Zodiacs and (iaye Bykers. This lot came first.
0 The Healers l.ord Darnley. West Port. 2294341. ltlprn. Free. Rth. o The Volunteers ('anny Man's. Morningside Road. 447 1484. 8.30pm. Free.
0 Nick Robertson Band Negociants. l.othian Street. 225 6313. 9pm. Free. 0 Avail l’reseryation llall. Victoria Street. 2263816. 9pm. Free. lleayy rock metal.
Glasgow 0 Bobby Wishart The l lalt Bar.
Woodlands Road. 9pm. Free. 0 Mariner Riyerside 'l‘ayern. (iorbals. 9pm. Free. Two more residencies.
0 Band Contest't‘he Mission. Victoria Street. 225 656‘). £1 (5tlp). Second heat of the week. More tomorrow. See Mon 27.
0 Hold The Frame l.ord Darnley. West Port. 2204341. ltlpm. Free. 0 The Peristalsis Brothers .\'egociants. l.othian Street. 225 6313. 9pm. Free. See Tues 28.
O Willy Logan ('anny Man’s. Morningside Road. 447 1484. 8.3llpm. Free.
WEDNESDAY 5 Glasgow
0 Nailan llalt Bar. Woodlands Road. 9pm. Free.
0 Dumpy's Rusty Nuts Rooftops. Sauchiehall Street. 1(1.3tlpm. A tnust for eyeryone who has eyer donned a pair of Bertie Bassell black and white striped trousers. Who is l)umpy anyway"?
o Gil Scott Heron l.otiis. 1073 Sauchiehall Street. 8pm. £5. A rernarkahle songwriter poet. I still cannot forget hearing the sparcity of 'Winter In America‘ for the first time. (iig of the fortnight anyone‘.’
0 Band Contest't‘he Mission. Victoria Street. 225 656‘). L1 (5llp). Final heat of the contest. See Mon 27.
0 Big Blue World l.ord Darnley. West Port. 2204341. ltlpm. Free.
0 Peristalsis Brothers Boston Bean (6. St James Centre. 55601 1 1. 8.3tlpm. Free. See 'l‘ues 28.
0 Jump Fresh. Waterloo Bar. Waterloo Place. 556 283‘). 9pm. Free. ('ommercial and poppy.
THURSDAY 6 Glasgow
0 Jesus Munro Bad Ass (tub. (‘lyde l’lace. 9pm. Free. 'l‘hese naughty characters have been getting their lingers rapped for their posters of ('hrist wearing a Marilyn Munro t-shirt. [couldn't care less. its just that normally when such campaigns are necessary to attract publicity the music is totally dire.
0 James Fury Murrys. Maxwell Street. 111.3(lpm. £3. What do you mean ‘Who'F‘ James were last year's next big thing for at least ten minutes. Find their ‘Stutter' album in a sale near you. A new single is due.
0 Bobby Wishart Quintet Blackfriars. Bell Street. 9pm. Free. The highly acclaimed and much respected Bobby Wishart unyeils his new quintet at this performance.
0 Scheme McKittltt}“s l’lace. Shettleston. ()pm. Free. Somethings neyerchange.
0 Los Supremos ('anny Man’s. Morningside Road. 447 1484. 8.3(lpm. Free.
0 Avo-B Fresh. Waterloo Bar. Waterloo Place. 556 283‘). l'pbeat commercial-sounding rock.
30 l he l.1\l 24.1uly «6 August