0‘ THE LONG-AWAITEO Aztec Camera album iinaliy sees the light oi day on 9 Nov. Simply called ‘Love’ it ieatures top New York musicians and producers like Russ Titleman, Marcus Miller and David Frank oi the System. The track listing is Side One: Deep and Wide and Tall, How Men Are, Everybody is A Number One, More Than A Law, Somewhere In My Heart. Side Two: Working In A Goldmine, One and One, Paradise, and Killermont Street.
0 ON THE SUBJECT oi Roddy Frame - a recent visit to Glasgow involved a search tor a Ricki Fulton ‘Scotch and Wry’ video. ‘i’d better watch I don’t get mobbed in here - alter all I’m No 81 in the charts’ was the quote heiore entering the Virgin megastore.
e LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD Horse play a special Anti-Apartheid gig at Fury Murrys on 24 Nov.
0 A GOOD SINGLE which is certainly worth tracking down is by the London-based band Raising Cain. Featuring the Edinburgh-born singer, David Watson, the single, ‘Slience’ Is on their own Arcane label, through the Cartel.
e A SCOTTISH BAND this time with a good single are The Cat Club, who have managed to release ‘One Last Kiss’ on Jive Records, with sadly a mimumum oi loss. A shame that no one seems to have heard at them/it.
e ANOTHER NAME TO WATCH - No No Simone. Featuring two ex-members oi Positive Noise, they seem to be attracting iavourable response irom record companies on the basis at a strong demo and despite the tact that they posed with a down and out in their promo shots.
0 IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP PACE with the 1980s, Radio Clyde have just welcomed back into the iold Tiger Tim -the DJ responsible tor the most brain damage ever— although some other current Clyde jocks run him close. At Ieastthey don’t play in bands. . .
0 Lloyd Cole and The Commotions: Mainstream (Poiydor). A not-inappropriate title, ior The Commotions’ sound has been smoothed down, glossed and airbrushed until it’s a long way irom the olten ramshackle zeal oi yore. And to someone who thought the best bits oi ‘Rattlesnakes’ were the intros, and that ‘Easy Pieces’ was pretty much a waste oi vinyl, this Is good news. The Commotions sound more together than ever beiore, and the seemingly new-iound discipline makes ior some excellent tracks. Blair Cowan’s keyboards are particularly ambitious and impressive. How will they manage without him?
By dispensing with Cole? —The awtul heresy springs unbldden. In truth, though having long considered Cole one oi the most overrated iigures in modern pep, I must report that his
lyrics have improved a great deal irom the ‘read Norman Mailer/or get a new tailor’ days. There’s a greateriluency and levity here, the best being ‘Sean Penn Blues’, which succeeds in being ialrly amusing, to boot. Cole’s stilled, mannered, hiccuping delivery still stretches the tolerance oi this listener to its limits, however. 71/2 out oi 10. (Mab)
o The Scarlet Train: mini-LP (Nightshiit). I could get all relaxed and decadent to the opening track, ‘Plcture Frame’; set up a deckchair in an oasis somewhere with the obligatory ghettoblaster and driit away. As tor the rest, well, I think they'd like to be New Order, or perhaps the Cocteau Twins. At any rate, on the occasions that they do touch on an eiiective bit oi instrumental prowess it’s as it they stand back in amazement and take it no iurther. A single play oi PiL’s mighty ‘Seattie’ blows away all memory oi it. (Mab)
o Locomotive Latenight: mini-LP (KOY). No-irills rock irom this Klrkcaldy band, going some way to living up to the promise they showed in theiriormer guise as The Blazing Apostles. Fairly pointless covers at The
Alter much deliberation, argument, compromise, coiiee and worn tape-heads, the judges oi the thirty-odd demo tapes in our grand Band Contest have declared The Blue Monkey Experience the winners. The Glasgow group’s tape was deemed the most worthy by Bob Last (music publisher and manager); Clive Ford (oi Sound Control music shops); Claire Evans (McEwans Lager) and Alastair Mabbott and John Williamson (The List’s rock editors).
The Blue Monkey Experience win £350-worth oi musical equipment irom any branch oi Sound Conrol, and the band, who dropped out oi regular employment to dedicate themselves to music, were taken aback by the announcement. ‘When we recorded that demo it was underlining the direction we were taking, away irom
Beatles’ ‘Raln’ and Bowle’s ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’, but the recent single ’Out oi Range’ comes over well. Given a bit oi time they could be ialrly hot stuii. (Mab)
0 Fuel: The Back oi Beyond (Nightshiit). Well, this is strange, and no mistake. From the Byrds/Beatles-iniluenced psychedelia oi ‘Present Past’ (which shows how dliiicult it Is to ape that kind oi stuit without showing up all the worst elements), and the snappler iuzzed bar chords oi ‘Heaven's Seventh Palace’, the chamber music oi ‘A Copper Oavidiield’, this seems to be a group in the throes oi a terminal Identity crisis. The iact that only one guy recorded all this gives even more cause ior concern. Sadly, what starts up as a style-and era-hopping journey gets bogged down on side two in a morass oi bargain-basement 4AO-style gestures. Shame, really. There‘s a versatile talent in there, but he sounds like he’s tinkering without motivation through most oi this. (Mab)
0 Ian Donaldson: The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More (legend). Due to an overwhelming dislike ior H20, l was all prepared to hate this, the second single by theirionnerlrontman, but traught and overblown is, I guess, the only way to sing a Walker Brothers song. Makes sense when you hear it. God help me, I think I’m starting to like it. (Mab)
0 We Free Kings: Still Standing EP (DOT). We Free Kings have a strange sound. Even when they’re letting rip
‘rmainstream music,’ bassist Brendan
Brodie told us. At the moment they are expanding their line-up irom the current iour-piece- Lainey McKay (vocals), Kenny Bean (guitar and percussion), Brendan Brodie (bass) and Andy Irvine (drums) - and say the prize money will help them greatly in their plans. To impress us even iurther, they promise us that they are now a tighter unit than they’ve ever been.
Runners-up were Edinburgh's G-Spot Tornado, who win EZOO-worth oi equipment, and third place went to The Thieves, irom Cumbernauld, whose prize is £1 OO-worth oi equipment. Our hearty congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all those who took part.
We are currently planning a showcase gig ieaturing all three oi the
bands — more details next issue.
there’s such an eerie discordant edge to their music that you wonder it this is real iun alter all. That's what makes them something pretty special, and what makes ‘Still Standing’ compelling listening. We Free Kings are best seen live, when their unholy row takes on a tile oi its own. Enough oi their irantlc energy charges out oi this EP, though, to give granny severe palpitations. Ii their version oi the Velvets’ ‘Run Run Run’ sounds a bit like an excuse to get crazy, then the cover oi Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Train’ is one oi their iinest moments to date. Thankiuiiy lndeilnable. (Mab)
Mike Alway, supremo oi El records, has just returned irom Japan, where his acts -The King oi Luxembourg, Anthony Adverse and Louis Philippe- have been greeted with the reception accorded to heavyweight pop stars. But over here, along with their iabelmates Marden Hill and the Would-Be-Goods, they’re less than obscure. This Is an obstacle ior Alway, iormer head oi AGR at Cherry Red records, and responsible ior signing up the cast oi ‘Pillows and Prayers’, believe it or not the biggest-selling compilation in history.
The current El records grew out oi the ‘democratlc shambles' at its early days
as a ieeder tor the larger Blanco y Negro, itseli a subsidiary oi the conglomerate WEA. Nowadays Alway’s objective is to run a record company which doesn’t exist tor the be-ali and end-all oi money.
The matching arty record sleeves, sell-mockineg obsessed with ‘taste’, and sleevenotes which could iound a whole new pseud’s corner all by themselves, hint at the music to be iound on the records: dashes oi swing, cocktail pop, choral-inﬂuenced work and, in the King’s case, singalongaBowie at his most decadent. Very idiosyncratic and English. The singles are released in batches oi live, and to my mind should come enclosed in a luxurious box. Alway agrees, but his concern tor the consumer vetoed that a longtime ago.
El records, lam told, are aimed at everybody, although Alway admits he’d be tying it he said they weren’t records he’d like to buy himseli. I am also iniormed, to my rellei, that the label’s approach Is not ‘humourless pseudo-intellectuallsm.’ ‘The aim is to coniuse people,’ Alway muses. ‘These days most groups are exactly what they appear to be, like The Housemartlns ior example. I want to get across the Idea that there are no rules— anything can happen. I want to see how iar I can get with iantasy.’
The point oi El records is to entertain the public, and bemuse them not a little. Alway accordingly likes to approach music as he would iilms, getting an idea and then casting It. Hence The King Oi Luxembourg Is a parody oi the sort oi roles Terry Thomas used to play; Louis Philippe is ‘the arch-typical Frenchman, stopping just short oi comedy’, and so on. ‘Everyone’s saying "lace up to reality”. I think people have got bored
with that. Our records are escapism, but escapism with hope. It there’s a iuture ior people it’s in their imaginations.’ (Mab)
The List 30 Oct — 12 Nov 31