this month is at Fury Murrys, Glasgow, on Friday 28 Dec. That’s when the three winners oi our demo tape competition, run in conjunction with McEwan's Lager, will be appearing on the same bill: The Blue Monkey Experience, G-Spot Tornado, and The Thieves - who have just acquired not-inconsiderabie tame thanks to their appearance on Channel 4’s ‘Fllteen Minutes Di Fame’ on the lirst Friday oi December. And very good it was too, though Listen! have to admit that the presence oi Harry (‘Stavros') Enileld as the stereotypical early-blls' roving BBC reporter might have helped just a little hit. And to whet your appetites tor the shindig, there’s a McEwan’s Lager ilappy tlour with cheap beer as well as three iine bands. So what are you waiting ior?


I Three Dancers: Seventeen (Dliettante Disques). Thanks to the postal strike and the Christmas iogiam, a lot oi records, photos etc, got held up in the mall. Considering the quality at the ones that did get through it’s probably a blessing in disguise. This one had no problems getting here, as Three Dancers are irom Edinburgh and number not only an ex-Shop Assistant among their ranks, but also a blood relative oi Billy J. Kramer in their singer Philip Ashton. The record ltseli is very Orange Juice, with Philip resembling our dear Edwyn a little bit, but it's a worthwhile release all the same. There’s also some nice sax by Karina Plglunker on the other side. Seek it out.

I Yeah Jazz: Sharon (Cherry lied). i know l’d ieel a touch embarrassed

~ asking tor a single by a group called Yeah Jazz in a record shop, but it’s something we must all take in our stride. The chorus (‘Sharon, l’m standing in the phone box on the corner oi your street/Sharon, my money’s running out’) jerked me to attention three times, the kitchen sink aspirations oi the lyric and the tone oi voice telling me i was listening to a

' singer who was convinced he was the bastard olispring oi Morrlssey and the " bloke iromthe Housemartins. Very wet, and should go down a bomb with Housemartins lens.

I Simon Darlow: Run Wild (Magnet). So who is Simon Darlow? You may well ask. i may well ask too, because it any press release came with this single i’ve lost it, leaving me with lust the record ltselito go on. I'll say this, he does a line line in inane banalitles, does this Simon Darlow, and all to the unsexiest American ADR groove. Try this: ‘liun wild/Run tree/Too young/(HEY!) You got a dream.’ Mmmm - nice one. And this: ‘iiead in the clouds/Throwing it all away.’ on, that one's got me going. And the piece de resistance: ‘Love can break your heart.’ on don’t stop,

I THE ONE GIG you can’t altord to miss ' t _ _ _ l. Allen' Sex fiend:.Stuii the Turkey

time comes irom Demard (‘bootiiul')

(Cheapskate) .‘ iteallypulled the rug out

- a mmmur it's the same old thing,


Simon, i’m almost there! Tosh.

(Plague/Anagram); ASP had a good single out once (Stop laughing at the back therei); ltwas called,‘lgnore The Machine’, but seemingly they needed the inspiration oi iioli ilarris beiore they could-do it. Th'einsplration this

Matthews, and the standard is correspondingly term. In theory, Christmas singles should be an aberration, a blot on an artist's career, but this is just the same old hokum, which says a lot.

I Slade: We Won’t Give in

irom under us this year, haven’t they? Everyone thinks it’s a re-re-re-release oi ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ lurking inside this sleeve, but it’s a new song, and nobody will everknow. Well, i say

except that lioddy sounds like he’s slowing down a bit. Slade songs now sound more like terrace anthems than ever. Love the B-side. Dalt but great.

I Chris lies: The Joys oi Christmas (Magnet). Well, what do you know? A Christmas single with menacing overtones,'a stinging lead guitar line played by Mr iiea himseli and intelligent lyrics about the recognisable world. A song, in short, that sounds like it wasn’t cobbled together'to catch the December shopping madness. This is a wind-up, right? a

I Set Solo: Adoramus Te (Magnet). Set Solo, it you remember, was the shaven-headed singer ior Classlx ilouveaux. Classlx ilouveaux. eh? A thorough nosing-down with a ilamethrowerwould have been too lenient tor the suitering they lniilcted on music-lovers everywhere. Well, get this -this is worse. i’ve heard it said that Sal’s been popping up on the iiock Gospel Show, the only conceivable reiuge ior pseudo-choral dreck like this. Granny might tie it though.

I The Chevalier Brothers: Buona Sera (Magnet). Corny, but a white-hot swing number irom the Iros, who I’m assured are a terrlilc live act. i can believe it. l’m sure they’ve got even better ones than this up their sleeves, but alter listening to the rest oi this pile oi crud (with the honourable exceptions ot Chris lies and Three Dancers) i'll extend an invitation ior The Chevalier

Washington/Harline composition,.wlth

‘itun-DMC’s reputation is not likely to

' Brothersto play atoneoi .

anytime. , I Peter Skeilem: When You-Wish a Star (Sonet). Alter Sal soloih'is'is fa ' -‘ positive reliei. it’s the sample , : an immaculately-lodged ilnd. " ;, tastetul touches oi Skellerlt’s beloved-‘5 _ ‘~

brass band soundJlten there'ss' nude» , ., ' hire” e,i,’tnti’neoithoseguys

swell irom the brass. and the song kicks in to a irenzled high-gearwhen

mix, like a speeding juggernaut on an ~ icy highway. And then back down again tor a periect iinish. Phew! What a Merry Christmas everybody. (Mair)


I Various Artists: Christmas 'iiap . (London). i wonder whose idea this one ' was? Most oi the artists conceme‘dj '- seem to have thrown themselves into it v with less than wholehearted gusto.

be enhanced by their contribution, ‘Christmas in Hollis’, which, like too ., many oi the tracks, drowns under a siuny oi suspiciously I " insincere-sounding good cheer, The

better tracks are the ones whichfdon’t " :

incorporate snatches at various . versions oi ‘Jungle Bells’ and "White '- Chrlstmas’, or sound bogus. Dana ;" . Dane’s eponymous ‘Dana Dane is Coming To Town’ is perhaps the ultimate egocentric rap, with the rapper taking central place in the tiativlty, and Syder-D (‘YDl ho, ho’) makes a genial black Santa. My -

with Santa’, ior his parody oi ‘The , ; Q .' Twelve Days oi Christmas’, including

‘Slx Kangols in case it rains, and guess -

what y’all, live gold chains’. Mill'an the lirst day? ‘A pair oi socks irom Guccl’, , ol course. ' 4. I ivor Cutler: Lite in A Scotch Sitting :. Boom Vol 2 (Speakout). tilt oi an ' archive document this. Recorded at the Third Eye Centre in 1977, released by 1 EMi and then deleted, this is ivor the pertormer at an earlier stage, reading in mind-bogglineg random order episodes irom the book oi the same name, punctuated by ‘Jungle Tips’, which are irequently less iunny than they sound. The polished, near-robotic delivery wasn’t quite as polished in ’77, and the shock oi hearing ivor crack up at his own enigmatic tales is quite startling at lirst- he’s human alter alil - but it’s also a slight disappointment to know ior sure that ivor ilnds himseli iunny as well. For all that, like all Cutler releases: essential. tiuii said? I Various Artists: Seeds IV: Punk (Cherry Red). Most uniiied ol the alarmingly diverse ‘Seeds’ series so tar, and the one that should attract the most attention, by my reckoning. Two bona ilnd rock classics grace its grooves (‘Holiday to Cambodia’ and ‘Love You More’), plus the slighty substandard ‘Lipstlck Do Your Collar’ irom Australia’s magnillcent Saints, who on top iorm could wipe the floor with every hand on this compilation, bar maybe Dead Kennedys and Duzzcocks. The very presence oi these three top-ranking ‘punk’ bands shows up the album’s weakness; an over-reliance on dodgy Di bands like Serious Drinking and Peter And The Test Tube Babies. ‘Love You More’ uncomiortably shuttles its ieet in such company.

1“ I V H f -‘ "-itfijrselloesexcepilon is the

inhuman“ Drugs' by LA's Simpletones (slightly reminiscent oi tealiy should have tune lor the movie Maybe it'll be on the sou Ildtrack. Priest‘M'axl (1 0). Just so that ‘-"-j;;yeutrnow i stand when it comes

, V. "“ _‘ a?),'who like the bass to rattle the choir wake up and smash into the". ~ g' i

change in his pockets, and . gjhd-ll‘ti'rnfsio stab their way through the

, speakergrilles into the room. i also -»ilkeSly_And Bobble - most at the time.

' 7 However, Matti Priest is being groomed

. ‘tor‘the post .0! imae's next crossover super-star, andthings have accordingly

Ali‘ad mercies down to a seamless BOP

production by the rhythm kings. l’m not saying that they’ve lost their touch - ii "f'anylhing-they’vereiined it- but Maxie is Number One in the reggae charts and

A . riding highlnthe Top Forty, so one

can’tbetoocaratul. Maxi is a good album, ii'afrather tame one, an

: = iacceptabie_setoi (mainly) lovers’ rock.

our well idrthe'iinal track, Maxi's

version ol ‘Some Guys Have All The Luck’, knocks the spots oil Robert Palmer's version.

I iiickAstley: Whenever You Need

. ,. Somehogy‘iflu),VMazlngz all the

expensive technology at their I command, and all the ‘S'to'ckeitltken-Waterman records sound

_ .‘ sounbalievabiy'cheap and tacky.l

looked all over tor a ‘Made In Talwan’

_ I sticker, but in train. The tackiness, to iavourite though is Derek B’s ‘Chiliin’ - '

'fnobody’s surprise, is a theme continued all over the cover and

.- “fiflfi‘gj'gnofes; Which is all quite a

shame, because that lad Astley’s got not'ajbad voice, as it happens. How ’Jlongb'eio‘r‘e he gets up and moves on

-’ f at his Svengali’s hands? Probably

" not until the hits dry, up, so we'll have to getused to the idea oi several more terrible albums like this. I Marlyn Dates: The Return Di The " ‘=.Duiet (Cherry lied). From one extreme to‘tl'te other, in this’case progressive rock’s revenge on the 80s. Martyn Dates was'once halt oi the cult synthesizer duo Eyelss in Gaza, who released a lot oi introspective meandering doodlings in the early to mid-80s and then went their separate ways. From the sound at this, Martyn Bates must have had a pretty dominant role in the partnership, meaning that nothing’s changed very much. Nothing ever gets resolved in these backwaters oi modern music, only the odd string section oi lull orchestra gets added. This LP includes a rendition oi ‘The Look 0i Love', sung with young white angst, as is the rest oi it. Why should somebody select a Martyn Bates LP irom the racks? i know i wouldn't.

I Erasure: The Two Ring Circus (Mute). And now, the remix album. But unlike so many oi the other rip-oil artists peddling their tarted-up wares, Erasure at least try to seem concerned about their tans. ‘Two Ring Circus‘ (two 45mm discs) has a side oi completely re-recorded material, orchestrally arranged by Andrew Poppy, with not a synthesizer in sight, plus two tracks remixed by the king oi Latin hip-hop, Little Louis Vega. All in all a iairly reputable package, even it you are at the opinion that Vince Clarke burned

himseli out a good iew years ago.

The List I 1 Dec 1087 77 Jam 198845