a true meeting point. a true fusion, and the rest of it is lust enioying the drumming and the rhythms. which have the same intensity and excitement as the great jazz drummers. but because their system is different it has another quality to it aIltogether. I'm grateful for all the training I've had as an improviser, years and years of it. and that's what really counts. What's nice isthat as long as I pay attention to the basic precepts, itworks.‘ Peshkarplay Glasgow (Thursday 10th) and Edinburgh (Friday 11th- see listings, or ring 031226 4179 for details).
Amongthe many pleasures of Bill Forsyth's Housekeeping is the central performance ofChristine Lahti asthe disturbingly eccentric aunt Sylvie who temporarily abandonsa transient lifestyle to act as the guardian of hertwo orphaned nieces.
Lahti is an impressive all~rounderwith distinguished credits in all the entertainmentmedia.
including an'Dscar nomination for Swing Shift. After appearances opposite such strong leading men as George C. Scott. Richard Dreytuss and Al Pacino. it was a particular pleasure to immerse herself ina virtually all-female scenario. ‘There are so many parts forwomenthat are exploitive. and so often the woman in a movie is two-dimensional and the love interest. Here wasa partthatwasjusta
' three-dimensional. living.
breathing person and itwas
. a great joy to play her.‘
A bright. intelligent
actress. Lahti is worlds ; removed from the socially
awkward Sylvie. yet
discovered much that she could empathize with in the
character. ‘There's part of
; Sylvie that’s very childlike
and really unseltconscious and doesn‘t care aboutwhat
If you're in Edinnburgh on Wednesday 23 Dec tryto make it down to the Music Box. Victoria Street, fora rare live appearance by Jesse Rae and The Thistles. Creator of some otthe lunkiest sounds this side of the Atlantic. the super-patriotic pop star. Honorary Chieftain oIThe Scottish Clan Battle Society and award-winning video-maker (Martin Scorsese called his early 'Rusha' ‘The closestthing to a marriage of rock music and video). has had a
disappointing year in many
respects. the overwhelming frustration of his career
? culminatinginhisrecord companyWEAdroppinghim
otherpeoplethinkabouther ; and I realy admire that. I
can identify with it but it's a
: reallreedomfromvanity ! andworryingaboutother ; people‘sapproval.’
Ameticulous researcher. Lahti’s preparationsfor Housekeeping included quizzing bag-ladies in
i Grand Central Station and
reading about hobos in
America during the Great
Depression. ‘I just read up on what life was likefor
: these people, riding around
in freight cars. the kind of hardships they had and also the kind of adventurousness
f of that lifestyle. I looked at 3 children a lot because
‘ Sylvie has a lot ofchildlike qualities; a kind of present
tense curiosity thatdoesn't worry about the past or
I what‘s going to happen. I
also watched Bill a lot
becauselthinkthere'salot ' ofSylvieinhim.‘
Since Housekeeping, Lahti has filmed Stacking, set in 19508' Montana. and Running On Empty. as one ofthe two anti-Vietnam protesters who have spent fifteen years in hiding. Clearly herfilm career isin the ascendant however much her hard-working professionalism might resist the inherent drawbacks of incipient stardom. ‘Some people may typecast me as a bag-lady. butfrom my point ofview it opens up universes. it opens up all sorts of possibilities because I've always considered myself much as a character actress and have always wanted to
play both leading ladies and
characters and Sylvie is. if anything. a character.’
from theirbooks. a move decided before his debut LP. ‘The Thistle’. was even released.
‘I felt that I was signed
time everybody wanted me.’ says Jesse. his accomplishmentasa video-makerbecoming legend after the epic ‘Dver The Sea'. shown a couple of times on ‘The Tube’. 'The biggestand the best stepped in. But being Englishthey didn’trealise that l was serious. They thought I wasjust a novelty. They were never content to let me have the reins.’ Jesse calls a spade a spade, and will offloada vast catalogue of grievances against record
- companies and the BDCfor
deliberatley shunting his workto the sidelines. ‘they couldn’tstomach my Scottishness. They couldn’t
1 stomach my patriotism. l
; worked as hard as I could.
I and compromised as much as I could. to keepthem
happy. so that they could do
theiriob, and at the end of the day they drop me.‘ Still. in that defeat laythe
wasto be dropped. he rang around Europe and any othercountries wherethe LP was scheduledtor release. to guage what support he could expect. ‘Nobody listened, except Canada. A guy called Dave Tollington (about third from thetop in WEA Canada)got the album and immediately loved it. He was very perceptive. He said. 'I know this is not yourreal potential. but I feel strongly enough about it that lwant to push it. I warned himthat
weren't going to put up tour support; that much was obvious. 'They wanted the album to go down. And under. They wanted to bury it.’ Shopping for sponsors. Rae came up with money from Glayva whisky the day before he got on the plane.
The shows in Toronto and Montreal were a resounding success and media event. 'Dave Tollington said he had never seen anything like it. considering Iwasn’t even on the label any more.’ '
As soon as he can afford to he plans to go back again. but it’s unclearquite when. ‘lf I'm worried about anything at all I’m very worried about signing a deal with anyone at all.l have an allergy now to working with some ofthese people. I've still to pay Edinburgh Castle for the use of the Castle. I‘ve still to pay the hotel down the road there. And I’m made to look bad because they didn't honourtheir contract. You could say that I come from a differenttime. I come from the 13th century or something. I come from being straight upfront with people. doing the handshake for business. I come from truth and honour. And it’s really hard to deal with people who don't fulfil their side otthe bargain. I’m not a bank.‘
BILL BURDETT- COUTTS
Glasgow’s three-week festival, Mayfest, is to have a man at the helm forthe firsttime nextyear. Thirty-two year-old Bill Burdett-Coutts. who. as Artistic Director of Assembly Theatre in
ix. .; 3“...
Edinburgh, has madethe Assembly Rooms venue one of the internationally famous spots otthe Edinburgh Festival. was appointed as Mayfest Director in the first week of December. The outgoing director, Di Robson. resigned last month in a much-publicised internal dispute overthe terms of her contract.
Mr Burdett-Coutts. who is already dividing histime
Festival next year.‘ he said.
He has been runningthe Assembly Rooms as a Festival venue since 1981. and sees his new appointmentasa challenge. not a conflict. 'I thinkitwill be mutually advantageous.‘ he said. ‘lt's a good challenge. Personally, I needed to breakforward a bit. Assembly is limited. to an extent. in terms of being in one building. Mayfest has the challenge of being a city’s festival.‘
Coming at an important time. when Glasgow isjust two years awayfrom becoming European City of Culture, his appointment could be seen as a positive link between the two ostensibly rival cities. At the time of going to press he was unable to commenton the nature of his contract— Di Robson. who has gonelo London‘s Riverside Studios. wanted to make the director's contract a three-year one.
THE ALEXANDER SISTERS
‘Phew! I'm feeling dead grumpy today.‘ announces Morag with a face like a soorploom.
Alma snifls and poked her nose ceilingwards. ‘I shouldn't worry. Morag,‘ she scoffs. ‘it'll be methe young gentleman’s came to interview.‘
The Alexander Sisters are terribly busy preparing the surprisesfortheir Christmas McStravaganza .
Morag'sgrump momentarily weakens. ‘Should we tell him about the. . .'
'No!’ interrupts Alma ‘Nobody’s to know about the six men in underpants—oh crivvens! what have lsaid?‘
Morag re-grumpingly retires to her bedroom for some discreettrombone
Alma turns to me with a winsome smile. ‘Nowthen young man. the Christmas I McStravaganza is a plendid ; wee show with tons of l
Festive cheerandtartan tinsel. And if Morag gets her way. tons of food too.‘
Thetrombone nextdoor reaches a brief crescendo.
'Why the Third Eye Centre?’ I venture humbly.
‘Well of course it would of been the Theatre Royal. but Morag has he eye on a chap that works down there and as they're having a wee party afterward . . .‘
‘I do NOT fancy him,‘ declares un untromboning Morag from the other room.
Undeterred. Alma stretches out a delicate balletpumptotickle my chin and murmurs. “One word aboutthe men in underpants and I'll break yourjaw.‘
Igulp and take hasty leave. (Andrew Burnett) The AlexanderSisters' Christmas McStravaganza is at Third Eye Centre. Glasgow on 23 December at 9pm. See Cabaret Listings.
Publisher Rubin I Indgc. Editors Nigcl Billcn. Sarah I Icmming. Associate Editor Allan I Iuntcr. Design Simon Iixtcrwn. Advertising & Circulation StL‘VL‘ ML‘Clllluugh. SIlL‘ila M;ch .can. Accounts (icurgctlc chwick. Richard ( ira_\ . Typesetting .Iu Kcnncd} and I chwr 'l‘cxt. Production Editor Paul Kcir. Production Assistants Mark l-‘lshcr. Rmcmar) (inring. Art Alice Bain. BDDIIS Alan Taylor. Classical Music ('arnl Main. Film Allan
I Iuntcr. Folk/Jazz Norman (’halmcrs. Kids Sall_\ Kinncs. Nightlife (Edinburgh) Stuart Raikcr. Nightlife (Glasgow) (inrdnn \cil. Radio Sail} Kinncx. Rock (Edinburgh) Alastair Mahlmtt. ROCK (Glasgow).lulm Williamwn. Sport Kcnn}
Mathicsnn. Theatre Sarah Humming. Camera Iidinlmrgh \Iakc-tip
SCH ICL'S. COVBT 'I-Ilc I)L’iltl CoverDesign Nigel Billcn and Paul Kcir.
(Allan Hunter) i lwas going to be dropped. . 1 Housekeeping is currently and he said. ‘l'm still Donna 27mg“ Edinburgh-and showing at the Cameo. I DUI it 00V Nagging” swim" _ Edinburgh and opens atthe With "0 idea "he"? "'9 “Sign. [$92233 mm Cannon Sauchiehall Street money “'88 DOIDDIO com “me he": at leasf Tm In Glasgow on 11 from, the decision was 0 ' ' l carrying both on and we lI December. See Film made to go over there and miwm situation who I Listingsfor details. play live. WEA obviously - end of the Edinburgh
. _.l The List 1] Dec 1987—7Jan 19883