I987 may be remembered for the emergence of new musical talent in the light of fine debut albums from acts like Wet Wet Wet. Hue and Cry. The Bathers. Deacon Blue and Danny Wilson. However. amongst the deluge of Scottish ‘product' came . a very welcome return from Roddy Frame‘s Aztec Camera.

Amazingly. the new album. Love. is only Frame's third Aztec Camera album. a fairly sparse number. when you consider the band celebrates its eighth anniversary this month with a new single. ‘How Men Are‘. and a British tour. the only Scottish date being at Barrowland on Saturday 3() January. The album’s woeful lack of success to date (a two week stint in the album charts-peaking at number ~19) is by no means an indication of quality. featuring as it does Frame's finest ever songs. with some sparkling productions by big name Americans like Tommy Lil’uma. David Frank (of the System) and Russ Titelman. 1

Working with these producers was ' a deliberate move after the failure of the previous incarnation of Aztec . Camera to work successfully with the new songs: ‘I pretty much had the arrangements of all the songs worked out at home'. explains Roddy. ‘I did some of them on a four track. and a couple on eight track. so I had a lot of the bass and keyboards parts worked out. and Guy Fletcher (a former Aztec keyboard player) helped out a lot with “Deep and Wide and Tall".'

Do your own thing

‘I thought these people that I worked with in America were really ' good at recording. worked with really good engineers. and they have a good oversight over the whole thing. Basically. they let you do your ' own thing. and having met Tommy LiPuma and RussTitelman. I really thought it was worth the wait to work with them. They've got a really good reputation. working on people like Randy Crawford. George Benson and Miles Davis. There is a kind of sweetness about the sound they get a clarity which I loved.‘ I

Thetitleofthe album picked up : some attention for its directness— each song on the album containing the word love in the lyric-but was there more to it than that?

‘The title is just a reflection of the whole feeling around the album —the lyrics for the album. the music. the

A kind ofsweetness

way it was made. and humanity in general and the way I feel about it.


‘Deep and Wide and Tall' both have a distinctly feminist flavour. in a similar way to Hue and Cry‘s ‘I Refuse‘ and Deacon Blue‘s ‘Just Like Boys‘ and ‘Chocolate (iirl’. Did Roddy find himself able to write from a female perspective?

‘Yeah. I think so with some of these songs. “Deep and Wide and Tall" is about the understanding that women have. It‘s a kind ofplea for women to take over in a way. The bottom line of what she is trying to say is “Are we going to live together?" It‘s like the old (‘oca-(‘ola commercial. It might sound corny. but its true!’

()n the live front. Aztec (‘amera have not toured Britain since 1984. but have visited America twice in the intervening period. firstly with the old line up in 1985. and again at the end of last year. attracting extremely

favourable reviews in the British music papers-making the forthcoming gig a welcome proposition.

Aztec ('amera are now an eight

piece band live. with Roddy being Love or die

joined by two old sidekicks-l)ave Ruffy on drums. and keyboard player Eddie Kulak. Completing the band are guitarist. (iary Sandford. Naomi ()sbourne( backing vocals). Yvonne Archer (keys and backing vocals). Steve Sidelnick (percussion) and ‘Jingles‘ .lhingoree (bass).

As for the composition of the set. a mixture ofold and new can be expected: ‘1'“ pretty much play everything off the new album. I'm still at the stage where these songs are quite fresh with me. and just getting them on a record. a piece of plastic is great. I actually sat down and played it the other night and thought “My (iod. this is pretty good." So most of those songs will be in the set. and also my old favourite like The Boy Wonders. ()blivious. Backwards and Forwards and stuff

like that.

A female perspective“?

‘As with most bands.‘ he continues. ‘you write the songs. you go in and record them. and that's the first they’ve really been put down. and you have a chance to work out what you are actually doing with them. Once you‘ve been on the road for a month. playing every night. the songs just get so good. and all these bits get added.

‘And after every album. you come back off the tour and wish you had recorded the album then - but it can

Aztec Camera play one Scottish date at Glasgow (mm. 1 Barrowlands on their new tour. They talked to .lohn

‘If you look at the people who are Williamson. running this country. they have got

never work that way.‘

[.m'c proved Roddy Frame to be a complete. and more mature songwriting talent. and hopefully the live shows and the new single will

Humanity has just got a choice love l

no loveinthem—iftheyever hadit.it that are being promotedthese days— ; “Working In a(ioldmine”and i help generate the kindofsalesthat has gone. They‘ve got no get on the good foot. do well for V “How Men Are" are probablv my the quality of the album merits. COmPaSSIOm “0 humanity. They yourself. let other people take care favourite songs; he suggestsf‘I-{im- l '

don't even have any spirit in them. ofthemselves. I mean. it'scrap. It ' Men Arc“ is firobuhh-Imc “(the l _ When You Strip everything CISC stinks. and people won‘t put up with most direct songs I hgiy‘c ever I

awa."~ that‘s 3” WC‘VC 80“ and “You it for that much longer.‘ 4 written. and I think it is important l

don‘t care for cad] Other- try and Looking more closely at the songs I make things better. then it‘s nothing. on L0”. _ what are Roddv‘s l ‘Obviously. with the sort ofpolitics fin-011mm? l

that it isa man singing it.‘ The topical subject matter of‘How Men Are'. and more specifically


The List 32 Jan 4 Feb I988 5