I LISTEN’S collective heart sinks to hear oi the demise oi Alan (Creation) McGee’s Elevation label, irom which Wamers have decided to withdraw linancial support. Glasgow’s pure psychedelic love experience Primal Scream are now back on the slightly less loaded Creation, joining The Weather Prophets, unceremoniously ilung oil Elevation ior not supplying hits, once more. Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie (is he Roddy Frame with a wig?) promises ‘a cracking new single in the near iuture' none the less. I MUCH LESS despondency greets the passing oi The Armoury Show, hailed as the luture oi rock by, er . . . someone or other, and ieaturing the mammoth talents oi Richard Johson and. . . some other guys. Seems that old Jobbo will have to make do with being the luture oi exploring, poetry and modelling (modelling??). Tough at the top, eh? I BUT NATURE deplores a vacuum, and while one Scottish act iades into oblivion, irom the depths oi a dimly-lit recording studio returns Mr ‘Baker Street’ himseli, Gerry Railerly. Perhaps the success he tested as the producer oi The Proclaimers’ ‘Letter From America' has given him the taste tor the limelight, tor a new album, ‘North And South’ will hit the shops sometime in March. The album, says the grapevine, will have ‘a strong Celtic roots ilavour, reilecting his own Irish-Scottish background’. So now you know.
I YOU THRILLED to Husker Du, swooned belore Sonic Youth, were bludgeoned into premature dealness by Swans’ alterbumer oi a sound system, now say ‘Hi’ to the latest visitors irom the Americas, Pussy Galore, loreverto be enshrined in rock mythology as the band who covered the Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile On Main Street’ double LP in twenty minutes ilat. Ex-Sonlc Youth drummer Bob Bert, with his modiiied metal kit, underpins what has been described as an ‘indecipherable thrash’, but has been causing a Stateside sensation. Close listening may throw up their notorious 45 “Groovy Hate Fuck’ (gaspl). Their only Scottish appearance is at Edinburgh’s Venue on Thursday 11. Should summon a good attendance, but only those who ieel good about their bodies should submit themselves.
I WHILE IT IS HEALTHY to report the recent signings oi several Scottish acts, it is sad to see The Bathers and Go! Discs parting company. Go! have established a reputation through Billy Bragg and The Housemartins as one oi the top indie labels- but one has to wonder about the treatment oi the Bathers. One single, a low budget album which still sounded great, and absolutely no serious promotion tor the album. It sounds much like what happens on major labels. In any case,there seems to be a lair amount ol
record company interest in the Bathers lorthcoming gigs- so hopeiully they will only be temporarily homeless.
I FAST APPROACHING a record tor the most lormats tor the one single - Deacon Blue and Hue And Cry. Starting with Dignity, the current release has been on 7in, 7in EP, 12in, Win and compact disc single. Add the 7 and 12in versions irom its original release and you have a total oi seven iormats which include a total oi tour versions oi Dignity and seven other songs! Anything to help it into the top iorty ls entirely iustliled, but whatever happened to the cassette single? Beating the tour versions oi Dignity, are the six versions oil Reiuse which have been released so iar. There was the original Tim the original 12in, the piano version (on the Labour oi Love 10in and original i Reiuse 12in), the Radio One session (on the Labour 0! Love cassette) and the two new versions tor the ﬂu and 12in singles!
I Tomani Diabate: Kaira/ Kanda Bongo Man: Amour Fou/Delunkt: Avoid The Funk (all Hannibal). ‘It is our iervent commitment to save the world irom New Age Music! !’ says the little pink card that comes with these LPs. Any record label would be hard pressed to come up with three better albums to keep the sludge away than these. Tomani Diabate, a West Alrican in his early twenties, shows his mastery oi the 21-string kora all over ‘Kaira’ in a startling and highly individual style. Unaccompanied by any other instruments (or overdubs), Diabate
‘ displays an amazing range oi sounds
and inﬂuences, sounding Alrican, Indian, Oriental and Western (rhythmic picking and strumming straight Irom talk/country acoustic guitar) all at once. Entrancing and essential.
Kanda Bongo Man's ‘Amour Fou' is what we’ve come to expect at Alrican pop music: a laultless, 100% dance album. And in an industry where so many are using music purely as a vehicle tor their own pretensions, that’s good enough.
The Deiunkt revival starts here - not a
moment too soon! l’d almost iorgotten the exhilarating rush oi Joe Bowle’s tiery ensemble exploding into action, led by the man’s trombone itseli. To call this jan-lunk is to do it a disservice: this annihilates disco. The best description was their own; ‘Thermonuclear Sweat’, irom which two tracks appear here.
I Recoil: Hydrology (Mute). l have to admit I know nothing about Recoil, nor have I heard any oi their previous releases. They leave themselves open tor a slagging, though, with as many tracks per side as you’d iind on a normal 12in single, extended instrumental excursions with occasional robotic drums. Having said that, ‘Hydrology’ has a lot at good moments on it, though the connections between them seem lairly tenuous to this listener. Pink Floyd lurks on them thar grooves, but not olienslvely so. ‘Hydrology’, I think you’ll iind, works best as background music.
I The Hitchcocks: Skinny (Nightshiit). It's short, but it runs at 33, so here it is. The Hitchcocks, as tar as I can tell, do not wear anoraks, Paisley cast-oils or similarly trendy gear, but they do use ‘change/rearrange’ rhymes. They make the most oi their limited musical resources and, apart irom a certain staidness, particularly in the vocal department, and trequent echoes 0! New Order and The Smiths, have tumed out a moderately interesting record. Not outstanding, but worth a risk.
I Jesse Garon and The Desperadoes: The Adam Faith Experience EP (Velocity). ldidn’tthink they could equal theiriirst single, ‘Splashing Along’, but The Desperadoes have learnt much irom the big sweeping pop classics oi the Sixties and lashioned a gorgeous jangling thing oi their own, with just the right degree oi drama in the paired voices oi Fran and Anna, sorry, Andrew. A iaithiul rendidition oi The Beatles' ‘II I Needed Someone’ leaves one in no doubt as to the tradition they’re in. Single oi the week
I The Dragsters: Rosemary (Union City). The Dragsters last year released a three-minute diamond oi a shopping list song called ‘l’m Not An American’, included on this 12in in all its trebly glory. ‘Rosemary' is cut irom much the same cloth, and leaves me pining to see them live now.
I Groovy Little Numbers: You Make My Head Explode (53rd&3rd). The oh-so-popuiar lormula: girl sings poppy Sixties’ melodies over tuzzbox guitar.
This little item has the added attraction, v oi a Groovy Little Trumpet (tor that real Swingin’ London sound) to distinguish it. Fans oi Talulah Gosh, BMX Bandits, etc, can get their wallets out now, but It you’ve never bought a 53rd8-3rd single this isn't the one to start with.
I Beat Happening: Crashing Through (53rd&3rd). This, however, is a lot odder. A three-piece irom Washington State, Beat Happening are an iniuriating bunch: Camper Van Beethoven without the tunes, perhaps. I kept expecting them to break out into Beeihearts’s ‘Dachau Blues’, or The Velvets’ ‘Black Angel’s Death Song’, or even Jonathan Richman's ‘My Jeans’, but instead, the pointless ‘Crashlng Through' came to a pointless end to be succeededby squalls oi leedback and the signer’s adenoidai and tuneless rambling. i keep thinking I should like this sort oi thing, but it completely iails to charm. Could be a grower, but i have doubts.
I Turn To Flowers: People Change Like The Weather (Imaginary). Terrible name. Unspeakably wimpy song. We can all do without this ‘sensitive’ early Seventies stuli. We’re not talking about Joni Mitchell or Nick Drake here, but the long-haired (mainly British) bands who were quirky in such a ‘clever’, knowing way and kept a clause in their contracts that they could sing at least one song about gnomes or alien Utopias on every album. Out the window with it.
I A.C. Marias: Time Was (Mute). Canned Heat are an unusual band to cover the songs oi, but this A.C. Marias does, in the illustrious company ol Rowland Howard, Bruce Gilbert and the great Barry Adamson. Marias and the boys make a solid, it ever so slightly twee, job at it too, with only a loud and discordant slide guitar disturbing the smooth textures and providing a toll to Marias' soil breathy (1988) vocals.
I The Hucksters: Way 0! The Feeling (Rocket 5). A nice song, but probably a lot weedier production-wise than the boys would have liked. The rhythm guitar parts are pure Seventies soil rock (which by rights should be produced with enough oomph to blow Ye Dlde Cult olistage - but check the sleeve: The Hucksters all have short hair) and the band care about things like melody and
tunelulness. A bit dated, but by no means in an unpleasant way.
I Prelab Sprout: Cars and Girls (CBS). A new Prelab Sprout single perhaps serves to prove just how many bands have attempted to emulate them in the period they have been away. Cars and Girls sounds more like a consolidation than a major progression irom the Steve McDueen album, but even so it is a great single. On the subject ol Springsteen, who is parodied on the sleeve, Paddy McAioon observes ‘lile’s no cruise with a cool chick, too many people ieeling car sick’, proving that he has lost none oi his lyrical touch. Can’t wait tor the album.
WIN A CASE OF. BUDWEISER!
SEE PAGE 51
36 The List 5— 18 February 1988