Erasure are a band who are very hard to dislike, in the same way that it is difficult to feel any genuine affection forfhem. They aren‘t, and make no claimsto be, R.E.M., yet at the same time they never plumb the depths of Stock, Aitken and Watermandom. Added to that, every so often they come up with a great pop single. like the most recent. Ship of Fools, and their live show is far more entertaining than may be expected from a band which is basically a leotard and a computer.

After enjoying incredible success with their last album. The Circus, which has now spent a year on the album charts, and spawned fourtop twenty singles, they are about to release a new album, The innocents, which is accompanied by a tour which visits Barrowland on 23rd.

‘Touring is always a problem because there are just two of us.‘ says Vince Clarke. ‘1 don‘t think we are in a good enough position to have a full band around us. it would still be hard trying to re-create what we do in the studio. In any case, I get a kind of kick out of having a computer on stage, and ldon‘t think that playing live is the same as working in the studio anyway. If there is something you think can be improved—an arrangementor whatever— you can change it for the next night by reprogramming.‘

For such a mainstream sounding band (and Clarke admits his current favourite listening is Steve Harley), one source of fascination has been their decision to remain with Mute, an independent label, even when the big money of major labels must have been


a strong alternative. it would appear that the situation is also unlikely to change: ‘I have been with the label long enough to have a strong sense of loyalty now,‘ says Vince. ‘I think they see things in a very healthy way-the owner, Daniel Miller, is only interested in the music, and not in the charts. Most of the bands on Mute never sell huge amounts of records. In any case, 1 have worked with major labels. We are on Warners in America, and we are always arguing with them.‘

The new album is produced by Stephen Hague —the man who turned New Order into the Pet Shop Boys (or


was it the other way about?) which seemed to pose some problems: ‘I found working with him quite an experience,’ he continues. ‘He had a lot of musical involvement in the project, and in a lot of ways he is a much better musician than I am. We did have our differences, but I think the album has an atmosphere and style that is different from the last one. We were determined not just to make anotheralbum like the Circus...‘

The next time you hear Erasure in the bath, shopping centre, or HMV shop, don’t switch off completely: you might be missing a ratherfine pop song.

BIDAY 15 Glasgow

I Martin Stephenson and the Daintees, Love Train and Melissa Elheridge ( ilzisgtwv School of Art. 167 Renfrew Street. 8.3lipm. Promises to be the highlight of the fortnight. given the songwritingtalents of all three acts. Proof ofStephenson‘s craft comes in the shape of a new and diverse album. (iladsomc. Humour and


Blue. while the other two acts have yet to make their vinyl debuts. Love Train have recently signed to Siren. and share a manager with Prince in this country. Melissa Etheridge is a brilliant American songwriter. who you may remember from her performance on Island‘s 25th Anniversary party last summer. Her debut single. Similar Features. is out soon.

I The Hitchcocks and Up Rooftops. 92 Sauchiehall Street. 332 5883. 1(l.3()pm. More acceptable indie-ish pop.

I Gary Clark & Friends The Blue Note. Briggait. (‘lyde Street. 552 6027. 9pm. £3. Special cabaret appearance by the three members of Danny Wilson ((iary Clark. (ied (irimes. Kit Clark). with the emphasis on 5(ls style songs.



Accompanying them. and doing a soloset. are the Penny Daintees. a three piece female acapella group. featuring other members of the (‘lark and (irimes clans. Instrumentation includes acoustic guitar. double bass and steel guitar -— not to mention that voice. Well worth seeing.


I Def Leppard and Loverboy Playhouse Theatre. (ireenside Place. 557 2590. 7.30pm. S()l.l) ()['T.

I Mark Stewart and The Maffia with Tackhead Venue. (‘alton Road. 557 3073. £5. See panel.

I The Meteors Music Box. Victoria Street. 22() 1708. The claim that ‘()nly"l‘lte Meteors are pure psychobilly' is possibly a

bit dubious. but the Anagram compilation LP of the same name is a good jetty from which to wade into the band's goo-goo muck.

I The Stretch Heads. Archbishop Kebab and The Call Girls AWOL Club. (‘alton Studios. ('alton Road. 556 7066. 9pm. £25“ l .50). Triple bill of three local

I bands. of which I‘m ashamed to admit l

have seen only Archbishop Kebab. who are best when they’re not imitatingthe superior Dog Faced l lermans.

I The Austin Envy Band Negociants‘. Lothian Street. 225 6313. 9pm. Free. As the name implies. (15; W band rather jealous of genuine visiting American artists. (ioodnight Austin. Texas. wherever you are.

I The Kitchen Devils Preservation I la”. Victoria Street. 226 3816. £1 aftcr‘).3(ipm.

SATURDAY 16 Glasgow

I The Critter Hill Varmints Mucky Duck. Shotts. Highly-rated lidinburgh band. bluegrass and related styles.

I Wildhouse l lalt Bar. Woodlands Road. 332 1210. 9pm. Free. Dundonian band. who had an lil’ otit last year. which had one of the best sleeves oti an indie record for some time. Musically. ok too. but being Dundonians beware of the stupid hats that have come as part ofevery significant Dundee born musician for years (cg Ricky Ross. (iary Clark. Billy McKenzie. Michael Marra. etc. etc.)

I Exit Blacktriars. 36 Bell Street. 552 592-1. 9pm. Free. (‘ould this be the first band to be more depressing than the Smiths'.’ Taking your name after a voluntary euthenasia organisation is a serious step in the right direction. Seriously. they are described as ‘modern jazz. blues'

I Billy Forbes La Taniere. 1515ox Street. 3pm. Free.

I Big George and the Business 1.;t'l‘ztnicrc. 1513ox Street. 9pm. Free. The returnof the legend. with a slightly new band.


I Texas Breakfast Preservation i la”. Victoria Street. 226 3816. £1 after 9.30pm. I The Beaver Sisters Mtisic Box. Victoria Street. 22(1 1708. £1 afterUpm.

I Panic No More Negociants. Lothian Street. 225 6313.



I The Burden Blues Breakers l.a 'l‘anicrc. 151-‘ox Street. 9pm. Free. Acoustic set: nice and quiet for a Sunday night?


I Wilko Johnson and Shiver 'n' Shake Preservation l lall. Victoria Street. 226 3816. 7pm. £3. £35” on door. Iidinburgh band Shiver 'n‘ Shake support the great cx-l)r Feelgood axeman. who influenced a




The List 15— 28 April 1988 33