I OLD FRIENDS of Listen, Wet Wet Wet, were seen backstage at the recent Prince’s Trust concert having their photographs taken with Leonard Cohen. it was denied howeverthat they were thinking of recruiting Lenny to help give them a more serious image. There is also no truth in the rumourthat Lenny does a mean cover of Angel Eyes . . . but who knows what might happen If the Wets decide to do a tribute to Lenny in the lyrics of their new single, in the same way that they paid tribute to Van Morrison.
I DEACON BLUE have a new version of their Rainlown album in the shops this week. It features a free album (or double play cassette), Riches, which has a collection of 11 songs that have been used as B-sides, or extra tracks on 12in singles. It features their cover versions of Van Morrison’s Angeliou and Florence Reece’s Which Side Are You On, and the re-recorded versions of Dignity and Raintown (piano version). . . Full track listing is: Which Side Are You On; Kings of the Western World; Angeliou; Just Like Boys and Raintown. Side 2: Riches; Church; Shifting Sand; Suffering; Ribbons and Bows and Dignity. Fact fans may be interested to know that the recent DB acoustic excursion at the Blue Note also contained covers of Moondance, His Latest Flame and Maria McKee’s Dixie Storms.
I CONGRATULATIONS TO RUNRIG on their eventual signing to a major company. Chrysalis are the company in question, and they are soon to re-release the last album, The Cutter and the Clan. Two minor points, though: as the first incarnation of Runrig formed in 1973 - is the fifteen year wait to get signed some sort oi record? and would someone at Chrysalis please tell Runrig how to spell the name of their record company. The recent Runrig press release refers throughout to Crysalis Records.
I NOW COMPLETED IS THE PAINTED WORD’s debut album, Love Life, which should be released on RCA at the start of next year. The first single from the album will be That’s The Reason I’m
Alive-out in August. Othertracks on the ten track lp, produced by Brian Tench, include Worldwide, 77, 24 Hours (not the Joy Division song), and The Pleasure Inside.
I DEL AMITRI have finished working with producer, David Kershenbaum, although uncertainty prevails over whether the recordings will see the light of day. One time Del’stouring mate, Kevin McDermott looks set to work with Robbie Mclntosh on his debut album for Island.
I HORSE play another local gig —their last for a while — at the event to be held at the Kinooziers Club on Sunday 7th to help raise money forthe new AIDS charity, Crusaid. Also on the bill are the excellentJanette Burns Trio, Rollin’ Joe, Darlinda, and Johnny Beattie! Going back to Horse, they have had producer problems, which will hopefully be resolved in the next week or so. The two tracks they recorded with Bob Sargeant for Capitol have been shelved. Producers. . . who needs them?
I ZANY TV PRESENTER, Richard Jobson (Wacko Jobbo, anyone?), has an album out soon. One has to question the originality oi the song titles, though. ‘A Boat Called Pride’ — not too unlike ‘A Ship Called Dignity’. And how about these: Fire, The Heat Is On and Uptown, Downtown. Also included is a cover of Everything But The Girl’s Angel. A listen to the album coupled with Jobbo exposure on TV suggests he should stick to what he’s best at. . . poetry.
I WHO'S THE LUCKY BAND to be the first in Scotland to be sponsored by a football team? Old haunters of Easter Road, The Proclaimers? No, in fact it’s Edinburgh electro-popsters Just Add Water, who’ve managed to strike a deal with Hibernian, who make unlikely bedfellows with the group’s other benefactors, Woolworths. What we want to know is just what kind of discounts does this entitle them to in Woolies stores and Hibs away games throughout the country?
I Various: Canned Spirits (Agency 66). Whatever it is about the West Midlands I don’t know, but it sure makes for some mellow reggae. There’s no space on this sampler of five of the area’s young bands for fire-breathing tirades against Babylon, though if they’d taken off a couple of the dubs on side two, and maybe Ruff Cut’s schmaltzy ‘Serlous Love’ there would have been room for a bit more variety. As it is, ‘Canned Spirits’ is an enjoyable, if slight, collection of laid-back lovers’ reggae, with Salem Foundation providing the best track, an easy-paced beauty you can settle into like your favourite pillow.(Mab)
I Patti Smith: Dream Of Life (Arista). A mixture of anticipation and dread would probably be a typical reaction to this, Patti Smith’s first LP for nine years. To be fair, she could never again pull the rug out from under our feet the way she did with ‘Horses’, the brilliant debut that became both landmark and millstone. And of course she hasn’t. The anger has dispelled, Patti is settled, married, maternal, optimistic, and obviously compelled to come out of retirement and set the record straight. There’s no radical change in the Smith sound as there was in, say, Leonard Cohen’s comeback. Musically, ‘Dream Of Life’ is cut from the same cloth as ‘Easter’, ‘Radio Ethiopia’ or ‘Wave’ (Richard Sohl, in particular, could play these piano parts in his sleep) but without the forays into the darkness, the nooks and crannies that others would prelerto leave unexplored. What has taken place is a spring-cleaning of the negativity, the darkness, with the homespun utopianism that always lurked in the background taking control at last. It’s a shame. (Mab)
Yes, the weather ran the gamut from thick mist (which gave the park an eerie, closed-off ambience on the Saturday), torrential rain and gale-force winds on the Monday morning which almost tore the writer’s tent apart at the seams. Yes, the line-up echoed virtually nothing of musical developments of the last ten, or even fifteen years, and felt very little forthe under-25$, on the main stage at least, to groove to— Marillion?! Oh, come on. Yes, the ‘lnformation' tent had the misnomer of the year. And yes, attendance was abysmal.
So why doesn’t Fife Aid feel like a complete disaster? Blitz spirit or whatever, the atmosphere was superb; perhaps the misfortunes that had befallen the festival before it had even started (like the much-trumpeted TV linkup falling through) raised the camaraderie among those who had made it.
John Martyn proved one of
the highlights in a spellbinding and all-too-short set with just his voicebox, a guitar and an echo pedal; Van was, well, Van, a chance to cool out and take in the countryside, not substantially different from the last time I saw him open-air, but obviously enjoying himself with a well-received version of ’Marie’s Wedding’. Maybe he’d checked out Run Rig, who‘d had us all singing along with ‘Loch Lomond’ the previous night, just before Marillion came on.
Marillion were an education;
hopelessly derivative of early Genesis, as if that needs to be repeated, but Fish knows his stuff as a frontman, not that the fans needed much enthuslng. I’d never thought that watching Marillion in the middle of a cold park could be ‘an intimate gig’, but there you are.
The Sugarcubes, a personal highlight, suffered from their placing, late on the gloomy Saturday afternoon, and a bit of bemusement at Einar’s unrepentant show-off antics, but
, excelled nonetheless.
I The Big Dish: European Rain (Virgin). A tasty bite of the the forthcoming album, ’Creeping Up On
: Jesus‘, available in late August, and
produced by Bruce Lampcov of ’Simple Minds Live’ fame, this sounds like it couldn't help but slip into the TOTP schedules and give us one of the most palatable hits for months. Their previous album, though it failed to crack the big time, placed The Big Dish squarely in that corner of Glasgow’s pop mythology inhabited by The Blue Nile. And now they’re risking everything by bringing out some more vinyl. Extraordinary! (Mab)
I La Compagnie Creole: La Machine 3 Danser (Ton Son Ton). One of many amazing coincidences that floored the Listen! crew this week was the arrival of our first all-French press release, just after deciding to reacquaint the reviewing squad with a language they hadn’t even eavesdropped since school. The result? Magnifique, of course. The title says it all, though we‘re still trying to decipherthe press release. (Mab)
I Goodbye Mr Mackenzie: Goodbye Mr Mackenzie (Capitol). Despite liking ’The Rattler’, l neverfound watching the Mackenzie live show particularly uplifting, consisting as it seemed of little but crashing about in a restricted rock framework with nothing particular to say. Happily, they've tightened up, knuckled down and released a small powerhouse of a single. An alternate review could read that this is bloated and pretentious, but having thrilled to the Mackenzies’ vastly rejuvenated live show, I‘ll err on the positive side. Hear it. (Mab)
1. Voice Of The Beehive: I Walk The Earth (London LP track)
2. Stump: Charlton Heston (Chrysalis)
3. Public Enemy: Night OfThe Living Bassheads (Def Jam)
4. Neil Young: This Note’s For You (video)
5. Joy Division: Atmosphere (Factory- but nolthe video!)
6. Big Dish: Life (Virgin pre-release)
7. Tee-I-Cee: Popcorn ’88 (TC—yes, the Hot Buttertune)
8. Tanita Tikaram: Good Tradition (WEI!)
9. Dog Faced Hermans: Bella Ciao (Calculus) 10. Roddy Frame & Edwyn Collins: In A Nutshell (live stormer)
22 The List 5- 11 August 1988