Mab previews this week‘s festi 'al rock and presents reviews ofthe best so far.
Some of the final week‘s most interesting activity takes place at the Venue ((‘alton Road. 557 3673). The mind-manglingly brilliant Tackliead Sound System continue their three-night run. finishing on Saturday to make way for the coming of Flaco Jimenez and The Tex-Mex All-Stars. who play their hearts out on Monday and ’l‘uesday. Flaco's name slipped into every hipster's vocabulary recently when his accordion accompanied Ry ('ooder on the slide guitar master’s tour. which dropped by in May. For years. though. Jimenez has been respected as a supremely good songwriter and bandleader in his own right. and if he's not involved with sessions for the stars. composing movie soundtracks and accepting (irammy Awards. he can be found playing with his band every night in San Antonio. Unless you can afford the plane fare over to see him in his favourite surroundings. it‘s probably best to catch him this week.
Ben Badoo takes over The Venue. for most of the time. beginning on Monday 2‘) and carrying on until Fri 2 ( Mon 2‘) and Tues 3t) at midnight; the rest of the week at 8pm). The (ihanaian master drummer has assembled the eight-piece Ben Badoo lriternatiorial. based in Bristol but including members from Jamaica. Australia. Ireland and England. who back up Badoo's drums with infectious funk and Afro-Caribbean rhythms.
No Festival would be complete. as has been said many a time. without that old gunslinger Hank Wangford showing up for a session of sincerely sincere country and western. This year is no exception. but Hank has limited his appearances to three shows on two nights. right at the end (Fri 2 and Sat 3 at llprii. with an extra show on Saturday at 8pm).
Before that. on Thurs 1.there‘s an extremely rare chance to see [)undonian singer Billy Mackenzie’s old musical partner. Alan Rankine. Since the break-up ofThe Associates. Rankine has been hanging around Brussels and elsewhere. releasing solo records (it was worth buying his last LP. She [.(H'I’S Me Not. for the beautiful ballad ‘Days and Days’ alone) and producing other acts. His latest project. San Francisco-based band In Real Life. have been benefiting from Rankine‘s expertise during his stay in their city. and he is using them as his backing band on this occasion.
It's a good week at the Queen's Hall ((‘lerk Street. 668 2019) too. The jump-jive ofthe sharp-suited (‘hevalier Brothers promises a hot hot hot start to Saturday night‘s clubbing. but Ted Hawkins slows the pace down on Sunday and Monday. ‘l)iscovered‘ singing the blues for pennies on the boardwalk. Ted became an instant celebrity over here via Andy Kcrshaw‘s radio show. Some of the comments made about Hawkins — untouched by any musical development in the last twenty years. they shout — make him sound like some kind of anthropological specimen. with little more than curiosity value. Ted just sings the blues — okay? And he's good at it. It‘s rumoured that Tanita Tikaram (see panel in Rock section) will be guesting on the first night. perhaps to appease those who haven’t been able to get tickets for her single night at the Assembly Rooms. No sooner will the Queen‘s Hall have cooled down from two nights of Martin Stephenson (see panel) than local heroes Blues ‘n‘ Trouble whip the place up to a fever pitch on Thursday 1 . bringing to a close
FESTIVAL ROCK V -
Dance Factory's ‘Rockin' The Fringc' dates. One final person of note to play the Queen's Hall before the end of the Festival is Eric Bogle. the singer-songwriter responsible for the classics "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' and ‘(ircen Fields of France'. both enjoying new life in recent years. as covers by The Pogues and The Men They (‘ouldn’t Hang.
South African group Amampondo conclude their run at the Assembly Rooms. (ieorge Street. 226 2427. on Tues3tl. andThurs 1 brings the first ofonly three gigs by Fringe stalwart Tom
Robinson. whose live album of a show a few years past may still be kicking around shops. ()tway I finally crawls off to collapse in a corner on Sat 27. and it‘s worth noting that Jools Holland. whose i run at The Amphitheatre officially finishes on Sat 3. will not be appearing on Sun 28 due to live i commitments. ie Squeeze play at the Reading ,: Rock Festival on that day. It'll be a culture shock l for Jools. and trusty drummer (iilson Lavis. but we're sure he'll cope.
Elsewhere in the city. there‘s still plenty going on. especially among local artists. The Edge. Drummond Street. 557 6010. plays host to two gigs by The lncurable Tam White Band (Fri 26 and Sat 27). which promise to be real crackers. judging from reports about the famed Edinburgh bluesman’s hand-picked musicians. The AWOL ('ltib. at The Edge. brings us Edinburgh's great white indie hope the Dog-Faced Hermans on Wed 3 l . and there’s live music ofone kind or another at The Edge nearly every night. The Bandwagon. Morrison Street is certainly worth frequenting this Friday and next for (ilasgow‘s great beat group The Styng-Rites. this Saturday and next for The (‘rittcr l lill Varmints and Thursday 1 for l)eafHeights('ajun Aces. For contrast. make a point of going to see Edinburgh reggae band Makossa during their three-night stint at Platform ()ne (Rutland Street. 225 2433) in the (‘aledonian Hotel (Sat 27—Mon 29).
Jesse Rae brings his own brand of(‘aledonian funk to The Marquee (held in Victoria Street's Music Box (22() 1708). where the dancing goes on till very late) on Monday night. with a show for the under-18s earlier in the evening. This is the last ochsse's weekly Music Box gigs. and they’re an experience. with an audience drunk on St) shilling. the beat and patriotic fervour.
Finally. a mention ofthe first visit to these shores ofJapanese rock group Ryodogumi. who take their distinctive brand of music to the Playhouse. (ireenside Place. next Friday (2 September). We‘ve actually no idea what they sound like. but at only £3 a seat it sounds a steal.
_. Theatre. Greenside Place. 2 '
September. 7.30pm. £3. l I Tackliead Sound System.
IAluIl list otRockin The Venue. Calton Rd. 557 Edinburgh is contained in 3073. Midnight. Thurs
the Listings section under
25—Sat27. ‘Rock'. I ITed Hawkins. Queen‘s l Hall. Clerk Street. 225 MARTIN i
5756. Sun 28 and Monday 29. 9.30pm. £6.50.
STEPHENSON AND THE
ITanita Tikaram. Assembly Rooms. George ,5 Street. 228 4373. Mon 29. R ) i 1 8pm. £4.50 (£3.50). N? [3'3 I“) j“ "“ ""195 . IFlacoJimenez.Venue. U“ j'f" 9"“? “'2‘ j 1“ Mon 29 and Tue 30.8pm. k """“;1"".‘9‘f‘" i IMartin Stephenson and ""“m M" "N 3“”
attention in 1952. as the
enterprising independent }
label Kitchenware started
The Daintees. Queen‘s Hall. Tue 30 and Wed 31.
9.30pm.£5.50. ‘ g ,l‘ I ‘ I Blues 'n'Troume gettiiigt ic namesoii its > queen's Thurs'1 New castle-based l'tislel‘ Ill 9 30pm £5 . ' thL. llltlslepr-ess_ liven
then the label‘s front-runners were l’rclab Sprout . w hose hits hay c been paying back the l
I Alan Rankine. Venue. Thurs 1. Midnight. I Ryodogumi. Playhouse
a... W _ I ‘ ‘ Flaco Jimenez, Vniue.
tartliliil for their tartli in the early days ()l the core ol kitchenware signings. the l’tk‘lslc‘l' l liiiiahl liaye still to make many way cs. bill they ‘re ciii i'eiitly making their bid for i'ock'ri‘ioll immortality by play mg in some ol the nioie war-torn sectiorisot the planet.
The third oi the Kitchenware hopettils were l he Daintees. led by
Martin Stephenson. a songwriter to l'l\.ll l’r‘etab Spioiit's maverick Paddy \lc‘xuittill. but w here .\lc.-\|oori still irsesiroiiy and a cley er coiiplet to defuse any niomenisol genuine soul-baring. Stephenson has riey ei shiikcd lioni wearing his heart prominently on his slee\e-tioles, l'lte eii\ er til the first Martin Stephenson and The l)airiteesl l’. the critically acelamed limit to HUI/l [(1. details the oiigrrisol the songs; one to his cousin alter lici riiiscai i rage. one inspired by the end ot a sister 's lesbian allari'. the rest written about tainrly . ti'ierids. liriiisell and local character‘s. eycept loi' a ragtime number dedicated to the late Reverend ( iai‘y Davis.
Although he denied being a great country and western listener w licril spoke to him last year . he isiilw iiiiisly deeply ltllltlL'llL’etl l‘y ll\ sti'aightlorwaidriessand emotion. as well asotliei. more intimate and epr'essiye torms than rock riiainsti'eam. llis preter red instrument is the acoustic guitar. and he could probably make it as a protest singer. ll the language aridstaridpoiiit weren't so restricting. He had a go at ll. w itli iiii\cd stleeess. \y till the track ll'lio/li Humble l/i'iu'l from (i/uilyomt'. Humour mul lf/iii' w liieli w as a song about a gay friend and seryedas Stepliensoii's comment on the ( 'lause IS legislation.
l he second I l’. (i/iiilyonii'. llimiorirmii/ lf/lri'. released eai‘liet llll\
year . dwells in similar areas. partly autobiography. partly songswritteii toaiid about ielatiyesarid trieiids. Stepheiison‘s sty |e is not lt)L‘\L'lyt)llL"\ taste:
oby rously the record-buying public l‘lelets .\le.'\liititt\ It’titlle and cryptic lyrics totlie lorinei”s hear'tlclt. Ueeasiiitlally loo sentimental work. .\'eycitlieless, whether play iiigacoustic solosets. or appearriig with The Daintees. Stephenson isa noted In e attraction. and lieqiiciitly \isitsScotland, He and 'l he l)aiiiteesplay two l‘c'SlH al shows. at llte (_)ueeii's l lall. on ills“ 3“ tk \\ L'd\ SI Hunts “pen til U St Ipm and tickets. seating and staiidriiig. cost
llie \‘eniie. T'l'l l‘) Aug. .r\s some old sage once said. ‘(‘|owiis are the most tragic people'. and ( )tway liye was rrideed asliglitly stilly \[TL‘L‘Llele
Basically. ()tway has two jokes; playing whimsical. hall-spoken. iatliei than sung. yeisioris Ul \llell llletl Ultl lilgSiIS '| louse ot the Rising Sim' and ‘Ballioom Blitz'. and lay mg on the pathos w itli a trowel iii his iiioe iiiaiidliri. ostensibly sell-pityiiig creations lt’sallaiiiiedat the ( ialleiy . of course. aridsome probablytliose people who liiid the very mention ol a ‘ititlc' word hilarious doiiiidhim amusing
'l be annoying thing is [flat ( )tw iiy (liies possess snllle \Ullgyy l lllllg' \ L‘l \ L' and ll he hadn‘t lalleii into a watery gray e marked ‘wacky rock entertainer" you could picture him eyparidiiig ori pieces like ‘(ierieya' and offering siHllL‘ \\ ly. well-eoiistructed observatioiistAndy (it'altl‘l
The List 26 Atig — l Sept 1988 31