possibly can. lIts conyiction is in the quality ol' \igel‘s work and the \ alue ol the Indian ( iiy ers as a hand. and he shares w ith them a mutual trust w luch makes neither side eyen think about letting the other dnys it.
His management style t‘worked out instinth cly . not through any kind ol empirical deductiou’ i has worked extremely well by basing the band'sprngi‘essiononshort-term goals. a policy that hasso tar paid ntl
'I can't promise a hand the world.‘ he says. in immaculater modulated tones. 'Shnrt. sometimes paittlttl. steps must be taken towards the
ultimate goal. w hatey er that may be.
You must not Ltlltm the hand In stiller delusions. It must be emphasised lltttl II is g‘ttlltg It) lk‘ dillicult. I nc\ er dangle a carrot in lrnnt ol my hands.‘
No one denies that the hands progress in such a short tune has
Photo by Cedric Martin: Hair by Charlie Miller: Make-Up by Roz McKnight: Avril Jamieson's wardrobe by Comiche.
been due largely to Ramsden‘s constant pressure. l‘hnsc arottnd him confess to admiring the honest and integrin ot his prolessionalism. and it one thing is clear about his attitude to the Indian ( ii\ ct's it is tltat he's not going to milk them tor a quick buck and mnye on somewhere
‘All my deals with record companies have been with a cards on the table policy. I don‘t wheel and deal. At all times I've been confident that I had a product that required no scams or hoodwinking. When \"irgin were looking at the (iiyers I didn‘t get any other negotiation going to stir things up. In fact I ney er allowed them to feel that they needed a major deal. I helped thetn leel that their product would succeed with or without major record companies.‘
Nigel Sleal‘ord and Daye Ramsden met alter Nigel. now 30. had spent the better part of a decade on the fringes ol‘ the Iidinhurgh music scene. experimenting with whatey er ideas took his Iancy. He is probath best remembered tor a series ol' impromptu gigs in .I ..l . ‘s around
1981-22. when he and James l.ock (now oI'I‘he Chimes) dabbled in ‘iazz-I'unk. metal. tribal. unrehearsed nonsense . . .’ and a collaboration with Paul Ilaig in a political rockabilly group called 'I'he .Iuggernauts. whose l'inest moment came with a song entitled ‘( ‘nme 'I'hrow Yourselt‘ L'nder the MonstroUs Wheels ol‘ the Rock'n’Roll Machine as it Approaches Destruction‘. or something very close to it. ’I he originaloriginal Indian (iiy ers was a straight acoustic jazz cornhn. which played at the I loochie (‘oochie ( ‘luh a coupleol yearslater. In early 105‘." EN” asked for some demos. which they later rejected. Ramsden encouraged Nigel to keep working. 'I‘hroughout their Iirnt partnership. and Ramsden's unceasing pushing. the songs have remained .\'ige|'s babies. and there is a sense in which he is uneasy about the Indian (iiyers new status as a hand.
‘I write a song that deriyes in a yery intuitiye way from a phrase ol music and a phrase ol~ language. and the song proceeds from there. It‘s not written around a grom e or a rillor a standard chord progression. though I certainly don't eschew standard chord progressions. I nlwinusly don't want to lose that impetus. and the problem is that lollow ing it through requires a certain state ol mind as well. It‘s yery hard to think about a way ol' writing songs like that in the context of lour people in a room playing instruments. Because generally the kind olsongw riting that comes ntit of that situation is based on a grooye or a rill or a chord progression. and the problem with that in my experience is that the lyrical and yocal tnelody is usually an alterthought. which I am cominced is the wrong way to write a song. And the Indian (iiyers has so lar been concerned with performing songs. so I don't necessarily know that songs can he plucked out ol' the air by lour hands. whereas they can he plucked otit ol the air by one hand in solitude. .»\rrangements and perlnrmancc is a dillerent thing altogether.
"I‘hings have moyed yery last tor tts. by anyhody's standards. What eynlyes I'or tts as a working relationship is yet It) be decided. I! could he anything.‘ lllt’ lm/itm (iii't'rs will lie/terlm'ming lll‘t' a! The Music Hut. litlinlmrg/i (Ht H't'tlnt's‘tluy. .3851’plemltt'r.
The List 16— 2‘) September 1988 7