I FIFE AID must be cursed. We’re not just saying that. Alter the loss at thousands oi pounds over a drizzly weekend in the process oi setting the perlect example at how not to put on a Iund-raising event, even etiorts aimed at helping to pay oil the Trust’s debts are running aground. Did the non-existent turnout at the Concert tor File Aid in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms point to poor publicity, an underwhelming line-up or general apathy among potential punters? Whatever, the high point oi a dispiritlng night tor many must have come trom Lugton’s noisiest bastards, Nyah Fearties, who earlier on in the evening were seen asking directions to the nearest skip to root around tor suitable percussion to mike up. They emerged with a bucket seat and an old drawer, curious ones, and they were great, so kick yourselves tor missing it. And when you’ve done that, wait tor the benefit single to come out so you can buy it.

I EDINBURGH PDPSTERS Ranacanteen are braving the disturbances in Poland this month to play a ten-date tour oi the country, tollowing an invitation Irom Sztywny Pal Azji, roughly translated as The Stitt Pale oi Asia, to be their support band on the jaunt. Expect a trail oi Iron Curtain anecdotes on their return.

I DUE TO popular demand, as the saying goes, Cherry Red have re-released the classic compilation ‘Pillows and Prayers‘, which introduced so many oi us to various permutations oI Everything but the Girl, Thomas Leer, The Nightingaies, Joe Crow (wh’appen?) and more. Selling over 180,000 copies when it iirst came out, it opened the Iloodgates Ior cheap label compilations, and still remains lodged in the hearts oi many. However, the slightly tuzzy reprinting ol the sleeve omits the clinching ‘Pay no more than 99p’, giving no indication at how much we actually are expected to pay iorthis little piece at history.

I A BAND to look out Ior over the coming months are Lies, Damned Lies, who have recently signed to Siren Records. The band contain two ex-members oi Glasgow band Talking Drums, Charlie and Dot Irvine, and Talking Drums' producer Steve Butler. Alter previously being managed by Miles Copeland, they are now looked alter by Iormer King manager, Perry Halnes, and they shifted base to Bristol.

surrounding The Bhundu Boys. The Real Sounds of Africa always seemed to be getting overlooked. Don‘t make the same mistake yourself. One of the best live African bands currently treading the boards in this country. and you can‘t say much better than that.

I Trident Preservation Hall . Victoria Street, 226 3816. 9.30pm. Free. Heavv rock. '

I TIME tor the regular Listen update on Deacon Blue. Their new single, Real Gone Kid, is due out on October 3rd, and they will be supported on tour by Big Sur on the English leg at their tour and Giant on the Scottish dates.

I BIG SUR were one at a large Scottish contingent at the recent Greenbelt Festival. Also in attendance were Go Go Street, Runrig and The Proclaimers. And, which member oi Big Sur returned Irom the Iestival with a signed Cliii Richard photograph? In the interests 01 his own credibility we will reveal no more it a cheque is dispatched in a brown envelope quickly. . .


Cocteau Twin 1

I Cocteau Twins: Blue Bell Knoll (4A0). Almost every adjective that can be thrown at the Cocteau Twins already has been, but they’ve never risen to the ransack-the-thesaurus bait, instead keeping a stubborn silence about their music, bucking trends and weaving an insular web around themselves. They (like the Thompson Twins at their commercial peak, the Twins are a threesome) are not personalities, what interviews they do grant give nothing away, Liz Frazer’s invented language rightly coniounds interpretation. All that remains is the music, into which can be read whateverthe listener wants, and with the release 01 this new LP, two-and-a-hali years since the last, the same kind at lrothy subjective scribblings will appear in student papers throughout the country. But then, when listening to any Cocteau Twins music it’s hard not to get caught up in all that. So let's try to keep it straight.

’Strong’ seems like the wrong kind oi word to use In describing a Cocteaux LP, but I will anyway. ‘Blue Bell Knoll’ is a strong album, consistent,

I Texas Breaktast Lord Darnley. West Port. 229 4341. 10pm. Free. See Sat 1.

I Live band Negoeiants. Lothian Street. 225 6313. 9pm. Free. Unconfirmed.

I Serious Chaos Music Box. Victoria Street. 220 1708. 9pm. Free. Probably not. we‘re told. a punk band. but with a name like that who can be sure?

complete and, as usual, hypnotic. The trio’s command ot the studio (and their imaginations) makes this some oi the most evocative Cocteau-music ever, and it shows the Twins structuring their songs in more conventional ways- they may yet have hits.

Fans oi their titles won’t be disappointed either: how about ‘a kissed out red Iloatboat’ or ‘the itchy glowbo blow’? DI the ten tracks there’s not one that lalls to delight and entrance. II they can do another one this good in only two-and-a-halt years, it’ll be worth the waiting. (Mab)

I The Proclaimers: Sunshine on Leith (Chrysalis)/ Michelle Shocked: Short Sharp Shocked (Cooking Vinyl). Talk about not being able to see the wood tor the trees. It’s been hard work ploughing through the layers oi extraneous instrumentation oi this Calvinist country to get to The Part That Really Matters. And having got there I can report that the brilliance oi The Proclaimers’ songs has declined not a whit. ln tact there are moments on this LP that surpass the expectations aroused by their excellent debut: the devotional title track, ior one, ‘Sean’ and ‘0h Jean’, which . . . well, that’s

Cocteau Twin 2 where the minor disappointment arises. Hearing that song live tor the tirst time with just the brothers’ voices and one acoustic guitar was heart-stopping, but here the backing takes away much oi the tension and drama at the sustained climax. It wouldn’t matter so much it the arrangements sounded as Iresh as ‘This is the Story’ still does, but lyrics and The Proclaimers’ inimitable harmonising is buried under some at the most pedestrian bar band playing. How to present their music to the audience they tound they could reach Is something the Reids must have agonised over, and the success 01 ‘Lettertrom America’ and ‘l'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ proves they made the right decision, but I wish in this case they’d simultaneously released an acoustic duo LP, perhaps a limited edition shrink-wrapped on, to let the songs and their voices come through with the clarity they deserve.

Michelle Shocked overcomes the diiliculty oi walking that particular tightrope on her Iirst studio album. ‘When i Grow Up’, the opening track, is



I This Is It Bar Luxembourg. 197 Pitt Street. 332 1111. 10pm. Free. Polished pop band.

I Boxing Clever Fixx. 86 Miller Street. 248 2589. 10pm. Free. Another promising pop band. although the quality ofthe tape 1

loose and tinger-poppin’, with a double bass that could carry the song all by itselt, and special etiects courtesy ot rwhammled guitar and even sampled dogs. It sounds wondertul, and tar all the excellence oi ‘Sunshine on Leith’ The Proclaimers can’t match Michelle’s warmth and easy-going humour. ‘11 love was a train, I’d ride me a slooow one’, one oi the best lines 01 the year, just trips oIt her tongue. Michelle can mix blues, country and tolk (as well as nostalgia and anger) so well that you hardly notice the break between ‘Memorles oi East Texas’ (one at the most sublime tunes on record) and the rowdier blues oi ‘Gladewater’. Both these records, tor their own special strengths, are essential. (Mab)


I The Call Girls: Primal World/Vatican Shotgun Scare: Thick Fat Heat Source (Avant Garage). Given away with ‘AWDL’ tanzine, lla Forth Street, Edinburgh. Vatican Shotgun Scare bring to mind a number at comparisons, none at which seem to go all the way. Choppy, almost martial,


Cocteau Twin 3 guitars, strange melody, a hint oi the Teutonic . . . how about Lene Lovich lronting early Banshees? No, that won’t do. Hearthe record and you’ll understand the problem. The Call

Girls, also Edinburgh based, go over more lamiliar terrain, and with equal



Mab with the LISTEN! tortnighlly Hit List '

1. PIXIES: Gigantic (4A0 45)

2. SMITHS: The Queen is Dead (Rough Trade live LP track)

3. VARIOUS: Acid Beats 1 (Warrior LP) 4. PRINCE: Lovesexy (Paisley Park LP) 5. GDRDDNS: The Coalminer’s Song (Flying Nun mega-classic)

6. IGGY POP: Instinct (A&M LP)

7. CDCTEAU TWINS: Blue Bell Knoll (4A0 LP)

8. 02: Desire (Island 45)

9. PRDCLAIMERS: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) (Chrysalis 45)

10. METALLICA: Harvester oI Sorrow (Phonogram 45)

received from their manager makes it very hard to judge.

I Bobby Wishart Halt Bar. 160 Woodlands Road. 332 1210. 9pm. Free.


I Drifting Wood Oddfcllows. Forrest Road, 220 1816. Free. I Whisky Priest Preservation Hall.

The List 30 Sept ~ 13 ( )ei l".\‘.\' 43