()ver a year after enjoying their ﬂirtation with chart success. I Inc And (‘ry have succeeded in coming back with a vibrant second album. which broadens their musical horizons and builds hiin expectations for the forthcoming shows at the S[i('('on I3 and 1-1 December.
Iixpectation for the gigs has also been rasied by the band’s involvement of'I'ommy Smith and his cohorts in providing the brass section for the shows. which hope to build on Ilue And (‘ry ‘s last triumphant gig in ( ilasgow — at the (iovan Town I Iall during Mayfest.
With no disrespect intended. Smith's willingness to be involved should not come as the great surprise many have taken it to be. Indeed a look at the cast list for Remote. IIue And (‘ry's new album. finds it littered with jazz luminaries. who include Ron ('arter (bass — a long time Miles Davis collaborator). Roy Ayers (vibraphone). .lon Thadis (trumpet. ex of I)izzy(iil|espie’s band) and Randy and Michael Brecker ( horns). When added to this are the top soul funk and Latin musicians on the album. the basic message is that the Katie brothers know how to put their own talent in good company.
The collaboration with Smith has been fairly hastily assembled for this forthcoming. small tour. a foundation on which I’at Kane hopes to build with more live work in 1989. alter the release of the second single from the album. Violently.
‘We were asked by a guy called Dave Batchelor at the BBC if we wanted to do a show with Tommy Smith.’ said Pat explaining the origins ofthe forthcoming gigs. "l‘ommy Smith is doing a T\' series which involves him playing different kinds of music on each show -- a jazz band. an orchestra. a pop band and with his own compositions.‘
‘Wc were asked to write a song with him. and the writing and recording of the song were filmed. I think one of the reasons he became interested in working with us is because a lot of his favourite all time jazz musicians are playing on our album — people like Michael Brecker who plays saxophone on The Only Thing and Where Wiin To Remain.‘
‘I haven‘t really clearly asked hint. because he is quite a sclfcontained guy. but I think he has been impressed by the quality of the jazz musicians on the album. He thinks he’s in quite good company. . . and I think he is the voice of the future when it comes to saxophones. He really is quite an artist.‘
Having seen their most recent single. ()rdinary Angel fall two places short of the top forty. I luel And ('ry were under pressure to put back the release of Remote until the start of 1989 — a move that they rejected: ‘We set ourselves a bit ofa target in I988. We wanted to have an album written and to have a reasonably good tour with a reasonable band. With the failure of ()rdinary Angel there was quite a lot
Hue and Cry are broadening their line-up and their viewpoints for their latest tour. Pat Kane talks to John Williamson.
of pressure on us to leave the album
till next year so that it doesn't dent the sales of the next single. We said “no” because we had worked our arses off to get the album done in 1988 and we w ere damn sure it was going to be released in I988.
‘What a lot of people don't realise is that we are about six months ahead ofall our contemporaries. Iiycrybody is still at it and we've got our album finished and tidied away. It has also all been relatively straightforward. There haven‘t been any great writing crisises or producer crises - we have just continuously developed from the last album.‘
The potential of the current tour to more than match the achievements of what has gone before for l Inc And (‘ry clearly excites Kane. While previous I Inc And (‘ry shows have rarely been flawed in terms of musicianship. singing or overall quality. the new eleven piece band offers the prospect of lifting the whole project on to a completely different plane — promising accurate renditions of the album versions of the new songs while adding life to the best tracks from the previous album. The scope for development on Labour of Love and I luman Touch in particular. is very high.
"There are no gaps in the I Iue And (‘ry live sound now.‘ said Pat. 'We are not relying on raw energy to get
us through a gig any more — we are relying on raw energy. beautiful orchestration. brilliant talent and a full range of musical resources.
‘Because we w ere slightly t'ttshcd for time. we only had about four weeks to get this whole album learned. so we have stayed pretty close to the album arrangements. which were in themselves. complicated enough. We brought the horn scores over from New York (where the album was recorded) and 'I'ommy Smith re-scored them for a three piece horn section (in America we were using eleven piece and nine piece horn sections).
"The band is so good that they are beginning to pull it and shove it and twist it in particular ways. and what we would love to do after this tour is to sit down and work out some of the arrangements. to really stretch them in preparation for a bigger tour early next year. This tour is basically to break in this line up with the new album and play in front of audiences. But once they are broken in the sky is the limit — with that line-up you can do anything. It is the widest musical palette we have ever used.’
The album builds on last year’s Seduced and Abandoned. taking musical and lyrical ideas one stage further. Looking For Lynda and Three Foot Blast of Fire show the first dabblings in narrative lyrics:
The Only Thing comes complete with a reading list on the sleeve notes; (iuy on the Wall tackles alienation at parties — ‘I'm the guy on the wall lean see through you It‘sa good perspective on the creeps and floozies~ — while Sweet Invisibility tackles more complex issues. It is in this that Pat has most pride: ‘The ones that I know are good like Lnokjng For Lynda and ()rdinary Angel have turned out well for the live thing — but the ones that have opened out incredibly are Violently. the next single. and Sweet Invisibility. I'm immensely proud of Sweet Invisibility as a musical achievment. as it combines a post structuralist lyric about the vaporising of political consciousness after Scottish deindustrialisation with this incredibly ethnic Latin track. which is a mixture of electronic rhythms and authentic Latin textures. That's the song I'm proudest of. . . it'sth one ofthese ones. like Labour of Love where we pile on meaning after meaning. I would like to see it as a single too.
‘I)ollar William is another one I am really proud of.‘ he continued. ‘I think it is a very unusual piece of music-- I love the lyric of it as well — talking about the sons ofthe salariat. and white collar life rather than blue collar. I find that interesting.'
(iiven the philosophy behind some of the individual tracks. a good summing up of the band’s outlook seems to come in the title. and pivotal track from the album. But. surely Rummy is a cold name for an album‘.’
‘I think it is quite a cold title. but tltis is the thing I want to keep stressing about I Iue And ('ry -- we are more than you think we are. We are not just like R. Ii..'\l.. who are known for their serious. gloomy perspectives on life. nor are we like Wet Wet Wet who are kind ol regarded as doing pop soul romantic tunes. We are everything -- we are enormous band in that we use music that is direct and communicational in order to talk about some of the problems of life. rather than glorious solutions.
'I’m waiting for people to realise that: I think that lyrically a song like ()rdinary Angel is as philosophical a song as you are going to find in the charts. It talks about the problems of living the good. logical and sane life in a very confusing. violent and unstable. media dominated society. I just don't see why you can’t have these kind of profundities in the context of a very likeable piece of music.’
It is the contradiction between the lyrics and the music that maintains the interest in Ilue And (‘ry. leaving I’at Kane as the detached. observant guy on the wall. looking over both a society and a music business which be simultaneously thrives on and deconstructs. As ()rdinary Angel observes ‘I’rofit and powcr‘s turning the world And I'm leaning against the spin."I'hat's I Itte And (‘ry at the end of I988.
H (w and ( ‘ry are in Edinburgh on I 3 Dec and (ilasgmi' (m I 4 Dec.
8 The List 9 — 22 December 1988