Rarely have an unsigned and largely unheard of local band left such a strong
! impressionasthe Wild BiverApples
did at their recent Bar Luxembourg gig.
Despite the hardly suitable environment, here was a band that seemed to have a firm grasp of the essence of exciting and inspiring rock music. Their roughness and inexperienced presentation was unable to hide a truly great vocalist, and an intense, if insular, performance.
The current line up has evolved over a period of two years to its current shape of Gwen Stewart (vocals), David Fagan (guitar), Paul Roden (bass), John
Boden (drums) and Jackie Cullen (keyboards). The demos recorded to date have failed to capture the excitement of the live performance, yet this is partly due to changing line ups and limited studio experience.
The gigs seem to allow the songs, and particularly the guitar sound and vocals, more room to impress, as Paul pointed out: ‘The thing we noticed when Gwen joined the band was that every live performance was different. Especially with the endings of songs and things like that . . . there is a format, but in a ‘rock' situation it is a lot more free and ad libby. It‘s a lot more atmospheric as well —you can basicallyjust do as you like.‘
The songwriting, which is shared between David and Paul reflects a variety of influences, with their
common love of to 000 Maniacs more evident than their references to U2, Foreigner, Prefab Sprout and Iggy Pop. Vocally, Gwen has been likened to Janis Joplin, perhaps more in performance than in vocal, yet the heavyweight comparison reflects the magnitude of the talent. The spectre of Joplin is obviously something they have thought about, and argued about before: ‘1 have listened to Janis Joplin, but I haven‘t taken from her,’ said Gwen. ‘I just listened to her, passed it and that‘s it. I would say that I listened to a lot of Working Week, and I just loved Julie Roberts. . . so maybe I stole something from her somewhere. I may come across like Janis Joplin, but Idon’t mean to come across like that.‘
‘It is not just Gwen though,‘ added David. ‘lt‘s because you are working with a rock band, which Japlin did. She was a soul singer working with a rock band, which is kind of like what is happening with us. I suppose that is where the comparison would stem from.‘
Regardless ofthe talk of influences, the Wild River Apples are slowly building a forceful sound of their own in which they hold great hope for future success. Whetherthe rawness of the sound at the moment will entice record companies is uncertain, and whether the band would suffer from a more airbrushed approach must also be doubted-yet one thing for sure is that the possibilities forthe Wild River Apples in six months time are awesome. (John Williamson).
FEB 14 EDINBURGH, GEORGE SO. THEATRE
i I Live band Cavern. (‘ow-gatc. 226 56-11.
MONDAY 23 Edinburgh
I Prong and Godflesh Venue. (‘alton Road. 557 3073. ('an't elucidate on (iodflesh. but Prong's uncompromising overdriven pulse on their 19881.1’I’orcc Fed really shook the speakers. The lyric
I Lorna Brookes and I Kik House La Taniere. 15Fos Street. 221 48-14. 9pm. Free. As well as singing backing vocals in Kik llouse. Lorna Brookes was formerly singer in .lulia Please. who have now sadly disbanded.
I Marino‘s Men llalt Bar. l60\Voodlands Road. 332 1210. 0pm. Free. Residency.
I Dave Robb Music Box. Victoria Street. 2201708. 10.30pm. Free. 1p and coming Bouzouki-playing singer songwriter. back from supporting The Proclaimers and certain to build up a following in hisown right.
I Christian Death Venue. ('alton Road. 557 3073. Jane's Addiction (see Sun 22) may have unwittingly caused controversy with their sleeve artwork. but ('hristian Death's imagery (involving vast acresof human flesh. hypodermics and Jesus (‘lirisl ) is as calculated to shock astlteir choice of name. and (List as tiresome. The surprises start with the band‘s claim. in a letter to the innsic press. to be ‘ol'stern (‘liristian beliefs‘ and peeved that ‘we asa society are destroying all that is good in the teaching ol('hri.st'. So while they anger (‘hristians with their graphicsand disappoint shock-hungry pagans with their statements. who do they hope to attract to their gigs'.’
I Mike C. Smith Trader Vic's. Victoria Street. 225 656‘). 9.30pm. Free. See \Ved IS.
I Charlie and Her Sheepdogs Negociants. Lothian Street. 225 6313. 9.45pm. Free. I Live band (’avern. (‘ow-gate. 226 5641.
THURSDAY 26 Glasgow
I Christian Death Rooftops, ()2 Sauchiehall Street. 332 5883. 10.30pm. I tend to be dubious about hands that need marketing angles outwith the music -- and that means everyone from Bros through 'I‘rans‘vision Vamp to the likesol Rapernan and (‘hristian Death. Musically. l have heard nothing from(‘hristian Death that suggests the music warrants much attention.
I The Close Lobsters Sub (‘lub. 22Jamaiea Street. 248 4600. 10.30pm. ()nc ofthe longest survivors of the dreaded (‘86 period a the longevity perhaps being down to the fact that they are one of the bands who developed most from that period.
FEB 15 GLASGOW, HENRY WOOD HALL
START 7pm : LIMTTED TICKET AVAILABILITY TICKETS: VENUE BOX OFFICES, EXCEPT EDINBURGH: VIRGIN, RIPPING. GLASGOW: J.T.T. VIRGIN BASEMENT
sheet frequently descended into (deliberate?) parody of hardcore songs. but Prong's music is admirably and
I Pale Fire Fury Murrys. ‘)6 Maxwell Street. 221 6511. 10.30pm. Fronted by Beatrice (iolill of April Showch Luvc and
FRID FEB 10th - EDINBURGH VENUE SAT FEB 11th - GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART SUN FEB 12th - DUNDEE DANCE FACTORY o TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM USUAL OUTLETS -
EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE THEATRE MONDAY 20th FEBRUARY 7:30pm WATCH OUT FOR EXTRA SCOTTISH SHOW
raters £1100 £1000 home/0am al usuaITOCTAaoms Tot «11557 6969
34 The List 13 — 26 January
I Bulb Cormorant (TBC) Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 226 3816.
I Johnny Sunbeam Negociants. Lothian Street. 225 6313.9.45pm. Free. See Mon 16.
TUESDAY 24 Glasgow
I Wolf Gang La 'I'anierc. 15 Fox Street. 221 48-1-1. 9pm. Free. Sounds frighteningly like heavy metal — but names have deceived before.
I Bobby Wishart 1 fall Bar. 160 Woodlands Road. 332 1210. 9pm. Free.
I The Tex Fillet Five Negociants. Lothian Street. 225 6313. 9.45pm. Free. See'l‘ue I7.
I The Heat Preservation Hall. Victoria Street. 226 3816. 9.30pm. Free.
I Live band Cavern. (‘owgate. 2265641.
WEDNESDAY 25 Glasgow
I Slide Fixx. 86 Miller Street. 248 2859. 10pm. Free. Now well advanced in the recording ofthcir debut album for Phonogram. Their last gig at the Fixx seemed to indicate more substance and rock inﬂuences than their earlier outings.
Money fame. with (’ampbell ()wensof Aztec (‘amera The Bathers on bass. Initial impressions suggest that the operative adjective is tasteful.
I Machine Gun l.a 'l‘aniere. 15 Fox Street. 221 48-14. 9pm. Free. Well. the narneis about as subtle as a (iraeme Souness tackle. and doesn't hold out too much hope for the music.
I The Wild River Apples. The Steel Chain and Spiral Dance ('irkus (‘lub. Music Box. Victoria Street. 220 1708. 10pm. £2.50. [Edinburgh's chance to take in the first round ofthe (‘irkus (‘lub. which has started. with the help of'l'ennents Lich. to take selections ofgroups round the four Scottish cities. Also in attendance: llouse DJ Time and the Rebel Sound Posse. and guest acts introduced by the incomparable Sid ()zalid of Northsound. It sounds like an excellent idea. and the second round (bands as yet unconfirmed) kicks off at the Cotton (‘lub on 2 Feb.
I The Dan Blocker Experience Negociants. Lothian Street. 225 6313. 9.45pm. Free. See Thurs 19.
I The Brothers Preservation Hall, Victoria Street. 226 3816. 226 3816. 9.30pm. Free. Residency.
I Live band Lord Darnley. West Port.229 4341. 10pm. Free.
I Live band Cavern. ('owgate. 226 5641.