I GLASGOW laces a major gigs crisis again tor all levels at band lollowlng the closure at three regular venues in the space at a lew weeks. Alterthe almost Inevitable lailure ol the Revue as a regular venue, and the change at ownership reducing the number at gigs at Rooltops, there is a serious gap in the market lor many independent/ ethnic bands. The recent attempts to put gigs on every Thursday at the Sub Club has also come to an end, given the competition lrom Fury Murrys, leaving it as the main venue lor medium size touring bands. On a smaller scale, one ol the lew respectable pub gigs in Glasgow, Bar Luxembourg has also closed, leaving the Fixx on its own as a prestigious city centre pub venue. La Taniere continues an admirable policy at trying to put on hands every night, although its size hardly makes It a serious proposition lor bands with bigger aspirations. Surely now is the time tor someone to try an open minded and broad based music venue, exploiting an obvious gap in the market.
I CLEAROUT TIME at Virgin has seen the Big Dish part company with their home tor two albums although hopelully another deal should be in the pipeline soon. Also label-less at the moment are The Associates, lollowlng WEA’s decision to drop Mr Mackenzie in recent weeks. However, on a more positive note, recent Macltenzie partner in crime, Paul Haig should have something out soon on Circa Records, and it is unlikely that Dundee’s most talented, yet unproductive son, will be homeless lor long.
I THE PAINTED WORD are at last promising a release, alterlinishing their debut album, Lovelile, last Autumn. RCA will be releasing the single, Worldwide, on 20 March, with the album in the not too distant luture. Tying in with the single’s aim ol providing what songwriter Alan McCusker Thompson describes as ‘a musical trip round the world’ — he is currently in Mexico lllming the video tor the said single.
I DEACON BLUE have linally linished work on their second album, with a provisional release date in April. The next single, due out in February, is now ‘OO°/o certain' to be Wages Day— although Circus Lights and Queen oi the New Year were known to be other contenders lor single release. In addition the band have sold out their two dates at the SECC in less than no time . . .
I THOSE DARLING BUDS have got the world eating out oi their hands. Alter their rapturously-received gig In Edinburgh in mid-January they took it Into their heads to traipse up to the plush hotel where, as they put it, ‘all the journalists are staying’, instead at back to the tiny backstreet
accomodation they themselves had been allotted. The night porters, horrilled by the sight at Buds and entourage, barred them lrom calling any at the sleeping hacks upstairs, but someone must have recognised Andrea Bud lrom ‘Top ol the Pops’ the night betore, as not only were they allowed to dellle the lobby with nuts, ash, spilt beer, rock’n’roll language and unconscious members at the press, but somehow two dinky bottles oi champagne were lound to toast the road manager’s birthday. The Buds plan to return later in the year and host their otticial post-gig knees-up in the sellsame lobby.
I Richard Strange and The Engine Room: Damascus (Nightshilt). The day I received this a lriend treated me to an evening at the wit and wonder ol The Doctors oi Madness, the proto-punk group in which Richard Strange made his lirst lunge lor lame. ‘The Phenomenal Rise ot Richard Strange’, some years later, wasn’t, but not discouraged, here he is in yet another incarnation. Shamelesst poetic, he sings oi ‘melting moons’ and ‘desert love’ and attempts to conjure up the taste ol the mysterious east with exotic scales. For all that it’s an engaging, even catchy song. The lollowlng ‘The Haj Caravan’ resembles nothing so much as David Sylvlan, which opens a whole can at worms concerning mid-70s British rock. Now how about a Doctors at Madness revival? (Mab)
I Prong: Third From The Sun (Spigot). Prong rein in their customary brutal assault (or at least slow it down a little) and almost turn hippy on us with a cover at a song originally done by Chrome. it’s no surprise that the drummer is an ex-Swan - even at hall-speed the rhythmic clout oi this one sets the collee mugs vibrating across the desk. Heavy primal metal, you’re going to need to catch your breath alter playing this one. (Mab)
I Sheena Easton: The Lover In Me (MCA). As a direct descendent ol the (also L.A. & Babytace produced) classics ‘Looking For A New Love' (Jody Watley), You're Putting A Rush On Me (Stephanie Mills) and Girllriend (Pebbles), this is a powerlul and wonderiul dance track, which I had no real expectations lor. Apart lrom her hall-Glasgow, hall-Hollywood accent, Sheena Easton is hereby declared ‘happening, man’. Forthe time being, at least. (JW)
I Diesel Park West: All The Myths on Sunday (Food/EMI). Despite the slightly hyped ‘British R.E.M.’ nonsense in some at the music papers, this single shows that the band have a clear understanding ol the important moments in rock history, The Stones,
‘ The Byrds, The Doors, R.E.M. and
maybe Television being the more obvious inlluences on a songwriting talent which still manages to maintain its own identity as well. Look lorward to the album. (JW)
I Pat Benatar: One Love (Chrysalis). This is neither the rocker or the epic ballad, more ol a mid tempo number strangely lacking in conviction or a chorus and never touching the a.o.r. classics at earlier Benatar singles. Slightly sad. (JW)
I The Bangles: Eternal Flame (CBS). Not dillicult to detect the Phil Spector inlluence here, but nevertheless, a beautilully slushy pop song, which is good as anything the Bangles have come up with. A massive hit, hopelully. (JW)
I Black: Now You’re Gone (AGM). You know the usual adjectives used lor Black-sophisticated, craltsmanlike, etc. and this one tits the bill, being anothertrack lrom the superb Comedy album, which seems to have sutlered badly in the sales stakes. Colin Vearncombe is a remarkably understated songwriter and this is a good exmaple ol his cralt. (JW)
‘ H |') hi \ ,' I, a “:v. .
I Lou Reed: New York (Sire). A broadcast at Lou Reed playing in a club in his beloved Big Apple shown on ‘The Late Shilt’ last year was hindered by Reed's major weakness; the inconsistency at his songs, and the widening gaps between good ones. Perhaps the deaths oi Nico and Andy Warhol have spurred him onto produce some more great work while he’s still here, but whatever, ‘New York’, as you'll have already heard, is a triumph.
From the basic, deceptively simple band arrangements it could have been made in 1974, but the guitars are crisper, tresher, betterthan loryears, and while Reed addresses his lavourite subject, low lives in the big city, he does so with new eyes and a wider vision.
It’s hard to pick out the best songs (though ‘Hold On‘ and ‘The Last Great American Whale‘ make a strong impact at once) and that was perhaps part at the reasoning tor insisting that it be listened to in one sitting, but there are no weak links in the running order. True to Reed’s intention one has no desire to skip tracks to get on to the best bits. That, together with the overall sound and leel of his exceUent band makes it Reed’s linest album in more years than I have lingers to count, and probably his most consistent ever. (Mab)
Alastair Mabbott with the Listen! lortnightly Hit List.
1. LOU REED: New York (Sire)
2. JANE'S ADDICTION: Nothing’s Shocking (WEA LP- so I made a mistake!)
3. THE CATERAN: The Black Album (Imaginary 7in)
4. THE SKELETONS: Laugh at Me (Next Big Thing LP track)
5. HAPPY MONDAYS: Wrote For Luck (Factory LPtrack)
6. DINOSAUR JR: Freak Scene (Blast First 45)
7. KILLDOZER: Hamburger Martyr (Touch and Go LP track)
8. LAVINE HUDSON: Intervention (Virgin remixed 45)
9. CICCONE YOUTH: The Whitey Album (Blast First)
TO.JONATHAN RICHMAN: Roadrunner (old Berserkley chestnut)
44 The List 27 January — 9 February