I IS IT SAFE to talk about the Usher Hall gig? Well, why not, since the tickets are going on sale on 25
February anyway. A veil oi secrecy has been drawn over the Anti-Poll Tax show being held at Edinburgh‘s Usher Hall on 1 April, but we are promised ‘loads oi diiterent bands’ with some very big Scottish names among them. Tickets are at a special price at £6 (£3 ior UB4O holders), as the emphasis oi the concert is to raise the prolile oi the Poll Tax issue rather than to raise money. Hints being dropped about the line-up make it look very tasty indeed.
I DAVE MASSEY at Chrysalis Music Publishers is on the lookout ior Scottish bands or songwriters ‘with brilliant, unlorgettable songs that make me want to get the next shuttle up’. The company already have Wet Wet Wet, Frankie Miller, Runrig, and Rich, and Dave says they are keen to keep up their Scottish connection. Dave Massey, Chrysalis Music, 12 Stratiord Place. London W1N 9AF.
I Sidney Youngblood: Congratulations (Circa). The drum track is tough enough ior Public Enemy to grudgingly approve, and it’s a pretty tasty production at what, with a more subdued live backing would be a straight pop/soul number. The tact that the vocals sound really good submerged in it like that does, however, give rise to the suspicion that those involved might not have had absolute coniidence in the song. (Mab) I The Longhorns: All I Want From You (BWI). The two listed tracks on this three-track single are getting on a bit now, but an improvement on the Kllmarnock band’s debut mini-LP. The Longhorns make no great claims ior themselves, and play bare-bones rock’n’roll with enough spirit to make this cheaply-made 45 worthwhile. (Mab)
I Lavine Hudson: Intervention (remix)
New Model Army
(Virgin). Another re-release, but why it wasn’t a bigger hit the lirst time who can say? As a British gospel singer, with lull control over her career, making gospel records that sound exactly like hi-tech soul singles it you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, Lavine perhaps laces a record industry that hasn’t a damn clue what to do with her. I swear, there’s a yelp on this song that just makes you want to curl up and die the lirst time you hear it. (Mab)
I Paul Haig: Something Good (Circa). One oi the most surprising things about the lirst new Paul Haig material in years is the sheer commerciality oi this debut single, which would be comiortably at home in the top twenty. Combining the still in vogue acousticism with early eighties synth noises gives Haig an extra dimension
over his competitors in either iield, and
the hookiness oi this song hints at good things tor his lorthcoming album should the standard at songwriting remain so high throughout. (JW)
I Ali Thomson: ‘What Dreams Are Made Oi’ (EG) After a lengthy absence irom the world oi singles releases, Ali Thomson, a Scot who had a top ten hit in the USA in the late seventies, is back . . . back! Marketed as a sophisticated singer songwriter, this single tails to live up to the standards oi Danny Wilson or Scritti Politti (with whom he has been working recently), and goes the way oi many similar oiierings- in one ear and out the other. Redemption is at hand on the b-side, Cellophane Girl, which with its less cluttered production, hints at a genuinely interesting songwriting talent. Hopeiully, his album will lollow this role model. (JW)
I Five Guys Named Moe: ‘Fairvan’ (No Moe Records) Recently signed to RCA, this independent EP has been released as scheduled, perhaps to satisiy the demand oi the inevitable ‘I liked them belore they sold out’ brigade. This presents a slightly distorted view at the band’s diversity, but successiully shows the strength oi their songwriting, nowhere more so than on
beautitul piano/vocal track Beneath
The Willow. While ‘She's On A Mountain’ their most immediately accessible track is obviously being saved tor a major promotion, this will do very nicely indeed. Buy at once.
I Roy Orbison: Mystery Girl (Virgin). ‘You Got It’, the single, you'll know already, and it opens the album with a gracelul ease that you know just has to be deceptive. No greater achievement could Orbison have hoped to end his career with than this, an immaculate record which will in iuture comlortably rub shoulders with his Greatest Hits.
Listening to ‘Mystery Girl’, like the best oi Orbison’s work, is like gazing over the edge oi a well oi sadness so deep that you can only imagine the bottom at it. How, you wonder, can he grab that melancholia by the throat and make it dance? But he does, in heart-tearing ballads and shimmering upbeat numbers.
Orbison’s lite was no dreamworld, and neither were the lives at those he touched deeply throughout his career. He was lucky to have assembled a sympathetic cast oi collaborators ior ‘Mystery Girl’. No last-ditch gasp, no burnt-out legend buoyed up by a pitying cast at younger collaborators, it’s the work oi a man at the peak oi his powers, and will make you ache in places you’d iorgotten were there. (Mab)
I New Model Army: Thunder and Consolation (EMl). The title is taken irom the writings ot a 17th Century Ouaker, and the gatelold sleeve even incorporates a Runic symbol, but New Model Army’s concerns are what altlicts Britain today; the grinding pressure oi government on the underdog. broken iamilies and split communities, all sung irom NMA’s stance oi heroic outsiders, dispensing anthems oi togetherness tor the disaiiected and dispossessed.
The Thunder oi the title is provided by the old Aretha, Otls and Ray Charles producer Tom Dowd, known in more recent years ior his work with rock bands, who was enlisted to produce some tracks. He does an especially good job on the album’s best song, ‘Valleys oi Green and Grey’, a bitter address to a iormer iriend lured away irom the North to ‘the land at gold and poison’. There’s no doubt that their hearts beat strongly, but the overwhelming impression is at a band hooked on westerns, in which three Men With No Name ride into town, sort
out the wrongs and ride all again into the sunset. (Mab)
I Bob Dylan and The Gratetul Dead: Dylan and The Dead (CBS). As a double LP this could have stood as a warts-and-all document oi the union oi two rock legends. As a single slug oi vinyl it seems directionless, its meandering versions oi some oi Dylan’s better-known works mired around a centre which doesn't hold. On paper, and to the assembled Deadheads at the concerts at which these tapes were made, it probably seemed like a marriage made in heaven; some outstandingly abominable diction irom Dylan combined with the Dead‘s patented laid-back delivery. But laid-back, in this case, translates as muted, and apart irom a iew bursts oi Iluid lead guitar lrom Jerry Garcia on ‘All Along The Watchtower’ the Dead seem strangely uninspired, resigned to the role oi Bob Dylan’s backing band. Perhaps you just had to be there. (Mab)
_ ROCK ON THE RADIO
I SATURDAY 25: Nanci Griiiith and The Blue Moon Orchestra (Clyde FM, 9pm) in concert irom last October at the Pavilion. A truly magniiicent concert which is well worth hearing it you weren’t iortunate enough to be there. Sadly an hour won't be enough to capture all the highlights.
I SUNDAY 26: Martin Stephenson in session (Clyde FM, 7pm) An acoustic session ieaturing some new songs. A must ior Daintees tans, who are not short in number in this part oi the world.
I SATURDAY 27: T’ Pau in concert (Clyde FM, 9pm) From the SECC last year, none oi us who witnessed the event will really be looking or listening ior any reminders.
I SUNDAY 28: Up in session (Clyde FM, 7pm) The new band ieaturing Robert Hodgens oi Bluebells lame/notoriety, and well worth hearing by all accounts.
Alastair Mabbott with the LISTEN! iortnightly Hit List.
1.ROY ORBlSON: In The Real World (Virgin LP track).
2.ELVIS COSTELLO: Let Him Dangle (Warners LP track).
3.BEN VAUGHN: Ben Vaughn Blows Your Mind (Enigma LP). 3.l(lLLDOZER: Hamburger Martyr (Touch and Go LP track). 4.SUNDAYS: Can’t Be Sure (Rough Trade 45).
5.LA’S: There She Goes EP (Go!Discs 45).
B.POOH STICKS: Forceied By Love (53rd&3rd LP track.
7.TURNTABLE ORCHESTRA: You’re Gonna Miss Me (RePublic 45). B.PALE FIRE: Sweet Adelaide (demo) 9.TEXAS: I Don’t Want a Lover (Phonogram).
IO.MEKONS: Ghosts oi American Astronauts (Sin 45).
The List 24 Fcbruarv — 9 March 43