I FURTHER TO our news story about the launch of the Scottish Record Industry Association at the front of the issue, SRIA Vice-Chairman and boss of indie rock label Nightshift, Brian Guthrie’s proposal of A Scottish chart, the mere mention of which got the trade paper ‘Music Week’ in such a flap, is explained by the man thus: ‘They (Gallup) operate a system where it appears that if you sell a given number of records in a localised area, often those are discounted from the chart reckoning as being regional glitches. But ifyou sell the same number of records in London they will almost certainly chart. And the advantage of charting is self-evident. If a record charts it will then be stocked by the large chainstores, who operate strict top 75 policies. And if you can’t get stocked by those shops then you won’t chart. It’s a catch-22. I discovered evidence to prove this, Gallup have frantically denied it, but the fact of the matter is that there have been acts who should chart on the number of copies they’re selling but don’t. Iwould like to see not only a Scottish chart, but a Midlands, North of England, Home Counties, South West, Irish chart page in “Music Week” with the totals transmuted across to a new national chart.’
I SOMEONE MUST have heard our plea the other issue, torthe live music scene in Edinburgh is to get a boost as 011 April, when the revamped Calton Studios opens its doors. The building is to be used by the same people who run
the Venue, just up Calton Road, and an
adventurous programme, largely sponsored by Tennents Live!, is planned. Though plans are still vague, things are to be kicked off on the aforementioned date with a two-night stay by the full Tackhead set-up, which promises to be quite a multi-media spectacle. Because of the big Anti-Poll Tax gig at the Usher Hall on 1 April the big launch won’t be until the following night. What is to follow, we’re promised, includes a programme of new Scottish/British new wave pop and other goodies. The Venue will still be carrying on (more or less) as normal, and there’s even some very hush-hush talk inthe air abouta Venue lll . . .
I STILL ON the subject of All Fools Day, the day of protest against the introduction ofthe Poll Tax is not confined to the big gig (Deacon Blue, Texas, Runrig) at the Usher Hall in the evening. A demo leaves Regent Road at 10.30am heading towards the Meadows, where there will be speakers, including some ‘figureheads’ from the music world, we’re told. Forthose who need some entertainment alter all that, a cabaret will run at Teviot Row Union from 6pm with, again, ‘t0p Scottish names and bands’, and in the same venue from 9pm—2am The Cateran and various other names will be playing at a Party
I TO CORRECT an itsy-bitsy errorthat cropped up in one of the papers concerning Goodbye Mr Mackenzie’s soon-to-be-notorious showcase for thousands of non-existent media folk in Aviemore, your man on the spot can report that it was the shrieks of the intruder detector on the bar that rent the night air, not the fire alarm, and setting it off was a deeply-felt protest, fuelled by an overwhelming conviction that this was ‘what socialism is all about’, as the culprit feebly protested afterwards. The band, needless to say, behaved impeccably and turned in a line set at the Aviemore Centre, but the lack of any non-Scottish faces except an unimpressed scribe from ‘Offbeat’ and an EMI press officer put the dampers on a bit. That, and the lack of
sunab'e Skiing snow. We wonder ifthe
two are somehow connected?
I LONDON-BASED multiracial music group Grand Union are organising a series of workshops in Edinburgh between Thursday 16 and Saturday 18, and would like to hear from any interested parties, in particular black, Asian or other non-European musicians. For information contact Richard Bamford on 0313191590.
I ANYONE awaiting the words of Kevin McDermott last issue will have been disappointed. But not as much asthe poor scribe who missed his deadline because of a nasty bout of food poisoning, sell-inflicted while watching BBC2’s music show ‘Snub’ the other week. The thoughts of Kevin will appear soon, but the hack is seeking help from a hypnotist to break his mental association between American indie music and the taste of regurgitated pakora.
I JIM PRIME, Graeme Kelling and Ewen Vernal of Deacon Blue appear in less than likely circumstances on the just released CMV Video ‘A Vision Shared: A Tribute To Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly.’ In fact, the three can be spotted backing Little Richard on a passionate run through of ’Rock Island Line.’ In terms of the video itself, they keep good company with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Sweet Honey In The Rock being among the artists who contribute the seventeen tracks, which incidentally do not match up identically with the album of the same name. Between tracks the featured artists are interviewed about the influence of Guthrie and Leadbelly, while Robbie Robertson narrates the history of the men behind the inspirational Folkways recordings.
I CMV also release Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Video Anthology(1978—88)’ this week, a contender with ’Folkways. . .’ as the best music video release to date. Mixing live footage with videos, including the well ahead of its time (and still brilliant) Atlantic City, this is unlikely to win Springsteen many new
fans, but will nevertheless lighten the pockets of existing ones by £12.95.
I BACK TO DEACON BLUE, Ricky Ross has finally written his song for Dundee United. ‘Proud To Be An Arab’ was given its first public airing at a testimonial event for Paul Sturrock. Ross was joined on stage by various United players and the legendary Hamish McAlpine, while being kitted In United regalia. While Listen! applauds this intervention, readers will be pleased to know that there Is no truth in the rumour that Graeme Souness will be recording a version of ‘Last of the Famous International Playboys.’
I Deacon Blue: Wages Day (CBS). As much as Deacon Blue sound like they’ve been going for the easy way out for their last couple of singles (i.e. forced and bombastic) there’s no denying their earfor a good tune. ’ ‘Wages Day’ will not go down as a high water mark in their career, though. (Mab)
I Love and Money: Jocelyn Square (Phonogram). What’s always bothered me the most about Love and Money is that their supposedly funky grooves contented themselves with being functional ratherthan inspirational. Not surprisingly, with its Gary Katz production, ‘Jocelyn Square’ suffers from post-Steely Dan syndrome; it just sounds like a laid-back groove where everything is superfluous but the guitar doodling (some very nice guitar doodling indeed, as it happens) around on top. Another miss. (Mabl
I The Stretch Heads: Five Fingers Four Thingers a Thumb a Facelift and a New Identity (Moksha). Phew! Restful this ain’t, and early visitors to the Shamen’s recent gigs found their psychic balances dlsturbed by The Stretch Heads’ frenzied caterwaullng. Punters coming across the band for the first time can often be repulsed to start with, and after fifteen minutes or so find that their head-mangllng riffs and unintelligible screamed lyrics start to make some kind of sense. Plus, any band who can come up with a song title like ‘Archlve Footage of a Fish’ and refer to their demented vocalist only by the term P6 is okay by me. (Mab)
I The Mystery Girls: Sour Mash (Blast Furnace). ‘Sour Mash’ is not altogether as wonderful as The Mystery Girls might have wished of their first album. Within, the listener may find a compendium of Southern rock type ‘thee-angs’ celebrating whiskey, women, rock, women, yet more whiskey and women, along with others of a more questionable nature. The album follows the formula of other bands of the same type, but provides the band’s own Western saloon feel, as in the waltz beat of ‘Sweet Mississippi’ and the slow tempo jazz affair ‘Nuthin’ to Do’. By the same token, the ragtime piano makes a refreshing change to the usual walls of guitar, but it amounts to little more than window dressing on otherwise mediocre music. (Stephen Murray)
ROCK ON THE RADIO
RADIO CLYDE LISTINGS SATURDAY 11
Billy Bragg In Concert (Clyde FM, 9pm): Recorded at the Pavilion last year when Bragg expanded his one man and guitar act with the use of selected instrumentation on some tracks. Hopefully some of his great between-song links will remain in place.
Farewell Parade In Session (Clyde FM, 7pm): Vested interest prevents unbiased value judgement, so listen and decide foryourself.
Tanlta Tikaram In Concert (Clyde FM, 9pm): A fine gig recorded at the Pavilion last year.
Kevin McDermott Orchestra In Session (Clyde FM, 7pm): Even without the guitar playing of Robbie McIntosh, which is stunning on the Mother Nature’s Kitchen album, this should be an exciting session from a talented band with quality songs.
John Williamson with the LISTEN! fortnightly Hit List.
1. JONI MITCHELL: Blue (Classic Reprise LP)
2. ’TIL TUESDAY: Everything’s Different Now (Epic)
3. LYLE LOVETT: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (MCA, LP)
4. THE BIG DISH: Good Way (demo) 5. PAULA ABDUL: Straight Up (Siren, 7ln)
6. THE REPLACEMENTS: Talent Show (Sire, LP track)
7. RUBY BLUE: Stand Together/Easy (Red Flame, 12in)
B. JANIS JOPLIN: Mercedes Benz (CBS, classic LPtrack)
9. THE SUNDAYS: Dont Tell Your Mother (Rough Trade, 12in track)
10. THE BANGLES: Bangles Hit Mix (CBS, 12in B-side)
The List 10— 23 March 1989 45