I SO IT'S OFFICIAL— Lloyd Cole and The Commotions are no more. Alter months at speculation a split has been announced. and Cole is now in New York working with Paul Hardiman and Fred Maher on his lirst solo LP. Drummer Steven Irvine and guitarist Neil Clark are laying down tracks, as they say, for other people, but bassist Lawrence Donegan has quit the music business entirely, opting tor journalism instead. A l4-track retrospective is about to be issued. Cole is reported to be blaming Yoko lor the split.
I FLATTERING WORDS lrom this organ were quoted in the ad leatured last issue lor Win‘s sparkling new LP ‘Freaky Trigger‘. ‘One olthe lewjewels that shine out at this bad, bad world‘ — The List. Absolutely true, at course, but those were the words that Win‘s Davy Henderson, hardly the least biased at critics. used to describe his own band to us in January.
I GARY MOORE‘S Edinburgh Playhouse date has been postponed. thanks to the departure ol legendary drummer Cozy Powell lrom the line-up, an event shrouded in mystery. A replacement has been lound in The Firm‘s Chris Slade, and the rescheduled date — tickets will still be valid — is 26 May.
I MORE STEVIE! To assuage the tans who couldn‘t get tickets lor Stevie Wonder‘s two Edinburgh dates -they sold out in 24 hours-the man is adding an extra date to his tour at the SECC on 9 May.
I BBX: Strength (10). A quite excellent return lor the group which used to be known as Black Britain. It the hookline doesn‘t get you then consult your doctor. A nationwide hit-to-be. (Mab) I Easterhouse: Come Out Fighting (Rough Trade). Not quite the mindless dose at rabble-rousing the title suggests. Easterhouse's single takes what The Clash were trying to do in those linal years when they just couldn‘t get it up any more, and makes something at it. And yes, it this is your criteria lor judging a record. they sound like they were having a ball when they made it. (Mab)
I Heavenly Bodies: Rains on Me (Third Mind). Dead Can Dance members take some time all with high-pitched vocalist Caroline Seaman to spice up a club beat with some tasty guitar strumming. Could become a hot lavourite in the more indie-oriented caverns.
I The Carringtons: Swell Party (Dexdiscs). First thing to spring to mind is early Eurythmics. and The Carringtons have neatly pulled all the trick ol catching us unawares with an
ollbeat style that should leel more lamiliarthan it does. (Mab)
I Sarah Jane Morris: Me and Mrs Jones (Jive). Pointless remake ol the month award. Listen to Head‘s version. (Mab)
I Candi: Under Your Spell (IRS). Drivel. Stock, Aitken and Waterman could knock this out in a teabreak and target they’d done it. (Mab).
I The Bleach Boys: Stocking-clad Nazi Death Squad Bitches (Zombie International). Doesn‘t live up to the title. But what could? (Mab)
I The Blue Ox Babes: Walking on the Line (Go!Discs). The Babes are an acquired taste. The closest comparison is with Dexy's Midnight Runners, with the lull liddles and horns line-up, and unlortunately the singer has seen lit to approximate Kev Rowland‘s vocal mannerisms. Butwhere Dexy’s scorched. the Babes tinker. You‘ll lind it either inspired or irritating, and I don’t think I‘ll be listening to ittoo much. (Mab)
I The Last Poets: Freedom Express (Acid Jazz). Ignore the built-in obsolescence ol the label name; lor those who aren‘t lamiliar with The Last Poets, they were the original rappers, lormed in 1968 by Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin with the intention at keeping alive Alrican storytelling techniques in an American idiom. Working with musicians like Miles Davis, Hendrix, Mingus and Blakey, the Poets epitomised the deliant, politicised Black Muslim stance. ‘Freedom Express‘ is a stunner, lrom the gritty Seventies lunk ol the opening ‘Tough Enough‘, which steams up the windows lrom the lirst note, to the magnum opus ‘Un-Holy Alliance‘, an ambitious attempt to encapsulate the history ol imperialism in Alrica. To hearthe Poets rap with such lluency, taste and sense at history makes you wonder what went wrong with the legions ol brain-dead narcissists they sired. (Mab)
I Ben Vaughn: Blows Your Mind (Enigma). Vaughn, like Jonathan Richman, walks the tightrope between sincerity and parody the way only a committed lan at his genre can. With a boundless love lor good-time rock‘n‘roll and bubblegum pop. Vaughn winks and pulls another lamous rill or cliche lrom his bottomless bag at licks to spice up a song, or elicit a twinge ol recognition lrom his lriends in the gallery. It‘s hard to take ollence at anything so good-humoured and just plain tun, though it occasionally seems lorced. (Mab)
I The Band of Holy Joy: Manic, Magic, Majestic (Rough Trade). Devoted to
' . J r s' ' A ' .‘ keeping alive some kind at English quirkiness and individuality alter a hall-century at American cultural hegemony, The Band at Holy Joy could be the violin-toting Pet Shop Boys at one at Michael Moorcock's parallel Earths. A neurotic end at the pier show, it you will. Singer Johny Brown has Morrissey‘s eye lor kitchen sink detail, but his songs come lrom the position at one who can‘t help but put himsell in situations where he can be hurt again and again. Most of the songs seem to be addressed to tickle, imperlect partners, vividly and sympathetically sketched. The best at ‘MMM‘ thrives on the tension between music that evokes summer holidays on a coastal resort and words that untlinchingly dwell on disillusionment and lallibility. Compellinn. (Mab)
I TEXAS; Southside‘ (Mercury): Until the lirst key change in the opening track and deservedly successlul single, I Don‘t Want A Lover, there is a possibility that the earth might move during the course at the album. The tact that it doesn‘t perhaps should not surprise, but what disappoints more is the way in which Texas lrequently
come close to brilliance, while at the same time llirting with tedium.
Musically, the parts are all present and correct, Sharleen Spiteri has an undeniably strong, it limited, voice and an endearineg warm presence, while Ally McErlaine is a stunning guitarist, even it his ability again operates within a very limited style. By the time you hear the slide guitar sound that underpins the single lor the third time on the third (supposedly) dillerent track, it is easy to become dismissive ol the severe one-dimensionalism at this album.
While, it is one thing to establish what you do best and stick by it, as on ‘Tell Me Why,‘ ‘Thrill Has Gone‘ (the second hit single) and ‘Future Is Promises‘, the rest ol the collection at songs leaves you wondering whether the next Texas album will add some more colour to the picture or merely present yet more at the same. In the meantime, those whose curiosity was luelled by the lreshness ol the single are lelt with a lrustrating but by no means disgracelul debut album. (JW)
I John Cooper Clarke: Du est la maison de lromage?/Slaughter and The Dogs: Rabid Dogs (Receiver). According to the label ot ‘Rabid Dogs’ ‘Waiting lor the Man’ is a Rossi/Barrett composition - knew that Lou Reed wasn't all he's cracked up to be, didn’t
you? Both these records are live. the Bard ot Sallord‘s being a patchy (but always audible) collection at late-70s appearances and rehearsals. Despite my reservations concerning the album‘s thrown-together airl like it. Most ol the taves are here - though no ‘Chickentown‘, or ‘Beasley Street‘! — but nowhere does JCC address the issue, Who needs alive Slaughter and The Dogs LP in 1989? Who needed it the lirst time around? (Mab)
I Jesse Garon and The Desperadoes: A Cabinet ol Curiosities (Velocity). Basically, the collected works to date at Edinburgh‘s linest indiepop sextet. Let down by a limp version at the otherwise great ‘Splashing Along' and the lailure to translate the band‘s irrepressible wit onto vinyl, but nonetheless containing enough sparkling music to make it a worthwhile purchase. (Mab)
RADIO CLYDE LISTINGS Sessions
I Sun 26 Mar: THE WILD RIVER APPLES (Clyde FM, 7pm): A legend in the making regarding the number at microphones consumed in the recording at Gwen Stewart‘s extraordinary vocal power. Forthe uninitiated this is a line chance to discover what you have been missing. I Sun 2 Apr: BIG SUR (Clyde FM, 7pm): Although it is ages since Big Sur have played a gig, they have secured a publishing deal, and this much awaited session will show the lruits ol their recent writing ellorts.
I Sat 25 Mar: JULIA FDRDHAM at the Pavilion. (Clyde FM, 9pm). Recorded late last year, and some ol the tracks may well be lamiliar as a recent repackaging ol Fordham’s line debut album contains six live tracks lrom the sell same gig.
I Sat1 Apr: LDNDDNBEAT at OMU. (Clyde FM, 9pm). Recorded less than a month ago, this will highlight a band whose superb vocals work much better in a live context than in any studio. Their disappointing debut album, Speak, testilies to this.
Alastair Mabbott with the LISTEN! lortnightly Hit List.
1. WIN: Freaky Trigger (Virgin LP)
2. FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE: Fairvan (No
3. DEACON BLUE: Circus Lights (CBS LPtrack)
4. LIVING COLOUR: Open Letter (to a Landlord) (CBS 45)
5. PIXIES: Monkey Gone to Heaven (4A0 45)
6. GOODBYE MR MACKENZIE: Goodwill City (Capitol LP track)
7. ELVIS COSTELLO: Let Him Dangle (WEA LPtrack)
8. TOSS THE FEATHERS: Skidoo (Bop Beat 45)
9. BBX: Strength (10 45)
10. PRDNG: Third From the Sun (Spigot 45)
The List 24 March—6 April 1989 47