After the heavy (and at least partly justified) criticism levelled at last year‘s Mayfest rock programme at the Govan Town Hall. some attempts have been made to spread the burden towards more accessible venues. even if what looked like an initially attractive programme has been ravaged by some last-minute cancellations. Gone from the programme are the planned gigs by Carmel. The Kevin McDermott Orchestra. The Silencers and Canadian torch singer. K. D. Lang. Fortunately the one major addition to the programme is a visit by Lang's fellow countrywoman Mary Margaret 0'} Tara to Govan on Monday 8. and you can be guaranteed that anyone who has come across the off the wall brilliance of her ‘Miss America' album will be there.
Joining ()‘Hara on the Govan line-up are recent RCA signings Pop Will Fat ltself(Mon l). Ted Hawkins. whose last visit to Glasgow was a joyous outing at the Pavilion (Sat 6). and The Go-Betweens on a rescheduled date (Mon l5). From their early connections with the Postcard label. Australia's finest have always enjoyed healthy audiences in Glasgow. and few contemporary bands can claim albums as strong as ‘ 16 [overs Lane'. ‘Tallulah' and 'l iberty Belle and the Black Diamond Fxpress' in the last four years. last year llue and (‘ry provided a memorable climax to Mayfest at Govan. although I can hardly imagine that labi Siffre (Sat 20) will create either the interest or the excitement to do the same. More likely to be of interest is Goodbye Mr Macken'lie's appearance three days earlier on Wednesday 17. despite their recent appearance at Barrowlands,
More attempts seem to have been made to provide an opportunity for Glasgow‘s ‘up and coming‘ bands. and the opening event. (‘lyde FM‘s ‘(‘lass ofX‘)‘ at Kelvingrove Park (Sun 30 April) is perhaps the most attractive billing it starts at lpm. and all seven bands have credentials in either the performance or songwriting stakes (some of them both) In order ofappearance. the featured bands are an as yet unannounced opener. Moni. Farewell Parade. Hearts and Minds. The Mc(‘luskey' Brothers. The Wild River Apples and Horse The event begins around lpm. and bears none ofthe heavy metal-infested hallmarks of previous Kelvingrove festivals.
Horse. Who headline at Kelvingrove. have a busy day in prospect as they continue on to the Mayfair the same night (Sun 30 April) for the first in a series ofgood gigs at the venue. where they are joined by ‘special guests’ love Decree In place ofthe advertised Kevin McDermott Orchestra gig at the Mayfairon Sunday 7 is an as yet unbilled ‘lndie Night'. while other events worthy ofattention at the same venue are Giant (Mon 8). Hearts and Minds supported by Boxing (‘lever (Sun l4).and The Mc(‘luskey Brothers supported by A Parcel of Rogues (Mon 15).
Moving up a league. the Pavilion Theatre is host to a diverse. but quality. selection of acts. (‘lannad. Who seem to have been out of the way while ex-member Enya topped the charts. recently returned with the theme music from The Hunter as a single. promising much from their next album. They play on Sunday 30 April (a busy night). while RCA label~mates Fairground Attraction headline for two nights on Monday 8
26 The List 21 April — 4 May 198‘)
Pop Will Eat Itself (1 May)
and Tuesday 9. Last Mayfest Fairground Attraction played a slightly overly sentimental. but special. homecoming gig the week ‘Perfect' reached NumberOne. and it is one year and one platinum album later that they return. ()n both nights they will be joined by even more recent R( ’A signings. Five Guys Named Moe.
Hopefully (‘ourtney Pine's forthcoming gig at the Pavilion (Wed Ill) and Fairer Sax (Wed 17) will keep sax ja/7 fans happy. while the only other ‘rock‘ event at the Pavilion. is one which is definitely not likely to suffer from apathy. In fact. Texas have already sold out the Pavilion (Tue lb). and with a Top Ten single. a Top Three album and some powerful live performances behind them it is hardly surprising. They are joined by Gun. who specialise in totally anonymous and lacklustre soft metal.
Awav from the obvious and main venues there is still much of interest to be taken from Mayfest. The old Renfrew Ferry has been converted into an unusual and interesting venue. playing host to an old Fdinburgh Festival favourite. Tom Robinson on (30 April and I May). Marta Sebestyen and Mu/sikas (Tue 3). the Soviet band ’lvukiMu on Thursday-1. and hardy annual .lohn \lartyn on Sunday 7 and Monday X.the first of these shows already sold out. Robin Williamson (‘I knew there was an old hippy in there somewhere a Mayfest press officer) supplies early evening entertainment (bpm) on the Ferry on Friday l2. with world music fans being catered for by the appearances of Yolocama l-ta. an Fl Salvadorian group at 6pm on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 lo the same broad pigeonhole of world music. you will find lrish traditionalists. Altan at 9pm on Saturday l3.
Tidving up the remnants of a diverse programme. you will find more culturally interesting acts in the shape of Rokoto (Tue 2 and “ed 3). Rai [Espress (Tue 9). Pointybirds (Fri l3). Whisky Priests (Sat 13) and Taxi Pata Pata (Tue lo). all at the Third Eye ('entre. Avia. another band from the l lSSR. failed to make their scheduled appearance at last year‘s Mayfest due to visa problems. so hopefully they will be able to make tip for it with a show at the Tramway Theatre (()ld Transport Museum)(;n Friday 5. v ( ‘nncludin g a look at the range ofs‘tyles covered by this year's M (iv/est p m gramme. it is hard to see an vune hein g unable to find something to interest them.
With the Mayfest rock programme decimated. it l was a relief to see that at least one groupof undisputed standing was hanging in there. all the way from Australia. no less. and will be playing in the Meliw ans l ager Music ( 'entre. known to all and sundry as Govan Town Hall. on Monday
In the early Fighties it was expected by many that The Go-Betweens would be huge. and if there were any justice they would be occupying a similar position to former labelmates Aztec (‘amera
The Go-Betweens' tunes are no less sweet. but they 'ye consistently missed the boat . changing labels with the frequency David Bowie changed haircuts. never making the inroads that they deserved to.
This is in spite of their excellent press. ()n the release of their second album. ‘Before llolly wood'. one pundit opined. ‘This is the most important LPofthe Figlities. and will remain so.
Ney er mind that they 've topped it several times since. their appeal goes beyond that of a ‘critics‘ lay ourite'. The last time they played in Scotland. tn the packed confines of the . Bermuda Triangle above ('oasters in l-.dinburgh. they were a thrilling band. the breadth and texture of their material not bludgeoned by the ‘roek gig' atmosphere. but truly brought to life
lt'sa wonder. then. that a single as infectious as ‘Right Herc". released
around that time. ney er even got within sniffing distance of the charts Perhaps even at their poppiest The Go-Betweens can't help making grown-up music. even ifthey make themselves out to be
The Go-Betwe'ens (11 May)
utterly irresponsible grown-ups. It‘s the maturity of their songs. their bid for permanence and the skill of songwriters Robert Forster and Grant McLennan in servicing the English language to their own ends that marks them out as being that bit special. And being grown-ups they know that life isn't simple. but at least it‘s shot through with romance. (Alastair Mabbott)
The (io- Betweenx. [I May. Detailed Listings next issue.
From around the world they come to Mayfest. and it's a pity that. like most touring musicians. they don't get to hear each other before moving on. ()fthe British bands. Altan from Ireland ( 13 May) are one of very best. superb vocals and an exciting instrumental sound. Scotland‘s (‘apercaillie (9 May ) is Altan's (‘aledonian equivalent. with a heavier backing of electric bass and synthesiser under the lighter. acoustic lead instruments. and Karen Mathcson's levitating voice.
Driving. funky blues, rock grafted onto Irish traditional airs and dance music isthe business of the Davey Spillane band (5 May). fronted by the eponymous wizard of the uillean pipes. With fewer decibels. the Boys ()f The Lough (4 May) plough their skilled and straight traditional furrow. while the Picts climbover the wallsof convention and wield an unusual instrumental attack on your fossilised notions of Scottish music.
Two songwriting singer’guitarists with an international following who continue to live and work out of Scotland. are