I NEWCASTLE INDIE Milltia Beat records is casting the net ior new bands playing ‘original creative music, aimed at existing musical tastes’, but the company also hopes to ‘expand and initiate new markets and opportunities’. It that sounds like you, whap a tape oil to NYEC Unit 17, 25 Low Friar St, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 SUE. At the moment they’re getting their energy behind Bristol’s Statik, a six-piece iormed irom the remains oi The idiot Show and the slightly better known Chorchazade.
I AMONGST THE pltiiuily small crowd that turned out to see Hurrah! at Fury Murrys, were several members oi the visiting Red Navy Ensemble, who happened to be playing the Pavilion that week. Hurrah! have the unique distinction oi playing in Glasgow to an audience that was 33% Russian. I BUSY TIMES ior Kevin McDermott, whose current single ‘Wheels oi Wonder’ has recently been released in a special edition with a tree booklet detailing his musical history. To say that the enclosed text Is economical with the truth would be an understatement. According to it McDermott was a member oi a post punk band called the Suede Crocodiles, who iormed in 1970 and split In 1979. That perhaps explains how they released a single ln 1903i The release date oi Kevin's ‘Sultocatlon Blues’ album is also dated as 1984, which is at least only two years early. Going back to lacts, Kevin and cohorts will be taking their stunning live show on the road with 10,000 Maniacs in May. I HARD LUCK to Texas and the River Detectives, who travelled to lnvemess last week tor the illming oi the tirst programme in the BBC’s iorthcomlng Eden Court series. Untortunately ail illming was cancelled due to the BBC industrial action which tell on the same day. The gig went on none the less, and the bands will be reiilmed at a later date. - I JEFF HEALEY's much looked iorward to appearance at the Pavilion was postponed due to him contracting Iaryngltls, and untortunater the attempts to reschedule ior later in his European tour have lallen through. Reiunds available irom box oiilce . . . I GLASGOW NOW (OK, one oi an increasing number oi ireesheets in circulation in Glasgow, iorthose ot you who have missed it) surpassed its usual high standards oi music criticism l by printing a detailed review oi Hearts and Minds, coming to the conclusion 1 that they were ’crap’. While It is not our : iunction to point out that the 3 mysteriously unnamed writer Is lacking } the necessary command oi the English i language to come up with some more i intelligent insight, we would like to I point out that the gig in question (at Napoleons) did not actually take place.
I Skin Games: Your Luck’s Changed (Epic). Produced by Pet Shop Boys producer Stephen Hague, who’s been keeping himsell busy with Pere Ubu and PiL, and has iound more conventional work here. Very like The Pretenders with Johnny Marr, l iound myseli thinking, and noticed that there is indeed a Marr in the group, It only the bassist. Spooky. Still, strong singing, strong single. (AM)
I Gayna Rose Madder: Ties (Destiny Angel). Have the radio programmers gone wild over this record yet? They should, and put It into heavy rotation iorthwlth. The simplest oi tunes, though anything but tlimsy, brought to llie by Madder’s cool, understated vocals. Nice one. (AM)
I Kitchens oi Distinction: The Third Time We Opened the Capsule (One Little lndian). Kitchens oi Distinction make no bold strides into the iuture, but they’ve made one oi the most eminently listenable slices oi indie pop tor a while. ‘The Third Time. . .’ might be pinned down midway between McCarthy and Cud, and KOO will be exhausting a thesaurus near you soon.(AM)
I Pete Shelley vs. Power, Wonder & Love: Homosaplen ii (immaculate). One oi those beneilt-oi-the-doubt jobs, this. Pete Shelley's danceiloor classic (still a lave in student unions across the country) is doctored with an acid backing track. I’ll stick to the original, while grudgingly admitting they haven’t made too bad a job oi it. (AM) I Martyn Bates: You So Secret (integrity). Return oi the Eyeless In Gaza man in typically reilectlve mood, still plugging away at the 1982 version oi the kind at records progressive rock tans were skinning up on late at night ten years earlier. (AM)
I Miracle Legion: You’re the One Lee (Rough Trade). Extremely hummable and touching love song by Ray Neal and Mark Mulcahy (who took over Prince's Paisley Park to record the LP), with minimal - tasteiul! - accompaniment on acoustic guitar and cello. All but one
oi The Sugarcubes join the Legion on a country-rocker on the B-side, and they even give space to Icelandic poet Johnny Triumph - Neil Young this ain’t! (AM)
I The ice Babies: Someday Remember (La Stillette). Inside an extremely attractive sleeve, a clarion call oi a three-note riit and into another dollop oi juvenile delinquent rock we go. The B-side has some line ‘mmmphuargh’ muitled backing vocals, and blows the whistle on their ‘melodic hard rock’ aspirations, whatever wave it is that melodic hard rock is going through at the moment. (AM)
I Simple Minds: Street Fighting Years (Virgin). Like a lot ol people I’d given up on Simple Minds at the point when a vaster number oi people had picked up on them; when the quest tor the Big Music which resulted in the splendour oi ‘New Gold Dream’ diverted itseli into a bass-heavy raunch that mocked the dance sensibilities oi their earlier music. Now, seemingly, they’ve taken a cold, hard look at their work oi the last iew years and iound it wanting.
Basing their sleeve design on the elegant shape oi the iractal is surely an idea the Minds themselves had a hand in: great curling hands that duplicate their shape literally into intinity are intercut with satellite-eye close-ups oi the Earth to make a design that is purely abstract but a pertect complement to the music. So wide you can’t get around it.
The opening title track is as stately a march down the corridors oi sound as the Minds have ever recorded, and the thought that they’re making the music that they ieel is right ior them carries all the way through the album. A couple oliillers, ‘chk it ln’ and ‘Mandeia Day’ (however important the song may be to them, it’s not a highlight) drag things down beiore they stumble over ’Biko’ Peter Gabriel's original version was as taut as a wire, a stark indictment oi an inhuman system. Simple Minds’ is another soil-locus component at their citadel oi sound. You can ignore the words, which you can’t do with Gabriel’s pared-down version.
Depending on'your leeiings towards Simple Minds ’Street Fighting Years' is transcendent or epically preposterous. Being the ambivalent one, iiust iind it as impressive as hell. (AM)
I Various: Night ol the Guitar (iRS). ‘Night oi the Guitar’ is the acceptable lace oi Miles Copeland's No Speak records, a label oi instrumental music aimed at people who aren’t quite ready ior soporiiic New Age, and like their aural wallpaper that little bit ballsier. Recorded last year at the Hammersmith Odeon, ‘nght oithe Guitar’ gathers nine renowned and often highly conservative rock guitarists (Alvin Lee, Steve Howe, the great Robbie Krieger, Randy Calliornia, etc) and suggests that either they’re well past the sell-by date, or there's something seriously wrong with the idea oi putting nine rock guitarists on a bill together.
Is that Leslie West or Pete Haycock?
52 The Llsl 5 18 May 198‘)
Alter about two songs the LP becomes just something to blot out the traitlc.
Each solo reworking the clichés oi the last, the two-record set blurs into one extended and predictable solo. Bland, complacent and very, very sale, even serious guitar butts will iind something a lot better to spend their money on than this. (AM)
I Various: Dirty Dancing Live in Concert (RCA). You’ve seen the movie, bought the soundtrack, now buy the live album. Oi course, the tact that you can’t see any oi the dancing that gets such an appreciative reaction is no obstacle. What you get is one worthwhile side oi Merry Clayton, iormer member oi Ray Charles' Raelettes; a side oi Eric Carmen, who gives a glimpse oi what a wimpy Springsteen, whose ambitions lay in ‘moon’ and ‘June’ balladeering and gold lame jackets, might have sounded like; a side oi shop-worn but goodtime RGB irom The Contours; and a pretty nali side oi Bill Medley, which manages to render even “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ about as gripping as an omnibus ‘Coronation Street’. I never saw the original movie, and can’t say that this has tired up any Interest, but the apparently accidental intrusion oi a little honest-to-goodness sex into this PG record came in the shape oi a
very hot-sounding dancer,
demonstrating some oi the dlrtier depths ol choreography, and purring enticingly, ‘Sylvester, come hither. . . and lisshhh with me!’ For the ensuing aquatics, at least, some visuals would not have gone amiss. (AM)
I James: One Man Clapping (One Man). James slipped into the role oi student indie darlings a lot more easily than they might have liked, but although the tortured artist syndrome is not entirely absent, slngerTlm Booth is a hard lyricist to second-guess. His extraordinarily vivid songs, Devotoed vocals and the band’s indie-iolk-rock ieel come together to memorable eitect in places on this live LP. And when James plunge in with surprising directness, as they do on ‘Burned’, their occasional brilliance can’t be denied. (AM)
John Williamson with the iortnlghtiy
LISTEN! hit list:
1. THE PAINTED WORD ’Woridwide’
2. ROBERTA FLACK ‘Flrst Take’
3. ROSANNE CASH ‘Retrospective
1979-89’ (CBS LP)
:éEIODY WATLEY ‘Real Love’ (MCA n
gi. NENEH cneeev ‘Manchiid’ (circa n
6. CLANNAD WITH BONO ’In A Lil ’ (RCA LP track) mm.
7. HEARTS AND MINDS ‘Trlxle’s Lover’ (demo)
ginA)MY KEYS ‘Lover's lntultlon’ (Epic
9. BONNIE RAlTT ‘Nlck oi ’ (Capitol 7in) "m
10.SWING OUT SISTER ’You Mind’ (Phonogram 7ln) on My