— . . t’v’iﬁf‘f—‘V‘j'l .' ‘-
- Scottish Bands Agency stall
I A NEW ORGANISATION, the Scottish Bands Agency, are now operating out at Motherwell, with the alter ol advice and various services which, they say, ‘are quite comprehensive and aim to save musicians time, money and inconvenience as well as trying to make them money’. Assistance with copyrighting material, booking gigs and linding suitable musicians, as well as discounts lor members in Sound Control shops and other businesses, is ollered. Membership costs go lrom £5 lor under-16s up to £15 lull membership, with various concessions on oller. For more inlormation call 8698 76222.
I AND SD, The Indian Givers release their lirst single, the rather line ’Hatcheck Girl’ (in at 109, with a bullet). Butwhat about the gruesome jacket sported by Nigel Sleatord in the ads? Even record company spokesmen quail at the mention ol it. The Givers, it seemed, were compelled to travel to Barcelona to use the photographer they wanted, and being the kind at happy-go-lucky company they are, Virgin didn’t deem it necessary to send anyone along to supervise the process. Consequently, no one was present to talk Nigel out at this sudden sartorial enthusiasm, and Virgin personnel were not unanimously wowed by the end result. “Even his taste in spectacle lrames seems to have got worse,’ sighed an unnamed spokesman.
I ALSO SHUCKING oll their vinyl virginity are The River Detectives,
whose single ‘Chains’ has just come out on WEA. A nation holds its breath to see it the promise ol their live sets will be lullilled in the big world. At the very least, both these releases are bound to loom large in the newly-inaugurated Scottish chart, it the chart gets the coverage it merits. Write to your paper/radio station/MP now.
I A NOTE tor Pixies-watchers: a track on the new ‘Here Comes Your Man' 12in on 4AD, ‘Wave ol Mutilation (UK Surl)’, which slows down the mega ‘Doolittle’ track to a comlortable crawl, was recorded on a day all lrom their recent tour, in Palladium Studios outside Edinburgh - at one time a virtual house studio lor acts on the 4AD label —the Cocteau Twins to name but three.
I The Smithereens: Beauty and Sadness/T he Del-Lords: Poem ol the River (both Enigma). The Smithereens' EP was recorded in 1983, and stands up well as an archive release, but its unrelined basic Byrds/Beatles-inlluenced rock doesn't catch light, even considering how little the scene that nurtured them has moved on in the last live years. The Del-Lords sound like their Iile revolves around back porch and bar-room, and weigh in with a ploddy, mainly-acoustic dirge that makes Springsteen sound like God Himsell. Very manly, I’m sure, but very dreary too. (AM)
I Wishbone Ash: Cosmic Jazz/Spirit: Hard Love (IRS). Spirit have had their good moments, I’d be the lirst to admit, which saved their single Irom the awlul late ol the worthless Wishbone Ash one. No, I’ve listened to it now, and I’m going to smash it into tiny pieces too. You must understand, sometimes these things have to be done. (AM)
I Norman Cook: Won’t Talk About It (Go! Beat). And this little Housemartin, the one who became a celebrated club DJ, went on to resuscitate the disco sounds ol ten years ago with only a minor alteration here and there. This
may just be a one-oll, but in case he’s planning to continue in this vein let’s all show ‘Wake up, Norman! The kids are all into Grandmaster Flash these days!’ (AM)
I Gina Poster: Love is a House (RCA). What a reliel. Creamy late-night listening lrom a songstress in lull soullul llight. Pleasurable sonic experience at the lortnight so lar. (AM) I Westworld: Dance On (RCA). One-rill wonders. Their day has come and gone, methinks. (AM)
I Prelab Sprout: Protest Songs (Kitchenware). The 1985 recordings, which were put on hold by the record company, have linally been released, perhaps as a stopgap between new Prelabs material. Nevertheless, this should not devalue, ‘Protest Songs’ as a collection. Withoutthe lavish production that was given to ‘From Langley Park to Memphis’, it contains a Iar better collection at songs, lrom the sparsity ol ‘Dublin’ to the more elaborate arrangements on the stand out tracks, ‘Horsechimes’ and ‘Lile ol Surprises‘.
Any comparisons with Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’ are completely amiss, as ‘Protest Songs’ ollers a much luller musical landscape, and has more in common with their classic ‘Steve McOueen’ album. The lack ol bad tracks makes this the second best Prelab Sprout album to date, and tar that alone it deserves more acclaim and sales than the low key launch is likely to get it. (John Williamson).
I Van Morrison: Ayalon Sunset (Polydor): Morrison’s Polydor debut begins with the bizarre duet with Clill Richard, ‘Whenever God Shines His Light On Me’ which only goes to show what we already know, ie that Van is a truly great soul singer with no limit to the depth and emotion contained in his voice, and Clitl is not. The duet is centred around a Sunday School type lyric, which is a complete waste at the vast possibilities ol religious imagery
, in the context.
Nevertheless, the album’s less than startling start is not typical ol ‘Avalon Sunset' as a whole. However, it is lalrly typical at recent Morrison albums, covering the lull spectrum Irom the ridiculous, through the acceptable to the sublime, which on this album is the
iunusual, but beautilul ‘Coney Island’ where Morrison talks in a broad Irish accent over a lush string backing and on the sell deprecatory, ‘I’d Love To Write Another Song.’
‘Avalon Sunset’ has its moments, but rarely touches the cornerstones ol Morrison’s career— ‘Astral Weeks,’ ‘Moondance’ and ‘Into the Music’ -and Is highly unlikely to win him a lot at new tans. (JW)
I Del Amitri: Waking Hours (A&M): At last Del Amitri have made it back into the record shops, two years alter signing to A&M, louryears altertheir debut album, and almost six years since the release at their debut single, ‘Sense Sickness.‘ lnevitably, much has changed in that period, including the band's line up, as well as theirsound,
which seems now to owe more to the Rolling Stones than XTC.
It also has to be said that the songwriting has greatly improved too, with the guitars being rockler and the song structures simpler. Nowhere Is this better illustrated than on ‘Stone Cold Sober’ and ‘Jimmy Blue’ and while some tracks suller lrom the age old Del Amitri problem oI having too many words per line, this is a conlldent and mature collection that has the potential to draw on a wide number oI audiences (indie pop, U.S. guitar bands, Sixties’ lans,etc.etc), and give Del Amitri some deserved rewards. (JW)
I Edwyn Collins: Hope and Despair (Demon) Along with Paul Haig, Edwyn Collins is another survivor lrom the early Eighties, who has survived (it only just) to return at the end at the decade, credibility intact. ‘Hope and Despair' also shows that Collins has survived as a songwriter, with some ol the tracks on his latest ollering easily qualilying as his best compositions to date.
The best moments are ‘Pushing ltTo The Back at My Mind’ (lirst seen on an appalling F.S.D. appearance), ‘Ghost at a Chance’ and ‘Collee Table Song’ — but the age-old Edwyn Collins problem remains. Alter any more than two songs, the voice becomes at best a distraction and at worst an irritant, meaning that any track taken in isolation is inlinitely more pleasurable than the record as a whole. I have often wished that someone else covered Edwyn Collins‘ songs, as I am sure they would make a better job - but then, the same has olten been said at Bob Dylan. (JW)
John Williamson picks the lortnightly Listen! hitlist.
1. MARIA McKEE: Maria McKee (Gellen LP)
2. DANNY WILSON: Bebop Moptop (lorthcoming Virgin LP)
3. INDIGO GIRLS: Closerto Fine (Epic 45)
4. RIVER DETECTIVES: Chains (WEA 45)
5. DR JOHN AND RICKIE LEE JONES: Makin’ Whoopee (Warner Bros 45)
6. NENEH CHERRY: Inner City Mama (Circa LP track)
7. KARYN WHITE: Superwoman (Warner Bros 12in)
8. CYNDI LAUPER: Insecurious (Epic LP track)
9. SLICE: Bullet Prool Boy (live)
10. ONE 2 MANY: Downtown (A&M 45)
The List 30 June — 13 July 1989 47