I Simple Minds: The Amsterdam 5? (Virgin) And now. ‘The Minds‘ continue to cross the line from stadium pomp to social conscience with clumsy feet of lead. Thus. in an attempt to bridge the gap and cover the ‘right on' Prince song Sign O‘ The Times. they fall between extremes gracelessly. The equally awkward Jerusalem instrumental plods along aimlessly. while Let It All Come Down. the one original song. shows a band who cannot break free from their cliche-ridden past. Pure Christmas pantomime. (KM)
IThe Thieves: September Bain (Planetarium) Hello. we‘re The Thieves and we like Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. but we‘re not too sure about having someone as tough as Big John in our pretty-boy I band. So. we'll tone it I down a bit. slap in a ripping chorus. and have I everyone filling their l |
ROCK 23 JAZZ 37 FOLK 39 CLASSICAL 40
pants in excitement quicker than you can say ‘Glasgow soul boy funky band quiff‘. Oh. and has anyone seen Harry
Enfield'.’ (CMcL) , I Various: The Food r Christmas EP (Food) In which JesusJones. ; Crazyhead and Diesel Park West cover each other‘s songs. and the pop kid gets amazing value for money. JesusJones reaffirm their position as annoyingly accomplished gits. (‘razyhead areas scuzzy as ever. and as for Diesel Park West — oh
dear. Info Freako never sounded this good. bar
I Texas: Prayer For You (Phonogram) More rolling I thunder from the l Southside. As the sleeve I shows Texas are stadium-fillers these days. and consequently must suffer the slings and arrows that accompany that status. Still. Prayer For You is very modest thank you very much. and demonstrates Texas' consistent. if a wee bit un-dangerous. approach to guitar frenzy. A friendly little single. ((‘McL)
I Duran Duran: Burning The Ground (EMI) A megamix of Duran's wettest dreams. featuring twelve (count ‘emj singles and lots of clever knob-twiddling. Apparently highlights the
| v ROCK Manic
Drug-culture, scally life-style, scummy music, Manchester as Mecca. This is the world of Happy Mondays and right now the kids love it. The past fortnight has seen singer Shaun Ryder, maraccas-man Bez and the rest of them turning Top Of The Pops on its head with an inspirationally seedy performance, while their Madchester, Rave On EP continues to swagger its way up the Top Forty. Meanwhile, the rock press pontiiicates at length over how wonderful Manchester is for producing all these really great bands, putting the Mondays on their front covers and oh how everyone wished
they lived in the grimy, industrial north.
‘Bollocks to that' say the right-minded, and, indeed, bollocks to the tiresome drug frenzy. Recent interviews have seen Shaun enthusing over shopping for Ecstasy in the States, over Adolf Hitler’s mescal dependence, over Acid and dope and so on ad nauseam. This is simply part of the carefully contrived image of the band as couldn’t-care-less lads-about-town, something the press have gratefully latched on to.
Yet scrape away this grubby veneer and what you'll find is Happy Mondays as revolutionaries, late '80s renegades who have squeezed the pus from their spots and smeared it all over traditional boundaries between ‘dance' and ‘indie’ and ‘rock' music. The album Bummed was a bludgeoning, scraping thing, something to scare the best of us; Vince Clarke's remix of Wrote For Luck was a subconcious, hypnotic beat to pump the rest of us; and now Madchester, Rave On is fourtracks straight from the swamp, fetid and tangled and sucking.
Happy Mondays defy normal adjectives. Theirs is a total, anarchic sound that jerks into life as limbs flail, eyes roll and the beats go on. Happy Mondays are ugly as sin, musically and visually. That is their supreme attraction. (Craig McLean)
Happy Mondays play Glasgow Barrowlands on 10 December.
At the roots of the Whistlebinkies‘ undeniably authentic Scottish ‘folk' sound, joined to Rab Wallace's lowland and small pipes, Peter Anderson‘s side drum, Stewart Eydeman’s fiddle and concertina, Judith Peacock’s clarasach and Gaelic vocals, and Mick Broderick‘s wayward way with song and imaginative leaps of story telling, is the artful classicism of Mark Hayward's violin and Eddie McGuire’s flute.
In the weeks before Christmas the group will be appearing at Edinburgh Folk Club’s final concert of the year on the 13th, and as Eddie says ‘In an unusual venue fora folk group . . . the Studio Theatre at the Scottish Ballet Centre, in Glasgow’s West Princes Street, 8pm on Friday the 22nd. We put on a concert about the same time last year and it was very successful, so we‘re doing the same this year, with
mince pies and refreshments.
Composer Eddie is working on a couple of commissions at the moment. ‘One is for the junior orchestra at the RSAMD. It’s all called Scottish Dances and I've based it on tunes written for the Whistlebinkies, that we’ve played over that last dozen years or so, and that I’m satisfied with. They are then arranged for a full orchestra. We‘ll be going in ourselves to play forthe students in May, as part of a course organised by Jo Miller. She doesn‘t have the time to sing with us anymore, but it‘s a major advance that she has opened up the doors of the Academy to traditional music, and is teaching there.“
‘Our new album has already been recorded, and Jo has a couple of songs on it, but it won‘t be released until the Spring. With Claddagh records in Dublin, it is common practice for albums to take about a year to come out. So we work on that basis.‘ Eddie laughs. ‘I suppose Whistlebinkie albums are retrospective . . . but ifyou want to hear our latest release you have to listen to the Cutting Crew. It was great fun to do. An old musical aquaintance, Peter Vetesse, who used to play up here in Cado Belle, a good band killed off by the arrival of punk, now plays keyboards and produces the Crew. They took us to London to cut a track on their album The Scattering and released that track as the promotional single. But a lot of people might not have noticed it, it's so well mixed in - even the pipes.’
The year of living Texas-ly
They kicked off ‘89 with a Top Ten single and . sell-out Scottish gigs. Now having conquered the world, Texas are ‘back home’. Craig McLean charts a rock bands progression.
They started off the year with a support slot at Fleetwood Mac‘s Playhouse extravaganza. then followed with a gig of their own in the sweaty bowels that is Edinburgh Venue. Texas had sneaked into 1989 with a buzz that said they had something special to offer. and a series ofsell-out dates that proved it. And then came the single. I Dan '1
30 The List 8— 2] December 198‘)