I Queen Latltah a Monte Love: Ladies First (Gee 8t)
Over a rare groove track so sharp you could skin a tomato with it. Latifah and Monie trade raps ofa decidley pro-female nature. One given to tabloid-speak would dub it a ‘sure fire dance smash'. ‘Who said that the ladies couldn‘t make it'?‘ Not me. for sure. (AM) I Soul II Soul: Gela Lite (Tanllazzie B‘s reggae sensibility is well tothe fore here, but ‘Get a Life‘ is dished from the same soupcon of styles that made Club Classics Vol] the landmark album for British soul that it was. Reports say that Soul II Soul are crackingthe States in a big way—it‘s well-deserved from all I‘ve heard so far, including this. (AM) I Mystery-Slang: I’m Mad at You (Foundation) Guitars snap at the enigmatic Mystery-Slang‘s heels as he puts on hisbest streetwise hard-man voice and decides that even singing‘s too sissy for him. Sounds like a Lou Reed parody. though l doubt that was the intention. Produced by Stephen Street, who is clearly trying to get away from the sonically flat janglesof his Morrisscy album. (AM) I The Sweet: Wig Warn Bum/Little Willy (RCA) Where would heavy metal be now without the stream ofnudgc-nudge glam (I once saw the presenters of Play School rendering 'Wig Wam Bam‘. and completely failingto expunge its blatant innuendo) from the pens of Chinn and Chapman? We could debate this all night. but better to play these two almost identical songs, straddling innocence and experience like Colossi. till they wear out. And yes. tack-fans. it‘s in a lurid I’ab208-stylc sleeve too! (AM)
[MUSICW nocx 23 JAZZ 37 routes CLASSICAL 40
HEE- Team spirit
The go-go sound at Washington DC, which seemed to reach the peak ol its power at the turn at ’86/‘87 and then dwindle, Is still very much alive, claims Dave Ellis, the grutt vocalist ot Edinburgh tunksters DC Ellis.
‘lt’s starting to creep back in again. In tact, you’ll notice It on most remixes - the latest I’ve heard is Coidcut’s Christmas thing,.and the backing track is pure page. In Hot Chocolate’s remixes, they’ve also gone back and put the same go-go beat to them.’
As the band’s name implies, Ellis is very much the leader, emulating as best he can the great bandleaders oi black music, and insisting that the members wear matching stage gear and learn how to perlorm dance steps and backing vocals. They tilt weights togetheras well.
First Impressions ol DC Ellis, though, were disappointing; the eight-piece team was a tight unit, but they seemed to open up lew paths that hadn’t already been trodden by the detunct
I Trouble Funk or Chuck Brown. i However, the distinction between the I original and this Scottish-spawned
variant was not lost on American saxophonist CJ Jones (he can be heard on Trouble Funk, Miles Davis and on Grace Jones' ‘Slave to the Rhythm’), when he came to play with DC Ellis in the ‘Haltway to Paradise’ studio-the meeting can be seen on C4 on Wed 3. As drummer Taylor Phillips attests: ‘ile's overthere listening to the originals, and then he said that ours is a dltlerent version at It. He says there’s more content in it, because what happens over there is that you’ve got all these brilliant musicians in the band and they’re really held back to keep the groove, and no one gets a chance to shine. And that’s what he commented on, that everyone gets his chance to shine with ourband.‘ (Alastair Mabbott) DC Ellis, Calton Studios, Edinburgh, Friday 5Jan.
Practice makes perfect
Started In 1986 as the Scottish Plano Combination, that heady combination of Glasgow and 1990 has cast its spell on this particular event— no doubt in common with many others - and it has now become the Scottish International Piano Competition and one at the lirst events in Glasgow's year at culture. An impressive 82 applicants aged between 17 and 32 have been whittled down to 30, competing perhaps not so much tor the cash — prize money totals £8000 - but tor the prestige at an International competition, its television coverage and the string at recitals the organisers have already set up. Leading memberotthe organising committee Robin Barr is clearly delighted with the way it has all developed but admits, ‘We didn’t really consider such growth at the initial stages, but it has been very much in the tashion things should grow, in response to how people have reacted.‘ Leading lights behind the event include many who are involved with talented young Scottish musicians as teachers, lecturers and administrators. Barr continues, ‘Being academics, our
principal aims initially were to provide an impetus to help our own young students see the standard they must reach and to encourage them to do so. Too otten they go to London orthe Continent and are squashed, butthls event shows that Scots can compete on an international level it given the opportunity.‘
Along with a strong contingent lrom Scotland there are several entrants lrom countries such as Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Hungary, perhaps slgnlllcant ol the opening up at Eastern Europe, although Barr does polntout, “We came lirstwlth that in a sense through our own musical contacts.‘ (Carol Main)
Scottish International Piano Competition, 9—14January, RSAMD and City Hall. See Classical listings.
Twenty-eight year-old Balazs Szokoiaylrom Hungary, a young hepetul in thelirst Scottish International Piano Competition.
The List’s Norman Chalmers. touring the States in Scottish folk band Ossian, met up with The Waterboys for the crack.
She‘d been with her therapist earlier. working through the experience of a few days ago, when the man beside her at the Check out was blown away. The kids with the guns ran straight into a prowl car and as the cops spread-eagled them on the sidewalk the killer shouted at her. He swore to get the white bitch another time. She‘d just missed being the victim of another initiation killing, a random execution to earn a boy his gang wings.
But this evening as the sun sets in the dreamscape ofSouthern California she wears a grin and a plaid sash over a gown, and with her heavily betartaned friends from the Los Angeles Scottish Fiddlers she‘s doing the sound check for the opening number of the Waterboys LA concert.
‘You do get the feeling that anything can happen here.‘ admits Waterboy singer Mike Scott, ‘but the audiences are great. We‘re doing three nights in the Wintern Theatre. Tonight‘s sold out. It‘s four years since we were here last, with quite a different band. This line up is solid now. and the word seems to be getting around.‘
The band is still a vehicle for Mike Scott's charismatic stage persona and songwriting talents. but the , instrumentalwork.tight , arrangements and strong traditional ‘ Irish/Scots input on fiddle. accordion, mandolin, whistle coupled with resonant old songs like the Raggle Taggle Gypsy have won a devoted audience for their charming and essentially acoustic roots rock.
The sound crew are happy. There , are enough microphones, they‘ve got a good balance between the strings and the band. everyone can march on during the eight bar introduction from Mike at the piano. step over trailing leads, and start playing just as they get to their place. Pure Hollywood.
‘It looks great from the stalls.‘
Mike laughs ‘all those massed fiddles and tartan. It was from them we got the tune. I heard the Fiddler‘s album and loved that tune 0‘ Carolan's Welcome. so we started playing it in the Waterboys. and we thought it would be great to have the Fiddle:
28 The List 22 December 1989— 11 January 1990