I Lloyd Cole: No Blue Skies (Polydor) He's got long hair and stubble now. indicating a ‘raunchier‘. spandex-riddcnapproach to this music lark. . perchance? Nope. Lloyd ; is still a sensitive type. still intensely literate and still his baby‘s gone and done | him wrong. Poor chappie. I What‘s more. the ghosts l of The Commotions won‘t go away no bad thing— and ‘No Blue Skies' is a gentle piece of orchestrated emotion. It‘ll break your heart. (C McL) j I Carol Laula: Standing I

Proud (Burn 1) You're

going to be hearing a lot of this over the year. what

with its selection as the

song for Glasgow in 1990. . It’s easy to see why; the hard man image that‘s . been hung around

Glasgow‘s neck since time . immemorial is countered with the kind of romanticised character I that was bound to appeal I to judges as the ideal they I want to project. Very pretty. but let‘s hope it‘s a lyrical aberration. (AM '

I The Neville Brothers: A , Change is Gonna Came I (A&M) To call the songa I classic would be to sell it short. and Sam Cooke‘s version casts such a long shadow that even a man I with a set of pipes like I Aaron Neville can‘t slip I out from under it. llis quavering voice is under tight control. but he relies heavily on Cooke‘s version. rendering the whole affair oddly inconsequential. (AM)

I Energy Orchard: Belfast (MCA) Meander. wend. weary. bore taking a few pointers from the Simple Minds house ofcrap-dom. Energy Orchard bring forth a heartfelt tribute to their hometown. This is mega-rock of the kind that takes other bands several albums and tours ofthe USA to reach. and for that at least Energy Orchard are to be congratulated. But. by gum. it‘s frighteningly tiresome. Intended to stir the masses. instead it stirs the bowels. (C McLl



26 The List 26 January 8 February 1990

Craig McLean knocks on the door of Fatima Mansions and finds Microdisney‘s Cathal Coughlan.

We Hate You South African Bastards. Microdisney once proclaimed. in one of their more forthright utterances. Elsewhere. they were a band that seemedto revel in their own inscrutability. Chirpy. choppy things the tunes may have been. full ofeddying keyboards and guitars. but as for the script to which these were set magnetic, baffling titles such The Clock Comes Down the Stairs. ‘L'oftholdingswood‘. ‘Armadillo Man‘. ‘Herr Direktor‘ this was something quite bizarre.

Holding it all together was the robust enigma that was Cathal Coughlan. the frontman who. most of the time. seemed to be tuned into a frequency few of us knew even existed.

Microdisney split in the summer of ‘88. following the flop of their second Virgin album. 39 Minutes. Eighteen months on. Cathal is back with a grin

and a grimace. leading a merry bunch of organ terrorists by the name ofFatima Mansions. and releasing an album called Against Nature.

‘All of the best music is really informed by an awareness of the kind of things people try to sweep under the carpet for the sake of their own mental welfare.‘ So reckons Cathal as he speeds towards Windsor and another gig. ‘I’m no exception in trying to sweep them under the carpet in my head. I just put them in my songs and give them to people so I can get rid ofthem.‘

Cathal’s angst over the state of the world and the people in it was the fibre that stiffened Microdisney's

backbone and lent them vitality. The sleevenotes on their recent Peel Sessions album hit the target: ‘We could all get offon Cathal Coughlan. this wanton spirit so obviously doing himselfdamage and living out our fears and our hate.‘

‘It's more for an observer to say that.‘ thinks Cathal. ‘There have been times when I‘ve wanted to do a bit ofdamage. but I think I‘ve learnt from some of my past excesses in that regard. I‘m trying to be constructive about my life now really. I’m trying to be a bit more amusing. a bit more self-deflating.‘

The results can be judged in Against Nature. a mixed bag of frenzied organ orgies (the now