On Britain’s pop landscape. where even the drooling spawns ofSatan make the charts. the Red Hot Chili Peppers' blistering mix of groove. noise. and arse-shakin‘ tunes comes as a welcome intrusion. Their live show is about as subtle as a grenade in a barrel ofoatmeal. If you have their ‘Abbey Road‘ EP then you‘re familiar with the old ‘sock on the dick' trick. (The cover captures them parading across the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing. each wearing nothing but a strategically-placed sock.) Indeed. the Chili‘s motto could be that your band is only as tight as your butt. Their music is a cocky strut through funk. punk. metal. rock and all things sexy.
The Chili Peppers began when Anthony Kiedis. bassist Flea. Hillel Slovak. and Jack Irons attended secondary school together in Hollywood. After becoming favourites on LA's club circuit (along with Fishbone). the band signed to EMI . who realised what they were dealing with when Anthony and Flea gatecrashed a sales conference stark naked.
They‘ve released an EP and four albums. including ‘Freaky Styley‘ which was produced by P-funk guru George Clinton. In 1988. the band lost Hillel Slovak to a heroin overdose which. judging from ‘Knock Me Down‘ on ’Mother's Milk. has sobered them up a touch.
Though ‘Knock Me Down‘ may have serious implications. old (‘hili fans needn’t fear that their boys will be singing about the rain forests or the ozone layer in the near future. Humour continues to ﬂy. as will their sound: a tornado ofsleazy funk and speed thrash always propelled by Flea‘s pounding bass. Live. they promise much of the same. And then some. (Tracey Pepper)
The Red II ()1 (Thili I ’eppers play The Network, Edinburgh on Mon 5 Feb.
28 The List 26 January — 8 February 1990
nam- fBrothers(up) in arms
The McCluskey Brothers have been around on the Scottish scene long
' enough (since the demise of the , sporadically excellentBluebells, in
fact) to see young bands signed up for big money all around them while
they’ve been constantly overlooked by
ROCK 31 JAZZ 32 FOLK 33 CLASSICAL 34
the boys with the contracts. What with the general public’s conception of them being a folky duo, this has created something of a problem.
Ken McCluskey, sitting in the bar of the newly-opened Shelter in Renfrew
Court, where the brothers will be playing two dates this fortnight, reckons that under-exposure has been the result of all the ‘chopping and changing’ of formats they’ve done. An identity is hard to get fixed when a group is vacillating between a duo and a full-blown band, recording a folk album and then releasing a single which deserved to fare well on pop radio (‘She Said to the Driver’), as they have done. On a number of occasions, folk fans have been disappointed by the band for not being as purist and
traditional as they would like.
So, let it be known that The McCluskey Brothers is a band, with, alongside Ken and Dave, Ali McLeod on guitar, John Bradley on drums and another pair of Kane brothers: Steve on bass and Philip on keyboards. These days, the McCluskey core won’t go anywhere to play without them. ‘In the
I past, it’s been too easy for people just
to ring up and say that they want the two of us to come and do an acoustic set,’ Ken announces, with the trace of bitterness that comes from being used once too often. (Alastair Mabbott)
The McCluskey Brothers play at the Shelter, Glasgow, supported by Carol Laula on Wed 31 and Parcel of Rogues on Thurs 1.
In amongst the enormous wave of culture hitting Glasgow this year, contemporary music, so far, seems to have drawn the short straw. Not only out to redress the balance, but taking their programme to Edinburgh too, is Paragon Ensemble with The Rising Sun Meets the Lion Rampant, a celebration of the music of Scotland and Japan. 1990 is an important yearfor Paragon. It is ten years since their uncertain beginnings and early struggles for funding, but now the group has developed into one of the leading contemporary music ensembles in Britain. What better way to mark the achievement than by commissioning two of Scotland’s foremost composers to write a work each for the group’s first performances of1990, while at the same time continuing their series of specially commissioned Chamber Symphonies. Both works will be world
premieres, the first from Thomas Wilson, who has been described as ’Scotland’s senior statesman composer’, and the second from James MacMillan, one of the younger generation of Scottish composers, who is already putting his stamp on the contemporary music world. The programme’s Japanese element comes from Toru Takemitsu and Joji Yuasa, both giving audiences the
chance to hear how much
Western-style music is developing and flourishing in Japan while retaining .their own Eastern influences. It is clearly not only in business enterprise that Japan and Scotland can get togetherto mutual satisfaction. (Carol Main)
Paragon Ensemble, Sun 28 Jan at 8pm, RSAMD, Glasgow and Mon 29 Jan at 8pm, St Bernard’s Church, Edinburgh. See Classical listings.
RUNNING THE CHANGES
Carol Kidd: new date, new band
Who would be ajazz writer'.’ And — said with even greater conviction — who would be ajazz promotor‘.’ No sooner had we previewed the forthcoming Assembly Music jazz programme at Edinburgh's Queen‘s l lall than it fell to pieces. requiring Roger Spence to do some instant juggling.
Carol Kidd‘s opening concert has now moved
back to 23 March. when she will unveil her new trio. Lack of rehearsal time for the new band persuaded all concerned that the original date was too soon. On top ofthat. Roger was unable to secure a deal for the following week. already vacated by the cancellation ofthe Sun Ra tour; accordingly. the season now starts on 9 February. with the Tommy Smith Quartet and the John Rae Collective.
Got that? Good. because there is more. The following week. 16 February. now features Martin Taylor's Sarabande and Melanie O'Reilly‘s Watch What Happens. but the Danish Radio Big Band have not joined the drop-outs. They have simply moved. not only to a newdate. Sunday 25 February. but also a new venue. the Assembly Rooms.
Okay? Fine. Eberhard Weber has been confirmed for a solo performance on 23 February. with ('hick Lyall's Quartet sharing the bill. rather than supporting Martin Taylor on his original March 30 date. That night is now filled by the John Scoficld (iroup. who move upa week to accomodate (‘arol Kidd. which is where we came in. right‘.’
Piece ofcake. The other three dates are just as we told you in the first place. See Book Now fora full revised list. ()h. and I am still speaking to Roger Spence. . .(Kenny Mathieson)