V SINGLES l
I Ultra Vivid Scene: Staring at the Sun (MD) Not a remarkable piece of work from UVS‘s Kurt Ralske. The same gentle vocals. discordant guitars and. thankfully. the same blissfully dreamy harmonies. As a taster for the forthcoming second album. it may be just a touch too similar to previous material to demand attention. (Jll) IStetsasoniczA.F.R.l.C.A. ; (GO Beat) The sentiments ' can‘t be argued with. btlt ; compassion fatigue. combined with the inevitable complacency that will arise from Mandela's release. limits its chances. Built on top of the sinuous bassline ofGil Scott-l Ieron‘s ‘B-Movie‘. ‘A.F.R.I.(‘.A.' includes snatches of ‘Free Nelson Mandela‘ (presumably inserted by remixer Norman (‘ook ) which succeed only in niggling. (AM)
I The Ordinaires: Kashmir (Brave) Full-bodied instrumental treatment of the Eastern-sounding Led Zcp standard. with brass and strings combining with guitar and rhythm section to quite magnificent effect. Punchy it is. The only disappointment is that they chose to fade it out rather than bring it to a tumultuous crescendo. (AM)
I Snuft: Flibhiddy Dibbiddy Dob (Workers Playtime) Ten tracks on a 45rpm 12in — it's fast. btlt not a thrash. I-‘or Snuff. whose Cover versions tend toget more attention than their original numbers. it‘s something of a purging of the system. We get slamming renditions of ‘Reach Out. I‘ll Be There'. ‘I (‘an't Iixplain' and a version of'l'he Specials' ‘1)oNothing' which breathes new life into the song. And yes. they do the Shakc‘n'Vac and Bran I‘lakesads. Brilliantly. (AM) i I Kid Congo: In the Heatot the Night (Nightshitt)’l‘hi\ l single has been trumpeted about for so long that it seemed destined to
ROCK 36 JAZZ 39 FOLK 41 CLASSICAL 42
30'l‘he List 20 April — 3 May I990
Alastair Mabbott discovers that there’s more to the Paris Africa Club than just watching the bands.
The big pre-Mayfest musical event promises to be the Paris Africa Club. for which The Tramway will play host to six top African acts, namely Zairean singer Papa Wemba; ‘Queen of Rai‘ Chaba Fadela. known throughout Algeria for confronting prevailing Islamic codes with songs that deal frankly with sexuality and unrequited love; Guinean exile Kaba Mane. who fronts an eclectic 12-piece band; the strangely bluesy Ali Farka Toure (pictured above), the best-known exponent of Malian folk music; Saaba. a music and dance troupe from Burkina Faso; and Rokoto. who have only been seen in this country supporting Les Quatre Etoiles so far.
While the club offers some ofthe most outstanding Paris-based African musicians. only Saaba still live in their native country. and only they are undergoing an exhaustive Scottish tour which takes in everywhere from East Kilbride Village Theatre to Skerray Village Hall.
There are 18 singers and dancers in Saaba. aged between five and 20, and all attend or have attended the Steiner-style Benebnooma school in Burkina Faso. They have won the ‘combined arts’ section ofthe annual week-long National Festival in that country for the last two years. but. says Phillipe Patry of the French Language Bureau. who is bringing them over here. ‘there is a reality in them that is not professional — they are not disconnected from their environment. It's not even just their heritage. it’s a living culture.‘
As a matter ofcourse. Saaba will be asked by local farmers to help with rituals at harvesting time. or if there is a funeral they will be away for two or three days. At the 'l‘ramway. they will be performing funeral dance and music. which is never normally exhibited. Shaking his head sadly. Patry recalls approaching the authorities for funding. and being asked in what way he thought a tour of rural communities in Scotland by 20 young people from Burkina Faso could be considered educational. In the end. he got the money.
"To call it an African ceilidh would not be all that far-fetched. They ask people to dance at the end. and ask questions 7- not in an interrogative way. but questioning in an African way -- par/er— to create an interaction between spectators and
A possible tarring with the brush of exclusivity is a genuine concern of Barbara ()rton. whose job it is to organise daily workshops for the duration of the club and arrange for the visiting artists to be supported by local groups who play African- or Jamaican-styled music — a tricky enough assignment in itself. She takes great pains to make sure you understand that the Paris Africa Club provides a link with musical life in Glasgow.
‘Part ofthe glamour of the event is to fly these people in from Paris. but we want to connect with local projects to make sure people get a lot more out of it. We plan to establish
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links beyond 1990. and also provide some real opportunities for talents in Glasgow to work together rather than sit back and appreciate each other.‘
The workshops are presided over by two Gambians: percussionist. singer and composer Ousu N‘Jie (who now lives in Norway) and guitarist. keyboard player and singer Oliver Mboge (studying in Glasgow). They will be helped out by the Drum Kitchen. a group specialising in African and Latin rhythms. which has been put together by Josephina Cupido, Musician in Residence at the Gorbals Unemployed Workers Centre. Additional percussion