resident in Los Angeles, after he ‘quite simply fell
in love’ with the States whilst there in the 705 in ,,' the White Band’s heyday. A bottle-blonde and healthily tanned family man, he speaks with a half-hearted American accent which degenerates reassurineg into a throaty, resigned Glaswegian lilt whenever the topic of football — and in particular Scotland’s World Cup showing — crops ’ up. He advocates progress, ‘in football and in music’, and that’s why he never got involved with the Average White Band’s second coming.
‘Moving forward’ for Stuart meant consistently
penning classy, soulful, funk tunes for artists such 7" as Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, The Temptations and Jeffrey Osborne, taking on session and production work and itching to play in a proper band set-up again. That chance came at the start of 1988 when he was invited ‘out of the blue’ to play on McCartney’s Flowers In The Dirt album. The pair got on so well, musically and otherwise,- that Hamish was signed up as a key member of Paul’s current touring band.
With an extensive set drawn from the earliest Beatles material right up to Macca’s recent writings, the tour sounds like fairly hefty work. How do you go about picking a set from the legacy of McCartney songs there are to choose from?
‘It was quite a job. The set’s basically a musical history of the last 20 years or more, with covers, Beatles and Wings numbers and a lot of Paul’s solo stuff. Initially, Paul gave us a tape of his favourite songs that he’d been involved with over the years. We waded through them and pooled our favourites. The band made suggestions that Paul hadn’t thought of, like doing the Abbey Road medley. That idea came wholly from the band.
‘Once we’d chosen a speciﬁc set, the running order became a problem. We found that we had to organise the songs into particular groups because there are so many instrument changes that ifwe weren’t careful the entire show would just be Paul jogging frantically around the stage. 50 the songs are clustered around Paul’s instrument changes and that sets the pace. It actually works really well.‘
Are there any songs in the set Stuart doesn’t particularly like playing?
‘No, honestly. It’s just worked out that way. The only weird thing is that on a lot of numbers I sing John Lennon’s harmony part. I’m originally a lead vocalist, and I used to be in a band that covered Beatles songs, always singing Paul’s part. So it’s a bit confusing for me at times. But it would be stretching it a bit asking Paul to sing backing vocals on his own songs!’
And the mood in the camp as we approach the SECC and the end of the tour?
‘Great. Paul’s enormous fun to work with because, even this far on, he still has such boundless, infectious enthusiasm. All the soundchecks turn into 45-minute jamming sessions. Paul calls them ‘the first set’. We never even play any songs from the actual show at the soundcheck. And Linda‘s always around. trying to convert people. She always speaks up, and that’s what’s great, that’s what I like about her. Like all the tour food is vegetarian. I‘m not a vegetarian. but she’s certainly made me look at the issue in a different way. We’ve not had many grumbles.’
Finally, diplomacy intact and a fine SECC gig in prospect, the Scots accent makes its second appearance of the day as Hamish Stuart looks to the post-tour future.
‘Paul played me a new song last week and it was great. We’re going to get together next spring and see what happens. Another album certainly, and a tour perhaps. Oh, and maybe the football results will start to get a bit better.‘
Now let’s not get too far ahead ofourselves.
0n thawing !
Paul W. Hullah gets an insider’s view of the Paul McCartney tour from guitarist Hamish Stuart.
With considerable interest focused recently on the reformation of Scots funkers The Average White Band. you could be forgiven for pondering the whereabouts of the missing link, former White Band vocalist Hamish Stuart. For the solution, look no further than stage left in Paul McCartney’s current favoured band of musicians, where, for the last two years. initially recording and on tour since last September, h " Stuart has found gainful employment as lead and S a we‘ ' ' rhythm guitarist. Paul McCartney plays the SE C C , Glasgow on Sat Glasgow born, Stuart is now permanently 23.
I Yazz: Treat Me Good (Bio
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Life) This lacks the explosive energy that made ‘The Only Way is Up‘ one ofthe most irresistible Number Ones ofthe last five years. Yazz, it would seem, is getting more sophisticated. Which isn't necessarily an improvement. (AM)
I The Danntrippera: Jack Knife (Rocket 5) An Iowa band on a Wishaw label? It‘s true. and we should be thankful. Straightahcad garage rock with tasteful picking. strong rhythm section and such a highly-developed melodic sense that it's no wonder they came to be snapped up by REM‘s manager. Jefferson Holt. They could come from any year between 1967 and now. but only from the USA. (AM)
I Jesus Loves You: Generations oi Love (More Protein) A distinctive vocal ofglobal compassion from Boy George (for it is he) rides smoothly across a tinkling and gently grooving backing track. George is far from finished. He‘s wallowing in his element. and this is the vinyl proof. (AM)
' s g I Clark Dalchlen Crown ot Thorns (Virgin) With all the best intentions. ex-Johnny llatesJazz-man Datchler sings of ‘preachers on TV in thousand-dollar suits‘ exploiting the poor. l'm with him all the way. but this isn‘t Parliament he's standing for here. Problem is. he‘s set it to just the sort ofcheesy tune that ‘serious' pop stars like Howard Jones swore by. Howard Jones' heir apparent? Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. (AM)
I Front Line Assembly: lceolale (Third Mind) Squiggly. chattering electroniCs. that half-whispered. half-shouted delivery that suggests 4t) Marlboro a
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day. all in all. very New Beat and \ ery predictable. (AM)
The List 15—28June 199031