t seems like only yesterday that Roddy Frame was acclaimed as the bright hope for a new decade: a prodigious songwriter with

At the ripe old age 0f26‘ l Knopfler-produced second LP. Knife. and the Roddy Frlmc h,“ 'ugt 5 period oftotalexhaustion that followedthe ' c (i J album‘stour.that‘safairassessment.

. . . talent beyond his years. whose work L“Inlleth h” lot” th - [.m'r’. Aztec (Tamera‘s third album. was made : overflowed with charm and catchy hooks. ln LP. Stray. Alastair with Anita Baker and numerous 12-inch rap fact it was only .lanuary. in one of the colour Nlabbou talks {0 him singles rattling round in his head. It turned off

supplements. and the item triggered a shiy er of (16ch 1‘“. lladn't exactly the same things been said

many old Aztecs fans (‘I didn‘t make it for them.‘

and his “CW halr'CUI is Frame’s laconic comeback). and many ofthe

about Frame at the start of the 80s. when he was a about how AZICC songs creak with the sound ofa man wrestling ' mere 16-year-old living in liast Kilbride and Camel-11‘5- Songs have - yaliantly with material he doesn‘t quite know how

2 leading an early version of the oddly~named Aztec (‘ameral’

to bring off. Still. on at least a third ofthe record.

he managed successfully to incorporate new

I l l l l l captured and lost hearts. i l l

3 Indeed they had. and the group‘s impact then influences into his existing songwriting style. and I

was significant. As leading lights of the Postcard ; the exultant ‘Somewhere in My Heart‘ was

E label alongside Orange Juice and Josef K. Aztec _ delicious proof. Cries of ‘sell-out‘ were heard. but

§ ('amera brought jazz chords and romanticism ' he is unruffled by the description of

back into post-punk pop. The fledgling Frame‘s ; ‘production-line pop‘ that one former Aztecs beguiling. wistful voice smoothed out the i admirer spat in my direction when I put it on the

puzzlinglyrics and deliberately complex i tape deck.

; structures ofthe early singles ‘Just Like Gold and i 'Well. that‘s fair enough. Music doesn‘t come ‘Mattress ofWire‘. and the first Aztec (‘amera i from nowhere. I think it‘s okay not to like it. 1 album. High Land Hard Rain captured hearts by 7 don‘t really care. It‘s not like a competition. I the sackful. More streamlinedthan the Postcard 1 don‘t think it'slike you support one bandorthc

singles. more cleanly-produced and lighter on irony than ()range Juice‘s debut. it spawned a Top 20 hit in ‘Obliyious‘.

other. I dropped all that when Bowie renounced Ziggy Stardust. It‘s not like football teams: “My hands Number Three and yours is only Number

(irateful for his head start. Framed reckons he‘s 5 Four".‘ had it prettyeasy in the music business -‘I seem l lfLm'ealienated devoteesofthe earlier. feyer to have sailed through. in a way.‘ he says and Aztec Camera. the new LP. Stray. isn't out to wm

them back. The term ‘eclectic‘ fails to do justice i

apart from the cool reception to his Mark 4'l‘he List 15 -- 28June 1990