I Courtney Pine: I‘m Still Walling (Mango) Courtney‘s mission impossible to get jazz into the charts doggedly continues with this Aswad-produced cover of an, er. Diana Ross number. Most space is taken up by Carroll Thompson's game vocal. while the ranking Mr P warms up for his forthcoming reggae album with a little mild soprano in the background. As you do, really. (TJ)
I Lil Louis and The World: Nyce and Slo (llrr) Isn‘t it funny how some ofthe most modern tracks around can bring to mind progressive German groups from 20 years ago? ‘Nyce and Slo‘ is defiantly minimalistic, with a ceaseless cheapo synth riff driving away over a sparse backing track. Louis himselfonly passes through to whisper ‘okay’ (repeatedly). its appeal. l'd wager, is confinedto the more spaced-out dancefloors. but I'll keep watching the charts anyway. (AM)
I Lenny ltravitz: Let Love Rule (Virgin) Strangely subdued affair from our Len. the much touted would-be Hendrix ofthe London literati. Let Love Rule opens like an Elvis Costello ballad (honestly) and never really gets going until the final seconds. Far preferable is the adjoining. suitably manic reading of Lennon's ‘Cold Turkey‘. studio-recorded ‘live in LA' (of course) earlier this year. Could do better. though. (Pll)
IThe Pixies: Velouria (“0) No greatdeparture for The Pixies. Velouria is still a perfect example of their melodic guitar attack. Complete with frantic high-pitched keyboard wailings. the single bodes well for the forthcoming Bossanova album. The 12in comes complete with the Kim Deal-sung version of Neil Young‘s ‘l've Been Waiting For You‘, which is as good a reason as any for parting with three quid. (.lll)
EEEEIIII Cathoﬂc tast
It was only a year ago when Norman Blake lirst came out to play with his new group Teenage Fan Club. The remnants ol the Glaswegian anorak brigade watched and listened with perplexity to a band with none ol the pre-pubescent idiocy ol the BMX Bandits nor the ley charm 01 The Boy Hairdressers. Instead they saw a group paying their dues to the towering influences ol Alex Chilton and Neil Young, with more than a passing nod in the direction at American contemporaries llke Bullalo Tom and The Lemonheads. Norman had come through puberty with a wink, a grin and a cartload ol credibility.
‘A lot at people say they think we sound like an American band, but all the records we like are American records anyway,‘ explains Norman. ‘I can remember people slagglng groups like My Bloody Valentine when they started, but they persevered and kept making the records they wanted to make, and so now people like them tor
what they are. People are always going to draw inlluences when they don't know what you‘re about as people or as a band.‘
A string at dates in London and the South helped galvanize media and public attention, but raised expectations that the debut album ‘A Catholic Education' couldn‘t satisfy. Despite a generally favourable reception, it‘s been touted as a llawed debut with substandard sound quality.
However, Norman is quick to quell rumours that the album was msh-released to meet demand: ‘When it came out last month I think people were expecting a slicker production, which we possibly would have had it we'd gone straight to a label who‘d have given us £10,000 to record it. But we actually recorded it ourselves last year and liked the leel at it, so we didn‘t want to scrap it. We wanted to rellect how things were at the time.’
But production isn't everything and there is enough potential in the aching stab at their last single ‘Everything Flows’, recalling Sonic Youth’s more melodic moments, and in the lazy ease with which lyrics roll oil Norman’s tongue to prove their recipe is right even it the lirst lruits are a bit doughy. (Fiona Shepherd)
Teenage Fan Club play The Venue, Edinburgh on Fri 27 and support The Soup Dragons at The Maylair, Glasgow on Tue 31.
V CLASSICAL chorus
‘01,,“ ’ / .‘\ '44“. ’ .’ £99.? ,..
Early music comes to the lore in August with the lirst ever Glasgow International Early Music Festival at various venues between Saturday 4 and Saturday 11 August. Groups lrom France, England, Spain, Germany, Estonia and Scotland appear during the course at the week as well as internationally acclaimed soloists such as viola da gamba playerJordl Savall, the lutenist Jakob Lindberg and lortepiano specialist Melvyn Tan. Hosts tor the Festival are the Scottish Early Music Consort, who must be congratulated on putting together an astonishing range ol programmes
lalling within what might superficially be seen as the rather limiting early music bracket. But scratch the surlace and there‘s everything lrom opera and medieval harp to choral music and traditional Scottish reels, as well as the more predictable instrumental and keyboard contributions. Among the special highlights is the concert pertormance ol Bameau's last opera Les Paladins by La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy, France‘s leading baroque orchestra making their lirst appearance in Scotland. Giving their UK debut perlormance are the Estonians Hortus Musicus,who pertorm the music 01 Monteverdi, in lull period costume, in the impressive surroundings at Glasgow’s City Chambers. The Scottish Early Music Consort‘s own input to the Festival under their director Warwick Edwards is the lirst production since the mid 17th century ol La Vita Humana, a sort ol operatic Pilgrim‘s Progress telling ol the journey at the soul, its seduction by Guilt (Eleanor Bennett) and Pleasure (Douglas Nasrawi) and eventual rescue by innocence (Lorna Anderson). (Carol Main).
Glasgow International Early Music Festival, 4—11 August, various times and venues. Full details: 334 9229. Tickets: 227 5511. See Classical Listings.
Kenny Mathieson hears why Craig McMurdo came out ofthe closet and disowned jazz.
Followers of'l‘hat Swing 'l'hang's infectious brand oi‘jump jive will have noticed that the band has quietly metamorphosedinto(‘raig McMurdo in That Swing 'I'hang in ; recent times. Watching the singer‘s confident stage mannerand obvious regard for his image. you could be i forgiven for putting the change doth to rampant egoism, but in reality it is l more a straight-forwardly i commercial decision. “Yes. I‘ve come out the closet at last! I am the constant factor in the
28 The List 27 July -— ‘) August 19‘)”