Bristo Square. Every Saturday oi the Festival. Spin-2.308m. £3.50. Lovably wacky moptop tour-piece, The Spooks, combine live pertormance with kitsch club sounds in an aliectionaie and humorous (not to mention popular) 60s parody.
I DREAM The Mission, Cowgate. Every Friday during the Festival. 11pm—aam. £3. Edinburgh’s only regular dance club, with DJ Bootsy spinning a hot mix oliunk and soul, drawing on classic pro-house tracks to avoid reliance on the obvious. Worth a visit.
I MAMBD CLUB Hetwork2. Tollcross. Every night during the Festival. 11pm—4am. £3.50 (23). Sir Dssie promises a great party with his eclectic blend otAirican, Latin and salsa, reggae, soca and calypso.
.. ‘ a ,1." I- I HDRTH The Mission, Cowgate. Every Wednesday
during the Festival. 10.30pm—3am. £3 (£2.50). Everything starts with an M at this indie-dance club which plays the sort oi sounds originating somewhere in the north. Go and scuii your Timberlands to the Mondays, Roses, Charlatans. I MESSENGER HI Fl REGGAE SOUND SYSTEM The Venue, Calton Road. Every Tuesday during the Festival. 9pm—iate. 22 (£1.50). A reggae club that plays Roots, Ragamultin, Lovers Rock and some massive Dub sounds as well as the more mainstream. DJ Zeb also appears on Sugar Builet‘s ‘Worid Peace', ' which is a tair Indication oi ability.
‘Ifyou’re at a club and the DJ is playing something like the Theme From The Waltons, you can’t really take it too seriously, can you?’
Country and Western music, as the original sound of a subjugated people struggling to survive, has always had strong ties with Scotland. Now, as it experiences another upsurge of popularity with the emergence ofbands like The Liberties and Peach County, Edinburgh clubbers are being invited to ‘snatch that snappy gingham and pull on those high steppin‘ boots’ for an irreverent celebration of the genre.
‘Whilst loving country music I was fed up with the ‘serious’ scene, so decided to start Saddle Sore with a view to putting some fun back into it,’ explains the new club’s organiser and DJ Gavin.
‘It seemed like a bit of a stupid idea at the time, so we thought, yeah. . .
Despite playing tracks that promise to ‘put the ‘sh’ in Nashville, the ‘sad‘ in saddle and the ‘odd’ in God,‘ Saddle Sore does not advocate the complete removal from everyday existence as practised by those who attend clubs like Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry.
‘Dressing up and singing Dixie is funny, but kinda sad because it‘s all a million miles away. These people are here in Scotland but think they’re
ranch hands from the American Mid-West. Imean, come on . . . .'
However, the tacky excesses of death, divorce and drunkenness as epitomised in the songs of Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers et 0!, still have their place.
‘Although we're trying to introduce people to the better side of country and western, we do still include things like ‘Okie from Muskogie’ on the playlist because you just have to laugh at it all.’
This decided lack of seriousness is reinforced by weekly singalongs to the Band With No Name, for which songbooks are provided containing the words to such classics as ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart' and ‘Blanket on the Ground’.
‘We basically just want to get people up there making idiots of themselves,‘ Gavin grins.
All together now, ‘I’ve been walking these streets so long, singing the same old song. . .’ (Avril Mair) I Everything starts with a C G W Saddle Sore, Pelican, Cowgate, each Thursday during the Festival. lOpm—3am. £1.50.
Manchester raves on
‘The music which has come out ot Chicago and Detroit in the last ten years has so changed British pop . . . that now, it you’re a British group and you can’t play music in the style to which you can dance and with the rhythms that have come out oi America ...you’re dead.’
At the recent New Music Seminar in New York, Tony Wilson, Factory svengall, was expounding in his usual iormldable lashion the intluence oi house.
‘And the men responsible ior bringing these revolutionary sounds to Britain?’ Dramatic pause ior etiect. ‘Graeme Park and Mike Pickering.’
Graeme Park has the seil-etiacing grace to appear abashed at this, whilst understanding that innovators are inevitably singled out ior attention. But his lnlluence on the dancelloors oi this country, although blurred by sweat and sulphate, is incalculabie. From the early days in Hottingham’s Garage which introduced that American sound to Britain, to the current acclaim as Hacienda Nude Night DJ, Happy Mondays tour DJ, and record remixer, Graeme Park is truly a club guru, a ditiident type who has iound his destiny as a pioneering iorce in contemporary culture.
However not everyone is entirely happy with the changes that he and Pickering have brought about. At the Seminar, Derrik May, a Detroit House producer and techno innovator, took Tony Wilson's deliberately
controversial comments at lace value and stated that in his opinion dance music was dead, killed oii by the likes oi Adamski, whose music comes not irom the heart but is dictated by the love oi money, who is ignorant oi the history at the sound but still succeeds in reaching number one.
‘Derrik May came out with some oi the most innovative original dance music i have ever heard two or three years ago,’ Park admits, ‘but he hasn’t developed as an artist. So I don’t know why he’s saying that Adamski doesn‘t know what he’s doing. Adamski may not be musically brilliant but he does make good records. In the British club scene there are people making lowest common denominator rave records, but on the other hand there are also those who just want to make good music.
‘Up until last summer there was an underground club scene that centered round a law ‘big-name’ DJs, but then the whole thing exploded and something had to be done to meet the demand. But because oi this popularity a lot had to be watered down, so now even your ritzy type oi clubs play so-called ‘rave’ music. And these people playing the obvious stuti means
that Ms like myseli who try to do what we’ve always done - play good new music— make a lot oi enemies.‘
One area where Park sparks olt controversy is that concerning the city where he now works. The rising oi the north, the emergence oi Manchester as a marketable commodity, with all its implications oi disposabllity, iuses a gamut oi emotions in him, in that he can welcome the end oi the capital’s domination, the realisation that liie exists in the provinces, but must condemn the current ‘everything begins with an M’ mentality.
‘Lots oi bands are just milking the tact that they're irom Manchester. Look at A Certain Ratio — they’ve been around ior ten years and have always been a big cult indie band; now they’re touting themselves as godiathers oi the whole scene. People should just iorget where they come irom and what their scene is and just do what they teel.’
This is Park’s dictating rule, the rationale that governs his every move. He understands that carelui media orchestration produces current trends, but that good music - his kind at music — transcends categorisation. Thus, whilst Involved in the scene, he is also apart irom it; maintaining principles without pandering to mass consumerism, working towards a change in club culture.
‘Things as they are will carry on in their populariorrn, but people like myseli are trying to take it slightly Ieit-lieid. I don't mean that in an elitist way; it is just that 22 and 23-year-olds are now getting led up oi raving the night away in purple hooded sweatshirts.‘ (Avril Mair)
Graeme Park will be appearing at The Brain, Playhouse Studios, Greenslde Place, each Saturday during the Festival. 11pm—Bam. Yol Future. Let's all have a disco!
The List 17 - 23 August 1990 71