I Horthside: My Rising Star (Factory) 1 can‘t help liking Northside despite their blatant baggy-by-numbers approach. ‘Shall We Take A Trip'." was a great. rattling pop song. only marred by embarrassingly trite lyrics. and this ‘live favourite' has always struck me as the obvious follow-up —more rhythmic guitars and an even catchier. more disposable chorus. The vocals are appalling though — the Manc whine taken to its parodic limits. affirming the fact that while Northside have made a minor impact this year. they're bound to bomb horribly in a couple of singles' time. (PS)
I Blur: She's So High (Food) Oh happy day — the greatest band in musical history finally release their debut single. awaited with much salivation in these quarters. At once naive and debauched. Damon Albarn‘s reverberating deadpan vocals eulogise one lucky femme fatale before dragging her through a spacey landscape of backwards guitar and upfront basslines to his mangled. earthy conclusion. Nineteen-ninety might just as well trundle toa close now. because from this blissful zenith things can only go downhill. (FS)
I Christy Moore: Welcome to the Cabaret (Hewberry) Obviously a song intended to start off a live show. and a lesser one from having been removed from that context. On the way to the gig. Moore has run-ins with the driver ofa slurry-dripping truck and the army. We start to get the idea that he's comparing the way we perceive events in the outside world with the way we consume entertainment (and the way Moore discusses issues in his songs). but it fades out before we can be sure. Not a winner. (AM)
I Hugh Reed and the Velvet Underpants: Six To Wan (Bai|)The Rab C. Nesbitts of the music world. and Scotland‘s answer to Carter perhaps? Both bands share the same parochial humour and laddish mentality anyway. What makes the 'Pants
“TIE- Cultivating a
Botany 5 have done more than lose two digits since their Botany 500 days. They’ve stripped down to a core of Gordon Kerr, Jason Robertson, Dave Galbraith and Steve Christie and gained direction and a Virgin recording contract.
‘At one point there were six people in Botany 500,’ says Kerr, explaining why there had to be changes. ‘It was uncontrollable. We had some good ideas, but it was the wrong style. The difference now is that we all play together and what comes out is one thing, and what it was before was six different things all at once. I think we’re rubbish at playing with other people, but when we play together we can make itwork.’
Perhaps surprisingly, considering Botany 5 has been linked with an ‘Edinburgh dance explosion’, Kerr
announces that the forthcoming album will be ‘quite mellow.’
‘The biggest problem that t can see is running through all this contusion. We‘ve got these LFO mixes on one hand, and on the other we've got these tracks that sound like Todd Rundgren or something. They’re totally different, and I can’t understand why you shouldn’t be able to do that. The tracks on the album have been influenced by dance music, but they’re not dance tracks. I don’t think anyone would play them in a club. That’s for singles and remixes.’
However, they’d just come straight from playing a rave in Strathclyde Park, which was, by their account, ‘brilliant’. Kerr still can't understand why all the hardcore dance people, whom he thought would be so purist, enjoyed their set so much. They might still give the single, ‘Love Bomb’, a wide berth, for although it sounds like a creditable debut—a hit even— Kerr is not entirely happy.
“‘Love Bomb”’s foo tacky for me. It's all right, but we've got a lot better songs. It‘s too derivative and it‘s not been pushed far enough. It’s the first one we did. Don’t expect miracles or anything.’ (Alastair Mabbott)
‘Love Bomb’ is available on Virgin Records.
It would seem there is no stopping
Roll over Westbourne
Westbourne Music. Not content with putting on a lunchtime concert in every one of Glasgow's Year of Culture's 52 weeks, they have organised concerts in buildings as diverse as the Museum of Transport and BP Exploration, were one of the first to use the new Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and now bring the Alberni String Quartet—described by the New York Times as ‘one of the finest half-dozen quartets in the world‘ —to Westbourne Church to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets. The series opens on Friday 26 and will continue over three weekends alternating Friday evenings with Sunday afternoons, with a special study day on Saturday 27.
Cellist with the quartet is David Smith, who says, ‘lt‘s a unique collection of works in the string quartet repertoire. Some have always been considered some of Beethoven’s most difficult music, but also some of his greatest music.’ Normally, a cycle such as this would take place over a period of days within the context of a concentrated festival. ‘But,’ says Smith, ‘by spreading them out over three weekends, we're giving people a chance to go away and think about them.’ There is plenty to think about. ‘In a way,’ says Smith, ‘you get an experience of Beethoven’s life. His early quartets were written at a time he was able to hear and very much influenced by Haydn and Mozart. Then, the middle quartets are on a much
larger scale. By this time he was pretty deaf and he was trying to hear them, but with no success. When you come to the late quartets, you hear a difficult, bitter and suspicious man, isolated from everyone, though through them you have his innermost thoughts. And no matter how many times you play these quartets, you always come off stage feeling that was amazing music. (Carol Main)
The Alberni String Quartet play Beethoven's Complete String Quartets at Westbourne Church, Glasgow, from Fri 26.
Shogt to kill policy
Tom Lappin still gets goosebumps at the sound ofthe intro to Lulu’s ‘Shout’. A lifetime’s hopes were dashed when he heard how happy she was to be working with Barry (Eitﬂa.
Ifall Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie of Lennoxtown, Glasgow, is remembered for is her ‘We-ee-ee-elll’ at the beginning of ‘Shout’ and her very 60$ stage-name of Lulu, rather than the fact that she was the voice of Nellie the Elephant, she’ll be content enough. For despite all the pantomimes, the guest-spots on Morecambe and Wise, and other major mistakes during the 705, she is still a fervent member ofthe ‘music was my first love and it will be my last‘ school.
Discovered singing in a Glasgow pub at the age of fourteen, she and her band went from Marie Lawrie and the Gleneagles to Lulu and the Luvvers in one stroke ofa manager’s pen, and hit singles followed apace (as they said back then). ‘Shout’ was followed into the Top Twenty by ‘Here Comes the Night’, ‘Leave a Little Love‘ and ‘Try to Understand‘, and Lulu was what Brian Epstein called ‘cooking‘, with one prominent rock critic moved to describe ‘Shout' as ‘still probably the best rock ‘n’ roll performance by a woman in the history of British pOp.‘
Unfortunately, the temptation of becoming the dreaded ‘all-round entertainer’ became too much, and after a promising start to her acting career in To Sir with Love. Lulu made the easy transition from the raunchy little belter knocking out er, raunchy little belters, to one of those end-of-the-pier, chicken-in-a-basket cabaret slots for most of the 705 and 80s.
When her long-time manager retired, Lulu decided that the time had come to get back to basics, with a straight R&B tour with her band last October. ‘The reason I started in this business was my love of R&B and black American music,‘ she says, ‘so that‘s what I wanted to get back to. I wanted to concentrate rather more on the music than being just an entertainer reeling out the hits.‘ Audiences and critics were generous in welcoming a courageous return to form.
Her return to singing R&B probably has a lot more to do with slipping back into what she feels most comfortable doing than carrying out a good career move.
Her acting (she recently appeared in
32 'l'he List 26 October — 8 November l99ll