Echo and The Bunnymen. Faith Over Reason. Cud. 'l‘he Glasgow'l‘ryst.



Quiet riot

Alastair Mabbott talks to two rising singers about their adherence to traditional values.

When Faith Over Reason supported Lush on their last tour. the former were a little apprehensive it was the first time they had played more than two nights in one week. Still. the audiences were appreciative and Faith Over Reason‘s delicate songs balanced the headliners‘ more robust deluges ofguitar. because they come from a place where a rock group meets something more reflective and timeless. and their tastes are eclectic enough for them to pull it off most ofthe time.

But description is kind ofdifficult; ‘folky-influenced‘ or ‘rootsy rock band‘ both fall short. but there is a definite allegiance to songwriting values that never went away.

‘We keep getting told that our music‘s pastoral,’ says their singer. Moira. ‘but I think that‘s just because we don‘t say “Bright Lights, Big City“. so people expect it to be all furry squirrels.‘

They are somewhat at odds with the times - Moira talks without embarrassment of being ‘really interested in exploring conflicting emotions‘ even ifshe did sing on St Etienne‘s club hit version of Neil Young‘s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart‘.

‘I don‘t mind not being fashionable. simply because things that are very fashionable are very transient as well. We‘re happy being outside the current music scene. feeling that the songs we‘re writing and performing now will still sound good in five or ten years‘ time. A lot of the stuff that‘s fashionable now. in five years‘ time people will

just laugh at.‘


Now they‘re headlining their own tour. bringing with them Heather Frith. a solo singer-songwriter very much in the traditional mould. but with quirks: she totes an acoustic guitar and cites Joni Mitchell as a formative influence (as does Moira) but she also has an unusual soft spot for Talk Talk. ller background is vastly different frotn the (‘roydon-based Faith Over Reason. Heather lived in Bermuda until her late childhood and then spent several years on a sailing boat with her parents and sister. ‘lt was heaven for a kid.‘ she recalls. referring to her freedom from structured schooling. ‘but it was hard as well. because you‘d meet other kids and then you‘d have to go off again. so it was hard to make long-term relationships.‘

After art college in New York. she came to London and started pursuing her ambition to become a singer. On the day I spoke to her. after


\ “v Heather Frith

the first night of the tour. she could count the ' number ofgigs she‘d played on the fingers ofone ~ hand. The imaginatively-titled Heather Frith EP like Faith Over Reason‘s two EPs so far, on Big (‘at Records is ‘really a roots kind ofthing. it’s % the beginning ofwhere I am, it‘s who I am now. 3 But it's going to change rapidly.‘

Not to keep up with the times. though.

‘Yeah. I‘m not doing dance music. but I think there‘s a quiet undercurrent ofsupport for this kind ofthing. People want to hear kind of...


Faith ()ver Reason and Heather Frith play together at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, on Sat 1 . Due to a complicated arrangement, Faith ()i'er Reason support Teenage Fan Club at The Venue, Edinburgh, the nightbefore that, and Heather's place on the bill is taken by Duglas (BMX Bandits). However, she may sneak on

stage when no one 's looking.


' GUSGOW‘S "‘5 journalist Mat Snow. who "EMFNGWAYS '33“ were asked to look lor an mm“, a 3|?“ "‘ "'9 am‘v original alternative to what as vocalist Jim Byrne has one hears on .Top 0, me had a song ‘highly pops'.

commended' by the judges I A NEW MEMBER mm at the Grolsch Question ol '} Velvet Undemams muons Style competition. Out at . Hugh need. we" {w around 1000 entries. Jim's l amaw lndeed,'.an old

was in the ten chosen by - - Simple Minds. Bowie and pa" 0' Pam has been

, I discarded and a new one Springsteen producerJay flipped on in "3 “my. Bum?“ "3"" “WW Theirold drummer has lelt associate Phil Chill and to “com. a “we, and is

replaced by Andy Gayley. and joining on vocals and guitar is Keith Warwick. ex ol Wraygun and The Rockets. Elmo ‘the hippy' has left to study Eastern religions- no. the truth is even stranger. He has left in orderto make a ‘zude'-a. presumably stringed. musical instrument which he played in a dream and is

now toiling in a workshop to make a reality. But can he tell us who killed Laura


what must be theirlirst Scottish appearance lor two years at Tower Records. Argyle Street. Glasgow on Fri 23. starting at 1pm. The boys are said to be not dischulled about ‘King at the Road’ going intothe national charts at 17—no mean teat.

l ZULU SYNDICATE. rappers currently based in Edinburgh. are engaged in an unstoppable rise

| situation. having secured a

contract with Public Enemy's Stateside management— a term oi the contract is that the band are guaranteed a recording deal.

I GARGLEBLUD gettheir names in Listen! yet again shocker! This time. it's because they're prowling around Edinburgh looking tor a Martin speaker cabinet which disappeared lrom Moray House College on Mon 12. Naturally. they’d like it back. Identilication shouldn't be that much ola problem it it’s still inlhe same condition it was when it went missing - it had

: ‘Gargleblud' on it in two-loot-high letters.

I AFTER NOTING Queen's signing to the Disney Organisation-owned Hollywood Record last issue. we've heard lrom David Rogers (no stranger to this column) who. while still working lor promoters Showbiz Artists. is their Scottish talent scout. They‘re keen to help in the development at acts and are ‘on the lookout tor anything', as rash as that sounds. The address is 5 James Square. Biggar ML12 601.. Tel: 0899 20202.

The List 23 November 6 December 1990 35