____l_, __ _____ W MUSIC_

l. SINGLES I Stretchheads: Eyeball

Origami Aftermath Wit Vegetarian Leg (Blast First)

Sennapod wheelwright expatriate fig hautboy coccyx. so there. The

Stretchheads do what they

do best I doubt they can or would do anything else which is make a wailing. screeching hullaballoo. (AM)

I The Proclaimers: King of the Road (Chrysalis) L'nfairly derided. Anyone who can get no joy out of hearing the broadest Fife voices running through Roger Miller's timeless lines can stick with their Northside singles till the end of time. I don't care. They'll miss out on their reminiscence ofwhat the bllsactually meant to them. i.e. ‘l.ulu Selling Tea'. one of the witty turns that the Reid twins do so effectively. (AM)

I Riverhead: Alpharetta EP (Avalanche) They've got direct and melodic tunes. have Riverhead similar to labelmates The Desperadoes on one track. and even hovering around Pixies territory for a few bars— but a little plain. Perhaps they just jumped into recording too soon. More work required ifthey're to pull themselves out ofthe morass ofsmall Edinburgh bands. but not a bad start. Once all the parts have locked together. it'll be worth the wait. (AM)

ITeenage Fanclub: God Knows It’s True (Paperhouse) First it was the twiddly intro that persuaded me that Tl-‘(‘ had plugged into the heart of garage rock for this one; then the melody: then the crescendo. And this was even before anyone had started singing. A splendid single from the band of the year. and The (iood Lord Will be so oyercome by his namecheek here that he will graciously forgive them for the fillerson the 12in. (AM) I The Butthole Surfers: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (Rough Trade) ()uite what the flip is going on here is anybodysguess, Never havingheardtheoriginal-r ! and.let‘slaceit.priorto

Milllitld OlSflW

ig band breezin’

Back in the 1960s, George Benson achieved a sizeable reputation on the US jazz scene as a player of formidable chops and discriminating taste, both as a sideman - for figures as diverse as soul-jazz organist Brother Jack McDufl through to Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock—and occasional leader. it is interesting but a little pointless to speculate how his music might have developed it he had stayed in the jazz field, rather than become a soul superstar as a singer.

Benson began singing professionally at the age of eight, so it was no real

surprise that he chose the more commercial route, while taking a sideswipe at radio play in the process. ‘lfthe kids can‘t hear it,‘ he said at the time of his switch to crossover funk in the mid-70s with the mega-selling “Breezin” album, ‘I don‘t care how good it is, you can‘t sell itto them.‘

Having made his bundle, though, the guitarist has partially returned to his jazz roots in his last two albums, although he always continued to play in at least occasional jazz contexts anyway, as well as making scat singing along with elaborately embellished guitar lines a feature of his style. I’m not sure, though, that ‘Tenderly’ and the new ‘Big Boss Band‘ could be taken to answer the question; they are both so permeated by his slick, laid-back soul style that they barely qualify as jazz at all, perhaps to the relief of his legions of admirers.

‘Big Boss Band’ does have the Count Basie Orchestra on most of its cuts, and throws up a couple of nice interpretations of jazz standards like ‘Dn Green Dolphin Street’ and ‘Skylark‘, and a raunchy blues with the New York Horns, but nothing in the way of fierce improvisation to trouble even your maiden aunt. Benson, still breezin‘, but minus the Basie Orchestra, is at Edinburgh Playhouse on Friday 23. See Listings. (Kenny Mathieson)


Portrait of the composer

Ecat Contemporary Music, as the Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust seems now to be known, presents its latest piece of inventive and imaginative programming on Monday 3 at Edinburgh’s Dueen‘s Hall with the Delme String Quartet. In what is labelled a ‘portrait concert‘, the subject in question is composer Haflifi Hallgrimsson. Born in Iceland, but resident in Edinburgh since 1977, Hallgrimsson is one of the most important Icelandic composers in a flourishing Nordic movement. This special concert features two of his own works, ‘Duartet Not From Memory‘ and the first performance of ‘Four Movements for String Duartet— In Memoriam Bryn Turley’.

Alongside them will be Janacek‘s second string quartet, ‘Intimate Letters‘, and the ‘Duartet‘ by Debussy. ‘It‘s meant to be a portrait concert,’ says Hallgrimsson, ‘and I was asked to choose the music. These two pieces made a deep impression on me when I

first heard them when I was very young. 3 E Bryn Turley, just over two years ago. ; The new piece, in his memory, is

Debussy seemed to me to be the first truly modern composer.‘ For many years principal cellist with the SCD, Hallgrimsson found the cello sonata ‘a revelation- and when I came to the Quartet, it was as if I‘d found the most perfect piece of music. That,‘ he says, ‘and the Janacek, encouraged me to write. Now, apart from being wonderful music, they bring back very happy memories of this strange desire of

wanting to do something similar.‘ SaddermemoriesforHallgrimsson

come from the tragic death of his friend

and colleague, the Edinburgh pianist

inevitably a very personal one. ‘lt‘s a

' tribute to Bryn,‘ he says, ‘and intended

to reflect in some ways the deep sense

of loss, despair, anger, loneliness and sorrow felt by all those who knew him

well.‘ (Carol Main).

Hallifi Hallgrimsson Portrait Concert, Oueen‘s Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 3.

Never stop

The all-new. all-different

Echo and The Bunnymen have a daunting reputation to live up to. Alastair Mabbott speaks to Damon Reece. one of their new recruits. and asks how he fitted into their ‘strange. informal alchemy‘.

There are no disputes over who owns the name Echo and The Bunnymen. although it does seem strange to see a group that were frequently made out to be like four legs of a table rebuilt around the core ofguitarist Will Sergeant and bassist l.es l’attinson. Lips'n‘hair ofthe decade. lan Mc(‘ulloch. parted company

with the group to pursue a solo j

36 The List 23 November— 6 December 1990