I lllolt Robertson and Slice: Bulletproof Boy (Clroa)Thc debut album from the hotly tipped Edinburgh singer shows him squarely placed in a genre that Van Morrison more or less created. but by its nature it‘s a genre that allows a great deal of flexibility. roping in soul. R&B and jazz as well as traditional music from these isles. Using Morrison as a reference point isn‘t necessarily lazy or particularly misleading. Compared to a year ago. Robertson‘s voice sounds older. harder. wearier as he bends and slurs the lyrics. breaks into bursts of seat. plays with the sound of words to wring out their meaning. Depending on the listener. Bullet Proof Boy could be an emotional avalanche or a tiresome exercise in emoting in the right accent. Happily. Robertson excels a songwriter. the best ofhis work — some of it dating back several years — being nothing short of sumptuous. ‘Punch a Wall‘. ‘Slice of Heaven'. ‘Pride and Joy‘ and most ofthe rest ofthe album
will keep it at the front of record collections for many months. To any further mentions of Van Morrison or the Celtic Soul label. 1 would have to add that there‘s room for
one more up top.
’ (Alastair Mabbott)
' I Area: Agate Lines (Third
Mind) Blurrs. Images and
distraught heroines. ‘You
set the scene. lndieville
U.S.A. . . .‘saysthe press
release. No. [’11 set the
scene. Piss ﬂat Yankee
vocals lapping (but
missing) a DX7 syrupy
synthesiser. Twelve tracks
(equals fifty-four minutes)
; of sepia-tinted. late-night
rubbish. This is the
i incredibly hopeless
; dribbling of people.
’ probably old. who like
The Cocteau Twins to the
: point of insanity and want
I you to know it. My
ﬂatmates aren‘t prone to
rolling around the ﬂoor
l but when I played Area‘s
piss-funny run through
,' Len Cohen‘s ‘Sisters of
T Mercy'. boy. did they spin
? and writhe! This is a
project which. whilst
. keeping journalists like
, me in dodgy metaphors. is
f keeping some worthy
Stop it! (Paul W. llullah) I Enigma: MCMXC AD (Virgin) What do you say about an album that‘sonly got one track? There are seven compositions according to the track listing. two ofwhich are dubiously sub-divided into three separate ‘movements’ — the tell-tale trademark ofa concept album. The bloated pretensions ofthe sleevenotcs are disturbingly devoid of irony. and the extended stream-of-eonsciousness opener ‘The Voice of Enigma‘ painfully offputting. but there’s no getting away from it — this is nothing more than a glorified 12-inch. an exhaustive promo ploy to tempt those already consumed by the hypnotic ‘Sadness‘ out ofa further six quid. Tracks melt into one another. a deep sleep ensues — this is a journey into sound. It is very fine for what it is. a Gregorian chant given the ambient house treatment with standard issue Soul 11 Soul beat. tingling
glockenspiels. South American pipes and breathy French intonations. Just don‘t expect any real substance or. worse still. look for a song. This is music to go insane by. (Fiona Shepherd)
I Various: Dance Energy (Virgin TV) Dance Energy is a companion album to the Defll series hosted by the awesome Normski. not a man you want to get stuck in a lift with ifJanet Street-Porter‘s ‘lley. we can talk the language of the kids‘ attitude gets right up your nose. Shorn ofhis gormless but compelling banter. this double set gets down to the task at hand — presenting a wide cross-section of dance hits and near-misses from the last few months. Thus. we get KLF. Dream Warriors. Mica Paris featuring Rakim. Snap. The Soup Dragons. A Man Called Adam. The Sindecut. 808 State.The Shamen. LL Cool J and a very weird and unexpected dub remix of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. A
considerably more pleasurable experience than watching the programme. (Alastair Mabbott) I Bass Dance: Loud (FM)! ﬁrst heard of Basil Gabbidon in 1986. after he had left Steel Pulse and was trying to get similar attention for his new group. Bass Dance. These days ‘Bass Danee‘ isn‘t too apt a name. as Gabbidon’s crunching. carnivorous lead guitar is the focus, cutting across the rhythms on every track. The sentiments of Loud are right-on - the songs attack Thatcher‘sunion-busting ; policies and call on us to ‘hear the wails ofThird 9 World man‘ — but the I urgency of their message is usually left for the guitar 3 to express. and the Bass , Dance vibe would benefit if the rhythm section ' picked up some of its fire. I Still, not a bad one. and after waiting for four years it‘s good to hear Gabbidon‘s music on vinyl at last. (Alastair Mabbott) f I Oregon: 45th Parallel 7 (veraBra) A highly welcome UK release for this superb Oregon set on '; Vera Brandes‘s eclectic veraBra label. 45th Parallel was originally issued on the now defunct CBS Portrait label in the US in 1989, but was previously available only f
as an expensive import f here. It is a brilliant
l l I l l
example of the new directions in Oregon’s . music. precipitated by the tragic death of Collin Waleott. and the subsequent recruitment of Tn'lok Gurtu. The
percussionist has brought a more direct rhythmic drive to the band. coupled with a greater use of guitarist Ralph Towner‘s electronic keyboards. but they remain amongthe most innovative and continually enjoyable groups in contemporary jazz. Recommended. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Fine Young Cannibals: The new and the Remix (London) Unlike the Cure‘s recent Mixed Up shocker — not so much ﬂogging a dead horse as givinga pointless beat(ing) to a perfectly healthy one — these tracks. all but one from The Raw and the Cooked exemplify a less gratuitous side to remixing. Love them or loathe them. FYC‘s trademark strength is their judiciously sparse approach to pop rock: minimum clutter. maximum impact. This virtue is enhanced. generally speaking. by the unfiddly nature ofthese remoulds. which never encroach upon the directness. never steal the much trumpeted ‘rawness‘ ofthis band‘s charm. The urgent but melodic opener. ‘She Drives Me (David Z) Crazy‘ isthe best track. closely followed by Jazzie B‘s predictably astute reading of‘l‘m Not The Man 1 Used to Be‘. Only the inexplicably crass packaging and the (c)rap version of ‘I‘m Not Satisfied‘ let this fine record down. Not new material. but fine as a (stocking) filler. (Paul W. Hullah)
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (041 226 4679) Iggy Pop. 16Jan; Christy Moore. 4 May.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (041332 1846) Gary Numan. 17 Mar.
I GLASGOW SECC (041 227 5511) Bob Dylan. 2—3 Feb; AC/DC. 20 Apr; Gloria Estefan. 23—24 Apr; Paul Simon. 3] May—l Jun.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (031 557 2590) Robert
V BOOK NOW
Cray. 20Jan; Deep Purple, 10 Mar; Judas Priest. 28 Mar; Roy Chubby Brown, 29 Mar.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (041 332 3123) Danish Radio Big Band. 17Jan.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (031 668 2019) Danish Radio Big Band. 18Jan.
I GLASGOW CONCERT RALL(()41332 3123) In
Tht Mood. 8 Feb.
I GLASGOW SECC (041 227 5511)Tom Jones, 4 Apr; Shirley Bassey. 15 May.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (031557 2590) Vic Damone. 20 Feb; Johnny Mathis, 6—7 Apr; Daniel O‘Donnell, 27 Apr; James Last, 11—12Jun.
I GLASGOW CITY HALLS (0412275511)SCO.18 Jan; SCO. 25 Jan: SCO.6 Feb; SCO. 8 Feb.
I GLASGOW CONCERT
HALL (041 3323123)SNO, 12Jan;SNO. l9Jan; SNO.24 Jan; SNO.26 Jan;SNO. 2Feb; SNO,7 Feb; SNO. 9Feb;SCO. 13 Feb; SNO. 16 Feb; BBCSSO, 22 Feb; SNO. 23 Feb; SNO. 28 Feb.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (041 332 5057) Barbara Hendricks/Staffan Scheja, 10Jan; Talich Quartet. 14 Feb; SEMC. 22 Feb.
I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL (041 331 1234) Scottish Opera: La Bohéme.l6.19. 24 Jan, 12. 16. 19 Feb; Fidelio,29
Jan. 2. 9. 14. 20 Feb; The Cunning Little Vixen. 8, 13. 15. 21.23 Feb; Falstaff. 16. 20. 27 Apr. 2. 22 May; The Barber of Seville, 26. 30 Apr. 4. 9. 17.25 May; Regina. 16. 18.21.23 May;Scottish Ballet. 21 Dec—5 Jan.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (031557 2590) Scottish Opera: La Bohéme. 19. 22 Mar; Fidelio, 20. 23 Mar; The Cunning Little Vixen. 21 Mar.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (031 668 2019) SCO. 12Jan;ECAT.14Jan;
SCO,17Jan;SCO.26 Jan; Teehinski SQ. 6Feb; SCO. 7 Feb; SCO. 9Feb; Scottish Ensemble. 10 Feb; Kirshbaum and Vignoles. 11 Feb; Scottish Ensemble. 16 Feb; SCO. 21 Feb; SEMC. 23 Feb; Ensemble Expose. 27 Feb; Evelyn Glennie. 4 Mar.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (031 228 1 155)SNO. 11Jan; BBCSSO, 16Jan; SNO. 18 Jan; SNO.25 Jan; SNO. 1 Feb; SNO,8 Feb; SCO. 14 Feb; SNO. 15 Feb; SNO. 22 Feb.
34The List 21 December 1990- 10January 1991