I The KLF teaturlng The Children oi the Revolution: 3am Eternal (KLF Communications) As reasonable people, most of the time, we couldn’t expect The KLFto t0p the headrush that was ’What Time is Love'. ‘3am Eternal‘, originally part of their 1989 ’Pure Trance‘ series, isn’t as crammed with ideas, and doesn‘t pull all the strands together as well as that record, but the Eurohook is an invigorating delight. So are the biceps. Mustn‘t forget them. (AM)
I Blrdland: Everybody Heads Somebody (Lazy) These are the harbingers of sonic delirium? Harbingers of wretched tollie, more like. Tantrums and instrument-smashing will only cover up mundanity for so long, and Birdland have been well and truly rumbled. Crap power-pop so desperately ordinary that one supposes John Major will guest on the next one. (AM) I The Bachelor Pad: Smoothie (Egg) The ﬁrst duffer from the hitherto-excellent Egg Records — a typically frenetic organ-led romp that would be fine live or in the company ot'othc.'s of its kind, but stands as a skinny excuse for a single. In the hands of The Rezillos, the B-side cover of ‘Do You Wanna Dance' could have been a monster anthem, but left to The Bachelor Pad it has questionable value even as a novelty. (AM) I Beat Happening: Red Head Walking (Tupelo) And while we‘re talking predictability, thank goodness for Beat Happening. i hate to be patronising but, heck , you can always trust them to come up with some seriously strutting Yank eccentricity. Here Calvin plugs into Johnny Cash mode to deliver a lop-sided diatribe against the ﬂame-haired temptrcss of the title. ’Kitsch‘ is not the word. ‘Disturbing‘ is. (PS) I Fresh 4: Compared to What (Ten Records) Another Smith and Mighty production which won’t provide any landmark but should makc a medium-sized dent in the playlist down
ROCK & BLUES 34 LIGHT 37 JAZZ 37 FOLK & WORLD 38 CLASSICAL 39
[MUSIC PREVIEW LISTINGS
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Mike Travis’s EH 15
Drummer Mike Travis iirst put together his current EH 15 quintet lorthe Glasgow Jazz Festival last year, albeit underthe rather more quotldian name oi the Mike Travis Band. The band, which takes its title trom his Portobello postcode, teatures iellow Cauld Blast member Steve Kettley on saxophones, Graham Muir on guitar, keyboardman Jim Hannah, and Stuart Smith on bass.
‘l’ve usually had a band on the go,’ Travis explains, ‘but it had been a couple ol years since Contos broke up, and it seemed time to put something new together. I am lucky in that I have the opportunity to play in a lot oi dilterent contexts, and i enjoy that immensely, but this band was really just a chance to play the kind oi music I most wanted to play, and iortunater I was able to iind players who tell the same way.’
Travis will be heavily involved in the series oi Burns Night Special concerts (see Jazz and Folk listings) promoted by Gordon Stevenson’s Eclectic Records (currently recording a cassette release oi EH 15’s music), with Cauld Blast and EH 15 both playing, in addition to Mike’s role in the Savourna Stevenson Trio. EH 15 provides him with a diiierent musical outlet to any at his other commitments, or the theatre work— including Jock Tamson’s Bairns and The Ship - which iills much oi his time.
‘This is not a jazz band with a capital J, and the players involved all come irom very dilierent backgrounds themselves. I think it is also diiierent irom the other bands on the scene just now. It’s delinitely not a jazz-iunk outiit, but I suppose it has more oi a world jazz ieel to it, drawing on a wide range at iniluences. I want to introduce more Scottish elements into the music, but you can’t really iorce that to happen. I’m sure some oi the band will come up with ideas, though, but they will be different irom Cauld Blast’s approach to that problem.’
EH15 play the Riverside, Glasgow on Sat 26.
Savourna Stevenson began to learn music under the watchiul eye at her lather, composer Ronald Stevenson, at a very tender age indeed; by the time she was iour, she was making up tunes, which he then notated ior her. She moved irom keyboard to harp at eleven, and apart lrom a couple oi years oil immediately alter her marriage to harp-maker Mark Norris, she has been playing harp ever since. Her prolessional breakthrough also came early, courtesy oi tiddler Dave Swarbrick.
‘I got the chance to work with Dave Swarbrick when I was iiiteen, through my brother Gordon, who now runs Eclectic Records. Gordon was a great tan, and had more or less just knocked on his door and introduced himsell. When Swarbrick mentioned that he wanted a harp player ior his next record, Gordon suggested me, and he agreed to hear me. I played on three oi his records, and met a lot at musicians through him.’
Following a briel spell in England,
. Stevenson returned to settle in her
native Borders, and embarked on an unusual musical path. Her current music still retains a traditional leel, but leans even more strongly toward jan-based harmonies, a direction encouraged by the jazz roots other regular rhythm section, Neil Hay and Mike Travis. Her ground-breaking experiments on the instrument, both with her trio and in her music tor the Tweed Journey Suite, have been made
technically possible by a specially modiiied harp designed by Mark. ‘When I came back to Scotland, I was playing solely traditional music, but very quickly the arrangements I was making at traditional tunes began to broaden out, and became rather more adventurous. lam not at all a purist when it comes to music, and I realised that ii i was going to be able to do the things I wanted, I was going to have to look beyond the traditional iield. I couldn’t do the jazz harmonies and so on that I now play on a standard small harp, though.’ (Joe Alexander) Savourna Stevenson Trio, Riverside Club, Glasgow, 27 Jan, 8pm; Caie Royal, Edinburgh, 30 Jan, 8pm.
After a long lay-off, Killing Joke have returned to the live arena and brought out a dark, brooding album that is not dissimilar to their vintage work. Paul W. Hullah dusts off the memories.
When I was a youngster, and scarcely into my ﬁrst pair of tartan bondage trousers, there were two
30 The List 25 J anuarv - 7 Februarv 1991