Carter USM, The Wendys, Martin Taylor, Gregson/Collier, Dream Academy, The Apples and The Wild River Apples, plus Fidelio reviewed.
LISTINGS: ROCK & BLUES 37 LIGHT 40 JAZZ 40 FOLK & WORLD 41 CLASSICAL 42
Garter for ten!
Radio One DJs are falling over each other to praise Carter USM at the very moment they’ve been advised to keep their single offthe airwaves. Alastair Mabbott wonders how they will fare as chart fodder.
The other week, on BBC 1 ’5 Scene Today. Radio One DJ Mark Goodier named Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine one of his dead certs for 1991. Given that one of his other tips was walking Sinatra tribute Harry Connick Jr. Carter were an unlikely choice -— a duo called Jim Bob and Fruitbat whose current single. ‘Bloodsport For All‘. (concerning bullying and racism in the army) has been banned by Goodier's station. The DJ was nonetheless unstinting in his praise. ‘They’re a band that‘s not afraid to compromise,‘ he enthused, a fluffed compliment. or, then again. perhaps exactly what he meant to say. Whatever. he isn‘t the only one to have fallen under their spell. Jonathon King, when he organised last month‘s Great British Music weekend. made sure that Carter were on the bill. And out of the dozens of indie worthies. Carter are making the surest progress to the big charts. Unusually, they have done it by virtue of sticking to that seemingly outmoded rock‘n‘roll routine ofconstant touring. ‘I don‘t know if many people get away with it, do they?’ asks Jim Bob. ‘We quite like it this way
Jim Bob and Fruitbat. aka CarterThe Unstoppable Sex Machine.
because it’s not been like. do three gigs and then release the single which will go to Number Two. Every record we‘ve done has always moved up a stage. and the gigs get more full. So it‘s never reached that stage where there‘s the same amount of people on one tour as there are on the next one.‘ He sniffs proudly. ‘An honest way of doing it. I think.”
However. the aura of the indie ghetto is still perceived hanging around them. They have difficulty getting gigs in Scotland. Wales and Ireland.
‘lt‘s like playing in Europe. It‘s really hard finding promoters who want to put you on. Or
promoters that take you seriously. I don’t know why. Yesterday. we played the HMV Shop in Oxford Street and there was a near-riot. just because they didn‘t expect anything to happen. They thought there’d be a few people standing around politely clapping. But. in actual fact. there were loads of people there and it turned into a mass shoplifting spree.‘
A contrasting assumption caused trouble at the Town and Country Club last year. when Carter refused to accept the venue‘s condition that 25 per cent ofT-shirt takings had to be paid to the merchandising company that held the franchise — Jim Bob reckons the sum would have been somewhere in the region ofa grand. They ended up playing the gig, but without a T-shirt stall. ‘Otherwise you have to put up the price to make the extra money to pay them. But we didn't want to do that either. lt’sjust that they were telling us that we were competing in the big league — “We sell T-shirts for Cliff Richard". and stufflike that. which doesn't impress us.‘
A small-league attitude generally isn't something that Radio One takes kindly to.
‘I think people like that tend to suddenlyclaim that they discovered you. don’t they? Like Mark Goodier did not discover Carter. He never used to play the records. He’ll be introducing us on Top ofthe Pops saying, “I‘m really glad this band‘s got somewhere”. They always do that. The Radio One DJs that are into us now are only into us now because it's all right for them to. We‘ve sold a few records. so now they can. They‘d all been playing the single until they were told to stop because of the army content of the songf
Tut. tut. The controversial lyrics of little-leaguers. We‘ll see how much longer they enjoy the support of the big wheels— unless. of course. they are a band not afraid to compromise. Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine play Glasgow College of Technology on Thursday 2]. Their new album. Thirrysomething. is on Rough Trade.
l ONE OFTNE less alarming. but nevertheless predictable consequences oi present Gull activities has been Radio Ono's retusal ot airtime to any group or record whose name ortltle might have any conceivable war connotations. And this doesn't lust mean no ‘Give Peace A Chance' on the Steve Wright show. The censorlal move has brought
about a ﬂurry oi ‘diptomatlc' name-changing activity in British pop circles. Bomb The Bass reverts to his real name oi Tim Slmenon on his current ‘Love So True’ 45. and Massive Attack are now simply called Massive on their new ‘Unllnished Symphony' single. Nearer home. the broadcasting directive has torced a last minute name-swap trom
'connotations and? Blue Aeroplanes? U2? New
Burn This to Witnesstor Glasgow’s ex-Nipsway f hopeluls. and plans to ' Order? Looks like Napalm release The Silencers' Death are in trouble. ‘Bulletproot Heart' as a : anyway.
single have been . I REMEMBER THE BIG temporarily abandoned. DAY? Lengthy treks round Question is. where do an overcrowded city centre
y 1‘ ‘*~ ,7"er r: 123‘”? g; t The Silencers. . . silenced
in the name otCuttural Capital togetherness? Strained necks and strained
l hallway to appreciating
l eyes in the name ola 5
what the event was all about. The recording is available on cassette and by mail order only. priced £4.50 lrom: The Big Day Cassette Otter. 24 Gairbraid Avenue. Glasgow 620 BYE.
halt-acceptable view? Still. for many it was the musical event oi the year. in view oi this. the Precious
Organisation have seen lit Make cheques or postal to compile a pristine orders payable to Precious recording oi Wet Wet Wat's Objects.
I LAST YEAR'S CHART
heroes Howie J a Co are
pining tor a vocalist to help them achieve complete
Candidates should get in touch with them pronto
through REL. Studios. 40 Sciennes. Edinburgh EH9
top-ot-the-bill George | Square performance. I teaturing mainly cover l versions oi classics trom ' the likes of The
Temptations. Bob Marley
and Carole King. It you can stomach Marti Petlow‘s embarrassing. cliched lntersong patter then you're
The List 8— 31 February 199131