The Beloved and Slam lllD hit lngliston. while If? take over the world.
LISTINGS: GLASGOW 64 EDINBURGH 65
Their debut album was hailed as an anthem for the New Age. their debut single was hijacked for use in an Alpen commercial. Are The Beloved purveyors of positive pop or just cynical bandwagon- jumpers? James Haliburton gets blissed out.
Nineteen-ninety. and the chatter of pop was almost drowned out by the clatter of crystals. It was the New Age. The Berlin Wall crumbled. the Cold War melted. and talk in pop-land turned to ‘positivity‘ and the fact that maybe the hippies weren't so bad after all. And who were at the forefront of all this? The Beloved. that‘s who. Two indie types had fallen under the inﬂuence ofclubs like London‘s Project and Shoom. the mind expansion of the big ‘E'. and the idea of global harmony. Differentiating The Beloved
was the fact that you knew they were genuine and ‘
that singer Jon Marsh was intelligent and articulate enough not to have been taken hostage aboard the bandwagon. It was no surprise that they should choose to release an album with the title Happiness — a collection of songs brimming with confidence and hope.
This positivity. ofcourse. was short-lived. Cynicism soon reclaimed its place as the buzzword. and global harmony was lost in the jingoism of a nation at war. What went wrong. Jon? lfclubs are no longer inspiring. what is?
‘ If ,s
‘Nothing, I‘m trying to make it myself. It is very hard. it's a very depressing time that we‘re in at the moment. I think that with a war and a recession it would be naive in the extreme to release another album called Happiness and pursue that theory. There was just a certain atmosphere that I got enthused by. It seemed to be all about breaking down barriers. and just some form ofcontact between groups of people who wouldn’t otherwise have been seen together. And it all vanished. I don‘t know why. because I still believe in it. Either people are very fickle and it became trendy to disassociate. or people decided it was because ofdrugs or whatever. which is pretty sad as well. Maybe in my naivety I believed there was something going on that
wasn’t really taking root.‘
Yet Marsh remains optimistic about the music.
feeling that the house sound has yet to be fully explored. that there are still infinite possibilities for song-based tracks— something few other bands seem to have faith in. A fact that seems borne out by the success of Happiness ( 120,000 copies sold) and its associated singles. ‘The Sun Rising’. ‘Hello‘ and ‘Your Love Takes Me Higher‘. The fact that. at the end of last year. the fourth single. ‘lt‘s Alright Now‘. released to tie in with Blissed Out. their collection of remixes. failed to crack the Top 40 must have been
‘Only because I feel it merits inclusion.‘ says Marsh. ‘1 don‘t really feel we're competing against other things in the Top 40. It‘s always disappointing ifsomething gets to 45 on its own bandwagon and then because it isn‘t being played on the radio and they wouldn’t show the video on the telly, you feel a bit let down. Certain people at the record company decided afterwards it was a load ofold shit. tried to blame it on the fact that it was a substandard record which I thought was a really appalling lack ofconfidence. Really we're the only dance act on our label. which makes life very difficult. They keep marketing people like Tanita Tikaram and The Big Dish. and I really don’t think they know what to do with us, despite the fact that we've sold quite a lot of records.‘
The bands forthcoming appearance at Slam III-D will be a rare chance to catch them live. Gigs have been less than occasional. due, according to Marsh. to their lack ofsongs. So is playing live an exciting proposition? ‘Not really. to be honest. The thought of it appeals to me in a way that really didn‘t use to. because there‘s better equipment available to do the stuff we want to do. At the Slam thing. it will in effect he percussion. guitars and vocals. all live. and the rest on tape. For us. the most important thing is
people keep dancing.‘
Catch a little of The Beloved 's happiness at Slam Ill-D, lngliston Exhibition Centre. on 23 Feb. Also appearing are The Shamen. lfT’. Quartz and Coloursound. See panel for ticket and transport
I Hellooo clubbers! Weekend at a holiday camp anyone? It chalets. canteen load and endless games oi mini-golf appeal. then ‘Unity'. taking place at Wonderwest World. Ayr.
14 Mar. could be justthe event toryou. Featuring various house and techno
Bones. plus, no doubt, lots
more high links beside. Call
| 0382 644003tordetails.
I Ooopsl Sorry. As you all no doubtare aware. the ever-popular dance club Pure takes place on Fridays at Edinburgh's Venue. not the Calton Studios as
Talking Loud suggested last
issue. Pardon us. Obviously
a case at one tizzy sweetie
I Just a wee word of
apology trom those awtully nice Club Sandino people
now. Due to circumstances beyond anybody’s control,
I their March outing to
Liberty's in Edinburgh has been cancelled. Normal
service will. however. be . resumed in April. See y’all
I And yet another big sorry,
this time trom the Sex Beat boys. Their Saturday stint at Edinburgh's Wee Red Bar
has been called to a rather
abrupt halt torthe time being (due to circumstances beyond their control too).
But you won't have to be
without all that twiddling
' and bleepinglorlong,as
arrangements are at present underway to take over another venue. Watch this space. ..
I Edinburgh's most recently opened gay venue. the Exit on Victoria Street. has had a ratherdramatic
change in policy overthe
past fortnight and. while
‘ still owned by the ladstrom ; Chapps. it is now being run
as a 'stralght' club by one
Brian Lovell. a Glasgow DJ
otsome renown. See Clubs Listings torlull night-by-night details.
I Forthcoming gigs in
E clubs in your area part 1 : the
mighty Dream Warriors. at The Tunnel. Glasgow on 8
March. As part at a package brought over lrom Toronto.
the event will teature support trom Beat Factory label-mates Psyche. Krush and Carla Marshall.
I Forthcoming gigs in clubs in your area part2: white kids on the block. aka the Stereo MCs. at Edinburgh‘s Calton Studios. 22 Mar. 0n theirrecent visit, supporting the
I unbelievableEMF.they ,' managedtoblowthose
cheeky chappies clean ott stage with a truly magniiicant set. so this is
: one to pencil in your diary
The List 22 February— 7 March 199163