I Del Shannon: WalkAway (Silvertone) Shannon himself has less to do with this than producer and co-writerJeff Lynne. whose Faustian pact with ageing rock‘n‘rollers is becoming as legendary as the characters whose careers he revives — that is. the ones he doesn't delegate to Tom Petty (who. curiously enough. co-wrote this too). Shannon manages to squeeze into the verses. but come chorus-time. hey. it‘s Lynne all the way. Del Shannon is now the late Del Shannon. and I suppose we should be glad that he got this final bite at the apple — a shame it should sound like one of the songs that Roy Orbison just didn‘t fancy singing. (AM) I The Mock Turtles: Can You Dig It (Siren) Starts off like any other piece of Stone Roses fallout. and the Turtles don‘t exactly strain to disassoeiate themselves from the Class of ‘90 (Indie Division). There’s so much in this style out there that it‘s hard to say whether it'll go Top Ten next week orjust get submerged. but a damned listenable piece of indie poppery all the same. (AM) I Wop Bop: Kissaway (Ten)/Purely Physical leaturing Jenny Powell: Beautiful (BMG)/Papa Dee: Beautilul Woman (Love Supreme) (Arista) Lessons in monotony. each and every one. A rap across the knuckles and detention for the rest of the millenium is in order here. ‘Kissaway' is sickeningly sweet sehmaltz which gains considerably from being played at 33rpm. The Jenny Powell of Purely Physical once presented the vile .‘Vo Limits while her partner in crime was embarrassing himself in Johnny llates J'azz— enough said. And Papa Dee's jovial toasting makes a life ofmisery strangely attractive - it's like Bob Marley never happened. Now. will someone please send me the new Definition of Sound single and restore sanhv?(FS)
[MUSIW LISTINGS: nocx & BLUE834 LIGHT 36 JAZZ 37 FOLK & WORLD 38 CLASSICAL 39
i that music lies in the internal dynamic
V JAZZ Plano man
Those who lollow the meanderings ol | the indigenous Scottish jazz scene with 5 even passing attention will be well i aware ol the high standing which the John Rae Collective have earned since their inaugural gig at the Queen’s Hall back in 1987. The continuity which the band have achieved has been a vital lactor in developing their music in such exciting lashion.
Arguably the most dramatic aspect at
which Springs lrom the clash between their bop roots and the more j avant-garde leanings of some oi their :
= members. It saxophonist Phil Bancroft
is the main instigator ol the I unorthodox, pianist Brian Kellock is the principal counter-weight to his more abstract llights.
As the principal composer in the band, Phil laughineg admits to scrapping ideas because ‘I know I won’t get them past Brian.’ The pianist likes to play with a lirm sense at structure, although he is perlectly capable ol highly adventurous harmonic invention within the Collective’s exploratory style.
That well-developed structural sense has been evident in his playing lor some time, and has made him the most sought-alter pianist currently working in a broad jazz context up here. The trio which he leads, usually with Ronnie Bae on bass and John on drums, is regularly employed, while his
contribution to trumpeter Janusz Carmello’s recent HEP CD is surely the lirst ol many.
The awards picked up by Jason Bebello and Jonathan Gee at the British Jazz Awards may suggest piano is back in vogue alter a period of saxophone domination. Kellock attracts less attention than some ol his currently lauded counterparts in the south, but that is down to geographical location and his own rather sell-ellacing manner. His reluctance to write also goes against the grain at present tashion, but as a player, he is as good as anyone on the current scene, with more development still to come. (Kenny Mathieson)
The John Bae Collective play the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 8.
um:- Viva hate
Cathal Coughlan Where do you begin with someone like Cathal Coughlan? For many, it’s with Microdisney-the archetypal student’s band — lauded by Peelie and the campus crowd alike while never actually selling that many records. For now, though, with Fatima Mansions, the story begins with the break-up ol Microdisney, and Coughlan’s move trom the constraints oi Virgin to the relative lreedom oi Kitchenware. The release at ‘Against Nature', the Mansions’ lirst album towards the end ol1989, revealed that, while none at the lyrical bile and venom had been lost (it anything it had been accentuated), musically things were looking extremely interesting. While Microdisney's music was olten accused ol tlying just too close to AOH territory lor comlort, “Against Hature' glorilied in extremes- gentle keyboards one minute then howling
leedback the next, even taking time to come up with the Pet Shop Boys-like ‘13th Century Boy’. For anyone other than Coughlan this could have been a sell-indulgent mess, but, as he told NME in November of 1989: ‘I still have this ball and chain at verse and chorus that I carry around with me.‘
The live shows that accompanied the album’s release conlirmed that Coughlan was no spent force -the tortured artist at old was intact, he was still one at the most compelling ol performers, demanding attention and rewarding the alert. The music was tar more improvised and open-ended than anything Microdisney had dreamt at. The release ol the second album ‘Viva Dead Ponies', at the end at last year, took things even lurther. Originally to be called “Bugs Fuckin’ Bunny', it linally made sense at Coughlan's reported admiration at The Young Gods. Intense and unrelenting walls oi sound competed with lyrics oi violence and persecution and conlrontational titles ol the likes ot ‘Look What I Stole For Us, Darling' and ‘More Smack, Vicar?'.
A recent world-wide distribution deal with MCA America subslduary Radio Active may well see Coughlan's plea to ‘Keep Music Evil’ taken up by more than just the die-hard Microdisney tans - a situation that should cheer us all up. (James Haliburton)
Fatima Mansions play King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow on Thurs 14.
Gonna erte_a claSSIc
One of the finest LPs of last year came, without a doubt, from Liverpool band The La’s, although they have since disowned it as ‘shite’ and denied any connection with other movements in the north of England. You dancin’? asks Paul W. Hullah. You askin’? parries La’s guitarist Pete Cammell.
Words like ‘boss'. ‘sound'. ‘shite‘. ‘crackin‘. ‘top‘ and. ofcourse. ‘la‘ litter The La‘s‘ conversation like family tiffs on Brookside Close. Lovably scruffy. they all (especially singer Lee Mavers) look like Ian Beale off the other soap. Frightening. really. And they make crackin‘. sound, boss records, la. ‘There She Goes‘ — a ‘classie‘ (Janice Long). The follow-up 45 ‘Feelin’ — a ‘classic‘ (Janice Long). Scallywag pop. prole-beat. urchin and Streetwise — patronise it as you please. but these chaps are the natural extension of the Ramones-Undertones-Shop Assistants-Primitives chain of guitar-chiming evolution. Just when you thought they‘d broken the sparkly pop mould. it‘s bands like The La‘s that step in with the superglue.
Late last autumn. The La‘s grabbed the headlines not through their heart-nipping musical efforts alone, but via the self-trumpeted pronouncement that their debut album was ‘a pile ofshitc‘. The petulant verdict was both exaggerated and inaccurate. and did sales of the aforementioned ‘pile‘ no harm at all. What they really meant. as guitarist Pete Cammell explains. was that much ofthe Liverpool band‘s rawness and whirlygig zest got watered down during the hi-tec recording and production processes.
‘The record company just wouldn‘t stop spending fucking money on the record. when all the band wanted was to put out the original demos. That‘s why we thought the album was a lie. It might not have been totally crap, but it wasn‘t right either. That‘s what hurt.‘
They needn‘t have suffered; it's a fine record. squeaky clean or no. And everyone likes a good gripe. Other much-publicised La’s (why the apostrophe? ‘Why not‘.”) whinges like ‘people in the music biz have a Play School mentality‘ are less wide of the mark, and reveal (as does their vinyl dabbling) a mature, worldly-wise outlook saved from cynicism by a boisterous edge that
30 The List 8-21 March 1991