1 ‘Don't (io Away" and v r ‘ SusanMe(‘amley"s'Blue
decreases with each successive release. at last the original prime movers
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I Mega City 4:Terribty Sorry Bob (Decoy) 'I‘errilily' Sorry Bah - a wonderful title— collects all the tracks from the band's now-unavailable singles. and a hit and miss job it is. unfortunately. Their reputation as a kick-'em— down-drag-‘em-out live act is spotless. so perhaps the moshers who make up the front rows at gigs won't like to be reminded that Mega (.‘ity 4 like their tunes sweet and melodic under the grunge. So strong is tlteir attachment to melody that on a couple of tracks here they come across as a rougher. raunehier Squeeze. (ireat in theory. bttt the first let—down is that as tuncsmiths they're a long way down the league table from Difford and Tillbrook. The second is that the whole kaboodle sounds very tired indeed. Fartoo often. they're reading straight out ofthe old Britpunk songbook. exhumingold riffs with little ﬂair. When the two weaknesses collide in the same song. we're left with one seriously disposable piece of plastic. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Sunday All OverThe World: Kneeling AtThe Shrine (E.G.) Robert Fripp‘s new project. and this time he’s brought the missus along for the ride. Unfortunately. the missus happens to be Toyah Wilcox. She's called the ‘Punk Princess‘ in a record company press release which manages to mis-spcll old Bob's surname to boot -- a lesson in mismanagement ifever
5‘1 ‘ 331‘. ' 71:13.
Mega City Four there was one. As for the album. much splendid guitar jiggery-pokery abounds. in true firippean fashion. and extremely pleasant it is. Indeed. ifit weren’t for Toyah‘s stagey histrionics a-wailing and a-lisping over the top. this would be a more than palatable musical landscape a 711s retro-rock piece. overly grandiose in places but well-suited to a late-night listening session. As it is. Toyah's the fly in the ointment. I'm sure she'sa nice person; in fact. [saw her on telly the otherday saying so. and telling Kilroy-Silk how painless it was being sterilised. Btit she reminds me. more and more with the years. ofa drunken Bonnie Langford singing in the bath. And that's why I won't be playing this album very often. (Paul W. llullah) I Various: Glasgow Songwriters (Glasgow Songwriters) The long-promised compilation tape of various singer-songwriters and duos that meet and perform every week in Blackfriars has its disappointments as well as some commendable tracks. Budgets haven't always matched tip to the ambitions of the artists and. although I suppose performance isn't meant to be the issue here. there are sortie shoddy demos that don‘t actually show off terrific songwriting abilities either. The tape has its growers. though. Kathleen Higgins and Brian Rutherford‘s ‘( ilory‘ Davs'. Stephen (iilday's
()fThe Sea‘ among them. (Alastair Mabbott) IWillie Dixon: Hidden Charms (Silvertone)'1‘hi.s- album's already won a (irammy in the States for Best Traditional Blues Album. an honour Dixon would have richly deserved even if it had merely been acknowledgement for not dying yet. As the writerof ‘Mannish Boy". ‘1 loochie (‘oochie Man' and ‘l.ittle Red Rooster‘ and one of the most important band-leaders and
producers in the heyday of
(‘liicago blues. his contribution to popular culture is woefully under-acknowledged. Btit the accolade was doubly deserved. as the joys of Hidden ('lianns are anything btit concealed. .ltist close your eyes. snuggle tip to that gruff. smokey voice as it rolls over a bed of harmonica and piano. and if you haven’t entered Nirvana by the time Dison's started chanting ‘1 live the life I love and 1 love the life l live‘. consult your (iP forthwith. (Alastair Mabbott) I American Music (Various) American classical music remains under-appreciated in this country. although that is changing as the amount of recordings continues to grow. Virgin (‘lassics make an important contribution with four new (‘1)s. Two ofthese. the (iersliii'in— Bernstein set and Peter Lawson's superb collection of American Piano Sonatas by Copland. Barber. (’arter and Ives. feature better-known composers. Domenick A rgento and Tobias Picker are likely to be less familiar even as names. btit both are worth checkingotit. Picker's dreamy. evocative ‘()1d and Lost Riv ers' and his setting of l lerman Melville‘s llie lilieantadas are alluring. although lam less sold on John (iielgud's narration. Argento‘s Te Deum is a
substantial re-working in a traditional format. although I prefer its companion piece "The Mask ofNight'.
Aaron Copland. the grand old man of
, American music. is
honoured by the first in a
l seriesofhiscomplete recordings for ('BS. 21 budget-price 3-(‘D set (Sony ('lassical) which is highly recommended. For those with money to burn (no. me neither). the same label are issuing the complete Stravinsky recordings on 22 (Us. The composer botli crucially influenced. arid was influenced by. American music.
There is no American composer represented on the new Kronos Quartet releases. but the group are becoming superstars in contemporary music. The 3 (Us are kind ofclassical fiPs. since each features a single work (by Lutoslawski. Kevin Volans‘ and Astor Piazmlla respectively). and will sell at a reduced price. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Womack And Womack: Family Spirit (Arista) It's l'amily Spirit by name and ‘family spirit' by nature here. So many ofthe Womack clan play on this record that you fully expect old L’ncle Joe to turn up on the washboard at any minute. ‘Everybody gather around .' invitcsCecil. and we‘re offon a journey through warmth and faith and healing. all embroidered onto a snappily produced and immaculately delivered musical tapestry. The title track mixes acoustic sensitivity with the babble
Womack and Womack of tiny children (keep the kids quiet. Linda) whilst the single. ‘L'ptown‘. strips a more traditional disco format down to considerable effect. ()ddly. it's when the tribe deliberately funk it tip. as on ‘Blue Jean Baby' and ‘1)anceworld’. that
attention starts to wander.
But ‘My‘ l)ear'. side two‘s opener. shackles the best of both worlds together— passion and pace side by side. framed in a syrupy soul setting. ()kay. it’s not a brilliant album. btit the
collective heart (musically
and by way of attitude ) is in the right place. (‘ecil and Linda Womack are good at what they do. and they've been doing it consistently well since 1984's Love Wars. (‘all them Sotil Hippies. call them what you like. btit their message is a good one and. delivered in a manner so warm and free ofpretention. one that‘s easy enough to live with. (Patil W. lltillah)
I lnspiral Carpets: The Beast Inside (Mute) 'l‘hankfully. it's no longer axiomatic that anything even loosely allied to the grim north of Iingland is touched by the hand of (iod. As the hip quotient
scan further afield for divine inspiration. With The Beast Inside. we see lnspiral (‘arpets taking some heavy downers after a year of endless upper after upper. For their second album. the lnspirals get seriously maudlin.
This time round. the Boon organ as convenient crutch to hang any number of pop glories on is whipped away. Natch. it's still there. pipingotit reedy and valvcy from the midsts. btit more as a second fiddle accompaniment to the actual business of writing songs. ()pening track ‘(aravan' is a thumping ' opener with a bass line and drumtattootodie for. Then. shifting gear and shifting decade. ‘Please I Be ('rtiel' hasTom llingley crooning like the Brylcreemed dude the title somehow suggests it shotild be sung by. A surprising piece of5()s rock'n‘roll moodiness from a band whose riffs thus far have been firmly rooted in the West (‘oast (ills.
Thereafter. discounting the vital diversion ofthe show-closing ‘l’urther Away". the tone is black and the pace stately enough to allow some actual substance to peer through from the lingering Manehestcrmania. The Beast Inside. scarcely a year after l.i e. isa laudably mature progression. The boys done brilliant. ((‘raig McLean)
: 7 BOOK NOW
BARROWLANDiti-ll 22o 4671))(‘hristy Moore.-1
May; Lenny Kravitz. 7 May; EMF. l3 May1The Wedding Present. 18 May: Alison Moyet. 21) May; Living ('olour. 27 May; White lion. Stun; Elvis Costello. 13 July; James. 5 Nov.
North Side bJun: Deborah Harry lxlun.
IGLASGOW CONCERT HALLlll-ll 3323123) liverly' Brothers. 18 May. I GLASGOW PAVILION
34 The List 1‘) April — 2 May
((141 332 1341») Steve llarley. 5 May; Al Stewart. () May; Will Downing. l l .‘ylaszohn Martyn. l3 1-1May: Donovan. 15 May; Blues Band. IS May.
I GLASGOW SECCHH] 557 (1961)) M(' l lammer. IS May ; Pet Shop Boys. ZS May: Paul Simon. 3.ltin; lnspiral(‘arpets.14Jtin; Pixies. 21 Jun; Whitney Houston. 17 1‘)Sep. Chris Rea. 28 Nov.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL (1131 (ms 21111)) Mamas tv Papas. 14 May '. The Wedding Present. 211 May.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE ((131 5572591)) Robert I
Palmer. 27 May ; Womack ck Womack. 13 Jun: ('harlatans.19Jtin; 'l'ransvision Vamp. lfs’ .Ittn'. lilvis (lostello. 14 July 1 James. ‘) Nov.
JAZZ & FOLK
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALLHBI («is 21119) I lenri Tcxier'l‘rio Nana \Iisconeelos. 3 May; Dave llolland(iroup. 5 May '. Tom Bancroft ()ichestra. 17 May; Arthur ll. 24 May;John Surman. 2o May ; Jim 1 lall ()tiartet. 31 May ; Abdtillah lbrahim. 7.11m. I EDINBURGH USHER HALLlll3l 2231155)
Modern Jazz Quartet. 7 May.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALLam 3323123) ('lannad. 12 May; 1 larry (‘onnick Jr. 17 May 2 Abdtillah lbrahim. S Jun. I GLASGOW PAVILION (ll-ll 332 18-16) Battlefield Band. 4 May: Arcady.(i May: (‘ourtney
Pine Talvin Singh. S May; Phil('oulter. 16 May: Mary Black. 21) May 1 Irish (‘ountry Night. 21 May; (‘apercaillic. 22 May.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(11413323123) l lilaine Paige. 13—14 May:
(‘ole Porter Tribute. S Jtiii.
IGLASGOW PAVILION (1)41 332 1846) A Slice ol- Sattirday'Night.27 May 1 Jun; (ilen ('ainpbell. l5 Jtiri.
I GLASGOW SECCltl-ll 227 551 l ) Shirley Bassey'. 15 May.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE ((131557 2591)) A Slice of Saturday Night. 3 SJun: James Last. 11" 12 Jun.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALLllNl 332 312.3)(‘ity‘ of London Sinfonia. ll) May; (‘oneertgebouw ()rch. 21 May; LA Phil.
25-26 May ; 'l‘okyo S(). 8 ()ct'. Leningrad Phil. 21
I GLASGOW SECCUNI 2275511) RSN()&
(’hortis. 2o May.
I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL(1141331 1234) Scottish ()pera: Falstaff.
22 May; llit’ Barber of Seville. 4. f). 17.25 May; Regina. 16. 18.21.23 i May. I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL (1131 has 21119) Meadows('(). ISMay; Sinfonia. lthine.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALLio3122is'1155) liR(‘L'. llMay;SN() Scottish Proms. l—SJune.