l i gGIasgow i gaels ‘
Cathy Ann McPhee will not now be appearing as billed at the Mayfest evening ofGaelic song. drama, stories and music and dancing in the Moir Hall on the 8th.
Cathy Ann will be coming down from Barra
dominated Ceilidh Dances in the City Halls. She shares the singing honours with a fine, if somewhat operatic Mod medallist, Paul MacAllum. and the innovative pipe major Robert Mathieson whose albums tend to make piping purists apoplectic, by playing strange rhythms, stranger tunes. or using the pipes in unusual combinations of instruments.
Cathy Ann has a new album just released on Greentrax. ‘All the songs are in Gaelic but some of them are modern ones. The title track, Chi Mi'n Geamhradh, I See Winter, is from Calum in Runrig. I keep the older generation, (and myself!‘, she laughingly adds) ‘happy by including some previously unrecorded songs. . .old songs, but I always want to go a step further and on this album there are quite a few with contemporary arrangements.‘
‘1 think Gaelic singing is in a healthy state. There are lots of young and very good singers about. in fact I’m glad I’m older, the competition would be too much! And it‘s wonderful now compared to when l was at school, the amount of instruction and interest in singing and playing music nowadays. The Feis, the Festival, has been going on now for ten years here in Barra, and it has done so much to help, especially the singing. But I wish, though I totally respect and enjoy the musicians on both my albums recorded down in Edinburgh, I would love the day to come when all the musicians could be drawn from around here, from Uist or Barra.‘
3 (Norman Chalmers)
; Cathy/inn McPhee,
‘ Skerry Vore Highland
Dance Band and others, City HalLs, Fri10. Other 3 Ceilidhs 3, 17,24.
22 The List 3— 16 May 1991
for one of the three Gaelic
l v JAZZ
9 Texier time
Doubtless through the agency of whatever mysterious force decrees these things, Scottish jazz fans lind themselves being visited by not one, nortwo, but three bands led by virtuoso bass players, in the space of two weeks. Danny Thompson passed this way a week or so ago, and is followed by the great Dave Holland (see Music preview), sandwiched in between two concerts by the Henri Texier Trio. Texier makes a welcome return, following an excellent quartet appearance at last year‘s Glasgow Jazz Festival, when the bass player was
. joined by drummerAldo Romano,
guitarist Marc Ducret, and saxophonist
7 Louis Sclavis. Sclavis is an asset in any
company, but the current trio have more than established their own credentials.
Texier’s music is rooted in the post-warjazz mainstream, but is
~ flavoured with influences and nuances
drawn from a bewildering range of sources, from the avant-garde end of
g the jazz spectrum (he played with likes
of Don Cherry in Paris) through to the ethnic musics of India, the Celtic
3 countries, and Airica, especiallythe 3 Saharan area.
Italian drummerAldo Romano lays claim to a similarly wide-ranging jazz background, while the young
2 saxophonist Eric Barret is already
building a formidable reputation, and
can both benefit from the experience of A
playing with such established musicians, and throw something new of his Own into the mix. French jazz remains insufiiciently discovered in this country, and this is a welcome
opportunity to sample some of the best.
In addition to the Maytest gig at the
Moir Hall on Mon 6, the Trio will play at
the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Fri 3, as part at Assembly Direct's Kind Of Blue season. (Kenny Mathieson)
361,1' :4: ,4 Henri Texier
‘k . Ian Matthews
There does seem to be some sense of
the 60s revisited in current popular music, so why not take yourself off to
Maytest and get an earful of the real thing. Donovan is diddying along at the
Pavilion, a gig more forthe curious
than the musically sensitive, but the
Pavilion also plays host to a concert by two of the leading lights of Britain’s 603 explosion ofsinger/songwrlting
guitarists, Al Stewart and Iain Matthews.
Al Stewart has remained a consistent
performer, never achieving true popular acclaim, butwinning the respect of his peers and a dedicated lollowing overthe last quarter of a
lain Matthews has however moved through many worlds of music from his early days in Fairport Convention to later stardom with his band Matthews’ Southern Comfort. He then enjoyed a dizzying spell in dozens of line-ups, one of which included a top ten hit in America. Now, from his base in Austin, Texas, he has launched a revival of lain Matthews the performer, and a return to the Gaelic spelling of his given name.
Last year lain played Cambridge Folk Festival, proving a great success, and rediscovering the delight of playing to and communicating with a live audience, both solo and in a duo with one of the few musicians, like Andy Roberts, with whom he is comfortable. 0n the back of his faithful British audience’s obvious pleasure in having him back, an album was released at the end of last year that is one of the best he has made.
lain settled in Texas because ‘Mark Hallman Is a great producer and musician, songwritertoo, and he’d been involved in a previous album - Walking a Changing Line. He lived In Austin, so did the other guys who play on the new album. So it seemed sensible to go there. The new album is simple in some ways, it’s folk/rock, an acoustic album with bass, drums and hardly a keyboard'. Sounds very like the original Fairport Convention. (Norman Chalmers) lain Matthews and Al Stewart, Pavilion Theatre, Thursday 9th.
9 v FOLK
\( I as “
English band The Barely Works have been making a big name for themselves on the Festival circuit down south. A seven piece line up including fiddle. accordion, hammered dulcimer, banjo. ukelele, brass and percussion, they play their
mainly acoustic instruments with a
rare assertiveness in a freewheeling collage ofsound. recombining and regenerating the musical influences
of early 90s Albion in rocking
bluegrass, punk cajun. and manic
; country dances.
Glasgow‘s own Humpff Family, according to spokesperson Albie, are, ‘psycho-country. subverted hillbilly, all that American/Scottish/Irish thing but
I The Hump Family
different. We do gigs and sometimes
the audience are like total acid-house ravers. You see, our music‘s like going to a disco.‘ she cheekin adds. ‘except all the numbers are good ones.
‘llumpffare totally a dance band. I
don‘t mean that you wouldn‘t like to listen to it. because it‘s good music, but we go to a gig and they‘re waiting. on the floor, waiting to
dance. There‘s three vocalists. and
guitar, bass, drums and fiddle. and
' John on the mandolin, banjo and
harmonica. John’s the original
Humpff. came up with the name and
all. Stevie the fiddler. he's brilliant— well, he's the 42nd Humpff member. But we‘ve settled down a bit, and
' been in this line-up since last year.
i l I
‘We do all sorts of music, a lot the band writes and some classic covers, things like Should I Stay Or Should I Go, but they all come out with this Humpffiness. We did the six episodes of the Funny Farm on TV, and the woman from the Performing Rights was taking down the details, she thought they must be sort of classic American songs, and was so surprised that we’d written them ourselves.‘
The band are off to play London’s Mean Fiddler soon but find them first at the opening three nights of Mayfest. (Norman Chalmers)
The Barely Works, Moir Hall, Sun 12. HumpffFamily, Mair Hall, Fri 3—5101 5. '