One’s a post-structuralist Nietzsche-quoting newspaper columnist, the other‘s a shameless boy racer. The Kane brothers might not have much in common, but in Stars Crash Down they’ve made one of their better albums. Paul W. Hullah investigates.
he final moments ofa morning with ' Hue And Cry remind me ofwhat i l‘d expected to find at the start. In i the minute it takes to walk from the i quiet bistro back to the band‘s recording studio headquarters. Pat
theory. ‘It was a difficult one.‘ he concludes.
‘but good for us.‘ He says things like
part. Handsome. and only 27 years ofage.
» of reply. Crossing the road with an immaculate James Dean swagger. his
And Cry — an esteemed. classy rock act built
I Hons. English Lit man. all semiology.
‘advcrsarial‘. ‘antagonism‘. and ‘Devil‘s advocate‘ as we shake hands cordially and
‘ Kane has already formulated his interview I
he is a man forever theorising. always analysing. Ask him any question. and he‘ll offer an impressive. watertight thesis by way
younger brother Gregory says nothing. Based on their well-documented track record. this is what you expect from Hue
on the City ofCulture/Rab C. Nesbit contradictions ofGlasgow. Pat. the MA
shoulder-pads and barbed political comment. Greg. the cheerful boy-racer. all practical pub-denims. fish suppers and diminished fifths. It‘s the Blue Nile and Wet Wet Wet together as one: structuralist- couture and street-suss. side by side.
On actually meeting the brothers Kane. the much-vaunted Jekyll and Hyde public image is indeed what strikes you first. Two for the price of one. In itself. this would be
The List 3— 16 May 1991
enough and yet. beneath that easily readable surface. there is another dimension to the picture. Everyone knows what Hue and Cry stand for but, after an hour in their company. you wonder how sure they are themselves.
Pat and Greg are beginning the promotional drive for their fourth album. Stars Crash Down. to be released in June. It’s a strong record. and one ofwhich the pair are rightly very proud. On it. they‘ve achieved a striking fusion of the swish techno-styling of 1988‘s Remote with the piano and vocal directness of 1989‘s Bitter Suite. Gregory. who is 24. personally produced and supervised the musical arrangements on Stars. which he describes as ‘the purest Hue and Cry there‘s ever been.’ Today. he wears a baseball cap and will talk about anything, as long as it‘s music. He is passionate about pop and
I’m tired of
‘ adversarial journalists who think that Pat Kane spends his lite clubbing people overthe head with ideological theories about lite,
society and ,’
cannot hide the fact: in conversation and appearance. Greg is the musician‘s musician. and happy with that. He leavesthe } other stuffto his big brother. Pat. on the other hand. is currently in the business of changing his image. Though still Rector of Glasgow University. he is making moves— by way of Sideboards. a press release renouncing his academic pursuits and a bizarrely tailored brown and mauve anorak
— to shake off his ‘serious‘ persona. It‘s not
‘l‘m tired ofadversarial journalists.‘ he begins. fixing me with a wry stare. ‘who think that Pat Kane spends his life clubbing people over the head with ideological theories about life. society and culture. I’ll talk to anybody about any issue. but it‘s totally gratuitous'if. in a Hue and Cry interview. the first question is “Right Pat. the GulfWar. . .‘ or “Okay. analyscthe market forces in Scotland. . I‘m just not on for it. I‘m fed up with spending interviews having to prove how clever I am. I‘d rather just find out what people think about the music at this stage.‘
It’s a fair start. but. in conversation to follow. Pat Kane returns to matters intellectual and political with all the affectionate vigour (and frequency) of an alcoholic reaching for the bottle. ‘People have got pre—set ideas about us.‘ Greg, and he is right. but then. so are the people. And yet. Pat again insists. the ‘pop-intellectual‘ straitjacket he is forever cast as wearing is to be loosened by his ‘compartmentalising my life and having a new perspective on pop.’
“I thought of pop as a vehicle for my intellectual and political interests. “Labour Of Love", with its anti-Thatcherite