I TNE BLUE NILE are about to leave Virgin Records. Sources close to the Glasgow band suggest that they are currently in the process oi securing an alarmineg massive deal with a major US label. Lack oi outright commercial success over here- something that's never seemed to botherlhe Nile boys in the past- lor the last album ‘Nats' ls ottered as a possible reason iorthe emphatic switch in career plan. A iurther incentive may be the fact that Nile lrontman, and part-time iashion model, Paul ‘Gaultier’ Buchanan is currently shacked up in Los Angeles with ‘Desperately Seeking Susan' star Hosanna Arguette.
I A WEEPING, WAlLING and gnashing oi teeth was heard when Morrissey pulled out ot his Glasgow date due to a throat lniectlon. So sudden was the decision that even stati horn his record company, EMI, had set oil on thetrek tram London. Those holding tickets are advised to hang onto them until a rescheduled date has been announced, which probably won’t be until aiter his forthcoming American shows.
I SDME INDIE TYPES . .'. hmm . . . look like a bunch oi goths to me, I don’t know, hasn’t anyone told them that Clint Boon and Bobby Gillespie haircuts are the new thing? They've probably never heard oi Bobby Gillespie, bloody retro leatherboys. but anyway they're looking lora rhythm section to replace the one they had, who probably died oi heroin overdose or something equally rock'n’roll,l expect. Anyway. they're called Jesus and . . . Mary something. . . can‘tread this. . . and any similar biker layabouts can presumably ask this Kate person on 071 220 400010r an audition. Next time they can take a Classiiled ad . . .
I lrom music already published, and this
Sounds of silence
Even beiore Al Jolson’s talkie ‘The Jazz Singer’ revolutionised the lilm industry in 1927, iew silent lilms were shown in strict silence. Protessional arrangers were commissioned to create a score
was perlormed in cinemas by anything lrom a small orchestra to the usherette lilling in on a worn-out piano.
Going against the trend, Charlie Chaplin decided that his 1931 lilm, ‘Clty Lights’, would, like the talkies, have synchronised sound - occasional
Charlie Chaplin sings the blues
um:- America the hr
li you've been deceived for most at your liie into thinking that Captain America is that pair of biceps in a body-stocking bulldozing his way across the pages oi Marvel Comics in the name of peace, justice and the American Way, then be assured that the real Captain America is actually alive and omnipresent in Glasgow, drinking, ligging, and occasionally belting out a iew thinly-veiled Vaselines songs in a ‘Johnny Thunders kind oi way'. 2
Formed by musician-about-town Eugene Kelly, the band’s sum activity to date numbers two rehearsals, one gig (supporting The Lemonheads) and now, one interview.
‘l’ve been trying to get back into music since The Vaselines split up but not having much success,’ Eugene explains. ‘I lied to somebody that I had a band ready and got a gig. I had a month to get things together and wrote lour songs in three weeks and asked Gordon, Brendan and James to play them. The alternoon ol the gig was the iirsttime we played three of the songs.’ i
The Gordon, Brendan and James in question are actually a BMX Bandit, a Teenage Fanclubber and a Vaseline respectively, but they’re keen to point out that Captain America is no moonlighting job. ‘We don't like the idea oi being called an indie supergroup — it makes it sound a bit part-time. It just so happens that everybody's in other bands. We’re not hiding the lact, we’re just not making it
sound effects and a iull orchestral score- but no dialogue. As well as being the film’s writer, director and star, he wrote the lilm’s music, litting it to precise musical cues in each lrame.
He was keen to write music that complemented the simplicity ot his on-screen persona while not distracting the audience from the visual images. Unfortunately the sound recording techniques at the early 1930s were so primitive that Chaplin’s endeavours were never fully realised.
Just beiore the Chaplin centenary in 1989, Carl Davis—whose restoration oi the soundtracks of classic lilms in the Thames Silents series has been critically acclaimed - began work on restoring the score tor a new re-recorded version. Original written copies and instrumental parts had been preserved but showed signiiicant differences to the lilm soundtrack. Davis spent months researching these lost corrections, and now the score that will be periormed at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s 1991 Proms is identical to Chaplin’s approved version.
Two Chaplin shorts will also be shown, both with music especially written by Carl Davis. The programme is a tribute to Chaplin the accomplished iilm-maker and the neglected composer. (Alan Morrison)
‘City Lights’ is screened at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Thurs 6 and the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow on Sat 15.
Captain America a big selling point. This is a new hand; it’s a complete unit.’
Nevertheless, the band members’, ahem, other commitments just might possibly have something to do with mounting AGR curiosity. ‘lt’s flattering that people want to see us alter one gig,’ says Eugene, ‘but we’ve all been burned by record companies beiore, so we‘re not going to sign the iirst contract somebody puts in front oi us.’
Instead, priority goes to playing more gigs. Edinburgh now, but what oi iuture possibilities?
‘Eugene’s living room.’
(Fiona Shepherd) Captain America play Potterrow, Edinburgh on Fri 31.
In search of clarity
Kenny Mathieson considers the virtues of legendary jazz guitarist Jim Hall, the man Eric Clapton thinks is God.
Jim Hall cuts an odd figure in the march ofcontemporary jazz, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. In four decades of pursuing a determinedly idiosyncratic path through the ebb and flow of fashions, Hall has arguably influenced more guitar players than anyone since Charlie Christian. yet he is equally arguably less familiar to audiences in this country than the likes ofTal Farlow or Barney Kessel. both of whom tour here with some regularity.
That fact alone makes his Edinburgh concert — the only UK date on his European tour— an occasion not to be missed, and one of which Assembly Direct can be proud. The wave ofinterest in jazz rooted in the 50s which swept through the past decade has brought most of the surviving faces of that period to our stages, but Hall has been a notable exception.
If he is less than a household name to the listening public, however, Hall ranks very highly indeed among his fellow guitarists. even those who seem most obliquely opposite in style and inclination. The likes of Bill Frisell and John Scofield have paid both verbal and aural homage, which is understandable, but so too have players with no audible jazz interests, notably Eric Clapton.
So what makes Hall so special? Although he began to play in the midst ofthe ferment of Bebop. Hall found himselfmore drawn to the Cool style evolving on the West Coast, where he had moved from Cleveland. He found ideal foils in Chico Hamilton, Ben Webster, Bill Evans (notably on their remarkable Blue Note duo recording Undercurrent). Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond, and Art Farmer, but it is
typical of both his adaptability and the unpredictable edge which his music possesses that one of his most fruitful collaborations was with the hard-blowing Sonny Rollins in New York.
‘Sonny Rollins had a way of taking a tune apart and putting it back together again right in front ofyour eyes,’ the guitarist recalls. ’We had these strange meetings at first — the first time he came to my apartment, he had a little plastic bag with a lizard in it. It kept moving, but he wouldn‘t tell me what it was. All he would say was ‘l‘ll tell you later’, so we just talked while the lizard wriggled
around in there!
’He is a great leader, as enigmatic
30The List3i May—13June 1991-—