Fry has been charged with the task of trying to follow up that masterpiece ofa debut. A terrible weight on his shoulders?
‘Maybe for 30 minutes in 1983 it seemed like a bit of an albatross.‘ he responds. rather too glibly. ‘Butl must say. it's a record I‘m very proud of. and it‘s a record that people remember. which is very ﬂattering. But no. it‘s not something that dogs us.’
()ftheir 1989 album. the house-influenced 0/). Fry has said ‘There was a real enthusiasm. because we suddenly realised what a privilege it is to make records. to hear them coming out of a system and see 3()()() people going crazy.‘ The new album. A hrucadahra — roll down the window and breathe in Philly. Detroit. ('hicago - emerges
only after aborted attempts to record
in America with Derrick May. Steve ‘Silk' Hurley and Frankie Knuckles
and a return to Britain to make a i more 'European’ record with Tears i For Fears producer Dave Bascombe. I
‘For a few years. the records I listened to didn't have vocals on them. and were over six minutes long. so I thought. “Why are we trying to write songs that last three-and-a-halfminutes‘.’”. It felt very archaic. And yet I've come full circle. Writing songs is a dying art — it‘s a bit like being a Zeppelin maker — but it's something that Mark and I enjoy doing.’
So — a songwriter of the old school. Any other skeletons in the closet?
The entire Cockney Rejects singles collection hidden behind a laundry basket?
‘I went to see Queen once. at the Manchester Free Trade Hall. and enjoyed it. Freddie Mercury threw out an album sleeve and it hit me on the head. so I thought I'd keep it.
But the embarrassing thing is. l was i
wearing my mums fur coat and a pair ofpyjamas I'd got in a jumble sale. That was my idea of rock‘n'roll sophistication at the time. I was a young man. You‘ve got to do these things when you're thirteen. fourteen. I think if you don‘t. it messes you up in later life.‘
Ifthat's the ease. Martin Fry must be a very sane man indeed. l le and his group looked a weird. unsettling crewin 1984— ‘Fellini-esque' is the word he settles on — astonishingly achieving their highest American sales whilst resembling a sleazy Hannah-Barbera cartoon. In fact. it was an image spookin similar to that sported by Deee-Lite six years later.
‘No copyright on a good idea.’ Fry sighs. and he‘s off. no doubt to hatch the look that every well-dressed pop star will have in 1997.
A bracadabm is released on Parlophone Records on 12 :l ugusr.
The List 26 July — 8 August 19
l V LISTEN!
I Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie (brother ofthe aforementioned Brian Nightshift) is currently producing ex-Bunnyman lan MeCulloch's new album at his own September Sounds SIUle. apparently a tad perturbed at Mac's band's refusal to work outwith the hours of darkness. Meanwhile. having left 4A0 records earlier this year. the Cocteau Twins are being pursued by no less than 27 international record labels eager for their signature and offering what is politely termed as ‘silly money" for the privilege.
I Edinburgh metabrock specialists Baby's Got A (iun have changed their name to Bleeding l learts. The foursome. who left Dave ‘Rambo‘ Ramsden‘s Oh Dear! Management company some months ago. are currently considering new management options both at home and Stateside.
I That recession everyone keeps talking about must be real. As of the endof the month. the llalt Bar— reputedly (ilasgow‘s best pub venue - will be closing its doors to rock bands. because the new owners claim it‘s not ‘cost effective‘ to put them on anymore. The ever popular Bobby Wishart jazz residency on Tuesdays and Naifan's folk residency on Wednesdays will continue. but rock fans will be left to weepinto their pints ofsnakcbitc and reminisce hopelessly about all those wonderful bands they saw there,
I Due to overwhelming (silver eyeshadow and) public demand. Aussie ABBA impersonators Bjorn Again — inspected with great relish by (‘raig McLean in our Live Reviews section — have announced a last-minute extra date at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut on Monday July 29. See listings for details.
I Texas (rememberthem?) have finally finished recording and mixing the follow-up to their acclaimed Southside debut album. Expect a l’honogram single at the end of August and the as yet untitled LP to follow in September.