James Haliburton finds himself whisked off to join lnterstella’s Little Anthony on the road from Manchester to the stars.
The fall-out created by the last few years‘ House obsession has left a nation ofclub-goers divided those who took to the big E with a vengeance seem turned on only by the relentless techno ofthe likes of KLF and 808 State. Others, who gave their brains a more shallow fry. are discovering the more laid-back grooves of a duo of Manchester bands. World OfTwist and lntastella. Kitsch, camp, soul or just plain cool, the adjectives have been flying. lntastella have just released their second single, ‘Peoplc‘. and are primed to become one of the first real pop stars of the 905. Dancer. and sometime keyboard player. Anthony tries to explain something that no journalist seems quite to have mastered. Just exactly what this lntastella lark is all about.
‘Making people think about what‘s going on. really. Trying to move on from this House scene. It‘s getting a bit tedious after four years. It‘s still good to dance to. but I think it's time everyone started listening to a bit of new stuff again. And having a good time ‘that‘s what we‘re into.
‘People can take what they want from it: dance to it or they can sit down and listen to it. There is a beat that you can dance to. but you can also take the album home and listen to it again and again. We’re still not sick of it yet. which is quite unusual for a band. still to be playing their own record. it‘s something like a year old now and still sounds fresh.‘
The five band members met years ago in the
it a handicap to be associated with the city. a danger of been written offas ‘just another Manchester band“?
‘Well. no one‘s really picked up on that,‘ argues Anthony. ‘No one can really say we‘re a typical Manchester band because I don‘t think there is such a thing. I‘m still dead proud of the place. I still think it's a brilliant city.‘
Typical they certainly are not. Their debut album. lntastella Featuring Stella And The Famin OfMan. to be released next month. will be an intriguing affair. Anthonyelaborates: ‘lt‘s everything isn‘t it‘.’ Ifyou listen to the album. it just goes all over the place. Everything that we listen to. everything that we‘ve ever seen or thought about is what‘s coming out. ldon’t know. maybe in a year or two it‘ll develop into something different. Because there‘s five of us and we‘re all into
change all the time. We never followed any particular fashion dictionary. We find it quite amusing to go to a Country and Western music club or whatever.‘
lntastella may be currently hip. but it‘s not something they seem to strive for. They‘re out on their own limb. doing what comes naturally and, in Anthony’s case, it‘s something he‘s been practising at for most of his life.
‘I don‘t think it matters. Even ifpeople didn‘t like it we'd still be doing it. I‘m proud of being a dickhead, there‘s nowt wrong with it. I enjoy having a laugh. I‘d rather people laugh at me in the street because ofwhat I‘ve got on rather than the colour ofmy skin or what l‘m into. That doesn‘t bother me at all.‘ lntastella play King Tut's. Glasgow on Fri 23.
Manchester clubs before the current hype began. Now the Northern star seems to be on the wane. is
j different things. that‘s how it comes across. we
Van for all seasons
A nightly magnet for thousands oi tourists flocking to the Military Tattoo, the imposing arena that is Edinburgh Castle Esplanade will for the first time be used to host a rock event next Wednesday when the Celtic soul brother number one, Van Morrison himself, headlines the bill, succeeded the following evening by Scotrock icons Runrig. In previous years, the Tattoo has utilised the Castle venue right up until the end of the Festival, but for 1991 promoters Unique Events have secured the BOOB-seat amphitheatre for the aforementioned duo of high-profile concerts.
‘We very deliberately asked Van Morrison to open the series,’ commented Pete Irvine of Unique, “because it's iestival time and he’s very much an artist as opposed to a just another pop star.’ No arguments with
that certainly, and the wide cross section of musical styles that’ll be on display at the Castle gig offer some indication of the generic versatility that has characterised Van The Man’s long running career. Scots piper Hamish Moore opens the proceedings with a specially commissioned air to lead into The Chieitains’ support slot (bringing on with them the likes of much-loved fiddler Aly Bain), before VTM takes the stage with his current Georgie Fame-led revue outfit. The span from traditional balladry to the greatest living Ulsterman’s barely categorisable distillation of rock, jazz and soul typiiles the wholesale immersion in the potential of musical expression that is precisely what makes the wee man great.
Any opportunity to catch the Morrison and Fame show should be gratefully accepted for the unlikely figure of the
British jazz stalwart and Hammond organ maestro has given the often erratic bandleader a new lease of life on stage over the past few years. While recent albums like ‘Avaion Sunset‘ and ‘Enllghtenment’ show some mellowlng out of VTM’s powers, live performances now tend to buzz with more of a sense of fun and enjoyment than was formerly the case. One word of warning though, go easy on the shouting out requests routine. At a Playhouse show a while back one hopeful hlppy holler for ‘Astral Weeks’ was met with a curt Orangeileld snarl and the words ‘astral freaksl' (Trevor Johnston)
Van Morrison plays the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade on Wed 28 Aug, 7.30pm. Currently sold out, but further tickets will be released at Ripping Records, South Bridge on Fri 23 Aug at 103m.
76 The List 23 — 29 August 1991