and completely imitate it.‘

With those influences under their belts. though. Texas have the best of both worlds: commercial success and also kudos for plugging into ‘authentic‘ music. the blues. Record company handouts still go on about the Texas sound ‘originating in the Mississippi Delta‘. which is a load they really shouldn‘t have to bear. ls it too shameful just to say that Texas make professional. highly attractive contemporary rock‘.’ Isa hot rock band from Glasgow not a ‘real‘ enough identity?

‘Yeah.‘ she groans. ‘but you know what they‘re like. When the first single came out. nobody thought it was going to do what it did. The record company were completely taken aback. One minute it was. “Oh. yeah. Texas. they‘re on our label.“ the next it was “TEXAS!! We love Texas!“ They just go a bit mad. They get a wee bit affected sometimes. I‘ve just got to go. “Oh. fine . . . very good. . just let them do it. Basically. a lot ofthose things went out because we were on tour and couldn‘t be contacted to check them out. You just laugh at it. Jesus Christ. when have any of us ever been in the Mississippi Delta‘."

By and by. we get to the bit where Spiteri gets to speak about Texas‘ new album. Mother's Heaven.

Touring— “playing our backsides offin America‘ and the increased empathy they felt as musicians resulted in a ‘lot looser. more spontaneous‘ record. ‘Obviously.

going out on tour for that length oftimc. you really go with the band. There are a lot of things happening that you don‘t even have to say to each other. It was good getting back in the studio after touring for that length of time. When they see us live. a lot ofpeople say. “You‘re a lot heavier live than you were on record.“ I think that‘s due to it beingthe first time the band were in the studio together. We‘ve really grown since then.‘ Grown apart. in fact. since drummer Stuart Kerr is no longer with them. having left to join the Hare Krishna movement and being replaced by Richard llynd. formerly of Slide. Kerr has since had his collar felt for something Spiteri describes as ‘spiritual vandalism‘. This iconoclastic act apparently involved the spraying of the Krishna motto Call Out Gauranga Be Happy on a wall in

Basically, a lot at those things went out because we were on tourand couldn’t be contacted to check them out. Jesus Christ, when have any of us everbeen in the Mississippi Delta?

Bellshill. and much amused the band.

though not the hapless ex-drummer. Ironically. considering their origins. Texas

have heard offers of collaboration from

Paris. Texas‘s star. Harry Dean Stanton.

and its musical visionary. Ry Cooder. The band spoke to Stanton when he came to see them play in Los Angeles. and met Ry Cooder in Glasgow. ‘We should do something together.‘ the slide guitarist. bandleader. soundtrack composer and one-man musical archive told them. ‘Write some songs for l Iarry.‘

A couple ofweeks later. they again heard from Cooder. who told them that he was producing an album with Stanton and asked ifthey were interested in playing with the band he was putting together for it. Their hearts sank when they found out that they might have to commit themselves to the project for three months. Texas. alas. were obliged to work on their own album.

‘But we said we‘d love to do something some other time.‘ says Spiteri. ‘I think it would be better ifwe did something more spontaneous. like ifwe just met him somewhere. rather than a big planned number that‘s going to take three months. For us. the experience ofseeing Cooder work would be just great.‘

The way things have gone so far. though. they might have to thunder over a lot of Tarmac before they get there.

M ()ther's Heaven is available on l’limmgram Records.

The List 13 26 September lWl 11