Tramway, Glasgow. 15 Sept. It was somewhat
, perturbingtohear.the day before the concert.
that more than 500 tickets remained unsold. However, fears ofsitting in a chilly. near-empty Tramway watching the band struggling to strike the necessary spark proved unfounded ~ a solid phalanx of bodies filled the main block of seats. and the only people disappointed will be those who stayed at home.
I've never quite understood why traditional folk has such a hard time shaking offits po-faced. beardy reputation; at its best. and especially live, it's one of the most exciting. enjoyable and irresistibly danceable forms of music there is. Altan have established themselves firmly in the top league of Irish hands over the past few years — a relaxed. six-strong line up, w ith three fiddles. a ﬂute and two guitars. one alternated with a bouzouki. They belt out sets of reels and jigs with the tremendous driving energy which has become their trademark. building a depth of sound many non-acoustic bands would envy. There is no sacrifice of subtlety for noise. however; excellent sound quality combined with well-honed ensemble technique ensures that each instrument‘s strand in the tightly-woven mix is easily discernible. When the tempo slows, flute or guitar provides a delicate backdrop for Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh‘s haunting. ethereal vocals as she tugs at the assembled heartstrings with ballads of love found and lost.
The bare-brick Tramway space is a more appropriate setting than
most for the band: the raw. earthy energy oflive folk sits uneasily with plusher concert venues. The basic problem. however. is that sitting sits uneasily with live folk. When are promoters going to wake up to the fact that this is dance music. first and foremost. and provide some space
for the frustrated souls
‘ wriggling in their seatsto 3 get down on the floorand : stomp‘.’ (Sue Wilson)
List 27 September- 10 October 1991-
SECC, Glasgow, 13 Sept. Although mere milliseconds into their history-making world tour, the small army that is now Dire Straits sound like they’ve already been pounding the road! tor two years. The songs have stretched: out to accommodate contributions lrom; as many band members as possible - solos, interjections, codas that catch you out and make you leel dumb tor applauding too early— and by the time they get back to Britain, next year, I suspect that the songs will have been completely buried alive. 5 And what is this bullshit about all that l synthesiser-based stult being a thing of“ the past? Perhaps ‘On Every Street‘ is a ; rootsier record than their last, but live the Straits bring to mind nothing so much as Pink Floyd - complete with ‘Close Encounters‘ light show— and ' like Roger Waters’ Floyd, they are so
downbeat that they ﬂy in the lace at what you imagine a trillion-selling rock act should sound like. The songs are all imbued with a kind at morose romanticism - some matter-ot-lact Geordie answer to the blues? — but there's no catharsis, no conclusion, a connection that's never made. It’s a
completely unmoving perlormance.
Which in itsell is all very interesting, and my new-tound curiosity about what
, gets Mark Knopller up in the morning
sustains me even through the clumsy, sell-parodic ‘Private lnvestigations’, but the tillers (and there are a lot of them) have no such bonuses. They're not sparkly like ‘Walk 0i we or ‘Money For Nothing‘, they’re not weird like the moody, broody, dark songs,
; they’re just B-sides with loads and
f loads of guitar solos. l‘ve had more 3 meaningtul experiences. (Alastair , Mabbott)
Venue, Edinburgh, 23 Sept. The temperature creeps horribly up the
The hall is packed to capacity with |
hairy moshers aching to leap about. i First into this melting-pot, and causing l
uninitiated, is black DJ Aaron ‘Pause’ : Vaughn; but cheers ring out trom Those i Who Know, and a sample-and-scratch T combination opens the way tor the heady lunkrap metal which is Mordred’s trademark.
One at the saddest things about the music scene used to be its tribal nature. Happily, through bands like the ( Chilis and Faith No More, this kind at l snobbery has mostly dissolved. As Lollapalooza cartwheels around the States, with acts like the Banshees, Ice-T and Nine Inch Nails sharing stages, Mordred carry the wind oi change to Edinburgh on their first Scottish date.
Their conventional elements are proticient enough, with guitars switching lrom thick thrash to ‘Starsky And Hutch‘ wah-wah and back again, pausing tor some sharp bass breaks. Frontman Scott Holderby holds it together with energy and wit, occasionally excelling with a tasty chunk ot white rap.
scale betore Mordred take the stage. l
a tew blinks ol surprise among the l ,
_ i. .. .- ._
But it's ‘Pause' who propels the band
v LIVE ? ,
way beyond their San Francisco Bay Area thrash roots. A bottle of Beck‘s rotates contentedly on his turntable as the man raps, spins and dances tor all he's worth, coming into his own on tracks like ‘Esse Ouam Videri' and obviously enjoying every minute. Any worries about his live reception are trashed, to the point where the older thrashy stutl sounds dead without him. During highlights like the closing song, ‘In This Lile’, Mordred lay down an irresistible groove with some genuinely uplifting moments. Their attitude is relreshingly positive, at odds with the gloomy howl ol conventional thrash. This kind of music is one road towards the luture, and Mordred are helping to build it. (Gavin
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Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time at going olpress.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) T'Pau, 1 l Oct: Kevin McDermott. 12 Oct; Big Country. 14 Oct;The Cramps. 16 Oct; Billy Bragg. 18()ct; Stiff Little Fingers. 19 Oct; Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine. 2 Nov; James, 6 Nov;Tin Machine. 7 Nov; Fish, ll) Nov; Tesla. 1-1 Nov;'l'he Farm. 1 Dec; My Bloody Valentine, 12 Dee.
; I GLASGOW CONCERT
3 RALLt332 3123)Chesney
Sedaka. 24 Oct; OMD. 28 Oct; Elkie Brooks, 3 Nov;
Tammy Wynette. 12Nov; : Buddy Guy. 24 Nov;
5 I GLASGOW SECC (557
6969) Bryan Adams, 28
Oct; Sting, 23 Nov;Chris
Rea, 29 Nov: New Kids
On The Block, 8 Dec:
, (iary(}littcr,23—2-I Dec; 1 Simply Red. 27 Jan: Eric
- (332 1846) Average White Band. 12 Oct: Don
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE
' Oct; Lloyd Cole, l80ct; Chesney llawkes. 21 ()ct', Seal.22()ct:1ilkic
Brooks. 2 Nov; Kylie Minogue.~1 Novfl‘he Moody Blues. 7 Nov; James. 9 Nov; Midge lire.
13 Nov; Skid Row. 14
Nov; Buddy Guy. 23 Nov: v The Cult, 2-1 Nov; Deacon ’
Blue. 29—30 Nov: Lenny Kravitz. 1 Dec; The
Pogues, 2 Dec; Squeeze. 3 2
Dec; Paul Young, 8 Dec: Fish, 31 Dec.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 21119) Average White Band. 14 Oct; Mary Black. 14 Oct: Billy Bragg. 20 ()ct; Bootleg
Beatles. 2 Dec.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (332 3123) Eberhard Weber-Gary Boyle Quartet, 21 Nov; Whistle Stop Jazz Tour. 26 Nov.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) The Chieftains. 21 Oct.
I EDINBURGH KING'S
THEATRE (229 1201
_ Ronnie Browne. 13 Oct; The Chieftains, 2(lOct.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S
HALLmss 2tll9)Bobby Watson's Horizon. 13
Oct;Freddiellubbard Quintet, 25 Oct; Doky
Brothers. 27 Oct;Taj Mahal, 1 Nov; Steve Williamson Group. 8
Nov; PeanutslluckoAll Stars, 15 Nov;Shei1a
Jordan. 22 Nov; Eberhard Weber-Gary Boyle Quartet. 23 Nov; Brian Kellock, 29 Nov; Chick
Lyall. 6 Dec; Andy Shepherd, 13 Dec.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Sydney Devine. 24—26 Oct;Joc Longthorne. 14—17 Nov. I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Rebecca Storm. 11 Oct; John
; Denver,2()Oct: i Engelbertllumperdinck.
r 21 Nov.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(332 3123) Isaac Stern. 1 Nov; Leningrad Phil. 21 Nov.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Scottish Ensemble. 11 Oct; Gyorgy Pauk & Roger Vignoles, 17 Oct;
John Currie Singers. 2t)
3 Oct:SEMC,25 Oct;Pau1 I Galbraith.270ct:
, Paragon Ensemble. 3
Orchestra, 7 Nov; Musica Antiqua Cologne. 8 Nov;
~ John Currie Singers,1() Nov; Wind Band. 14 Nov;
Leda Piano Trio, 15 Nov; Soundstrata, 16 Nov;
Centenary. 19 Nov; Borodin String Quartet. 21 Nov; Scottish Ensemble, 22 Nov; Hebrides Ensemble, 24 Nov; SCO Brass. 29 Nov;
Orchestra, 1 Dec; Margaret Price 62 Graham
Dec;SLTMC.18l)ec: Junior Concert. 21 Dec. I GLASGOW SECC(557 6969) Jose Carreras. 9 Dec.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Scottish Ensemble. 13 Oct; Meadows Chamber ()reh. 19 ()ct: Evelyn Glennie.
; 21 Oct;SEMC.240ct;
Paul Galbraith, 26 ()ct; Birmingham CMG. 11 Nov; Beaux Arts Trio. 18 Nov: George MaeKay Brown Concert, 8 Dec: ECAT—SSPCA Charity Concert. 2 Feb; Songmakers Almanac. 17 Feb; Brindisi String Quartet, 16 Mar; Orkest dc \"olharding. 25 Mar; Evelyn Glennie <5; Anna Steigcr, 29 Apr. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1 155) Musical Gala, 160ct. I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets forthe Royal Scottish Orchestra. the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. and Scottish Opera are available from Glasgow International Concert Hall (332 3123); Cityllall. Glasgow (227 5511); Usher Hall, Edinburgh (228 1 155); Queen‘s Hall, Edinburgh (668 2019). Scottish Opera: Theatre Royal, Glasgow (331 1234); Playhouse, Edinburgh (557 2590).