Wilkie Ilouse. Edinburgh. 4 Oct.
By dint of past incarnations and present associations. Captain America are famous round these here parts. Lead floppy haircut Eugene Kelly used to be. more or less. The Vaselines. a band who. in the best ‘seminal' tradition. only became really good after they‘d split up and noisy American oiks like Nirvana started saying how swell The Vasclines had been all along. Eugene‘s new band are friends of the messianic Teenage Fanclub and even sometimes — though not tonight — feature the Fannies' Catweazlc drummer Brendan. Consequently. Captain America's already mythical stature is hardly surprising. The fact remains though that after all the chat. Captain America‘s supposed fame and actual talent are proxy. second-hand news.
Their signature tune tonight is a brief instrumental.
encouraging in its dirty rock cohesiveness. Ilmm. perhaps the band do have solid gold rock 'n' roll balls. Pretty soon though. the Captain America theme reveals itself. and the wry yawns have to be stifled. Simply put. it'sa lunging. whining. Very Metal dirgeful thing. Eugene‘s vocals may be less lethargic than Dinosaur Jr‘s. the guitars more denim 'n‘ leathery than the Fanclub‘s. but lacking as they do their mentors‘ awareness of pop-stroke-grungc‘s more subtle manoeuvres. this lot rely on the cult faves attitood. the sneering voice. and the partway searing histrionics of six strings letting rip. On ‘Flame On‘. this unholy brew is stirring stuff. Elsewhere. it just curdles the stomach.
‘We Will Rock You‘ kicks off the encore before bleeding into a thrash frenzy. Eugene‘s voice mangled in a car smash wreckage ofelectrie mayhem. In such circumstances. when overall power and crash bang recklessness reign supreme. Captain America do live up to all the baloney. But strip away the raw noise and the end-product is altogether less convincing. For the latest (supposed) West Coast sensation. the epithet ‘Too much. too soon‘ is unfortunately apt. (Craig
V LIVE ’ MICHAEL MARRA
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, 1 Oct.
If you dismiss this as f"k, then f" 'k off. Michael Marra, like his music, is dapperand sassy, a rugged self-deprecator, acute observer of how it goes, a champion of the nooks and crannies of everyday (Scottish) life.
Marra's appearance in Glasgow tonight comes midway through his European tourwith Deacon Blue. Ricky Boss's patronage of his fellow Dundonian is instructive. In personal terms, both men are pithy and earthy; in lyrical terms, ‘Fellow Hoodlums"s celebration of Glaswegian humdrum life borrows heavily from Marra’s own songwriting preoccupations. The latter figure is a modern fairytale/realitytale storyteller, singing of Blairgowrie and DrJohn, Dundee United’s famed goalie Hamish McAlpine and Princess Grace, Cumbernauld housewives and Russian fishermen, Frankenstein and the River Tay. Truly, lile’s rich pageant inhabits the pages of the Michael Marra notebook.
Tonight, it's just Marra and his piano. Given such sparsity, the richness of his muse can’t fail to impress. ‘King Kong's Visit To Glasgow’ manages to rope in the eponymous mega-ape, Tony Cascarino and Pat Kane. ‘The Wise Old Men Of Mount Florida‘ recalls the fateful day Queen’s Park Rangers revolutionised The Game by hitting
upon the idea of actually PASSING the ball. Imagine such Scotch and Wry tales as carried by a—yep, him again— Ricky Boss-cum-Georgie Fame soulful gruffness, a voice where emotion and feel wipe outthe need for ‘sophistication'. This is the Marra appeal: something that draws in f‘ 'k music’s cultural awareness and pop music's accessibility, mixes them up and tells a joke while it’s at it.
Endwards, he does ‘Mother Glasgow’, the living grain of his rendition duffing up the sleek City of Culture-lied version of his most famous song. Finally, it’s ‘Hermless’, a Dundee, City of Discovery, alternative to the militaristic bent of most national anthems: ‘Hermless, hermless, there's never nae bather for me/l ging to the libry, I tak out a book/And then i go home for my tea.‘
Scotland’s undiscovered national treasure? Quite possibly. (Craig McLean)
lex ll, Glasgow, 25 Sept.
The Twist are perfect examples of the ongoing plight of the provincial band. Big in Kirkcaldy, a tantalising mystery everywhere else on the globe, and not a dull tune or crap lyric to put the blame on. For a band of their pop calibre, forays into the Big City should be as much of an event for the audience as for the band.
Where others favour the vocal path of breathy suggestiveness, The Twist make no such apologies for guts deficiency, investing one line with more passion and character than many could manage over an entire album. Singer Colin, a future focus for bleeding adolescent hearts everywhere, is Andrew Chapterhouse with attitude, sturdy lungs and an innate compulsion to re-enact the storming of the Bastille every time he gets within belting distance of another band member—a recurring eventuality given the beermat-sized performance space.
Intersong patter consists largely of lyrical exposition: ‘This one’s called “Pop Is A Pop", and it‘s about pop being . . . well, a lop, Isuppose.’ Strangely, about half a dozen stupidos choose to make their departure during the ritual guitar flagellation that follows this revelation. Those of us with our aesthetic judgement still intact can only ponder that The Jesus And Mary Chain may be running through an impromptu set of acoustic Wombles’ covers in the pub across the road -who cares? Not The Twist anyway, they’re too wrapped up in their own glorious upstart egos to even bother checking if the sky above them is intact.
They still embrace some of the telltale ‘destined for local obscurity’ trappings— like plugging their merchandise/tapes/record in between every song—but ilThe Twist continue to play with such confidence and levity, I may even live to see the transcendent ‘Come lnside’ become the teen-shag anthem it deserves to be. (Fiona Shepherd)
V BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at major venues. forwhich tickets are on public sale at time of going ofpress.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Carter The l'nstoppablc Sex Machine. 2 Nov: James. 6 Nov; 'l‘in Machine. 7 Nov: Fish. 10 Nov: Tesla. 14 Nov; The Farm. 1 Dec; My Bloody Valentine. 121m. ' I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(227 551 l ) lilkie Brooks. 3 Nov; Tammy Wynette. 12 Nov; Buddv Guy. 24 Nov: Nanci I Griffith. 2 Dec; Deacon Blue. 30-31 Dec.
I GLASGOW SECCl557 6969) Bryan Adams. 28 Oct: Sting. 23 Nov;Chris Rea. 29 Nov; Status Quo, 30 Nov; New Kids On'lihc Block. 8 Dec: (‘rary (ilitter. 23—24 Dec; Simply Red. 27 Jan: Eric Clapton. 3 Mar.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) lilkie Brooks. 2 Nov: Kylie Minogue. 4 Nov; The Moody Blues. 7 Nov; James. 9 Nov; Midge Lire. 13 Nov: Skid Row. 14 Nov: Chuck Berry. 20 Nov; Buddy (iuy. 23 Nov; I The Cult. 24 Nov; Lenny Kravitz. 1 DecLThe Pogues. 2 Dec; Squeeze. 3 i Dec; Paul Young. 8 Dec; Fish. 31 Dec.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL(668 2019) Taj Mahal. 1 Nov.
JAZZ 8r FOLK
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Eberhard Weber-Gary Boyle Quartet. 2] Nov: Whistle Stop Jazz Tour. 26 Nov.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL(6682019)Freddic : Hubbard Quintet. 25 Oct: Doky Brothers. 27 Oct: Taj Mahal. 1 Noszteve Williamson. 8 Nov; Peanuts Hucko. 15 Nov; Sheila Jordan. 22 Nov; Eberhard Weber-Gary Boyle Quartet. 23 Nov; Brian Kellock Boptet. 29; Chick Lyall Norwegian Quartet. 6 Dec; Andy Sheppard. 13 Dec.
i I I GLASGOW PAVILION 5 (332 1846) Joe 3 i l
3 Concert. 2 Feb;
Longthorne. 14—17 Nov. I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (5572590) Engelbert Humperdinck. 21 Nov.
linsemble. 28 Feb: John
l)ec. HALL (668 2019) Paul
' Birmingham CMU. 11
5 de Volharding. 25 Mar; E Evelyn Glennie & Anna 2 Stniger.29 Apr.
; Requiem.9.\1ay. ISUBSCRIPTION SEASONSProgramme ' detailsand tickets forthe
Royal Scottish Orchestra. the Scottish Chamber
Orchestra. BBC Scottish
SymphonyOrchestra.and Scottish Opera are
Scottish Opera: Theatre Royal. Glasgow (331
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(227 551 1) Isaac Stern. 1 Nov; Leningrad Phil. 21 Nov. I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) SIiMC. 25 ()ct; Paul (ialbraith. 27 ()ct: Paragon linscmble. 3 Nov; Academy Orchestra. 7 Nov;.\'1usica Antiqua Cologne. 8 Nov: John Currie Singers. l0 3 Nov: Wind Band. 14 Nov; | Leda Piano Trio. 15 Nov; Soundstrata. 16 Nov; RSO—RSAMD (.‘entenary. 19 Nov; I Borodin String Quartet. 21 Nov ; Scottish ' Ensemble. 22 Nov; : Hebrides linsemble. 2-1
Nov; SC() Brass. 29 Nov; (ilasgow Chamber ()rchestra. 1 Dec; Margaret Price 6; (iraham Johnson. 5 Dec; SIiMC. 6 l)ec;Sl7MC.181)ec: Junior Concert. 21 Dec; Anthony Rolfe Johnson. 23Jan: Scottish
Brass. 25 Jan: John Williams. 6 Feb; Scottish
fill. 12 Mar; Scottish linsemble. 10Apr1SCQ Brass. 11 Apr.
l ouscow secc (557
6969) Jose Carreras. 9
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S (ialbraith. 26()ct:
Nov; Beaux Arts Trio. 18 Nov; (icorge MacKay
Brown Concert. 8 Dec; ECA’T-SSPCA Charity
Songmakers Almanac. 17 Feb; Brindisi String Quartet. 16 Mar; ()rkest
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 l 155) 1 Iandel's Messiah. 2.1an; Verdi's
available from Glasgow InternationalConcert Hall (332 3123); City Hall. Glasgow (227 551 1 )1 Usher 1 lall. Edinburgh (2281155):Queen‘s Hall. Edinburgh (6682019).
38 The List 11 — 24 October 1991