I Should any straggly-haired punters in Nirvana T-shirts tell you that they saw their heroes playing live in a small pub in Edinburgh, don‘t urge them to check in at the nearest drying-out clinic — for they may well have been present at the stowed-out Southern Bar on Sun 1 Dec. The Joyriders had booked in to play an acoustic set for the Sick Kids, hinting that there would be some very special guests on the bill. After a Joyriders set, two-thirds of the virus-ridden Nirvana played about half a dozen numbers on acoustic bass and guitar, and the punters were treated to three brand new songs. Now, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain is regretting that no one made a tape ofthe gig. lfyou know anyone in the audience who did, get in touch with The Listso that The J oyriders and Nirvana can have a copy of it.
I While Nirvana were doing their thing, Listen! was in Glasgow, where Bob Mould was demonstrating what a fabulous sound a lZ-string acoustic can make if you belt it like Richie Havens on speed and fielding requests for Grant Hart-written Husker Dii numbers. ‘No covers,‘ he admonished. ‘If you want to hear that, you‘ll have to wait till Nova Mob come back again.‘The jeersthat greeted that remark should be enough to warn Grant Hart off coming within ten miles of Glasgow without dark glasses and a false moustache.
I The Duke. known to sensible people as Allan Campbell, is offering listeners in the Forth area some incentives to stay indoors from 7—10pm on a Sunday evening. On Sun 15, Campbell broadcasts a four-song session from Captain America. following it a week later with an hour of the best of Brazilian music, selected by The Duke himself. The really interesting edition. though. is to be broadcast on 22 Dec, when early unheard demos from Scottish stars like Lloyd Cole. Aztec Camera and The Proclaimers — when they were all wee boys!— will be aired. That is. ifno one manages to stop him. Some ofthem. Campbell says, are as good as the versions that were eventually released. The year is rounded up on 29 Dec and 5 Jan with repeats of some of the years most memorable interviews (Kravitz, Cruise, Teenage Fanclub, Frame/Collins,
30 The List 6 — 19 December 1991
The Saw Doctors The original Saw Doctors were hard-drinking men who toiled in Irish timber-mills. Retaining the resilient spirit and irreverent, celebratory outlook of their historical forbears, Galway’s Saw Doctors describe their music as ‘trash-ditional’. On stage, a madhouse of blistering energy and outrageous pranks, they put photos of fellows with their underpants down on their record sleeves and play the most irresistible stramash currently available on black vinyl.
Formed in 1987, the 80s have already conquered Eire — their second single (‘our least favourite tune’), ‘I Useta Lover’, is Ireland’s biggest-ever selling 45. Musically related, they differ from The Pogues and The Waterboys through bypassing
melancholy in favour of a tangled, joyously sell-deprecating humour. The Doctors fuse social comment, Celtic pride, folk and punk and make It lunny. Wholly unpretentious, they carelessly blend musical genres and stitch the results together with some of the zippiest chorus-hooks you’ll ever hear.
‘Dther bands like us seem to have disappeared or gone quiet,’ observes bassist Piers Doherty when the inevitable Pogues/Waterboys comparisons arise. ‘Sure, we’ve worked a lot (specifically on their debut LP, ‘It This Is Rock And Roll I Want My Old Job Back') with Mike Scott. He's done wonders for us, but he’s basically just a drinking buddy who offers advice when we need it. And I always regarded The Pogues as eternal romanticisers, nostalgic for a Mother Ireland that doesn’t exist any longer. Our songs are more local, written about today.’
0r last night, as in their new (first official UK) 45, ‘That’s What She Said Last Night’, with its controversial lowered-underpants cover.
’A few people find that tasteless,’ admits Doherty. ‘The song’s ironic, about a guy boasting about his love life. The covertells the real story-the lonely bloke alone in his bedroom. There’s always an undertone in our songs, and usually it’s saying “Look, this is what life’s really like”. We’re tailed romantics that grew up in the Catholic Church. We’re reacting against all that rigidness and ceremony. We’re also just glorified dole-merchants who like having a laugh.’ (Paul W. Hullah)
Alter Glasgow’s Tryst week of folk concerts and ceilidhs, Edinburgh is set for an upswing in the pub acoustic music scene with the recent opening of the Tron Bar in Hunter Square as a venue for folk, blues and some jazz.
Owner Cy Laurie has long been involved in the world of Scottish traditional music as a singer, and has operated the successful Riverside in Glasgow for years.
‘I want the Tron to be a place where musicians feel at home, if they want to play: fine, anytime. ltsomeone wants a quiet drink, food or coffee and silence in the centre of town to read a , newspaper, they can come in during the day. You won’t find a juke box or television in the place. A few nights at the weekend we have bands on the stage, the rest oi the time it’s just what happens!
With a small bar at street level, a larger one downstairs, and a third about to open at a lower level with space for dances or concerts, the Tron
seems set to get busy over the next month.
Edinburgh’s Dueen’s Hall is the venue for a major benefit concert to raise funds lorthe 6000 Edinburgh-area sufferers of Alzheimer's disease. The unique, passionate voice and guitar of our own Dick Gaughan vies with the irony of Belfastman Dave Whyte and the gentler songs of Davey Steele with Ceolbeg.
Davey enthuses about the new drummer in the band. ‘He came over here from Canada in 1984, but I first heard Jim Walker in Brittany, at the Lorient Festival. He was playing with Dysart and Dundonald pipe band. The drum corps were performing a drum fanfare and it broke into a funky percussion thing, with congas and everything. He’d written and arranged it, and taught them all.
‘But he’s a great kit drummer as well as a percussionist. He teaches at the rock music course at Esk Valley- and you’ve probably seen him playing with The Refugees, also in That Swing Thang. So he’s perfectly at home with traditional music but pushes in all sorts of directions. We are all looking forward to fitting the drums into Ceolbeg. In fact the Queen’s Hall gig will be his lirstwith the band!’
However, Walker won’t be on the forthcoming Ceolbeg album, “Seeds To The Wind', which was recorded before he joined the group and produced by Dick Gaughan. It is released by Greentrax in mid-December. (Norman Chalmers)
Ceolbeg play for Alzheimer’s Scotland at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Tue 10.
0n the ﬁddle
Aaron Hieklin met the ‘loud and gimmicky’ violinist Nigel Kennedy, who has just ditched his unruly rock-star image. But is this the real Kennedy?
Don‘t you just love our Nige‘.’ With his cool haircut. loud socks and that Aston Villa scarf, he‘s shown up those ponces in their dress suits and
brought Vivaldi to the kids like a concert-hall Gazza. Even so, his