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36 The List 6 - 19 December 1991



Playhouse, Edinburgh, 1 Dec. ‘You guys rocked my ass tonight.’ And what an ass. Poured into ileshtight

jeans and busting out oi a leather

waistcoat, Lenny Kravitz is a low-slung hipster, a raunchmobile, a craven nouveau-hippy cast in the image oi godlike bygone cats who knew how to ROCK. His is a magic woven irom a iabric oi 60s stylee, but always embroidered with the Kravitz signature. And that’s your guarantee oi hip-shaking, lip-smacking, hormone-quaking stutt.

‘Always On The Bun’ boasts true grit

in the iolds oi those guitar parts; skinny, mushroom-headed guitarist Craig Boss drew blood lrom his instrument; and that souliul blast trom the horn section completed the back-sliding emotional motion. It might be ‘retro’ but boy is it ‘coolo’.

The acid warp heaviness (man) oi ‘Blues For Sister’ was a slab oi noise, trippy and druggy with the drippy liquid visuals that were the backdrop. ‘l Built This Garden For Us’ lost its mock classical keyboard moans in the iurious blues bash. ‘Fields Oi Joy’ continued the intensity, opening as a high-pitched, simple-minded nursery rhyme beiore lapsing into the hard toil Kravitz inluses most oi his work with. In graiting together a whole generation at heroes - Lennon to Hendrix, Richards to Brown, Gaye to Page —then shooting in his own electric liielorce, Lenny Kravitz creates a primal appeal that manages to be both antediluvian (don’t know what it means, but it sounds good) and the periect 903 pop. A lean, sinewy strength strung round the bones at time.

Along nlps ‘Mr Cab Driver’, rolling and smoking, a heavy metal thrill cruising on lunky castors. On it rolls, straight into ‘Flower Child’, two mad rock-outs alter the linely-craited dynamics at the set hitherto. Then the 100 per cent Motown prool oi ‘It Ain’t OverTil "'3 Over’ swings things endwards, those harmonies Siamese-like in their closeness. Like his jeans, Lenny and his band are buttock-clenchineg tight. And that’s the (w)hole truth. (Craig McLean)


Hipster Club, Edinburgh, 22 Nov. Cripes, the cludgie’s crammed with pimply post-adolescent males sporting Purdey cuts and tight-titling kindergarten couture. It’s a Pastels gig. Yup, welcome to Hipster, all teen degenerates and lukewarm ale in ilimsy plastic beakers. Gone midnight,

and everyone’s slurring. All teed-up, i then...

Luckily (by all accounts) we miss

5 ‘triend oi Mo Tucker and Hall Japanese beat-icon’ Jad Fair’s disappointing

solo numbers and arrive to witness the mad American backed by The Pastels ior spirited sub-Jonathan Bichmanisms atop a loosely executed, quirky garage pop. Certainly enthusiastic, Jad peaks with ‘Hed Dress’ a mutant coupling oi Pixies’ ‘Cactus’ and Lou Reed’s ‘Small Town’ irom the ‘Drella’ set- which makes his subsequent welcome-overstaying indulgences almost inrgivable.

And The Pastels? Well, Scotland, rejoice, ior in this band you have a truly ‘seminal’ concern. Like Status Ouo, Motorhead, Pet Shop Boys and Dylan, these unlikely candidates possess an unique artiulness breathtaking ior its laconic, sardonic originality. Tonight, in muddy mono with hall-assed light-show, we get a greatest (non) hits set (‘Baby Honey’, ‘Truck Train Tractor’, ‘Comin’ Thru’, and the ace ‘Nothing To Be Done') acerbically delivered and cannily laced with trumped-up renditions oi new material, notably the languid ‘Speeding

Motorcycle’. Stephen Pastel is one oi the iew singers who sings less ilat live than on record and, with the wait-like Aggi progressively usurping the ‘irontperson’ title, the Pastels’ ramshackle approach to torm is blossoming intelligently with the years; that the new songs are a bit one-chordish signals a pointed economy, never laziness, and makes periect sense. No Brian Superstar tonight, ior he is replaced (permanently, ’tis whispered) by ex-Shop Assistant David Keegan. Himseli a mini-legend, Keegan has iinally ‘outed’ and admitted he can actually play the guitar; this evening he is the icing on a sumptuous cake.

Super. With their ‘let’s shoot ourselves in the loot' approach to careerdom - scintillating releases iollowed by agonislng periods at seemingly deliberate inertia —the Pastels look lorever condemned to be, like Jad Fair, a ‘cult' item. Best and be thankful. (Paul w. Hullah)