I The folks behind The Mean Fiddler. that legendary London venue. have decided that the next step on the road to world domination is to start their own record label, Mean Recordings, which will keep their existing labels and management firm company. There will be no fixed A&R policy, so ‘anything from techno to country to hardcore‘ can be considered. Mean Recordings can be pestered at both PO Box 1966. London NW1() 5N0 and The Mean Fiddler, 24—28a High Street, Harlesden. London NW1() 41.x. Go on. inundate them with demos! See if we care!

I Pet Sounds recording studio in Glasgow celebrate the dawn of 1992 with a special rate (until 31 Jan only) for studio time: £100 per day, which is, we are assured. ‘unbeatable‘ for facilities of that standard. (Clients include Wet Wet Wet. Teenage Fanclub and Banderas.) Not only that, but they‘re running a competition for free studio time as well. Bands/performers are invited to come to Pet Sounds to record a song in half an hour. The artist whose recording is judged to be the best will be rewarded with five free days of recording time and those days can be taken any time. More details (plus the all-important price for that half-hour a tenner or so, we reckon) can be had by calling Phil on 041 945 2044.

I Flni Tribe signed to the phenomenally huge Sony Records in the USA a few weeks ago for a sum that will probably keep them in floppy discs and razors for a month or two. We Brits can expect their next One Little Indian single, ’Fuzzy Logic‘ on 2 March, followed a month later by the LP, promisingly entitled An Unexpected Groovy Treat.




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Although it might all too often seem I Concert Society present the

that redundancy is a phenomenon to be associated with the 20th century, it has actually been going on, in musical life anyway, for a lot longer than that. Two hundred years ago, no less an esteemed figure than Haydn was made redundant from his job as composer in residence at the court of Esterhazy in Hungary. But no need to think about unfair dismissal and industrial tribunals for Haydn, as settlement from his late employer's son, Prince Anton, was a generous golden handshake letting him remain on full pay. 80, fulfilling an idea of many years, Haydn took himself off to London, via Vienna, and composed a number of works for performance in the series promoted by the German violinist and impressario J.P. Salomon.

Opening their 1992 concerts with a look back to Haydn in London in 1792 (and thereabouts), The Georgian

Gainsborough String Quartet. Their programme opens with on 64 No 5, ‘The Lark’, one of the quartets which was performed under the direction of Haydn in the Salomon concerts. Completing the first half is on 71 No 3 in E major. In common with the third work on the Gainsborough’s programme (0p 74 No 3, ‘The Hider’), it was written in Vienna in the following year, 1793. Composed specifically for public, rather than private, performance, both were played on Haydn’s second visit to London in the mid-1790s. Experts in the field of early classical repertoire, particularly the quartets of Haydn, The Gainsborough String Quartet play on authentic instruments from the period. (Carol Main)

The Gainsborough String Quartet perform Haydn In London at St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh on Sat 11.

Timeless grandeur

Stef and Storm are Babel. Behind the intrigue of the bare names lies the intrigue of the rich craft. The classicism of Cole Porter caught up in the weirdness of “Twin Peaks’. The shining of melody and the darkness of mood. Babel’s sound might be elucidated as jazzy pop, or maybe, at a push, poppy jazz. Whatever it is, it’s wondrous in the extreme and wholly at odds with most of what’s doing the rounds. There will come a time, though, when Babel will earn their critical spurs and spurn the encroachment of mindless bracketing, Of this, me and Stef are equally sure. ‘For a start, we don’t think in terms of lashionability, we’re just doing what we want to do. If you’re at all serious about what you do, you stick to it and don’t take notice of what other people think. We’re very hopeful that it will eventually win through.’

Such is the subtle, arousing magic of Babel’s thing that recent gigs have seen Stef and Storm «she of the honeyed tones—appear as a duo; the idea being that the minimalist sparsity of their songs is best discovered in the simplest of musical accompaniments. And, of course, the strictures of financial necessity being what they are, it’s relatively cheapo for two bods

38 The List 20 December 1991— 16 January 1992

and one acoustic guitar to gig. Luckily, though, this minimalism is entirely in keeping with that shadowy Babel mood and muse.

We felt that we could say things as a two-piece-that was how we started in the first place and the songs all equate to that sort of thing too. You find out a lot more about songs just from doing them this way. There’s definitely a strong crafting behind the songs, we’re at pains to put that in there.’

As much is evident on their latest demo, two sparkling tracks and one glowing vibe that fully live up to Babel’s illustrative motto: ‘Ageless, classless, timeless.’ (Craig McLean)

Babel play Fixx ll, Glasgow on Wed 8 and Glasgow School of Art on Thurs 9.

Rollin’ back the years

Bay City Rollers? Not Paul W. Hullah, for a start, and he took his tartan scarf and trews out of mothballs to chat to rockin’ Roller Eric Faulkner.

Tricky things. comebacks. The Rollers should know. Atop the UK singles chart for longer than they were absent from it in the mid-70s. the former tartan terrors of teenybop have seen fashions come and go

since, but have never seen their own post-Beach Boys shimmy-shimmy

resurrected to fashionable status.


Who could ever forget The