MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
THE NATU RALS
Hipster Club. Edinburgh. 7 Feb. I came to Scotland ten
years ago. to escape a small Northern town that steadfastly pretended that punk had never happened. A decade on. I‘m in a club full oflank locks and denims. ‘Born To Be Wild' and ’Maggie May' groaning through the airwaves. and young girls in 7(ls slacksare frugging recklessly. Pathetically. it reminds me of home.
‘What‘s that'." says head Natural Jeremy Thom — a man with wine-red trousers and the voice of Neil Tennant — two numbers into an already tiresome set. 'I said you're a tosser.’ ventures a moribund youth in Texaco top and ﬂares from the uniformly static mass inhabiting the danceﬂoor. ‘Fuck off.‘ replies Thom. drily. Mock not. dear reader. for were it not for this fascinating stage banter. there would be little else to report. The llipster crowd are hostile. but they have good reason. The Naturals' brand of reinvented ()(JS pansy-pop is out ofplace and. at times. out oftune tonight. Eight of them on stage. but the overall effect is ofa fragmented lacuna. chances lost by way of over-analytic approach to form. ‘Lavinia‘ is jaunty. spritely even. but not much else engages this evening. It‘s proficient. but unaffecting; a guitarist from the Thanes and keyboards courtesy of an ex-Desperado cannot help. Eight uncomfortable looking candidates on a dimly lit stage; 80 uncomfortable watchers. watching something die here.
‘l’ve got a better hand holding up my hair.‘ declares a swarthy gent from the much disgruntled audience. And The Naturals lurch into another organ-pumped 60$ retread. all ‘nice‘ vocals and winsome sentiments. They used to be effectively involved in re-modelling the Beach Boys‘ lost Smile album. and they won friends because of that. Now. tonight at least. they are just another competent
Scottish band with red guitars and a big guest list. but no heart. Wholly unnatural. they’ll probably do well. (Paul W. Hullah)
V LIVE MANIC STREET PREACHERS
Music Box, Edinburgh, 6 Feb. Guitars slung low at uniform crotch level, a shield shielding the Manic
Street Preachers real (sexual) identity.
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal ten years on? The New Wave Of Gnarly Punk Rock 15 years on? The New Wave of Mascara-d Glam Rock 20 years on?
Whichever specific era's icons they’re
trawling up in their capacious drift-nets, the Preachers give no quarterto shirkers, leave no room for doubters. Extremes of reaction are mandatory.
So we gape. ‘Love’s Sweet Exile’,
; their best chant-along Very Metal
anthem, rips along, raw nerves dipped
in salt, whole bodies dipped into the craaazy excesses of their own rock’n’roll quicksilver flash illusions and delusions. ‘You Love Us’, they assure us and we sure as hell can’t ignore them.
But then fheytalk in the most fey of Welsh accents, confusing the image. They rock, though, and with the
snarliest of barks. A voice tattooed and
“I 1" T «v‘ T
stubbly, wearing shades, tearing strips off the non-rocking, anti-theatricality desert all around. In contrast and speaking relatively, the Preachers are noisy brats with white spirit shoved up their behinds.
The odd flash of DM boots career through the air. The odd bit of scissor-kicking from guitarist Richey. The odd stare of open-mouthed vacancy from Nicky the bassist. The odd cocky roar that says ‘it’s so fucking easy’. Not the odd couple, the odd quartet. All this told of Attitood, instilled Attitood in those stagefront, demanded Attitood of those stageback. Kicking against the pricks and all that.
With ‘Motown Junk’ a we’ve-done-it grin escapes those curled lips. Rock’n’roll reprobates all, shit-kickers, butt-rockers, junkers and debunkers and corporate rock whores.
And that’s it, 40 minutes long, gig over, twenty past nine, out on the streets. No encore, no comeback, N0 FUTURE. As someone once said. (Craig McLean)
V LIVE LA TRAVIATA
I _‘ 'l Ins/- .
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 6 Feb. Champagne corks fly, rich colours and fabrics are worn with style and flair, there is dancing, feasting and drinking . . . in general, love is in the air. Scottish Opera’s revival of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata' opens with a suitably frothy lrivolify, all of which soon brings the hero and heroine together in what ought to be a perfect relationship. But, then again, this is opera, so nothing is straightforward.
MarekTorzewski makes a handsome and impressive Alfredo, although his
singing does not seem to match up to the fervour of his acting. Anne Williams-King, after a shaky start, soon rises to the challenge, urging one fan to comment, ’She’s got me all over the floor’, whatever that means.
In Act II, the production suddenly becomes more moving as the characters have to deal with the agony of indecision. Giorgio, Allredo‘s lather (Jason Howard) begs Violetta to give up his son, and a despairing Violetta agrees to his wishes. The lrivolities of the first act have disappeared, and the serene set and gentler colouring lend themselves to the seriousness of the situation. This is perhaps the most moving part of this production-a woman in despair is comforted by the man who brought despair upon her. Here, the singers milked the music for all it was worth. The result was an unforced and very beautiful sound.
In the final act, one expects to reach forthe tissues, but somehow, this is not necessary. Violetta’s ill-health catches up with her, and there is a great deal of operatic heartache going on, possibly to excess in Violetta‘s death-throes. Director Katherine Twaddle had provided a polished show, but somehow it lacked imagination. However, strong performances make this a production not to be missed. (Jane Robinson)
V BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at maiorvenues. for which tickets are on public sale at time of going olpress.
IGLASGOW BARROWLAND (23» 4079) Red Hot Chilli Peppers. lflMar: Ride. 12 Mar; Love Hate. l4 .‘vlar'.Stiff Little Fingers. 17 Mar: Charlatans. 5 Apr; Levellers. 1 May: Carter.
I GLASGOW CELTIC PARK (227 551 l ) Prince. 2SJun; Bryan Adams. 1 1 Jul.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(227 551 l ) Frankie Valli. S Mar; Don Williams. 12 Mar: Jethro
Tull. lSMarzlisa Stansfield. 21) Mar; Drum
Beat. 3 Apr. I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 18-16) Crowded
I Iotise. 2‘) Feb: Cowboy
Junkies. 3 Mar: Philadelphia ll. 21 Mar: Rickie Lee Jones. 22 Mar: (iary Numan. 27 Mar.
I GLASGOW SECCI557
69W) liric Clapton. 3
i Mar; Wet Wet Wet. 13
Mar; Tom Petty. 15 Mar;
Rollcrcoaster. 25 Mar; Rush. 15 Apr; Diana
Ross. lllJun; Roxette. 18 Jul; Cliff Richard. 29-31 Oct : Tom Jones. 2 Nov.
I I LIVINGSTON FORUM
(557 (1969) The Beautiful South. 21 Apr.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 259(1) Barry White. 7
Jethro'l'ull.17Mar: lirasurc. 3---5 Jul.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(2275511) l)ubliners. 17 Mar: Danish Radio Big Band.
22 Mar; Chick Corea
[ilektric Band. 26 Mar: Foster & Allen. 31) Mar: Sonny Rollins. 21 Apr.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S
HALL (has 2019) Courtney Pine. 28 I-‘eb; Carol Kidd. (T Mar: John llarle Big Band. 13Maerulian Joseph. 15 Mar; Dubliners. 18 Mar: Danish Radio Big Band. 2(1Mar: ()rnette Coleman 6'; Prime Time. 27 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(2281155)Jan Garbarek Group. 3 Mar; Dizzy Gillespie Bebop Band. 1‘) Mar: Katia Labeque 8; John McLaughlin Trio. 2(1Jun.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALLI227 551 l )The Musicals. 3 May: Jesus Christ Superstar Concert. 4 May.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 25911) James Last. 4-5 Sep.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(227 55l l ) Moscow State Symphony. 2 3 Mar; Philharmonia. 23 Mar; Midori. 2‘) Mar; ()pcra (iala. 5 Apr.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 51157) Scottish linsemble. 2S lieb: Jonathan Plovvriglit. 1 Mar: (ilasgovv C(). S .\lar;John
’ Lill. 12 Mar; Ralph
Markham & Kenneth Broadway . 211 Mar; Academy C(). 26 Mar: Junior ()rch. 2‘) Mar: Scottish linsemble. 1“ Apr: SC() Brass. 11 Apr. I GLASGOW SECC(557 (Noll) Pavarotti. 4 Mar. I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (ooS 21119) Scottish linscmblc. 1 Mar: Brindisi String Quartet. loMar:
; ()rkest dc Volliarding. 25 ; Mar: Alfred Brendel. 11 f Apr; Scottish linscmble.
Anna Steiger. 2‘) A )r.
I EDINBURGH USHER
HALL (228 1 155) Verdi's Requiem (ERCU). ‘) May: SCO Rattle. loJun. I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for Royal Scottish ()rchestra. Scottish Chamber ()rchestra. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. and City of(ilasgow Philharmonic Orchestra are available from 'l‘icketcentre. (ilasgovv (227 551 l )1 Lisherllall. Lidinburgh(2281155); Queen's llall. Edinburgh ((368 2(ll‘)). Tickets for Scottish Opera from
Theatre Royal. Glasgow
(332 9110(1); Playhouse. Edinburgh (557 259(1).
The Jesus And Mary Chain
34 The List 14— 27 February 1992