I lnvemess's Alex McCloud was the best man at Kurdt (Nirvana) Cobain‘s and Courtney (Hole) Love‘s nuptials in Honolulu last weekend. Over the last few months. Alex. brother ofJoyriders singer/guitarist Murdo. has been the man with the unenviable task of tour- managing Nirvana around the globe and was responsible for getting the band to play a low-key gig in a Clerk Street bar (among other minor miracles). Back in Blighty. The Joyriders are awaiting the return of their producer and engineer from the Nirvana tour before they can start work on their EP forthe Avalanche label.
I Sugar Bullet's Unrefined LP has finally seen the light ofday on vinyl. Initially, it fell prey to the now common practice of not automatically releasing every new record on vinyl. especially if it‘s by a young band with an unproven market. However. Unrefined seemed a rather questionable choice. considering that it's the sort of record that club DJs. who use vinyl virtually to the exclusion of all other formats, are likely to want to play. Pressure from retailers. apparently. persuaded Virgin that a vinyl release was worthwhile. But the latest idea doingthe rounds to prevent the mass suicide ofvinyl purists is that record companies could lease out the vinyl rights toa recording. allowing a specialist company — like Linn Records. for example — to press up limited collectors‘ editions on pristine high-quality vinyl with plastic inner sleeves. It's all a far cry from the 99p bin in Boots.
I The Scottish Chart on BBC Scotland is to be augmented by a monthly showcase for lesser-known but up-and-coming bands. The bands will be selected by the programme‘s producer Andrea Miller (a former inmate at I.le Towers) and director Louise Wardle. Says Ms Wardle: ‘There are so many excellent unsigned bands in Scotland that deserve more recognition than they‘re getting. We want the Scottish (Thur! sessions to showcase the energy and talent that's buzzing in Scotland. We can't guarantee success. but. as the only broadcasting organisation to cover the whole ol Scotland. we can promise that bands will reach a wider audience.‘Tapes. photos and biogs should Lbe sent to The Scottish
Far from grim
" .. ‘. . it it
A phenomenon of the last few years has been the rise in popularity of folk and folk-derived music, among the younger generation. Audiences are being attracted to concerts who would not normally poke their head into folk clubs, and more importantly there is a complementary interest in participation, by organising or going along to the burgeoning number of ceilidh dances, and by beginning to learn an instrument or some traditional songs.
The numbers which are happily swamplng the Adult Learning Project’s Edinburgh classes in traditional instruments, and the hundreds attending Newcastle's Folkworks weekends reveal that people are discovering the great depth of satisfaction in learning and performing on the traditional acoustic instruments,
and finding that the music is complex, absorbing, social and above all, fun. In contemporary Britain and Ireland, indeed Brittany, Spain, France, North America and further afield, local traditions are being re-adopted and adapted to the musical tastes of the moment. That can mean using a typical rock line-up of bass and drums with perhaps a keyboard behind the squeeze boxes, iiddles, pipes and whatever, a la Davey Spillane Band, Pogues or Oyster Band, or keeping the music amplified acoustic as in the group led by Kathryn Tickell, which winds up its British tour next week in Edinburgh. Now in her early twenties, Ms Tickell has been travelling the country, and major parts of the world, since turning professional at eighteen, expertly playing tunes on the fiddle and Northumbrian pipes and contributing an image of youthful glamour to confound the old folkie stereotypes. The last few years have seen her guesting with the Chieftains, but also recording with Sting. This enthusiasm forthe wider world of music is shared by her band, which comprises some of the very best younger players in Britain. Karen Tweed is a great accordion player whom you might remember playing with the all-women Poozies. Ian Carr is a superb guitarist, and with bassist Geoff Lincoln you have the line-up of a folk band for the 90s. (Norman Chalmers) The Kathryn Tickell Band plays St Brides Centre, Edinburgh on Sat 29.
um:- Jigsaw feeling
‘lf you'd seen Iggy in 1970 and you were trying to write an article about what he sounded like, to describe him to people who’d not heard the records, what would you say?’
That's your startertorten, posed by Max Décharné, soft-spoken smoothie and the individual responsible for all those rattling, tribalesque bursts of rhythm on Gallon Drunk records. Yes, he’s the drummer.
‘I mean, you could say there's lots of elements in there,“ he continues hesitantly. You could also say he produced pistol-packing, high-octane, riff-heavy, mutilated white man’s blues. It’s not that difficult a task, but the point here is that Max thinks Gallon Drunk defy accurate description in the same way that to really understand The Stooges’ sound you must experience its savagery first hand. Gallon Drunk harbour a more belligerent attitude than most to comparison-mongers.
‘ll all the press evertalk about is “Oh, they sound like a cross between this, this and this", it just makes it sound like you've got some sort of jigsaw puzzle; take these bits of rock'n’roll and stick them together and you've got a band. We’re still at the stage where a lot more people have read about us than have actually heard the music. We want people to listen rather than to read a load of relatively lazy
comparisons and think “I know what they sound like", before they’ve even heard us.’
That said, and with the music journalist's currency-the power of words-somewhat debased, it‘s still expedient to have a crack at some Gallon Drunk character pointers. Their be-quiffed and leather-clad image is some prior indication (‘but there’s no dress code. It’s not like Brian Epstein getting hold of The Beatles and dressing them up’) of their feral combination of primal rock’n'roll drumming, Iatin percussion, crashing piano breaks, fidgety guitar and James Johnston’s irascible howl.
0n the other hand, you could say: Gallon Drunk—there's lots of elements in there. (Fiona Shepherd)
Gallon Drunk play King Tut's Wah Wah llut, Glasgow on Fri 28 and Edinburgh College of Art on Sat 29.
Kenny Mathieson looks at the rise and rise of Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek.
Jan (iarbarek's status as both a major draw on the international jazz circuit. and the pre—eminent representative ol~ what we have come to hear as a distinctively European jazz sound. is now so well established as to require no repetition. The major vehicle for his music has long
26'l'he List 28 February— l2 March l992