The Soup Dragons— the New Rollers?
succeeds. but it remains to be seen as to whether it attains the lofty status Dickson has earmarked for it.
‘With the last LP. ifsomeone had said “Oh. Lm'e God‘s an OK Ll)". I’d have said “Fine. that's your opinion". but if they said that about this one I‘d punch them in the face because we‘re a hundred times more pleased with it than we have been with anything previously. Tome it's the best record I‘ve heard this year and it will be the best record this year. That said. all we‘re really interested in is carrying on as a band with the music. not to try and get accolades because they only last for so long.’
The Soup Dragons release their new single Di vine Thing on 30 March and the album. Ham'irecl. follows on 2/ April.
It’s not every day that a band from Prestwick signs to a London label, especially if the band is one that nobody outside that label seems to have heard of. Not for Frontierthe normal process of building up a buzz, as singer John Higgins explains.
‘Aiter we’d written the lirst couple at songs together, we sent Phonogram a tape. We’d actually sent them to a few places, but Phonogram phoned back about a month later and Russ Conway came up to see us. It really was as simple as that. He came up and listened to us play one oi the songs that he liked and told us to keep writing and the three at us wrote for a year. He kept giving us pointers in the right directions, and eventually we received a letter in the post saying, Come down to London and we’ll give you a deal. Because Phonogram were the only label that had shown interest in the tapes we’d sent out, we decided to stick with them.’
From humble beginnings- Higgins joined his partners Brian Cunningham and Bud Greenwood alter reading an ad in his local paper, and they didn’t have a drummer until last year— Frontier lound themselves in the studio with American producer-legend Gary Katz, oi Steely Dan lame. Katz, and an
assortment of production luminaries,
John Higgins ol Frontier
worked with them, insists Higgins, because ‘they liked the songs’, and the band had enough contidence in themselves and their material not to feel overawed. Thirty at their own songs (and commendably original choices of Todd Hundgren and Graham Parker covers) were whittled down to ten for their eponymous album which is released in May.
Until then, they’ll have to be judged on ‘Lonely Heart’, lour-and-a-hali minutes of Higgins’ silky vocals and soothing AOH production -on a radio near you soon. (Alastair Mahbott) Frontier play The Apollo, Glasgow on Tue 31.
um:- Sing your life ’
Those who demand little trom music shall reap theirjust reward—a chart lull oi cheesy, pogoing nonentities content to harness energy and then use it to say nothing of any consequence. Guitars or technology, The Senseless Things or Altern 8, the principle‘s the same-you buythe records, you put them up there. That’s line; Iile’s hard enough without a musical commentary to supplement its vagaries, and sometimes a vacuous adrenalin rush is the perfect prescription, but it that's all you crave from a night out, then chances are your lirst encounter with PJ Harvey will be an uncomlortable one. i The first live lines of their most recent
single ‘Sheela-Na-Gig’ pack a bigger punch than the collected ieminist soapbox rantings at his Courtney Love. Imagine, another Anne Nightingale Request Show, the Soft Cell oldie has come and gone, U2 are up next, but what’s this? “Look at these my child-bearing hips/Look at these my ruby red ruby lips’ hotly pursued by a clanking, bluesy rill to sell your mother for and a female (but not ieminist) statement at intent couched in the bluntest of terms: ‘Gonna wash that man right outta my hair/Gonna take my hips to a man who cares'.
And it that’s not upfront enough, try the sleeve at their debut album ‘Dry’ — said ‘ruby red lips’ chapped and blotchy, imperfections magnilied. Maybe this does nothing to you, but it makes me squirm in recognition. A 1 woman knowingly exposed. 3
Yet Polly Harvey, theirlriendly f singer/guitarist, already leeling the l strain trom sklploads of premature hyperbolic acclaim, thinks her stance is no big deal. ‘I don't want people to I leel uncomlortable. I’m just laughing i at men and women and how silly we I are. It might seem exaggerated to other 3 people but it is the biggest thing in the 3 world to me because that's what happens in my head, that's my lite.’
And this is not a rehearsal. Prepare to go into headspin. (Fiona Shepherd)
PJ Harvey play King Tut’s Wah‘Wah ' Hut, Glasgow on Mon 6. l
I More openings forthc keen young band: the Garbage And Money club. whose eclectic playlist embraces everything from The Beatles to Nine Inch Nails. taking in Lard and Linton Kwesi Johnson on route. are looking for bands to play at their shindigs.
Demos should go to Garbage And Honey. Cz'o . The Subway. 69 Cowgate.
. I The bushes in Maryhill ' are bristling with video cameras at the moment.
We told you two issues
ago about BBC Seotland‘s ' search for young Scottish bands to feature in a series of monthly Scottish Char! showcases. Well. the first band to be selected is that Edinburgh/Barcelona association Better Ways. whose clip — filmed in a boxing ring in Maryhill— will be shown on Fri 3. Also. ‘indie funk rock’-types Auntie Rose will be shooting a video for their debut single (available in May) at Maryhill Arts Centre. 24 Gairbraid Avenue. Glasgow at 2.30pm on Sat 28. In return for shimmying enthusiastically through several takes of the single. the audience will be treated to a live set as well. You have to be over
fifteen to get in and numbers are restricted to the first 200 through the door. The 50p door charge goes towards the Arts Centre in recognition of its community work.
Stuart Hisbet I What do these bands do when they‘re not playing for pennies in some grotty dive or watching them tick away in a state-of-the-art studio complex? In the case of Stuart Nisbet (Edinburgh-based guitarist who‘s played for The Proclaimers. China Crisis. The Liberties and everyone else on the planet). Carol Laula (one of Glasgow‘s finest vocalists) and Ron Shaw (from the phenomenal Cauld Blast Orchestra). it‘s playing in the pit at the Royal Lyceum’s new production. Merlin. which runs from Fri 3—Sat 18. From the descriptions we've heard. the play could be a bit off-the-wall for some tastes. but there shouldn‘t be any complaints about the musical accompaniment. See Theatre.
The List 27 March — 9 1992 25