I The annual ﬁre festival, Beltane Fire is taking place again this year, on the night of 30 April/1 May on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, and the organisers have put out the usual call for drummers and production people. Intensive rehearsals begin on Fri 21. Anyone who wants to get involved should call Annette Greenﬁeld on 031 6696185. The event will be larger than ever before, with pipe bands coming over from Glasgow and a wider range of attractions atop the hill, but the main difference this year is that on Sat h May there will be a fund-raising rave (though they don’t like the connotations of the word) at a secret location. ‘The great Beltane drumming will be mixed with the latest dance beats while the Fire Festival’s mythical ﬁgures parade all night.‘ Baochanalia, or what?
I We hear whispers that a one-day, indie-orientated music festival, to take place somewhere in the Gourock vicinity, is being planned for the summer. Hopefully, there will be more news, if not full confirmation, next issue.
I Radio Scotland? 3o-part series Scotland ’5 Music reaches the era of rock‘n’roll on Sun 12 in a programme entitled ‘Stalking The Beat’ in homage to that fondly-remembered 6os Scottish group The Beatstalkers. in 90 minutes, it races through the 605 to the heavy 705 (with portions of an interview with the late Alex Harvey), Dundee’s funk scene, punk and Postcard to the present
day, with unreleased Jerry
Burns material giving a hint of the future. There’s even a reminder of The Poets, that great lost band to which The Ma jestics owed so much.
IMaanwhils, Radio Clyde's Kelvingrove Festival, which for twelve years in the 70s and 803 was a popular showcase for local bands, is to retum, for this year at least. no date is Sun 31 May, and the only band confirmed so far is The Colour Wheel.
I Julian Lennon's new single is called ‘Get A Life’. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Anyway, he’s playing a live set and signing copies of that and his album, Help Yourself, at HMV, Argyle Street, Glasgow at rpm on Tue [4.
' Art? Noise? Tor
41;. S '1
Getthls. ‘Flrst at all, we’re a terrorist group and not a rock’n’roli band at all, but we’ve chosen music as our medium because it's the only thing kids care about. We’re sell-constructed, like Frankenstein monsters, so everything we are and do is on purpose. Our revolution aims to undermine the basic assumptions oi everyday lile, like timezone.‘
That excerpt oi irothing polemic comes straight- no editing, no tidying oi quotes - from the teeming brain oi lan Svenonius, singer/trumpeter with Washington DC's llatlon 0i Ulysses, who recently released an LP, ‘13-Polnl Programme To Destroy America’, oi disturbed punky thrash, which they prelerto term ‘soul’ and ‘iazz’. And that's about all I can tell you that they can’t say better themselves. Back to you, Ian . . .
‘We’re trying to create a new
language outside the realm oi speech, so we don’t really claim lyrics as very important. We intimate a lot more with our actions and the way we dress - ideology coated in symbols. And we have new instruments called the Exploder, the Crackler, the Sguealer, the Grumbler and the Roarer. They resemble the old instuments ol rock’n’roll but you can’t use the old tools to deconstruct the old order. We're trying to destroy rock’n'roll altogether because we ieel it’s a monolith oi lalse ideology which is stymlelng youth revolution in every lorrn.
‘iiecord, album, all those terms imply history and we’re all about the zero generation, so we use the term "weapon". Our record is like a zip-gun and we’re prolileratlng it to all the kids. We’re trying to get kids in their lonnative years like Kiss did, because we feel the pubescent mind is most subject to ideological shaping.
‘We’re not interested in having a programme like Marx or Mao which becomes some scripture. We're interested in constant change and as soon as we become obsolete we invite the children to come bury us with our obsolescence.’ (Fiona Shepherd) ilatlon oi Ulysses play the Apollo, Glasgow on Sun 19.
Singer Marian Montgomery began her proiessional career as a ieatured singer on a local television station in Atlanta, Georgia while still a teenager, but her international reputation was made lrom a home base in London. It all began when she arrived there to play a club date at the long-gone Cool Elephant Club with the John Dankworih Band in 1965, and ended up marrying pianist Laurie Holloway.
Holloway and his trio will accompany the singer lor a short Scottish tour which will take in two dates in Glasgow and another in Aberdeen. it follows her highly successlul visit last year, shortly alter a long collaboration with pianist, singer (and distinguished classical composer) Richard Rodneyliennett had come to an amicable end.
‘I had been singing in that duo with Richard lor lilteen years, and i really enjoyed working with him. lie knows a million songs, and I love the way he sings, but we reached the point where we both lelt he needed to get out on his own, and I realised that i had allowed my career to drill into a paltem ol only working with Richard, which was very successiul, but not what i needed at :his time. So we decided to call it a
Montgomery’s sophisticated jazz- lnto-malnstream style has won her a large and enthusiastic iollowing. She had no ionnal vocal training, but learned her crait working with ian musicians on both sides oi the Atlantic. She tries, however, to remain open to other inlluences, and has a straightlorward attitude to the question
E 5 s
at whether she is a jazz singer or not. ‘iloney,’ she says, proving that llle in Berkshire has not yet eradicated her Mississippi roots, ‘you can call me whatever you like. Sometimes i even answerto “Hey, you”.’ To me, though, lam just a singer. Period.’ (Kenny Mathleson) Marian Montgomery plays Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Tue 14 and Wed 15.
Mouth to Mouth
Martin Swan oi Mouth Music You may never have heard of Mouth Music but virtually everyone will be familiar with the music of the band’s leader, Martin Swan. Think of the TV ad for Drambuie with Robert Hardy or Tennents Lager (the Japanese one) or even the most recent Dunfermline Building Society ad. Swan is the common factor, supplying the soundtrack for each. The snatches of music that combine elements of folk and modern technology, however, should not be taken, he insists, as being typical of Mouth Music’s recordings.
‘For one thing, the ads are work that I do separately from Mouth Music. There isn’t a connection, except the kind of stylistic one. There are people at gigs who say they heard, particularly, the Drambuie advert and they actually phoned up Drambuie to ask who did it and then found out about Mouth Music.’
Given the importance of folk music and, in particular, Gaelic music to the band’s sound, it seems inevitable that the band would be viewed suspiciously by the traditional folk community for their eclectism and embrace of technology. However, this is not a matter that unduly troubles Swan.
‘Put it this way,’ he argues, ‘We might offend traditionalists, but it’s not a worry. That’s their lookout, really. Music’s a completely open book, people can do what they want, you’re not encroaching on anybody else’s territory, i think it’s ridiculous to be competitive about these things. It’s not that what we’re doing is in any way irreverent to anything the traditionalist might be concerned about.’
The band have recently recruited a couple of new singers, Jacquie Quinn and Michaela Rowan, and the forthcoming shows will be the last chance to catch the band’s more hard-edged live sound before they go into the studio to record their second album for Triple Earth Records. (James Haliburton)
Mouth Music play The Venue, Edinburgh on Wed I 5.
28 The List 10— 23 April 1992