MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
. i; David Baker oi Mercury Rev
Venue, Edinburgh, 29 March
The ﬁrst song sounds like Hawkwind. Hawkwind. I mean, when you’ve heard some pretty exciting records and rapturous reports of other gigs, and you’re expecting something sonically innovative that’s going to make the earth move, and the band come on stage and proceed to rewrite ‘Silver Machine’ , then you’re going to feel pretty stupid, let me tell you. And who’s the Big Guy with the straggly hair and red lumberjack shirt, who’s wandering into the audience and trying to make shadow puppets with the stage lights?
This hulking ﬁgure, it transpires, is the singer, who’s decided to sit the first song out (perhaps he doesn’t like it either). But then the band change tack and erupt into sheer paint-blistering turmoil and the whole stage-front turns into a swarm of maddened stage-divers.
But it’s during ‘Chasing A Bee’ that they reach their peak. Up the front, in a line, are two guitarists, a bassist, a ﬂautist (strange but true) and the Big Guy, squeezing out this momentous sound through (also strange, also true) one of the smaller PA stacks that has graced The Venue in a while. And this pizza’n‘six-pack kind of a chap has transformed into an unlikely rock god, slowly windrnilling his arms and wielding his mike stand as though he’s doing this in front of his bedroom mirror. Looks are exchanged, eyebrows raised, questions regarding his sanity are raised in a few minds, but we're all deeply impressed.
Mercury Rev indulge their progressive sprawling tendencies once more, to far better effect this time, and they‘re off. A couple of encores later
and both the stage-divers and the arms-folded brigade are equally blown. And the Big Guy’s on walkabout somewhere. (Alastair Mabbott)
CATHERINE WHEEL/ THE GOD MACHINE
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 4 April. It‘s a teasing paradox, these three hirsute Americans The God Machine stationed sullenly on the barely-lit stage, looking tor all the world like Soundgarden’s second cousins ready to hustle bone-crunching sleaze rock, and instead delivering a distinctly British brand ol ‘heaq’ music, the kind that comes in layers, the kind that Inspires comparisons with impressively proportioned edilices, the kind that has you waiting tor the band to drop that tell-tale Loop relerence point. At least, that's what The God Machine lead us to believe until ‘She Said’, when they kick ellortlessly into the Led-en grind ol the 70s resurrectionists.
tlow resident in Camden, The God Machine have siphoned the best guitar noises lrom both sides at the Atlantic and it‘s a mark at their strength that they master the oceanic leap without sounding lorced. Bands at this calibre shouldn’t have to waste their considerable talent on anything less than capacity crowds: at least those
lew in attendance tonight are openly vocilerous in their appreciation. Those Blur support slots last year have taken their toll on Catherine Wheel’s Bob Dickinson: the roll oi the eyes, the loll ol the head, the vacant expression - it’s Damon Albam
I i I i i l
Concerts listed are those at major venues, tor which tickets are on public sale at time oi going ot press.
masterclass-a-go-go! Or maybe it’s the . GLASGOW
alcohol, orthe vibes, or something. He's laring better than the ginger-topped guitarist, who decides that standing requires too much ellort and spends a portion ol the encore getting acquainted with the lloor. It's the last date at their slogathon tour, they slur, and more than the usual sepulchral majesty and interactive creativity have been llowing.
Still, Catherine Wheel sloshed is prelerable to Almost Anyone Else sober. Not only are you dowsed in
brimstone, but you get to ‘share a joke’ 1
with the band too. ‘This one sounds like My Bloody Valentine' —who said shoegazers were humourless lntroverts? This is partial vindicating sell-mockery, partial who-gives-a- toss-anyway, and Catherine Wheel have already escaped lrom their pigeonholing straitjacket. Bass player
still looks like a roadie, though. (Fiona ’ Shepherd)
PALE SAINTS/THE coo RADLEYS
Mayfair, Glasgow, 27 Mar.
The tour-headed Mogadon talent beast that is your shlmmying, snake-hipped Bollercoaster has succeeded no sweat in putting this more modest package very much in the shade. Are we downhearted? No, we are not. Wise alter the event, it seems obvious why tonight’s double-header had more at a chance at stimulating aesthetic juices, movement, gobblng, stagediving . . . anything. Well, maybe not gobbing and stagediving. The Maytair's never been top oi the rock atmospherlcs list, but next to the SECC, it’s the Marquee in its 60s heyday. So while the Rollercoaster protagonists probably played their talented little heads oil, the crowd shall never know, because they were standing in lootball pitch 4, and therelore atmospherlcally in a dillerent country.
And, by golly, is it nice to stand here, pint in hand, leel lrom the stage, and be able to make out Graeme Pale Saints’ T-shirt design, Ian’s been-dead-tor-ten-years countenance, and Meriel’s lip-chewing embarrassment at the complete shambles her band are currently
The Boo Iiadleys and Pale Saints perpetuating. Yes, the bassline is
druggy, the guitar kaleidoscopic, and 2 the keyboard retrain choppy and
intriguing, but they’re all meant to be played in time with each other! And it's all the drum machine's laultl Technology? Pahl
The minor hiccup appears to be what's needed to prod Pale Saints into gear-the usual unsullied loveliness ol ‘Thread ol Light' had sounded ﬂat and unlnvolving, but alter three test runs
9 (also known as ‘songs’) there are no
lurther gremlins in their cerebral bliss machine.
The Boo Badleys go tor another option. Their aliectlng guitar maelstrom connects immediately and doesn‘t appearto be letting up, until ‘Lazy Day’ has gleetully ripped the intestines out at its rivals like the Andrex puppy on an especially blithe gambol. Then they mysteriously initiate a ten-minute descent into grunge mire hell to end with, unravelling the orgasmic build at their set. Still, at least we could see the boredom on their laces while they did It. (Fiona Shepherd)
BARROWLAND (226 4679) Levellers, 1 May; Nick Cave, 6 May; PiL, 7 May;
‘ Carter,8—9May;MicheIIe 3 Shocked, 10 May;MrBig, ; 14 May;Buddy Guy,1
I I cuscow crmc PARK (2275511)Prince,28Jun;
Bryan Adams, 11 Jul. I GLASGOW CONCERT
; HALL(2275511)k.d.lang. ' 6 May; Donovan, 10 May;
Joan Armatrading, 9 June.
I GLASGOW GREEN (031 556 1212) Fleadh, 24 May. I GLASGOW PLAZA (031 557 6969) EMF, 27 Apr. I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Diana Ross, 10 Jun; Def Leppard, 21 Jun; Roxette, 18Jul; Cliff Richard, 29—31 Oct;Tom Jones, 2 Nov.
I LIVINGSTON FORUM
(5576969) The Beautiful
South. 21 Apr.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHDUSE
(5572590) Hawkwind, 1
May; Lyle Lovett, 14Jun;
Crowded House, 19Jun;
Erasure, 7 Jul; David Byrne, 21 Jul. I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S
' HALL(6682019)EMF,26 ’ ~ Apr; Hawkwind, 1 May;
l PaulBrady,6May; Michelle Shocked,9May;
Mary Black, 12 May;
: Donovan, 13 May.
’ IGLASGOW coucrnr
HALL (227 5511)The Fureys, 24 Apr; Capercaillie, 15 May; Syd Lawrence Orchestra, 22 May.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Ornette Coleman and Prime Time. 27 Apr; Allen Holdsworth, 2 May;
Tommy Smith Sextet, 8
May; Martin Taylor, 15
. May; Bheki Mseleku
Trio, 22 May; Ruby Braff, 29 May.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1 155) Katia Labeque and John
McLaughlin Trio, 20 Jun. I GLASGOW PLAZA (031
557 6969) Wolfetones, 3
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511)The Musicals, 3 May; Jesus Christ Superstar Concert, 1 4 May; Michael Ball, 25 May. I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Shirley Bassey, i 2 Dec. . I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) The Musicals, 24 Apr; Music of Lloyd-Webber, 13~15 Jul; James Last, 4—5 Sep.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1) Phoenix Choir, 28. 30 Apr; Boston Symphony Chamber Players, 8 May; Philharmonic of Novosibirsk, 23 May; RSO Scottish Proms, 12—13,16—2o,23—27Jun. I GLASGOW RSAAID (332
5057) Academy Choral
= Concert, 30 Apr; Paragon
Ensemble, 2 May; Greene Quartet, 3 May; Academy Baroque Concert, 6 May; Scaramuccia, 9 May; Hagen Quartet, 10 May; Hiromi Okada, 15 May; Elizabeth Anderson, 16 May; Balanescu Quartet, 17 May; Brodsky Quartet, 23 May. I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Evelyn
Glennie and Anna Steiger, 29 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER
: HALL (228 1 155) Verdi‘s
Requiem (ERCU), 9
l May; SCO/Rattle, 16Jun.
: SEASONS Programme
details and tickets for Royal Scottish Orchestra,
; Scottish Chamber
Orchestra, BBC Scottish
5 Symphony Orchestra, and
, City ofGlasgow Philharmonic Orchestra
. are available from
I Ticketcentre. Glasgow
‘ (227 551 1); Usher Hall,
Edinburgh (228 1 155);
- Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
. (668 2019). Tickets for
f Scottish Opera from
5 Theatre Royal, Glasgow
' (332 9000); Playhouse,
Edinburgh (557 2590).
32 The List 10- 23 April 1992