IUSIG LIVE REVIEWS
Edinburgh Music Box, 19 April.
A formidable schoolgirl contingent is in painful effect here tonight. all dangling cameras. giggly hip movements and Ieft-to-right head bobs. Centre of attention is the support band, Edinburgh’s own Two Weeks In June.
These four lads deserve more. because they aren't bad at all. They belt out some cracking songs, the best of which combine an infectious, versatile bass with nice shifts of pace and melody. Every song is delivered with an energy beyond that required, given that their sisters. grannies and second- cousins-thrice-removed in the audience guarantee a rapturous reception.
The Hoovers eventually amble in the general direction of the stage, and surprise several watchers. Rather than the hip gurus who were expected, these boys are straight out of the Liverpool J obClub, sporting apathetic beards and a relaxed approach to music performance. And catch this: they’ve got Ringo Starr playing for them! OK, he has changed his name and taken up semi-acoustic guitar, but it’s him nevertheless. ‘Tennent's Live?‘ he complains, ‘There weren‘t no lager backstage.‘
They do. in due course, open with current single ‘Jealous‘. and maintain a laid-back delivery of cascading guitars and three-part vocal harmony, subtle to the point of invisibility. An amiable groove is created, which persists, likeable despite (or maybe because of) the way it‘s shrugged off.
Although there is consistent polite applause. people gradually draw back from the stage in an unconscious gesture of rejection. The trouble is that such a casual performance, although not sloppy, doesn‘t land well on ticket-buying punters. Some anger, pain, passion or romance is needed to provide that ‘money‘s-worth' spark, and all are conspicuously absent. Playing ‘Jealous’ again as an unlocked-for encore didn’t really help. either.
The Hoovers are worth a look for that ‘easy afternoon‘ vibe. but success may well elude them unless they gain an obvious interest in their
audience. Worra Bitch. huh? (Gavin Inglis)
Calton Studios, Edinburgh, 13 April One glance at the posters tor the tour and the axe-mungous single, and you get a fair Idea where L7 are coming from. Not only that, but thelr(literally) in-your-iace and cunning take on cunnilingus tells us where they're head(ed) lor. Metai’s stock Imagery is up ior grabs as rock's Iree-Ior-aii earthquake continues to ripple out irom its Seattle epicentre, and with their lull-on klllcore excess, L7 are quite simply tougherthan the rest.
So the, ahem, ‘pop sensibllities‘ ol theirthird album, ‘Bricks Are Heavy', are left lor dead tonight. tlo quarter Is given to pussy-looting around, as It to shut out lightweight comparisons with any Iumpen, thick-necked, iame-brained, cock-rocked boys' band. The barrage oI noise is relentless, as impressive a sound as the industrial vacuum oi Calton Studios has ever suiiered. And sheee-It, ourtemples are held in a vice-like grip as the inlemal dynamics- ripped harmonies, power choruses -that give ‘Pretend We're Dead’ and Its peers their adrenalised thrills are buried within a barrage oi macho (yeah, macho) rock-outs. No
' deviations. No contours. tloiootholds.
A sheer, thick wall oi heavy metal as bruised out by any Midlands NWOBHM band. Only when you consider their spikey lyrical barbs, like on the shopping list oi rejection that Is
‘Shit-Llsl', can some new angle on metal's usual ground-rules be perceived. . Predictably, the single gets the biggest cheer, betraying as It does some dextrous quirks to distract us irom the boiling stew oI beely ritts and grislley lyrics that hitherto and thereaiter abound. This is, oi course, L7's only meat-and-two-veg, and was
more than enough to sallst the human
irogs leaping on and oil the stage
throughout. But you wonder: ii L7 were
all male and came Irom Birmingham,
would anyone give a ilying one? (Craig
. v LIVE
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 16Aprll.
Stardate 1992: In the wake oi Nirvana's ravishing onslaught, a nation tentatively draws a new breed oi chart contender to its bosom -the altemalive pop band. Cue, a mass coming-oI-age
. party. A glut of unashamed slaves to
the tour grind who use exuberance! pogoingi luni as a smokescreen to mask their lack oi singularity, and then expect to sell some records oil the back oi It because they've ‘paId their dues’. Creative Iobotomies the lot olthem, but undeniably capable oI bringing a smile to your lace. The Sandkings are part oi this-they’ve played Tut’s more than any othertourlng band and alterten minutes ol their vacuous rabble-rousing, boy does It tool like overkill.
it didn’t have to be like this. ‘Temple Redneck', first oil the blocks, is a tenlold Improvement on its vinyl counterpart. The nauseating cheeriness (this Is a song about religious Intolerance, tor goodness’ sake) has been tamed, and substituted by a grubbier, looser bass swing. (Could this be grunge Iunk? Ugh, wipe the horrendous possibilities irom your conscience.) And Jaz Man, previous contender lor most irritating periormer in Christendom Is less the prima donna, more the spoilt brat these days, emitting that reedy whine and tugging his spiral locks, like Siobhan Fahey ii she'd been weaned on Shirley Temple instead oi Greta Garbo. On balance, It's marginally more bearable.
No, what really grates Is the way The Sandkings make such blatant steals - appropriating nursery rhyme lyrics In ‘Bug In Bug Out', tilting the groovy rhythmic bit irom ‘I Am The Resurrection’ on ‘Let It Grow', and illching the whole oi ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ tor their encore. Oh sorry, that was a cover version. It only they weren’t so good at having other people's Ideas.
When Musical Justice is enacted, and all the medlocritles are rounded up Ior sacriilce, will The Sandkings be the ones to escape irom the told? Or will they grin and hop about with the best oi them? So many questions, so . . . who cares? (Fiona Shepherd)
malorvenues, tor which tickets are on public sale at time oi going to press.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Carter, 8—9 May; Michelle Shocked, 10 May; Mr Big, 14 May; Buddy Guy.
I GLASGOW CELTIC PARK (227 5511) Prince, 281un; Bryan Adams. 1 1 Jul.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Donovan. 10 May; Joan Armatrading. 9 June;
; Four Tops, 14 Sept.
I GLASGOW GREEN (031
I 556 1212) Fleadh, 24 May. I I GLASGOW SECC (031
557 6969) Kiss, 16 May; Diana Ross. 10Jun; Roxette, 18 Jul; Def Leppard, 21 Jun; Cliff ‘ Richard, 29—31 Oct; Tom , Jones,2Nov. I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE y (557 2590) Lyle Lovett, 14 5 Jun; Crowded House, 19 | Jun; Erasure, 7 Jul; David I Byrne,21Jul. ' I someone" nurses
Concerts listed are thoseat ; Jun.
May; Katia Labeque & John McLaughlin Trio, 20
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Michael Ball, 25 May.
I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Shirley Bassey, 2 Dec.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Music of Andrew Lloyd-Webber.
I 13—15 Jul; James Last.4—5 :SepL
I GLASGOW CONCERT
HALL (227 551 1) Boston
f Symphony Chamber
Philharmonic of Novosibirsk. 23 May; RSO Scottish Proms. 12-13.16—20.23—27Jun. I GLASGOW RSAIAD (332 5057) Scaramuccia. 9 May; Hagen Quartet. 10 May; Hiromi Okada. 15 May; Elizabeth
Anderson. 16 May; Balanescu Quartet. 17
May; Brodsky Quartet, 23
I May. I I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Verdi's
g HALL(6682019)Michelle RequicmmRCUyg
' Shocked, 9May; Mary
I Black, 12 May; Donovan, 13 May; Frankie Miller,
; 27 May.
3 I EDINBURGH USHER
: HALL (2281155)Barbara Dickson,27Jun.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Capercaillie, 15 May; Syd Lawrence Orchestra. 22
' I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S
, HALL (668 2019)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)
Capercaillic. 13 May; Syd
Lawrence Orchestra, 23
May;RSO Scottish Proms. 22—23. 28.. 30 May. | 5—6.Iun;SCO/Rattlc. 16
details and tickets for
i Royal Scottish Orchestra,
; Orchestra. BBC Scottish
Symphony Orchestra. and City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra are available from Ticketcentre. Glasgow (227 551 1); Usher Hall. Edinburgh (228 1 155); Queen’s Hall. Edinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish Opera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); Playhouse. Edinburgh (557 2590).
36 The List 24 April — 7 May 1992