I The long saga of Pixies‘ aborted SECC gig last June seems at last to have come to a conclusion. The Concert Promoters Association has met with representatives of both the promoter Dance Factory and the SECC— both of which have denied liability for reimbursing disappointed fans— and has issued the following statement: ‘lt has been agreed by all parties that. although there is no legal obligation to do so, from a moral point ofview, holders of tickets to the concert should be compensated for the fact that the Pixies set did not take place in full; the other three bands on the bill did. of course, complete their sets. ‘Aceordingly. as a gesture of goodwill. a cheque to the value of£5 will be sent to each person who has already submitted a valid concert ticket to Dance Factory and to each person who. on or before 18 May 1992. submits a valid concert ticket to the SECC. Glasgow G3 8YW.‘ I Ayear after Kirkcaldy Town Council decided plans had to be made to combat ﬂyposting. three bands are playing a gig in an attempt to raise the money to carry them out. The council were persuaded by local musician Dave Arcari that only lockable Perspex-fronted sites would prevent posters being stuck up all over town. With the appointment of one Ian Dumper in the new postof Town Centre Manager three months ago, work went ahead to construct the ﬁrst of up to twenty of these notice boards. Some are in place already. and a couple have been sponsored. but the Council‘s budget is insufficient to build the number originally planned. Arcari hopes that the gig. on Sat 16.by his band Summerfield Blues. The Receiving End and Hurricane Day. will go some of the way to raising the required amount. Sadly. he admits that, as effective asthe Perspex notice board idea may be in towns the size of Kirkcaldy. different methods would be needed for large, busy cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow.
l I i
Something old, something new
Melanie O’Rellly gave up a career in nursing for the rather more precarious one of jazz singer and occasional actress, but finds herself facing a familiar problem. The Dublin-born singer has begun to outgrow the Scottish jazz scene, but has not yet been able to claim a regular slot on the more lucrative major club and concert circuit.
Melanie's excellent Watch What Happens quintet threatened to be a force a couple of years ago, but ground
to a halt after a less than lucrative Irish tour at the end oi199tl. ‘I felt quite burned out alter the tour, and I lost a fair amount of money on it, so I took a couple oi months off and had a think about how to proceed from there.’
Her Queen's Hall concert will feature its successor, a trio with pianist Brian Kellock. It is at least a welcome step out of the pub circuit, and should provide a good platform for her steadily maturing voice and sense of phrasing.
‘I guess my fundamental thing is to bring together the 403 and the 90s. I love the standard repertoire, but I don’t want to get stuck in just that old style. That meeting would be achieved mainly through the arrangements, and that is equally true whether it is a trio or a quintet or a big band.‘
The singer has also been working with Cornish song-writer Neil Angilley on more pop-influenced material (‘I love harmonising with my own voice by double-tracking and so on, and I don’t heartoo much of that going on in the pop charts these days’), and with London-based arranger Richard Niles on a big band project, but its prohibitive expense means that we are unlikely to hear it live for the time being. (Kenny Mathieson)
Melanie O'Reilly and HerTrio are at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Fri 15.
It’s the perennial Kitchens 0f Distinction conundrum, cropping up every season or so when the group release a new record: how do songs which course with huge washes of graceful, astral guitar support lyrics which are so angry, frustrated or, at the very least, questioning?
Singer and lyricist Patrick puts the approach into context like this: ‘lf you look back at stuff that Ewan McColl was doing - he was doing fairly gentle music and it was incredibly aggressive lyrically. it’s more in that line of thought, where you would do ballads in the 50s and 60s that were just really vicious attacks on society. I don’t mind being honest and laying it all out there.’
The band’s new single, ‘Breathing Fear', is their first in over a year, and no surprise to Kltchens’ devotees (although the B-sides, two instrumental surges of new age guitar may well be). Nevertheless, the familiarity of their sky-rocketing sound can't blunt the potency of the subject matter; it’s a plea for clemency from those who have to live with prejudice as their perpetual bedfeliow.
‘lt’s the idea of not being able to live in a free state,’ explains Patrick bluntly. “If you're under fear of attack all the time, then it becomes like breathing. You’re fearful all the time as you take every breath, so it becomes a
sing. ',..-.' ~a ’
Kitchens of Distinction
constant pressure to live under, and i think that’s really been increased in the last two years under this government. It’s time to fight ioryour right, not live in iear.’
Here, Patrick’s crusading fervour is fuelled specifically by the hostility he has endured as a homosexual, but there’s food for thought for everyone. ‘We get letters from abroad, from Spain and Sweden and Japan, and they all say how heavily they identify with a certain lyric, and it’s got nothing to do with anything I’ve written about!’
Which presumably prevents you from getting too precious about your material. Patrick agrees. ‘We’re putting the “arse” back into catharsis.‘ (Fiona Shepherd)
Kitchens Of Distinction play King Tut’s, Glasgow on Wed 13.
girls, g girls
After years of hearing his songs covered by artists as f diverse as The Everly Brothers and Bonnie Tyler, Frankie Miller revived his career by doing a session job on somebody else’s music. Ellie Buchanan talks to the man who sang Scotland’s other national anthem.
They warned me about Frankie Miller. Shaking their heads and tutting. they mentioned long pauses and one-word answers to carefully set-up questions. Added to this, alongside universal drooling over the unique ground-glass. tortured-soul blues voice, were tales of drunkenness and confusion — most of them quite old. admittedly— plus the more recent story that he’d only sung the. lager ad (you know the one: London Transport. briefcase in skip, pint in Biancos, Polaroid) for the rnoney.
True. he confirms in a perfectly normal conversational manner, originally it had been just a job. He’d been genuinely astonished when requests flooded in for him to record ‘Caledonia’ as a proper single. The ensuing saga. we’re assured, was nothing but a spot ofdodgy weather in a media teacup.
Basically, despite the single’s chart success in Scotland and an initially promising response to Simon Mayo placing it as the Breakfast Show’s Record ofthe Week, ‘Caledonia’ failed to make either the Radio One playlist or the UK Top 40.
Yes, the lyrics were checked for political content in line with the BBC’s policy not to broadcast ‘party political‘ material during an election campaign, no, the single was not banned by the Beeb (well, ifyou believe everything you read in certain tabloids it serves you right) — and though not getting anything approaching five daytime plays it did continue to be aired sporadically.
‘I look on it as a political song,’ admits Frankie. ‘But somebody told me that Dougie MacLean. who wrote it, said it was a love song. Either way. it’s very sincere, and the lyrics certainly reﬂect my feelings. Very much so. But as for Radio One, whether it be political or whether they just didn’t think it was good enough. I just don’t care. You know, there’s no point in going into that.’
So we don’t. Instead, Frankie
36 The List 8— 21 May 1992