IUSIO LIVE REVIEWS
PlL/LIVE Barrowland, Glasgow, 7 May. Artiﬁce And How To Avoid It: Lesson One— never wear your baseball cap backwards. Dead giveaway. Do the guitarist and drummer from Pennsylvanian support Live honestly feel compelled to don this wonky headgear? This being the only feature of their performance remotely worthy of comment, we move swiftly on to the headliners. pausing only to acknowledge Live‘s workmanlike bridge- building between mainstream and grunge rock - a scrubde Pearl Jam with emotion surgically removed — and their propensity to anticipate the sights and sounds of Public Image Limited. 1990s model. And what the current streamlined configuration amounts to is clean. contrived and (gulp) corporate. Clad in the group’s baggy vest and shorts uniform, John McGeoch (personal guitar hero, no less) looks like your dad caught in an embarrassing attempt to be trendy and ‘relate‘ to his offspring. Yet how he lays on those gilt-edged riffs. . . not often enough. And John Lydon with his gravity-defying hair resembles nothing so much as a three- dimensional Bart Simpson. From Male-styled harbinger of anarchy to self-styled cartoon misanthrope — there‘s a moral in there somewhere, ifonly the moshpit weren‘t suffering
the communal delusion _ that the punk wars are still
being fought. Alcohol and saliva are sprayed freely; Lydon is exasperated (‘spit on your local MP, not me!’).
He‘s only got himself to blame. PlL open tonight, in spectacular style, with ‘This Is Not A Love Song, the classic menacing guitar conjuring familiar images of student union jukeboxcs and pandering to the jack-booted nostalgists who only want to greet their icon in the accepted fashion. This is how to start a set! But this is Lydon territory — a domain where nothing is clearcut, genius least of all, and a descent into the tepid mire is soon evident. The display of recent material is seriously wanting in dynamics, but even the ‘greatest hits‘ encores are merely trotted out, rendering the Pistols‘ two-fingered salute ‘EMI‘ an emasculated gesture. As someone once said: ever felt like you‘ve been cheated? (Fiona Shepherd)
I LIES DAMNED LIES
Wilkle House, 10 May. Was I swayed by Suede? Hussled round the country on their debut tour, the Londoners come saddled with the baggage of their- and I quote- ‘pre-natal canonisation’. Pursuing packs oi record company emissaries; diiiident packs of curious, so-impress-me type audiences; and a thrilling packs-a-punch hipsway, a neurotic raunch to their metaphoric rock. Such is the rising phenomenon that is Suede.
And so Brett slaps his thighs and gymnastics his voice, fleeting between coquettish lalsetto and cockernee whine on the opening ‘Animal Lover'. A screeching tinnitus, meanwhile, feeds
' back and up, under and through the
seemingly rudimentary workings of their guitar-bass-drums-voice configuration.
The streak of the neurotic that taints Suede marks them out from the flock. They are epic, elongated, concise, strung-out. A track from their debut EP offers their reversal of sex as a songwriting device. ‘ile’s my
I' insatiable one,’ proclaims Brett, ‘he’s
my inflatable one . . .’ The smeg on the bed, the stains on the duvet: the seamy, seedy side of rock 'n’ roll (in its original definition).
And just when this florid hyperbolic wanking wears you down, at the end of the day ‘The Drowners’ is lipfastlc pop petulance at its teasiest. ‘Moving’ is hard as nails. ‘To The Birds’ is heavy shit; echoes of Stephen Patrick’s warbling melodrama. Not so much glammy as hammy.
The, ahem, ‘Best New Band In Britain‘, are all this and less and more. As his mike stand taints, Brett almost curls up and dies, thereby splintering the arrogant omniscience foisted upon his band by the press. The same press
i that gains such vicarious pleasures ‘ from hoisting Suede so high that
altitude sickness is an inevitable side-effect. ‘Slow down, slow down, you're taking me over,’ Brett (mebbe) implores of these mythmakers.
Was I slayed by Suede? Neither wham-bam norflim-ilam, but thank you ma’am, I’ll take the lot. (Craig
Apollo, 12 May.
. Just when you thought Lies Damned ; Lies’ elegant ambience was content to
follow concentric grooves, they go busking. ‘You Come To My House’ has a poppy brightness, an ad hoc ricketyness, which rides roughshod over the manicured tendencies which had gone before. By this time though, endwards in their set, the Ayrshire foursome had shrugged off that endlessly-bandied about Blue Nile brand of detachment.
From the (be)calmed waters of Flying Kites (their recently-released and rave-reviewed second album), ‘My Ship's On Fire' is repackaged and resold. Here it comes with a tom-tom, a folkish fuzz sanded onto its hitherto impeccable smoothness. Everyone dug
Confounding rutted expectations is fast becoming a Lles Damned Lies speciality. A couple of years back they disembarked from the ol’ major label jumbo with nothing to declare but a stylised folly of an album. Then, as if by magic, pretentiousness was stripped back, coolness was plugged in, and Flying Kites was pushed out on its own laid back current. This album is verily and caressineg splendid. But as alive thang, weeeeell . . .
But quit guibbling. Flying Kites’ curves are tonight voided oi the floatyness the title suggests. Rooted in theirflowing rhythms, fixed in their vibey languor, Lies Damned Lies so easily become anchored in the head. (Craig McLean)
2 David Byrne, 21 Jul; Four : Tops, 12 Sep.
: Jun;Bjorn Again,29Jun.
! JAZZ & FOLK .
v BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at ! majorvenues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going of press.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Rollins Band & Beastie ' Boys. 17Jun; Buddy Guy. 1 Jul; Crowded House. 10 Jul; Fishbone, 22 Jul. I GLASGOW CELTIC PARK (227 551 1) Prince, 28Jun; Bryan Adams. 1 1 Jul. I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551])Joan Armatrading, 9June; Nanci Griffith, 29Jul; Four Tops, 14Sep. I GLASGOW GREEN (031 556 1212) Michael Jackson, 14 Aug. I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Diana Ross, 10 Jun; Roxette, 18Jul; Def Leppard, 21 Jun; Cliff Richard, 29—31 Oct; 1 George Benson. 1 Nov; Tom Jones, 2 Nov; Gary Glitter,23—24 Dec. I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Lyle Lovett, 14 Jun; Crowded House. 19 I Jun; Erasure. 7-8Jul;
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Mary Coughlan.19Jun; Richard Thompson. 26
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Cowboy Junkies. 26 Jun; Barbara Dickson. 27 Jun.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1 155) Katia
Labeque&John McLaughlin Trio. 20Jun.
3 LIGHT ; I ousoow cou
2 “Si '- c .
Rattray, 5 Jun; Black Magic, 6Jun.
I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Shirley Bassey. 2 Dec.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Music of Andrew Lond-Webber. l3—lSJuI; James Last,4—5 Sep.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1) New Glasgow Singers, 7 Jun; RSO Scottish Proms, 12-13, 16—20. 23—27Jun. I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Edin Light Orch, 6Jun; Kevock Choir, 7 Jun: Aldeburgh Connection. 9Jun; Rekonstruktsiya Trust, 13
' Jun; Meadows CO. 14
Jun; Schools Concerts, 15—18. 24, 30Jun; Stockbridge House Recital, 21 Jun; Come and Sing, 28 Jun; BF of Young Choirs. 11 Jul; McGibbon Ensemble. 3] Jul.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) R80 Scottish Proms. 5—61un; SCO/Rattle.16Jun.
I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for Royal Scottish Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. and City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra are available from Ticketcentre, Glasgow (227 551 l ); 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).
SD The List 22 May- 4 June 1992