MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Calton Studios, Edinburgh. 27 May. Another sterling night from the good people at Radio Forth. Not only did
we experience the
skew-whiff windmill that is Eddi Reader live on stage. but also Boo Hewerdine‘s thumping baroque acoustics, The Liberty Horses‘ pub-band bonhomie. a mini-Bible reunion. and the whole caboodle jumping about for a couple of riveting ﬁnales.
For anyone who remains as yet untouched by the levitational pull of Eddi‘s music and performance. catatonia is but a step away. Thisis vitalising stuff. Eddi emoting with her careering arms and springing knees in keeping with her music‘s wayward sprightliness. She uncoils a twanged version of‘Pay No Mind‘. her voice commanding even when she‘s stood two feet back from the mic. She gives us ‘All Or Nothing‘. replete with penny whistle. squeezebox and a new melody line.
Later. the undulating noodles of her vocals trail behind and flow around the more disciplined. mellower tones ofBoo‘s lead vocals on ‘Sixteen Miles‘ and the newie ‘Joke‘. On his tod. on ‘Little Bits Of Zero‘. he summons impressive claustrophobia from his deep down acoustic guitar and an eddying backing tape ofvocal sweeps and loops. Then, on a version of American Music Club‘s mighty ‘Why Don‘t You Stay‘, his scanty techniques lend resonance to the song‘s sense of impending amorous vacuity.
Soon enough. the McColl brothers return for a bash through The Bible‘s ‘Cigarette Girl‘. before, ﬁnally. it‘s all-star jam time. Eddi‘s ‘Swimming Song‘ isa collapsing hoe-down. giddyingly chirpy. Boo‘s ‘59 Yards‘ is everything
chucked in and plugged in,
prior folksy delicacy riffed away into oblivion. Burns‘s ‘Aye Fond Kiss‘ melts into The Blue Nile‘s ‘Saturday Night‘ and both melt into the audience.
. We left happily. pockets i bulging with buck-shee
' condoms and. yep, swelling joy. Now that's safe sex. ((‘raig McLean)
32 The I.lS15 - 12:17.5;1952'
Cathouse, Glasgow, 28 May. ‘See grunge rock?’
‘lam aware oi its existence (I’d have to be a hermit in Upper Volta with a particularly large wad oi cotton wool stuck in my ears not to be).’
‘That’s your favourite sort oi music, that is. That’s what you mosh to in your bedroom, along with legions oi similarly scrawny T-shirted urchins. That's what you’re ted wholesale minus quality control. That’s what you lap up just because it’s loud and grubby and it’s not Tommy Steele.’
Is grunge the essence oi rock’n’roll, or is it the most marketable musical commodity of this decade? Are you ieellng the strain yet? How many more underachievers belore you shout ‘enoughl'? As saturation point approaches lt’s apparent that you’ll need more than volume and energy to cut through. Which is where Swervedriver amble in.
It’s not that there’s any great ‘ circumstance to this gig. No bellowed vocals, no lacial contortions, no equipment trashing, just the odd lurching movement over an especially meaty break and even then that’s to disguise the lact that they’re not gritting their teeth in a show of mock eiiort. In rockspeak, they just deliver.
This is how they do it: a pile-driving riiithat sweeps all belore it, like a snow plough at the drag racing; irugal use of the wah-wah pedal; enough f pauses to catch a breath; lazy melodies
that just tumble lrom Adam’s mouth; and their (usually uncredited) distinguishing ingredient, close I
attention to rhythm. Adi’s basslines swoop in low with habitual lack oi urgency, though on ‘Sunset’ the shimmying pulse is far from distinct. But oh yeah, Swervedriver take care over their songs, more than their easy manner lets on.
Cast your eye over the crowd and you can see that Swervedriver elicit an altogether different response. There’s no ieeble excuse tor a moshpit; everyone’s too busy dancing. Not pogolng, not throwing themselves around, but dancing. Riding the crest at 3 Swervedriver’s ennui. A wave that reaches higher than most. Suri’s up. (Fiona Shepherd)
i v LIVE : E vsren BAND
The Venue, Edinburgh, 27 May. Unorthodox champions oi English iolk tor the past nine years, The Oyster Band have made enemies as well as lriends along the way, sniily purist noses tuming up at their noisy, hard-edged, percussion and guitar-driven iusion oi traditional-style I melodies and rock-style presentation. Admittedly, lew lolk bands periorm in leather iackets and shades. and the band’s pedigree is, arguably, somewhat dubious, at least two members having iormerly played with the execrable Fiddlers’ Dram - remember ‘Day Trip To Bangor’?. That's a deep, dark secret, however, which all concerned would far rather target, and on the evidence at their set tonight, such youthiul indiscretions are
now iirmly behind them.
You could argue until blue in the lace about a label lor the Oyster sound (iolk? iolk-rock? talk/roots? roots-rock?) but what’s unmistakable is the energy, the vitality oi periormance they derive irom traditional music, plus the simple melodic strength oi their own compositions, and the passionate, plaintive power oi John Jones’s vocals. Add to this a turbo-charged rhythm section working hand-in-glove with an exuberant acoustic overlay— iiddle, melodeon, concertina - and you have the recipe lor a good old—iashioned, no-nonsense evening’s stomp. This set is a mix oi tracks irom their excellent, recently-released tiith album, ‘Deserters’, and older material, including a manic, rousing encore oi
‘NewYorkGirls’.Pariicularhighlights ' _
include the dark, stirring ‘Angels of the River', all high, wild iiddle and pounding percussion, and the choppy lyricism at ‘We Could Leave Right Now’, underpinned with a strikingly effective partnership of cello and bass. It’s easy to see that they’re a live band at heart; even the odd track which sounds distinctly soupy on record sounding sharp and souped-up instead in periormance. Given Scotland’s thriving roots scene, the crowd is surprisingly thin (where was the pre-publicity?) but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in enthusiasm, , making good use oi the extra dancing space. More, please, and soon. (Sue Wilson)
V BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at maiorvenues, lor which tickets are on public sale at time oi going to press.
Bjorn Again. 26Jun; Buddy Guy. 1Jul: Crowded House. 10Jul: Fishbone. 22 Jul.
I GLASGOW CELTIC PARK (2275511) Prince,28]un: Bryan Adams, 1 1 Jul.
I GLASGOW CONCERT
HALL(227 551 l) Nanci
Griffith. 29 Jul; Four Tops. 14 Sept.
I GLASGOW GREEN (031 556 1212) Michael Jackson. 14 Aug.
I I GLASGOW SECC (031 3 557 6969) Def Leppard. 21
Scottish Music Show.
19-20 Sept; Cliff Richard. 2931 Oct; George Benson. 1 Nov;Tom Jones. 2 Nov; Gary
1 Glitter.23—24 Dec. IGLASGOWTHEATRE
Jul; Barber/Melly. 8Jul; Tony Bennett, 1()Jul; Tribute to Miles Davis. 11 Jul.
I GLASGOW TRAMWAY (227 551 1)Bheki Mseleku. 2Ju|zTommy Smith. 2 Jul; Paul Motian. 3 Jul; Phil Woods. 4Jul; lrakcre. 3—4Jul; Carla Bley and SYJO. 5 Jul; Great Guitars. 7Jul: Robben Ford. 8 Jul ; Carla Bley Big Band. 9Jul; Yellowjackets. 9 Jul; Don Cherry. 10Jul;Jim Mullen. 10Jul; Pizza Express All-Stars. llJuI: Jimmy Smith andJimmy McGriff. 11 Jul.
IGLASGOWCONCERT HALL(2275511) Engelbertllumperdinck.
24 Sept. I GLASGOW SECC (031
557 6969) Shirley Bassey.
2 Dec. I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Music of
Andrew Lloyd-Webber. l3—15Jul;JamcsLasi,4—5
ROYAL (332 9000) Barbara
IEDINBURGH PLAYHDUSE : (5572590) Erasure.7-8
Texas. 8 Aug; FourTops. 12 Sept.
I EDINBURGH DUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Mary Coughlan.19Jun; Richard Thompson, 26 Jun: Steve Forbet. 27 Jun; Bjorn Again. 29Jun.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 1155) Cowboy Junkies. 26 Jun; Barbara Dickson. 27 Jun.
~ JAZZ and FOLK
I EDINBURGH QUEEN‘S ; HALL(6682019) Berg/Stern Band.31 ; Aug—ISept;Debut.3l ' Aug—ISeptzCarol
Kidd/Georgie Fame. 1 Sept; Carol Kidd. 3 Sept: George Shearing/Carol Kidd. 3 Sept; Nana Vasconcelos. 4 Sept;
Courtney Pine. 4 Sept. I EDINBURGH USHER
HALL (228 1155) Katia Labeque and John McLaughlin Trio, 20Jun.
I GLASGOW CONCERT
HALL (227 551 1) Count Basie Orchestra, 2 Jul; Carol Kidd. 4 Jul; McCoy Tyner/Elvin Jones. 6Jul; Grover Washington, 7
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) R50
Scottish Proms, 18—20. 23—27Jun. I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S
HALL (668 2019) Schools Concerts. 24. 30Jun: Stockbridge House Recital. 21 Jun; Come and
Choirs. 11 Jul; McGibbon Ensemble. 31 Jul.
I EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
i All ticket applications to
Box Office. EIF. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh EHl 18W (031 225 5756).
details and tickets for
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‘sllall. Edinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish Opera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); Playhouse.
Edinburgh (557 2590).