I Julian Cope returns to
Scotland from early to mid-July. though no plans have been made for dates in the Central Belt. instead. the reputedly sane one is concentrating on towns like Findhorn. lnvcrgordon and Portrec. with generous time offto allow him to make some kind of psychic connection with Mother Earth (or. should we say. Peggy Suicide) at the various stone circles on his itinerary.
I Close on the heels ofits 50th birthday tribute to Brian Wilson. The Apollo have a similar salute planned for those titans of rock culture. Spinal Tap. on 24 July. Bands who deep down have always wanted to brighten up their otherwise humdrum existences by shining in the reﬂected glory ofthe wondrous Tap are invited to drop The Apollo a line. No members of The Scottish Sex Pistols or Hugh Reed And The Velvet Underpants need apply. say we. doubtless far too late. . .
I Typesetting soitware frustratingly swallowed the ﬁrst paragraph oflast issue‘s review of 'Change Everything' by Del Amitri. Fear not. though. as we have ascertained that said para contributed little to the sum ofhuman experience (except the knowledge that machines hate copy that starts with an ellipsis) and that its only function seemed to be to gently break the news that it‘s a gloomy old platter. But, by now. you probably know that anyway.
I Interesting times could be afoot for Barky! Barky. who recently made the acquaintance of The Blue Nile‘s Robert Bell. Bell. having decided that he could just about squeeze in some extra activity before the next Blue Nile album shoots offthe production line. is now of a mind to collaborate with them on some work. They already share a producer. Calum Malcolm. but what kind of middle ground lies between the Barky racket and the Nile‘s considered soundscapes is hard to imagine. No more cosmonaut songs. though. boys,p1ease.
Kenny Mathieson hears how the dazzling classical pianist Katia Labeque and the brilliant jazz guitarist I John McLaughlin managed to strike a chord.
Pianist Katia Labeque and guitarist John McLaughlin first met fourteen years ago, when Katia was playing in a big band with French musicians like Francois Jeanneau and Daniel Humair at a Festival in which John was topping the bill. From liking his music, she explains, she got to like the man, and they have been off-stage partners for the past eleven years, but the musical partnership has also thrived in that time.
McLaughlin’s latest recording, the excellent trio album Que Alegria (Verve), opens with a re-visit to a much earlier composition, ‘Belo Horizonte‘, from his 1981 album of the same name. Those who look upon Katia‘s entry into the jazz field as a recent development would do well to note that she was already playing piano and synthesizer on that album.
She is the first to acknowledge, however, that she is not a ‘real’ (her word) jazz musician. She has an international reputation on the classical music circuit. usually playing with her sister Marielle (they will be performing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in August, as part ofthe GIGS ’92 season), but their versions ofjazz tunes by the likes of Michel Camilo (who also wrote the orchestral work Rhapsodie for them). Miles, Monk, Chick
Corea, and. ofcourse, McLaughlin. on last year‘s Love ofColours (Sony) album also revealed a strong feeling for the music.
‘I started to discover jazz through some of my friends after I left the Conservatoire in Paris. and it came as a real shock to me. and was very different from the kind ofmusicl had been learning. I wanted to learn more, and I am still trying to learn more, but lam not a real jazz musician — I wish I could be, because I love this music very much.‘
Scottish audiences will get a chance to judge for themselves when Katia takes the stage with the John McLaughlin Trio at the Usher Hall. the only Scottish date of the UK tour. As McLaughlin explains. we will hear the musicians involved — the other two are percussionist Trilok Gurtu and bass player Dominique di Piazza — in a variety ofsettings.
‘ln the past Katia and Marielle have opened our concerts with their duo, but Marielle is not with us on this tour. and Katia will play solo, but also with a tape which she is making at the moment. We will then play a couple ofduos. with Katia and myselfand Katia with Trilok, after which the Trio will play. and we will end up with all four of us on stage.‘
McLaughlin‘s appetite for playing
John and Katia: getting together
a wide and diverse range of music is already well-known, and Katia sees his efforts as being a way to bring ‘my musical world and his musical world to ether'.
his will be the first time they have performed together in Scotland. although both have played here separately on a number ofoccasions. The Trio shows one change since McLaughlin last performed at the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 1990. in a concert which also included his Guitar Concerto ‘The Mediterranean‘, with the Italian-born, French-based bass player Dominique di Piazza replacing Kai Eckhardt.
‘I really believe that Dominique is going to make it very big indeed. He has an astonishing technique, and is a great musician. In the past. Trilok and I have tended to get a kind of complicity going which has sometimes been to the exclusion of a similiar empathy between bass and guitar, or bass and drums. With Dominique, I feel that same complicity is now emerging, and I think the trio feels more like a whole as a result.‘
Katia Labeque and the John McLaughlin Trio play at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on Sat 20.
mm- The groovy treatise
Swigging ginger beers by the Water at Leith, David and Philip oi Finltribe are noting that, tor a change, all the plans iortheirlorthcomlng LP, ‘An Unexpected Groovy Treat‘, seem to be going ahead smoothly. They are also excited by the prospect at their HD‘s expansion and the start, in September, oi limited edition recordings on Finillex by friends like Phunky Torso, Dr Acid, Rosanne, Mark Stagg and Mr Samples. The ietching and, indeed , groovy LP, says David, ‘isn‘t as overtly political as the last one was. It‘s more about what attects us personally.‘ You wouldn’t know it irom his explanations oi some of its tracks. ‘l-iypnopaedia‘, tor instance, is about the process whereby people learn while asleep or under
hypnosis, which apparently doesn‘t work anyway. ‘Ace Love Deuce’ concerns the hypocrisy oi those who avail themselves of the Manhattan vice centre while ripping it down and building oltice blocks in its place. The new single, ‘Forevergreen‘, was inspired by Japanese investment in
technology for the iuture.
‘We‘re not into preaching about how you should think about it, just commenting on how it altects us. The music does come first, but to be in a pop tormat, you have to have lyrics.
‘Musicians shouldn‘t be allowed to say anything about politics,‘ opines Philip, one ginger beer later. He‘s reierring to the likes of Ricky Ross and Pat Kane, but it lollows, theretore, that he and David should shut up themselves.
He sighs. ‘lt‘s one oi those paradoxes, like Wittgenstein. He wrote a book where he says all philosophy is rubbish, and after you‘ve read the book you should burn it and target everything he‘s written. But you have to be led to that conclusion. So we lead you to the conclusion that musicians should keep their mouths shut and alter that there‘s no need to speak about it.‘
Say no more. (Alastair Mabbott) Finltribe play The Music Box, Edinburgh on Thurs 2. ‘Forevergreen‘ is on One Little Indian, lollowed by the LP on 27 July.
28 The List l9June-2July1992