Time in motion
‘It’s funny. The List predicted about six months ago: “big things are expected of this band: watch them be famous for five minutes” but that’s not the case.‘
The Time Frequency have the biggest-selling single in Scotland. ‘Real Love‘ went straight into the Scottish Chart Top 5 in the first week of release. Previous to that, their ‘Futurama’ EP achieved the distinction of being Scotland’s biggest selling white label, shifting some 4000 copies. In the past thirteen months, 'I'FF have played 103 gigs. Not PAS, but live performances. To 200,000 people. Gulp. So sometimes we get it wrong. So we forgot to polish the crystal ball properly that week. So what do you expect? Outrageous predictions of unassailable accuracy?
TTF, in case you were wondering, play techno music. Statistics like that don’t normally follow dance acts around, but hearing Jon Campbell outline the group’s background and influences - Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, the New Romantics, and especially Devo (chap!) - you realise that there’s more to "FTP than the fairly pedestrian house piano of ‘Real Love’ might suggest. They’re an electronic group who’ve identified the mainstream and tapped neatly into its ﬂow.
‘We’ve always been playing electronic music,’ Jon explains eagerly, ‘and we looked at all the bands we liked — The Beatles, David Bowie, Duran Duran. All these bands made it on the crest of a wave and at the moment rave is the wave. Let’s face it, it’s not going to last forever, the rave scene; it’s already dying. All bands need to build up a solid fan base. These people are still going to be around buying records so ifyou can bring them with you you‘ll achieve longevity. Imagine it was like punk -— I’d like to think that my band were The Stranglers as Opposed to 999.’
TTF are already the self-confessed ‘Runrig of the rave scene‘. They’ll get what they want. It’s all musical prophecy round here, you know. (Fiona Shepherd)
‘Real Love’ is out now on Clubscene Records. TTFplay The Barrowland, Glasgow on 5 July.
Plgeonholing Dublin-based singer Mary Coughlan is impossible. Since her first release, the five-track ‘Ancient Bain’ EP, and overlour subsequent albums, her musical styles have been as diverse as her choice of material. The standout track on ‘Ancient Bain’ was an inspiring a cappella version of ‘Strange Fruit’; 1989’s ‘Uncertain Pleasures’ featured radical interpretations of both ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Mother’s Little Helper’; her latest album, ‘Sentimental Killer’ opens with Marc Almond’s ‘There Is A Bed’ before taking on Brel’s ‘Hearts’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Ain’t No Cure For Love’. Predictable is not a word that springs to mind.
The level of success Coughlan has achieved in her native Ireland has given her the opportunity not only to appear in Neil Jordan’s last two films, ‘iligh Spirits’ and ‘The Miracle’, but to voice her strongly-felt opinions on such issues as abortion and divorce. Recently, she went on national radio to talk about her own abortion and, before realising it was ‘not exactly the done thing’, was intent upon printing addresses of abortion clinics on an album sleeve.
‘Given an opportunity, if I’m asked, I will say something, I suppose because I have four kids myself-the eldest is sixteen, the youngest six months —I suppose people could think I have fairly valid comments to make. l’ve been on
Bringing up baby
I both sides of the story, you know.’
Central to her choice of material has always been an attraction to life’s losers, the drunks, the fallen women, the community’s outcasts. Unfortunately, her public image owes more to her choice of songs than it does to reality. While she readily admits that ‘ior a long time drink played a large part in [her] lile', as the motherol a six-month infant there are obviously more pressing considerations than the next pint of Guinness.
‘Well, last night at hall-past nine after I’d put the baby to bed and did all the bottles, I made brownies for the kids and I was up at live this morning giving her her feed before I got on the plane.’ (James Haliburton)
Mary Coughlan plays The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Fri 19.
ill world under canvas
5 One of the most adventurous series of concerts in Scotland is underway in the unique setting of the huge tented
! auditorium of Edinburgh’s open air
3 Boss Theatre in Princes Street
l Gardens. Dn Saturdays and Sundays
throughout the summer, the City
’ Council present a superb selection of
contemporary music, with a strong
ethnic/roots dimension from around the world. But what’s most notable is that it’s FREE. This does not mean that it is simple, mindless entertainment.
Indeed, the organisers have managed
to pull some rare and great bands to the
capital, including the only Scottish appearance of the master Drummers of
On Sunday 21 , Black Umlolosl (see
QC.-. A , . Q ‘- f a ’
"1W7: //r s
“9” ‘ //”‘
photo) are a major attraction from Zimbabwe, mixing mesmerlc vocal harmony with intense dance and rhythm. Muntu, the Dance Theatre oi Chicago are also involved in reinterpreting the traditions of ancient African and Afro-American dance. They appear on Saturday 11, and the next day sees the arrival from central Africa of the astonishing Burundi Drummers.
Lovers of cajun and zydeco, put this date in your diary. Saturday 18 is the arrival date of ‘nouveau zydeco’ and its practitioners from Louisiana, Terrence Simlen And The Mallet Playboys. With close affinities to the pure caiun style, this music boasts bigger accordions, steamy blues licks and brutal rock and roll.
Up in the American North West, there is a band of tuned percussion players who plunder the world’s music to create their original sound. The Portland, Oregon Balaton Marimba Ensemble are on Sunday 19.
Hot from Womad, on Sunday 26, the exotic, complex and jazzy music from the contemporary cultural mix of Turkmenistan is powerfully performed by Aschkhabad, and from further east and proceeded by a noisy and colourful procession through the park, the Southern lndian Festival of Kerala is a dense ritual of dance, mime and temple drumming. See listings for performance times. (Norman Chalmers)
The Count in 1962
‘l was never a very good pianist. l was always content with playing a few little pieces at the beginning to set the band going, and sometimes to fiddle around in the middle of a piece.’
That is William ‘Count’ Basie‘s own estimation of his piano playing. and while it sells him rather short, it also contains the essence of his contribution to the history of big band jazz. When the Count ‘set the band going‘. he fired up the fattest riffs and most titanically jumping swing outfit of all, driven along by a revolutionary rhythm section, with the pianist and guitarist Freddie Green at its heart.
It is Basie’s definitive touch which divides his great bands of the 305, 405 and 505 from the one which currently bears his name. and which launches the Glasgow International Jazz Festival on Thurs 2, under the direction of saxophonist Frank Foster, veteran of classic sessions like The Atomic Mr Basie. Like the Ellington Orchestra under Duke’s son Mercer, which played an earlier Festival, it lacks the crucial dimension which great leaders brought to their music, but keeps the tradition alive.
Bheki Mseleku, Tommy
Smith and bluesman
Johnny Mars can also be heard on the opening night of the Festival (sec
listings). It has not been an easy task this yearfor
stand-in director Ian Middleton to assemble a
i programme of sufficient
calibre, and the late loss of Nina Simone’s concert has not helped (at least at the box-office), but the final result of their labours should have something to please most tastes, from Carla Bley and Phil Woods to blues giant Albert King and groovemaster Grover Washington. (Kenny Mathieson)
30The List l9June-2July 1992