MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Music Box, Edinburgh, 6 June. Hememberthe name, talks: ‘The Gig’, a new music series which will pop up on ITV in September, purportedly showcasing the best unsigned bands in the country. BetterWays, headlining tonight, come closest to satislying the criteria ior inclusion. But a long night is in store.
Big Guitar Yeah open the proceedings with a riii, a chant and a batch oi lame samples to jolly things along. This lormula is repeated throughout the set, the only variant being the heaviness oi the riil that goes with each song. Like AC/DC meeting Big Audio Dynamite with all the good bits taken out, it’s the sort at music that would evolve in a Douglas Adams-type world populated by sentient baseball caps.
l was told to watch out lor the singer oi Two Weeks In June’s Paul Heaton lixation. Fair point. But where The Housemartins and The Beautliul South translormed the humdrum into something endlessly Intriguing, Two Weeks In June's pub pop epitomises mundanity without transcending it.
Smile had arranged an acoustic set at
the eleventh hour, and their deiiciencies are more apparent without the benefit at electricity. The (Scottish) hit single ‘Obvious’ comes across more as twee Merseybeat pastiche than the bold Sound 0i Young Scotland, and while we're on that subject, singer and songwriter Dean Owens’s debt to Roddy Frame is a slender peg on which to hang a career.
Against such competition, Better Ways walk it. Thanks to nerves, or misbehaving instruments, a couple oi intros seem on the verge oi coming completely adriit, but their opening shot—two squalling guitars vying with each other to blow the speakers - is unexpectedly heavy, almost bludgeoning. Still, Better Ways work best when they’re being this iorceiul. When the volume comes down, an air oi uncertainty hoves into view; perhaps they ieel In their bones that the songs aren’t as solid or accomplished as they’d like and, more than once, they seem to be using The Groove as a crutch. All the same, there’s enough potential there to keep the TV companies interested tor a while yet. (Alastair Mabbott)
7 LIVE l HOUSE OF LOVE
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 11 July.
Forever the geekoid, toreverthe dramatist. Everthe mercenary, incendiary songwriter, everthe miserabillst, pertectlonist band leader. Upon such ioundations are Guy Chadwick’s House 0i Love perched; upon such ioundations has been built a tour-year merry-go-round oi sainthood and arsing about. How: the dust settles, the line-up settles (maybe), and House 0i Love release an album with no coniusion surrounding Its title and no disputes over its heady excellence. Transier all the aloresaid base elements to the stage and the chain reaction ls wizardly- Chadwick and crew alchemlse all theirtravails and torments into a lustroust-worked heavy metal, a golden shower at stylised steel resolve.
Some examples: the second album’s lncrementalist opener, ‘I-Iannah’, is cacophonlc, stroboscopic, rhythmic rlits dellled on stage. On “Love In A
Car’, irom the lirst album, Guy goes ‘clap’, the hi-hat goes ‘zssst’, and the sweat went everywhere. The yearning oi ‘The Girl With The Loneiiest Eyes’, trom the new album, has short sharp pangs and passion to spare.
To oiiset such pendulous moments at poise, the rockgod House Of Love also deliver a set shot through with their best slam-bam moments. Ho ‘Hever’, nevermlnd, but the gut thrill oi the ever-remarkable ‘Shine On’, the great guns oi ‘I Don’t Know Why I Love You’, and the rocking stroll at “You Don’t Understand’.
All the while, new, third guitarist Simon Mawby underpins Chadwick’s Icey bard alooiness, oiiering steadiness where, so memorably, Terry Bickers used to explode stage-Ielt.
But in losing Bickers (and his successor) and the plot these past couple oi years, Chadwick has necessarily regrouped and taken stock. The result is a House 0i Love, 1992-‘Babe Balnbow’ version, that simply towers. (Craig McLean)
V BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at maiorvenues. ior which tickets are on public sale at time oi going oi press.
I GLASGOW BAHROWLAND (226 4679) Pop Will Eat Itself. 2 Oct; The Saw Doctors. 12 ()ct: lnspiral Carpets. 4 Nov; Faith No More. 3 Dec.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1 ) Four Tops. 14 Sept.
I GLASGOW GREEN ((I31 556 1212) Michael Jackson. 14 Aug.
I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Chris De
3 Burgh. 12 Sept; Scottish
Music Show. l9—2liScpt; Mctallica. 27 Oct; Cliff Richard. 29-31 Oct; George Benson. 1 Nov; Tom Jones. 2 Nov; Jason Donovan. 6 Dec: Gary Glitter. 23—2-1 Dec.
I LIVINGSTON FORUM (0506419191)The Wonder Stuff. 24 Aug. I EDINBURGH CASTLE ESPLANAOE (557 6969) Mike Oldfield. 4 Sept; Wet Wet Wet, 5 Sept.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Texas. 6’ Aug: Huc and Cry. 3(1Aug: Van Morrison. 31 Aug: FourTops. 12 Sept.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Jools Holland. 22—30 Aug: Inspiral Carpets. 3 Noy.
JAZZ & FOLK
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(227 551 1) BBCBig Band with Georgie Fame. 19 Sept.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 259(1) Capercaillic. 29 Aug.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Salty
Dog. S—l2 Aug; Classic Jazz. 9 Aug; From Kansas City to New York. It) Aug; Andy Sheppard. 14 Aug; Summit Reunion. 15 Aug; Altan. 17 Atinglan Alba. 20 Aug: Battlefield Band. 21-23 Aug; That Swing Thang. 24—26 Aug; Boys ot the Lough. 28-30 Aug; Berg Stern Band. 31 Aug-1 Sept; Debut. 31 Aug—l Sept; Carol
Kidd Georgie Fame. 1 Sept; Carol Kidd. 3 Sept: (ieorgc Shearing Carol Kidd. 3 Sept; Nana \"asconcclos. 4 Sept: Courtney Pine. 4 Sept.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155)Stephane Grappelli. 8 Aug; British Jazz Legends. 11 Aug: Pat Mcthcny Trio. 12 Aug; Dick Hyman. 13 Aug.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(2275511) Iingelbert Humperdinck. 34 Sept.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 l8-I6)Joe Longthornc. 21-24 ()ct. I GLASGOW SECC ((131 557 6969) Shirley Basscy. 2I)ec.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 259(1) James Last. 4—5 Sept.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 55ll)1.abcquc
Sisters. 28 Aug; Peter Nero. 29 Aug; James Galway.-1 Sept ; Joshua Rit‘kin. 5 Sept; Iiyclyn Glennie & Friends. 8-“) Sept: Skitch Henderson Conducts. l l--l2 Sept; Last Night oIGIGS. 13 Sept; Pinchas Zuckcrman. 29 Sept; Moscow Radio SO. 30 Sept; ()saka Phil. 2(l()ct:1i(‘('0.11Noy: ()slo Phil. l2 Novflokyo Quartet. 29 Nov; Rostal (Q Schacfer. l 1)ec:Shura Chcrkassky. 2 Dec; Polish ('0. l Fcb;John Williams. 1(1Feb: Vienna S(). 4 Mar: Pliilharmonia. 22 Mar: ltzhak Perlman. 20 Apr: St Pctersburg Phil. 1] May. I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Glasgow International [iarly Music Festival. 7 ~15 Aug; Glasgow Festival of British Youth ()rchestras. l5 Aug-5 Sept; Scottish International Piano Competition. l4—2ilSept; The Musical Seminar (Music'l'heatre). 19Sept: Chee Yun & Akira Iiguchi. 2(lScpt: BBC SSO. 25 Sept; SC() Brass. 9 Oct. 6 Dec. 12 Mar. I EDINBURGH CASTLE ESPLANADE (557 6969) Nigel Kennedy. 2 Sept. I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) McGibbon Iinscmblc. 31 Jul: IiIF Chamber Recitals. 17 Aug—5 Sept; Scottish Ensemble. 27 Aug:SC() Brass. 1(l()ct. 5 Dec. 13 Mar. I EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL All ticket applications to Box Office. HF. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh EH1 IBW((I31 225 5756). I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE All ticket applications to The Fringe ()fficc.18(lHigh Street. Edinburgh EH] 10S (Info: ()31 226 5257 5259: Tickets (credit card only): (1312265138). I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for Royal Scottish ()rchestra. Scottish Chamber Orchestra. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. and City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra are available from Tickctccntrc. Glasgow (2275511); UsherHall. Edinburgh (228 1 155): Queens Hall. Edinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish ()pera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); King's
» Theatre. Edinburgh (229
30 The List 17 — 30 July 1992