up MUSIC PREVIEW
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3’ How to make friends and impress pe0ple, part 472: drop an ‘e‘. Not that this is an endorsement to get out of your face and cuddle complete strangers in grotty rave establishments. you understand. We‘re talking linguistics here. Little were The Faith Healers to know three years ago that the mere shedding of a vowel could transform them from a punk covers band of limited mileage to the vastly preferable lustrous, wholesome. thinking dude‘s rabble-rousing octaped that is Th‘ Faith Healers. ‘We just practised a lot. didn't get any gigs and nobody liked us.‘ is bassist Ben‘s career summation. ‘Then Roxanne came along and saved our bacon basically.‘
Ah yes. gaining an Edinburgh expatriate barmaid-turned-feisty- frontwoman on vocals may have had something to do with the transition to Cred City too. Next step was persuading the regular punters in Camden‘s dingier watering holes. nay, the world at large. that they were more than just the other-London- quartet-fronted-by-a-loud-Scottish- female-that-aren‘t-called-Silverfish. This has come through a succession of releases that increasingly reclaim lost melodic ground. though not at the expense of the odd unashamed grunge rearguard action.
‘lt‘s got a bit more mellower I think,‘ ruminates Ben in his best grammar. ‘There will always be undercurrents of noise because we listen to noisy music but we wouldn‘t like to keep doing thrashy little three-minute craze-outs. It's just us growing with the sound, because what we do is quite instinctive. In a way it’s like beginning to control that. That‘s reﬂected in some of the songs on the LP, ‘Lido‘. They’re a lot more understated because this time we had time in the studio. First of all we’d started off in our usual panic and then took it a lot easier which is nice.’
Tense. nervous headache? I prescribe the ritual laying-on of guitars, courtesy of Th’ Faith Healers. It won‘t cure you. but you need never drop an ‘e‘ again. (Fiona Shepherd)
Th’ Faith Healers play The Apollo, Glasgow on Fri31 and The Subway, Edinburgh on Sat 1 .
Brilliant Corner (the name comes from a Thelonious Monk tune) made its Edinburgh Festival debut as a live jazz venue but returns this year with a new format, as a semi-otticial extension of the Jazz Festival. Based upstairs at The Playhouse, it will feature live bands and club sessions, mixing and merging jazz with rap, hip-hop, Latin, African, and just about anything else which comes to hand.
Nigerian pianist Juwon Ogungbe returns for two gigs, while the voice of young London is represented by two bands new to Scotland, Quite Sane and Freestyle. Both emerged from Groove Movement, a collective of young black musicians, composers, choreographers, dancers, poets, writers and Ms, founded by Quite Sane's Anthony Tidd.
The band began as a trio, but gradually expanded to the present seven-strong line-up (including a
Quite Sane couple of recent changes since the photograph was taken), and is dedicated to exploring a diverse range of musical styles. They have been likened to Steve Coleman's M-Base, but insist on their own identity.
‘My music is about real life experiences as a young, black teenager in a society which needs to learn how to deal with people of the darker complexion,’ says Tidd. ‘I try to deal with this by addressing the issues and trying to inform people about the problems. Our music is about groove, the single most powerful musical concept ever invented, and it is about self-expression, which is why every member of the band improvises, adding their own personal voice to the compositions.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Quite Sane open Brilliant Corner on Fri 7.
One might expect an organ festival to be full ot, well, organ recitals. But proving that this does not actually have to be the case, while at the same time satislying organ enthusiasts, is the neatly balanced programme of the Second Paisley International Organ Festival. At its core is a competition which has attracted organists from Europe, Russia, Canada and the USA, all aged between 19 and 32.
Aside from this, the programme encompasses a range of music and musicians from the Royal Scottish Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to The Wallace Collection, The Whistlebinkies and, of course, organ recitals by some of the foremost names on the international circuit. While, for instance, Gillian Weir and Nail Hakim ot the Sacre Coeur in Parts are in town iudging the competition, they take time to give solo performances in Paisley Abbey, which is only one of several venues with line organs in the town being utilised by the Festival. Stamping the loot of
versatility at the outset, Festival Chairman and organist at Paisley Abbey, George McPhee conducts the BBC $80 and the Abbey’s own choir in a performance of Haydn’s Creation, with soloists Kathleen Livingstone, Neil Mackie and Donald Maxwell, making it an all-Scottish performance. As a finale, Festival Patron SirAlexander Gibson conducts the BSD and 1990 winner of the Paisley Organ Competition, Christopher Nickol, in Poulenc’s Organ Concerto. To complement the evening concerts and recitals, a lunchtime series of concerts for solo instruments accompanied by organ promises some of the more unpredictable repertoire of the Festival, especially the combination of trombone and organ (John Kenny and John Kitchen) which includes the first performance of a new work by Lyell Cresswell. (Cami Main)
Paisley lntemational Organ Festival runs from Sat MM 9 at various venues. See listings for details.
Can it really be only two years ago that Glasgow played host to an ambitious international festival of early music? One of the many great success stories of 1990. the
I Glasgowlntcrnational Early Music Festival is set
to return this August with an even bigger and better programme of top-quality
' early music ensembles and performers from ten
European countries. It is
difficult to know where to startwiththe feastin store.Severalof the
groups, including lza from Romania. La Stagione Frankfurt. Camerata Cologne. Cantus Serenus and Die Eipeldaucr from Vienna. are making their debuts in the UK. a real coup for the Festival, which comes under the artistic and organisational banner ofthe Scottish Early Music Consort. True to form. it is the staged work which promises to be the major highlight of what will undoubtedly be a full week of highlights. La Baltasara (or The Comedy 0fHeaven). first performed in Rome in 1668. receives its first modern-day performances at The Tramwayon Thursday 13 and Saturday 15 by The Scottish Early Music
I Consort. A Spanish-based
tale of a renegade actress and her spectacular conversion to Christianity. it features the devil in drag, a shipwreck, dancing and
plenty ofdrama. Directed
by Warwick Edwards.
produced by Kate Brown . and designed by Louise
I Belson, La Balrasara is
3 sung in Italian with
spoken interludes in English.
Ofthe more well-known early music groups
appearing, those to look
out for include Les Arts
: Fiorissants of Pan's, who
although known in
‘ Edinburgh. have not
: performed in Glasgow
5 before. France’s top
1 baroque ensemble. they
give an evening concert of i music by Monteverdi,
? Gesualdo and d‘lndia for
ten singers and six
instrumentalists as part of
- the Festival‘s opening day , on Friday 7. (Carol Main)
Glasgow International Early Music Festival runs from Fri 7—Sat I5 at various venues. See listings for details.
30 The List 31 July — 13 August 1992