I wanna be
Scorning the pa-thet-ic shark of punk ‘Mac’ MacLaren, Fiona r Shepherd tracks Johnny MacRotten of The Scottish Sex Pistols down to ‘
These days, an innocent speculative phone call to Malcolm ‘Mac’ MacLaren, arch-manipulator, sorry. manager. of The Scottish Sex Pistols and all-round Svengali is likely to yield the following response: ‘If you want to leave your pa-the-tic little message, speak after the tone’. Because. like all arch-manipulators and all-round Svengalis, he’s always out manipulating arcth and allowing his snotty prote’gés to record his answering
machine messages for him.
It is with trepidation then that your hapless hack calls the residence of one Johnny MacRotten — but ; it’s all right, it‘s only Keith who answers. Keith is MacRotten‘s alter ego — or is it MacRotten who‘s
Keith‘s alter ego?
‘lt’s like demonic possession when we play. Nobody’s allowed to speak to Keith,’ he says of his
’ identity crisis. ‘But I‘ve conducted so many
' interviews as Johnny, doing the voice, that I just
can‘t be bothered with it anymore. The thing is, people ask all these decent questions and you can‘t
actually say anything constructive. All you can
ever say is. “Don‘t be so pa-the-tic!“ and give one
syllable answers. At least as Keith I can just
ramble on about a load ofshite.‘
. Actually. Keith‘s pretty dry himself— his humour
i that is, not his capacity for alcohol. Today, he’s
§ nursing a hangover. following another night of
poxy, puking. pa-the-tic pantomime. What‘s particularly good about The Scottish Sex Pistols is that as well as the attention to detail — ‘I need a
Twix' etched in eyeliner across scrawny pectorals. all that sort ofthing— the audience gets to join in the Charade. You don‘t ever get anyone on Stars In Their Eyes wanting to be ‘a Sex Pistols audience‘.
True to punk mores, I‘m toting a deficient tape recorder and cynical attitude. Can‘t help noticing The Scottish Sex Pistols have two Malcolm MacLarcn‘s. Does this mean you‘re doubly likely to scam it to the top? ‘No. it means we‘re doubly likely to make complete arses ofourselves.‘ And it was said they had No Future. (Fiona Shepherd) The Scottish Sex Pistols play The Venue, Edinburgh on Wed I 9.
V LIVE THE KLEPTOMANIACS
Venue, Edinburgh, 5 August.
it's sad, really. Three upwardly mobile Scottish bands for a paltry door charge, and the punters are spread sparingly around the walls. The Venue never seemed so big. Thirtysomething bodies In the ‘crowd’, and a good few are hand or crew members. Perhaps Runrig will be our only gift to the next generation.
Rocky types The Countrymen could hardly hope to make much impact against this huge splodge oi apathy. They mark time manfuily, but nobody cares much. Just to show us what could have been, their extended ilnale features relentless woodblock and Rendrimtyle guitar hysteria. Maybe next time, or somewhere else.
ltlrkcaldy’s The Receiving End have released a quite pleasant EP, which they somehow can’t do justice to here. They aren’t bad; just missing the extra presence needed to summon life back Into their indifferent observers. Again, they find energy at the end with the EP title track “that: The Way I Operatel’, but it’s 40 minutes too late, and the stage clears.
So The Kleptomaniacs are called upon to save the show, and things look
bleak, for their spangly mini-album sounds flat next to the Receiving End release. Out ring the guitars. . . and everything shifts, because we now see where the groove has been all evening: the Kleptos nicked it. Live, they give their songs a huge kick absent from the recordings, and their quirky Richard O’Brien lookalike lrontman demands attention. He drops the microphone and sings to the empty stand tor a joke, but someone ruins it by nipping on stage to ram it back in his mouth. Style is such a vulnerable creature.
The set ending seems to be improvised, but ultimately features a stonking cover of REM’s ‘Pop Song ’89’, which gets them called back for an encore even after the lights have come up. Who says crime doesn’t pay? (Gavin Inglis)
Music Box, Edinburgh, 28 July. Shagheads, croptops, iizzlobbers and shlrtshirkers: The Joyriders' gig. indie bass player, Satan on drums, Bruce Dickinson swapping the fencing for gultarlng and a post-potato Walter Raleigh doing the vocals: The Joyriders themselves.
Thanktully, the band who might be
Britain’s finest exponents of ‘tunecore’
are more than the sum of their parts. Finally, after months of ‘getting there’, The Joyriders congregate around a unifying creed: brawny pop songs should be unbowdlerlsed boulders with the tumble and speed of an avalanche; poppy brawn songs should have melodies tattooed on their foreheads and end up etched in the memory in stone.
So, as the record company carrion crows circle overhead, the gig leaps to its feet with the best song Hi‘isker Dii never wrote. “Home is Where The Heart Lies' was written by those other (sadly defunct) Edinburghers-via- Minneapolis, Tom’s New Shoes. While not achieving the nimble flight of the original, The Joyriders' bash is great.
‘Here it Comes' smartly takes the baton, and by the time it's beenpassed to the splayed, flayed majesty of ‘King Of Gasoline', things are getting smudgy. Not 'cause the song is bleary- lt's focused, and tight as a chufi's gnat - but ’cause the perspiration is falling like precipitation.
But is this too precipitous? Aren’t Joyriders songs too obsessed with the idea of the surge and the crash and the grind? Don’t Murdo's vocals too often slip their tunesome moorings and float flatly off (well, okay, sink like a stone, especially on ‘Don’tAsk Me’)?
idiot, and hall-niet. The first never
hurt Kurt Cobain, and the second never hurt The Lemonheads' Evan Dando, and between the Nirvs and the ’Heads is where best to posit The Joyriders.
Meanwhile, back atthe gig, the stagedlvers strike a Jesus Christ pose and the band slip into their best AC/DC guitar solo. Joyriders rock like bastards? You bet. Every mother (tucker)’s favourite sons. (Craig McLean)
82 The List 14 — 20 August 1992