Such a



Dovetailing into the beginning of the

Glasgow Tryst, Women Mak Merry

is a festival of celebration taking as

its date the Saints day of St Catherine

; ofAlexandria, the patron saint of I lacemakers, spinners. virgins,

unmarried women and female

. students. Thin on the ground as

; some of the former are nowadays, 5 the organisers expect a busy

weekend at the Friday Athenaeum concert and the Saturday-long event and evening ceilidh in Maryhill Community Halls.

Sharing the concert with comedienne Libby MacArthur and songwriter Lorraine Jordan is the vocal quartet Palaver who began as an informal foursome. albeit of extremely competent singers, and have developed a powerful style and repertoire that has broadened far beyond their traditional roots.

Aileen Carr wings it back from temporary residence in Stavanger to sing with the band. ‘We try to organise bookings in blocks now, as everyone does other things, and much as we love it we’re not going to go full-time .‘

Off to Belfast after the Tryst for a concert with the Voice Squad, Ireland‘s superlative all-male a cappella group, and a television appearance with Tommy Sands, the

; band are returning to the land, so to

speak. oftheir birth. ‘We got together to play the

Ballyshannon Folk Festival, after Chris Miles had wangled a next

: year‘s booking on the strength of our : singing all weekend in sessions. We then got together with Gordeanna

McCulloch and Maureen Jelks and

had such apalaver trying to decide

on a name that we decided to. . . !‘

‘We have no trouble deciding what we‘ll sing,‘ she continues. ‘Anything! We‘re not even averse to country music. And we‘re Richard

Thompson fans. We do some Mike

Marra numbers. There’s a definite Sweet Honey In The Rock feel, some gospel, and of course the traditional songs. The main thing, though, is enjoyment. We enjoy it being all women. But that‘s no big

thing though. We‘re not proud. ' Brian Miller has got up and sung with us a couple of times so we‘ve made

him an honorary woman.‘ (Norman

Chalmers) . Palaver play the Glasgow Tryst on

Mon 23; Women Mak Merry is on Fri

20/Sat21 at the Old Athenaeum Theatre.


30'l‘he List Ill November ~ 3 December 1992

The buzz facto

The Ear Catalysed by the gloom engendered by

~ a recession-bitten music industry and . its resultant ca’-canny approach to new

signings, King Tut’s have taken the bull

by the horns. Thinking magnanlmously i you mm a bun mom “mama,

and quite openly Investing In their own

luture, they have organised a series at “a people up he", "an 8mm

ASH showcase gigs to provide a plattorm lor ‘some at the best unsigned

bands In Scotland’ to punt thelrwares

to record company talent-spotters. ‘We’re giving bands a help up the

ladder,’ otters King Tut’s Geott Ellis.

’lt’s dllllcult iorthem sending out demos to every single record company - it’s better it they’re doing a gig with concert promoters. Obviously, there

are plenty more bands in Scotland but we think we’ve picked out the ones that ' are getting most genuine interest.’

Sure, there is an element oi

subjective opinion govemlng the - choice oi bands - a consideration that

is always going to aggrieve certain


bands and pundits. More bands, though, still leel hard done by the industry’s apparent shlrklng oi Scotland and Scottish talent. There is, alter all, only one record company

scout resident up here. But largely, this

is an unjustllled chip on our collective

shoulder: lewer Scottish bands are now , being signed simply because there was

a time where anything that moved, relatively speaking, got signed. And this ilavour-oi-the-month status has not just shllted elsewhere, it’s practically evaporated.

‘ln England hardly anyone’s getting signed elther,’ says EMl’s Fraser

Wilkle, that lone Jock-domiciled scout. ;

‘But because at the scouting network and ’cos there’s so little happening, it

will come and see you . . . There are


Slivertone's Roddy McKenna, the Glaswegian who signed Yo Yo Honey and The Lost Soul Band, emphasises

the buzz lactor: “The best way to get

people up to this kind at event is to make them think that they’re missing out on something.’

With a handy compilation tape

, covering all the leatured bands acting

as bait to back up the week-long event, that buzz just might get louder again. (Craig McLean)

The showcases run irom Mon 23—Erl 27

Nov at King Tut’s, Glasgow.

Royal flush

? Imagine a group of Morris dancers deciding that their music needed a I radical revamp. While retaining the

basic melodies, they might lay them over a skanking reggae bass-line, add in some lruity, jany horns and tie up the new package with some smooth, wailing soul vocals - only to discover that Edward II had got there lirst.

Not that Ell (lormerly Edward II and the Red Hot Polkas, but that name was

too long to lit easily on posters) count

any Morrismen among their number,

though their lirst incamatlon was as a

country dance band in the Manchester area. ‘There was never any conscious decision to make this particular lusion,’ explains guitarist Jon Moore. ‘lnltlally it was a very loose assemblage of people just jamming, really, and playing a law dances. There was one guy who was really into reggae, and also into English dance music. He started playing reggae bassllnes with the tunes, and it's just sort oi evolved irom there. It’s all very un-thought-out, it’s just been people's personalities and backgrounds and

lnlluences which have determined where the music's gone; for instance

when we acquired a horn section, there’s always a good chance that among horn players you’re going to have one or two jaaers. It’s dililcult to

t know exactly what Ell ls, but it is a lot more coherent than it sounds when you

try to describe it.’

_ , ‘..

In the two-and-a-hall years that the

eight-piece have been playing j lull-time, they’ve built up a loyal lollowlng the old-lashloned way- lots

at hard graft, plus some well-cralted albums, notably last year's ‘chked Men’. “We don’t have what you’d call a

; big prollle,’ says Moore, ’but there are

places where we’ve played, then gone

back, and by the third orlourth time it’s

usually sold out, basically, lthlnk, because people have a good time, and word gets round. Which is incredibly gratifying, because you know the

support you’re getting is real. I’ve done


some calculations, and at the present rate, in about a thousand years we’ll be as big as Michael Jackson.’ (Sue Wilson)

Edward ll play Edinburgh Assembly Rooms on Sun 22.

. Mathieson)


Chick Lyell

The firsttimelheard

pianist Chick Lyall play

was in the Scottish final of the nationwide Schlitz

Jazz Competition back in

1986. Lyall’s band Green

Room, apiano-bass- percussion trio with a distinctly ECM-ish feel,

won that final, but could

not repeat their success in i London. Five yearson.

' however,Lyall has

re-formed the group, but withadiffcrentbias.

‘The band is an electric

trio thistime around,with

David Garrett playing

' percussion, and David

Baird, the bass player, is

j currently building his own instrument. Trombonist

John Kenny will also be involved, and I'll be playing acoustic and electric keyboards, and also using my computer. It will be a new music rather than a jazz band, and we hope to line up some gigs


Lyall the composer will

also be contributinga more formalcomposition

to a Scottish Chamber Orchestra project next year, while John Kenny will play his earlier piece, Threads, at the College of Art in Edinburgh on Fri 20 (see Listings). More immediately, however. the pianist, who remains the most challenging and unorthodox of ourjazz keyboard players, will be taking his quartet out on the road for a series of gigs under Assembly Direct‘s The Jazz Club banner (also see Listings).

The band is the most adventurous regular (although, sadly, not all that regular) outfit we have, and features the

Bancroft twins (Phil on

sax, Tom on drums) along with George Lyle on bass. ’This is the group I feel most comfortable with,‘

Chick confirms, ‘and

there is a good understanding between us

as friends as well as on

stage. Everybody in the

band shows a great

willingess to commit

I themselves to the music, and to make a positive

contribution.‘ (Kenny