MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Strathclyde University, 14 Nov. As Germany prepares to forcibly deport thousands of Romanian Gypsies and I debates a new constitution speciﬁcally designed to stem the ﬂow of unwelcome immigrants, the sudden rise of J, a crusading anti-fascist funk-rap-metal musician in that well-rounded Prince stylee , is to be welcomed by all those whose politics veer to the left of Attila the Hun. But, frankly, in deciding whether to endorse for your ediﬁeation and entertainment this baby-faced Bono and the ridiculous Sledgehammer crew of Spinal Tap wannabees who make up his blustering backing band, I’m talking legions of devils and all seven of the deep blue seas.
The rampaging ‘We Are The Majority’ and ‘Gestapo’ are the sound of fury untamed. The lyrical content, a mixture of rallying calls to anti-fascist insurrection and hubristic declarations of J ’5 East German roots and culture, is a remarkably convincing American street vernacular for a German resident of Paris. The problems centre largely on the music itself, a horrendous facsimile of Neanderthal chest-beating, foot- stomping power metal which brooks no discourse, tolerates no dissension. J should refer to the open-mike and open-mind sessions of Consolidated concerts for case study. Secondly, in an attempt either to soften that message or, I fear, simply to admit that music is the idle home for over-inﬂated egos, there’s a worrying tendency towards self-indulgent lurve celebrations. The self-celebratory ‘Night Time’ and ‘Best Thang’, complete with lewd wiggles and waddles, detract, worryingly so, from the grinding efﬁcacy of the nihilistic ‘First They Came’. And, ﬁnally, there’s the age-old rap problem of incisive lyrics being drowned out in muddy mix where the instrumentation is wrongly seen as the real instrument of power. (Calvin Bush)
Music Box, Edinburgh, 10 Nov.
It couldn’t be down to the bands anyway. The lateness otthe hour, the paucity oi publicity, the nut-lreezlng hostility ol the weather. All these conspired to turn the Avalanche party into more oi a wake. More to the point, was anyone awake? But that couldn’t be the bands' lault, could It? Surely?
Alter all, The Joyriders would appear, hopetully tree at the crumbly dissonance that passed lor their live sound at The Venue a week ago. And Riverhead would appear, brandishing a new single with a truckload oi marketing gimmicks llagglng its arrival -the best gimmick oi all being that it’s a pretty marvellous record, shiny and brittle.
Aaanyway, here's The Joyriders and, nae luck, the apathy ls parasitic. The Joyriders’ ieel their habitual brio sucked up and swallowed whole by the black hole in lront oi the stage. Eleventh-hour additions to the lestlvltles, they seem unchulted in the extreme — and who can blame them.
' They slouch.
And Blverhead lope. Richard Conte ambles around the stage, shrugging oil the black environs and linding (cold) comlort ln ‘Slnglng Her Praises’ — which roliocked - and then in ‘Seems So Real’. The lead track irom their ‘lladdlt’ EP is keener, eagerto get on and llash its speedrock stripes. ’Cos when Blverhead llash, like they do on that new single ‘Was Away' (and it only costs 25p and you have just been I served with a compulsory purchase | order), they mince up the lumpy hits at ‘ gristle that clog up some at their other tracks. Something that could have been called ‘Wart On My Ears’ was just that.
Atthelr peak they’re (nearly) as plangent as REM and (just about) as rueiul as Orange Juice. Some melange that. Or is it a souiile? Whatever, tonight was a misleading sldetrack in the genesis ot a line label (Alva) and twoiiner bands. Question is, which came ilrst, the punter apathy or the band slopplness? Tell you what, let's blame the government. (Craig McLean)
V BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at major venues. tor which tickets are on public sale at time oi going ot press.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Ned‘s Atomic Dustbin, 5 Dec; The Pogues. 6 Dec; Australian Doors, 7 Dec; Brand New Heavies, 9 Dec; Sonic Youth, 10 Dec; Izzy Stradlin, 12
' V LIVE , BELLY/BETTIE SERVEERT
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 12 Nov. Two women, alike In dignity. Turn this
which way you can, their enigmatic presence hovers, watcth but hesitant, over proceedings. Less ball-breakers, more day-dreamers, Tanya Donnelly and Cami Van Dljk gradually bewltch rather than suddenly arrest until a roomtul ol minds is etched with the sound oi their voices: the voice as technical presence, ‘ darting around, purring, clamouring, swooping, swoonlng, and more Insidioust the voice as persona, applying trustrated lemlnlne reasoning lbecausetheywanttoknowwhy, why, why things have to be like this, like . Carol as she pleads repeatedly and g halt-deilantly, ‘ilave I ever lald my hands on you betore?’ in Battle Serveert’s blustery set-closer ‘Braln-Tag'.
glg over, under, sideways, down, every
Holland's Bettie Serveert sound ‘promlslng’ with all the intentional euphemisms that description entails. Theirsuemlca album ‘Palomlne’, line though it ls, is strictly one-dimensional, however attractive that dimension may be (like the commercial, linear lace oi Throwing Muses or Magnapop). Sharing the same branch as Belly in the soundgarden and then sharing the same billing is like consenting to be the trallerior the big movie - an adequate ioretaste but not an experience in its own right.
Further up the musical chain, Belly are going to be besieged by comparisons that draw more than a lamily tie with Tanya’s previous band. Heresy to admit it at course, but I’d always lancied our Tanya as the real vocal talent in Throwing Muses. No demons at her door, just a versatile larynx embellishlng all it caressed. Belly tap into the same urgent throbbing llow as the Muses, but lay oil the austerity. The last time Throwing Muses appeared in Glasgow was an uncomtortable altalr, Kirsten's steely gaze llxlng the audience like we were naughty chlldren, negligent trlends or presumptious lovers. Tanya and band
come not to exorcise, but to entertain with itchy rhythms, lluld rllis and shrill vocals seducing like an unusually coherent Cocteau Twins. (Fiona Shepherd)
Dec; Little Angels, 13
.j Dec; Morrissey, 16 Dec;
1 Ramones. 17 Dec;
é Capercaillie. 18 Dec;
3 Gun, 19 Dec; Del Amitri. 23—24 Dec: Bjorn Again.
I GLASGOW CONCERT
I GLASGOW PAVILION
(332 1846) Tasmin
Archer, 28 Feb. I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Status Quo. 5 Dec; Jason Donovan, 6 Dec; Extreme, 11 Dec; Curtis Stigers. 13 Dec; Gary Glitter, 23—24 Dec: Chris Rea, 12 Feb; Bon Jovi, 19 May. I LIVINGSTON FORUM (0506419191) Carter. 6
I EDINBURGH INGLISTON
Madness, 21 Dec.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S
HALL (668 2019) Roy
Harper. 4 Dee.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) Kidd & Fame. 10 Dec; Tommy Smith, 21 Jan: Lyttelton & Bilk, 4 Feb; Kevin MacKenzie. 6 Feb; Michel Petrucciani, 13 Feb; Don Cherry, 25 Feb; Melanie O‘Reilly, 11 Mar; Tom Bancroft Orchestra, 20 Mar; Rebirth Brass Band, 25 Mar.
I EDINBURGH DUEEN'S HALL (6682019) Kidd & Fame, 11 Dec;Craig McMurdo, 21—22 Dec; Lyttelton & Bilk, 5 Feb; Michel Petrucciani, 12
Feb; Don Cherry, 26 Feb; Cauld Blast Orchestra. 5 Mar; Tom Bancroft Orchestra, 19 Mar; Rebirth Brass Band, 26 Mar.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Chris Barber, 17 Dec.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Capercaillie. 18 Dee.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1) Polish CO,1Feb;John Williams, 10 Feb; Vienna SO, 4 Mar; Philharmonia, 22 Mar; Itzhak Perlman, 20 Apr; St Petersburg
. Phil. 11 May. I GLASGOW RSAMD (332
5057) King‘s Consort, 4 Dee; Scottish Ensemble, 4 Dec; SCO Brass. 6 Dec, 12 Mar; Aead Cont Ensemble. 10 Dec; SCO
Chamber Ensemble, 11
Dee; SEMC, 11—12 Dec; Carol Concert, 15 Dec; Acad Brass, 18 Dec;
f Junior Oreh. 19 Dec; BBC
$80, 27 Mar, 17 Apr. I EDINBURGH DUEEN'S
' HALL(668 2019) SCO
Brass, 5 Dec, 13 Mar;
Scottish Ensemble, 6 Dec,
14 Feb, 25 Apr; Hebrides Ensemble, 7 Dec; SEMC, 10 Dec, 24 Feb, 18 Mar; Capella Nova, 19 Dec;
C larsach Society, 20 Dec; Britten Quartet, 15 Feb; King‘s Consort, 18 Feb, 13 May; Brindisi Quartet, 23 Feb; Nash Ensemble, 22 Mar; Florilegium. 28 Apr. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Carol Concert. 16 Dec; ERCU Messiah, 2 Jan; ERCU Elijah, 3 Apr.
I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for Royal Scottish Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and City ofGlasgow Philharmonic Orchestra are available from Ticketcentre, Glasgow (227 5511); Usher Hall, Edinburgh (228 1155); Queen‘s Hall, Edinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish Opera from Theatre Royal, Glasgow (332 9000); King‘s Theatre, Edinburgh (229 1201).
34 The List 20 November— 3 December 1992