IIISIC LIVE REVIEWS
THE DREAMING/ THE FAR WEST/ TARTE
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 25 Nov.
Arise, punters! and salute the new breed of calibrated Caledonians out to vanquish music industry apathy in a breathless week-long A&R throbfest. Oh well. As Debbie H reminds us, dreaming is free. The idea that bands with the pulling power of a hamster in concrete slippers are gifted a platform on the good ship King Tut's is laudable, but the reality attracts like Mother Earth in zero-gravity. By now, Thursday has arrived, dwindling aperitif in hand, awaiting the victuals- three courses, promising a cornucopia of ﬂavours to satiate even the pickiest appetite. Look, there‘s Feargal Sharkey (now A&R bod at Phonogram), knife and fork at the ready.
For starters, there‘s The Far West from the far east. Glasgow has its fair share of navel-gazing whimsy-Chandlers, so why shouldn't Edinburgh truck with the rheumy-eyed soft-focus nostalgia market? Monochrome memories of bygone urban life flick still-by-still on to the backdrop while Karl Mariner and crooner (yes, indeedy) Gordon MacDonald approximate the sonic equivalent — polite white-with-a-hint- of-grey veneer of keyboard anachronism and dulcet vocals. The Far West are The Pet Shop Boys in a bath-chair, I claim my free sorbet and The Blue Nile look to their laurels and file their lawsuits.
The main course is dished up by Tarte, two parts Anton And The Moon to two parts rhythm-section-about- town Stephen Donnelly and Dennis Smith. It's familiar fare — ‘Shoulda Been Me‘ from the forthcoming single with its chirpy melody and Astrid‘s appealing harmony is Deacon Blue with some flesh on their bones— which tonight leans progressively towards rock stodge as the set progresses. The meat in tonight’s sandwich, but, being vegetarian, I‘ll pass.
Which leaves Aberdeen‘s The Dreaming to clean up with their animated folk rock and customary ardour. But by now sundry execs and members of the fourth estate have grabbed a ﬁstful of After Eights and legged it out. Allover bar the burping. (Fiona Shepherd)
mm- THE BLACK cnowas
Barrowland, Glasgow, 24 Nov.
It's a mighty long way down rock’n'roll, but not as the Crowes lly. The way our leathered friends tell it, it you can’t pack the story ol the blues into live or six gasoline-charged minutes (ten it you go for the unabridged jam sandwich), then you ain’t no rootln'-toolln’ raconteur worth the shadow you cast along Ma Robinson’s rickety picket fence as the sun retires punch-drunk behind them Blue Ridge Mountains. (Jolie.
The Crowes, y’see, are romantic Luddites. Not lorthem the urban angst ol the hip-hop iratemlty; their Instruments of protest are six strings and a plectrum. Likewise, punk never happened in iilcksvilie, where anger is a lethargy. Plus there aren’t any suburbs; this ls the sound of the swamps- delta blues, a soupcon oi Jlm Morrison's frazzled native obsession and all points between pulverlsed into this primal rock meiange.
At its very least, their perlonnance Is a re-educatlon in rock idealism; at its frequent best- the slinky slowbum oi ‘Thorn in My Pride’, ‘My Morning Song"s evangelistic verve, the bleeding pleading achy breaky ‘Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye', oh, everything basically- it’s a veneratlon ol the most emotive musical staples. The anorexic Chris Robinson - does this man have to run around in the
I, 13-95 ‘53} f 1’ k I
shower to get wet, or what? - amalgamates the oily patter and slnewy moves of a practised showman with a nervy vulnerability straight lrom the Emo Phillips school of hair-liddllng geekdom. it he could just persuade his band to eject the tedious jamming practices In lavour oi more at his rasping vocal zeal . . .
There are those who think The Black Crowes should be tarred and feathered in their own viscous sonic stew and borrowed plumage for such rampant resurrection shuttling, but we the urban proletariat will never be granted a taste oi Louisiana living 4 real, so the semblance ol southern lried poultry in the shape ol the Crowes (who at least look the part) is greeted as an exotic
elixir. Besides, you can’t carbon-date
passion. (Fiona Shepherd)
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 29 Nov. The lads bay, Harriet giggles and The Sundays' live rock’n’roll experience kicks oil with a revelation. ‘I won the war in the sitting room . . .’ she coos. Home is where the art lies, say Harriet and Dave, and they lashion their close-quarter, some way coniessional songs accordingly. Exposed to the windy strains of the large-scale gig, would these penned-in paeans go all shakey and agarophobic on us?
‘Can’t Be Sure' doesn’t, that's ior sure. It still sounds scything. They're getting their keynote/albatross song
out at the way early on, oilsettlng the crowd’s eager-beaverness with 3 ‘Did you know desire’s a terrible thing, it makes the world go blind?’ And did you know that mad accolades have their own rapacious lunacy, they make the world go, ‘Yeah, so impress me. Again.’ But then they take several pop liletimes to have another go at
' impressing us. And alas, the
lend-remembered shock at the new pales when that ‘new’ re-appears,
recycled and hardly reiigured. The
Sundays wend onwards, plangent poets occupying a world roughly the size oi Dave ’n’ Narrlet’s domestic arrangements.
Hello ‘Goodbye’. You’re the lead single lrom a long-awaited album? Good grlel, but tonight you sound good enough, chilling as well as
i (luke)warming. Nothing else irom
‘Bllnd’ stands out. You can only take so much wistful sentiment and ponderous dreampop oi an evening.
Hardly surprisingly, it’s the songs from the first album that otter interesting angles and snappy comers amdist the hazy atmosphere. ‘A Certain Someone’ has a crisp drum ianlare and a Mondays-lab swagger. Both upped the ante very nicely and very timely, thank you. ‘liideous Towns’ continues, a briel resurrection shuille alter a giglul ol. . . hmmm . . . nlceness. Between songs, between gentle goadlngs and pleadings, there is jarring silence. “Well, say something!’ yells a rude stude. Harriet giggles and The Sundays re-arrange the lumiture In their sitting-room once again. (Craig McLean)
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Concerts listed are those at malorvenues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going oipress.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Capercaillie, 18 Dec; Gun, 19 Dec; Del Amitri, 21 Dec; Bjorn Again, 30 Dec; The Saw Doctors, 30 Jan.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Elvis Costello & Brodsky Quartet, 22 Feb; Gerry Rafferty, 26 Feb; James, 13 Dec; The Hollies, 24 Mar; Elkie Brooks, 4 Apr; Everly Brothers, 19 Apr; Neil Sedaka, 29 Apr.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Tasmin Archer, 28 Feb.
I GLASGOW secc (031 ' 557 6969) Gary Glitter, 23—24 Dec; Chris Rea, 12 Feb; Bon Jovi, 19 May.
I EDINBURGH INGLISTON CENTRE (557 6969) Madness, 21 Dec.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Gerry Rafferty, 25 Feb.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) 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 GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Chris Barber, 23 Feb.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Craig McMurdo, 21—22 Dec; Lyttelton & Bilk, 5 Feb; Michel Petrucciani, 12 2 Feb; Don Cherry, 26 Feb; E Cauld Blast Orchestra, 5 5 Mar; Tom Bancroft j Orchestra, 19 Mar; ' Rebirth Brass Band, 26 Mar. i
I eusoow CONCERT HALL (227 5511)The ! Dubliners, 17 Mar. i
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Richard Clayderman, 9 Feb; Howard Keel, 5 Apr; Pirates of Penzance , 5 Mar; Michael Ball, 31 Mar; Slim Whitman & George Hamilton IV, 8 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (2.27 5511) Menuhin Conducts Messiah, 22 Dec; Polish CO, 1 Feb; John Williams, 10 Feb; Vienna SO, 4 Mar; Philharmonia, 22 Mar; ltzhak Perlman, 20 Apr; St Petersburg Phil, 11-12 May.
I GLASGOW RSAHD (332 5057) Acad Brass. 18 Dec; Junior Orch, 19 Dec; John Currie Singers, Feb 7; SCO Brass, 12 Mar; BBC $50, 27 Mar, 17 Apr.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) Cappella Nova, 19 Dec; Clarsach Society, 20 Dec; Scottish Ensemble, 14 Feb, 25 Apr; Britten Quartet, 15 Feb; King‘s Consort, 18 Feb, 13 May; Brindisi Quartet, 23 Feb; SEMC, 24 Feb, 18 Mar; SCO Brass, 13 Mar; Nash Ensemble, 22 Mar; Florilegium, 28 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) 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 of Glasgow 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
Theatre, Edinburgh (229 1201 ).
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'The List 4- 17 December 1992