MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
l ! l l ;
“Illi- DISPOSABLE HEROES or HIPHOPRISY
Tunnel. Glasgow. 14 Dec. Adopts husky Joan Greenwood purr: ’Hypnotic breast enlargement. The woman who slept for 30ycars. Marky Mark‘s Calvin Klein underpants. The Disposable Heroes Of
‘ Hiphoprisy. Which isthe
odd one out? Find out (sexually loaded pause) after the break.‘
On a programme whose
I sole useful purpose (as a , topic for pub pow-wows
come Saturday night) is dwindling as rapidly as its moral fibre. The Disposables provided a veritable oasis ofintegrity and good taste. Their dynamic. bilious rendition of‘California Uber Alles‘ on last week‘s barrel-scraping edition of The Word and Michael Franti‘s measured but heartfelt anti-homophobic gesture spoke volumes in a climate reeking of cesspit-for-brains ignorance.
Cut to a congested Glasgow club where an army of social zealots alternately make like sardines at the Festival fireworks and Zebedec on steroids. fists clenched at their sides. spirits — if not T-shirts — undampencd by the tropical humidity. This is the audience the Disposables deserve. though perhaps not the one they need. On The Word. their gospel had been a chance to net fresh minds. In The Tunnel. their tracts have long since been disseminated and digested.
Putting context toone side. it‘s worth noting that. although The Disposables are primarily about message. they are also a phenomenal live act. communicating precisely what they‘re about (peace. justice for minorities. racial harmony- it seems so obvious written down. so why isn‘t it happening?) with equal parts dignity and verve.
Throughout. Michael Franti is the gentle giant with the clamouring heart. a social sponge who chews over the early editions when others would be lassooing groupies. This man radiated intelligence. His diminutive partner. Rono Tse. is Mr C minus the inches and the irritation. a coil ofkinetic vigour who reiterates Franti‘s manifesto with coarse abbreviation while the rest of the band assemble the musical vertebrae. A selfless display. yet in its distinction inadvertantly
; self-promoting. (Fiona
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 13 Dec. James live — a sedentary experience? Surely not, except at that inevitable encore? But, yep, this is James—An Acoustic Performance. A chance to loll in the artsy elegance of the Concert Hall, an indie-kids’ away-day. A chance to sit and savour the arcane intricacies that are woven through James’ songs; the fiddly bits that are, often as not, subsumed beneath a bulldozing sound and the all-embracing nervous tic that is the stage-performance of Tim Booth. James are art-folk-rockers, inhabitants of downtown lofts, habituees of beatnik coffee shops, aficionados of the song-as-adrenaIised-poetry. They are Dylan’s more forthright wee brother, Cohen’s less claustrophobic progeny, and-say it loud, say it proud! - bugger
. all like Kerr. If James ever were a
‘stadium band’ — and methinks aspirational production and slyly epic songs do not, necessarily, a bad band make —tonight we get the kit-form version: shoved together and liable to fall apart at any moment.
Because James are busking, trusting their wits rather than their hits. Touring with Uncle Neil Young, apparently, put them on this acoustic trip and as it should be, this offers perfunctory, unhassled, good vibes. ‘Ring The Bells’ and ‘Sit Down’ wrong-footthe baggy brigade, James refusing to bow to the headlong rush of the usual
i Tim’s weird yodel, the simplistic
songs get the bends, so rapid is their ascent and descent. Then there’s Tim,
versions and instead putting their electric guitars on a short leash and lilleting out every fourth beat.
Key components from their dim and distant ’Hymn From A Village’ are thus revived. The arhythmic stroppiness,
sparseness. These also underpin other oldies ‘Johnny Yen’ and ‘Chain Mail’, their stop-start madness threatening to go OTT as James go AWOL and the
James’ very own Tasmanian devil, just like in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Like a washing machine taking an eppy, he bucks and jerks, the most gripping part of the performance. For the Acoustic James was more clever illumination than total gratification, stripping away the now-de rigueur bigness, and promoting the cause of James’ still-thriving, ever-resilient contrary pop instincts. (Craig McLean)
um- THE POGUES/PELE
Barrowland, Glasgow, 6 Dec. As is its wont around this time every year, The Barrowland is packed to the rafters with more Tims than a public-school graduate roll, and the lager- and vomit-soaked floor shakes to the collective bellowing of those football anthems that all seem to go ’woh-oh-oh-oh’ for several stanzas. And the Pogues aren’t even on for another hour.
In the circumstances, Pele are
46 The List 18Deﬁee-nTber anuary 1993 i _
: enthralling. Lyrics get lost in the mass
and subtleties eschewed in favour of down-the-line fiddle-driven shiny
of bewied-up wearers of the green,
happy numbers with a nostalgia- inducing fondness for traditions like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle-
bit-chorus-end. Reference points
touched en route include the Black Country brashness of PWEI/T he Wonder Stuff, but more particularly Dexy’s Midnight Runners round about
23 May 1982. This is a Good Thing.
j From Grace With God’ and, my God, 7 they have. It’s a rather cute irony that
. ' 3 ' to the man’sinabilityto stand up has
, new material that resembles outtakes
The Pogues open with ‘If 1 Should Fall
- the departure of Shane McGowan due
left the remainder of The Pogues as a nondescript pub-rock band. A substantial part of the set is devoted to
i from a Lurkers bootleg, and the whole
, affair smacks oftime-servers reluctant
3 to abandon their gravy train, even after
the driver has slumped over the wheel. The trouble is that Spider Stacy can’t
sing. Shane couldn’t sing either, but at
least his maudlin slur had a certain
battered charm. Spider makes like a
South London lager Iout whom nobody
can prise off the all-night karaoke, an
impression reinforced by the fact that
5 he has to read all the lyrics off sheets of
paper. The serious ones, Terry Woods
' and Phil Chevron, are wheeled forward '
i to drone their meaningful dirges and
the green hordes sway. In fact, they
g sway all the way down Argyle St,
’ dropping occasionally into the gutter to
[be swept away by the rain. (Tom
3 7 BOOK now
Concerts listed are those at majorvenues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going to press.
I GLASGOW BARRDWLAND (226 4679) The Saw Doctors. 2‘)Jan. I GLASGOW CELTIC PARK (2275511) [72.8Aug.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1 ) Elvis Costello & Brodsky Quartet. 22 Feb: (ierry Rafferty. 26 Feb; James. 13 Dee; The Hollies. 24
Mar; Elkie Brooks. 4 Apr: a
Everly Brothers. 1‘) Apr; Neil Sedaka. 2‘) Apr.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 18-16) Mary Chapin Carpenter. 11 Feb; Tasmin Archer. 28 Feb. I GLASGOW SECC (031 5576969) Chris Rea. 12
Feb: Michael Bolton. ‘)—101\1ay;BonJovi. 1‘)
(557 2590) (Berry
i Rafferty.25Feb. I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL (668 2019) The Saw
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 551 1 ) 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: Torn Bancroft ()rchestra. 20 Mar: Rebirth Brass Band. 25 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT
’ HALL(2275511)Herb Miller ()rchestra. 8 Feb;
Chris Barber. 23 Feb.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN'S
HALL(6682(119)Lyttelton é’r Bilk. 5 Feb; Michel I’elrucciani. 12Feb; Don
Cherry. 26 Feb; Cauld Blast Orchestra. 5 Mar; Tom Bancroft Orchestra. 1‘) Mar; Rebirth Brass Band. 26 Mar.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(22R l 155) Herb Miller Orchestra. ‘) Feb.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511)The Dubliners. 17 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL(227 551 1) Richard (‘1ayderman. 9 Feb: Howard Keel. 5 Apr: Pirates of Penzance. 5 Mar; Michael Ball. 31 Mar; Slim Whitman & George Ilamilton 1V. 8
Apr. I GLASGOW PAVILION
(332 1846) Lena Martell. 18—20 Mar.
1 I cuscow ssccum
557 6969) Barry Manilow. 14 Apr: Johnny Mathis. 26
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1 ) Polish CO. 1 lieszohn Williams. 10 Feb; Vienna SO. 4 Mar: Philharmonia. 22 Mar; ltzhak Perlman. 20 Apr; St Petersburg Phil. 11—12 May.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (332 5057)]ohn Currie Singers. Feb 71SCO
Brass. 12 Mar; BBCSSO. 27 Mar. 17 Apr. I EDINBURGH QUEEN'S
HALL (668 2019) Scottish Ensemble. 14 Feb. 25 Apr; Britten Quartet. 15 Feb; King‘s Consort. 18 Feb. 13 May: Brindisi Quartet. 23 Feb; SEMC.
2-1 Feb. 18 Mar;SCO
Brass. 13 Mar; Nash Ensemble. 22 Mar; Florilegiurn. 28 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(2281155)ERCU
Elijah. 3 Apr.
I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for RSO. SCO. BBCSSO. and C(iPO concerts are available from Ticketcentre. Glasgow (227 551 1 ): Usher Hall. Edinburgh (228 l 155); Queens Hall. Edinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish Opera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000): King's Theatre. Edinburgh (229 1201).