l I l Friends
Edinburgh — and indeed Scotland - is fortunate indeed to have among its residents violinist Leonard Friedman. Over many years now he has performed musical l conjuring tricks with seedlings of new ideas— ranging from the founding of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble to the annual l Mendelssohn On Mull festival — taking root to become established indispensables of the nation‘s culture.
The latest, opening at the Queen‘s Hall, is Friedman And Friends, a series of four recitals dedicated to Friedman‘s teacher and great inspirer, Max Rostal, who died last year. ‘This is not a normal academic series,‘ says Friedman, ‘but one to do with my relationship with Rostal, who was probably the greatest string pedagogue in the world. I am very privileged to have been a pupil.’
The idea came from a celebration of his life held last year in London, attended by, among many other emiment string players, Yehudi Menuhin. “Several of us committed ourselves then to do something in perpetuity to celebrate his work. This particular series will be more informal than most.‘ The concerts feature works by Schubert, Grieg, Walton, Leighton, Mendelssohn and Elgar. And, says Friedman. ‘they represent three themes: ﬁrstly, mainstream British violin music; secondly, the character of the editions by the late Max Rostal, as he has edited most ofwhat i I’ll be playing and, thirdly, ‘ my relationship with the composers concerned.‘
The various friends involved include pianists Allan Schiller, Peter Evans and Virginia Strawson. It is worthwhile noting that there is no contemporary Scottish music, ‘because‘, says Friedman, ‘everyone else is doing it now. 1 did it twenty years ago, so I'm stopping.‘ (Carol Main) Friedman and Friends is at the Queen 's Hall, Edinburgh on Weds27 Jan,17Feb,10 Mar and31 Mar.
? to say you’re into Neil Young — even .
‘ Further works
Time, she is a cruel and tickle mistress, especially to impressionable pups on their induction to the cavern of musical iniquity that is The Rockbiz. Alter over a decade welded to his guitar, Ian McNabb, ex-lcicle Works , tunesmilh and possessor of just the iabbestScouse accentand relaxed wit, 3 knows a bit about (mis)timing. His i ’ band raised a glass to abstruse psychedelic lyrics, ‘organic’ photo ; sessions, the humble turtleneck and I Neil Young — all cultural no-nos in the early 80s —thus hewing a career out of
' simultaneously producing splendid . records and being iastidiously ignored.
‘We were only kids, like,’ he demurs. “Nowadays, of course, it’s prerequisite ;
Carter! I’m sure they don’t mean it; I’m sure they’re getting him mixed up with ; Neil Diamond.’
The Icicle Works split messily, were forgotten, then rediscovered via last year’s greatest tunes package - the compilation of which Ian describes as , ‘Iike choosing the wedding photos after the divorce’ — and underwent the mandatory renaissance whereby Ian finds himself having to be polite to people who now describe the group as ‘surely one of the most underrated . . .’
Yet now, at the precise moment that McNabb could seize a soupcon of , hipdom, he releases from beneath the ; knitted brows remarks like ‘I think ; there’s too much emphasis placed on i sex in music.‘ Not exactly flowing with I the current of popular opinion perhaps, j
but if it’s possible to nod vociierously then I’m joining in a spot of agreement lrenzy. ‘I mean, I like it but all the stuff that I like is about the music and whatever conduit it’s coming through is irrelevant to me.’
And thus, in pursuit of the sonically incongruent- ‘I’ve never really felt part of anything,’ he says with not a trace of pathos — he lobs into the fray his current LP, ‘Truth and Beauty’, ‘a very sort-oi spiritual record, appreciating things you don’t usually appreciate. And quite long.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
Ian McNabb plays King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow on Fri 22.
I Also appearing: the 'hard Canadiantechno’
of Frontline Assembly 3 Are CNN a brave new force in industrial music? Do they even want to be? Unlike many In his position, drummer Neil Lambert doesn‘t mind the ‘industrial’ label.
‘It was pretty inevitable, really. You can draw some parallels towards that kind of thing. Hard aggressive guitars (supplied by Tim Bricheno, ex-Sisters oi Mercy and All About Eve) and vocals : and so on. If anything, hopefully, it might give more people a chance to hearus!
Indeed, iortheir debut tour, CNN ‘ have landed on the TDK Campus Chart’s industrial show, between hard Canadian techno sorts Frontline Assembly and relative newcomers Terminal Power Company. The differences between the three serve to point out how wide-ranging the
‘industrial’ label is. Lambert hopes the tour will give them exposure without
§ being the first nail intheircoiiln. ‘Any band that ties itself to a scene
inevitably suffers when that scene
- finally goes down.’
Perhaps CNN will avoid that bond
because of their attempts to mix up the good and bad of pop/rock culture. This
can take some justification. ‘If you write a song like “Young,
‘ Stupid And White’, saying rock music
has become stagnant as a medium of expression, then to get up and play rock music you've got to have a pretty good reason. There’s a tendency to try to give reasons for a lot of what we do at the moment. I think in the future it'll
take on a life of its own and it won’t : need justified. People will either like it or they’ll hate it.’
They'll begin to find out which on this
tour. Finally, Nell, any special
industrial masterpiece planned for these first crucial live shows?
‘We’ve got a cover version coming in lorthe tour, though it’s still in the
, pipeline. It’s a Kenny Rogers song, pretty reworked — it doesn’t harp back
to its country roots.’ The world holds Its breath. (Gavin
The TDK Campus Chart Tour goes to Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow on 24 Jan.
V. ~. Sally Barker is lead singer ofThe Poozies, the all-women folk band now slimmed down to a foursome, and in Edinburgh working on their first album.
‘It’s a very busy coming year for me, and for all of us. l‘m doing a lot with my own band The Rhythm and that’s mainly centred over in Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and some in Italy.
‘Karen, the Poozies’ accordionist, played with us for some gigs including last week’s Pebble Mill broadcast. Capercaillie had to cancel after their road accident, so we went on with The Rhythm augmented by Karen, my sister on backing vocals and percussion, and one ofThe Barely Works on keyboards.
‘But Karen‘s had to step down from my band, she’s committed to loads ofwork in Kathryn Tickell‘s group plus the up-and-coming Poozies‘ tours. Then, ofcourse, Patsy and Mary play as Sileas, and as part of Clan Alba. Getting us all together in one place is tricky! !
‘Doing without a fiddle hasn’t made much difference; the fiddle and accordion tended to merge together as one sound anyway, and now Karen‘s poking out there a bit more on her own. Anyway, Patsy’s been playing fiddle on a couple of numbers now so we still have the sound?
The music of The Poozies is not as folk-centred as the instrumental line-up of acoustic guitar, acoustic 5 and electric harps, accordion, whistle and a bit of fiddle would imply.
‘lt’s a hotch-potch bag ofstyles! Because we all so much enjoy playing together, we bring what we like. Mary and Patsy'have the Scottish element, but Mary’s also coming from the Doors and Jimi Hendrix. I like the acoustic guitar end of things and Karen‘s from Irish music but loves J ools Holland.
That’s how we’re happy with a pop number and a Hebridean waulking song back to back.‘ (Norman Chalmers) The Poozies play St Bride’s Centre, Edinburgh on Fri 22.
34 The List 15- 28 January 1993