STATE OF THE ARTSFEATIIIIE
And while Deacon Blue go brash. del Amitri shrug their shoulders. peel off another Top Forty hit. and Change Everything rings up another sale in Hicksville. Arizona. Del Amitri are sturdv. chirpily unfashionable and doggedly determined to cut against the grain of rocking bombast and rolling exuberance. This is nihilism in the face of adversity. gallows humour that elicit empathy frotn the listener and thoughts of. ‘Phew. Justin Currie might be an
international rocker with a Grammy for :
Acting The Goat. but at least tny love- life isn't as bad as his.‘ Out of such love-and-luck-free zones. though. come bleakly bright songs.
UnUsually in the insecure world of theatre. Simon Donald has built his acting and playwriting career almost exclusively at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre. Uninterested in the stuffy conventions of much mainstream theatre. he has homed in on the challenge of performing in new plays and has resisted all but the tnost lucrative work elsewhere. So while most people might recognise him from his lead role in the last series of Soldier Soldier. he has an illustrious list of credits from appearances in plays by Hannan. Clifford. Kelman and many more. In his own writing he has proved himself the master of a darkly comic urban wasteland. most notably in last year's hit show The Life ofStujfwhich is soon to be produced again in London. His next stage appearance is in The Swan at. surprise. surprise. the Traverse.
EGE 8AM YASI
What goes around comes around and never a truer truism was uttered in the ever-ﬂuid catacombs of club culture. Back in the mid-80s when Mr Egg was perpetuating a mildly pornographic stage show of mutant acid abstractions. little did he know that the cusp of ‘93 would bring acid house full circle and undergoing the re-trenditication process. Bingo! pioneer status is accorded Mr Egg and everyone pretends they‘ve alway dug that wonky marriage of scrambled beats and
traneey undulation. At the time of canonisation. Mr Egg was too busy frying brains and tending his ‘Acid lndigestion‘ to notice he was hip again.
Not one for pigeon-holes is Angus Farquhar. Under the banner of Test Department. then an 80s industrial rock collective. now a sprawling theatrical family. he has been an instrumental figure in everything from Pagan spring ceremonies on Edinburgh‘s Calton Hill to multi-media religious meditations in a disUsed church. His triumphs have included The Gododdin. chronicling the annhililation of a 7th century lowland tribe. and The Second Coming. a head- shattering. abstract lament to declining industry performed in a huge Glasgow warehouse. which was one of the best productions of 1990. But his ambitions can get the better of him as The Soul Machine. set in the aforementioned Dowanhill church. was a worthy but incoherent flop the following year. Hopes are high. however. for the newly-named NVA Organisation‘s forthcoming Mayfest epic. Sabotage.
Like Ege Bam Yasi. Finitribe are pioneers in the dance field. ﬂush with the recognition though not the record sales they deserve. In fact (adopt sing- song tone here as we enter a prime muso cliché zone) their seminal early track ‘De-Testimony' (or ‘the one with the bells on it' as we musicologists technically define it) is widely believed to have kickstarted the British end of the late 80s acid house boom. Some haven't twigged they‘ve released anything since. However. over the last five years they‘ve progressed from Eurobeat austerity to poppier ambient shores without relinquishing intelligent lyrical matter or their irreverent stagey live persona.
IAN HAMILTON FINLAY As much wordsmith as visual artist. Finlay isjust as famous for his
obsessions — principally the French Revolution — as for the elegance of his sculpture. His acrimonious relationship with the Scottish Arts Council is legendary: in 1978 he withdrew an exhibition minutes before the opening.
art. Since then he has waged war on various bureaucratic institutions via postcards dispatched from his home. Little Sparta. and printed by the Wild Hawthom Press. Finlay's fascination with the insignia of Nazi Germany has led to accusations of fascism; the French government cancelled his proposed monument to the French Revolution at Versailles. BBC l Scotland broadcasts a tribute to Finlay on 14 Feb.
‘. ﬂ]. : k
What does it say about a nation that its
most popular cultural icon is a string-
vested Social Fund-claiming alkie
philosopher from Govan'.’ Who cares.
when Rab C. Nesbitt. writer lan
Pattison's monster spawned from an
3 experimental Naked Video sketch. t‘ontinucs to come up with the blend of pertinent comment and applied vulgarity that have made him a substantial comedy hit north and south of the border. Pattison and Fisher. an actor who has also turned his hand to
dramatic roles (in White Mischief for
f one) promise Nesbitt will die a sudden death when the public tire of him. His demise does not look imminent.
‘ Flockhart left the Glasgow School of 'I Art in 1985 and went on to study in
l Poland. Her first Scottish solo show
to make a statement about the nature of
star in Maeheth in a co-production '
was at the Fruitmarket in 1990. Her paintings present disconcerting. foreshortened images of women. often with wizened faces which have been described as ‘ grotesque‘. but are nonetheless compulsive. They are inspired by early folk art. by the icons she encountered in Poland and by her interest in 17th century Dutch an. But Flockhart also sets out to investigate a range of female archetypes — mother. l maiden. Madonna — and makes her ; point with disturbing symbolism.
Ooh, those handclaps. L'm. that line about 'l’3arcelona’. ‘Spanish Horses'. last summer‘s ‘comeback' single from Roddy Frame was hardly the stuff of unqualified greatness. Was the (erstwhile . . .) boy wonder slipping? Hard to tell. since the prospective autumn release of the fifth. Ryuichi Sakamoto-produced Aztec Camera album receded into the distance as tracks underwent further mixes. And there‘s still no sign of it on the horizon. Don’t matter though. since Frame's slight dalliances with crapness only seem that way in the context of the epoch-making endeavours he's turned his pen and throat to along the way. Roddy Frame is 2‘). There‘s plenty tnore in the young cove yet.
JANICE GALLOWAY Regarded as one of Scotland‘s tnost exciting contemporary authors. on the strength of her award-winning first novel The 'l'riek is to Keep Breathing. about a woman‘s breakdown after the loss of her lover. and the short story collection Blood. Galloway's strengths include her bold experiments with language and form. through which she conveys not only the quality but the impact of emotion. the fragmentary 5 nature of consciousness and ' experience. A protege ofJames Kelman’s. she writes with passion and enormous energy. frequently focusing on women's fate in the masculine. working-class culture of Scotland's West Coast. Her time is presently divided between her first baby and her second novel.
In the course of his career. Glen has starred opposite Charlotte Rampling in the David Hare political thriller Parts By Night. achieved major mainstream success for his award-winning role as Barlinnie prisoner Larry Winters in The Silent Scream. and been voted Evening Standard Best Actor for his role in Mountains on the Moon. Hay ing taken the lead in Hamlet in Bristol in 1991. he‘s currently playing Edmond in the Royal Court‘s King Lear and is soon to
The List IZ—ZS February 1993 11