Transit-ory pleasures

Craig McLean looks at the way ahead (possibly) for touring bands.

‘Bigmoneylooza. first dahn the booza!’ cackles

Silverfish‘s Lesley Rankine. ‘To a certain extent. it'll .

just be fun for us.‘ muses James Johnstone from Gallon Drunk. ‘Therapy'.’ aren‘t available for phone interviews because they're touring in Europe.” says Therapy?‘s record company. And within those three quotes lie two of the three interesting facets of the package tour they‘re calling (sometimes) Sexdrugsandbooza ‘93.

(1) Joy joy joy: ‘I think us and Gallon Drunk will be fighting over who gets to go on first so we can come off stage and start drinking.‘ So says that shaven— headed succubus Lesley, the mouth-almighty whose feral yell is Silverfish. As tnuch as anything. Bigmoneylooza is a beerfest and a funfest. a way of spicing up a touring circuit that can be. for bands at the second-division level of our three intrepid

band( it)s. a real drag.

‘lt‘sjust complete fucking misery!‘ says James the Drunk of the Transit-van-and-kipping-on-folk's— floors gig route whose bedrock is no sleep and less cash. ‘As long as we have a certain amount of comfort it's okay. Below that it becomes a bit of a bore. takes all the fun out of it.

‘I can’t go on saying how wonderful this will be for the kids all the time. because that's bullshit!’ he adds with bequiffed candour. ‘Really it might just make

life a little easier for us going round . . .'

(2) Indie indie malor: Recalls Lesley. ‘Initially. the idea was for us all to rotate the headline slot every night. Then Therapy? suffered a hit and we thought we‘d better shove them on last ‘cause they‘re gonna pull a bigger crowd.’

So Therapy"). the chart-fave major label band (A&M). headline. have their own PA. an opulent tour bus. and are busy wowing our Euro-brethren with their snarling punk ire. Silverfish (Creation) and

Gallon Drunk (Clawflst). meanwhile. are travelling

together and sharing gear. Not that the latter two are

. the poor (indie) relations on this tour. Straight

; afterwards. Silverfish are off on a coast-to-coast tour 3 of America supporting Gumball. As for Gallon Drunk. they're just back from Oslo. are off to Paris in

a mo'. and are signed to the mighty Sire in the States. ‘Yeah. it seems absolutely ridiculous.‘ says James of this surreal dysfunction. ‘The Clawflst office is a kitchen in somebody else's office. and the design of

the Time/Warner building in New York looks like the Palace of Versailles. You're supposed to be terrified and in awe of this building. and yet they're

supposedly working for us.’

(3) Money money money: ‘lt was a necessity. to be honest.‘ says Paul Bolton of Concord. concert booking agents for all three bands. Rumours of the

! death of the live circuit aren't that exaggerated (‘it‘s dead on it's feet.’ grunts James the Drunk). A surfeit ; of concerts has conspired with a general lack of cash

to produce a more selective gig-going punter; and as a consequence agents have found themselves forced to devise ever more inventive ways of pulling in the necessary crowds.

l L-it: James Johnston (Gallon Drunk), Lesley Rankine (Silverfish), Andy Cairns (Therapy?) get real. real gone

3 Said. The Werefrogs and Submarine). and currently working on Molly Half Head's national ‘free entry’

1 tour. By doubling up or trebling up. overheads are

i reduced and potential gains increased as each band

benefits from the cross—pollination of fans from each

moment that are the guaranteed sellers that this one

. punter-friendly. economically-sound rockpunkblues

‘We‘re going to see lots of different angles on tours.’ agrees Martin Tibbets of Solo, responsible for devising the recent Ultimate tour package (Sidi Bou

of the other bands followings. ‘Putting three bands out. and three name bands, is the way forward.‘ says Tibbets. ‘The Therapy? tour is three bands with a small level of pulling power. but a growing level. appealing to different crowds, and so building a bigger audience. But the only danger is if the ticket price goes up, that defeats the purpose.‘

Hence the tickets have been pegged at a most reasonable £7. Hardly surprisingly, as Paul Bolton puts it. ‘there‘s not many tours out there at the

is.’ ‘lt‘s more than just a concert. it’s an event.‘ says a suitably enthusiastic Ewan McNaught of Renegade, promoters of the Scottish leg of our triple-headed.

bash. ‘Bigmoneylooza' never seemed a less apt name.

Therapy f’. Silverfish and Gallon Drunk play Queen Margaret Union. Glasgow on Sun 14.

am:- The Iron

maiden ;

‘lt’s a cello for guitarists who can’t play the cello, a sort of giant bowed guitar; I believe there are only two in the country!’ Annie Grace describes Stevie Lawrence’s arpeggione, which with the blarge, a massive twelve- string bouzouki, are two of the rare instruments he owns and can be heard on ‘Thro’ Water, Earth and Stone’, the new on from Glasgow band Iron Horse. Annie herself is unusual in that she plays pipes in the band, both the



smaller Scottish bellows-blown small pipes and the full-size Highland

‘We’re very aware of not overdoing the

, bagpipes in the band: i mean, all z bands use them nowadays, and there’s the danger of ending up sounding too

‘People are still intrigued by a woman playing the pipes though, and even the tin whistle, or the big Overton low whistle. They wonder if your fingers are big enough!

‘lt’s because the folk scene is still very much a male-dominated scene; it 4 takes a certain type of person to walk into a session and sit down and play

you are.’

how well you can play, not what sex

Iron Horse are one of only a few ' interesting young folk bands to have emerged in Scotland over the last few § anyway we’ve still a lot of untapped years, although the rise of the ceilidh clubber has seen an explosion of dance bands playing essentially : simple arrangements of reels and Jigs. ' choice.’ (llonnan Chalmers) 3010"! a" "l8 9018- “'88 infll'fl'dated The band’s line up includes a second

3‘ first. I 8099088. More I 90‘ ‘0 know i female vocalist Lynn Morrison who them. But in the end it only matters

writes songs; Gavin Marwick on fiddle; Hod Paul on mandoline, whistles, banio, cittern and electric guitar; and

g the aforementioned highly talented

; Stevie also on percussion, guitar and

i anything else with frets.

i The highly popular band are currently

g working a very full part-time, and, as

3 Annie admits, are shy of taking the

i plunge into constant touring.

i ‘Vle enloy ourselves this way. it's still

a treat to travel off to gigs, and

; potential to explore in the band with i all the mum-instrumentalists, ' different sounds. We’re spoiled for

f Iron Horse: Launch on a Boat, Glasgow 1 3 Wed 24. Edinburgh Folk Festival, Tue 3

. also plays keyboards, fiddle, viola, and [ April 6. ON FOLLOWING PAGES: THE AUTEURS 0 BIG COUNTRY O SPIN DOCTORS

The List l2 —25 March I993 27