it 4 i
firing on all cylinders again. Adamson is looking disgustingly good. dead rock‘n'roll. without an ounce of' spare flesh on his frame and a haircut to match. He's clad in spartan black: a sleeveless T—shirt. leather trousers and coat and an outsized silver crucifix.
Big Country have only resolved their ongoing excretory/ exf‘oliatory i conundrum recently. and seem set on 1 making amends for the last few years i with stronger songs. the new record ’ deal and the return of Mark Brzezicki
to the. if you‘ll pardon the expression. drum stool.
‘I remember at the time of the second i album. which was pretty dark and
1 dense.~ says Adamson. ‘people bitching : about us for playing this grungey guitar . rock. Then suddenly. five or six years l later. there‘s all these kids from the 1 West Coast of America running around i in tartan shirts playing dense slabs of 3 guitar music. 'Scuse me. please. but did i I miss the point here'.’ Or was it that i there weren't guitars in London clubs at l the time'."
Talk turns. as it almost inevitably would. to the subject of the band‘s ‘Scottishness'. ‘Does anyone say that to any band in England: you sound very linglish'." Adamson retorts.
Well. there‘s Morrissey. for a start.
its roots in what he grew up with and the things he‘s turned on by. But the 'last I read in the weekly music press was that Morrissey‘s a racist now. isn't he‘." he continues. mockineg. ‘Some card-carrying National Front member. eh‘?‘
‘That’s no for me to say.‘ quips Bruce Watson. ‘Perhaps he's a Neo-Nancy . . .
Aw. no. I shouldnae have said that.‘ ‘But the bottom line.‘ Stuart continues. “is that Morrissey writes great lyrics and he’s written songs that are entertaining and move people. And he’s fucking entertaining to read about.’ But we love people like that. don‘t we'.’ ‘We have to have people like that. to ; write about in the media. Part of that _ backiired on me as well. I tried to play this game. to be the most anti-hero i thing I could be and still try to sell
; records through it. And it got to the
m- Doctors who?
‘Last time we came here nobody wanted to talk to us . . .’ But, hey, we were otherwise occupied. The day Spin Doctors first touched down in blighty, Desert Storm kicked off and Britain shrugged off the overtures of yet another American rock ‘sensation’ (in the making). Two years later, the sabre-rattling of the war pigs is as loud as ever. A million-and-a-half records later, though, the ‘sensation’ (actual, now) that is Spin Doctors is unavoidable. Over here, they still mean doodIy-squat. Dver there, this New York quartet are canonised as the hall-bearers of hippy rock; a form for whom the Grateful Dead were supposedly the last surviving pail- bearers.
But barefoot boogie, as ‘Bolling Stone’ christened this brand of revived, 'pre-grunge rock, is alive and well and busking on a corner near you. Fellow travellers Blues Traveler and Phish (From Vermont) plied their wares and died a death in Britain. Dan Spin Doctors, the leaders of the pack, hit paydlrt? Bass player Mark White doesn’t seem bothered either way. Spin Doctors can play to audiences of between 1000 and 4000 back home, ‘play one hour and make tons of money’, and still retain the Image of stoned dudes-cum-muso curmudgeons. Which they are.
‘I hate playing fast music,’ says
White. ‘l’d rather have it slow and
easy. It’s funky, but it’s not like other bands where it’s complete non-stop headbanging, no-Iet-up kind of nonsense. Basically, when you walk out your ears are ringing so badly it all sounds the same. it’s not the same situation as with us.’
So Spin Doctors’ debut album, ‘Pocket Full Of Kryptonlte’, weighs in at a daunting 70 minutes; it has to, since the grooves — or laser pits - therein ‘go from one extreme to another and everything in between’. Well, maybe not quite. But given the rave applause afforded their come-all- ye gig ‘events’ in the US, it is the live Doctors as opposed to the recorded version that will be the more potent tonic. (Craig McLean)
The Spin Doctors play King Tut’s, Glasgow on Sat 20.
stage where. because you refuse to play , that kind of' myth-making game and . because I got into playing the exact opposite of that. you‘re written about as. “()h. he's just everyday then." People can‘t see that‘s what music grows out of. It grows out of everyday things. Prince has been writing songs . about shagging for years. It's an ‘ everyday thing. but it‘s the way he‘s ' written about it that makes it exciting. I i played all those games: “Right. everything you do is completely l everyday and normal. and the music is . just there." It ends up that people think 5 that’s the whole story. that there's 3 nothing to write about. You realise they‘re not listening to the music when i you see what starts happening. You tell
‘Yeah. exactly. And what he does has people it‘s all in the songs. and they put
I on twenty seconds of each track and
! that‘s their review.‘
. It‘s all in The Buﬂkrln Skinners.
l Honest. all of it. Along with some healthy slabs of very-trendy-all—over-
i again grunge.
Big C (mnrrjv play The Burrow/(1nd. Glasgow on Mon 22.
; The mix’n’match musical package- tour seems to be an increasingly
i popular way for performers to enliven s the routine of grinding around the
‘ country in a bus by adding something a bit different (see page 27). The latest example is Three Go Touring, a collaborative )aunt between wayward
= Scots songstress Eddi Reader, ex-Bible 1 song.’
singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdlne and Clive Gregson, who fronted the early - 80s Manchester combo Any Trouble
and has since worked with the likes of a emphatic that they have no
Richard Thompson and Christine Collister.
All three performers are best described as eclectic talents - Bregson and Hewerdine are both ex- rockers who have moved into rootsier styles, while Reader graduated from
‘ real big mixed bag of stuff - it’s
basically a four-way split between songs each of us have written, plus - some covers. When we’re working out I the songs, we all throw different ideas 1 and styles into the pot, and I guess ; we’re all sensitive and capable . enough to do the right thing with each
‘ While the threesome have recorded ‘ an EP, featuring a Smiths track and . two co-written numbers, they are
r aspirations to supergroup status. ‘lt’s
, actually a real breath of fresh air to do i
. something that’s not particularly
career-orientated,’ Gregson says.
. ‘There’s no album, no big record company promotion; it’s a one-off
3 thing, and at the end of it we’ll all get
stints with such as the Eurythmlcs and on gum. the rest or what we do.
Alison Moyet, through the acoustic- pop of Fairground Attraction to her
: Reader, Hewerdine and Bregson play
‘ idiosyncratic, lower-key current work. i the Mayra", Glasgow on Sun 14 Mar
' ‘Between us we cover an awful lot of 3 ground,’ Gregson says, ‘and we play a
l and The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on 15 Mar.
The List ll —25 March I993 29