Gneiss to see you . . .

Fed up with the lack of attention paid by London record companies to local bands? Fiona Shepherd met a group of Glaswegians who decided to show them what they were missing.

Gneiss (pronounced ‘nice‘): it means ‘coarse-grained foliated metamorphic roek‘, apparently. ‘usually composed of quartz. feldspar and mica'. To the CD— buying public of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen it will soon, pressing-plant gremlins permitting. mean ‘a compilation of roughshod indie-orientated guitar rock, composed of twelve Glasgow bands. familiar names on the gig circuit trying to make that quantum leap from local to national cognisance‘. To Keith Hawley, vocalist with Roundabout and the man above whose head that little light bulb germ of an idea first appeared. it has meant a slow two-year trawl through a demo tape mountain, fund and awareness-raising gigs. the politics of vinyl versus CD and now promotional duties. including a further series of launch gigs.

‘I'd read an article in Melody Maker which said that Glasgow had more bands per head of population. than any other city in Europe.‘ he says ofthe initial idea. ‘and that they were all dreadful and they were all trying to be Deacon Blue and Wet Wet Wet. There probably are quite a lot trying to do that. but if you go round the pubs there are some pretty good things happening. It was really just to make the statement that we're not all trying to be in the ‘Glasgow soul scene‘ I‘m not knocking that. it's got its market. but even Deacon Blue don’t want to sound like Deacon Blue now.‘

For all its ‘alternative‘ proviso. Gneiss treads a slalom path through the indie tulips. from Roundabout‘s quirky Cud-isms to Landfall‘s garage pop to Baby Chaos‘ strutting confidence to Mescal Danee‘s trad Goth to Hugh Reed And The Velvet Underpants‘ novelty anarchy to Wish‘s blithe pop to . . . . (reviewer runs out of puff here). Rather than be punted as some consummate statement of where it's musically at. eat. in Condorrat (or wherever). Gneiss is more a summation of the state of the (hon'ible- word alert) ‘industry‘, for want of a better generalisation. That is, all the tracks are demos (albeit quality ones) and the CD is appearing on Spiral Records. a label set up by Roundabout and whom specifically to release this compilation. lts creation is symptomatic of the paths taken by many an untainted hopeful these days.

‘I think it‘s a bit sad that we have to say we‘ve got to look to London.‘ says Keith. ‘lt's probably a very

Roundabout Scottish thing anyway that everyone waits for London to do things. People should say, “We can do these things up here".‘

‘It's really good that bands are not waiting around for this big record deal.‘ says Landfall vocalist Angus. ‘I hope the (‘D will make a lot of folk think about doing the same thing. cos it is possible to go it di‘IIIL, uitltuugit it .s L.\}ILII.\|VL.

So what’s the stimulus for getting involved in the first place'.’

‘lt‘s not going to be anything financial. The reason we did it was because we felt there were a lot of bands in Glasgow that weren't getting the attention they deserved.‘ says Angus truthfully.

‘We'd been approached by BMG but we decided to go with this one instead because it's a local record company.‘ lies the ever-inventive Hugh Reed.

‘The point of this is not to make money or to promote the album as such.‘ states Keith. ‘This is a vehicle for all the bands to promote themselves. We see it as a stepping stone to something else. It's a way of getting radio play and press that you probably wouldn't otherwise get.‘

And quite apart from any industry comeback. what ‘real‘ people are going to purchase the compilation‘.’

‘People that are curious. that have seen a few names about. that would be interested in hearing a band

; before they go to see a gig.‘ says Keith truthfully.

‘I come from a large Irish family so I’m expecting quite a few sales.‘ lies the ever-inventive Hugh.

(Ineiss is all! a! [lie eml ({fH/H‘ll and will be available a! selected I'(’('()I'(l shops in Glasgow. Edinburgh aml

Aberdeen. Werlgewaml Line. Rwanda/ma! aml Hag/I Reerl And The lelrel ( 'mler/mnls play lllt’ illaxie Hm. lz‘t'llrilnuylt. on Mon [2.


The List 9—22 April Nos 25