I Sadly, we must announce the end of the football song's brief burst of respectability. After its rehabilitation at the hands of such tunesmiths as New Order (who had the good taste to rope in cool comedian Keith Allen as lyricist) and Adrian Sherwood‘s Barmy Army. the genre is being invaded by Martin (Heaven 17. British Electric Foundation) Ware. who is dangling a little ditty called ‘lf lt's Wednesday It Must Be Wembley‘ over our heads like the Sword Of Damocles. A tribute to his beloved Sheffield Wednesday. it features lan Reddington from E(ISI(’IT(1(’I‘.S‘ on vocals. Hope you know what you're doing. Martin. It‘s only a short step from there to Terry Venables singing ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ . . .
I A heartfelt plea has gone out for a copy of Kermit The Frog singing ’lt's Not Easy Being Green‘. No. it's not to brighten the life of a seriously ill schoolkid. or even some sad collector of Muppets memorabilia; the request actually appeared in environmental pamphlet The Green Diary. as Green Action want to use it as their signature tune on radio station Q96. And now that we've robbed their plan of any element of surprise it had, it only remains for us to tell you to dial 041 248 6864 if you have a copy of the offending track. Or else keep very. very quiet about it.
I The Lemon Trees will be playing tracks from their new LP. Open Book at HMV. Princes Street. Edinburgh at 2.30pm on Wednesday 14. then signing copies of said platter. Those who can't stump up the price of a ticket to see them supporting Suzanne Vega at the Usher Hall later that day can thus have a free taste of the songwriting and performing talents of chief Lemon Tree (and formerly Waterboys. World Party and Julian
Cope group member) Guy Chambers. l l_
Labels come and labels go, but Human Condition Records of Edinburgh may be around for a while yet. It came into being when Paul Kirk and Jamie Watson were holidaying, separately, in the States. Kirk, who used to work at the famed record emporium Vinyl Villains, was obsessed by a demo dropped into the shop by the inventive industrial trio Forkeye. ‘For eight hours on the plane over,’ he says, lighting the first of a succession of Marlboros, ‘I couldn’t smoke. All I could do was listen to this tape over and over again.’ By the time he and Watson - of the busy Chamber Studios, where he’s produced everyone from Jesse Caron And The Oesperadoes to Eugenius to The Dog Faced Hermans - met up in San Francisco, the idea of starting a label to release it was fixed in his mind. Both were disappointed with the apathy in Scotland. ‘Everyone complains that there’s nothing happening, but nobody’s prepared to do anything about it,’ says Kirk, hoping that the existence of Human Condition will fire up others ‘to realise that nothing is impossible.’
John Peel has already played the Forkeye single ‘to death’ with a forthcoming Peel session BO per cent confirmed, and Scottish stations have picked up on it too. But Paul and Jamie stress that it’s a serious company, not, as it might have appeared at first, a one-band label.
The debut Forkeye 7in single has lust been followed up by two twelve- inchers, Blgshot’s excellent industrial sample-fest ‘lntentlonal’l‘Glory Bus’ and ‘Annalong’ by Bridge Hopper, which includes ex-Oesperadoes frontman Andrew Tully, Jamie Watson himself on guitar and Eugenius drummer Roy Lawrence.
‘Everything’s very limited,’ they point out. ‘Hot lust because of funds, but to make people feel they’ve got something special, not bar-coded and glossy.’ The first 200 Bigshot singles all had hand-painted covers, making them unique, which in some strange way has barred them from inclusion in the Gallup charts.
Sounds very cottage-industry and fanboy-llke? Hot quite, for Human Condition’s chances of survival are increased by the distribution and promotion deals they have made through their various contacts. The records will be going out through Tupelo Records in the States (flew York’s Caroline Records are also interested), and they are in the process of fixing up a deal for Europe, where the vinyl single is still very much alive and kicking. (Alastair Mabbott)
Bigshot’s ‘lntentlonal’l‘Glory Bus’ and Bridge Hopper’s ‘Annalong’ are out now. The debut flaked See single is released on 10 May and a Forkeye album is imminent.
mm Mayor role
For the first time in its existence, Scottish Opera is tackling Bellinl’s opera ‘Horma’. Opening at Theatre Royal with a special gala performance for Crusaid, the production is by Ian Judge, who scored a great success with the company’s ‘Falstaff’, and whose ‘Comedy Of Errors’ for the RSC also won high praise, and conductor is outgoing Music Director John Mauceri. Taking the mammoth title role is the British soprano Jane Eaglen.
There is usually a reason behind infrequent performances of operas, and in Horma’s case, Eaglen says, ‘Well, it does have a reputation for being boring.’ But this is the sort of reputation that presents a challenge to the likes of Judge and Eaglen. ‘It is, in fact, a very dramatic and very intense story and by looking at the emotions of the opera and what happens, lan Judge is managing to make it really interesting and dramatically tense.’
The work is renowned for its breathtaking melodies and tells the story of the Druid prophetess Roma and the father of her two children leaving her for someone else and how Korma then faces death. It is one which Eaglen has wanted to do since she was a student. Apart from a few minutes at the beginning and a couple of breaks for a quick costume change, Horma is on stage constantly, a huge
Jane Eaglen demand on any singer. ‘It’s come at the right time and I’m ready to have a go,’ says Eaglen, who at only 32 is very definitely a young soprano. ‘Yes, it is a heavy night, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any earlier than this, but I understudied it for Margaret Price about six years ago, so I feel I know it well.’ Admired by Scottish audiences both in the concert hall and on stage, Eaglen is much in demand throughout the world. This year also brings ‘Tosca’ in Argentina, ‘Oonna Anna’ at the Vienna State Opera and her debut at the Bastille with ‘Flying Outchman’. (Carol Main)
Hanna opens at Theatre Royal, Glasgow on Wednesday 21 April, 7.15pm. See classical listings.
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Dave lland: bass maestro The Scottish Bass Trust is a new organisation founded to help raise the proﬁle of that perennially underestimated cornerstone of bands of all shapes and sizes. from duos to symphony orchestras. Their declared aim is to help promote our awareness and enjoyment of the instrument itself, and to provide opportunities for players to develop their skills. and also to encourage the writing of new works for them to play.
Both aspects of that crusading aim will be in evidence at the first ever Scottish Bass Weekend. centred on the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh. Bass players can sign up for various master classes. lectures. demonstrations and workshops over the weekend. while those of us content to listen have the opportunity of catching three major public concerts by acknowledged masters.
The Friday night concert features three contrasting approaches to the art ofjazz bass. with the great Dave Holland. Wayne Darling and David Friesen all demonstrating their calibre and diversity as soloists. The evening recital on Saturday presents Scottish classical bassist Duncan McTier. who gave the world premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies‘s Strathclyde Concerto No 7 for bass and orchestra. doing the same for a new quartet by Barrington Pheloung.
A final lecture-recital on Sunday lunchtime will focus on the music of the 19th century Italian bass virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini. and the history and development of the double—bass in general. with Thomas Martin. the principal bass of the London Symphony Orchestra. All of that may be more than you thought you ever wanted to know about the bass. but it should be a thorough exploration of the instrument's possibilites when lifted from the back row into the spotlight. (Kenny Mathieson)
The Scottish Buss Weekend I 993 runs
from Fri 9-5101 I I at the Queen Is Hall.
25 The List 9—22 April 1993