I The collapse of one of our vital computer disks forced us to recreate all the Edinburgh rock listings and re-edit the Glasgow listings in the space of two or three hours on Saturday. using our memories. the trusty two-pages-to-a-week diary and whatever information could be salvaged before the bin men got to it. Inevitably. omissions and one or two inaccuracies may have crept in. for which we apologise. but the listings should be at least 90 per cent sound. Measures are now being taken to prevent a reocurrence of this dismal software suicide.
I The Independent last week ran a story on Edinburgh man Alan Forbes. who has opened Motolux. the only shop in Britain devoted to the venerated Indian brand of motorbike. Indians were first manufactured in l‘)()l. pre-dating Harley Davidson by two years. and it‘s estimated that there are around 1000 of the bikes in Britain. Forbes himself owns 30. However. Swift. the author of the piece and a former .V.M.l~.‘. scribe. decided not to reveal the name by which we might know this Alan Forbes a little better. Yes. step forward. [Eugene Reynolds. dynamic male vocalist for The Re/illos. The Revillos and. latterly. Planet Pop.
I Once upon a time. when ignorance and naivete ran rampant across the music scene. aspiring pop stars were lucky if they knew what a publishing advance was (not that such knowledge would necessarily help them get their hands on it). but nowadays you can‘t move for courses. seminars and workshops to enlighten the ambitious muso. The latest is MIDIF. — Music Industry Developments In Europe — a seminar which takes place at the Moat House. Glasgow on Mon 26. A panel will discuss matters like contractual fairness. new formats. publishing. royalties and so on. in the light of the changes brought by the Single
European Market. Places are limited and time is tight. so call Martin Jones on ()9] 230 37-16 immediately if this is
L likely to be your bag.
ialn Ballamy If lain Ballamy’s ascent has been a little slower than that of the likes of Courtney Pine or Andy Sheppard, it has been marked with solid successes all along the way, notably as a member of the Loose Tubes big band, and with Bill Bruford’s excellent, fusion-tinged Earthworks. His own recording debut as a leader took considerably longer, but ‘Balloon Man’ (Editions E6) was deservedly well-received when it emerged at the end of 1989.
Like Dave O’lliggins more recently, be financed and produced the recording himself, and presented a finished tape to the company. While contemporary in idiom, the music was unmistakably jazz, with very little concession to market-place demands for fashionable crossover compromises. If the saxophonist recognises the importance of the jazz tradition, however, he has strongly held views
on what should then be done with that tradition.
‘People talk a lot about the jazz tradition, and I like to play standard tunes, but as far as I can hear, it has always been a tradition based on change, although audiences don’t always like having to come to terms with that. I think you have to absorb the tradition if you are to understand the music, but the next step from there is to develop your own music.
‘You have a feeling of breaking new ground when you play music you have written that no one else has played before, and I think that is the only way to really make an original statement. That is what I love about Roland Kirk - you can hear everything that has gone before in his music, but it ends up with an original feel that has more to do with the spirit than the sound.’
Ballamy will have an opportunity to indulge that liking for standards when he plays two Scottish dates with the excellent Brian Kellock Trio, and they will doubtless try out a few originals as well. Kellock can play pretty much anything, and the combination of his lucid but adventurous playing with Ballamy’s off-centre harmonic approach should be a memorable one. (Kenny Mathieson) lain Ballamy plays The 13th Note, Glasgow on Fri 23, and The Tron Jazz Cellar, Edinburgh on Sun 25.
Oh, for a serviceable description with which to herald the arrival of Thrum, an effervescent quartet poised to coax your ears into willing submission with the release of their eponymous debut EP on Fire Records, and whom you may have caught supporting the rump- shaking Suede at the Plaza earlier this month.
Thrum write songs penned with indelible ink — a hard shell of dense, cacophonous guitars with a hint of the goword (grunge, slowcoaches) but with soaring melodies that leave a honeyed aftertaste.
‘The bigness just comes from the tension,’ claims singer/guitarist Monica Queen.
‘Like a coiled spring,’ concurs bassist David MacGowan.
Thrum present a new twist on the omnipresent conflict between noise and melody, so beloved of many of our most musically talented striplings, like a certain up-and-coming upstart combo you might know as Teenage Fa—. But that’s asking to have my wrists slapped. ‘We’re moving well away from the bad words beginning with T and F, trying to be our own band,’ claims guitarist John Smillie, of their development in the past year.
Also, you’ll struggle to find a precedent for Monica’s strident, country-influenced vocals in the tunecore league. As The Jayhawks inimitably noted on inviting Monica to join them for their recent King Tut’s encore, ‘Man, you’re like Janis Joplin
and Maria McKee rolled into one.’ ‘l’m not into singing like most female singers, very sweet and childlike,’ she says. ‘There haven’t been a lot of female superstars other than the likes of Janis Joplin. You’ve always got to keep going back to that and it’s only one thing, so most of my reference points have been from male-orientated bands. Females don’t have great things to make reference to other than your Patti Smiths and Joni Mitchells.’ Intuition suggests, revolution in good taste permitting, that Thrum will court a rapturous reception, and the pressure of anticipation is a stimulant. As John states on several occasions, ‘the clock starts ticking as from now.’ (Fiona Shepherd) The Thrum EP is released on Mon 26 April.
Baato the future
Sheep On Drugs: rock ’n‘ roll stars for the 90s? They think so. and told Calvin Bush in no uncertain terms.
‘lt's showtime for the 90s. People are Used to the sort of ’Ii'nninunn‘ 3 and Nintendo Sti‘eetfighter. sttlff like that. So it's gotta be mad and hi-tcch for people even to be interested. So to hold their attention. the show is this full-on era/,ee thing. But. then. that's the way rock ’n’ roll should be in the ‘)()s.‘
King Duncan is explaining the reasoning behind Sheep ()n l)rugs‘ on- stage tcchno-fuellcd amphetamine driven art terrorism exti'ayagan/as. For Sheep On Drugs are like no band you have ever seen. They are the anti-()rb. They shock. they insult. they haranguc. they challenge and above all they demand attention. The first time I saw them. at London‘s preposteroust trendy Milk Bar. a shaven-headcd Duncan gradually stripped down to nowt but a butcher‘s apron before berserking out in a fit of black spray- can self-gralffi )tification. The DJ
40 The List 23 April—b May 1993