No doubt. if you‘ve been paying attention to the gig listings for the last few months. you‘ll have noticed the name King Hash cropping up regularly. Perhaps you‘ve even raised an eyebrow at the potentially controversial name. Well. now. all (almost) is to be revealed with the release of their debut album Hunulinger on the enterprising Iona label. which has brought out material by The Humpff Family and (‘arol Laula in recent months.
At the core of King Hash are Scott Richardson and Gerry McC‘uskcr from Glasgow‘s Southside. Surprisingly. considering the conﬁdence of their songs. neither has been in any well- known bands before. As Richardson tells it. ‘We‘d played in various bands. and. coming from the same locale. we knew each other anyway. After drifting through a few hands over the years. we ended upjamming together and writing a few songs. It‘s just so easy to write together. The songs just flow off. no problem.‘
So effortless is the collaboration. Richardson claims. that in one day they wrote three songs. all of which can be found on the new album. Humdinger showcases a slick. impassioned pop- rock. with a heavy bottom end and frequent bursts of lead guitar. and. from the sound of it. plenty of inspiration from both soft and hard rock. Not least among its assets is that all the songs could be (and often are) busked on street corners without losing any of their punch. If you heard Skin and Pim‘s post-Hipsway band Witness. you might have some idea of where they‘re coming from.
And as for the name . . .
‘We were just throwing ideas about. and “King Hash“ just came into the conversation and we both liked it. It‘s pretty punchy. y‘know‘."
So is it some literary. cinematic or subcultural reference I should recognise"?
‘You‘ll have to figure that out for yourself. But we don‘t take drugs. Just say no.‘ (Alastair Mabbott)
King Hush play [11 Belle Ange/e. Edinburgh (m ll‘et/nesthlv 28. The single ‘I‘m The ()ne‘ is released on ll) May. In befallmvetl hv l-Iunulinger (m 24 Add):
42 The List 23 April—(i May 1993
Ozric Tentacles’ John Egan reminds Alan McCrorie that everything comes round again eventually. Even country- dwelling musos with long hair and chunky jumpers.
Circles. don‘t you just love ‘em'.’
Iiickle fashion goes around in circles. and the oft-ignored Ozric Tentacles have found their fifteen minutes of fame. With electronic/techno dance music in favour. and 70s stylee the hip rags to be seen in. the ()zrics chickens are coming home to roost.
Their broad palate. from the Tangerine Dream-ﬂavoured Ems-wigs era to 1992‘s Aﬂerswislz retrospective and this year‘s Jurussie Shift. has always had an audience. The difference is that more people are listening these days.
‘I can‘t really understand why we‘re getting this attention now.‘ says ()zric John Iigan. The former cheese-maker and band pool-shark is a little wary of the press and falls back on a time- honoured rap: ‘We‘re making mental. incredible music. There‘s been no attempt to promote the band. we‘ve been here for over eight years and our reputation‘s been built tip by word of mouth. doing the festivals. you know‘."
The ()zrics‘ new album. Jurassic Shift. is unique in that the sleeve is made from hemp and straw. rather than paper. It‘s caused a lot of harrumping in the press.
‘You can‘t get stoned on it.‘ laughs Iigan. ‘The papers are latching on to it. and that really bums me out. Musically. it‘s one of our posher albums. with a good helping of reggae and techno mixed in with what you‘d expect from the ()zrics. lid (Wynne. guitarist/writer)
has been excelling himself. and we‘ve learned a lot from the techno/dance music Merv (l’epler. drummer) has been making.‘
The band‘s peripatetic lifestyle has seen them spend a great deal of time on the road. playing free festivals and far- ﬂung gigs. Despite their new Somerset base and recording studio. they‘re still travelling folk and I took the opportunity to ask [Egan about the media‘s viliiication of the so-called ‘New Age Travellers‘. ‘IIippy (‘onvoys‘. or whatever this year‘s nice wee tag is.
‘It‘s a fuck. isn‘t it'." he says bluntly. ‘We have some beautiful countryside where I come from. a reasonable climate. and people ought to see as much of it as they can. so they travel. But they‘re treated like a threat to national security - there‘s no guns or anything like America. just people wanting to get on with their lives.‘ He adds. ‘I can appreciate radical thought.
and if we‘d wanted to write songs about it we would. Maybe we‘re just living our way of life as an example.
‘We‘ve been doing festivals for years. This year. we‘re looking at Glastonbury and Reading. But things are getting better for us.‘
Indeed they are. The band‘s own label. Dovetail. is licensing its albums to IRS in the United States. governed by the CIA—connected Miles Copeland.
‘Makes you think. doesn‘t it‘." asks Iigan.
As old-fashioned as it may seem. and cliched as it may sound. Iigan is keen to let ()zrics fans know that they‘re part of the family. ‘We love ‘em all.‘ he says. generously. ‘Don‘t go puking on me. I‘m serious. If our fans like the music. then we‘ll keep on giving it. We feed off their energy and that‘s why we‘re touring so much.‘
()zrt‘e 'lenIue/es play The Tunnel. Glasgow on Tue 27.
The nankworth Generation Band is not so much an entirely new project as a new slant on a familiar partnership. Saxophonist John Dankworth and his bass-playing son Alex have played together regularly in the past in John’s own band, while Alex has pursued a parallel career with a variety of players of his own generation, including our own Tommy Smith.
This new big band will see a twist in the story, in that it will be jointly led by both Dankworths, and will combine one or two veterans from John’s era with a number of Alex’s peers. Thus the name - two generations of Gankworths, and also two generations of British jazz players. The music will include new arrangements by both leaders, as well as some classics from the elder Dankworth’s book.
The band itself looks an excellent one on paper, with the likes of trumpeters Guy Barker and Gerard Presencer, saxman Tim Garland, and pianist Robin Aspland flying the flag
for Alex’s generation, while at the opposite end of the scale we will hear the wonderful Scottish clarinetist Jimmy Hastings, whose playing with Humphrey Lyttelton earlier this year
was simply exquisite.
It remains to be seen how the combination works out on stage when they make their Scottish debut as part of the Famous Grouse Jazz Series, but it is typical of Dankworth senior that he should be up for giving it a try, having lost none of his appetite for jazz over the years.
‘Gh, if anything I enjoy it even more now. When I was younger it was sort of competitive, and the music got more and more complex, and maybe I was trying to keep up with the trends. These days, there are so many brilliant, young saxophone players around, all playing millions of notes, and I think to myself that all I can do is sit back and play my own way, in my own style, and at my own speed. I think it comes out better that way. I still enjoy playing with young players, though - they keep me at it.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
The Dankworth Generation Band play City Halls, Glasgow on Thurs 6.