MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Venue. Edinburgh. 18 April. I was right pissed off. It had been that kind of a day — you know. you wake up and look out the window to see a JCB digger reversing over your dog. then it starts raining and you get to the gig and somebody pours his eighteenth pint of crap lager over your crotch. He stares at your ear and croaks ineoheretttly before lurching against you and spilling yours.
Enter Leatherface. four gentlemen with one head of hair between them (the second guitarist had it on this particular evening). They do their thing — an intense melodic hardcore kind of a thing -- and it's like a breath of fresh air. The bloke up front with the hoarse vocals is singing his heart out. and he's been there. he knows what it's like. See. Leatherface give their songs the emotion that's so often lacking in this kind of music. and it works. it works like a machine-gun crossﬁre. When he sings best for you . . you believe him. even if you can't make out any of the surrounding words. They hardly breathe between songs; here comes another one. ten million bpm. Every few minutes. a roadie pours another bottle of water over the drummer. Add hair. a green light at floor level and a big plane and they could be Motorhead: but you'd have to remove half the notes as well. They don't have a big sign saying ‘Headbang Now‘ either. and the punters are a mite restrained with their applause.
Never mind. they do the encore and show a nice line of covers. Can‘t Help Falling In Love With You‘. ‘Talking 'Bout A Revolution' and ‘Message In A Bottle' all feature. with live ammo. They didn't let up and play any acoustic numbers. which they can do very well. but. hey. they didn't kill anyone.
And did I feel better afterwards. ((iilVllI Inglis)
‘. . . do my
IEIEOEEIIIIIII THE one
Barrowland, Glasgow, 14 April. ‘Test-tube cocktails, double strenth [sic], only £2.20’ proclaims the placard in Baird’s Bar. A row of queasin-coloured test-tubes stand at the ready, innocent phials containing some illicit elixir, poised to blow off the top of your head on contact. No one touches them. They have a better form of intoxication in mind. Next door, for five times the price you get six hours of shrewdly-paced musical messages to the feet, two of which are provided by The Orb. And it won’t make you sick.
All Orb shows are the same. Discuss. Can you point out the discrepancies? ’course you can. Uh . . . they’ve only got one Hindenberg replica with them this time, a vast Zeppelin balloon onto which circles of doubtless cosmic import are projected and from which emanates breathtaking kaleidoscopic graphics. That’s the difference.
My chosen drug for the evening is fatigue. Eyelids drooping, swaying with disorientation as opposed to some tribal impulse to do the funky gibbon, l’m wilting fast. When all I want to do is go up the wooden hills to bed, The Orb tease with a full half- hour lullaby of disparate electronic undulation, so tranquil you could ﬂoat
paper boats on it. It’s like the longest intro-tape in history. The teen punters, gee-ed up on substances, are frustrated. The thirtysomethings (of
. whom there are plenty — believe it,
3 this is a glorious social melting pot)
cross-check the Pink Floyd
references. I hypothesise dimly on the . sonic reproduction of sleep patterns.
The Orb are, however unwittingly,
externalising my brainwaves. Freaky. - Falling asleep to The Orb — at one of 4 their gigs, mind — is recommended.
Gradually, teasingly, the Doctor and his assistant give the kids their
spoonful of sugar. ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’
and ‘The Blue Boom’ pave the trancey way for the full-on sensory blast . provided by ‘Assassin’. Some lament that it took so long to arrive, but I’ve already booked them for a private party in slumberland. (Fiona Shepherd)
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Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of
‘ going of press.
BARROWLAND (226 4679) James Taylor Qt. l3 May: World Party. l5 May: Stereo MC's. 21 May: Rage Against The Machine. 24 May: Brian May. 6 Jun; (ialliano. 3| Jul.
I GLASGOW CELTIC PARK (227 551 I) U2. 8 Aug.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 55l l ) The Silencers. 16 May: Joan Baez. I9 May: Crystal Gayle. 23 May: Showaddywaddy. 24 May; Bay City Rollers. 29 May; l()cc. 6 Jun: Nanci Griffith. 8- 10 Jun: Jethro Tull. II Oct.
l GLASGOW GREEN (03) 556 l2l2) l’leadh. 5 Jun.
I GLASGOW PAVILION
. (332 I846) Steve Harley. 8 May; l.ondon Comm
ETHE 4 or US/BIGGEB ETHAN JESUS
Venue, Edinburgh, 17 April He may be a honky but he’s hung like a donkey. The 4 Of Us’s singer Brendan Murphy wears leather keks and bulges with rock star cockiness. He has lggy’s scarecrow gait about him and Jagger’s jittery dance. Of course, he’s still several musical lifetimes from those guys’ cool, but still his ‘raunchy’ stage-act is evidence of the oft- overlooked grit that lurks in the pearly pop for which The 4 Of Us are more generally known — and denigrated.
The sound is part INXS, part World Party — skittery rock with funky rhythms underneath. An unremarkable agenda but one that last year’s Man Alive, the band’s second album, successfully got to grips with. Most of tonight’s set is culled from that record. Their hit(ish) single ‘She Ilits Me’ is one of the more laid-back moments, chiming in on keyboards and heading onwards on gently insistent rhythms. Aaah, nice. Most else offers guitarist Oeclan Murphy the chance to wring face-girning ecstatics from his instrument as the band pile-drive through ‘car Crash At 80 mph’ and ‘Baby Jesus’.
Of course, they do ‘Mary’ from their debut album, their mega-hit (in Ireland). Much whooping and wailing is the crowd’s feverish accompaniment to this piece of bland acoustic . . . blandness.
And at the end of it all, despite passionate Brendan’s strutting, the band’s gutsy playing, and the songs’ singalongability, The 4 Of Us live is a strangely unaffecting experience. Maybe the studio version is enough. Maybe the realisation dawns that they appear to be going through the motions with no emotions involved. Maybe I’m irked by donkey-hooky . . .
Or maybe I was weary after Bigger Than Jesus, the support band. In the space where good songs should go, this Edinburgh foursome substitute enthusiasm and a serious fixation with The Housemartins and U2. Bigger Than
‘ Jesus skid around frantically on the
loose gravel of their would-be solid rock, leaving neither initial impression nor lasting memory. Let’s hope their forthcoming single has more direction and content than their performance
-l tonight . . . (Graig McLean)
(iospel Choir. ll May; liddie I-‘loyd. l2 May: Spiritualized. 14 May; (ioodbyc Mr MacKenlie. 15 May; Manu Dibango. 16 May: liverything But the (iirl. l7 May.
I GLASGOW SECC (()3) 557 6969) David Iissex. 8 May; Michael Bolton.
9 H) May: Iron Maiden. 2] May; Peter (iabriel. 26 May.
I EDINBURGH MEAOOWBAIIK (557 6969) Prince. 29 Jul.
I EDINBURGH PLAYIIOUSE (557 2590) Velvet l'nderground. I 2 Jun; Brian May. 4 Jun.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2(ll9) l.oudon Wainwright III. II) May: Average White Band. )7
'May; Maria McKee. 4
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 l155) Buddy (Say. 23 May: Big Country. 24 May; Aztec Camera. 27 May.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 l ) (iICIill Miller ()rchcstra. l8 Nov. I EDINBURGH PLAYIIOUSE (557 2590)
Harry (‘onnick Jr. 3]
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2()l9) Courtney Pine. 7 May: Claire Martin. 14 May; Brian Kellock Trio. 21 May; (iarbarek 8; Vitous. 27 May; ()'Reilly Dectet. 28 May: Helen Delavault. 3()
May; Wynton Marsalis. 3 4’ Jun; Carla Bley. 3() Jun; (ieorgic Fame. 8 Jul.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 I846) Boys of the
i l.ough. 7 May; Wolfstone.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (332 5057) Two Women of Song. 8 May; McKenna
and Jackson. l5 May.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 l155) Clannad. 22 Jun.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 55l l ) lilaine Page. 20 May: Victor Borge. 1 Jun; Patsy Cline Tribute. 28—29 Nov.
I GLASGOW SECC (031 557 6969) Johnny Mathis. 26 Se T.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 l155) Brenda Cochrane. l6 May.
I GLASGOW CONCERT
HALL (227 551) ) Victoria
de l.os Angelis. 7 May: St
Petersburg Phil. 1 l-~l2
May; Leipzig RS(). 17
May: RSNO Proms.
ll -l2. l5-—l9. 22- 26Jttn.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (332
5057) Academy Nowl.
i 6 7 May; Banks-Martin.
| (‘ook and Rojas. it May: Chamber (iroup of
i Scotland. 9 May. l3 Jun:
King‘s Consort. l4 May;
, Boyd and Ionics. I4 Ma)".
l.es Cuivres. 15 May; Acad Wind lins. 2] May; ()wen Murray. 2| May;
Kathryn Stott. 2l May;
Jttn Cham ()rch. 5 Jun;
; (ilas Chant ()rch. 6 Jun;
Zoe Alambicum. l9 Jun;
St Mary's Concert. 2()
Jun; Jun ()rch. 26 Jun:
Magic Flute. 28 Jun l Jul.
I GLASGOW TRAMWAY
(227 55ll)\'S (SC()).
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S
"ALL ((368 2(II9) Apollo
Sax Qt. ll May; King's
Consort. I3 May; Kathryn
Stott. 2() May: Stephen
KoyaL‘CVICh. 2‘) Ma}. I EDINBURGH USHER HALLl228 1155) S(‘()
()pera (iala. l2 May: RSNO Proms. 29 Ma}.
l 5 Jun I EDINBURGH
5 I5 Aug-4 Sep.
Programme and tickets
from I'ZII: Box Office. 2|
Market Street. Iidinburgh
Iilll IBW (()3l 225
details and tickets for
. RSNO. SC(). BBC SS().
and C(}P() concerts are
available from 'l’icketcentre. (ilasgtm (227 55l l )1 L'slier llall. Iidinbttrgh (228 H55); Queen's Hall. Iidinburgh
(668 20W). Tickets for
Scottish ()pera from
Theatre Royal. (ilasgovv
(332 9()()()): King's
Theatre. Iidinburgh (229
45 The List 23 April—6 May 1993