Keane as mustard
Born into a singing family in Caherlistrane. County Galway. Dolores Keane now travels the world from her base in Galway City.
At the western crossroads of Ireland. with the Aran Islands standing offshore. gentle Clare to the south and the wildemesses of Connemara to the north. Galway and little nearby Spiddal have long acted as a focus for traditional music and musicians; recent years have seen The Waterboys in residence. and the young Sharon Shannon emerging as a representative of the continuing vigour of the national music. But anyone who visits the music pubs of the west coast. and that includes Dolores‘ and husband John Faulkner‘s own Galway howff. soon realises that it’s not all Sean Nos singing. uillean pipes. ﬂutes and ﬁddle.
There has always been a great affection for country singing. which is not surprising because Irish music and culture so much shaped the emergent American nation. A steel guitar or a dobro wouldn‘t turn a head out there. and Dolores includes the resonator guitar in her own band. with electric guitar. bouzouki. drums and keyboards. when she arrives in Scotland for concerts in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Dolores herself has recorded in Nashville. and at the end of last year country superstar Emmylou Harris came in to an Irish studio to record a duct and some backing vocals on Dolores‘ latest album. which also features princely pipers Davey Spillane and Paddy Keenan.
Well remembered by legions of De Danann fans for her years in the strongly traditional Galway band. she has emerged as somewhat of a household name in Ireland. thought of in the same terms as Mary Black. the other great De Danann vocalist. After the single. “A Woman‘s Heart“. went straight to the top of the Irish Charts
last year. the eponymous all-women album with Dolores. Mary and Francis Black. Sharon Shannon and others went on to become the biggest selling Irish album ever. topping the charts for six months and winning a double platinum disc. (Norman Chalmers)
The Dolores Keane Band play the
Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh on
Burning down the house
He was the god of hellﬁre, and the price of your entry was sin. Now Arthur Brown is on the come-back trail, as he tells Thom Dibdin.
Austin. Texas, may not be hell on earth.
but it‘s quite hot enough for crazy man Arthur Brown. creator of ‘Fire‘. Number One in the summer of ’68. sampled by The Prodigy for their top ten hit this spring and more recently by Meat Beat Manifesto on ‘Fire #9‘. Joining the growing ranks of comeback artists. he returns to his native Britain this summer with a new incarnation of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
Back in the 60s. Brown combined a zany mix oftheatrics. mime and macabre lyrics with a voice that swooped and soared as well as the best soul singer‘s. topping off the entertainment with a healthy interest in pyrotechnics. One story. possibly apocryphal. has Jimi Hendrix opening a showcase gig in New York by immolating his guitar. only to be upstaged when The Who did their smash-up-all-the-gear thang. But even this was blown off stage when the Crazy World came on. whipped the audience into a frenzy and burned down the house for an encore. Literally.
‘Well I certainly used to have flames coming out my head.‘ remembers Brown on the phone from Texas. ‘and there were places we did set on ﬁre. Accidentally. I. myselfwas set on ﬁre a couple of times. In those days the lights man was responsible for putting the ﬂuid in and lighting me up. and on a couple of occasions he was a little the worse the wear for drink — and other substances — and poured it over me. When it was lit. I burned.‘
Although he is best remembered for ‘Fire‘ and his Crazy World. Brown has been around. as numerous broken bones and multi-stitched gashes bear
out. ‘The next band I had. Kingdom Come. was into surreal theatre. which was later taken up by Alice Cooper. and we then got into synthesisers and drum machines.‘ he says. ‘On Journey. we were the ﬁrst band to use a drum machine.‘ In those days they were pretty archaic: at one Marquee gig the machine went off into its own mechanical universe and led the band for 75 hectic minutes.
Then came the move to the States. where Brown stayed ‘pretty much in the underground‘. ‘I was a carpenter for a while. with Jimmy Carl Black. who was the original drummer with the Mothers Of Invention. We had a painting company called Gentlemen Of Color. because our names were Brown and Black. but also because in this part of the country. gentlemen of colour were black guys. Then I qualiﬁed as a counsellor. I‘m particularly involved with family counselling and drug addicts. I use my music by making up songs and lyrics on the spur of the moment. which deal with the issues that come up.‘
Brown is quite candid about why his new band of local Texan musicians is being billed as the Crazy World. ‘It was felt by the people putting on the tour that that was what would connect with people. The music is pretty
adventurous. and is somewhat in the spirit of the original band. We have a “Fire” section. which deals with the stuff off the ﬁrst side of the album. Then we are doing a short Kingdom Come selection and then a couple from some of the later albums and some souly stuff. We might even do a version of “Stand By Me“. the old Ben E King single.‘
The original plan was to do some of his spur-of—the-moment work at the Glastonbury Festival with poetess Gilli Smyth. ex of Gong and Soft Machine. but once the tour was ﬁnalised there was no place for the Solstice festival.
So is this the ﬁrst step towards Arthur Brown Rock‘n‘Roll Star? ‘I‘m doing all sorts of different kinds of perfonnance.‘ he says. ‘This isjust one of them. we are going to do more tours. but I don‘t want to be a big star. There will be a little bit of theatrics at the gigs. but I'm not wanting to get heavily into that.‘ No need to take out extra ﬁre cover then? ‘No. I think I did enough ﬁre in the past.‘
The Crazy World ()fArthur Brown play the Preservation Hall. Edinburgh on Thurs 3. Nice 'n sleazy. Glasgow on Fri
4, The Fountain. Cowdenbeath on Sat 5
and The White Heart. Dumfries on Sun 6.
Somewhat slightly dazed
There’s nothing to do in Calderbank during the week The Dames tell me, and that was how their band came about. The six-piece have known each other since they were kids, and got access to rehearsal space and equipment through a local youth club leader who used to run the school football team. ‘In the beginning,’ they say, ‘it was lust something to do.’ Their attitude grew more serious after the first gig. Then their third - supporting The Silencers at The Barrowland thanks to an impressed Silencers singer Jimmie D’lleill - convinced them that this was what
they wanted to do. Taking the Barrowland stage was nerve-racking, but ‘we’re game for it,’
says singer Gerry McGoogan.
‘ltle took the chance while we had it,’ affirms Paul Boyle, keyboards.
Confident, eager to nudge at the door of opportunity, but refreshingly free of arrogance, The Dazes were approached by the students of Different Class llecords from West lothian College Music Management Course to provide this year’s Different Class single. ‘Danceomatic’ has lust been released, an infectious slice of funky pop that only just missed being playlisted for Radio One, but they are holding out hope of being placed this week. ‘Today’ newspaper even set up a phone line for readers to listen to it.
Gerry reckons it’s the best single Different Class has put out so far: ‘lt’s what the summer’s wanting. I can lust hear it in Blackpool now!’ (Alastair Mabbott) The Dazes play Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow on Sun 23.
The List 3| Mu) ~73 June I‘M} 25