I From the brothers Molleson (Kith & Kin. plus more sessions for Edinburgh acts than they ; can probably remember 1 themselves) comes news of a new non-proﬁt- making organisation dedicated to improving
the lot of the working musician. Arts and Music . Promotions Scotland (AMPS. what else?) was launched on 6 June with the intention of ‘promoting. publicising and distributing material from performing artists in Scotland‘. In the long term. they plan to set up music workshops and an Arts and Music resource centre with. ultimately. a venue. a recording studio. access to video
production. printing and T-shirt making. More immediate concerns are producing compilation tapes of local unsigned bands and setting up gigs and events with a view to establishing tour circuits
in Britain and Europe.
The first tape. Hooch. is already out. For further information. contact Mike Molleson on 031-229 8612 or Matthew Hamlett
on 031-447 5222.
I Life in Tayside‘? Incredible perhaps. but
true. Issue two of Beat Generator fanzine has just reached us. punting the
live band scene of an area that currently boasts the likes of Marshall Curtis. i The Frasers. The Hate Foundation. Broccoli and Thin. Beat Generator is cleanly and attractively
laid out (which makes a change). and serves up a good overview of the Dundee gig scene plus other odds and ends. The only black mark goes to
its guide to the ﬁve essential Woody Allen ﬁlms. which neglects the mighty Manhattan. « Available (50p plus SAE) from Speakeasy Publications. l6 Canning Place. Coldside. Dundee DD3 7RT.
I The search is on! Can anyone help the National Band Register to track down a band called Bo Walton? The Register
pride themselves on being able to locate any band in Britain. however obscure. and. as this is the first
time they‘ve been . stumped. their pride is at ,' stake. A reward of an unspeciﬁed number of CDs is the dangling carrot here. Write to Listen! at z the Edinburgh editorial address if you know the
whereabouts of this band.
um- Jism ’n’ lues?
Come - the latest Yank sensation sweeping the nation. A band who condense drawling slacker guitar into a taut, sleazy blues rock, who confounded legions of bouncy, bopping Dinosaur Jr fans when they stepped out in support of .l. Mascis and co. late last year, but who sent journalists wibbling into neurotic comers. A band fronted by Thalia Zedek; to the DS underground trainspotter, a woman of impeccable musical pedigree - Dangerous Birds, Uzi, Live Skull (just nod) - and not without a certain inscrutability. A woman who tells you to ‘iust relax’ (on ‘Submerge’ from the album ‘Eleven: Eleven’) and sounds like she’s about to make the first incision without an anaesthetic.
‘Fast Piss Blues’, ‘I Got The Blues’ . . . Thalia, you sound like you’ve got them urban punk blues.
‘llot really. Not the way I think of the blues. When I think of the blues I think of a specific type of music. I think we all come more from that underground thing.’
on . . . well, your life’s been tainted by tragedy in more ways than one. Descent into drug hell in the early 80s
‘llo. Some of it’s true; some of it’s nonsense.’
You were at least an actress before you strapped on your guitar.
‘llo. The actress part is nonsense. I’d say just totally ignore that biography.’
Well, who needs a biog when you can invent your own lladean vision to a Gome soundtrack? last year’s Sub Pop single ‘Gar’ was grim in the extreme, tortuous rather than tortured, but ‘Eleven: Eleven’ is pacier, heavy going (not least due to Zedek’s foreboding howl) yet still accessible, and a record which lurches splendidly in a live context.
So the story about Come forming fortuitously in Athens is a load of hogwash. So there are many misconceptions about this band, like how they’re principally Zedek’s vehicle (‘I need to have other people’s ideas around’). It’s truth that’s stranger than fiction and Come thrust naked reality into the arena, spotlight it and make you sweat. (Fiona Shepherd)
Come play The Venue, Edinburgh on Mon 21.
Carla’s big noise
Darla Bley’s music is every bit as distinctive as her appearance, and she has succeeded in retaining its immediately identifiable quality through an on-going process of development and change. Although her latest release on the self-run WATT label is another engaging duo set with bass player and partner Steve Swallow, ‘Go Together’, much of her recent energy has been focused on her superb Very Big Band, which makes a welcome quick return to Scotland after last year’s Glasgow Jazz Festival extravaganza.
Bley will perform a refined version of the Glasgow commission ‘Birds of Paradise’ with violinist Alex Balanescu in a solo role, but has also written three more new pieces for the tour, two of which feature Alex in the ensemble. After they complete their Silk Gut Gity Jazz tour, they will go into the studio to record that material for her next big band album.
‘I was going to call it ‘Birds Of Paradise’ right up until a month ago, but then I read something about the big bang theory and all that stuff, and decided right then that it was going to be called ‘Garla Bley’s Big Band Theory’, a kind of play on words. I’m going to get the guys dressed up in spacesuits for the liner photo, but they don’t know that yet . . .’
The new works, she says, will reflect the ‘new direction and new harmonic ideas’ which came out of writing
Carla Bley ‘Birds of Paradise’, and one of them will be a much re-worked version of a tune they also played in Glasgow, then provisionally entitled ‘lllccup’, but henceforth to be known as ‘Fresh Impressions’.
‘The musicians couldn’t actually do hiccups on their horns, although Andy Sheppard got close, and I think lew Soloff managed one. We did try some other bodily functions, and were going to call it “Fart” for a while, but I finally lost my nerve. It has emerged as a serious piece now, though.’
Both Soloff and Sheppard feature in the seventeen-strong touring band, as do Gary Valente, Guy Barker, Annie Whitehead, Julian Arguelles and Wolfgang Puschnig, with the usual rhythm team of Bley, Swallow, and daughter Karen Mantler joined by a new drummer, Dennis Mackrel, whose credits included the Basie and Mel Lewis bands. (Kenny Mathleson)
The Darla Bley Very Big Band play The Queen’s llall, Edinburgh on Wed 30.
Ellie Buchanan trades licks with 905 bluesman Larry McCray.
Why don't more black kids sing the blues?
A century after that famous American delta began producing the original blues legends. that might seem a racist question to ask Larry McCray, at 33 the youngest African-American to bid for
24 The List 18 June—I July I993