Methinks he doth protest too much. particularly as I never mentioned anything about ‘problems‘ or what it means to be a ‘dance band'. But the drift is there; namely that ‘dance bands' are, or are too easily seen as, transient talents and/or preciously hip — and obscure. Neither of which ()ne Dove want. One Dove want to make pop music with a chameleon-like ability to fit into any surrounding. any context. The stage and nightclub. the radio and the record player. the danceﬂoor and the kitchen. The huge. mystic spaces within their music helps in this regard. always subtle. always ﬂuid. ()ops. there goes the lyrical waxing.
Back to basics. One Dove‘s pop plumage shone through the skeletal pulse of their debut single. ‘Fallen'. released in the summer of 1991 on Glasgow‘s where-it's-at label. Soma. Flash to Rimini. where ‘midst the Balearic bliss. top DJ and dude Andy Weatherall met the band. heard the record. made an offer. remixed the track and re-released it on his Boys Own label. Hey disco! ‘Transient Truth' followed last year. an equally towering-but-gentle housequaker. No airy. flakey style-victims these — too often. ‘ambient‘ is a get-out clause. really meaning ‘no song. no clue. will these synthetic twitterings do instead‘?‘.
With One Dove, it‘s a bright collision of precision and passion. flared by Dot Allison's luminous. wistful. breathy vocals.
Their debut album. finally due out at the end of August nearly a year after it was finished. manages to sound well- drilled yet loose-limbed. The crashing rock-pig guitar intro that kicks off the new single ‘White Love' has this switchback appeal off pat — sounds grandly contrived. sounds the perfect preamble to the song‘s bubbling. funky roll.
As if all this wasn't enough. the still- nameless album — the first full album production job Weatherall has done. reckon me and Ian (.S‘t'reumude/im doesn‘t count) — also oozes sex. sin. lust. love and drama.
One Dove are on a roll. Delays. caused by the ins and outs of record company politics (acted out by Boys Own and their licensee. London Records. the usual story). are behind them. The third single is their best yet. the album is scheduled. and the band have ditched the PA scam in favour of heading out on the road with a full band. Live and plugged in. Finally (cue crap aviatory joke). One Dove are taking ﬂight.
()ne Dove play The Venue. Edinburgh on Sat 1 7 and King Tut's. Glasguw mi Fri 30.
The four brightest jewels in Great Yarmouth’s crown are back, and burning more fiercely than ever. Catherine Wheel spun straight from a tour of foreign shores into six months of writing and recording, and their second album, ‘Chrome’, is the result. Frontman Rob Dickinson explains what has changed.
‘Doing so many gigs, a lot of the pretensions of what you think the band should sound like, what you want the band to sound like, drop away and you end up with a true-sounding band. Purely because it’s unavoidable, everything else slips away and you’re left with the core of what you do. The band’s sounding far more powerful. It’s a lot edgier, even more intense than it was eighteen months ago.’
With this album, they seem finally to have thrown off the shoegazing albatross, but are still conscious of being labelled.
‘We had to be ambitious. It was like, sod everybody else, this is the sort of group we are now. I don’t see it being put in a pigeonhole like the last
record probably could. I’d hope we could attract a whole new set of people to it. But I think there’s enough of what The Catherine Wheel do best in there not to alienate the people who bought the first record.’
The current single, ‘Crank’, is the first new spark we’ve seen.
‘ “Crank” probany sums up the mood of the group after we’d finished playing in America for nearly eight months - tetchy, edgy, aggressive- sounding. The sound, the band, sometimes grouchy moods and attitudes. It summed up the perversity the band seemed to have taken on. It represented the new “please ourselves” attitude which we picked up last year.’
So is the message ‘don’t put us in a category’, then?
‘Maybe, but it’s more saying we don’t really care.’
Ah, such fire. (Gavin Inglis)
The Catherine Wheel play King Tut’s, Glasgow on Sat 17 and The Venue, Edinburgh on Sun 18.
The Pooh Sticks’ current album, ‘Million Seller’, ls the best album you’ll have heard so far this year. if, of course, you’re one of the fortunate coterie who’ve bought it.
‘Million Seller’ is an album which knows its pop music. In particular, its 70s American pop music. The Raspberries are smeared all over its vinyl; 1910 Fruitgum Company loom large too. It’s got guitar solos (just a couple) not brooked since the days of Thin Lizzy; harmonies are cheesy and unabashed; lead Pooh ilue, sounding at times like fellow Welsh warbler James Manic, sings with the gusto of a man who thinks he’s ten years younger than he actually is.
Drink in the easygoing ‘I Saw The Light’ (not the swoontastic Todd Rundgren song, but a branch on the same family tree), the blithe spirit of ‘let The Good Times lloll’, the classic teen dream song of ‘llalnbow Rider’ and the nigh self-fulfilling prophecy of ‘That Was The Greatest Song’ and wonder why The Pooh Sticks are not one of the hugest bands on the planet.
‘We wanted to sell a million records
with it,’ proclaims flue. ‘It hasn’t quite sold that yet, but . . .’
let’s examine the statistics: six years in existence, five albums in the back of the net and a staggering round of no less than 30 gigs. Yes, that’s six gigs per album. Fortunately, The Pooh Sticks have just cottoned on to the fact that playing live is a good way of increasing your stake in the pop pantheon.
Plus, there’s always the spur of outdoing your famous friends. When he’s not busy being a bubblegum pop star from Swansea, llue likes to relax in Turkey with Metallica’s James lletfield. ‘We’ve always been well- connected,’ admits the man who shares a manager with Guns ll’ Roses. ‘When we recorded “Great White Wonder” in LA in ’91, lenny Kravitz came to the studio, and Pia Ladora.’ Still, it’s not who you know, it’s how well you avoid their pernicious influence. (Fiona Shepherd)
The Pooh Sticks play The Venue, Edinburgh on Tue 27 and King Tut's, Glasgow on Wed 28.
' The Lisi’ie—"zQJuiy l9-9LT—29