euphemism for ‘tolerable'.
Fiona Shepherd meets Glasgow’s
A Chocolate Morning, now on their third independent release with a fourth in the planning stages.
A Chocolate Moming‘s current cassette single ‘Uninspired‘ could mark the end of an era for the Glasgow four-piece. They plan to tail it swiftly with another release — a six-track cassette of riff-based garage stuff. 'Pretty wild', they say. by their standards. and truer to their psychedelic inﬂuences. But for now there‘s ‘Uninspired‘. their third independent release. following the ‘Wasted‘ EP and double-sided 7in ‘lf You Want Me'/‘This Isn't Mine'. and ven'ly it jangles with the best of them. in a manner you could call ‘pleasant'. were that not a
‘We‘ve got a name for doingjangly pop songs over the last year.‘ says singer/guitarist Neil Sturgeon. ‘For the ﬁrst two or three years I didn’t know how to write a love song. 1 was probably trying to be too clever. Then for the last two years that’s all we‘ve done because I was just so delighted at learning how to write them. we just overloaded on them.‘
A Chocolate Morning exhibit an unassuming DlY spirit that has seen them set up their own tours. as
well as record releases. including several trips to England. They achieve this not through naked ambition. just calm conﬁdence. g ‘I think everybody should release a record.‘ says Neil oftheir motivation. ‘lt wasjust a great buzz to get the first one. then enough people liked it tojustify ; putting out another and that's the rule from now on. Last year we got bogged down. We got a lot of record company interest and started playing A&R weeks. By the end ofthe year I don‘t think we knew where we were going. ‘Uninspired‘ was written about myselfat that time. All rejection leads to is
on Sun 22.
i 7/////. \\\W"
.J/l ’v Z'II/ \\\ \\\
frustration and the music really suffers. But wejust reassessed the whole situation and realised we can do it ourselves. I’d like to think in ﬁve years’ time somebody'll get into us and there’ll be this big
; history of records we've put out.‘
Details on how to obtain a copy of ‘Uninspired' are
'_ available from PO Box I 04 7. Rarherglen. Glasgow.
G73 4EF A Chocolate Morning play The Liquor
Store. Paisley, on Sun 15 and Negociants. Edinburgh.
Meadowbank Stadim, dinburgh, 29 July.
Come on in, the music’s fine . . . well, of course it is - this is Prince’s greatest hits set, which is about as
lle has slimmed down his band, shipping away the superﬂuous rappers of last year’s tour (and, it seems, a significant proportion of its
good as you’ll get in this day and age.
dance/theatrical element) streamlining everything to the aim of delivering his best songs with a punch. A pity the presentation is doing no one - Prince, llPG or audience - any favours.
Why bother rehearsing a band to be as tight as the lch undoubtedly are when their precision funk is going to emerge from the PA like a stampede of concrete mixers? And why perform on a stage thrown up so half-heartedly that nobody bothered to put a backdrop on it? With the figures on stage dwarfed by their surroundings, the sight of a luxury coach parked behind the stage, hazard lights winking for the duration of the show, is almost inexpressibly distracting. Watching the video screens doesn’t help much, even if you can stand looking at Prince’s most bizarre tonsorial arrangement yet; they’re at least a second out of sync with the sound. (Luckily, you don’t need the screens to appreciate Prince’s terpsichorean talents.)
But overcome all that (and graciously overlook the perfunctory air which accompanies the more tried-and- tested numbers) and the show becomes a fond farewell to a catalogue of songs that Prince has declared he will never perform live again. The larger ecstatic crowd is
hyped up still further by the intrigue surrounding his name - whatever it is. As darkness falls and the lightshow finally comes into its own, Meadowbank - at long last - starts to develop an atmosphere more in keeping with the proceedings. But it all seems too little, too late. (Alastair Mabbott)
GII. SCOTT HERON
Tunnel, Glasgow, 5 Aug. Listen, if you ever get mangled under the wheels of an articulated lorry speeding along a sleepy, suburban road, and find yourself getting closely acquainted with your scrambled innards and need medical attention, lﬂre, urgently, and Gil Scott-Heron’s ambling along the road - take a piece of advice, don’t ask him to call the ambulance. Wait for the next good samaritan. Gil would traipse over, have a squint at the damage, screw up his wizened face in contemplation, draw up a chair, have a smoke and ponder the mystical significance of the numerical sequence 999. lot that I’m saying this gig is laid back or anything - that sounds too animated; I’m saying it’s prostrate.
Did that last paragraph take a hundred words to say what could be
said in ten? That’s the Scott-Heron effect for you. Except he wouldn’t use a hundred different words; he’d lust pick about four and keep repeating them.
Okay, so he’s influenced legions - Disposable Heroes Of lllphoprlsy, Jamiroquai and M0 Solaar being the most recent blatant worshippers - but is that an excuse for being as boring as cricket? I’m all for pursuing a groove to its emotional rather than logical conclusion (there’s often nothing to be relished more than a meaty fifteen-minute expedition down the byways of improvisation), but these free-fonn, [an-funk icon figures, sometimes push their minimalist purring beyond the threshold of attention. Gil Scott- lleron’s virtually subsonic Barry White tone is the sleeping pill of the gods - lofty but lethargic.
.lust twice do things threaten to swing. ’llome Is Where The llatred ls’ punctuates another year-long indulgence like a zap of fizzy fluid in the middle of a humid heatwave and ‘The Bottle’ has the doped-up, mellowed-out ‘mature’ cats swaying contentedly, but even those two have the verve of a sloth under sedation
next to the celebratory )oie de vivre of
his myriad )azzfunkateer successors. (Fiona Shepherd)
The unis—19 August 1993 83