m. Death becomes them
Craig McLean talks to Love And Money’s James Grant, currently preparing for the band’s ﬁve-night residency at the Fringe Club.
James Grant does not like showers because they are ‘too ephemeral’. Only baths offer the endurance of the soak. the wallow. the deep, lasting effect. Ditto his music. James Grant has been having a lot of problems with his bath recently. dicky plumbing and all that. Ditto his music.
Correction. The problem lies with the plumbers. not the plumbing. They cost too much. understand too little. are crude and artless. James Grant and Love And Money, an intricate tangle of piping and pumps if ever there was one. have suffered at the hands of some of the worst tradesmen in modern pop history.
‘The only way I can work within the music business now is if I have total artistic control. Over everything,‘ declares an emphatic Grant. A familiar refrain. but one that Love And Money are more qualiﬁed than most to utter. Over three albums and six years with Phonogram Records. they found their creative vision blurred and Grant’s incisive songwriting blunted by a
record company who patentlyI did not have a scooby. Singles they wanted. hit singles. So James Grant wrote ‘Papa Death‘. Much gnashing and wailing of teeth. Much dropping of band.
So James Grant wrote Little Death. This time. in burgeoning Glasgow label lona. he has found an empathetic home for a mellow album (due in November) whose title in French, petit mort, refers to orgasms. But. ‘as they‘re my words I'd like it to mean like a kind of catharsis. Much of my writing is about catharsis.‘
‘Oh really? That’s very perspicacious of you! But that‘s the general vibe ofit. I don't want to sound hippy-dippy but I like the organic nature of the words — it sounds like it could be a place. if you like. The other thing is now I can be as grim as I like now, now that the record
‘ “3 company‘s out of the way.‘
That burden so traumatised Grant that for the release of 1991‘s Dogs In The Trafﬁc. Love And Money’s third and last for the major label. his band played only three or four concerts. This year Love And Money played their first gig in two years at the Ferry dun'ng Mayfest. Now. fresh new deal having been inked, Grant has gone all gung-ho and lined up five gigs. In a row. Playing new stuff. Hang on to your hats. Grant's hanging on to his. ‘l think maybe I‘ll have three double whiskies before I go on. But I‘m looking forward to it.‘ he testifies. ‘I feel a lot looser . . .'
Must be the Radox.
I love And Money (Fringe) Fringe Club (Venue 2) 226 5257/9 (evenings 650 4673) 30 Aug—3 Sept. 9.15pm. £4.50 (ticket includes Fringe Club membership for the evening).
Given the close musical links between Canada and Scotland, it is surprising that this year is the first time that the Canadian Opera Company is to appear at the Edinburgh Festival. In a year where not all the opera programme is staged, it is particularly pleasing that they come to Scotland with what promises to be a superbly-produced double bill ot Bartok’s ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’ and Schoenberg’s ‘Erwartung’. Seen In Toronto and New York earlier this year (the company, Ionnded In 1950, has so tar not pertormed in Europe at all), the production has been
described in the American and Canadian press as ‘an evening not to be missed’ and ‘a glowing example of everything opera can be. Heading its success is the young Canadian director/writer/actor Robert Lepage, making his operatic debut, but whose theatre work has gained lntemational acclaim. This time, he joins torces
with Canadian designer Michael levine and the company’s chief conductor Richard Bradshaw.
The cast promises great things too. Canadian baritone Victor Braun sings Bluebeard and mezzo-soprano Jane Gilbert his wile, Judith. In ‘Erwartung’, soprano Bebecca Blankenship takes the role of The Woman. Success in Edinburgh will mark an important milestone in the Canadian Opera Company's history. Since 1989, when ex-Glyndeboume administrator Brian Dickie became its General Director, the company has placed increasing emphasis on new work, new productions and musical quality and is striving for increased international status. The signs so tar are all good ones. (Carol Main)
Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung (International Festival) Canadian Opera Company, Playhouse Theatre, 225 5756,28, 29 Aug, 7.30pm, EH35.
l Antonio Forcione and Ilell Stacey Forcione is well known as halfof a guitar duo with Eduardo Niebla. but has a different partner on this occasion in guitarist Neil Stacey, who impressed with his Kimbara Brothers band in the Jazz Festival. Expect a potent combination ofjazz and Latin styles. Antonio Forcione and Neil Stacey
_ (Fringe) Assemny Rooms ( Venue £)
226 2428. 20. 21, 27—29Aug. 4pm. £6 (£5.50); 22-26 Aug. 30 Aug—4 Sept. 4pm. £7 (£6).
I EH15 Eclecticism is a favourite trait in contemporary Scottish music. but this quintet’s distinctive mix ofjazz, folk. rock and ethnic influences has a ﬂavour all of its own.
Mike Travis 's EH [5 (Book Festival) Beck Is Spiegeltent. 225 I 000. 27 Aug. 8pm. £4 (£2).
I Tim Richards Trio The pianist is best known as the leader ofthe fusion outfit Spirit Level. but this trio has been around since the mid-80s, playing a mix ofjazz and blues standards.
Tim Richards Trio (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33). 556 6550. 30 Aug-2 Sept.
I --3 tin. £4; Oubliettes, Frederick Street. 3/ Aug-I Sept. 9—11 pm.
I lindsay String Ouartet with Alexander Baillie Schubert's Quintet in C Major is his last instrumental work and one of the most popular pieces of chamber music. With these performers - one of the world’s leading string quartets and one of the world's leading cellists — this is a must.
Lindsay String Quartet with Alexander Baillie (International Festival) Usher Hall, 225 5756. 30 Aug. [0.30pm. £10. I The Glenlivet Fireworks Concert Always a great night, this year's Fireworks Concert promises to be even
more spectacular than ever. No Handel this time, but Carl Davis conducts lots of other fiery music. including the Ritual Fire Dance by Falla and the finale from Stravinsky's Firebird.
The Glenlivet Fireworks Concert (International Festival) Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Ross Bandstand. Princes Street Gardens. 225 5 756. 2 Sept. [0.30pm. £13.50.
The List‘2'77ALguéi497sEfnéinbci 1993 53