MUSIC PREVIEW V LISTEN!
I Proof if proof were needed, that Glasgow’s Baby Chaos are quick on the draw. they are already on the brink of releasing their debut single for East West ‘Sperm'. only six weeks after signing to the label. They were the ﬁrst band to be signed by the company‘s new A&R bod Nathan McGough. who knows a thing or two about seminal records after his stint managing the now defunct Happy Mondays. Now we just want to see if Whiteout (conceptual continuity here, or what?) can match such rapid work after signing on the line with Silvertone earlier this month.
I With Interest in The Incredible String Band being greater than it's been since their heyday. it’s no surprise to discover that a long-lost ﬁlm made by director Peter Neal in 1968 entitled Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending has now been released on video. The ﬁlm. which mixes live footage with interviews and surreal theatre pieces (including a good versus evil fantasy fable called The Pirate And The Crystal Ball featuring the whole band) has been legendary in lncredibles circles for years. It is. unfortunately. a very limited edition, available only from Network Mail. I96 Old Road. Brampton. Chesterﬁeld. Derbyshire S40 3QW priced £16.50 (inc P&P).
I Edinburgh band Coco And The Bean. who brought out one catchily dancey single a year or two ago and have been pretty quiet since. have been trying to ﬁnd a female singer. Tell them to book a classiﬁed ad. we hear you cry. Well. they've tried the usual routes without ﬁnding a suitable person and lurking record company interest has made it a matter of greater urgency. Call Raymond Moore at Baghdad Radio Records (031 229 8715) ifyou think you could ﬁll the bill.
I Prepare to be remarkably well-informed about the nuts and bolts of the Scottish music scene in the months ahead. Next week. trade bible Music Week publishes a supplement focusing on the Scottish Music Business, while The Music In Scotland Trust‘s Scottish Music Directory is nearing completion. with a planned publication date of II December. Would it be too presumptuous to say that The List was there ﬁrst. with our Rock Reports in the 80s? Perhaps. so we’ll leave it there.
32 The List 22 October—4 November 1993
It is not often that the Royal Scottish
_ National Orchestra hits these columns
; with news of Its weekly winter season
concerts, but It would be Impossible
‘ to let the programme of MacCunn,
i MacMIllan and Mackenzie go by without notice. In a fascinating
Big Macs to go
programme of Scottish music spanning two centuries, the orchestra takes as its centrepiece James MacMIllan’s
‘The Confession 0f Isobel Cowdie’, the work which made his name at the 1991 london Proms. Its dramatic power stems from the story of Isobel Gowdie, who, In 1662, was accused of 2 being a witch and was subsequently strangled at the stake and burned in pitch.
Says the composer, ‘lnitially, l was driven by the dramatic and programmatic potential of this insane and terrible story, but as I began my
‘- sketches my plan seemed too
The Royal sno play MacCunn, - MacMillan and Mackenzie at the
detached, gratuitous and voyeuristic. I changed tack to writing a work which could be a warning to present and future generations that ‘wItch- hunting’ tendencies lie dormant In all societies and can explode in our own time as much as in the 17th century, as can be seen in Eastern European pogroms and In the Nazi Holocaust of 50 years ago.’
The concert also provides a rare opportunity to hear Sir Alexander Carnpbeil Mackenzie’s ‘The Sun-God’s Return’, scored for symphony orchestra, chorus, soprano, contralto and tenor. The final big Mac this weekend is MacCunn, known chiefly for his overture ‘The land (It The Mountain And The Flood’, a work which Is easily available on record, regularly heard In the concert hall and shot to fame through its use on ‘Sutherland’s Law’. If is not that, however, but the lesser known ‘The lIowIe Yens of Yarrow’ which the SIIII play. With its strong Scottish flavour, it is based on the ballad about the
; knight who is murdered by the seven r brothers of the girl who loves him and ‘ , who ultimately dies because of it.
Christopher Bell conducts and soloists f are Ilicola Ferner-Waite, Frances f
= McCafferty and John Mitchinson.
llsher Ilall, Edinburgh on Fri 22 and 3
' Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sat 23. ,
The Scottish Storytelling Festival Is an annual ten-day autumn blather of tale-
= bearers, travellers, blarney, ballad-
singing, crack and ceilidh, all located
t at the Iletherbow on Edinburgh’s High
Street - with one exception. Robin Williamson’s concerts are round the corner in Jeffrey Street, where for two nights he will be performing his original recipe of self-penned and
' ancient song, instrumental music on
harp, guitar, small pipes and fiddle, with stories, poems and anecdotes thrown in as the mood takes him.
It was after the demise of the hugely
‘ successful Incredible String Band that ' Williamson moved to California and t formed his Celtic music Merry Band
and when they folded In 1979, he started to Incorporate stories in his solo performance.
‘When I was young in Edinburgh, I
i had heard historical anecdotes, bits of V: Border tales and that sort of thing, but ' when I was about nineteen I read
A tradition seemed to have been lying
; dormant since the Middle Ages. I wanted to incorporate these stories
1 with my songs. It all seemed to be part
; of the one stream. And later on I met
Duncan Williamson and the other
' great traveller storytellers.
; appear, while in a concert, and they ' become part of the tale, and also how
Robert Graves and became fascinated.
‘I’m still learning stories; people tell me things, like lust recently in Wales, but what’s amazing is how new bits
forget the words of one of my own,
popular over the last few years. I think that it’s probably a reaction to the - ' poverty of the times. You see, stories '-
things can mush together. And the road and the miles make a difference. The age I am now, what I’ve seen and where I’ve been makes a big difference to the stories, how you feel them, how people hear them. It’s true of the songs too. I still sing some songs I sang when l was seventeen, but I do them so much better now. And
it’s peculiar . . . I never forget the
words of a traditional song, but often
and have to releam It! ‘I’m delighted that storytelling has been rediscovered and become so
are riches. They are treasures to carry
about, and yet they have no weight. ; They can’t be stolen, they’re magical.’ ! . (IIorman Chalmers) , ; Edinburgh Storytelling Festival runs l " from 26 Oct-6 Iiov at The Iletherbow, i ; Edinburgh. Robin Williamson plays Old |
St Paul’s liall, Edinburgh on Fri 29 and Sat 30 and The Ferry, Glasgow on Wed 27.
‘Had enough of the
, (Iver a barrel
predictable trendy melee
of nihilist angst‘?’ asks
1‘ ; Alastair Mabbott. There’s I always Midnight Oil.
7 ‘We're not a very introverted band and i we‘re not a band that spends much time
dealing with the nuances of emotion.
There are bands who do that really well, but we're not one of them.’
That's Peter Garrett. smooth-skulled singer for Midnight Oil. the band that
put Australia on the musical tnap
before INXS —- and long. long before
the country became notorious as the fount of all tribute bands -~ perhaps putting his ﬁnger on why it‘s taken
ﬁfteen years for his band to mount their
ﬁrst headlining tour of Britain. Practically everywhere but in this
5 country. Midnight Oil are selling . albums and concert tickets by the ton. Here. apart from the ﬁukish hit ‘Beds
Are Burning' four years ago, we‘ve been pretty resistant to their charms.
‘We‘ve been in and out of favour over
time. but there‘s always been such a high level of fashion-plate politics
f involved - l‘m not talking about “th
look". but also the sound — which has seemed to us puerile and petty. And the records haven't been hugely successful
in the UK, so it always goes to the bottom of our priorities and tends to left there.‘