MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Theatre Royal. Glasgow. 14 Oct.
This production is a study in rain-laden skyscapes which will please watercolour enthusiasts with their moody colouring and insidious realism. But these are no Prince of Wales picture- gailery jobs. These clouds 100k wet. You can feel the stufﬁness they create in the Russian atmosphere. In cyclorama. their almost constant presence quickly becomes symbolic of the oppression felt by Katya under the dominance of her mother-in-law (Elizabeth Vaughan). the weakness of her husband (Anthony Roden) and the weight of her guilty conscience.
Scottish Opera’s new Katya Kahanova, directed by Mark Bn'ckman with designs by Richard Aylwin. adds to the company‘s existing repertoire of Jan'aceks — Jenufa. From The House Of The Dead. The Makropolous Case and The C arming Little Vixen — all conducted by Richard Armstrong, though here for the first time as the company's music director. His easy familiarity with Katyu‘s rhythmic. tightly-focused score seems to emphasise its fabulous texture and pace, and brings some moments of unbelievable clarity from the pit. Janacek was always great at describing through music what is going on in his characters‘ minds. and Armstrong doesn’t stand in his way. Vocally. Helen Field in the title role conveys her mounting panic well. but sounds slightly brittle. though she plays the wound-up adultress with conviction. She is well foiled by Elizabeth McCormack‘s melliﬂuous Varvara.
The denouement of the opera (based on Ostrovsky's The Storm) starts when Katya finally confesses her affair just as the storm breaks; but for me the axis turned one scene earlier. when she‘d just left her lover Boris (Richard Brunner) alone on stage. There was only one man. one tree and one cello - literally the calm before the storm.
Eat your heart out. Anna Karenina. (Cate Devine)
THE JULIANA HATFIELD THREE/PASSION FRUIT
AND HOLY BREAD
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 8 Oct.
Passion Fruit And 11on Bread - the name comes from a line in ‘She Bangs The Orurns’. To a man, Passion Fruit are the self-believing souls of The Stone Roses trapped in the bodies of four pixie-faced lads with problem hair. To themselves, they are spe-shul, so very spe-shul. But when guitarist Justin steps forward to take vocal duties on one song and his reedy, mannered whine minces about, a four- Ietter word crosses my mind. What’s the name of that indlerthan-thou Oxford four-piece? Ah, yes. Ride. Closed my eyes for a moment, could have sworn it was them, trotting out a forgotten B-side. Perversely, this gets the biggest clap of Passion Fruit’s set. Why? Why, when they have songs that sound like Verve on a freaky wigout,
guitars that glissade and pirouette, a vocalist, Sam Oean, with bellows for lungs, and the wit to keep their set brief and crisp, all served up with a garnish of Suede-y swagger. Why applaud the crap number that highlights the chinks in their armour? This review Is peppered with references to various monosyllabic indie colossi. For that I make no apology. What I smell here is a developing band with vaulting ambition, some press converts on the lookout for a group to plug the no- man’s land between Suede, Verve and Ride and the distinct possibility that Passion Fruit will be stifled by microscopic attention before they get a chance to flower. So be on your guard you passionate popettes. Following Sam Oean’s assured vocal sermons, Juliana llatfield’s pretty baby voice is like shovelling lust a bit too much sugar in your tea. Nevertheless, in front of an appreciative assembly and in contrast to her last appearance at the tint, when journalists were playing pass- the-notebook to avoid having to pen a review of her stultifying set, she positively scintillates and scintillates positively. (Fiona Shepherd)
Plaza, Glasgow, 10 Oct.
Three things scunner me about M- People. Firstly, can Heather Small really sing or is she a Linda McCartney? Secondly, lust what is the appeal of M-People that they have Top
10 hit after hit? Finally, what function does (OJ) Mike Pickering actually
Half an hour before midnight, nine M- Persons bounce onstage, followed post haste by one Heather Small, shimmering In brightest bridal white. With tracks like ‘Colour My Life’, ‘Exclted’ and the particularly powerful ‘Someday’, I’m left in no doubt that she is a fine singer’and can rightfully claim a place as one of the foremost divas in the OK. Yet unlike most disco divas who bounce about the stage (Tina Turner, N’Oea Davenport), Small remains statuesque. ller undoing is her lack of concentration; when her minds wanders, she has a tendency to hit flat notes. Worse still, it’s clear by the amount of times she looks for cues from Paul “I’m in charge’ Heard
that M-People have not practised enough for this tour.
Maybe I’m being too harsh, for M- People are at worst an excuse for a bloody good boogie. They are a hit phenomenon because their music is simple, honest and enjoyable. With the new album, “Elegant Slummlng’, it’s clear M-People have moved onto better things; tracks such as ‘You Just Have To Be there’, ‘lfatural Thing’, ‘Love Is In My Soul’ and the exquisite ‘Oon’t look Any Further’ prove M- People’s talents are not restricted to the studio - they can make damned fine percussion-based soul when they want to.
As to the function of Mike Pickering, well . . . he wears big shirts and plays the tambourine. He plays a muted saxophone and sings like a muted Richard Falrbrass. lie also sings background vocals and says ‘thank you’ after every song. lie dances like Bez from Happy Mondays. I like Mike Pickering. I liked this concert. Honest. (Philip Oorward)
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Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going of press.
I GLASGOW BARRDWLAND (226 4679) Anthrax. 7 Nov; Jimmy Barnes. 11 Nov; Silencers. 12 Nov; Terence Trent D’Arby. 14 Nov; The Orb. 16 Nov; Christy Moore. 17 Nov; Paul Weller, 18 Nov; Hawkwind. 20 Nov; Hot House Flowers. 21 Nov; Teenage Fanclub. 26 Nov; Capercaillie. 27 Nov; James. 1 Dec; Sepultura, 3 Dec; 4 Non Blondes. 4 Dec; The Damned. 7 Dec; Pogues. 10 Dec; The The. 12 Dec; Mr Big. 13 Dec; Saw Doctors. 18 Dec; Body Count. 20 Dec; Bjorn Again. 31 Dec; Wonder Stuff, 24 Mar. I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Crowded House, 10 Nov; Bobby Vee. 11 Nov; The Commitments. 19 Nov; Kinks. 25 Nov; Deborah Harry. 26 Nov; Sylvian and Fripp. 2 Dec; Mary Black. 10 Dec; Dr Hook. 16 Dec. I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Liberty Mountain Elvis Show. 14 Nov; Nazareth and Uriah Heep. 21 Nov; Maria McKee. 22 Nov; Carol Laula. 5 Dec. I GLASGOW SECC (227 5511) Lenny Kravitz. 30 Nov; Take That. 1-2 Dec; OM D. 4 Dec; Status Quo. 5 Dec; Wet Wet Wet, 8 Dec; Gary Glitter. 23-24 Dec; Meatloaf, 19 Mar. I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL (332 9000) Maggie Bell, 2 Dec. I EDINBURGH INGLISTON (0715871414)UB 40.14 Jan. I EDINBURGH PLAYHDUSE (557 2590) Bootleg Beatles. 21 Nov; Deacon Blue. 22 Apr. I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Texas. 6 Nov; Silencers. 11 Nov; Dream Theater. 28 Nov; Carol Laula. 4 Dec; Therapy?. 9 Dec. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 1155)The Commitments, 14 Nov; Mary Black. 9 Dec.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) Carol Kidd. 16 Feb; Danish Radio Big Band, 10 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1) Glenn Miller Orchestra UK, 18 Nov.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (332 5057) Trilok Gurtu, 14 Nov.
I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL (332 9000) Humphrey Lyttelton Band, 30 Doe.
I EDINBURGH DUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Four
Guitars. 5 Nov; Trilok Gurtu, 12 Nov; Andy Sheppard. 19 Nov; Phil Bancroft. 26 Nov; Pinski Zoo/Nigel Clark. 3 Dec; Melanie O'Reilly. 10 Dec; Michel Petrucciani. 11 Feb; Carol Kidd. 18 Feb; Tommy Smith. 4 Mar; Danish Radio Big Band, 11 Mar; Cauld Blast Orchestra. 18 Mar.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 1155)Glenn Miller Orch UK. 15 Nov.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511)Christy Moore. 16 Nov; Mary Black. 9 Dec; Celtic Connections. 9-23 Jan. I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Capercaillie. 15 Nov.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Rumillajta. 20 Nov; Strings of Scotland. 27 ~ Nov.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Aly Bain. 8 Nov; Cauld Blast Orchestra. 18 Mar.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Capercaillie. 30 Nov; Mary Black. 10 Dec.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) BBC 580. 12 Nov; Mozart Requiem. 20 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511)
Benevolent Fund Concert. Q
22 Nov; Csardas. 28 Nov; Verdi Requiem. 5 Dec; Pops at the Phil. 19 Dec; Favourite Music. 13 Feb; Choral Spectacular, 5 Jun. I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) SEMC. 5 Nov; John Cum'e Singers. 7 Nov; Bahai Concert. 12 Nov; Indian Classical. 13 Nov; SEMC. 19 Nov; Paragon. 21 Nov; ACO. 25 Nov; Norma Lerer. 28 Nov; AWO, 2 Dec; Drysdale and Emslie, 5 Dec; BTSE. 10 Dec; SUWB&C. 11 Dec; Carols, 14 Dec; JO&C. 18 Dec; Paragon. 23 Jan; SEMC. 4 Feb; BTSE. 11 Feb; Paragon. 27 Feb; Hebrides. 6 Mar; SEMC. 11 Mar; Paragon. 20 Mar; BTSE. 15 Apr. I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Chilingirian Qt. 15 Nov; ECAT. 20 Nov; Paragon. 23 Nov; lmai and Vignoles, 6 Dec; BTSE. 12 Dec; Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe. 15 Dec; Emperor Qt. 17 Jan: Paragon, 25 Jan; Hebrides. 2 Feb; BTSE. 6 Feb; Hebrides. 6 Feb; Schubert Ens. 7 Feb; Paragon. 1 Mar; Hebrides, 7 Mar; Endellion Qt. 21 Mar; Paragon. 22 Mar; ECAT. 30 Mar; BTSE. l7 Apt”. ECAT. 28 Apr. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Samaritans Gala Concert. 7 Nov; Messiah. 3 Jan; ERCU. 7 May.
SD The List 22 October—4 November 1993