I llunrig have a new honour to place beside the gold discs on their collective ﬁreplace; for. on 20 Octbber. their most recent album, Amazing Things won the music category of the l993 British Environment and Media Awards. What that? you ask. as did we. Well. the awards are bestowed to recognise ‘excellence in the communication of environmental messages‘ and the lyrics to Amazing Things were judged to be informed and not overly simplistic - take note. World Party and The The. who were pipped at the post by Scotland's favourite band. But this must be the strangest company that Runrig have ever been lumped with; other winners included Scotland On Sunday. the BBC programme Midlands Today and US Vice-President Al Gore. Runrig were on tour in Germany at the time and couldn’t attend. Nothing to do with the presence of John Selwyn Gummer at the ceremony. we’re assured.
I Toby or not Toby? As if we didn't already know that Status Quo were a national institution. Royal Doulton are celebrating five centuries (or thereabouts) of the Quo by issuing limited edition jugs in the shapes of Francis Rossi and Rick Pariitt — the company's first since The Beatles. Photographs of these delectable items of tableware have not yet fallen into our hands. so we’re still puzzling over how to construct a functional handle out of Mr Parﬁtt’s unruly locks. But for a mere £45 each. you can check that out for yourselves. I Ever wondered just what gets rockers Little Angels up in the morning? A taste of Django Reinhardt? A quick blast of ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey'? Laura Nyro's overlooked masterpiece Eli And The Thirteenth Confession? All will be revealed on Saturday 13, when the band take over the record decks at The Cathouse. Glasgow to spin some of their favourite tracks - as well as giving away tickets for their live shows in December and copies of the new Little Angels video Jam On Film. We have to say. though. that if there’s not at least one track by The Ink Spots in there. we'll scream till we're sick.
nam- h, Vien
There are two mighty things can
i do, which make it worth basing your ; entire existence on. One, it can
7 communicate, not always in words,
but in emotions (whereas fallible
humans communicate in words, but
not always In emotions). it nachos out chilly tendrils or zaps you with little shockwaves or nods empathetlcally
‘yup, know exactly how you feel’.
When Stuart from Tlnderstlcks sings
about ‘City Slckness’ on the group’s
eponymous new album, the heavens don’t respond or anything, but he strikes a modest, plaintive and direct chord from the heart of the asphalt )ungle.
Two, music can send you to wonderful places, places you don’t necessarily identify with. Tlnderstlcks are travel agents of the mind. Their speciality is decadent European capitals.
‘lt’s perhaps just to do with
wandering imaginations,’ says Stuart.
“We try to give our songs a visual feel,
conjuring up an image in your head -
it can just be by the rhythm of it. it
sounds continental because there
aren’t very many 4/4 beats on it.’ That’s just it - you can see
Tlnderstlcks’ music almost as easily asyoucanhearlt. lftheywerethe soundtrack to a film, it would be ‘a film I can’t imagine, rather than one I know.’
So Tlnderstlcks, it seems, have scored a double whammy with their debut album. A debut album they’ve been working up to for ten years, right enough, but their debut all the same.
Forget all this agelst crap about potent music being a youthful monopoly. At 27, Stuart has experienced something of life, even if he’s not been literally watching it drift past from the vantage of a Parisian cafe. At least he’s had time to develop a reason for being in a band - ‘I want to play music now as something to be proud oi’ - and a feel for texture and drama.
Stuart balks at the idea of being a craftsman. ‘I don’t think I can write song songs.’ lie pauses long enough to wonder what he means by ‘song songs’. ‘I’ve got my own interpretation of songs,’ he decides. (Fiona Shepherd)
Tlnderstlcks play The Venue, Edinburgh on Wed ill and King Tut’s, Glasgow on Thurs 11.
Palm before the storm
‘ One of the originals of world music,
: Sooliman Ernest liogers’ unique lyrical and singing style took shape in the
; relaxed bars of post-War colonial Siam Leone. After some time in the
national army, loined in the mistaken belief that he would join a military
band and be sent to England. M
gradually synthesised a music from the collision of African culture, learned from his mother who was a leading traditional singer, the Western popular music of the period and his own quirky and perceptive vision.
The ubiquitous West African milky- white alcoholic palm wine, made from sap tapped from its trunk, gives its name to his laid-back music, an acoustic and deceptively simple-
sounding guitar accompanying a warm
baritone voice and an extrovert vitality.
Part calypso and part blues, in the early days palm wine music was strongly influenced by American country music. One of the early songs that would irritate his parents and
; remains in his repertoire is ‘I Want To
Be A Cowboy’, his homage to the radio cowboys of the early 50s and an early
hero, Jimmie lingers.
ills enterprise and a primitive tape recorder produced the first of a stream ofnearlysosinglesas, with his band The Morningstars, he made a name for himself in West Africa and Europe. Even the Twist craze was put
' through the iiogie machine when they
had a malor hit with ‘Twist With The Morningstars’ in 1965.
After a move to Berkeley in the early 70s, publication of a couple of books of short stories, a lot of teaching and the setting-up of his own record label, llogle was ‘rediscovered’ in San Francisco a few years ago by Andy Kershaw and a remastered album on Cooking Vinyl brought him back to the public’s attention.
Notwithstanding his Californian home, llogle remains an unreconstructed, non-PC man, who deals out ‘Advlce To Schoolgirls’ and many more of his idiosyncratic songs withacharmthntcanbrlngthebirds down from the tops of the pub trees. (Iorman Chalmers)
S.E. llogle and The Palm Wine Tappers play the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on Sat 13.
mn- Rhythm in motion
Kenny Mathieson checks out the colourful cultural conjunctions of master percussionist Trilok Gurtu.
Trilok Gurtu is no stranger to Scottish stages. where he has performed with Oregon (shamefully, a solitary Glasgow appearance remains all we have heard
of this great band) and the John J
30 The List 5918 November 1993