musu: PREVIEW v uerm

I Fans of The Shamen (and we know there are a lot of you out there) and Test Department won't want to miss Notes From The Underground. a documentary made by Glasgow-based independent production company Modus Operandi. lt’s scheduled to be screened by Channel 4 early next year. but will receive its premiere at this year’s Fringe Film and Video Festival in The Filmhouse. Edinburgh at 7pm on Sat 4. lntercutting perfonnances with interviews. the film examines their ideologies and the difficulties of retaining artistic purity in the commercial Babylon of the music business. Phew. not bad for a 30- minute short.

I The 13th Note in Glasgow is putting on live music every night from IO December to 9 January. which is the period that the onerous curfew is to be relaxed. And. in an unconnected kind of a way. the band Whiteout have decided that the best way of heightening their profile in their native city is to play at that selfsame venue every Monday night in December. following the example of Dinky Flop. who did the same thing a few months ago and . . . well. haven‘t been heard of since.

I llezerection. the rave promoters. who have a huge Hogmanay bash planned for the Royal Highland Centre. have decided to expand into the arena of the record label. All aspiring Mobys. Prodigys or TTFs bands or DJs are invited to bung a cassette of three of their tracks into a Jiffy bag and post it pronto to Rezerection. PO Box lJP. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NEW) UP.

I Edinburgh’s strange subterranean venue The Subway have put the call out for bands too things. it would seem. being rather dry on the live music front at the moment. Anyone who thinks they can fill the bill should write to Dave Stewart, The Subway. 6‘) Cowgate. Edinburgh Elll “W or. alternatively. call (RI 225 6766.

Test Dept


At twenty-three, Simon Thoumire (pronounced Two-myre) feels the time is ripe to turn full-time professional, and so at Edinburgh’s Tron Folk Club he plays his highly individual, jazzy concertina in a farewell concert with Seannachie - the local band he auditioned for when he was sixteen, and lied about his age.

‘Seannachie has had more or less the same line up for the seven years I’ve been with them, only the guitarist has changed. At one time, we had a jazz guitarist, which suits my way of playing, and currently the guitarist is quite bluesy, but Scottish music has always been central to the band, so i that hasn’t changed, except that we all play better now!’

With Liz Wright, Aly Cain’s agent, taking charge of his career, Simon will be performing occasionally in a group with some of the other Young Tradition award winners, is enthusiastic about ; the freedom of playing solo, and ? enjoys the infrequent outings in Jim Sutherland’s big fusion group Someotherland, lined up for March j gigs in Aberdeen and at the Edinburgh

Folk Festival.

But Simon’s main musical direction is 1 with his ground-breaking trio. Their i first album ‘Waltzes For Playboys’ (on i the Acoustic Radio label) is released : in two weeks. Apart from the title j track, which has Sandy Wright in the guitar chair, the two other musicians who comprise the regular Simon

Thoumire Three, are Brian Sheils on

5 double bass and Kevin MacKenzie on

Young playboys

guitar, two of the finest instrumentalists of any age on the Scottish jazz scene. The fact that they are comparatively youthful is a bonus. ‘I’ve always wanted to play with a double bass, and Kevin is superb on the acoustic guitar. It’s all acoustic music. That’s the idea. Folk-based, but obviously not folk music, playing with those two. It’s quite mad - in a good way. It works, and it seems to go down well with young people, and that’s really important to me. I want the , music to appeal to all ages, but I especially to young people.’ (Noman i Chalmers) Simon Thoumire and Kevin MacKenzie play A flight For Bosnia at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on Sat 11; Seannachie play the Tron Ceilidh Nouse, Edinburgh on Sat 4; The Simon Thoumire Three play a free concert on New Year’s Day in Edinburyt.

3 lm. (One m9

A good first year, all things considered, for The Nectarine No 9.

. Their album, ‘A Sea With Three Stars’, managed to combine the quirky but

succulent popiness of mainman Davey

Henderson’s last band Win with

. angular, Beefheartian guitar riffs (they

even did a cover of Beefy’s

‘Frownland’ for a BBC radio session).

' Their new EP, ‘llnloaded For You’, sees them toying with country twanging

and has been winning them ‘Single Of The Week’ plaudits from all comers. They’ve been playing well-received gigs, including one last month in london, where they are returning to

' support The llockingbirds’ pre-

Christmas dates. And then there’s their part in a Postcard Records TV special . . .

, ‘Yes, it’s very exciting. AT LAST, one

is being recognised for one’s efforts,’

says Henderson from a phone box in an undisclosed location.

The extra tracks on the EP, alternate versions of album tracks which took shape when the band started to rehearse for gigs, sound drastically different, reflecting their actual live


Grin and bare it

The clouds have cleared and the sky is blue round

McLean discovers } sunshine and fun lurking 2 in the shadows of The

‘When we tried the versions from the

album,’ he says, ‘it sounded really

boring, so we just changed everything round and reworked it, basically rewrote all the songs. It just made a lot of sense to break everything up and make it a lot more skeletal, a lot more simpler and a lot more direct, a lot more guitar-based.

‘Even though, when you first listen to .

the album, it sounds like there’s a lot of intricate stuff going on, it’s all basically very simple because of the fact that I made it up and I can’t really play. It’s impossible for it to be complex in any way.’

Complex or not, there should be

Nectarine material aplenty in the new

5 year, or as Henderson puts it, ‘It’s not

a a case of new stuff, it’s an ongoing thing. It’s not like “now is the time to

' write new songs”, it’s not done in blocks like that. It was more like that in bands I’ve been in before, but we

: want to get away from that. It should

. be a totally ongoing process all the

. time. You shouldn’t stop the flow of

ideas because you’ve got your quota

i for that period.’ (Alastair Mabbott)

The Nectarine No 9 play the BAFA

I Club, Glasgow on Fri 10 and La Belle

l Angele, Edinburgh on Mon 13.

; The.

; Lounging by the pool. LA-stylc. Matt

1 Johnson is working hard at taking it

easy. ‘1 just like having fun. people don‘t realise that. They think l'm a

I miserable old sod. Fun is very

important. Fun is a very underestimated

quality. people feel a bit guilty having

fun. they think it‘s frivolous. But if

you‘re happy you make people around

you feel good and you‘re able to judge

3 things better and see things with a

i better perspective than if you're upset.‘

From existentialist blues to

existentialist laughs —— if previous

i incarnations of Matt Johnson and The

Matt Johnson’s way. Craig .

l The were scathing and scornful and you i

better not doubt it. then the late-")3

; version is more grin than grim. This at

the tail—end of a year-long tour

! promoting an album which he started

work on eighteen months before that.

i This a few hours before the last

i appearance of a five-night residency at

l Los Angeles‘ Forum. supporting

l Depeche Mode. Straight afterwards. the entourage flies to Las Vegas for the final date on this three-month US tour.

| This week alone. Matt Johnson's The

I The will have played to upwards of

26 The List 3— to December 1993 i