28 The List 3—l6 December l993

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Melanie O'Bellly Singer Melanie O’Reilly has been a conspicuous l beneficiary of Assembly Direct’s efforts to get ' behind Scottish musicians. The trio tour which she now undertakes will be her third outing this year.

The singer will be adding some new self- cornposed material to the trio set for this latest series of gigs. Following the success of her version of the anonymous 17th century Gaelic poem Mo Bron ar an Blrj'arraigli on the last tour. the Dublin- born singer has been re- acquainting herselfwith her Irish roots.

‘Going back to Ireland a couple of times recently has had a big effect on me. and I feel I‘ve been getting back in touch with something which I had pushed aside for a long time. it's time to get in touch with that again. and I feel those roots may be coming out in some of the material I have been writing recently.

‘The seeds were sown for rne when l was a sixteen-year—old in Dublin. and heard jazz guitarist Louis Stewart playing with The Chieftains. At that time it was unheard of. but I remember feeling that it was magical. and it has stayed with me. You‘ll have to wait and hear how those Celtic roots come out in the music. but what I want to do is integrate them with jazz in my own songs. and then integrate those with the standards I’ll also be doing.’

Melanie has been devoting much time recently to writing new material. and has also decided to make one change in the band. Pianist Brian Kellock and drummer John Rae remain. but Andy Mitchell gives way to London- based bass player Arnie Somogyi. simply because she has decided that she _ really wants the sound of r double bass. rather than i bass guitar. (Kenny ' Mathieson) Melanie O'Reilly and Her i Trio play a! The Old | Athenaeum. Glasgow on ' Wed 8 and the Queen '5' i Hall, Edinburgh on Fri ' I0.

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It’s been a hard couple of 5

years for The Pogues, restructuring after the departure of Shane McGowan. Many people were ready to write them off, but now they seem

stronger than ever. Bassist Darryl Hunt talks to ' .Gavin Inglis.

The l’ogues are perennial favourites on

the jukeboxes of dark. crowded pubs. It's not at all unusual to hear such

places resound to a drunken chorus of

' ‘Wild Rover' or ‘Fairytale Of New

York‘. particularly at closing time. Nevertheless. bassist Darryl Hunt is a little bemused by that aspect of their


3 pubs myself. I don‘t really like 'em! l

‘Our style evolves itself. I think it’s like picking a good football team. That’s where a lot of international managers

get it wrong. You can’t pick ’em like a club team.’

‘lt’s strange. isn‘t it‘.’ I rarely go to

prefer to go to dances. clubs or parties. We‘ve always had a connection there. It . varies; in this country. Scotland.

' England. we scent to be very connected 1

with that. Other countries. less so. l think that‘s quite good in some ways. '

but to be honest I like to feel that we

picking a good football team. That‘s . where a lot of international managers

the style you want them to play. . because you don‘t have long enough.

. they‘re good players, and see what 2 happens. see how they play together.

j international level. I think we‘re the

Ag“, ‘1-

. ‘d i

appeal to more people than just j barflies. lt gets a bit much. We have been together ten years. and we have got a few more strings to our bow.

‘But.’ he considers. ‘it's very complimentary that people put our records on at the end of the night.‘

Their bow is indeed well-strung. Their‘ newest album. Waiting For Herb, might . be described as having a new breadth. Certainly. it's a mish-mash of different musical styles.

"That'sjust exactly what we are. what . we've always been. l’unk. Irish. rock and blues . . . dance. soul. Things we've always been into. Everybody in the group has got a very catholic sense of music. and I think that‘s reflected. People said the same after every single album. After Fall From (Ir-are. because of the jazz workouts. and after Peace and Love. they thought it was all a bit trippy. After Hell is Dire/1. everybody was. ob. they're rocking more.’

The way this combination ofelements all comes together Hunt puts down to ‘what we basically do‘.

‘We don‘t think at all about our style. ()ur style evolves itself. I think it‘s like

get it wrong. You can’t pick ’em like a club team. You can't mould them into

So you pick the team. make sure

You can only do that on an

same. As a group. we just let ourselves work together. We don’t sit down and think. “We must work like this.“ We make the summation of everyone who


joins in. When we write. all the material is basically dictated by what we’re writing at that time. So we turn . up with an idea and say. “l lere‘s a song. I wouldn’t mind this sort of

3 sound on it. or can we make this

melody?" That's dictated. we just choose the ones that sound the best. and l that‘s the album.‘

Popularity doesn't make life any

i easier. In fact. he reckons. it's a

restrictive thing.

‘I like to feel that we appeal to more people than just barflies. It gets a bit much. We have been together ten years, and we have got a few more strings to our bow.’

‘()nce you get popular around the world. nobody‘s got the time to do In o albums a year. There are too many

people ringing you tip all over the place : wanting you to come and play. Look at

U2. they‘ve worked their arses off. They did a two-year tour. I don‘t think they can take their families along . . . people say “Oh. they’re lucky. rich bastards". but they‘re actually working very hard. They deserve every penny they get for the amount of work they do. The more popular they are. there's so much more that‘s demanded of them. It would just freak me completely.‘

()ne thing’s sure: should it all collapse. they can always go back to playing late-night drinking dens. They'll be assured of a warm reception. The Po gues play The Barrow/and. Glasgow on Fri IO.