um- White here, while now
Craig McLean introduces White Out, Greenock tykes destined for greatness.
it’s there, approximately halfway through White Out’s ﬁrst real single: a rush, a crush, a push, a cheer — the sound of a mass crowd going Grade A mental as the band do their stuff and wow their fans. It doesn’t matter that the genuﬂecting crowd are falling at the feet of another, larger, mainstreamer West Coast band (not allowed to say who, for. . .er. . . a reason). it only matters that the sampled ecstatic response sneaks up just as you think ‘No Time’ can’t get any better. Then, of course, it does. That whooping and clapping are the perfect ﬁt. And then you click, already: White Out are destined for greatness. Soon the cheers will be all theirs.
‘lt just seemed cheesy enough and stupid enough to be appropriate for us,’ snickers guitarist Eric Lindsay. ‘lt’s the perfect bit in the song for some cheering.’
Pure, unadulterated retro-ism never sounded so good. White Out are shaggy-topped Beatles/Faces/Stones/T- Rex/any-golden-pop revivalists, with a blatant cockiness that deﬁes anything but admiration. They know ‘No Time’ is so good that the chorus just has to come ﬁrst, and so it starts the single. They knew ‘No Time’ was so good that they’ve stuck with the original demo, recorded nearly a year ago in Park Lane in Glasgow. Only difference is the addition of the sampled crowd. Like, why deny destiny?
And now, in London, more demos. There’s an album to be worked out, new songs to be worked over, even if Park Lane also produced at least
taken up residence in a flat above
,who also signed fellow Scots Yo Yo
another four crackers (including the full-frontal brazenness of ’Starrclub'). So Stuart, Andrew. Eric and Paul — l9. 20, 21. and 22 respectively — have
Battery Studios in Willesden. north- west London, part of the recording
complex owned by their label. Silvertone.
After a summer of rumour and counter-rumour, White Out signed with i the label‘s Glaswegian A&R head Roddy McKenna last autumn, the man
Honey and The Lost Soul Band. Early front-runners Heavenly lost out. their cachet and kudos no match for Silvertone’s committal to an album (Heavenly were only offering two singles and then, well, aye, we’ll see. maybe, an album . . .). White Out are § here for the duration. Not that you’d have guessed if you’d caught the band back in the dark well of 1991.
‘lt was a fairly radical change,’ recalls Eric of ructions wrought within the Greenock tykes upon his arrival in their ; ranks around Christmas 1992. Before that, with another guitarist as main songwriter, ‘They were more . . . well, l’m sure you know what they were like.’
Only too well. Veterans of the lrn Bru Rock Week in July l99l will recall a White Out gig at Glasgow’s Third Eye Centre that went, according to The List, i something like this: ‘While their monkey-faced pals tried gamely to rock 5 it up down the front, the band freaked out. Lank hair was tossed. grins were
’ '3‘- , '
leered, two-ﬁnger salutes were proferred, genes were in-bred. We were supposed to be impressed. intimidated even. We weren’t. Humoured, yes, at this ludicrous, Manic-like shambles.’ Four months later, Bob ‘St Etienne’ Stanley’s Angel Town label brought us the teenage delinquents’ ﬁrst single. Already. glimmerings of greatness were afoot.
Next thing you know, White Out are living up to their own, prescient hype. Suddenly, as ifby magic, this scraggy bunch of ﬂop-top mop-heads could write songs. Suddenly, they looked cool. too. ‘l think it was maybe too
i many hormones getting the better of
. them. it was entertaining while it lasted, good fun. But tastes change — l
, don’t think it was intentional — we were
gonna be a punk band and now we‘re
, going to be something else. Tastes
3 change gradually, so i think it was just 9 moving on, there was nothing sinister Q or a planned total change of attitude. it‘s just the way it came out.‘
After a year spent rebuilding and
L gearing up, White Out are properly
7 upon us. Methodically, they’ll continue to turn up at their base-building free
residency at The l3th Note. But already they’re scheduled to appear on The
Word. Radio sessions are coming
through. The national press are : snifﬁng. The cheers. meanwhile, are
getting louder by the day.
White Out are currently playing every
' Monday at The I 3th Note. Glasgow.
“No 'Iime' is released on 7 Feb.
mm: Song of songs
in the tour centuries since his death in February 1594, the popularity oi the music oi Giovanni Pierlulgi da Palestrina has rarely waned, although he himseli has acquired the reputation oi a composer oi rather austere religious music. Very much a periectlenist, Palestrina wrote music that is distinguished irorn that oi his 16th century peers by the sheer periectlon oi its sophisticated polyphonic vocal lines. low, as celebrations begin in honour oi the quatercentenary oi his death, his output is being reassessed, revealing amanwhowasqulclrtoseethe commercial potential oi marrying the worldly eroticism oi ‘The Song 0i Solomon’ to the iormal beauty oi his own technique.
‘llere we have a series oi motets architectumd in a particular way and given a coherent structure that doesn’t inﬂow the biblical order, but
sense oi the dramatic and the theatrical. Palestrina’s music, when sung well, is nothing if not sensuous.’ Complementing the Palestrina pieces in the SEN: programme is a series oi
t instrumental interludes by other
' Italian composers oi the 16th and
early 17th centuries. Those in the iirst hall explore ornamented versions oi
contemporary vocal pieces; the
second hali includes instrumental
settings oi the most popular oi Palestrina’s madrigais by later composers. The eiiect oi the programme as a whole is to chip away at the slightly sanctimonious aura surrounding Palestrina and his music; after all, here was a man who would
‘ cheekily apologise to the Pope for the
instead iinds a dramatic sense underlined by the tonality and scoring 3 oi the pieces,’ says Warwick Edwards, musical director oi the Scottish Early Music Consort, who will be perionning ‘Palestrina And The Garden (it love’ - a programme consisting oi the composer’s setting oi the love poetry oi ‘The Song 0i Songs’ - in February. ‘Ilere is a composer who has a real
worldly appeal at his madrigais while continuing to churn them out. (Alan Morrison)
The SEMG perionn ‘Palestrina And The Garden 0i love’ at the BSAMII, Glasgow on Fri 4. The Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers perionn Palestrina’s ‘ilequiem’ and ‘Stabat Mater’ at the McEwan llall, Edinburgh on Wed 2.
The Kevin MacKenzie Quartet were one of the outstanding successes of the ﬁrst season of Assembly Direct’s The Jazz Club promotion, and now ﬁnd themselves lined up to hit the road again this time around. in jazz terms, this is the band which the guitarist would most like to develop, and his obvious empathy with saxophonist Julian Arguelles suggests that there is plenty of scope for it.
Like Nigel Clark, Kevin is happy to look to the south for collaborators, and the band will also include London- based bass player Steve Watts, as well as regular drummer Tom Bancroft (also London-bom. of course, but an adopted Scot these days). The Scottish jazz scene is too restricted to be self- sustaining without the injection of fresh ideas, and this kind of collaboration can only be advantageous, especially when it is ongoing.
MacKenzie continues to develop his music in several complementary directions, though. He can also be heard in a more groove and funk-based band which he co-leads with drummer lain Copeland at The 13th Note (Sat 28) just prior to the tour, while his work with concertina wizard Simon Thournire offers yet another line of development (the trio's debut CD, Waltzes For Playboys, currently awaits a frustratingly delayed release).
An equally intriguing Jazz Club collaboration involving both MacKenzie and Arguelles is lined up for March (see next issue for dates). when Tom Bancroft steps to centre stage as the leader of a group which combines members of his own Orange Ear Ensemble with musicians from the French collective L’ARFl. whose Edinburgh concert in May last year was an unforgettable experience. The Jazz Club season got off to a rather disappointing start in the Autumn, but that should now be put right, and with a vengeance. (Kenny Mathieson)
The Kevin MacKenzie Quartet play The Music Box. Edinburgh on Mon 3]; The Volunteer Hall. Galashiels on Tue 1; The Old Athenaeum. Glasgow on Wed 2; The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Thurs 3 and The MacRobert Centre in
Stirling on Fri 4.
The List 28 January—IO February l994 35