_ Sound idea

it‘s hard not to be impressed with Glasgow's ambition for Sound City which, until this year. has been little more than a musically credible version of the Radio l Roadshow.

Glasgow wants more than simply to play host to a week of gigs which will attract a self-contained bubble of London's music industry and media. The organisers, who operate out of the City Council‘s performing arts department. are determined that Sound City will leave some kind of lasting impression on Glasgow. ‘Sound City can be a vehicle for putting together a longer term development programme for the music industry in Glasgow. with a view to creating new jobs.‘ according to its policy document.

To this end, they conceived the idea of using the week of Radio 1 live broadcasts from the Tramway and King Tut's to launch a year-long push to encourage the local music industry to make itselfheard. it is unlikely that Sound City can instantly return { Glasgow to the glory days of Postcard.

when gigs were thronged with A&R pe0ple looking for another Orange Juice, but it can’t do local bands any harm.

The basic idea is to put on enough gigs, with bands like the lnspiral Carpets and Buffalo Tom already confirmed, that it makes sense for

London music journalists and record company executives to stay for the whole week. Once here, local bands get their chance to play to a captive audience of music industry people. The gigs will be backed up by a series of free seminars discussing topics like; how to find a manager and why there are so few live venues in Scotland.

‘We hope there will be a practical educational element rather than everybodyjust arguing,‘ says John Williamson.

in addition to the ‘offtcial‘ programme. Williamson expects there to be a fringe of gigs and events organised by musicians hoping to capitalise on the interest in the city. (Eddie Gibb) Radio I will be broadcasting live front Sound City in the early evening front 4—9 April. with lower-key community events carrying on through the year. Details on 04] 227 5548.

:— Scotch myths

Even among fans of musicals, Brigadoon, Hollywood’s fey take on life and love in the Scottish Highlands, has never been rated alongside the greats like Singing In The Rain. But that hasn’t stopped film academic Professor Colin McArthur devoting a fair amount of energy to analysing its cultural significance, particularly to the Scots.

ills argument, grossly simplified here but fully explained at a public lecture next week, runs something like this: Brigadoon represents a ‘regressive’ view of Scotland, a magical place of mists and hills and couthy folk which transforms the stranger, in this case it’s disenchanted iiew Yorker Gene Kelly. According to McArthur, this is an image of Scots that stretches back into last century and has continued with films like local llero, which mates a knowing nod to Brigadoon, but nonetheless perpetuates the ‘Scotch myth’.

‘lt is such a powerful representation that Scots have found themselves imprisoned when they try to make their own images,’ McArthur says. ‘Whenever Scots deal with aspects of their own history, they tend to lapse into tearful elegy.’

The sentimentality found in Brigadoon is still prevalent, according to McArthur, who cites research that showed European business leaders regarded Scotland as a great place to relax but not to invest in.

llowever there is a twist to this interpretation of Brigadoon. Director Vincente Minnelli thought Gene Kelly was the hero by forsaking a sophisticated iiew York lifestyle for a day every century in Brigadoon. lot so, says McArthur; the real hero is the young lad who wants to leave and is killed by the townsfoht because of the threat this poses to their future. lie’s the freedom fighter trying to break out of his ‘regressive representation’, apparently. (Eddie Gibb)

Colin McArthur ls lecturing on 15 February at Dueen Margaret College, Edinburgh at 5pm. Details on 031 317 3202.

Cheques and balances

Pat Kane will have to find another 1 outlet for his post-Marxist, post- , modern, post-pub reports from ; Scotland’s cultural battlezones; 5 Variant, the magazine of the avant Z garde is no more. Dr that’s the way it looked to editor

Malcolm Dickson, lust 24 hours after the Scottish Arts Council announced that it had withdrawn the magazine’s £20,000 grant, over half its total income.

‘lt can’t be purely a business decision because there had been an increase in all areas of our income,’ says Dickson. ilowever, it should be noted that Variant’s SAC subsidy

works out at about £2.50 a copy,

compared to a cover price of £3.50.

SAC’s announcement of grants to the arts during the next financial year is characterised by the sharp contrast between winners and losers, such as Variant. ‘The council has not simply awarded tiny, across-the board increases which would have virtually no overall effect,’ explains SAC director Senna iieid.

So among theatre companies, for instance, the majority saw no increase; the Citizens” and the Travetse’s basic grants appeared to lump substantially but, in fact, neither will receive new money, with ‘enhancements’ paid in previous years to fund expansion now consolidated in the main award.

Companies that will receive new money include The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, which saw its grant double, and Wildcat. Losers included the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which lost over fifteen per cent of its SAC grant.

in the visual arts, the Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop, Collective Gallery and Stills all benefit from a cash boost.

Overall, the money distributed to arts organisations in Scotland by SAC, which comes directly from the Scottish foice for the first time, increased by less than one per cent to £24 million.

In comparison, figures released shortly before the SAC awards were announced show that local authorities provide the biggest subsidy to the arts in Scotland. Glasgow City Council pumps nearly £8 million, or £12 per person, into the arts, either directly to venues it runs or through grants to other arts bodies’ organisations. Edinburgh District Council spends slightly more, around £16 per person, or £7 million in total. ‘local authority expenditure is therefore vital to the arts and it is important that it is maintained under any reorganised structure,’ according to field. (EG)

:— Stick it out

The story of Ayrshire band Lies Damned Lies is a familiar one of peaks and troughs; acclaimed first indie album, euphoria of major label signing, followed by three years of no chart hits and the inevitable dropping from the record company roster.

But behind that there is another story of steady, albeit low-key. success. The indie record label Sticky Music, which was started by the band’s founders over ten years ago. has released a succession of mail order-only tapes and records which has given unsigned bands their first break. One has gone on to big things a tape of songs by Deacon Blue singer Ricky Ross was one of Sticky’s first releases.

During LDL’s years on Siren, Sticky was put on the back-bumer, according to band member Charlie lrvine, but after they ‘parted company' in i99l it was revived. Money accrued from the Siren days was invested in a 24-track studio and Sticky is planning a stream

of releases during 1994, including albums by Glasgow bands Caivin’s Dream and Billy Penn’s Brother. LDL’s own album The Human Dress (reviewed in The List 2l9), is the first release to be picked for national distribution and so becomes the first Sticky release available in the shops. But the mail order days are not over.

illcky Bess; available on mail order

‘That side turns over and has a life of its own,‘ says lrvine. ‘We‘ve built up a mailing list which gives people a sense of belonging to the label.‘ And it means you can still get that obscure Ricky Ross tape. (Eddie Gibb) Sticky Music can be contacted on 0294 833913. Lies Damned Lies play King Tut's, Glasgow on 15 February.

4 The List 11—24 February 1994