38 The List 6—19 May 1994
I The Scottish music scene has been wracked by sobs this past week at the passing of Deacon Blue. They blew hot and cold. but they certainly carved themselves a niche and. to their credit. knew when to call it quits. Teenage Fanclub. on the other hand. have no plans to stop playing. but in future they‘ll be doing it without Brendan ‘The Drummer' ()‘Hare. Anyone who's seen the Fannies live will testify to Brendan‘s crucial role in the band‘s good- hurnoured. pomposity- deﬂating character. They may find a drummer who‘sjust as good at thumping the skins. but never one with even half the personality. Have a pint on us. Brendan. Well. no. not all over us. hey. keep some of it in the glass. could you . . . 1’
I Details are skimpy at present. but we know of a marathon gig planned to take place in September at The Barrowland in aid of homeless charities. In addition to the well- known bands who are being lined up. there will be room for local hopefuls — in rock. indie or dance veins — on the bill. Demos from those wishing to take part should be sent to IMS Trust. 21 Gordon Street. Glasgow (31 3Pl..
I Admirers of ‘Britain‘s only musical genius' (Tom Lappin. W94) will want to flock in their frenzied thousands to special showings of Kate Bush's 52-minute movie. The Line, The Cross And The Curve. made to accompany her last album. The RH] Show. Co-starring Miranda Richardson (workaholic. or what?) and mime artist Lindsay Kemp alongside the singer. the Bush- directed film is showing at the UCI. Edinburgh on Fri 6. Sat 7. Sun 8 and Tue l0. Details in Film listings.
I Ever the ones for confounding preconceptions about pop groups. Finitribe. who have found ways of sneaking into this column practically more than anyone else. have announced their latest venture. Forsaking vinyl. cassette and CD. the trio are utilising the hitherto neglected format of ‘Sft organic matter‘. Yes. to celebrate their tenth birthday. they ‘planted and nurtured l()() bay trees'. which are now available for collection at £40 a pop. by calling ()3l 553 3717. Makes digital sampling technology seem so. well. purse. doesn't it'.’
The BT Scottish Ensemble will celebrate its first quarter-century this month. The original Scottish Baroque Ensemble was formed by violinist leonard Friedman as a string orchestra to perform baroque repertoire. Friedman, still an active participant in Scottish music, will join the current group in their birthday concert, and, as Jane Grieg the ; ensemble’s administrator explained,
the ‘25’ connection does not end there.
‘Leonard founded the group 25 years I ago and, by happy coincidence, the current leader, Clio Gould, is 25 herself, which fits in nicely. It’s basically a celebratory concert, and 3 will be more of a fun occasion than j anything too cerebral, with quite a 9 popular programme which covers the 3 full range of our music, from the early l material through to the 20th century. l There will also be a couple of surprise guests popping in, but I’m not going to 3 tell you who they are!’ ' The Baroque Ensemble eventually 3 helped nurture the launch of the 3 Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and later ; changed its own name to The Scottish 5 Ensemble in the mid-80$, in ! recognition of the expanded repertoire which they performed. Jonathan Ross succeeded Friedman as artistic director in 1987, and the ensemble increased its public profile, notably
through a recording contract with Virgin Records.
The latest phase in their development came last year, when they changed their name to the BT Scottish Ensemble in recognition of a major sponsorship coup, and appointed Clio Gould in succession to Ross as artistic director. Managing director Roger Pollen has ambitious plans for the group, but for now all concerned are happy to focus on a celebration of past achievements.
If it has not all been glorious, they have added a significant dimension to the Scottish music scene, not least through their willingness to commission new works, and to take their music to places which rarely have the opportunity of hearing professional groups. (Kenny Mathieson)
The BT Scottish Ensemble Birthday Concert is at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, on Thurs 19.
1 - Sul srte
,, . m
.;- . H: “I my Gina Rae and Sophie Bancroft
One of the finest shows of the recent Edinburgh Folk Festival was the relaxed and spellbinding late-evening cabaret concert by Edinburgh’s two young jazz-based chanteuses Sophie Bancroft and Gina Bae. The venue, down in the Park Boom, had been cruel to some performers, but the duo stilled the revellers with a consummate display of harmony singing, tasteful acoustic guitar and deft musicianship on the humble tin whistle.
Original songs that nod towards the feathery vocal style and rhythms of Astrud Gilberto, but with curious titles
like ‘ffavy Eyes’ and ‘Show Me You’, illuminate the two women’s remarkable musical empathy.
Both are the daughters of well-known Edinburgh jazz-playing families and were brought up in households where the siblings fought for the piano or drums, played sax or sang. There also seems to be an almost telepathic understanding between the two women — and who’s to say there isn’t? - but there is also the more usual ingredient of perspiration.
Sophie reveals that ‘We’ve been putting quite a bit of work into the duo. We’re together in quite a few other combinations, including Jim Sutherland’s big band, but we found we were getting so much out of playing together, just two. So since last March we’ve been working on arrangements as a duo. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into the guitar, and Gina, well, she’s just got great musical ability and imagination.’
Like so much of the interesting music coming out of Scotland at the moment, their music is ill-defined by the usual folk/jazzlpop/rock labelling system. But judging by the clamouring, cheering response from an audience clad in everything from suits to jumble-sale jeans, the pair are set to win friends wherever they play. (Norman Chalmers)
Sophie Bancroft and Gina Rae play Edinburgh Folk Club, Cafe Royal, Edinburgh on Wed 18.
Scottish Opera is no stranger to important landmarks in its 32-year history and. if all goes according to plan. its latest production of Wagner‘s epic Tristan Ami Isolde will provide one ofthe finest. A co-production with Welsh National Opera. the company with which Scottish ()pera‘s Musical Director Richard Armstrong was previously associated. it has already received high critical praise.
‘We have.‘ says .Al'liiSlt'tNTg. ‘an absolutely superb cast.‘ With Anne Evans as lsolde. Jeffrey Lawton as Tristan and Kathryn llarries as Brangane. that could well be an understatement. Having worked with them regularly at WNO. Armstrong and these singers cotne to Scottish ()pera with a great wealth of Wagnerian experience and expertise. "l‘hese are singers of real uniformity of approach and style they are htrgely competent.‘ he says. "fhe WNO production has already had enormous success. bill it is now more developed. particularly through having the original production team working here in Scotland. It will look very different from the Welsh production.‘
Describing it. Armstrong says. ‘lt is very beautiful. The director/designer is Yannis Kokkos. born in (ireece. but with an especially distinguished career in France. He‘s absolutely one of the top designers in Europe and has great sensitivity.‘ Anticipating working in the EM. Armstrong is confident that it will allow Scottish Opera to be seen and heard in a context which to date has not been possible in Scotland. ‘lt will hopefully be both an eye-opener and an ear-opener to what Scottish ()pera can achie\e w hen the conditions are right. And I genuinely believe that no matter the size of your cheque book. you will not get a liner cast anywhere in the world.‘
The Glasgow performances will be followed by a gala performance to celebrate the opening of the new Edinburgh Festival Theatre in June. ((‘arol Main)
TITS/(III and Isolde ()/)(’II.\' (II TTH‘UII'F Ruyrrf (i/usgmr on Fri ().
Tennents Live! Making Music Happen