MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Making Music Happen
PENN/BIG BURO/MOTOR LIFE CO
King Tut‘s Wah Wah Hut. Glasgow. 19 May.
The final instalment of Mayfest‘s Cutting Edge gambit at King Tut‘s is a last-minute whipround to replace the advertised Skyscraper gig. which paradoxically lives up to its title with more panache than a hastily-convened showcase has any right to.
Motor Life Co are one of an increasing number ofGlasgow bands with a few great songs. the right idea and the potential eventually to discard the dead weight from their set. Hopeful that the stand-out numbers are the way of the future. we shall concentrate on them. pausing only to register in our trainspotters' notebook that guitarist Matt Gilfeather has this really cool way of holding his instrument. like you know you can trust him to produce something deft and rousing. Like . . . ‘Dear Deceit'. a potential epic straining at the leash. or ‘A Public Hanging‘ with all the bruised grandeur of the grungier Boo Radleys.
Early Boos is a pertinent reference for Big Burd too. though BMX Bandits still exerts an influence in the melodies and vocals. and in the blanket feeling of goodwill you gradually succumb to. It‘s not an inane cheeriness. more a you‘ve-got-to-Iaugh shrug given substance by hell- for-leather guitars. and an ability to swap banter with their audience that makes falling off a log look challenging.
Fenn's idea of audience rapport is to pin them to the nearest solid surface using steamroller tactics and after a hair-raising half-hour saunter off nonchalantly. leaving everyone to peel themselves from the walls. The momentum and density of their barrage is exhausting. The quirks that characterised Luke Sutherland's tenure as vocalist left the band with him: now original bassist Ian Baird has also departed the fold yet still Fenn pull it off more often than not. In future. crash helmets are recommended. (Fiona Shepherd)
44 The List 3 - 16 June I994
Nice ’n’ Sleazy, Glasgow, 20 May.
0n the night that Deacon Blue ride off into the sunset and disperse at the crossroads of no return, there’s a new gunslinger striding through the door of the saloon. Nashville Babylon has arrived, not tarted up like the tasteless club in ‘The Dukes Of Nazzard’ as promised, but sporting the odd Confederate flag or Stars and Stripes wallhanging.
This is the Grand New Dpry, taking country music beyond the shadow of the stetson and six-shooter by striking a pact with the beast called rock ’n’ roll. In Nashville Babylon, the kids shake to The Byrds, not Garth Brooks, though playing The Small Faces and Booker T And The MGs is stretching the genre a bit iar, don’t you think?
Still, a club that acknowledges the iniluence country rock has had on squadrons of Glasgow bands, from Dels to Fannies, has been, to quote that old country rock doyen Dave Crosby, a long time coming. Now we have it. The ‘Daily Record’ are here, proclaiming country rock to be the
new punk, the Jim Beam’s £1 a shot and the vibrations are irrefutany good.
Then, just as you’re pontificating that this is surely the most emotionally stirring music there is, The Moondials take the stage and underline that feeling. Twice. In red pen. like London’s Bockingbirds, they are the band that country layiolk have been waiting to step into their lives. The sort of roots merchants that any indie fan would also be happy to embrace - the singer looks like he’s been plucked from Bide’s line-up anyway, though his voice is a tougher tool. They’re a chip off the same block as Primal Scream, 1994 model, but without all the huffing and puffing about ‘legendary’ collaborators.
Debts to rock history must be acknowledged, so The Moondials cover Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Coming In To Los Angeles’. Rev Snakehips’ Country Messiahs go for the more obvious ‘Iionky Tonk Women’, retaining its gritty spirit without photocopying the original. In sound and manner, they recall the dirty soul of The Primevals. They’re still slaves to their record collections, but they won’t go iar wrong if they stay on the country rocky roads. (Fiona Shepherd)
THE COCTEAU TWINS
Usher llall, Edinburgh, 26 May. You’d think — wouldn’t you? - that the ethereal ear-balms of The Cocteau Twins would go down best in a seated auditorium, where you could sit in comfort and let it wash all over you. Well, think again. Comparison with the band’s Barrowland gig in February throws up hitherto unsuspected (by me) kinetic potentials in their music. Of course, I chide myself, there’s always been a dance element to their music. Or a swaying element at the very least. However plush and comfortable the seats, however generous the leg-room, the impulse to get up and perform an introspective little shuffle to ‘Bluebeard’ or one of its addictive companions from ‘Four Calendar Caie’ ls almost overwhelming.
Still, the Usher liall does offer compensations. As well as the comfortable seating, there’s an Intimacy here, and a corresponding sense oi occasion, that other venues
of its size fail to capture. It’s such a shame, then, that Liz Fraser’s vocals are mixed so low that they’re frequently drowned out by the three guitars, bass, percussion and drumkit line-up. As the most human element of their sound, her voice should be soaring above the heavily processed guitars, forging a link with the audience; but it drops below the threshold of audibllity too often for that to happen. The atmosphere had been more robust at The Barrowland, and the whooping, birdlike voice more central to the experience.
That said, the expanded line-up does a good job of firing up the Cocteaus’ studio creations - especially the selections from ‘iieaven And Las Vegas’, which make up a large part of tonight’s set -— adding an edge that brings The Cocteau Twins closer to the status of “great live group’, an accolade which they at last seem to be chasing with some fervour. (Alastair Mabbott)
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Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going to press.
I GLASGOW BARRDWLAND (226 4679) GaIIiano. 19 Jun; Chaka Demus and Pliers. 10 Jul; Elvis Costello. 14 Jul; Stone Temple Pilots. 23 Oct.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Sinitta and Jermaine Stewart. 2 Jul; BB. King. 4 Jul; Al Green. 7 Jul; Dwight Yoakam. 14 Jul; Judy Collins. 6 Sept: The Hollies. 21 ()ct; Hank Marvin and Brian Bennett. 30 ()ct; David iissex. 22 Nov.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) The Troggs. 28 Jun.
I GLASGOW PLAZA (423 3077) Shane MacGowan. 5 Jul; Spirea X. 6 Jul.
I GLASGOW SECC (248 9999) Diana Ross. 6 Jul: Cliff Richard. 4—6 Dec; Dina Carroll. 10 Dec; M People. 12 Dec.
I STRATHCLYDE COUNTRY PARK (031 557 6969) T in the Park Festival. 30—31 Jul.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 (>000) Horse. 9 Aug; The Hollies. 23 ()ct; Penguin Cafe ()rchestra. 6 Nov; Sixties Show. 13 Nov; Rocky Horror Show. 22-26 Nov.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Huey l.ewis. 20 Jun; Jackson Browne. 25 Jun. I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Everything But The Girl. 26 Jun.
I STIRLING CASTLE ESPLANADE (031 557 6969) UB 40. I8 Atig; Runrig. 19 Aug.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Pasadena Roof ()rchestra. 26 Jun; Ted Heath Orchestra. 8 Aug; George Shearing. 10 Aug.
I EDINBURGH DUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Andrew Speight. 7 Aug; Ella Fitzgerald Songbook. 9 Aug; iiIJF Gala Concert. 11 Aug.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) New Orleans Mardi Gras. 20 Jun; Herbie Hancock. 1 Jul; BB. King. 4 Jul; Al Green. 7Ju1; Pasadena Roof ()rchestra. 9 Sept; Glenn Miller ()rch. 24 Nov.
I GLASGOW OLO FRUITMARKET1’227 551 1) Martin Taylor. 2 Jul; Bobby Watson. 2 Jul; Annie Ross. 2 Jul; Thomas Chapin. 3 Jul;
Ahmad Jamal. 3 Jul; Gateway. 3 Jul; Watson
and SYJO. 4 Jul; Carol Kidd. 5 Jul; Horace Silver. 6 Jul; Deuchar Tribute. 7 Jul; Joe Henderson. 8 Jul; Roy Ayers. 8 Jul; Nigel Clark. 9 Jul; Steve Grossman. 9 Jul; Max Roach. 9 Jul; Suzanne Bonnar. 10 Jul; ZawinuI-Gurtu. 10 Jul; Robben Ford. 10 Jul.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Sydney Devine. 12 Nov. I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Patsy Cline Tribute. 26 Jun; Guy Mitchell. 18 Sept: Shirley Bassey. 19 Sept; Val Doonican. 18 ()ct; Tom Jones. 15 Nov; Dominic Kirwan. 20 Nov. I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Sydney Devine. 16—19 Nov.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) RSNO Proms. 17—25 Jun; Midsummer Rhapsody Gala. 29 Jun; Jessye Norman. 6 Jul; Montserrat Caballe. 19 Aug; The I’Iying Dutchman. 26 Aug; GIGS. 3—11 Sept; (ialway and Robles. I2 Sept; Tokyo Philharmonic. 19 ()ct; (jothenberg S(). 3 Nov; Bernard D'Ascoli. 14 Nov; Borromeo Qrt. 18 Nov: iimma Johnson. 6 Dec; John Williams.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) St Mary‘s Concert. 19 Jun; Junior Concert. 25 Jun; Semele. 27—30 Jun. I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Tristan und Isolde. 25 Jun; RSNO. 27 Jun; Montserrat Caballe. 28 Jun; The Sixteen. 3 Jul; Amsterdam Baroque. 17 Jul; Evelyn Glennie. 19 Jul; English Bach Festival ()pera. 21—22 Jul; Kronos Quartet. 23 Jul; Labeque Sisters. 27 Jul; Michael Nyman Band, 6 Aug; Norwegian Chamber ()rchestra. 7 Aug; IiideIio. 15. 17 Aug; Ute Lemper. 22 Aug; Australian ()pera. 25-27 Aug; British Youth ()pera. 7—10 Sept; Misa Flamenca. 18 Sept; King‘s College Choir. 25 Sept; Israel in Egypt. 2 ()ct; Lithuanian NPO. 30 Oct; Vienna Boys Choir. 27 Nov; Scottish Opera. 29 Nov—10 Dec; Messiah. 11 Dec.
I EDINBURGH DUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Lothian Schools Concerts. 18—21 Jun; St Mary's School. 22 Jun; George Heriot's. 24 Jun; Verdi Requiem. 25 Jun.
I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for Scottish ()pera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); King's Theatre. Edinburgh (229 1201); Festival Theatre. Edinburgh (529 6000).