Neti Vaandrager of Los Perigrinos

A truer definition for the Isle of Bute’s

first ‘Festival 01 Country Music’ would be a festival of Trans-American music,

' featuring as it does caiun, Tex-Mex,

bluegrass and Western swing as well as good old-fashioned, sentimental country singing, and competitions for

f Best Western Dress, Best Club ; Dancers, Best Yodeller, and Best Rider

30 The List 9 22 September l‘)‘)4

on the (mechanical) Bucking Bronco. Bothesay’s Wintergardens becomes the world’s biggest honky tonk, and various colourfully-titled bars host organised sessions. There are kids’ shows and a barbecue, a country gospel service and a family dance and country cabaret. Grab fifteen minutes of fame at the Y’All Comers Country Talent Competition, or if you’re not

3 good enough for that, head on down to

vocals of the young Texas woman Neti i Vaandrager with the piano, guitar and : songwriting skills of New Orleans- based Bart Ramsey. Country music

Making Music Happen

the guitar, banjo and dance workshops.

And there’s more. In the ; Winfergardens Cinema, with projected visuals, there are tributes to Hank Williams and the Carter Family. There is even storytelling in the Native ' American tradition by Chuck Warren of the Algonquin Tribe. Chuck works in, well, Uddingston, but he is the genuine article.

The bands and soloists are all top performers from the British Isles with the exception of Los Peregrinos, a duo comprising the brilliant fiddle and

singing star and Festival headliner Sarah Jory is also a hot slide guitar player, and the varied bill is completed by Caithness band Silver, Ireland’s Slim Panatella and the Honky Tonk Ileroes, the Dez Walters Band,

the Bunaway String Band, Cowboys Don’t Cry, Zut La Chutel, 0eaf Heights Cajun Aces, Alive n’ Picking, Texas Express, Limited Addition and many more.

There are day tickets and all-in tickets. If you want your beans and coffee in the open air, there’s a free campsite. (Norman Chalmers)

Festival Of Country Music, Isle Of Bute, Fri 9—Sun 11. Information 0700 502411. Trains 041 204 2844. Ferries 0700 502707. Accommodation 0700 502151.

um- Shaw Thing

Cranes are:

(a) ugly hydraulic contraptions that blight otherwise romantic urban Skylines.

(b) graceful wading birds found in exotic marshy habitats.

(c) a special band, dripping in atmosphere, who apparently named themselves after (a) rather than (b)

Such illogical reasoning. But if Cranes didn’t subvert natural expectations, they wouldn’t be the mighty mood manipulators that they are. Anyway, there is a hint of an industrial past on their new album Loved. Their own industrial past, in fact.

When Cranes were just brother and sister Jim and Alison Shaw, they retreated into a grotty studio with a constantly humming generator, subsisted on potatoes and made claustrophobic, industrio-gothic slabs of sound. Later when their eyes had adjusted to the sunlight, they recruited Mark and Matt, found Protocol Studios (‘we’re really familiar with it - it’s a bit like going home’) and discovered a hitherto unthinkable semi-acoustic Ievity.

Now on their third album they’ve combined the best of both worlds. At one end of the scale, there’s the thrilling brutality of ‘Lilies’, a morbid tale of disorientation with Alison’s distant voice keening and quavering in the middle of the driller killer arrangement.

‘lt’s about finding yourself in a weird place and having no idea how you got there,’ she says. ‘Sounds like that Saturday night/Sunday morning sensation,’ I say bathetically.

At the other extremity, there’s ‘Beautiful Friend’, a warm, resonant spaghetti Western soundtrack-in- waiting, worthy of Chris Isaak’s croon. Appropriately, a version of this track appears in a film Scarborough Ahoy, which has just been bought by the BBC. Its director Tanya Diez rightly sensed Cranes, with their capacity for grandiose, evocative expression, were the ideal candidates to write the music for this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s Tijuana Party.

The image of a journey (it’s a road movie - with a twist, natch) has been carried over in Alison’s lyrics for Loved. ‘A lot of them are saying goodbye to situations, wrenching yourself from the past.’ If so, it’s a splendid valediction. (Fiona Shepherd) Cranes play The Garage, Glasgow on Mon 19.

Young at heart

Contrary old Ian McNabb follows up his barnstorming new album with a more subdued one— man show. Alastair Mabbott caught up with him.

‘Neil Young can really do two things well. and that is rock and be mellow

And he‘s a great songwriter. Whereas I do more things than him. I'm not

saying that I'm better than him or

anything. l‘mjust into a lot more different styles.‘

Had you written him offl’ Along with The Pale Fountains. The Kane Gang and The Lotus liaters. perhaps. or any other acts who had their fifteen minutes of fatne and then got shttt in the box marked ‘80s English Pop Bands: Do Not Disturb"?

Got egg on your face now, though. because a decade after his old band The

Tennents Live! Making Music Happen

lcicle Works got their first taste of

fame. lan .‘yleNabb is enjoying a critical

and commercial renaissance. After one

acclaimed solo album in l‘)‘)2, this year

be weighed in with Haul like A Rm'k. an already legendary record which featured four collaborations with Neil

Young's fayottrite cohorts Crazy Horse.

And. as his opening remark shows. he has abundant supplies of confidence. ‘l‘yc got a much better idea about what I’m doing now. More conscious? Yeah. I tend to not just stick stuff out.

because . . I used to release stuff

because l‘d done 'cm. now I only release things if I think they're good.

There‘s a lot that doesn‘t make it out

now. I w rite a lot more songs than I

nccd to. I Used to write ten songs for an

album. and if people didn't think there was a single there I‘d write a single.

and that was it. 'l‘hat's why there isn't a

great deal of unreleased lcicle Works : material. Whereas. there's a lot of unreleased lan McNain material and he only released two albums.’

He still seems to be coasting on the high of working with (‘razy Horse —— ‘such a tripl' and the experience of making the whole album. ‘When I got m er my initial intimidation. it was my record. And I‘ve never been in the situation before when I've thought “I'd really like some pedal steel" and phoned up kd lang‘s pedal steel player