MUSIC SOUND CITY
non:- Hall or
‘lt’s weird.‘ Terry Hall reflects. ‘when your ﬁrst record goes to Number Five and your second goes to Number One. and you're nineteen. You don‘t realise what‘s going on.’
Sixteen years on. the realisation has ﬁnally dawned and Terry Hall. aged 35. has released his ﬁrst solo album, Home. It‘s been a long, winding and pot-holed road. The pit-stops have been many and varied. but not always sufﬁciently replenishing. The Specials were the 80s' best polernicists. them inner-city blues rendered with skanking style. The Fun Boy Three gloried in a ‘warped pop fusion‘ that was sometimes too warped. too arch. for its — and us pop fans' - own good. The Colourﬁeld had spring-heeled tunes. Their ﬁrst album would become Hall’s quintessential moment. the reference point for his solo record.
Terry. Blair & Anouchka? ‘A joke collaboration.‘ says Hall. but not as jokey as Anouchka Groce’s next project. aggravating agit-rappers Gui-3. Vegas? Nice idea. nice single in ‘Possessed‘. shame about everything else. Vegas did. though. introduce Hall to Dave Stewart and his Anxious label. And now? Now. ‘Home' is where the heart lies.
‘lt's down to British pop music.‘ says Hall. ‘it’s down to reference points like The Beatles and The Kinks and The Small Faces — you have to go way back to get those reference points.‘ Familiar names. and familiar names. too. appear on ‘Home‘. Hall has been mates with ex-Smiths guitarist Craig Cannon and popsrnith lan Broudie since the former was in The Colourﬁeld and the latter produced them. They‘d talked of a solo album for nearly ten years — given the (by now) hackneyed recalling of hallowed Brit-pop legends. and the perilous task of mining that motherlode. the wait was probably prudent. As it is. Home — which also features songwriterly contributions from Andy Partridge and Nick Heyward — is domestic bliss and angst set to tunes of gorgeous. rapturous proportions. And the beauty is. there‘s no mess and no fuss. It is the thirtysomethings' ‘Deﬁnitely Maybe'.
‘There’s no fantastic light show, it's not a big glamorous affair,’ nods Terry Hall. ‘lt’s getting something pure again . . .' (Craig McLean)
Terry Hull plays K mg Turk on Mon 3.
Fiona Shepherd speaks to Ros Cairney of Shriek, one of the success stories from April’s Sound City week.
To resurrect a typical rock musician
f dead good but we‘ve got no money. The establishment of the Music
tacked on. the fruits of their labour are
3 Sleazy gig ﬁltered back to label boss
until they can ﬁnd a way of getting
, mainman David Gedge is blissfully unaware of this. ‘Funnily enough I got
cliche and apply it to Glasgow's year as Sound City: the week-long gig splurge in April was a success in terms ofits celebratory attitude to music. both local and national — anything else was a bonus.
From the outset though. there were deﬁnite but guarded hopes that the ﬁrst pivotal week ofevents might produce tangible long-term results for local bands. To wit, sign us please 'cos we’re
DevelOpment Fund, administered by the District Council‘s Economic Policy Unit. has given many acts the ﬁnancial opportunity to record material for release. but with no distribution deals
nothing more than well-recorded demos
their product into shops.
Shriek. one ofthe local. unsigned groups highlighted in The Lisr’s Sound City programme, have fared better. They netted a deal with the small but prestigious London-based independent
relaunch their label with Shriek as their vanguard signing. but the trio declined — deferentially. of course.) Sound City had scored a palpable hit.
‘lt [Sound City] won‘t make any difference to unsigned bands.‘ said Shriek’s singer/guitarist Ros Cairney. unwittingly. at the time. ‘There‘s just a dearth oftalent that labels would want to sign up here.‘ Then. after a period of dissatisfaction with the way Shriek were developing, Ros could feel her
Deceptive Records (home to such indie luminaries as Elastica and. er. Collapsed Lung) after extremely
favourable reports about their Nice ‘n‘
and Radio I DJ Steve Lamacq. i (Incidentally. Manchester's legendary but ill-fated Factory Records wanted to
ideas for the band and the actual sounds they were spitting out starting to come
together. Now. she is confident enough to proclaim: ‘I know exactly what I
, want to do. I want to ram it down
, people’s faces. I want people's jaws
dropping and I want them stunned and 1 not even comfortably sttrrtned. I want
The first Sound City week, held in April in conjunction with Radio 1 FM, was a storming success, and put Glasgow’s music scene in the national spotlight. But Sound City didn’t stop when the big guns rolled out. There are events scheduled right to the end of the year. and the current flurry
of gigs, seminars and special happenings is listed below.
There's been no more than two (count ‘em) opportunities to apply this litmus test in Glasgow this year. because ruthless per'fcctionism dictates that Shriek don‘t play until their music is just so. Their songs grow up in rehearsals. not in public. After all. people are paying to listen.
During the recording of Shrick's current debut single. ‘Call Yourself A Lover"/‘Crush'. Ros spent frustrating hours in the studio trying to persuade the others that ‘Crush' didn‘t have enough of the relentless momentum it should have. To anyone else's ears. ‘Crush‘ is a white-knuckle attempt to break the sound-speed record.
‘I want to ram it down people’s faces. I want people’s jaws dropping and I want them stunned and not even comfortably stunned. I want them upset.’
Exhilaration is the key it seems. You‘ll hear it in other Shriek songs like ‘Silverhead’. and Ros feels it in the music that inspires her.
‘I remember being thirteen and hearing ‘Twist And Shout‘ on the radio and John Lennon‘s voice being totally raw. It was just so unhingcd—sounding to me and i thought they were punk. just absolutely brilliant.‘
And closer to home . . . ‘l heard Fenn. and l was so exhilarated by them. They , are as much of an influence as R].
j Harvey. who had the bloody nerve to i get up there and do it. and her drummer
who‘s an even bigger influence than hcr‘.‘ Shriek -- emitting high-pitched articulations of fear and surprise at a venue near you soon. At long last. ('u/l lizrrrse/f .l burr/t 'rrrs/r is released ; by Ur'r't‘p/rt't' lr’t'r‘mt/s (HI /7 ()('I. .S'ln'li'k
i play Nirt' 'n' S/(‘rrqr on Sat 8.
.m- ‘ Close to the
According to Virgin’s ‘Encyclopedia Of : Rock’, the Watusi was one of many i dances which caused limb-jiggling antics among assorted American dancers during the late 505 and early 603. The Watusi was invented by the Orlons (Remember them? Hope, me 3 neither) in 1961. Wedding Present
the name from “The Man From Uncle”. I was watching it and Napoleon Solo was dancing with a gorilla in the jungle and the dance they were doing was called the Watusi. I think it’s a good sort of name for a dance really and in a stupid way it seems to be appropriate to the mood of the LP.’
Given the terminally miserable mood of most of The Wedding Present’s previously released material, Watusi is remarkably upbeat. Not laugh-a- minute, happy-go-lucky, God-what-a- beautifuI-day-to-be-alive upbeat, you understand, but still almost cheerful. The staple Weddoes’ fan diet of jealousy, infidelity and failed
relationships are still there in tracks i like ‘So Long, Baby’ and the
3 particularly mournful ‘Spangle’ but the
odd ray of contentment has crept in. ‘lt’s often described in that way, but
; there are plenty of songs which are
; about the more optimistic subjects like love and sex,’ explains Gedge. ‘I think people pick up more on the melancholy ones. Maybe I’m better at
Whatever the lyrical tone of the new album, it definitely represents a departure from the Weddoes’ previous musical style. ‘The new bass player we’ve got, Darren, he likes a lot of early rock ’n’ roll and surf music as well, which is probably the inspiration for ‘llot Pants’ which is like a 505 surf pastiche.’
Looks like the smiley dippy sound of the 8-525 could well have some competition. (Jonathan Trew)
The Wedding Present play The Garage, Glasgow on Mon 3.
writing those sort of songs and they’re
32 The List 23 September—6 October I994