MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
La Belle Angele. Edinburgh. 26 Nov. ‘There's more technology on stage than Jean-Michel Jarre had in China!‘ Well. what did you expect? A couple ofcrappy guitars and a role of gaffer tape? There is no need to welcome the electronic age: we’ve been here for years. But you’d be hard pressed to find a band that can create a real technological ambience on stage without producing a load of faceless techno bollox.
Welcome the Finitribe.
La Belle’s stage has been turned into a shiny steel-scaffold cage. surrounded with black devices for sound production. In the cave thus created. great banks of computers gleam chrome and winking lights. The interaction nodes are in place: one keyboard. two drum pads. Two bald men in white T- shirts clutch roving mikes and drum sticks. a pianist shimmers in shiny overalls. Three lithe operators. musical technologists. all ready to roll.
Look out! Here comes the noise.
A brief flash of intensity. an atmospheric drum-roll and the sparse electro-synth of ‘Dark’ floats clear over a fast. pounding beat. The music is modern. but the dancefloor sweat is ancient. Slowing down the groove for ‘101’ provides a breather for the ecstatic crowd of clubbers. A pulsating throb of rhythm works away under the bleeps and uplifting whoosh of synthesiser before a lightly kicking drum pattern heralds ‘Brand New’.
Bouncing up and down with the building beats. the baldies belt out vocal lines that get sampled and incorporated into the swirling. hypnotic sound of hard-driven dance. Eerie globules of trance- attack spurt over dark-as- thunder basslines. This is techno. but the Finitribe are neither faceless nor bollox. Overlong sometimes. but that‘s a perennial problem with creating music live that is ultimately intended to be mixed for the dancefloor. if the band’s impending album is half as good as they are live. it’s destined for dancehall glory. (Thom Dibdin)
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 27 llov.
When Al Larsen played The 13th Hate the other night, hall the entertainment came during those moments when he jumped just a little bit too high, avoiding splitting his head on those low concrete ceiling beams only iractionally. Now there’s this particularly nasty big beam above the King Tut’s stage, and . . . well, Al couldn’t make his support slot because he’d hospitalised himseli during the soundcheck.
At least, that’s how Stephen Pastel tells it beiore leading his hastily- assembled cohorts through a tight, shiny mini-saiari with Gerard Fanclub helping out on guitar, backing ba-ba- has and rock star gum. Had Beck Hansen been a iew inches taller, he’d probably have killed himseli on that beam about 30 seconds into the Tom Waits dustbin clang oi ‘Fuckin’ With My Head’ and ZOO occasions later, jackrabbiting around the stage in an electric irenzied blonde whirl. As it is, the only casualties are a iloor buckling slightly under BOO pairs oi pogoing ieet and his harmonica holder, sent ilying into the drumkit as the rest oi the band lock solid together, holding things down.
With those harmonicas, his vitriol and tenderness, zeitgeist-tapping suss
and genre-smudging experimentation,
Beck has irequently been held up as the latest in that doomed race ‘new
Dylan’, and, when the rest oi the band
quit the stage ior the solo section, leaving him alone with his Guthrie dreams, acoustic guitar and impossibly aged voice, these
comparisons seem increasingly valid.
He plays an obscure Sun House
harmonica blues and T-shirts jump and
howl as though it were ‘Teen Spirit’, plays ‘He’s A Mighty Good Teacher’
and we hum and sway like we were the Broadside Thanksgiving Choir. Clearly,
there’s somethin’ happenin’ here.
Prince? Nick Cave? llirvana? Surreal
wasted bedside hate? Hip hop/iolk collisions? You want it your way at B(ec)K, he’s got it. The new Elvis, pal. (Damien Love)
West End Oyster Bar, Edinburgh, Friday I 18. ; Some wit has altered the menu on the
ilavoured contraceptives and ior those l
with truly depraved tastes, mushy pea and chip ilavoured prophylactics. Bizarre, surreal, tongue-in-cheek and periectly in keeping with the rest oi the evening’s entertainment. The Kurbs have a chequered history in the name deparbnent, having started Iiie
i as Scratch, changing to The lHeadcleaners, then The Khmer Rouge ' Bowling Syndicate beiore going for
the acronym angle and becoming KHBS. From there it was but a simple step to add a vowel and become the present incarnation. The Bosnian Rotary Club was mooted and then thankiully ruled out on the grounds oi taste.
Oii-the-wall names aside, the band have made an eiiort to create a good party vibe in the basement bar. Dave the vocalist potters about lighting
candles at the side oi the stage and
= adjusting his South Central-style bandana beiore iixing his best
i condom machine in the blokes’ dunny | PSVCIIOUG Stale Om“! In Place.
to include such erotic delights as tripe l anchoring hlmseli to the microphone
stand and waiting ior the rest oi the
i iour-piece line-up to crank up. Their material ranges irom iiery pop to
rugged pub rock, all oi it backed up
; Dave’s voice growls with a quavering intensity not a million miles irom the style oi HEM’s Michael Stipe: a deep
many an hour useiully spent gargling ; gravel. 1 Top marks ior a neat line in serious
space cadet lyrics - any band that can .
j combine iire engines and pizzas in one i I immune" oumjss
! HALL (668 2019)
; song gets my vote. Having said that,
I most oi the time you didn’t need to
wait tor the songs to get the
i Pythonesque patter — ‘Anyone got a
‘ spare bucket oi sprats?’ being a
typical intersong conjecture. (Jonathan Trew)
with quirky, spasmodic rhythms and a muscle-jerking beat. Throughout it all,
belly rumble oi a sound that indicates
V BOOK NOW
Concerts listed are those at major venues, ior which tickets are on public sale at time oi going to press.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) Saw Doctors. 16 Dec; New Model Army. 18 Dec; Love and Money. 23
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Bjorn Again. 24 Dec; Joe Jackson. 29 Jan; Solid Silver 70s. 15 Feb.
I GLASGOW OLD FRUITMARKET (227 551 1) Big New Year Bash. 29—31 Dec.
I GLASGOW SECC (248 9999) Eric Clapton. 15 Feb.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) The Cranberries. 8 Jan; Angelique Kidjo. 18 Jan; Steve Martland. 20 Jan; Richard Thompson. 29 Mar; Blues Brothers Tribute. 18b22 Apr.
I EDINBURGH MURRAYFIELD (557 6969) REM. 27 Jul.
I EDINBURGH PRINCES ST GARDENS (557 6969) Runrig. 31 Dec.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Cindi Lauper. 18 Feb.
JAZZ I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) . Danish Radio Big Band. 5'
Mar; A Night at the Cotton Club. 16 Apr; Andy Sheppard and John Harle. 11 May.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Craig McMurdo. 16 Dec; Jazz Band Ball. 7 Jan; Michel Petrucciani. 20 Jan; Humphrey Lyttelton. 3 Feb; Eberhard Weber. 10 Feb; Courtney Pine. 17 Feb; Suzanne Bonnar. 24 Feb; Trilok Gurtu. 3 Mar; Wayne Krantz. 10 Mar. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155)Chris Barber. 19 Dec.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) Michel Petrucciani. 21 Jan; EH15. 22 Jan; Humphrey Lyttelton. 4 Feb; Eberhard Weber. 9 Feb; Courtney Pine. 16 Feb; Fraser Spiers. 19 Feb; Suzanne Bonnar. 25 Feb.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (332 5057) Trilok Gurtu. 4 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Celtic Connections. 5—22 Jan. I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Burns Night. 22 Jan; Richard Thompson. 29 Jan; Flamenco Fire. 31 Jan—4 Feb; Bain and Cunningham. 13 Apr.
Christmas with the
l Clarsach. 18 Dec.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Dominic
Kirwan. 12 Mar; Charlie Pride. 16 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) West End Gala Evening. 5 Mar; Al Martino. 5 Apr; Honky Tonk Ladies. 11 Apr.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) BBC SSO. 26 Jan. 23 Feb. 9 Mar. 6 Apr. I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Cancer Fund Concert. 16 Dec; BBC SSO. 20 Dec; Spirit of Christmas. 23 Dec; Opera for All. 30 Dec: NYOS. 5 Jan; John Williams. 24 Jan; Novosibirsk Philharmonic. 12 Feb; Leif Ove Andsnes. 22 Feb; Maria Ewing. 7 Mar; Stuttgart Philharmonic. 28 Mar; Joshua Bell. 2 Apr. I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Peter Seivewright. 16 Dec; BTSE. 16 Dec; Junior Concerts. 17 Dec; Christmas Concert. 19 Dec; Chamber Group of Scotland. 15 Jan; Paragon Ensemble. 29 Jan. 26 Feb. I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (5 29 6000) Teresa Berganza. 10 Jan; ()pera!. 13 Jan; Steve Martland. 20 Jan; Dioclesian. 21 Jan; Flamenco Fire. 31 Jan-4 Feb; BBC SSO. 5. 19 Feb; Warsaw Phil. 12 Mar; BBC SSO. 19 Mar; Stuttgart Phil. 26 Mar; .Coronation Mass. 10 Apr;
. The Marriage of Figaro. 12 Apr; St John Passion.
14 Apr; Sinking of the Titanic. 15 Apr; ECO. 23 Apr; Andy Sheppard and John Harle. 11 May.
I EDINBURGH ST GILES CATHEDRAL (557 6969) Concert in the Cathedral. 31 Dec.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Cappella Nova. 17 Dec; Jubilo. 18 Dec; Messiah. 21 Dec; Contemporary Violin. l 1 Jan; Chamber Group of Scotland. 16 Jan; SCO Chamber Ensemble. 22 Jan; Brindisi Quartet. 23 Jan; Tommy Smith and Murray McLachlan. 4 Feb; ECAT Concert. 6 Feb; SCO Quartet. l2
Feb; Balanescu Quartet.
17 Feb; BTSE. 23 Feb; SCO CE. 5 Mar; Chamber Group of Scotland. 6 Mar. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) George
I Heriot’s School. 20 Dec;
Malcolm Sargeant Cancer Fund Concert. 21 Dec; Carl Davis. 1 Jan; ERCU Messiah. 2 Jan; NYOS. 4 Jan; ERCU. 13 May.
I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for RSNO. SCO. BBC $80 and CGPO concerts are available from Ticketcentre. Glasgow (227 551]); Usher Hall. Edinburgh (228 1155); Queen‘s Hall. Edinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish Opera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); Festival Theatre. Edinburgh (529 6000).
46 The List 2—15 December 1994