RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I Palace Songs: Hope (Domino) Pared down to Will Oldham‘s acoustic guitar and broken voice. August's l’ulut'e Brothers LP was a snapshot from a stark and desolate place - sparse and twisted semi- Biblical tales wrapped in the elemental sound of summer winds through the branches of burned- out hanging trees. Hope. a six-track mini-album. is mbre of a winter record. but winter as viewed from inside a warm cabin where friends. alcohol and the promise of spring help counteract the effect of the white flurries outside. Fleslied out wih organ. drums and electric guitars. Hope is more New Morning than Jo/in ll'eslev Harding. though a lost and sinister undertow prevails. 1n the distance. Neil Young hears ‘All Gone. All Gone' and kicks himself around the room. weeping openly. (Damien Love)
I Huggy Bear: Weaponry Listens To Love (Wiiiia) Releasing a record is a brave move. By now. the legend had begun to
coalesce. and a healthy. mysterious silence would‘ve done nicely. thanks. Here. however. comes ll‘euponrv Listens .
. and the silly buggers are removed from the realm of the fantastic idea and placed in the world of disappointing realities. Btit that's probably how they want it. It's . . . well. it's (Ill rig/it. Thing is. it doesn't explode and send splinters into your head. it doesn't sound like today — a good thing ~ but it doesn't sound like tomorrow either. which is something Huggy Bear have ensured we demand of them. That said. the record burns slightly brighter with each subsequent listen. and ‘Facedown‘ and ‘On The Wolves Tip' are reason enough. Just. (Damien Love)
I Urusei Yatsura: All Hail Urusei Yatsura (Hipster) 1t's said that those that can. do. and those that can't. write families (or grown-up publications — but l couldn't possibly comment on that). Urusei Yatsura. otherwise known as ‘that Kitten l"ren:_v shower". are out to disprove the theory. Hotshot reporters by day. punk rockers by night — it’s a scuzzy life btit someone's got to live it. This debut mini-LP is all swings and roundabouts. Taking its cue from the 1o- li American underground. it borrows the occasional audacious swagger (the punkabilly ‘Death 2 Everyone') and blithe Pavementesque rollicking (‘lt ls’) but also slips into
innocuous indie jangling (‘Yeah') and atonal heel- dragging (‘On Your Mind'). If they're happy to grow up on vinyl. then we'll call it a score draw. (Fiona Shepherd)
I Bettie Serveert: Lamprey (Beggars Banquet) If this band were American they might have sounded a bit Throwing Muses; if English maybe tnore sugary and twee — The Sundays for instance. But Bettie Serveert are unmistakably northern European. Dutch in fact. and their indie pop blows in with a chillier blast. lamprey. Bettie Serveert's second album. has been anticipated as a breakthrough release. Maybe. It‘s a shrill. insistent affair that demands full attention. which shows up the sameness of the songs. and an over—reliance on a handful of vocal hooks. Carol van Dijk‘s voice has a harsh. steely edge which is only occasionally softened by a purer. folk- tinged Joni Mitchell tone.
It’s a shame because the emotion of the two restrained ballads — ‘21 Days' and ‘Silent Spring‘ — stand out from the bulk of the songs which just jangle. (Eddie Gibb)
I saidilorence: Milliontrillion (Sale) Who knows how the minds of record company executives work? They sign a band. spend a packet on them in the studio and then drop them without so much as a by- your-leave. ln saidliorence‘s case. it's particularly hard to understand. as the band had developed what could have been an eminently saleable punchy rock — or heavy pop. if you prefer. Having wrested the tapes of the unreleased album back from Sony. saidflorence have put it out themselves. bolstered by three remixes. Expect nothing radical. but it's a chunky listen with mellower moments and even the occasional ambient intrusion. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Olivier Messiaen: Illuminations (it The Beyond (DG)/Ftom The Canyons To The Stars (Auvidis Montaigne) Two more excellent additions to the mounting Messiaen discography. both of large-scale ensemble works. Illuminations is the first studio version of his last masterpiece. and his protege Myung-Whun Chung leads the Bastille Opera through its luminous melodies and haunting harmonic thickets with real understanding of its underlying spirituality. The earlier (‘u/rvons is spread over two discs. with the ensemble and soloists under the sensitive direction of Reinbert de Leeuw. and is one of his most important
I Alan llovhaness: Star Dawn (Delos)/Vision (it A Starry Night (Koch) lf Messiaen is the century's great musical mystic. the American composer Alan
llovhaness is currently receiving much attention from the record companies with his own very different take on conveying the spiritual in aural form. His accessible. pleasingly tonal creations for orchestra on Star Dawn includes two of his many symphonies (Nos 29 and 53). while Vision concentrates on his music for solo piano (much of it in premiere recordings). sympathetically played by Marvin Rosen.
'I Sibelius: Songs (Finlandia) At the other end of a scale of grandness from the more familiar symphonies and symphonic poems come Sibelius's 90 or so songs. 24 of which have been selected for this recording. Essentially lyrical. occasionally sombre. this is as good an introduction to the composer's varied output as could be assembled on a single volume. Swedish baritone Tom Krause glides over the technically intricate vocal lines. while Gustav Djupsjobacka's piano
accompaniment is subtle and restrained. Given that the majority of the songs are around the one—two minute mark. the result is a succession of perfectly atmospheric moments. (Alan h’lorrison)
I Henryk Gorecki: Miserere (Elektra Nonesuch) We stay in a suitably improving mystical and spirtual vein with this disc by the much-lauded Polish composer. whose Symphony No 3 achieved a belated and unexpected best-seller status. Whether you find Gorecki's music hauntingly beautiful or simply dull is probably entirely a matter of taste. but converts will certainly enjoy these performances of the illiserere and a selection of shorter choral works. performed by the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Chorus. and the Lira Chamber Chorus. I Hans Werner Henze: Requiem (Sony) Henze‘s powerful. purely instrumental secular Requiem is dedicated to the memory of Michael aner. the late artistic
director of the London Sinfonietta. but commemorates all of the victims of modern warfare. The dark. dissonant facets of the music are balanced by compensating passages of delicate beauty. and the ultimate mood is one of hope and reconciliation rather than despair.
I James Durrant: Viola Pieces (Alto)/Cappella Nova: Twentieth Century Scottish Choral Music (Linn) Two essential discs for anyone interested in contemporary Scottish music. Violist Durrant plays three pieces by Eddie McGuire. including the reconstructed Elvis Presley themes incorporated in Prelude 6 and the multi-tracked Divertimento for twenty violas. alongside solo pieces by John Maxwell Geddes and Janet Beat. Capella Nova‘s beautifully recorded choral disc features commissioned works from William Sweeney. Ronald Stevenson. Martin Dalby. and Lyell Cresswell. (Kenny Mathieson)
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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 BARROWLAND (226 4679) Siouxsie and the Banshees. 28 Jan; Morrissey. 3 Feb; P.J. Harvey. 4 Mar; Stiff Little Fingers. 17 Mar; Del Amitri. 19—20 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Joe Jackson. 29 Jan; Solid Silver 70s. 15 Feb; The Rubettes. 28 Feb; Mary Chapin Carpenter. 13—14 May.
I GLASGOW IBROX STADIUM (227 5511) Rod Stewart. 3 Jun.
I GLASGOW PLAZA (0131 557 6969) Killing Joke. 2 Feb; Throwing Muses. 8 Feb; Belly. 5 Mar.
I GLASGOW SECC (248 9999) Eric Clapton. 15 Feb; Foreigner and The Doobie Brothers. 10 Mar; M People. 12 Mar; Gun. 1 Apr; New American Music Tour 95. 14 Apr; Wet Wet Wet. 20 Jul.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Richard Thompson. 29 Mar; Blues Brothers Tribute. 18—22 Apr.
I EDINBURGH MURRAYFIELD (557 6969) REM. 27 Jul.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 1155) Morrissey. 5 Feb; Cindi Lauper. 18 Feb.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) Humphrey Lyttelton. 4 Feb; Eberhard Weber. 9 Feb; Courtney Pine. 16 Feb; Fraser Spiers. 19 Feb; Suzanne Bonnar. 25 Feb.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Danish Radio Big Band. 4 Mar. I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Trilok Gurtu. 4 Mar; SU Big Band. 5 Mar. 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 QUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) 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 GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) BBC $80. 23 Feb. 9 Mar. 6 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Novosibirsk Philharmonic. 12 Feb; Leif Ove Andsnes. 22 Feb; Maria Ewing, 7 Mar; Stuttgart Philharmonic. 28 Mar; Joshua Bell. 2 Apr; Melos Ensemble. 4 May;
lvo Pogorelich. 2 Jun; Cecilia Bartoli. 7 Jun; Ravi Shankar. 2 Jul;
Jessye Norman. 6 Jul.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Paragon Ensemble. 29 Jan. 26 Feb; Choral Concert. 2 Feb; Piano Concert. 3 Feb: Elizabeth McCormack. 10 Feb; SEMC. 10 Feb. 17 Mar. 31 Mar; Apollo Saxophone Qt. 11 Feb: Hebrides Ensemble. 12 Feb; Academy Orch. 16 Feb; SCO String Qt. 17 Feb; Anthony Halstead. 24 Feb; BTSE. 24 Feb: Leda Trio. 25 Feb: SCO Wind Ens. 3 Mar: Glasgow Wind Band. 3 Mar; Scottish Voices. 5 Mar; ACO. 9 Mar; Wallace Collection. 10 Mar; GCO. 12 Mar; Academy Opera. 14—18 Mar; Academy Wind Orch. 16 Mar; King's Consort. 17 Mar; SU Wind Band. 18 Mar; Academy Brass Quintet. 23 Mar; Singing Dept Concert. 24 Mar; Academy Strings. 25 Mar; Junior Academy Concert. 26 Mar; The Pearl Fishers. 1—8 Apr.
I GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL (332 9000) Dawn Upshaw. 21 Feb.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Flamenco Fire. 31 Jan—4 Feb; BBC SSO. 5. 19 Feb: Warsaw Phil. 12 Mar; BBC SSO. 19 Mar; Stuttgart Phil. 26 Mar; The Marriage of Figaro. 12 Apr; St John Passion. 14 Apr; Sinking of the Titanic. 15 Apr; ECO. 23 Apr; Coronation Mass. 10 Apr; Andy Sheppard and John Harle. 11 May.
I EDINBURGH KING’S THEATRE (220 4349) The Desert Song. 27 Feb—4 Mar; Tosca. 8—1 1 Mar; Carmen. 5—8 Apr; Irene. 24—29 Apr.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Jeanette Wilson. 1 Feb; Tommy Smith and Murray McLachlan. 4 Feb; Scratch Mikado. 5 Feb; ECAT Concert. 6 Feb; Michael Chance. 7 Feb; Saltire Qrt. 9 Feb; SCO Quartet. 12 Feb; Simon Keenlyside. 12 Feb; Boris Berezovsky. 13 Feb: Hebrides Ensemble. 14 Feb; Balanescu Quartet. 17 Feb; Josephine Knight and Sophie Rahtnan. 20 Feb; John Currie Singers. 21 Feb; Malcolm Watson. 22 Feb; Leda Trio. 22 Feb; BTSE. 23 Feb; ESO. 25 Feb; Paragon Ensemble. 27 Feb; SCO CE. 5 Mar; Chamber Group of Scotland. 6 Mar; Jean—Paul Fouchecourt. 12 Mar; Vellinger Quartet. 13 Mar: Monica Groop. 19 Mar; Paul Whelan. 25 Mar; SCO Quartet. 26 Mar; BTSE. 20 Apr; SCO Quartet. 30 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 1155) ERCU. 13 May.
The List 13-26 January 1995 37