Siouxsie and the Banshees

'l‘he ‘stii'prise' element is the levity ol the tracks recorded with John (‘ale llav lllL' chewed over the initial albtrni recordings tor a good le months. like a writer trying to tease out the linal twist in his tale. '1 he Baiislices' recruitment ol ('alc brougltt l‘ortli live tracks. including the single. bursting the el't'oriless momentum. from the impish pop ot' “l‘llC Lonely ()ne' to the tountain~like waltz. ol ‘l-‘orever‘.

So. uni. how was it. y‘know, working with the venerable \Velslirnan'.’ I mean. what is he like.’

'( lh. he‘s a gladiator? laughs lludgie. ‘llc’s an inspiration by virtue of the way he‘s stuck at what he‘s doing. whether he's been in fashion or not. it he's sold twenty copies of one album and 5 riiillion ol‘anotber. it doesn‘t seeirr to make any difference and that‘s the only attittrde we could adopt because we know we‘ve never been counted as the best thing since sliced breadf

'lihat‘s the Bansliees for you beyond fashion. it' not entirely beyond prejudice.

'lt always seems strange to us when people ask us: "Do you think you‘re still relevant today .’”' declares Budgie. ‘(lnly people in pop music get asked that kind ofquestion. But to court what the tabloids say is in right now ~ vott wouldn‘t set foot outside the door. You'd just be shivering in your hovel going: “I don’t know what to do. What's relevant now?" You‘ve really got to dismiss all that. 'l‘here‘s some kind ol’ higher power than that somehow.‘

.S'i'otrtvft' .rim/ 'l'lit' Burrs/tees play The llrtri'on rl(t'.’lt/. (ir’irveoit'rni 511138.

m2— Tenttl‘ man

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Edinburgh-born saxophonist John Burgess is no stranger to Scottish stages, but for his latest visit he will be accompanied by a rather less frequent but very welcome - guest. Tenor saxophonist Alan Skidmore has been one of the major names on the British jazz scene for a couple of decades now, and continues to play with a fire and enthusiasm which puts some of his much younger successors to shame.

Skidmore was born in London during the height of the Blitz. His father was a saxophonist, and Alan credits him with giving ‘a lot of help and encouragement’ to his own budding interest in the horn. By the late 505, he was already playing in dance orchestras (having mastered his reading skills early on), but his

interests became increasingly focused

on serious jazz playing as the 605 progressed.

He did a stint in the late Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated in 1964 (in the band that included John Mayall


Alan Skidmore: viscerally exciting

and Eric Clapton), and that blues legacy has remained a strong part of his playing. Spells under various leaders, including Ronnie Scott and Maynard Ferguson, led to his forming his own band in 1969, and he has led groups ever since, as well as working in a variety of contexts, from trio to big band, and in styles from spontaneous improvisation to fusion. His last appearance here was with Georgie Fame during the Edinburgh Festival (an association which goes back to 1970), but there have been far fewer opportunities to hear him with a small group in recent times. The core of his playing, though, lies in that central modern jazz tradition as exemplified by John Coltrane and

Sonny Rollins, and he remains a highly

accomplished as well as viscerally

exciting practitioner of the art. (Kenny i


Alan Skidmore and the John Burgess Quartet play at The Tron in Edinburgh on Wed 8.

Songs sung true

Outwith Festival time it is not that often that audiences have the chance to hear a specially programmed series of recitals by internationally acclaimed singers. Songlines, a new BBC Radio 3 project opening on 7 February, looks set to help redress the balance. Six song recitals by ‘six of the great singers of the world’ performing music from eight countries will be given in Edinburgh and Glasgow over February and March. The biggest name is probably soprano Dawn Upshaw of Gorecki Symphony No 3 fame, but there are also countertenor Michael Chance, the New Zealand baritone Paul Whelan, who is currently appearing as Figaro with Scottish Opera, and the French tenor Jean Paul Fouchercourt. In between come British baritone Simon


Songlines is also significant in that it

is a Radio 3 series being produced from Glasgow. As Music Producer Svend Brown says, ‘It is the first time

that Radio 3 has given money to mount

an event of this kind.’ There are two

says Brown, ‘the best way to hear songs in their true colours is to hear them sung in their original language by native speakers, and, secondly, to establish an international song series

:\l..-\.\' (‘Rl ‘.\ll.l.\'ll

Michael Chance: golden boy

in Scotland featuring artists of the standard not often seen in recital here

. outside the Edinburgh Festival.’

The artists form a combination of celebrity singers, singers not well

' known in Britain but with high-flying Keenlyside and Finnish mezzo, Monica ;

careers elsewhere and a young singer of great promise. Their repertoire covers music by Britten, Barber and Copland to French song by Fauré,

Poulenc and Ravel or a programme

from Scandinavians Grieg and Sibelius. To open, there’s Michael

' Chance doing what he does best - main ideas behind the series. ‘Firstly,’

music from the golden age of British

- song, by composers [lowland and : Campion, complemented by Handel . and Monteverdi. (Carol Main)

Songlines opens at the Queen’s Hall in

5 Edinburgh on 7 February at 7.45pm.


l W

The first ofaregular ' rummage through recent tapes from local artists.

Space Monkey Mafia have put ottt a nine-track demo reeorded at The Venue in lidinburgh last year. The eight-piece lidiiiburgli collectiv e have created songs rooted in reggae and imbued them with diverse influences from tank to rap. ‘Starrd Up‘ delivers an et‘t'ective gut punch with its arrtr racist lyrical content which is spelled out in bold vocal terms by Jimmy Noble: 'llow Many More 'l‘irnes' allows iliern to flex their instrumental muscle ab1t more with its swinging bass lunkiness. while ‘(‘orrse-.;iicrices' catches the haul in a mellow er. more laid—back mode. The drumming throughout provides a solr.l backbone and structure to the tracks but the vocals have their occasional shaky nioriieirts ~~ the lead vocals till the [list littllit‘l ‘Revolution' have an uncertain edge. highlighted by a ridiculous ialsctto backing vocal. Still. the vocals improve immensely hallway through the tzack when the l‘.llltl bursts itito the Space .‘vlonkey Malia [Cilch mp, \‘vtit‘llt checking out it they appear in your patch. Christina. singer- songwriter and Allan l)t:inbreck. attattgct‘ .lliti instrumentalist. ltave worked together to produce a two-track demo. .‘lllt’t’la l'irr'l, Christina llis‘lop has a line voice clear. pure. bright and shown to line et'tect b_v the sweeping orchestration ol. the titst track. ‘lu’aiterilv oi .'\ (‘olour'sf l‘lre secorrtl ' track. 'l’ostcar-l l-rorrr 'l he .‘vloon'. is a slightly more poppy nuni'r‘er but we‘re still lirrnly in w isttul romance mood. llrslop is more Kate Bush than Sonya Aurora Marian and indie guitar kids ain't gonna like it but it‘yort llkt‘ lllll?~ lltl“ c‘l'} allc‘ssc's running through stirririrer‘ tireadows then you'll love it. This is l.atrra Ashley made into music.

Deadcat Motorbike. as you may surmise from the natne. wouldn't be seen dead anywhere near a Laura Ashley outlet 'l‘his is a brash (irritars-R-t s band. alternating squealing tilts with iiioshed up drurrr batteries. the entire mixture shot through with a complete disregard for any sort ol decent production which makes for rather drtticult listening at times. (‘atch them at a seedy rock 'ii‘ roll hole near you for teenage kicks and guitar licks. (Jonathan 'l‘rew r

The List 37 JaIi-‘l licb l‘)‘)5 35