im— Fanning the flames
You grew thoroughly sick of them when Channel 4 screened the same song three times in a row during its fraught Glastonbury coverage. How about trying The Tindersticks in a more conducive environment. suggests Damien Love.
There‘s a song on The Second 'Ii’nrlers/it'lvs Alhum called ‘My Sister". which starts otrt as a simple. shuffling little groove. all pleasant cocktail vibes and repetition. over which Stuart Staples delivers this Pulp-y spoken word monologue aborrt. well. his sister. She goes blind at the age of live and burns the hotrsc down with a careless cigarette. killing her mother and the cat when she‘s ten. ()n her thirteenth birthday she gets drtrnk and falls down a well. strangely restoring her sight. She stops blinking. At fifteen. she moves in with her gym teacher who. five years later. hits her with his bullworker. leaving her confined to a wheelchair. semi-paralysed and bloated through lack ofesereise. By the time the music has built up to include a pretty jaunty funeral bugle. she‘s whiled away the years by sttrbbing cigarettes out on her useless limbs. died and been buried in a cheap coffin so the worms can get to her quicker. Obviously. this is extremely ftrnny. Then. there‘s the song ‘Jism' from their first LP. which has the protagonist. tongue between his lover‘s toes. saying. ‘l/lllt’ll’ iv ever anyone else. (Inn i! let
' them (l1) this to you, ' which is funny too — unless you happen to be caught tip in the throes of obsession and loss. Then
it's not funny. Not ftrnny at all. ‘We were never gonna tell people
which were more humorous. ironic
songs. and which were serious.‘ guitarist Neil Fraser muses. ‘because maybe it can ruin it for some people. because there might be a song that we consider not to be particularly serious
which someone could take seriously.
It‘s not a bad thing if someone doesn‘t
get it as long as it means something
to somebody. I sometimes find it hard
. to distinguish between the two.‘
The 'l‘indersticks. formally and lazily
dubbed Rock's Most Miserable Men.
are coming to town frotn that place hovering perpetually between restless action and cold consequence. between
- the drink wearing off and the hangover
setting in. bringing their shabby suits.
('iuinness-black humour and glamorous
regret chic with them. lmportantly.
they‘re bringing something else. too: a
25—piece string orchestra with
g woodwind section thrown in for good
measure. important because it means.
’ in addition to their standard line-up : (Cale-esque droning violin. jazz-
inllected gutter drumming. organ sighs and shrieks. bass. guitar and the
Jokes aside: the unfunny Tindersticks
romantic. heroic. dramatic. pathetic but always inebriated horns of Terry Edwards). the band will have the capability to scale the full-blown 35mm highlights of the new album: the huge. reeling. big-city squalls which climactically fuck up ‘Talk To Me' or the beautiful heartbreak underpinning 'A Night ln.‘ Then. of course. there's the prospect of witnessing live readings
g of older material such as the positively l wrenching ‘City Sickness‘. As Fraser
says. ‘It should be awesome. When you have the idea of doing a show with a full orchestra. it needn‘t be as pompous as it can sound. They're playing our music. it should be quite vibrant and not necessarily very tight or anything. ‘
But. if you are going — for God‘s sake. make an effort. There won't be many of these. so get your suit pressed. iron a frock. This is an event. after all. I mean. the band'll be getting all dolled up. won‘t they? Tuxes 'n‘ that?
‘Eh. I think we‘ll just be our natural be-suited selves. We’re not gonna do anything special like that. ldon't think it's got much to do with glamour. anyway.’
The 'Iinrlerslicks play the Old Athenueum Theatre. Glasgow on Fri IO.
Live music to accompany film is becoming something of a regular — and popular - happening with orchestras these days. Paragon Ensemble, known for its boldness with new initiatives, is taking the pairing of music and film a stage further this month with its evening of ChaplinDperas in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stirling.
Scored for a 21-piece orchestra and two singers, ChaplinDperas features three short Chaplin silent films — ‘Easy Street’, ‘The Adventurer’ and ‘The lmmigrant’ - and a new score by the young English composer Benedict Mason. The evening follows on from Paragon’s successful Mayfest production in 1993 of live music accompanying the silent film ‘Tabu’. According to David Davies, the ensemble’s Artistic Director, this type of project ‘offers a fascinating and interesting alternative way of presenting music. Benedict does not
refer to his music as an accompaniment to the films, though, it’s more of a commentary, so don’t expect Keystone Cop type music as
5 they’re all running down the street.’
ln ChaplinDperas, summed up as ‘a
e breathtaking montage of song, speech
and sound effects’, the musicians are required not only to play, but to speak, sing and take up percussion instruments, while the soloists are called upon to get their tongues around sections from James Joyce, Bertholt Brecht, a French cookery book, A—D of the London telephone directory, a BBc horse-racing
Projecting their fantasies: Paragon Ensemble
commentary and a Metropolitan police recruitment advertisement. ‘Mason is,’ says Davies, ‘trying to develop a new aesthetic between film and music, to produce a different sort of art form so that modern day filmmakers might think about producing silent movies again. It’s all about going to see a film as a live event so that the one performance you see is not the only one. And I think that’s something very healthy.’ (Carol Main)
Paragon Ensemble present DhaplinDperas at Glasgow Film Theatre on Sun 19.
IBE- IRISH oovssev
i Melanie D’Beilly: into the Celtic realm
Melanie O’Reilly is best known as a jazz singer. but her latest project moves her music in a rather different direction. The Edinburgh-based. Dublin-bom singer introduced an arrangement of an Irish Gaelic poem into her set a couple of years ago. and the favourable reaction to it. coupled with her own increasing desire to explore her Irish roots. have encouraged her to delve more deeply into that background.
The first fruits of the experiment are contained in her debut CD. 'Iir Nu Mara — The Sea Kingdom. and it suggests that she may well have found an ideal vehicle for her particular talents. Recorded in Penicuik and Dublin with guests from the worlds ofjazz (guitarist Larry Coryell). folk (American fiddler Eileen Ivers. Irish percussionist Tommy Hayes) and classical music (Edinburgh Quartet). it features a number of her songs alongside settings of Irish poems.
‘The project has been coming together over the past year or so. and for me it has been an organic development. It draws on elements of myth. poetry and history. and the sea provides a thematic thread in one way or another through the album. but each of the songs has its own story to tell. It‘s very much a crossover rather than ajazz album. but this is very much the direction I wanted to go in. and there is a lot of me in it.’
Certainly. it seems a more directly personal — and emotionally exposed — artistic statement than is evident when she sings jazz standards. although thatjazz background is never far away. For her Jazz Club tour. Melanie will combine that familiar jazz material with her new songs in an attempt ‘to let people see where I am coming from. as well as how the music is developing now.’
(Kenny Mathieson) Melanie 0 'Reilly plays The MucRoherI Centre. Stirling on Fri [7. and The Music Box, Edinburgh on Mon 20.
The List 10-23 Mar r995 37