MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh. 2 March
Any serious revolution begins with the roots. And roots reggae is where the Revolutionary Dub Warriors start their set. The straightforward. heavy-heavy style of ‘Warrior‘ displays full use of the bass and drums powerhouse in fine. slow skanking style. Although occasionally shaky. they soon have the dancel‘loor bouncing.
RDW’s replacement of guitar with synth to provide that all-important backbeat gives them scope for instant dub action. And they are not averse to building up a great wall of squidgy synth through which the bass breaks like a ball on a chain. lt’s magnificent thunder. driven by a beat that blisters along at house music speeds: a clear demonstration that new- school dub has no need to depend on electronica for the beats.
Bim Sherman is the one the crowd’s been waiting for. His throaty bitter- chocolate croon has graced many an On-U Sound album. and he knows full well the value of a having a nattily- dressed guitarist at his right hand to get the ‘stepping‘ style of dancehall reggae moving out.
While Sherman purrs around the stage as if he were in an intimate club. not the cavernous hall of the Assembly Rooms. Ras Leroy Homes is left to keep the pace up. His ass- kickingly authoritarian drums are crisp as a freshly laundered sheet and the perfect complement to Diane White's giant wobble of bass. which leaps out across the floor.
The set is a pick-n-mix of steppers. lovers and dub. While the up-tempo dance of the former and the spacious sounds of the latter (provided by Louis Becket‘s excellent live mix) are a success. the lovers rock is too diffuse for an otherwise very dance-orientated evening. Songs like ‘Over The Rainbow' reinforce the idea that the style is best suited to Sunday evening radio. (Thom Dibdin)
Watch out for The List ’s forthcoming Food &. Drink
JEFF BUCKLEY The Garage, Glasgow, 28 Feb.
Already, after Jeff Buckley has been less than one year in the public arena, it seems that We Are Not Worthy. Any lost souls taking a wrong turning at Charing Cross and ambling into The Garage would have been forgiven for thinking they’d walked into the middle of a church service, with the willing flock lending the firebrand preacher their undivided, submissive attention. Obviously, some of us just belong to a different denomination. See that
cynical dissenter? That was me, that
was. The one that dared to have a conversation while Jeff (that’s Mr Buckley to us riff-raft) tortuoust wrestled with his Muse. The one that yawned while Jeff changed guitars in such a talented way. Pardon me for not joining so readily in the mass genuflection.
Well, it’s easy to scoff at Buckley’s over-indulgence, but it’s also easy to see why he’s accorded such reverence. In a world where (slot in personal mediocre bugbear) can be given the time of day, we’re unaccustomed to expecting 24-carat emotion from our musical heroes. But Jeff gives it 110 per cent, Brian. Hot Whitney-Houston-belt-it-out-and-call- it-emotion emotion, but the feeling of being swept along, even manipulated, by the total sound emanating from the stage. Guitars swell, then fall away to
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 3 March.
I was nearly knocked down by two hurtling little girls in the foyer. Off to the right, a whole row of children sit bookended by parents. One little boy holds a tiny wooden guitar. Over on the left, drunken, ageing Hell’s Angel- types attempt the stairs down to their circle seats. Another awaits them, his girlfriend trying to persuade him that it really would be a good idea if he put his shirt back on.
The advance intelligence wasn’t good: Chuck was laughable, forgetting what he was playing mid-song. Hot playing the guitar at all well. Being embarrassing. Being old.
I wanted Chuck Berry to be old, though. Hot safe, embarrassing old — but evil old. An evil old man with the map of hell in one hand and a direct line to heaven on the other. Constantly ripped off and demanding suitcases full of hard cash for turning up old. Maliciously inviting people up to dance and standing godlike in the
a spare, clear chime and the Voice really is something potentially awesome, ebbing and flowing in harmony with the rest of the band.
At their best - and there are some powerhouse moments in among all the fudge — Buckley and band have a thrillineg instinctive, organic feel, like Led Zeppelin when they weren’t too busy being rock pigs, and the . qu'avering vocals have the power of a Robert Plant or an Ian Gillan. But there ' are whole chapters with no plot where it seems Buckley is just skating along, relying on the audience’s frequently- articulated heckles of goodwill, and the empty aftertaste of these moments is as enduring as the memory of his howling passion. So let’s hold the canonisation for now, eh? (Fiona Shepherd)
3 midst of their foolishness old.
1 So I’m nervous when he appears. He looks amazing, though, like a line of ash poured into clothes. The guitar falters slightly, then locks in. The band watch his feet. The crowd begins to bay. The guitar grows assured,
, primal. The sound of passion barely
) checked. And then a voice, I swear,
1 which hasn’t changed since 1954.
Heroically, there’s no ‘Johnny B
Goode’, but there is a beautifully
minimal take on the poetry of
‘Memphis, Tennessee’ (stubby pencils
hanging from frayed string by
communal tenement payphones, jotting hearbreak messages on the
peeling plaster . . .). He does a
momentary duck walk, and it’s the
second most beautiful thing I’ve seen in years. Hell, even the execrable ‘My
Oing-A-Ling’ brings a smile and I HATE
that song. Let’s face it — he was Chuck
fuckin’ Berry. When the lights go up, the children have vanished but the
Hells Angels remain. Understand?
Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going to press.
I GLASGOW BARROWLANO (226 4679)
1 The om. 29 Mar; Jeff
Healey. 16 Apr; The Charlatans. 30 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Shakin Stevens. 8 Apr; Solid $11\Cl'()0.\’. l8 Apr; Tanita Tikaram. 16 May: Mary Chapin Carpenter. 14 May; Crystal Gayle and Rita Coolidge. 21 May:Celine Dion - Sold
I GLASGOW FERRY (221 6380) Linton Kwesi Johnson. 30 Mar.
I GLASGOW IBROX STADIUM (227 5511) Rod Stewart. 3 Jun.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Mark Taylor. 21 Apr; Magical Mystery Tour. 22 Apr; Concert They Never Gave. 22 May.
‘ I GLASGOW PLAZA (0131
557 6969) ()l'l’spring. 26
I GLASGOW SECC (248 9999) Gun. 1 Apr; Bob Dylan. 9 Apr; New American Music Tour 95. 14 Apr; liast 17.21 May; Wet Wet Wei. 2() Jul.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (5296000) Blues Brothers Tribute. 18-22 Apr.
I EDINBURGH MURRAYFIELD (557 6969) REM. 27 Jul.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Thunder. 9 May.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) The Drifters. 17 Apr; Solid Silver 60s. 20 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Herb Miller Orchestra. 1 Apr. I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) A Night at the Cotton Club. 16 Apr; Andy Sheppard and John Harle. l 1 May. I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Herb Miller ()rchestra. 29 Mar.
I GLASGOW BARROWLAND (226 4679) The Woll‘etones. 13 May. I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Christy Moore. 27 May.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Bain and Cunningham. 13 Apr; Christy Moore. 28 May. I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Davey Spillane Trio. 7 Apr; Robin Williamson. 8 Apr; The Poozies. 16 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Pat Boone. 29 Mar; Al Martino — Postponed; Honky Tonk Ladies. 11 Apr; Brenda Cochrane. 21 Apr; Magical Musicals. 2 May.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 18-16) Legendary Ladies of Country. 9 Apr; Chas and Dave. 27 May; Brenda Cochrane. 8—9 Jun.
I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) James Last. 4 May.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Jim Reeves Tribute. 27 Mar;
Magical Musicals. 18 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Joe Longthorne. 21 ()ct.
I GLASGOW CITY HALL (227 5511) BBC SS(). 6 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Stuttgart Philharmonic. 28 Mar; Joshua Bell. 2 Apr1Me1os linsemble. 4 May; lvo Pogorelich. 2 Jun; Cecilia Bartoli. 7 Jun; Ravi Shankar. 2 Jul; Jessye Norman. 6 Jul.
I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 5057) Academy Strings. 25 Mar; Junior Academy Concert. 26 Mar; SEMC. 31 Mar: The Pearl l-‘ishers. 1—8 Apr.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (5296000) Stuttgart Phil. 26 Mar; The Marriage of Figaro. 12 Apr; St John Passion. 14 Apr; Sinking of the
‘ Titanic. 15 Apr; liCO. 23
Apr; Coronation Mass. 10 Apr; Andy Sheppard and John Harle. 11 May.
I EDINBURGH KING’S THEATRE (220 4349) Carmen. 5—8 Apr; Irene. 24—29 Apr.
I EDINBURGH QUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Paul Whelan. 25 Mar; SC() Quartet. 26 Mar; St Margaret's School Concert. 28 Mar; Viennese Evening. 3] Mar; lissential Scottish Opera. 1 Apr; NY()S C(). 9 Apr; BTSli. 20 Apr: St Columba's Appeal Concert. 23 Apr; ()ne Voice Ensemble. 28 Apr; King's Consort. 29 Apr: SC() Quartet. 30 Apr.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 1155) Coldstream Guards Band. 18 Apr; liRCU. 13 May. I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for RSNU. SC(). BBC SS() and CGPO concerts are available from Ticketcentre. Glasgow (227 551 l )1 Usher Hall. Edinburgh (228 1155); Queen's Hall. lidinburgh (668 2019). Tickets for Scottish ()pera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); Festival Theatre. lidinburgh (529 6000).
40 The List 10-23 Mar 1995