‘lfit's what you want to do. then you just have to do it.‘ James Malcolm says of his vocation. ‘l‘ve been playing music since i was nine. and started performing in public at sixteen.’
Sanders as guiding lights, the Clowns was an ambitious and surprisingly effective attempt to integrate elements of left-field iazz into a rock format. Check out albums like ‘Every Dog Has its Day’ to hear how successfully Ed could walk that particular tightrope.
The Laughing Clowns lasted five years, and in between solo stints, Kuepper formed The Yard Goes On Forever, 3 much more mainstream
mm- Painting with sound
Malcolm‘s guitar and harmonica skills. allied to a powerful singing style and an award-winning talent for song composition. is celebrated in his solo album Sea/reward. just released on Greentrax.
‘My mum gave up i guitar lessons and sent me instead. She wouldn‘t practise. and i think that‘s what makes a musician. I practise a lot. although you have to be careful. About eight years ago. i contracted tendonitis. probably from playing too
band with prominent keyboards. But, true to form, he ditched that for thunderous electric guitar workouts under the nudge-nudge name The Aints. The official releases, ‘Ascension’ and ‘Autocannibalism’ were great and fiery things, but that band too was elbowed aside when the time was right. So for the last few 5 , Ed Kuepper: an Aussie saint i years, he has been in acoustic-based singer-songwriterly mode, the current i album, ‘Character Assassination’ being his twentieth long-player.
Though Kuepper’s career is a series of stylistic lurches, his songs themselves rely on subtlety and shading. But they’re not too understated to catch the ears of 3 people who know a good song when they hear it and ‘Black Ticket Day’ ‘ was awarded the Australian Record I i Industry Association gong for best ' l album of 1992. ‘ ; without ever letting themselves be i So if you don’t see Ed Kuepper on of relaxation is silence. » ; boxed into the punk stereotype. ; this tour, there’s no telling what you’ll The only music I do listen 1 After that, Kuepper took a miss. He could be heading in any to. almost 10th exclusion l i commendable step sideways in the direction next. (Alastair Mabbott)
In a business where musicians
: somehow get to be restless, eclectic
j artistes merely for buying a sampler or
3 doing an acoustic set once in a while,
§ Australian changeling Edmund
Kuepper is the real deal, changing the
tnuch. so i took up the rules more often than the USS.
mouth organ 10 give my. in 1973, with Chris Bailey, he formed
“"d I M '” | the influential pre-punk band The ' ‘l find it hard to listen to I sawmiwno made two 0' the mos‘ '
music “.5 probably essential records-of that era, ‘(l’m)
because pm 30 involved a Stranded’ and ‘This Perfect Day’
with sound. but my idea
The Tears of‘Saint Peter by hibera
The music ofthe Flemish Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus. or ()rlando di Lasso to give him his ltalianised name. was to be found on concert programmes aplenty last year. the 400th anniversary of his death.
0f “Wmhing “33' ‘5 visionary Laughing Clowns. With John ; Ed Kuepper plays King Tut’s, Glasgow
Steely Dan. it was Led . . Zeppelin and Jimmy Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Pharoah , on Tue 4.
Page's guitar that first
caught me as a child. but l'm still amazed by Steely Dan’s originality and innovative musicianship. and although my genre is Scottish l‘m strongly influenced by these guys. Apart from that. it was my dad. who loved Gershwin. and my mum. from up the glens. so to speak. who shaped my music.‘
A quick listen to any track from Jim‘s new album — try the Sinatra/ Scottish pastiche titled ‘Achiltibuie' -— reveals a confident. clever lyrical style and a penchant for seat. mainstream jazz and other unexpected elements wrapped in a sense of patriotism. and leavened with a sense of humour.
Another side to the man is best experienced in the crowd-pleasing antics of the band Finnegan‘s Wake. ‘The core of the band is myself with Jason Dove. accordionist with Fire in The Glen. and Tannas. It’s like Morecambe and Wise. We both have a great time on stage. but Jason‘s a stagehound. he’s outrageous. and the music‘s fast. furious. bright and optimistic.’ (Norman Chalmers) James Malcolm plays Finnegan 's Awake, Edinburgh on Fri 24, Edinburgh Folk Club on Wed 29, Scruffy Murphy's, Edinburgh on Fri 31 and the Scofia Bat; Glasgow on Wed 5.
Eat Static. Weird name, hell of a weird band — a band who called one of the tracks on their new ‘Epsylon EP’ ‘Peeow’ because ‘that’s what it sounds Iike’. Another track, ‘Dionysiac’, is named after the Greek god of wine, and translates literally as ‘wildly sensual’. Weirdest of all is the fact that they work through the night. While most of us are well away after our late-night cocoa, ex-Dzric Tentacle Merv Pepler is concocting the rather slinky ambient dance tracks that made Eat Static a mainstay of the Planet Dog label.
‘I found that when I worked during the day I’d lust spent the entire day on the phone,’ expands the 28-year-old frontman. ‘lt’s better that we work during the night because we’ve got this really creative curve between five and nine in the morning. Chaos seems to take over, interesting things happen and we take advantage. Like this morning I adapted the new single for
Eat Static: ‘wildy sensual' live at five in the morning. It just went off on this chilly, obscure tangent. But it wouldn’t have happened if we’d have recorded it six hours earlier.’
Apparently, it’s got a lotto do with inspiration. Merv acquired his from punk and hopes he can harness some of its rousing energy into some of the music he makes now.
‘Punk was the first music that really touched me, it was the first time I felt the real energy of music. Some of it was amazing, and i like a lot more now than I did then. I recently bought a lot of the old Damned albums on CD. flow we have the energy thing to inspire people to go mad. You’ll find that our live show is different from what we do on record. Live, we’re not just severe, but unique.’
Well, they’ll certainly be on their own if the DJ starts spinning ‘Eloise’. (Philip Dorward)
Eat Static play The Garage, Glasgow on Mon 27.
Thankfully. as Lassus is undoubtedly one ofthe great figures of lbth century polyphony. the Scottish Early Music Consort has ensured the preponderance of his music in 1994 is not marked by a dearth in 1995. Their forthcoming programme. entitled The Tears OfSt Peter features a setting of twenty stanzas from an extended poem by Luigi Tansiilo on ‘the tears. sighs and laments which came from St Peter's eyes and breast while Christ was in the tomb'. There is also a final verse in Latin. possibly by Lassus. who was also a talented writer. in which Christ speaks to all from the cross.
What makes this concert particularly interesting is the use of visual projections which complement the various themes of the words and music. Lassus was a master of word-painting in music — for instance. when the cock crows in the third stanza of The Tears OfSI Peter. or the sound of ‘a thousand dans‘ at the end ofthe first. So. from over twenty different visual images amassed from galleries in Scotland and internationally. the audience sees Rembrandt's St Peter Is Denial from Amsterfam’s Rijksmuseum and a 1st century Roman mosaic of a Cockerel from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection. whose Franco-Flemish tapestry of Christ appearing to St Peter is also one of the projections. The music will be performed by seven singers who have special skills and experience in early music. Lassus himseifcalled Le lagrime di San Pietro his swansong and it was completedjust a few weeks before his death. (Carol Main)
The Scottish Early Music Consort perform The Tears Of St Peter at the RSAMD, Glasgow on Fri 3 I .
38 The List 24 Mar-6 Apr 1995