ma:— Euroman cometh

im— Man with a mission

Kenny Mathieson hears about the latest chapter in the odyssey of Steve Forbert.

Steve Forbert is a word-spinner. His songs luxuriate in language. in the sensuous sound as well as the sense of his long. lyrical lines. He is a singer- songwriter first. middle and last. and 3 has kept the faith with his mission through a seiies of reverse turns and career stalls which would have driven lesser talents to quit it all and take ajob at the local gas station.

Born and bred in Mississippi, the i slow-spoken. ganeg Forben hit the mid-70s New York scene with an

The Silencers: Scots abroad

v"? 'v.'.,.:;:w,,' we ‘1 acoustic guitar. a harmonica. his " wit" l-‘ollowing on from ‘Wild .Vlountain always-on-the-verge-of—cracking vocal h Tliyme'. commissioned originally by delivery. and a bunch of wordy. poetic save Famed: going down to {he crosswads the Scottiin Tourist Board. The . songs (the inevrtable Dylan Silencers now release .80 BI: It. their comparisons followed as sure as night mine. and right now l‘m the oldest introspective 'l'lre /iIII(’I'l(’(l/.’ In .‘lle “m on permanent Records. That‘s in after day) just as the punk movement Ctiittt. bCCZIUSC t'm the Ont)’ tit'tt-‘t 0" tt‘ i “992) “Cit”? 1‘“ ttttttCttt’tC liiii'iing of Britain. For the rest of the world. their was taking on juggernaut momentum but it's going to be a singer-songwritcr ' the ways. Forbert is back again. though. records are issued by BM(} in France. He must have eur a maveriek figure label‘ with the excellent r’lll'ssiml (if I on the new l’aladin label —- ‘it‘s run by the country where they‘ve achieved opening at CBGB‘S for the likes of the Crossroad Palms (Paladin/Giant) 5 Jim Zuriiwalt. an attorney friend of their greatest success. And if there's Talking Heads and John Cale, but he ‘The title is a line from one of the g quite country - Forbeit has never fallen one thing people know about The did enough to attract attention. and songs. “()h To Be Back With You". comfortably into easy marketing Silencers. it‘s that while they're all but made four- nlbnmg on Columbia‘s and it is sort of like a loose reference to categories. and his particular brand of ignored by the London-based media. Nemperor label. from his sparkling a search. you know. sort of a voyage literate songs and treirrulous vocals they do very well in Scotland and debut Alive ()n Arr-rm] ( | 978) to Steve into some uncharted territory. a mission have sworn against the tide of Europe. I’m-hen (1982), He didn‘t know it then, to the unknown. and maybe kind of prevailing rock fashions for most of his ‘l think it‘s a combination of the but the last-named was the prelude to a mysterious. The record has a loose career. a fact which doesn‘t seem to music and some of the qualities The six-year hiatus which sent him back to theme about that search. keep him awake at night. Silencers have got.‘ says mainman basics. ‘lt‘s rcztllyjust honestly Coming from ‘I don‘t really think about it i don‘t .lirnrne ()‘Neill. ‘which is. I suppose. ‘lt was just a dead end that we ran into WitCi‘C i W215 Iii in 1994 i'CCOi‘diiig “10 Wittt)’ think about it t know Who 1 melody. poetic lyrics and romanticism with Columbia. but they wouldn’t let record. looking back on a lot of things. fCiiliC i0 - i i'CtiitC t0 PCOPtC ttkC 51”" and sensitivity. as well as being. 1 me go, and it took me a long time to get and also trying to look forward. It‘s Phillips and Lucinda Williams. and l weum guy. sort oi‘Cehie progressive my freedom. I moved to Nashville and very much true to my own situation. | relate to Morrissey. too. i can relate to melt, AH these qualities would he went back to playing wherever I could and i think for the most part my songs ' Iggy Pop it just doesn‘t matter to me. obvious coming from an American get a gig while the lawyers argued it are very autobiographical. You have the l wanted to sing songs. I never got into band. but if they eome from a Scottish out. It meant a kind of going back to ObViOUS CXCCPtiOnS like "it Sure W118 mth to try t011'i11t)’50 it 01' tit tiitii hand it‘s not so readily acceptable the start process for me. but then that is Better 31le ThCii". WhiCh is totally iiii $0m€thtngr t0 mi? it‘s ill-“t about What is down south ~ unless you get that break. true with every record for me in any invented character ofa much older the next song. what‘s on my mind for a and we just haven‘t been lucky, Our case.‘ person looking back. but by and large l song.‘ records were readily accepted by Geffen picked him up with Streets Of would have to say that they are pretty European radio but not by English Our Town in 1988. an album with a Citib‘c to “W tioiiC.‘ ! Steve Ftn'bertplttvs at The (image mt “Kit”: harder rock feel. and issued the more i NOt (ltlttc mCttr “0t (litttc ttitk~ “0t Tue 2. ' O'Neill likCS it) think OleiC SilCiiCCFS

as an ‘electric folk band'. like The Byrds and The Grateful Dead. ‘()r

_ ‘We got tired of complaining about REM.‘ he adds. ‘Because if you had to the lack of jazz, and began to look at put a label on it. you would say it's ways to be more positive. What we kind of like electric folk music for the

came up with is an organisation which mind and body. There's a (‘eltic

will mount mainstream jazz concerts in element there. there‘s a late—60s

the city. There are fifteen 0t us element. there's a Beatles element and l involved, and we have all agreed to think our lyrics are a little bit more underwrite any losses out of our own interesting than normal pop lyrics. pockets, while any surplus will be set There‘s stuff going on that makes them

collective action

When the Glasgow Society ot against possible future losses.’ more like folk songs. more interesting Illuslcians closed last year, it left the The new venture launched last month or emotional.‘ N clty without a venue for the kind of with a potential disaster when Scott ‘We create a kind of positive energy

mainstream jazz which had become its trademark. In recent years, the Society was a regular stopover tor the likes of Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Ken Peplowsiri, Howard Alden and Mundell Lowe.

Hamilton came down with an infection when we play live.‘ he concludes. ‘We at 24 hours, "Oticev but tiOMbONiSt ROY turn even our more cynical or darker Williams stood in before a well-tilled songs into something that's (1

MIL scour "0W lesmle‘i to health, Vii" celebration. it‘s because we take the make good his booking, and the Co-op music seriously but we don't take

will be looking for another full house. ourselves seriously. so that when we

Once a thriving organisation, the scan Hamilton' making “and I’m not sure about the Moir Hall as a plav live we have a really good time demise ot pit orchestras and bio bands Society’s premises were sold- venue, though - the City Hall Bar is and hope that the audience has a good shrunk its membership base over the That seemed to be that. but the storll arguably a more attractive alternative, time. That is something that seems mist 3"" it "9'" m9 '0 titles with has taken an unexpected twist- A and one which is now established as a uncool. But as Jack Kerouac once said. the limitless 0' mantth "so" to a gmttp 0' tom" "Winners continued to regular iazz outlet tor both Assembly I'm not interested in being cool. i want P°t°"t"" at“"°"°° Won't "3 , meet on a regular basis to talk about Direct and the Glasgow Jazz Festival. to be hot.‘ (Alastair Mabbott) established coterle. Mounting tau, and avantually a pntenttaI (Kenny Mathias“) financial "mm "9mm" tom“ "limo" 0019"!“ iii the "Jim 0' the Scott Hamilton plays at the Hair Hall, The Silencers play The Lycetmr.

3" t"°'ttabt° 6'08"”. and the Jazz tin-oil. as tax Kelli explained- Glasgow on Tue 25. rgrrmraaglr mt Sun 23.

The List 2i Apr-4 May l995'41