:34, A, Lemmas: Celtic i
an fusion Like rock drummers. bodhran players are the butt of hundreds ofjokes. For instance: What‘s the difference between a bodhran player and a drum-machine? Answer: You only have to punch the rhythm into the drum machine once. Boom boom! However. the point ofthe lame gag is that though the circular frame drum has never been so popular. it‘s often played with little feel for the music.
Stephan Hannigan. piper and bodhran player in London-based Lammas. reveals the unusual role ofthe lrish percussion instrument in the jazz/folk crossover band. ‘l‘ve had quite a few people come up and ask where the bass is coming from.‘ he says. ‘They don't see a bass player and they‘re astonished to ﬁnd it‘s the bodhran. But you can show them that the drum gets about an octave. by changing the skin tension from behind with hand and ﬁngers.‘
With vocalist Christine Tobin. kit drums by Mark Fletcher. the exceptional acoustic guitar work of Dundonian poet Don Paterson and the sax and keyboard talents of Tim Garland. the band's last album and live performances are winning many converts to their fusion of modern jazz and Celtic ballads.
Hannigan left his straightforward traditional music roots after getting together with Tomas Lynch and later. jazz percussionist Ken Hyder. ‘l heard about the band from an American poet/bodhran player who was leaving.’ says Hannigan. ‘He asked me to take his place, and 1 brought in the pipes as well. Tim [Garland]. who started the band had been getting into Celtic music, especially Breton music. and was fascinated by the pipes.
‘We enjoy putting a new spin on the songs. and integrating Christine’s non- verbal vocalising into the instrumentals. it's a very fruitful approach. we're all coming up with heaps of material. and there‘s even a couple of London bands starting to pick up on our style. That‘s great; the more. the merrier!‘ (Norman Chalmers) Lammas play Paisley Arts Centre. Sat
; on screen, and helped to make him a , star. lie has enjoyed the material rewards of a successful career. When
RHYTHM AND BLUES i
Who can’t hum at least one Fats Domino hit? The first big one, ‘Ain’t That A Shame’, the slinky ‘l’m Walking’, or the biggest of them all, ‘Blueberry Hill’? One person who knows them well enough is Antoine Domino, who’s been singing them for 40 years and still manages to look as if he’s having a good time doing it.
Fats Domino was the first black rhythm and blues artist to score big on the white record charts in the 50s, where his warm, laid back delivery proved more palatable than the harder blues stylists. At times he was just too laid back, prompting the engineers at Imperial, his record company in the vintage years, to speed up the tapes to satisfy the rock and roll market.
ills engaging persona (those who know him say he is actually shy) and that big, broad smile came across well
Fats lost a couple of million dollars over a ten-year period in Las Vegas, his explanation was simple: ‘l was a country boy who didn’t know no
better.’ These days he drives a white
Fats Domino: he's found his thrill
Rolls Royce decorated with two gold dominoes, but still lives in the same ward of New Orleans in which he grew up.
Everything about Fats Domino is larger than life (he has eight kids, all of whose names begin with ‘A’), and he is still a popular attraction decades after his last serious chart success. He’s never changed the formula, which includes some country tunes, but the people have kept listening, and that’s just fine with a man who says: ‘I like to reach all the people.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Fats Domino plays two shows at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow on Fri 19 May at 7pm and 9.30pm.
rm- Grassed up
it’s a tale of two sideburns and Gaz Coombes, the nineteen-year-old bloke whose face they adorn. And his fellow Oxford residents, Danny Goffey (drums) and Mickey Ouinn (bass), who make up the remainder of Supergrass, the band who will still be laughing their way to the bank long after S‘M'A'S'll and These Animal Men and others of their ilk are gone and forgotten.
It’s also a tale of two bands. The precocious Coombes was making demos at twelve, before he and Goffey hooked up in a Bide-inspired band called The Jennifers. By Coombes’s fifteenth birthday, they’d signed to llude Records, still home to Suede. After one nondescript single, they vanished, picked up Mickey Quinn and began to thrash out twenty-minute punk-orientated sets.
‘caught By The Fuzz’, their debut single, Is a ludicrous punkoid ditty of teenage dope-smoking with all the hallmarks of a wind-up. Were EMI really banking on them as a long-term prospect? Surprise surprise, it almost grazed the Top 40. One-hit wonders, then? ilope. The next one, ‘Mansize
liooster’, showed that Supergrass’s
Supergrass . . . super sideburns scope was a lot wider than ‘Fuzz’ had suggested, made the Top 20 and will . probably show up on a lot of people’s Singles Of The Year lists come December.
Sneaky old Supergrass. On the latest single, ‘Lenny’, the shades of Led Zeppelin and The Who drift past, like Christmas ghosts paying Scrooge a visit. Flip it over and you’ll find ‘Wait For The Sun’, mainly acoustic and glimpsed through the haze of a hundred loss-sticks (and, no doubt, the tug of several dozen spliffs into the bargain).
The jury is about to return its verdict ' - that this is a group that’s in it for the long haul. There are single releases planned from now right up until late summer, and the album, ‘I Should Coco’, is out in a fortnight. The pundits are already putting it up there alongside ‘Definitely Maybe’ and ‘Elastica’, so all the indications are that Supergrass, who have already been welcomed by American and Japanese audiences, will have the world at their feet before long. (Alastair Mabbott)
Supergrass play The Plaza on Fri 19.
Out for the Oountess
For two years running on the Edinburgh Fringe. Hungarian performer and choreographer Yvette Bozsik has given the big bucks dance companies on the official Festival a run for their money. This year it's the turn of audiences at Glasgow Mayfcst where she looks set to add some spice to a programme which is decidely thin on contemporary dance.
Something of a child- star. Compagnie Yvette Bozsik has been in existence l'orjust two years. Bozsik herself was first seen by Edinburgh audiences. battling for breath in a perspex cube when she was still one- half of the radical performance group ‘Collective of Natural Disaster'. In 1993. the 27- year-old ex-baliet dancer broke with what she has described as the ‘dictatorial constraints‘ of the group. and struck out on her own. It was possibly the smartest move she ever made.
An unremarkable track record gave way to a rapid-fire volley of sophisticated, streamlined dance works and. only months after the company was formed. the dancers walked away from the Edinburgh Fringe with two awards for their first major piece Soiree — a claustrophic dance version of Sartre‘s ’hell is other people‘ novel Huis Clos.
The following year Cormtess. the show Bozsik brings to Mayfest. hit the Fringe with equal force. Audiences seated deep in the vaults of the Demarco Foundation sat rnesmerised as Bozsik and her equally intense duet partner Kata Pentek unleashed all-or-nothing passion and steely muscular control in a tale of Gothic proportions. The story of 16th century Transylvanian princess Erzsebet Bathory. imprisoned for life in her own castle on suspicion of vampire-like activities. became an inspirational piece ofcontemporary dance-theatre that reclaimed the Countess as an innocent victim of medieval witchhunts — and placed Bozsik and her young company firmly on the frontlines of European dance. (Ellie Carr)
Countess by Campagm'e Yvette 80qu is at The Tron, Sun 7—Tue 9 May.
The List 5-18 May 199517