Im— Hot waxing
’1 1. Mo.
Dominic: crowning glory
It’s an unwritten rule of interviewing local bands that one particular sentence will always crop up: ‘I don’t know how to describe our music . . . lust really original, I guess.’ its every hand fights to stand out from all the others, they inevitably strive for the elusive llon Grail of originality. It is an admirable goal, attained by very few.
Dominic Waxing lyrical manage it. There is nothing quite like them in the central belt at the moment. A four- piece who formed lust before last year's festival, DWl use clarinets, cellos, accordions, zithers and the infamous Bontempi organ along with the usual guitars and drums to create songs that cannot be pigeonholed. Dominic llarris, the band’s singer and lyricist, grew up in what he describes as ‘a musical vacuum’. lie became interested in music when he went to Berlin for five years and fed off the vibrant underground culture there, living in squats and playing gigs in the most unlikely of places, from subway carriages to unmanned launderettes.
Influenced by Weill and Brecht as much as by Berlin’s contemporary music scene, llarris’s experiences formed the basis for Dominic Waxing lyrical and go some way towards explaining the band’s sense of theatre while on stage. You don’t just listen at a DWI. gig; there is as much to hold the eye as to hold the ear. The entire band look as though they were born into the great British tradition oi eccentricity and each concert invariably involves llarris leading his cohorts off the stage and into the audience like the Pied Piper of Hanelin.
life seems to be a long series of surreal incidents for Harris, and this comes through in his lyrics which are delivered in an eerie quaver. Occasionally, a song will contain a passage from Chaucer enunciated in harsh Middle English, but usually the inspiration for the songs comes from a lot closer to borne: ‘From in my head,’ reckons llarris. ‘lt's observation, sometimes it’s just the wind rattling, sometimes it’s someone spitting at me.’ lot at the gigs, usually. (Jonathan Trew) Dominic Waxing lyrical plays the Meadows Festival, Edinburgh on Sun
mam- Acoustic roots
Spirits Colliding is Paul Brady‘s strongest album in a while. and he thinks so. too. it marks a return to a more acoustic orientated sound, with his voice and guitar very much in the foreground on a set of typically strong songs. it follows the realisation that the artist himself was maybe getting a little lost on more produced albums like Trick Or Treat.
‘This record has been such a joy to make. I reached a stage where I realised that the core of the songs lay in my
, dynamic as a solo performer — in the past I’d start with an arrangement and we'd add this and add that before I would put myself into it, and sometimes there just wasn‘t enough space for me to do what I really do.‘
The leaner and litter sound world of Spirits Colliding gives ample scope for Brady's fine singing. with the textural layerings — mainly added by Brady himself on an album which features only additional bass and drums from Roy and Victor Wooten — kept notably less obtrusive, complementing rather than clogging the songs.
Paul Brady: new spirit
Brady looks back on his transition from the Irish folk scene to rock in the 80s with mixed feelings. acknowledging that he did not always dojustice to the quality of his songs. His return in recent times to performing solo has clearly influenced the overall feel and approach of the album. and also reflects what he admits is a more relaxed approach to his music. (Kenny Mathieson)
Paul Brat/y plays at The Queen '3 Hall. Edinburgh on Fri 2.
an:— oots salad
An ethnic beat married to a pop sensibility; it’s increasingly popular everywhere, with myriad variations round the world laying ethnic instruments on a contemporary backing of bass and dams.
Just back from the Orkney Folk Festival, and playing to rabid audiences from Europe to the USA, Aberdeen’s Dld Blind Dogs are among the leaders oi the Scottish pack. Singer lan Benzie might perform the odd traditional song in a style somewhere between Dick Gaughan and llod Paterson, and that can be no bad thing, but the band is best known for its bated-teeth approach to dance music, tainted by the blues and caiun fiddle, and with Davey Cattenach’s congas and percussion driving the foursome along, living ligs and skanking reels.
More ska, Caribbean and latin is served up by Edward II, England’s premier rootsy dance band, who’ve moved a long way frotn their iolkier origins in Manchester’s Moss Side.
Old Blind Dogs
Concocting a steamy urban stew out of black and white musical traditions, at the centre of their sound is a manic accordion, only just discernible as the same instrument that bumbles along under ye olde Cotswold morris teams. Playing the box against guitar riffs, a horn section and black soul vocals, the band manages to meld influences from reggae, jazz, folk and pop. This is music for a new St George, defying you not to dance.
Even more jazz-tinged, but defiantly danceable, .leggro is a dozen-strong Airo/reggae/ian outfit from Edinburgh headlining a late summer evening of African drummers, steel bands, Caribbean salsa and recorded dance grooves, all under one, probably raised, roof. (llorman Chalmers).
Dld Blind Dogs play Paisley Arts Centre on Sat 3 ; Bock, Salt and llails play Cumbernauld Theatre on Fri 2 ; Edward II are in La Belle Angele, Edinburgh on Fri 9; The Afro-Caribbean Sunsplash takes place in Teviot Row Union, Edinburgh on Sat 3.
lESS POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
The Whistlebinkies? Surely some mistake
By their very nature. the Scottish Proms are hardly ever likely to be at the cutting edge of innovation in orchestral music. Yet. this year‘s series. promoted and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. does at least offer concerts which look as if they have more to them than being lists of works replicated from the back of a ‘Your Favourite Classic Hits‘ record sleeve. The Proms. according to RSNO Chief Executive Paul Hughes. ‘is a chance for concert- goers and musicians alike to let their hair down and have some fun.‘
The Last Night is always popular. but forget Elgar and all that — the Scottish Proms have The Whistlebinkies and Ceilidh by Jeremy Randalls. Both cities can enjoy Essential Ballet. a glorious night including Prokoﬁev‘s Romeo And Juliet and Stravinsky‘s Firebird. as well as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Coppelia. Essential Opera too is in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Tosca, Alt/(t and [u Wally providing some of its highlights.
‘ln our 1995 Proms.‘ says Hughes. ‘we have struck a balance between favourite classics such as the Strauss family, Mozart and Tchaikovsky and more contemporary composers such as Gershwin. Duke Ellington and. of course. the Kenneth Branagh film scores composed by Patrick Doyle.‘
Going under the title An Evening A! The Movies, it is Glasgow audiences only who can relive Branagh's Much Ado
, About Nothing and Henry 3 V, with presentation by the composer himself.
Other artists this year include Proms favourites such as conductors James Loughran and Christopher Seaman. (Carol Main) The RSNO Proms is at The Usher Hall. Edinburgh on Sat 3 atul Tue 6—51" I0 and Glasgtnt' Royal Cit/teen Hall IO June—l Jullv.
The List 2-l5 Jun IWS 33