" 93' Kids


no ck

This fortnight. R.E.M. play Murrayfield. their first Scottish date since May 1989. In the past six years, they‘ve hit a pinnacle of success. with three crucial albums and a string of rockbiz awards. But can they still cut it live‘.’ Andrew Burnet went to Hamburg and caught ‘em at it for the people . . .


It’s a simple enough greeting. you might think. especially in Hamburg. many of whose [Euro- unsceptical citizens speak better [English than the average Wapping hack. But this is no ordinary hail-fellow-well-met. 'l‘his. meinen Herren und Damen. is the moment Hamburg has been awaiting for six long years the time-lapse since REM. last swept through northern Europe conquering all in their path on the legendary Green World Tour.

And then there‘s the creature which has uttered these words: one J. Michael Stipe. ls he man or Monster? Godhead or goblin“? All-out rocker or arch post-modernist? Visionary or rectal auto-examiner“? Or all of the above‘.’ Billiard-ball barnet; runty-assed frame; knowing. flirtatious smirk: questionable taste in shirts. Yep. that‘s Michael Stipe all right.

‘Guter Nacht. Well. guten something anyway . . . hello.‘

And the Hamburgers say. ‘llello Michael. Willkommen.‘

They have reason to be grateful he‘s here at all. Just four months ago. a few hundred miles away in Lausanne. Switzerland. drummer Bill Berry staggered from the stage mid-show. nursing what proved to be a ruptured aneurysm on the right side of his brain. Surgery followed two days later. and fora while the future of the band never mind the tour hung in the balance. But the boy Berry is back behind the drumkit. a business-like frown creasing that single. furry- caterpillar eyebrow of his. Serious headbanging may be off-limits for a while yet. but he‘s still ready to give the skins a damn good hiding.




The List l4-27 Jul @9513,