rm— Gastronomy domine
Delicatessen vocalist Neil Carlill is feeling a bit poorly, beset as he is with post-Beading Festival comedown. ‘Since Beading, I’ve had a bit of a chest infection and been asthmatic and I had a bit of a turn last night which I’m still trying to get over.’ He pauses to strike a Byronic pose and cough consumptively into a frilly white handkerchief while casting another twig on the meagre fire flickering in the grate of his sparsely- furnished garret. Amazing what you can tell just talking to someone over the phone. ‘lt’s not that romanticised, unfortunately,’ says Neil. Delicatessen are that kind of band, though. The kind who leave ellipses on their records and wait for the listener to come along and fill in the blanks. ‘The word “pretentious” comes up quite a lot, because we’re doing something quite different to the type of music that seems to be in vogue at the moment, the Britpop scene and all
that sort of stuff. I think there’s a certain reaction against things which are intelligent or daring to break the status quo.’
Britpop, schmitpop. Delicatessen would be thoroughly deserving of the title Britpop, had the term not gained certain connotations of cartoon iauntiness of late. There is nothing flippant or cheeky about Delicatessen, but there is plenty that is arty, self- conscious, twisted and brainy, which are traits that are just as British and pop-related.
Their intriguing debut album, Skin Touching Water, inhabits the same pseudo-filmic realm as Tindersticks would were they divested of their string section. Delicatessen readily acknowledged the influence of films and books on their overall sound. So if they could engineer the quintessential environment for experiencing their music, what would it be?
‘Something very intimate but with theatre about it,’ says Neil. ‘It would definitely be some sort of Blue Velvet- type club with velvet curtains across the stage and people sitting at tables with candles.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
Delicatessen play The Venue,
Edinburgh on Sat 9 and King Tut’s, Glasgow on Sun 10.
Delicatessen: the larder they come . . .
Between the bars
Freedom of Expression is the message ofthe Amnesty International Freedom Festival. a four-month campaign in which artists and performers combine to raise the profile of human rights. At its centre is the Freedom exhibition at Kelvingrove, but an ongoing stream of performances, conferences. talks. exhibitions and workshops all contribute to the overall structure.
Launching the Festival is a Freedom Gala featuring companies such as Scottish ()pera. Scottish Ballet and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. as well as James MacMillan. Tommy Smith and Carol Kidd. ‘We wrote to groups and individuals asking them to take pan.‘ explains Hazel Mills ofthc Festival‘s organising committee. ‘and we got a wonderful, enthusiastic response. They are all giving their services free and we would have had the RSNO as well. but just couldn‘t find a date to suit all four national companies.‘
A series of arts events held as part of a freedom campaign in [990 which off the possibility of doing something more. ‘There is the potential to link human rights and the arts with freedom of expression as the common thread.‘ says Hazel Mills. The programme for the gala is apt. ‘There‘s the overture Leo/mm No 3, which fits in with the theme of freedom. Leonora being the rescuer of her imprisoned husband in Beethoven's opera I‘ll/(’lll). There‘s also Clare Rutter and Richard Coxon singing a duet from The Jam/mi. Dvorak's opera where the Jacobin is exiled because of his political views.‘ ()ne of the three imprisoned artists the Festival aims to free is trumpeter Manuel Manriquez San Agustin. so it is fitting too that John Wallace will play the Trumpet Comer/u by H ummcl.
Amnesty‘s record of success is impressive. but it needs you to sign the petitions. post the cards. write the letters. join the organisation. Two writers and a musician have been imprisoned for the non—violent expression oftheir beliefs. This campaign will concentrate on their cases. (Carol Main)
The Freedom (lulu takes place on Sun IO u! The K ing 's Thea/re. Glasgow.
Members of the SCD. taking part in the Freedom Gala
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The List 821 Sept 1995 37