EDWYN COLLINS FEATURE
Where’s the muse gone? Can 1 still ﬁnd the muse? Once more into the forever. y’know man? And then I realised that all I needed to do was — give masel a brek.” And I thought, what the fuck is this! He’s suddenly slipped back into his proper accent! The Americans won’t understand this at all. they’ll be going “Brek? What does he mean brek? ls this a Gaelic word?" And I haven’t succumbed to pizzas. In actual fact I’ve kinda lost weight.‘
The newly svelte Collins hits Edinburgh and Glasgow this month and. while he was born in the capital. it’s safe to say that his Glasgow
shows are always the tnore . . . ah . . . special. For instance. there was that time on The Renfrew Ferry. ‘Oh. no’ . . . oh, yes. when.
towards the end of his solo acoustic performance. Collins’s mum. obviously enjoying the beneﬁts of the rider, appeared down at the front of the stage demanding that he play ‘Rip It Up’. ‘l’ll never forget that.’ groans the singer. ‘l was very hung over that day for a start. but it seemed like a bizarre dream. I was thinking. somebody. pinch me. It can’t be happening. But I’d concede. I don’t think there’s an audience in the world I play to like Glasgow. 1 mean I always do my normal show. but 1 can go on stage and call the Glasgow audience a load of fuckin’ anal retentive motherfuckers, and they’d all laugh. You can‘t say that in Mid West America because you‘d get lynched. ‘lt’s built up over fifteen years to the stage where hardcore Orange Juice or Edwyn Collins fansjust see me as one of the family. I think that’s a good thing. I heard there was some review of the last Glasgow show that said: “Why doesn’t he take himself more seriously?” Well. I take myself seriously on record, I take myself seriously with the songwriting — but
I’m not gonna go up on stage and
debase the warmth generated by the
audience. I’m gonna reciprocate that. I think that’s all you can do.’
After this period of unprecedented commercial success, Collins ﬁnds himself poised on the brink of, well. of
what? What does happen next? ‘l’ve been trying to work on a kind of Northern Soul EP because I think ‘A Girl Like You’ is kinda Northern
Soul. I was thinking. funnily enough of trying to cash in on that. I never thought I’d ﬁnd myself doing this — I wrote one song in the Royalton Hotel in New York.
which struck me as ironic.
Y’know. everyone from Bob
Dylan to Elvis Costello does
that thing, “Oh, this song was
written in the Chelsea Hotel at two in the morning after a gig."
So I was kinda chuckling to myself as I was doing it.‘
That place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems likelier by the minute.
Edit-"WI Collins plays The
Pavilion, Glasgow on Monday
23 October and Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Tuesday 24 October.
The List 20 Oct-2 Nov I995 7