RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I Pretenders: The Isle Of View (WEA) The release of an Unplugged album seems to be almost a contractual obligation these days. and the market is becoming saturated by the things. often by artists who have little afﬁnity with the form. This is an exception. though. Backed by a string quartet. chiming acoustic guitars. occasional harmonium.
. . Vlftth New Vocalist [he fa'thm Mam" Chrissie Hynde: sublime vocal cords ; SHAUN MURPHY Chambers on drums and i
Damon Albam on guest superbly by a tightly- desolation while Taylor ; I _
piano. Chrissie Hynde's drilled bunch who solo sounds unbearably sad _ s
The Original Line Up SAM CLAYTON
PAUL BARRERE KEN GRADNEY RICHIE HAYWARD BILL PAYNE FRED TACKEI'I‘
voice and songs have no need of ampliﬁcation to be heard at their best. With all the favourites — ‘Private Life'. ‘Back On The Chain Gang‘. ‘Kid'. ‘Brass ln Pocket'. ‘I Go To Sleep’ — and more. this is essential for anyone who‘s ever found Chrissie Hynde's vocal cords one of the most sublime instruments in rock. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Steely Dan: Alive In America (Giant) Knowing Becker and Fagen's legendary distaste for touring. one comes to this without the highest of expectations. but I've spent many a worse hour than swaying to live renditions of Steely Dan's best songs played
with gusto. Alive In America is far from perfunctory — in fact. the Dan sound like they were having a whale of a time making it — but it does little to assuage the real appetite. which is fora studio album of new material. H-E-double- hockeysticks. it has been ﬁfteen years. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Bay: Alison Rae (A Noise Annoys) If a mood is worth feeling. it's worth feeling profoundly. as someone once said. and Falkirk-bascd singer/guitarist Jason Taylor lives by that maxim. With their achineg slow tempos. his band single-mindedly
pursue the rhythms of
and powerless as he unfurls these tales of bitterness. loneliness and regret. In the middle of this pained document of a failed relationship comes a cover of Roxy Music‘s ‘ln livery Dream Home A Heartache‘. stretched out to twelve minutes in typical Bay style. the intensity mounting with each repetition. As a sustained two-hour mood (there‘s a bonus Cl) of acoustic songs). it's quite an achievement. but won't be to everyone's liking. Those who do like it. though. will clasp it to their hearts. and there are few who won't identify with at least some of Taylor's sentiments. (Alastair Mabbott)
I The Battlefield Band: Threads (Temple) The mixture as before on the latest Battleﬁeld album: the strengths lie in the instrumental talent. especially lain MacDonald‘s powerhouse piping and skill and expression on the flute and whistle. while John McCusker is a superb ﬁddler and extremely competent on cittern. mandolin and keyboards. The Alan Reid/Alistair Russell rhythm section is beefed up in the studio by Shooglenifty's drummer James MacKintosh and Qwee MacArthur. bass player from Mouth Music. Thoughtful arrangements of the songs (including re- explorations of old folkie classics like ‘Tramps And Hawkers' or ‘MacPherson‘s Lament‘) make up for the lack in the band of a top quality singer. but vocalists Russell and Reid get the six songs across with great gusto. and the album is set to sell by the lorry load to their legion offans across the globe.
I Paul Machlis: The Bright Field (Culburnie) The Californian pianist who. back in the 80s. collaborated with Alasdair Fraser on the much-loved Skyedunce and Road Nun/z albums has released
with the Scots ﬁddle virtuoso in support. Occasional cello and guitar also ﬁll out the textures of the pieces which. with the exception of one each from the traditions of lreland. Scotland and Shetland. are his own compositions. Ambient Celtic is the flavour. well played in a sub-Micheal O' Suilleabhain style. Though the forms nod to the traditional. the phrasing. tone and touch owe much more to classical values. while the polished production and dreamy dynamic should push it to the top of the Findhorn playlist.
I Baka Beyond: The Meeting Pool (Hannibal) Although this world music project does have a French fiddler. the ‘Gallic‘ influences mentioned in the text refer to a track of a song from the Hebrides sung in an approximation of Gaelic. Tapes from group leader Martin Cradick‘s recording trips to the Baka people of Cameroon have been re-recorded in England with the involvement of at least a dozen skilled musicians (the Meeting Pool of the title). Round the sampled sequences and rhythm programming. bass. guitar
a new recording. this time I
and studio vocals is folded
a dense weave of African drums and percussion. didgeridoo. kora. ﬂute. balafon and dozens of other instruments. The resulting synthesis is impressive. engaging and original.
I Chris Sherburn and Denny Bartiey: Last Night's Fun (Sound Out Music) Produced in Leeds by Battleﬁeld Band's Alistair Russell. This album captures the edgy excitement of two very good younger players enjoying an lrish session. Sherburn is an imaginative and tasteful player on the slow songs. but his ﬁngers can fairly fly about the keyboard of his anglo-concertina. Bartley's guitar matches the squeezebox's quicksilver turns in the tunes and provides a deft accompaniment to his own ﬁne settings of mainly traditional songs. Guest musicians include young folk luminaries John McCusker on ﬁddle and Kate Rusby on vocals. and classy musician friends contribute occasional mandolin. acoustic and electric bass. and keyboards. The overall sound has a very ‘livc' feel. and if there are no complex arrangements. that is no criticism. for the music speaks directly. (Norman Chalmers)
g Daryl Johns
GLASGOW RoYAL CONCERT HALL FRIDAY 17th NOVEMBER
BIO 0141-227 5511
undcy 12th November 3/0 0131-557 2590
nd the DANIEL LANOIS BAN
on & Brady Blade
lel ’S .-' Rf, ‘l Fl COWS l.l.l.",l. Si fil ASEM‘I l” Nil S Sl l'l~‘.l*3'i 1. THE l‘. l CH); 3131-557 6363il23'2‘ﬂ'4'656 5555il IS' Cali,
GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL SATURDAY 23rd DECEMBER
Tickets £12.50, £11 and £9 from Royal Concert Hall Box Office and Ticketcentre Candleriggs Tel 0141-22" 5511
The List 3- l6 Nov l995 39