Bartok: ‘most significant'

Much has been heard this year about i’urcell. whose lt'rCL‘lllClllll':s' seems to have sparked oi'l' an endless stream oi pct‘lor'tttattccs of his music. but less has happened to celebrate the music ol‘ Bartok. wlto died 50 years ago irt New York. llelpirtg to redress the balance is the evening entitled (fluveutv Nit/tiles l/imgtn'v. The concert is the insprratron ot' the Glasgow-based Hungarian piarttst (iris/lav l-‘enyo. ‘erh violinist Susanne Stan/elheit. I’ve just recorded a third \ oltrme ol' llar'tok's works l'or violin arid piarto and we decided that we should further commemorate the 50th anniversary of his dcatlt with a concert. Bartok is the most significant composer that llungary has ever produced arid a key tigure in music iii the first hall ot‘ this century.‘ The programme not only features Bartok. but chamber ruusic by three other leading Hungarian composers in addition to Brahms. who w as greatly influential on them and also establishes the connection of the .'\tl.\llt\- Hungarian Empire The llartok piece is (villi/ti)“. t‘or clarinet (with top clttt‘illciisl Michael Collins). violin and piano and conzmissioncd by Benny (.ioodmau. 'llartok was brought up on the tradition of Debussy. Wagner and Strauss.’ explains iieriyo. ‘but he went on to research. for many years. the lolk music ol‘ Hungary. Romania. Yugoslavia and evert north Attica and absorbed it irtto his style. He knew Goodman's _iau. style and in (‘mzrimrs he has incorporated that too. l-‘enyo is enthusiastic too about l)ohnanyi‘s Sextet. unusually scored for violin. viola. cello. clarinet. horn arid piano. and for which lie ltas assembled art ensemble of superb players. But it is ultimately Bartok's evening. 'llis music is totally incandescent.‘ says Fertyo. ‘liach piece is like an incredible meteor travelling across the sky.‘ (Carol Main) (i/usgmv Salutes Hung“, It- is a! the (‘r-llit'l' T/tculrt'. (Ilusgmr' on Well 22.

36 The List l7-3() .\'ov l‘)‘)5

. Disgrace eunder pressure

A '. Dubstar: lashing out

When Dubstar’s first single, ‘Stars’, reached Number 40 in the national charts, it sealed the careers of a trio (DJ, singer and guitarist) who, a few months previously, played their first gig at a benefit protesting against a road being built through Newcastle’s picturesque Jasmine Dean district. Stormy political times, but, needless to say, the road has been built, while Dubstar’s original blend of layered guitars, dub rhythms and infectious pop melody is achieving rapid commercial success.

: For Sarah Blackwood, vocalist and

i co-songwrlter with the group, the a turning point came with the release of ; their debut album, Disgraceful, on the Food label in October. ‘My mum was

j always saying, “Sarah, it’s a fairy tale, l it’s not going to happen, go and get a

iob”,’ says Blackwood, her vowels flattened, Gateshead-style. ‘But now

, she’s dead proud, because loads of

3 people are coming up to her and

telling her they love the album.’

With subjects such as the rape of a pensioner (‘Kot So Manic Kow’) and the weakness underlying masculine identity (‘Just A Girl She Said’), the

dark and wry lyrics of Disgraceful gain

potency by counterpoint with the crisp sound and clean, detached vocals encasing them. ‘They are expressed from the point of looking back rather than being in the midst of something,’ reflects Blackwood, who believes a positive message can be taken from

the words. ‘lt’s iust everyday life, really. Everyone has traumas.’

While looking forward to the tour, she hopes that the audience at King Tut’s will be less circumspect than last time. ‘Everybody stood round the edge and it was scary. I thought, “God, what’s up, do I smell or something, why isn’t anybody coming down the front?”’ A big iungle and techno fan, she found their first gig at a Middlesborough club more to her liking. ‘It was packed and there were boys draping themselves all over the monitors.’ Glasgow lads, they’re so shy sometimes. (Deirdre Molloy) Dubsfar play La Belle Ange/e, Edinburgh on Sat 25 and King Tut’s, Glasgow on Sun 26.

Electric blue

The Cavendish at Edinburgh’s Tollcross is more commonly associated with dodgy 70$ disco bands than serious blues, but the success of the Edinburgh International Blues Festival there this summer has encouraged promotors Albion Management to extend the venture.

Sadly, the opening concert in the new series, a superb gig featuring Stephen Bruton, attracted only a fraction of the audience required to make the venture a regular fixture on the blues scene. it Scottish blues fans want such a gig, they will have to respond a whole lot better, starting with the visit of Luther Allison (no relation to the great jazz- blues singer Mose Allison, who plays here the same weekend).

As both a bigger name and a more mainstream artist, Allison may have a greater appeal to the blues market in any case. As Blue Streak, his newest CD, confirms, the Arkansas-born singer and guitarist is very much in the central Chicago urban blues tradition. His family moved to Chicago in 1951, when Luther was thirteen years old, and he began to add the emerging electric blues style to his childhood grounding in Southern gospel.

He was a member of a Chicago band called The Rolling Stones in the late 505 (I believe someone else used the name later), and played with his

Luther Allison: long, high energy sets

principal influences, Freddie King and Magic Sam, before striking out on a somewhat stop-start solo career. He cut a number of albums on independent blues labels like Delmark and Blind Pig, and has established himself as a major attraction on the blues festival circuit.

Allison now records for the Rut Records label in Germany, which has released two albums, Bad Love and the aforementioned Blue Streak, the latter featuring the Memphis Horns on four cuts. The singer and guitarist has a reputation for playing long, high energy sets, and will be on stage at 9pm. For blues fans who complain of insufficent concert activity in the central belt, it’s now time to put up or shut up. (Kenny Mathieson)

Luther Allison plays at The Cavendish on Thurs 23.

rm— Zygotic reaction

They are young. They have an unpronouneeable name. They came out of the wilds of Wales with songs of wilful weirdness. And Fiona Shepherd was smitten.

As the old adage goes. you don't have to be a few quirks short ot~ a Cracker storyline to listen to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci (pronounced ‘monkey‘). but . . . Madness is all relative anyway.

madness in pop no less so than in any other field. The ‘straight' kids in i’trlp‘s ‘Misshapes‘ video probably think the

' opposing gang are t'reaks. bttt we know where Pulp's sympathies lie. and whose album went straight in at Number ()ne'.’ Surely a liking for Meatloaf is l'ar more

aesthetically questionable anyway. So when Welsh wtmdcrkinds Gorky‘s

Zygotic Mynci (or (iorky's. as they

shall be affectionately referred to for the duration of this article) take the music world by storm. on the day that justice. good taste and rrrass appeal

shall surely collide. be not surprised.

It's only the widespread dawning that there's more to musical life than

rejuvenating classic rit'l’s and al't'ecting a

surly disposition. ll‘(}orky's were to cover ‘l Am The Walrus'. they'd go the whole hog and have walrus


lf Gorky’s were to cover ‘I Am The Wairus’, they’d go the whole hog and have walrus costumes.

Actually. singer. lyricist and organist Euros Childs vehemently disagrees with this interpretation of their addled outpourings. but what the hell”? He writes the songs. not the reviews.

'lt‘s a bit patronising. really.‘ he says. ‘Just because we use a bit of imagination. bccatrse we‘re not singing about being rock 'n‘ roll stars. that

, makes us novelty. We've done three

albums that's a pretty long-standing novelty.‘

What is it about (iorky's that provokes this response‘.’ is it because many of their songs are written in Welsh'.’ (‘an‘t be ~- there are several Welsh language bartds ot' a punky nature who sound utterly conventional. Anyway. the Welsh language thing started because Gorky's first break came from a DJ on Welsh radio who helped promote Welsh music. Now the decision to write in Welsh or English is made by ‘itrst what comes into your head first when you start playing a song.‘

Is it because they play ed tip the mystic angle by posing irr wizards' hats'.’ No. that only happened once dtrring a photo

session. arid isn‘t dressing tip part of

the essence of pop‘.’ Is it their bizarre way Ultflfl'c‘ss‘illg