the everyday"? Now we‘re getting
warmer. Behind their bizarre song titles and lyrics are fairly universal concepts — it's just much more fun Gorky's way.
‘l‘ve got to make it sound interesting for myself and the audience.‘ says Childs. So does he have vivid dreams. or what'.’
‘They‘re not vivid dreams. they‘re daydreams. Most of the songs we‘ve done are actual real life. but ronianticising the situation. “If Fingers Were Xylophones" [the new single] is about loss of innocence. a realisation of what can be and what cannot be. It's the kind oftliing l could have written a couple of years ago. and it just followed me around. You‘ve got to realise that lingers will never be xylophones.‘ Thanks for sharing that: the men in white coats are particularly glad to hear you say it.
The most persuasive piece ofevidence that Ciorky's are. if not completely off the deep end. then at least mildly eccentric is the way that their highly imaginative use of embellishing effects on what are essentially pastoral pop songs recalls other great moments in wayward pop. At last we meet the Village (irecn Preservation Society as immortalised by The Kinks. It's not remotely surprising to discover that the group's initial influence when they formed at school was Monty Python.
I ‘3’)" qw‘ﬂéZf? 3..
Gorky’s: prime cuts
Listening to their bonzer third album Bwyzl limo puts you in mind of .‘iylugiml illyslory Tour-era Beatles. Robert Wyatt. Julian Cope, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and The Cardiacs — all certifiable old codgers in their own way. The scarey thing is that, at an average age of nineteen. Gorky‘s can't even plead senility.
‘We're not scared of what people are going to think ofus.‘ says Childs. ‘A lot of bands say they're a straight guitar band and they‘ve got this weird project on the side: but if you‘re driven to do that kind ofthing which may be a side project, why can't you just do it in one band? Bands are much too formularised; there‘s just no adventure to what most bands do. That's what's missing and that‘s why we‘re considered eccentric. because we're not playing it safe.‘
But do you know what the maddest thing ofall is? Biryrl Time is brilliant. It has all the youthful exuberance ofthe Supergrass album. all the variety ofthe Blur album only with better songs, and is superior to recent offerings by Pulp. Oasis. Black Grape and probably any other current saviour of rock 'n' roll you care to mention. Honest. Straight
up. No strait-jacket required.
Hurley's Zygn/ir' Mynri play I’urtemn:
Edinburgh on Sat 25.
‘ The Boys of the Lough’s last album, The Day Dawn, celebrated end-of-the-
. year traditions in music and song from 1
the British Isles and also included
some Swedish tunes. Fiddler Aly Baln
; was brought up in Shetland, famously
' nearer Bergen than Aberdeen, and of
course the northern islands of Scotland were a Horse dominion for
; centuries, but in spite of historical
5 connections and similar instrumental
3 traditions, folk music groups from
Scandinavia are not common visitors
l to this country.
5 So it’s thanks to the Boys for bringing
over Swedish trio Frifot to share their
one-off ‘Celtic Christmas’ concert. lough Boy Dave Richardson enthuses,
; ‘We’ve been supported well by the
i people of Sweden, especially by the
- Falun Festival, which is their major folk event, so we’ve known the musicians for years and felt it was time to return the compliment and invite them over here.
‘lena Willemark is one of the best
known vocalists in Sweden. She has a fantastic voice and her roots are in traditional singing. “Kulning” is a style of open-air call-singing, and they open the Falun Festival every year with just a cow horn and Lena’s voice. She can fill the town square without amplification, singing way up in her
, top register.
‘Ale Moller is a really talented musician. He's kind of like the Donal lunny of Scandinavian folk music — so influential in the evolution of their native music in contemporary terms.’
Like the ex-Planxty and Moving Hearts Irishman, Moller has shown the great suitability of the bouzouki and octave mandola family of stringed instruments as an accompaniment tor modal, fiddle-driven folk music and song, popularising the instruments to such an extent that they are everywhere accepted and becoming commonplace.
‘If you haven’t heard the Swedish bagpipes, you will at the concert, solo and in a duet with Christy’s uillean pipes. Per Gudmundson is the group’s fiddler, and he’s a great fiddler, but he’s also an archivist and folklorist and he’s been the moving force behind the revival of the Swedish bagpipe tradition through the 19805.’ (Norman Chalmers) Boys of the tough and Frifot play Edinburgh Festival Theatre on Sun 26.
IHEIIIIIIIIII Across cultures
At least two very different traditions meet when Cuban pianist Gonzan Rubalcaba joins French pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque on tour this month, with, on this occasion, jazz as the common language uniting them. The partnership arises from their duet on Katia’s Little Girl Blue album, where they perform three tunes. Bubalcaba’s series of trio albums for the Japanese division of Blue Note, Something Else, have established his
credentials as a sensational
interpreter of jazz idioms, but his interest in music is hardly a surprise, given his background.
‘llo, l was interested in music before I was even born, I think! I came from a very musical family - my grandfather was an important composer in Cuba, and my father was also a well-known musician, so I think there is something genetic there. Music was always around me at home, and in that environment the references were always to Cuban traditional music or jazz, and they have been my main
Bubalcaba started out as a percussionist, but his mother persuaded him to take up piano when it came time to attend music school, where his hands were pronounced too
small fora percussionist anyway. His
playing has remained notably percussive as well as danlingly inventive, both in the context of his acoustic groups and in various electric fusion outfits (he also plays classical music, more common ground with the French pianists).
Cuba’s political isolation made it difficult for him to work abroad, especially in the USA, but he has managed to get around that problem by setting up home in the nearby Dominican Republic.
‘l have retained my Cuban citizenship, and it is geographically and culturally very close to Cuba, sol teel at home there. It’s very important for me to be able to travel and work with musicians elsewhere, and I can do that much more easily now.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Gonzalo liubalcaba plays the Queen ’5 Ila/I, Edinburgh, on Sat 18, and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sun 19.
l'hc l.l\l if it‘ \n‘. I‘Mi 37