ma:— Father Earth
Matt Deighton, one of the few hirsute axemen in rock who doesn’t want to sound like AC/DC and put his foot up on a monitor, has iust had a baby. Or rather his wife has.
‘She’s eight weeks old and she tires you out. She’s lovely, she’s got loads of hair . . . ’
Awww, takes after her dad then.
‘. . . well, not the grey bits.’
So it’s taking Matt a while to get into the jazzy H&B trontman mode of his usual status as singer/guitarist in Mother Earth, stalwarts of the vibetastic Acid Jazz label along with the likes of Corduroy, the Earth (a moniker these organic musician types lend themselves to) must now rouse themselves from a two-month sabbatical.
‘It’s ages since we’ve done anything,’ says Matt. ‘l can’t remember what they look like.’
Fans with better memories will still have their recent You Have Been Watching album (from which comes new single ‘Compare Yourself’) close to the front of their music collections. While not as laid-back as earlier recordings, it covers the same mellow pastoral 8&8 territory as the new, improved Paul Weller, with similarly passionate vocals and lyrics dripping with peace, love and positivity. What the cynics like to call ‘old hippy bollocks’. And yes, Mother Earth dig
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Mother Earth: They’re organic and hairy The Small Faces and Traffic as much as the Modfather.
However, they do whip up something of an instinctive storm when they play live.
‘When there’s a Hammond on stage, it’s loud,’ says Matt. ‘And no one’s achieved a really organic sound from 3 Hammond since Traffic. That’s what we aimed for with the last album, but on the production side there was a lot of edge taken away from the performances, but I try not to moan about it too much. The next one we’re going to produce ourselves, so it will probably be really loud.’
Wham bam thank you mam, as Steve Marriot was once heard to say. (Fiona Shepherd)
Mother Earth play The Venue, Edinburgh on Wed 7 and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow on Thurs 8.
Holly Cole: singular Interpretations
Canadian singer Holly Cole occupies an intriguing musical niche of her own devising, located somewhere In the interstices between (an, the classic cabaret tradition, and contemporary rock and pop. Her sultry, breathy, constantly modulating voice and the sparse, stripped down acoustic textures of the music defy easy categorisation, but the more you listen, the deeper you are sucked into her heterogeneous sound world.
Cole has issued a self-produced EP and four albums in Canada and the us, but has made relatively few inroads
into the UK market until the release late last year of her current album, Temptation, which is devoted entirely to her conceptions of seventeen songs by another Idiosyncratic musical talent, Tom Waits. it is the first time she has devoted a whole album to a single writer.
‘We worked with Tom‘s arranger, Greg
' . Cohen, on the Blame It (in My Youth
album, and i guess I see him as a kind of kindred spirit. His songs are like poems, but i don’t see them as obtuse, and i like the way he champions the little guy - his characters are often down and out, but they always have integrity. I’ve taken the songs and looked at them from a woman’s perspective, and that changes everything, because Tom is a very male writer.’
Cole’s radically altered interpretations are typical of her approach to songs in general, and the better known they are, the more she likes to subvert our expectations of how she will sing them. Do Temptation, her band, pianist Aaron Davis, acoustic bass player David Piltch, and drummer Dougie Browne (she has eschewed percussion in the past, but also features guest Cyro Baptiste), provide a spidery, understated accompaniment that suits her style perfectly, although she also sounds pretty good with a slightly larger group on ‘The Heart of Saturday Hight' or the sweeter ‘i Want You‘ and ‘The Brier and the Rose’. (Kenny Mathleson) llolly Cole plays La Belle Angela on Sat 3.
(LICENSED BAR IN VENUE:
ONLY SHOW IN CENTRAL SCOTLAND
LIVINGSTON FORUM Thursday 15th February
SHOWTRAVEL LUXURY COACHES TO LIVINGSTON DIRECT FROM GLASGOW & EDINBURGH FULL DETAILS 01360-771188
TICKETS: TOCTA AGENTS AROUND SCOTLAND (INFO 8: CREDIT CARDS 0131-557 6969) WC VIRGIN MEGASTORES GLASGOW 8: EDINBURGH, RIPPlNG RECORDS EDINBURGH.
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' A " n ‘ A I : l ‘A- . z I A I I 3 A . A U I A J : " A " . J i g i i i .H-If . . ﬁ’ ".2.
The List 26 Jan-8 Feb 1996 37