MUSIC LIVE REVIEWS
IIEEIIIIIIIII BLACK GRAPE
T/lt’ Forum. Living-stun. 4 Feb.
For a titan recently reported as having a hole in ltis heart. Kermit is in remarkably bouncy form. leaping from one end of the stage to the other and generally giving Bez. no slacker himself in the hyper-activity stakes. a good run for his money. Mainnian Ryder however. is presenting all outstanding demonstration of a sloth in hibernation. Much the same goes for the musical contribution of each of the three frontmen. Kermit can rap like a than trying to talk his way ottt of an execution: fast. fluent and persuasive. He doesn't miss a beat and he varies his delivery enough to keep the interest level surging. Ryderjust seems completely indifferent. His singing. when audible in the appalling mix. is incoherent and monotone. A ﬂat drone without a flicker of life. And as for Bez. well. he's paid to dance not sing. but at least they’ve given him a little cymbal of his own to hit when he gets bored rolling his eyes. Not really the most searing musical experience of a lifetime. Nor one of the most charismatic performances in terms of stage presence. Ryder is not so much resting on his laurels as lying comatose on them. But the sweaty. bare- backed lads down the front aren‘t complaining. Black Grape aren't a band of reﬁned sensibilities. delicate harmonies and intricate chord changes. They're all about sleazy funk. sing-along anthems. tnale bonding and a celebration of the cult of laddishness. Ryder. in his exalted position as Top Lad. could come on stage. fart into a biscuit barrel and the crowd would still I’ap it tip. All of which is a pity. At last year‘s T lit The Park Black Grape gave a low-slung. groove monster of a performance; on tonight's showing even the most die-hard fans should despair. or they would if they could pull their heads out of the mob mentality for long enough to listen to the music. (Jonathan Trew)
‘Blck Crap: sleazy funkers ;
NORTHERN UPROAR/ THE GYRES
The Venue, Edinburgh, 28 Jan.
Is this the future of rock ’n’ roll? Wouldn’t have thought so. The cocks o’ the Northern Uproar have teenage energy in spades but who ate all the tunes? Fronted by the Mayall-esque (that’s Rik not John) Leon Meya, the quartet barnstorm their way through the set with such gusto as to suggest there’s no tomorrow. A situation which may become all too true for the band if no more strings are applied to their Buzzcockian bow.
The Roaries defiantly puncture the air with tracks such as ‘Rollercoaster’ and ‘Memories’. Such defiance is required in front of a packed yet oddly staid Venue assembly. Reference points are numerous. A hint of Clash
5 here, a splash of Manics there and bugger me if, on occasion, they don’t
nod towards a speeded-up Menswear.
It may be a year too early for full judgement to be made on a bunch who are stationed on the right side of
RorthernU roarz‘ ho ate allth t ?" p w e ""85 : IGLASGOW concern
HALL (227 55) l ) liternal.
competence but scepticism is due in
l light of the claims already being made
;‘ of them from the usual sources.
5 Sneering and cursing from the pages of Melody Maker is one thing. Cutting the live mustard is quite another.
Questions should also be asked of the individual who proposed the Gyres as support band. The Fab Five ooze
confidence and presence onstage
l even if their own inspirations are
cloyingly obvious. Leader Andy
McLinden possesses the mid-distance
gaze of Ian Brown while his stalking of
the stage and Bud-guzzling mannerisms are pure Liam.
Despite an over-reliance on backing melodies, the songs are strong, particularly the Radio One-friendly ‘Break’, accompanied by a soaring wall of guitar sound. Heck, they even have the bravado to close with a drum solo. Makes you think: who should be supporting who? (Brian Donaldson)
King Tuf’s Walt Wah Hut, Glasgow, 30 Jan.
How many Best New Bands is it possible to sustain? January has not yet bitten'the dust and already we’ve had divine visitations from Rocket From The Crypt and now Placebo - another shower you’ve never heard of which the media will try to persuade you you can’t live without. Well, you probably can live without Placebo, a motley trio from London via Sweden, but should you choose to abstain you’ll be missing out on one of the most distinctive voices in a field where many bands make do with the first person who can hold a melody.
Brian Molko’s vibrato is a girlish helium hiccup and as if to drive the androgyny point home the elfin vocalist is sporting the Mrs Mia Wallace hob and black nail varnish set.
The voice, mixed prominently for ultimate weirdo effect, is the first great thing aboutPlacebo. The next is that they haven’t got any slow songs which is generally a good thing unless you’ve got the Blur/Oasis way with a stadium singalong. Throughout their all-too-brief set they only drop back once to a steady canter. Otherwise it’s headlong into feverish riffs riding on the back of an insistent rhythm, and an extra helping of tremelo effects for afters.
Placebo: ultimate welrdos
As if to show that they don’t tease, Placebo waste no time in pumping out current single ‘Come Home’, a deceptively direct number despite Molko’s clipped, breathless vocals. Their debut ‘Bruise Pristine’ (which is the kind of pretentious title you want from a band with an evocative name like Placebo) causes a couple of punters to throw some interesting shapes in front of the stage. Like most of the set it chatters along while Molko’s trembling castrato swoops in and out with its freeform utterances.
A placebo, incidentally, is something innocuous which the human imagination is convinced possesses healing properties - a handy thing to know when you’re trying to round off a review with some clever-clever assertion. (Fiona Shepherd)
(iold Rock and Roll. l9
Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going to press.
I GLASGOW ARCHES (556 5555) Dread Zone. 7 Mar; Ruby. l4 Mar.
I GLASGOW BARROWLANOS (226 4679) Deep Purple. 2 Mar; Supergrass. SOLD OUT; Underworld. I5 Mar; Stiff Little Fingers. )7 Mar; Garbage. 2) Mar; 'lerrorv iston. 27 Mar; Sonic Youth. )4 Apr; Alanis Morissette. 20 Apr.
27 Feb; Tori Amos. 29 LCD. .\III\L' (llltl lIlL‘ Mechanics. IS Mar; Solid
Mar: David lissex. 20 Apr; Tony Bennett. 25 Apr; k d lattg. 26 —-27 Apr. I GLASGOW GARAGE (332 ll20) Bluetones. 22 ~23 l‘eb: flaming Lips. 25 l-‘eb; Carter. 29 lieb; Lush. 14 Mar; Dubstar. 22 Mai". Mariott. 24 Mar.
I GLASGOW IBRDX STADIUM (339 8383) Bon .lovi. ll Jul.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) (iary Numan. 30 Mar; Queen Tribute. 13 A )r.
I GLASGOW SECC (24s 9999) Michael Bolton. 20 Mar; P.) and Duncan. 23 Mar: Meatloaf. 5 Apr: Green Day. 25 Apr". Smashing Pumpkins. ll) May; AC/DC. l Jim.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 0000) Blues Brothers Tribute. 59 Mar.
I EDINBURGH INGLISTDN (557 6969) Pulp. 25 Feb: M People. )3 Jun.
I EDINBURGH MURRAYFIELD STADIUM (557 6969) Tina Turner. 30 Jun.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 l 155) Iiternal. 26 Feb; Tori Amos. 27 l-‘eb; PI and Duncan. 3 Mar; Mike and the Mechanics. l-l Mar; Solid Gold Rock and Roll. 2| Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 55l l ) Martina McBride. 19 Mar.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Patsy Cline Tribute. 4---9 Mar.
I EDINBURGH KING’S THEATRE (220 4249) Patsy Cline Tribute. ll--l6 Mar.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5.5l I ) Tony Bennett. 25 Apr.
I EDINBURGH KING’S
THEATRE (2204249) tim- (iuys Named Moe. 4—9 Mar.
I EDINBURGH DUEEN’S HALL (668 20l9) Aziza Mitstafa Xadeh. 23 Feb; Melanie ()'Reilly. l Mar: Scott Hamilton. 8 Mar.
I EDINBURGH USHER HALL(228 ll55)T0ny Bennett. 26 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 55) l) Dougie Macl.ean. 28 Mar; Clannad. 20 May.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) The l‘ureys. 3 Mar: lylystere des \"oi.\ Bulgares. ll Mar I EDINBURGH USHER HALL (228 ll55) Clannad.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 55) 1) Connie lirancis. )9 May.
I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 l846) Streisand and Sinatra Tribute. )0 Mat". Foster and Allen. 25 Mar: White Heather Club Tribute. l6--27 Apr.
I GLASGOW SECC (248 9999) Barry Manilow. l2 Apr.
I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551)) Children's Classics. 24 l’eb; Warsaw Sinfonia. 14 Apr; Anne-Sophie Mutter. )8 Apr: John Williams. 9 May; Vienna Phil. ll May; livelyn Glennie. )7 May; Napoleon. 26 May: l.esley Garrett. 2 Jun.
I GLASGOW RSAMO (332 5057) Midday Concerts. 23 l-‘eb. l. 8. 15.22 Mat“. BTSI‘Z. 23 Feb: GC(). 24 l’eb: Hebrides Ensemble. 25 Feb: Academy Strings. 29 Feb; Chamber Group of Scotland. 3 Mar; SU Big Band. l0 Mar; Academy (‘0. )4 Mar: Glasgow Wind Band. 15 Mar: Paragon. l7 Mar; Singing Dept Concert. 20 Mar; Junior Academy ()rch. 24 Mar; Verdi's MacBeth. 24—30 Mar; SliMC. 30 Mar: Paragon. 28 Apr; Hebrides linsemble. 5 May.
I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) BBCSSQ. 25 Feb; Zaide. l6 Mar; BBC SS(). 17 Mar: Peter Grimes. 27—30 Mar: Travelling ()pera. l7— l8 Apr.
I EDINBURGH KING’S THEATRE (220 4249) The Count of Luxembourg. 27 l-‘ebr~2 Mar.
I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) liSU. 34 Feb: Barbicait Trio. 25 l‘eb; Hebrides Ensemble. 27 Feb; John Currie Singers. 29 Feb; Chamber (iroup of Scotland. 4 Mar; SC() Qt. 10 Mar: Meadows CO. H) Mat“. Grieg Trio. l 1 Mar:
Talisker Trio, 13 Mar;
King’s Consort. l6 Mar; lindellion Qt. l7 Mar; Iimperor Qrt. )9 Mar:
Jean-Yves Thibaudet. 25
Mar; BTSli. ll Apr; Chamber (firoup of Scotland. 22 Apr; SC() Wind fins. 5 May: Hebrides Ens. 6 May; King's Consort. 9 May; lindellion Qt. 2| May.
42 The List 9-22 Feb I996