Stuck to luck

Gluck set the ball rolling

For the lirst titne sinee their perl‘ormanees iii the l‘l7-t lidinburgh International bestiyal. Seottish ()pera mount (iluek‘s late lXth eentury opera .-llee.y'le. taken from the tragedy by Euripides. In a new eo-produetion with ()pera de .\‘iee. soprano lsahelle \'ernet takes the title role with Mark l’admore singing opposite her as :\dmete.

Returning to direet the eompany alter a

resoundingly sueeesst'ul 'lrislun (int/ Isolde. Yannis Kok‘kos‘ is also the designer. while the eontluetors are the aeelaitned early musie speeialists Nicholas .\le(iegan and l)ominie Wheeler.

Known for its famous pretaee. one ol' the key doeuments in the history of obera. .-l/ee.y‘le embodies (Elitek‘s \ iew' that it was about titne opera had a ehange of tune to beeome more ol a musie drama. ‘l le was writing against the way opera was presented at the time.‘ says Dominie \\'heeler. ‘in reaetion to the yery opulent. deeadent. flamboyant and theatrieally speetaeular pieees wliieh were written mainly to please the singers who were lussy abottt the mttnber ol~ llashy arias they had.‘ ln deseribing .vt/«esre. he says. ’\\'hat you lia\ e here is musieally' \ery elear. \ery austere and yery simple. The response by Yannis ls'okkos to this is yery l‘oeused on the simplieity and honesty of the pieee.‘

The plot itselt‘ is simple and there will be surtitles it' yottr l’renelt isn't tip to serateh - and is basieally' abottt two people prepared to die tor eaeh other. ‘lt was (iluek' explains Dominie Wheeler. ‘who was singlehandedly responsible for breaking down the stalemate opera had reaehed. The real reyolution in opera didn't happen until Mozart. but the person who set the ball rolling was (iluekf t(‘arol .\lain) xi/(‘esle opens at Theatre Royal. Glasgow on Tue 3. See (amt-at listings.

im— My Definition

Definition Of Sound hay'e

lnot had an easy! ride.

lPhilip Dorward absorbs

ithe heat.

l lt‘the sey en ley els ot l lell that oeeur in

Dante's Inferno eould be applied to the

musie industry then it would probably

turnout something like this. ()n the

outer fringes are the general pttblie. .\"ot

tar remoy ed lt‘ottt the populous are the

artists themselyes. Some are of benefit

to soeiety. Hillel's are ttt‘t. (‘lttset‘ it) the

; l'lames. there is a real shady eolleetiye

known as musie journalists who reaet

l eonstantly to w hatey er press ol'tieers

teed them. l‘eeling distinetly hot under

the l-shirt are the marketing

departments and pluggers. 'l‘ltese

ereatures operate on the tilth leyel. swigging bottles of liollinger with their .-\tkls’ ehums. the penultimate leyel is

.-\meriea. Here there is no rootn tor

: .‘\lttt\el't\ as you hate b‘ be eollege.

' soul. rap or some other easily delmable

radio format. .\t the bottom in a

bttbblittg laya pool ol' blood. sweat and

l‘L‘L‘I's are tlte CC/CI~ t'CC/Ul' e\eettti\ t‘s. It's probably not tor nothing that

Definition (ll Sound's new album is

ealled lit/it rm rm '. they hay e passed

though all the leyels lit the spring or l‘NI l)oS sent a eheety blast through the British eharts with their e‘seellent lli'ar lie/r /.t'l( /..'/\( M on I.’ (‘augltt

on a \\;t\ e ol samples. they were at the

l'ot'etront ol bands w ho were try mg to do in lirilain what lie l.a Soul had done

in .\meriea, In a time when sampling

and His were an art torm. .\meriea

beekoned and then. unable to pigeon-

hole them. swiftly turned its baek. - Reeord eompany polities blighted their future in I‘M: and they haye been lighting baek eyer sinee. If there has been any benetit for Don \\’eekes and ls’eyin ('lark. it's that they now know how it all works.

‘I suppose w e‘ye had our tnore eynieal moments.‘ explains \Veekes. ‘but w'e'ye learnt to appreeiate aspeets ol' the industry and w e hay e the sense it realise that it. yott want to make a t'eeord then you'ye inst got to learn

how to walk with the de\il and make him work to your adyantage.‘

()l~ eourse it‘s always dil'lieult to make things work to your ad\ antage it you're

playing with double-edged swords. iritain has sueh a \ olatile singles ehart that teeords ean tly in and ottt alter only a week. How ey er. it you reaeh ottt tor .‘\merie:.t you ot'ten toueh tool's gold: il'tltey ean't understand you they won‘t let you entertain them. Yet like the bumper stieker elaitns: "l‘here is littl‘ei.

‘lt you want to hear something

innoyatiye. it eetnes lt'ottt liritain.‘ says

Weekes eonlidently. ‘ll‘you want to hear something straiglitl‘orward. then it

Definition Of Sound go their own sweet way. comes .rom .-\meriea. We are a band who eouldn't eonte from anywhere bttt Britain. In the l‘ls’ you ean do something different and suryiye. For example the trip hop seene lTL tt':\\' a seene. Before it wasthst .\lassiye .-\ttaek doing something different. in .-\meriea they would think. “Now where atn I going to plaee this'.’ Is it alternatiy e or is it daneel’”

l)oS always knew that their eomebaek would be trieky but they haye gone about it in a professional tnatmer and the exeetttiyes aetually' seem to like it. With a seeoud album deal in the offing. the happy message is kiek baek. relax and be grateful for the laet that you are not .\liehael .laekson.

‘.»\II we want to do is make albtttns and anyone w ho says "UK you ean make another” is alright in ottr books. The triek is not to eompromise your integrity like .\liehael .laekson. Who would want to spend their life pretending to be the re-inearnation of Jesus .’ I'm happy with a little bit ol’a pint. a little bit ol‘a smoke and I'm not going to hide it.‘

Deli/11mm ()I Sol/nil yup/tor! HH/M‘ltll' (II

t '/‘/Ie (in/tree. (i/ttygou on [in 33.

IKE- Shags ’n’ fags

The Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler doing his Mark E. Smith impression, with a crippling hangover and memory ,loss, in the garbage strewn basement of a New York disco sex parlour. That’s one way to describe the noise generated by Girls Against Boys. The

: immaculately monikered Johnny

? Temple, one half of the twin bass

i massage at the heart of the group, has

l another: ‘Aloud, abrasive band, more i rhythmically than melodically driven, ; although we try to infuse some melody ' in there, and try also to create an ambient, almost lounge teel.’

While their name has the obvious battle of the sexes connotations, listening to singer Scott McCloud’s muttered, grunted vocals riding the rubbing grind of the music, one could «lbe forgiven for thinking that the band

; are literally concerned with recreating 2 Boys standard issue plastic lighter. We

; the filthy sounds of, ahem, girls

1 against boys. ‘There is a sexual aspect } in the rhythmic nature of the music,’ lTemple concedes, ‘And some of {Scott’s lyrics have sexual allusions,

' but I think it’s a very subtle thing, and when people start saying “sex this,

sex that,” there’s the danger of robbing the music of that subtle aspect.’ When The House of GvsB, the subtly horny new album, came thumping i through the letterbox, along with it came a slightly smart Girls Against

all know that smoking’s cool and good for you kids, but are the band themselves keen on promoting the i hallowed weed? ‘Well, I have mixed 3 feelings about the whole thing,’ says j Temple. ‘Scott’s the big smoker in the i band. He’s actually a member of the

Against Boys: the bump and grind of ham"

Society for a Smoke Filled America. and he’s done a promo-advert for them, so I uess we are advocates of smoking. ith regard to the lighters, I felt kind of bad, because we had just manufactured a couple of thousand chunks of plastic, which is not necessarily a good thing. We’ve been doing matches for years, and I think that’s what we should stick with.’ Girls Against Boys, then - cool, sexy and almost ecologically aware. Cough. (Damien Love) Girls Against Bays play The Venue, Edinburgh on Sun 24.

38 The List 22 Mar-4 Apr I990