[E'- MOOO musrc
Edward O’Connor: loves arrangements
Edward O’Connor isn‘t one forjust sitting back and going with the flow. The singer has deﬁnite ideas about what he wants. and if that happens to fly in the face of received pop wisdom. then that is ﬁne by him. He writes. sings and arranges his own material in a sophisticated style that refuses to ﬁt neatly into current trends.
‘I had a couple of bands in Falkirk seven or eight years ago. but it didn‘t amount to much. I moved to Glasgow and went into hibernation for a while. mostly just working on songs. I didn’t feel a great afﬁnity with what was happening on the Scottish pop scene. l suppose. and l was trying to develop my music in a direction I wanted.
‘I love the spirit and integrity that I hear in people like Marvin Gaye. Scott Walker. Jacques Brel or Tom Waits. l like moving across different styles. but the important thing for me is an emotional centre in the song. I look fora kind of moody. mysterious core that is almost impenetrable in sotne way.‘
O'Connor had access to a studio from time to time. and worked on his songs whenever he had the money. He began playing live again about eighteen months ago. and is looking to get more gigs under his belt with the six-piece band he has put together. featuring jazz musicians Robert Henderson (trumpet) and John Goldie (guitar). with The Pearlﬁshers' Brian McAlpine on piano. Vincent Hunter on bass. Capercaille’s WilfTaylor on percussion. and ex- Love And Money drummer Gordon Wilson.
'l’ve spent a long time on some of the songs. but over the past year or so I‘ve written quite a lot of fresh material as well. and we will be performing a mixture of those. I really love arrangements. the kind of things Jim Webb used to do in the 60s. and I‘m trying to create an almost cinematic sound in my songs.‘ (Kenny Mathieson)
Edll'lll‘t/ 0 'Cmmer plays The Volcano. Glrtxgmv on Sat 22.
ramm— Out with the old
The HSHO Proms are as good an indication as any that summer’s arrived, and this year’s season, which opens in Glasgow on Friday 14, has plenty of what the orchestra calls its ‘summer sublime sounds’. The programmes are unashamedly popular, following a formula which is expected and it works. ‘The Proms are popular, accessible and fun,’ says the orchestra’s Chief Executive, Paul Hughes, ‘but at the same time they are very good quality. It’s the one time when we try to appeal to as many sectors of our audiences as we can. There are nights of Beethoven, Mozart
Walter Weller waves goodbye
or Tchaikovsky, film music, new music and the Glasgow Jazz Festival is being launched on Friday 28 with Jazz Meets The Symphony. There really is something for everybody.’
One of the highlights will undoubtedly be the opening concert with outgoing Music Director and Principal Conductor, Walter Weller. Giving up his commitment to the orchestra on health grounds, his Proms choice of Wagner and Strauss will, says Hughes, ‘be a good opportunity to see him in what would definitely be a desert island programme for me. Stephane Bancourt, our principal oboist is the soloist in the Strauss Oboe Concerto and he is just sensational. We’re very proud of him.’
Weller’s time with the orchestra - since 1991 - has, says Hughes, ‘been characterising. There’s been a significant refinement in the orchestra, particularly in the strings, which has come from his years with the Vienna Philharmonic.’ Weller’s successor has just been announced, and in Alexander Lazarev the HSHO should go from strength to strength. ‘There seems to be a special fondness here for things Bussian,’ says Hughes, ‘and he loves Scotland — especially the restaurants and bottles that are amber coloured. He’s very exciting, really special and has all the qualites of panache, glitz and glamour that audiences love.’ (Carol Main)
RSIIO Proms open at the Glasgow Royal Concert llall on Friday 14. Last Night is Saturday 29.
ra- Bedroom belles
Stevie, lsobel and Chris like George Harrison. Stevie and Isobel like Elvis Presley. Stuart and Chris like 70s rock (particularly Thin lizzy and AC/OC). The other Stuart likes Japan bass solos. Stuart does not like Nick Drake as much as his style of singing might suggest.
It was a simple question to Belle And Sebastian about musical tastes which suddenly became complicated. It was never discovered what Belle liked and what Sebastian liked.
Belle And Sebastian started life as a short story by Stuart Murdoch, named after a French children’s TV programme about a boy and his dog.
‘l’d written a few songs with a person in them called Sebastian. The short story gave me a lot of ideas for songs too. I think you go through chunks of thinking when you write songs. lt’s ’cos you get so bored and you wake up with characters in your head and they write the songs for you and that’s quite handy.’
Once you realise that Murdoch’s previous musical endeavours revelled in monikers like La Pastie De la Bourgeoisis (‘split up before the first gig’) and Lisa Helps The Blind, you may get a rough idea of where he’s coming from - an orbit unlike anything else around just now. That is, a freewheeling, largely acoustic semi-
60s throwback with shades of continental sophistication, elements of pastoral whimsy and lashings of pure naive pop beauty.
Such is the grace and sheer listenability of the band that everyone wants a piece of the action. Their debut album Tigermillr is out now on Stow College’s Electric Honey Records and another will appear in the autumn on Jeepster Records. But while everyone around them erupts in a frenzy of enthusiasm, the six members of Belle And Sebastian are keeping things lowkey, with impromptu gigs in kitchens, bedrooms and the like.
‘I spent years putting up band notices in the West End,’ says Murdoch, ‘and it was only when I stopped looking and started doing things myself that people came to me. We’ve never thought we were a band really. I’m sure if we ever thought we were in a band properly we’d split up.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
Tigennilk is out now on Electric Honey Records. Belle And Sebastian may play in a bedroom near you soon, if they feel like it.
Finitribe: back in the groove
l’initribe member in long hair shock! Edinburgh's long-lived purveyors of sonic delight. The Finitribe have got over the departure of John Vick with the addition of the ever-so cool and
languider voiced Kooth to the band.
Nor do the changes stop there. as you would expect from the band whose twelve year history could be described as an ever rntttating groovy treat. The Fini sound. while not exactly ‘jungle‘ has dipped deep into the programmes- marked ‘scattering snare drum‘ and ‘big rolling bass‘ for the new single ‘Squelch‘. And isn‘t that Fini original Chris Connelly guesting with Kooth on the demos for the new album'.’ Is that a song. one that could be strtunmed on a guitar. and a gently ﬂoating Miles Davis—type trumpet solo‘.’
Answers yes, yes and yes. will get yott bonus points on the Fini groove- ometer.
‘These could be done as songs with a live band.‘ says the band's Philip Pinski. ‘There are a whole lot of inﬂuences so you could actually lift the song out from the genre. which is something that you couldn‘t do with the last album. Slocum. If you took away the trappings. you took away everything. This has a soul which is over and above the way that it is made.‘
But while the mellow vibes of the albtun are being recorded. ‘Squelch’. which was tnade post-Vick and before Kooth joined the band. has an internal tension and generally radge dynamic. “Squelch” was the ﬁrst thing we did this year.‘ explains l’inski. ‘It is the first thing ottt of this series. We were not angry but there were a few ghosts to be exorcised.‘
‘lt‘s one of those songs that seem precarious enough that any second it might fall to pieces.‘ enthuses C onnelly. over frotn Chicago fora working holiday with the band. ‘I love that in music. when it's really fast and held together by Sellotape.‘ Which. if you replace Sellotape with songs. is a pretty good definition of the Finitribe l‘)‘)() style. (Thom Dibdin)
'.S'r/uelr‘lt' is released rm Mm: / 7.
40 The List 14-27 Jun I996