Fiona Shepherd resolves to listen to the law Year singles . . .
A couple of biggies waste no time in stepping into ‘97. There‘s Erasure being Erasurey on ‘In My Arms‘ (Mute). Skunk Anansie moving further into soan’ng soft rock balladry on 'Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)‘ (One Little lndian) which is Passable (Just Because it‘s A Happy New Year). and Suede with the sublime ‘Saturday Night' (Nude). a track familiar to some as the most charming way to ﬁnish the Coming Up album.
Then there's Audioweb with a deeply disappointing rendition of The Clash’s ‘Bankrobber‘ (Mother) and brandest and spankingest new of the lot. the return of Blur (fur coats and medallions optional) with 'Beetlebum' (Food). a track so downbeat and weirdly wistful it could be one of those tracks on the White Album that no one ever namechecks. As the first taster for a new album. it still beats ‘Country House‘ by several furlongs regardless of its chart chances.
Filling the bubbly pop pocket that Blur have vacated are labelmates The Supematurals with ‘The Day Before Yesterday‘s Man’ whose self-deprecating lyrics will serve their detractors with an excuse to kick sand in their faces but whose jolly tune will happily see you through the long dark months ahead. In a similar vein are those dayglo US bubblegum grunge veterans Redd Kross who have released what amounts to a Monkees tribute single ‘Oet Out Of Myself' (This Way Up). just in time for the reformation of said melodic titans.
The High Fidelity is the latest musical outing for former Soup Dragon Sean Dickson. ‘Addicted To A TV‘ (Vinyl Japan) is a raucous stomp which is fun to be around and on the other side there's a galactic boogie reminiscent of Man . . . Or Astroman? playing Suicide.
Rocking in a less direct vein are two whirligig singles ‘Like You’ by Sidi Bou Said (Ultimate) and ‘Danger! Humans Approach . . . ‘ by Toenut (Mute America). both of which are good news for the anti-fashion lobby. 1997: The Year Of Doing Your Own Thing Regardless. perhaps?
New Memories (St Roch Records) Radio Sweethearts are not ones tor doing things the conventional way. While American country acts join a lemming-like scuttle to sound like MGR rockers, John Miller and Frank MacDonald pilot the lanarkshire outtit back into a raw country sound that is a compound of classic 503 country (with llank Williams top of the list) and a more modern, radical edge (via Gram Parsons).
They didn’t take the usual route in getting their debut album out, either. Kim Fowley produced these tracks -
eight original songs in the classic country manner from Miller and MacDonald, and tour covers, including Hank Williams’s ‘I’ve Seen The light’, a big live tavourite - in Busby. The tapes were then picked up by this American label, and the final mastering was completed in Nashville.
That’s a long way from Bellshill, but it’s close to the heart of this band, and especially Miller’s classic, expressive vocal style. He is their greatest asset, and it is his singing which really litts this record out of the journeyman class. it’s on import only at this point, and it you’re having trouble tracking one down, try contacting Shoeshine Records, PO Box 15193, Glasgow, G2 6L8 (0141 204 5654). (Kenny Mathieson)
Urusel Yatsura are also in the cupboard
Noises From The Sound Cupboard (Boa)
This is one of those little compilation oddities that your children will unearth in 30 years’ time and ask ‘was this what it was like in the 1990s?’ and you’ll say, ‘naw, there was all kinds ot crap round in my day; this stuit was mostly too out-there to be mainstream’.
Noises From The Sound Cupboard is the lo-ti, occasionally experimental racket you might expect from a ﬂedgling south Glasgow label, but it is lo-li in many lonns, not just the ‘we can do Sebadoh as well as the next band’ type ot slacker lethargy which so many Scottish bands seem to have
mastered rather well. The likes ol household names lletto Warrior and Electroscope do their stereophonic workshop noodling to moderately diverting effect and there’s spaced- outspoken word monologues from a couple of Radio Scotland disc jockey people, cowboy poet Ernie Sites and even a briet enthusiastic intro to Adventures In Stereo’s tour-track wonder ‘Too Late’ by the ebullient Geno Washington.
Tracks to note particularly are Ghemikal Underground signings Magoo with their stand-out ‘British Gars’ and the lirst recording in three years lrom Glasgow’s errant trancepoppers One Dove. ‘Gamp Freddy’s Lament’ is minimal but groovy in the same way as tlnderworld’s understated bits. File under Records For People Who like To File Their Records. (Fiona Shepherd)
rm- Two tenors
There is good news and bad news regarding the Edinburgh Jazz Project’s opening gig ot1997. The good news is that it will bring a rare chance to hear two of the doyens oi the tenor saxophone on the UK jazz scene, Art Themen and lion Weller, in tandem with our very own David llewton, leading his line trio. The bad news? Well, the gig should also have included saxophonist Alan Barnes, but a clash ol dates (which also led to the unusual shift to a Wednesday night) has meant that he will have to miss out.
Barnes is an asset in any setting, but there will be plenty to savour trom the quintet nonetheless. Themen (who has not played this venue belore) and Weller (who has) go back a long way in this kind at part co-operative, part mettle-testing two-tenor setting. They have been playing off each other for over a quarter oi a century, and have developed the kind oi empathy which only comes with such prolonged musical partnerships.
Themen, who is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon when he is not blowing jazz, is clearly at home in well established settings. lie is best known tor a long association with Stan Tracey which began in 1974, and it is only this year that he has stepped
lion Weller: past master of the two-tenor, mettle-testing set.
down from the pianist’s regular quartet, in lavour of young trumpet star Gerard Presencer. Tracey’s bigger groups, notably his octet and big band, have also provided another meeting point with Don Weller, while Weller is about to release a GB ieaturing his own recent big band project.
It will make an exciting start to what
promises to be a memorable season at the Tron, with projected visits lrom saxophonist Teddy Edwards and trumpeter Art Farmer in the pipeline, alongside the usual Scottish-based ' talent. (Kenny Mathieson)
Art Themen, lion Weller and The David llewton Trio play at The Tron Jazz Gellar, Edinburgh, on Wed 22.
48 The List lO-23 Jan I997