Selected pearls of wisdom from the stars in an occasional new column.

‘I can‘t do stuff by half. With drink or drugs I'll either abstain completely or drink myself into the ground. I don‘t take so much anymore but the whole of I995 was pretty much a blur.‘

Brett Anderson o/Suede explains his all or nothing approach to relaxation.

‘I enjoy extremes even more now I‘m sober. When you're drunk. life becomes a hangover. a constant feeling of the mediocre. Noises disttrrb you. all those fucking noises.‘

(Ira/tam of Blur (ler'irles it ’s great when you 're straight.

'If God gave otrt drugs and alcohol. I‘ve had my fair share. Instead of a lifetime I used it all up too quick. Which is a bit of a drag.‘

I)(’])(’('/l(’ .lloile 's Dave (iahan sounds somewhat rrist/ttl haring/orsaken his erstwhile hobbies and passions.

‘()h yeah. I‘ve got diarrhoea. l was in India for Christmas and I ate sotne plane food on the way back and became quite ill.’

Jay Dar/ington o/ Kala Shaker writers the alter (’lll’t‘lS o/ overt/osng on mystic pilgrimage.

‘l)avid wants to buy a house of fun. A huge house with bouncy castles. slides and arcade machines. There‘ll be huge parties every weekend with free beer and dwarfs dressed as butlers.‘

David Robertson of .llagit'rlrive unveils bane/mate David Jacks 's plans for spenrling thejortune which the band will earn soon. l’erhaps.

‘()h my head hurts.‘

le'lllll'l/ Jones of'l‘he Stereophonit's. V2 's new signings. the morning after the night before finishing a tour in Edinburgh. Someone foolish/y bet that they eon/(In 'I beat the record bar bill set by the Super Furry Animals in the sante hotel. Despite the bill running to hundreds of'pountls they beat it. And then some.

'Fuck You Father Xmas" was going to be Babybird's Christmas single but I think using the words “Father Christmas" seemed far too cynical a ploy to get a Christmas Number 32.’ Babybiril 's chief/beak Stephen Jones explains why they ilitln 't take on the might of The Spice Girls for the Christmas Number /.

Magic touch

‘The first time that you do a gig and you don’t recognise anyone in the audience, that’s a magic day,’ says nave Robertson, pop trivia junkie, lead vocalist and guitarist with Edinburgh- based five-piece Magicdrive. ‘Even better is when you see a couple of people who you don’t know singing along to your songs.’

Pretty soon it looks as though every day will be a magic day for the power popsters as the glacially cool independent label Fierce Panda has just released their debut single ‘llad To Be You’ (with a sleeve by 2000A!) illustrator Golin Maclleil, no less) and the band are also in the final stages of negotiating a full-blown deal with Mercury.

The band started life as an all bloke three-piece before recruiting Kate and Jane for that Phil Spector wall of sound vibe and ’cos they wanted to do what Robertson calls ‘the girl/boy vocal thing’.

Imminent success has done little to blunt the band’s anarchic sound although Robertson has detected a

Magicdrive: welcome to the house of fun

slightly more strict sense of order creeping into the songwriting. ‘We’re getting pretentious and putting in middle eights,’ he sniggers. ‘We used to take middle eights and make them into a completely new song.’

The band’s objective is to make the perfect pop album: short, sharp and to the point. ‘llone of the great pop bands have ever made a great pop album, except The Beatles,’ states Robertson unequivocally. ‘We’re going to make a sixteen-song album that’s no longer than 45 minutes. Two-and-a- half minutes is the maximum length for a song. ‘Lazy Sunday’ by The Small Faces has three tempo changes and it’s only three minutes long. That’s genius.’

Pinning down the Magicdrive sound isn’t an easy task. Robertson’s two favourite albums used to be Never Mind The Bollocks and Tubular Bells. Concurrently. Ask him what Magicdrive’s motto would be and, after a little thought, he comes up with ‘Grease is the word.’ Think surf, think harmonies that bellow ‘naa naa na na na’ while jumping around a lot, think fun. (Jonathan Trew)

‘Itad To Be You’ is released on Mon 3; Magicdrive play The Attic, Edinburgh, Mon 3; King Tut’s, Glasgow, Tue 4; Jaffa Bake, Edinburgh, Thurs 13.

m— Jeeperblokes

While resisting pressure to quit Glasgow for The Big Smoke, The Supernaturals have already hit the heady heights of llumber 34 with ‘lazy Lover’ and are hoping to better that for the new single, ‘The Day Before Yesterday’s Man’. The first impression upon hearing it is that they’ll have their work cut out for them with such radio-unfriendly lyrics as ‘Jesus, l’m freaking’ and ‘when the shit hits the fan’. ‘We changed them for the radio version, though,’ reassures keyboard player Ken McAlpine. ‘On the radio version, it’s “Jeepers, I’m freaking” and “when the trash hits the can”.’ Well, that’s all right, then, as the upbeat, hook-laden tune itself, B- listed by Radio One, should be more than capable of lifting them into the stratospheric reaches of the Top 30. It’s the kind of exuberant sound that’s perfectly in keeping with a band who will stop at nothing to make a complete spectacle of themselves before a paying audience, and it’ll definitely keep their growing legion of fans happy before the album appears in about two months’ time. The singles to date, though, shouldn’t be taken as

The Supernaturals: in high spirits

being representative of the finished product.

‘Some of the stuff we’ve written in the past few months is different to anything I thought we’d be playing, to be honest. The main problem we’re having at the moment is being able to play some of the stuff we’re coming up with, because we’re getting to the edge of our musical abilities. We just write anything, and if everyone thinks it’s good then it goes. We don’t have much of a formula or anything like that. We’re into things like Queen and going totally overboard. I think the next single, “love Is Going Away”, will be totally outrageous.’ Believe it. (Alastair Mabbott)

The Supernaturals play The Garage, Glasgow, Wed 5 Feb; The Venue, Edinburgh, Thurs 6 Feb.

Gountry queen

When Etnmylou Harris last took the stage at the Concert Hall just over a year ago. it was in the company of guitarist Daniel Lanois. the producer of her classic ll’reeking Ball album. That record was widely seen although not by her as a radical change of direction for the singer. even though it was by no means the first time that she had taken an unpredictable side-step.

She may have been inducted into Nashville's Grand Ole ()pry. the ultimate stamp of mainstream approval in country music circles. but her relationship with the genre has always been a little off-centre. It was another idiosyncratic country great. the late Gram Parsons, who brought about her conversion to country in the early 70s. weaning her away from her own nrorc folk-ish leanings. Even now, despite a great deal ofcotmtry success. she maintains that she does not believe she takes a conventional country vocal approach. a contention largely borne out on the sparse. atmospheric song treatments on llt'ret'lsing Ila/l.

‘I liked Daniel's work because it had a certain haunting quality to it. He gets some really unusual grooves and rhythms. and yet there is always a beautiful melodic sense in everything he does. and the emotional content of the song always comes through. I also loved the sense of space he created. which has a very particular aura of its own. It was just a really intriguing idea to see what would come out of it. and I liked the notion of my voice as another instrument in his soundtrack.‘

Harris returns to the (‘oncert Hall jtrst after the final notes of Celtic Connections have died. and the brilliant Irish-American fiddler Martin Hayes will hang around to open the concert with his regular collaborator. Dennis Cahill. Emmylou‘s own band will not feature Lanois on this occasion. but the material and style will reflect the album's approach. with singer- songwriter Buddy Miller on guitar. Daryl Johnson on bass. and drummer Brady Blade. (Kenny Mathieson) lfmmylou Harris plays Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Mon 3.

Emmylou llarris: left-field country

The List 24 Jan-6 Feb I997 41