main— Feb’s fab four
As part oi its February Four Gities tour, the llational Symphony Orchestra of Ireland makes a rare but keenly anticipated visit to Scotland to perlonn in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Driglnally known as the RTE Symphony Orchestra, the ensemble started liie In 1946 as the house orchestra oi the national radio station, Radio ‘leleiis Eireann. It changed its name to the llational Symphony Orchestra oi Ireland seven years ago but it continues to be iinanced through R15.
‘It’s been growing and growing,’ says Principal Conductor Kasper de Roo, a Dutchman who has been with the orchestra since 1994, ‘and new numbers 92 players, so it’s a big symphony orchestra at the moment. the standard is going up enormously and international touring is a signiiicant part oi the orchestra’s schedule. Apart irom the UK, we’re touring to Italy, Austria and Germany and next year we’re planning to do Spain as well.’
Repertoire ior the Four cities tour is a typical mix oi established classics, such as Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Ilo 4, with Ballast-born Darry Douglas as soloist, and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite. Stravinsky’s Flrehlrd can be heard in its 1919 orchestration and, following a priority close to Kasper de Roo’s heart, Flamboys by leading Irish composer Gerald Barry. ‘lt’s important to give composers the opportunity to hear their own music,’ says Kasper de R00, ‘and they develop much better it they are able to be with the musicians who perionn it, so we’re doing quite a lot oi Irish music.’ like Scotland, Ireland has a blossoming wealth oi young composing talent, writing in a variety oi styles.
‘Flamhoys is a very strong and poweriul piece. It’s very demanding and diiiicult ior the orchestra, but,’ says Kasper de Roo with convincing charm, ‘l’m not so sure that it’s so diiiicult ior audiences to listen to.’ (Carol Main)
National Symphony orchestra of Ireland plays Edinburgh Festival
Theatre, Sun 16; Glasgow Royal
Concert Ilall, Mon 17.
Symphony Orchestra oi Ireland
rm— Kross over
At their usual feverish work rate Redd Kross have put out a new album. Fiona Shepherd looks forward to the promotional tour.
The last time we saw those Californian valley boys Redd Kross. they were pre- empting the Partridge Fantin film by a couple of years. modelling a delightful acreage of synthetic fabrics in garish colours and generally making like cartoon characters in search of an animator.
That was more than three years ago when their last album Phases/tifter was doing the job of re-acquainting the alternative music world with their big pop rock shapes. cheesy keyboards and power chords. It was their first album since I987 and only their fourth since forming in I979. so the appearance of new album Show World after a wait of a mere ten years looks like quick work. Only the most penniless of Redd Kross fans would welcome the tantalising wait for a product.
Still, the point is that. when Redd Kross do turn up and hang out for a while. it's usually colourful. Notjust visually. although when they appeared on The Word their outﬁts were giving the dayglo back projections some serious competition. The colour is in the vibrancy of the songs. Though. still traditionally regarded as a rock band. Redd Kross have more pop suss than a million Upside Downs or Let Looses.
The key is the way their music somehow always ends up as a goofy hybrid of two musical colossi. On the one hand. The Beatles. Redd Kross are a Stateside match for Teenage Fanclub when it comes to killer melodies.
Redd Kross: they’ll make your nipples tingle and your tongue stick out
charmingly half-inched from the annals of the Fab Four.
Then there's the flipside of the com. the dead giveaway for many US males whose adolescence straddled the 70s and 80s - Kiss. The brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald. who front Redd Kross. love Kiss. Like Aerosrnith. Kiss don‘t quite form the same all- encompassing youth reference point over here that they do in the States. but in the country that spawned them. they are the epitome of rock 'n’ roll's theatrical tendencies. We might rhapsodise about Bowie. but in America they‘ll go for make-up and pyrotechnics wherever possible.
Show World is as much a combination of those two greats as anything Redd Kross have done before. The opening ‘Pretty Please Me' is as power rocking
as its ever-so-slightly sexist title implies. but then there‘s the total contrast of the stupendous ‘Secrct Life‘ which is such an extravagant show- piece that The Divine Comedy will chew their tails on hearing it. Meanwhile. ‘Follow The Leader" is a 90s version of stripped-down rock 'n’ roll on which Jeff does a convincing approximation of Lennon singing ‘Money' before things head off into wah-wah guitar solo territory.
Despite the departure of keyboard player Jerry Fennelly during recording. Slum- World is basically business as usual. Bearing in mind that ‘usual' for Redd Kross has nothing to do with the pedestrian. Sell your soul at the Kross roads.
Redd K mss play the (ill/muse. Glusgmr'. Sun [6 Feb.
ma:— Ska tissue
‘Like we always explain, we are not a ska band.’ Tony llanal, bassist with he Doubt, is, Indeed, in no doubt. ‘We iirst started in the underground ska scene that was happening in Galliornla at the tlnte but we honestly have notbeenpartoithatsceneior many, my years.’
Just thought we’d get that little misunderstanding out oi the way at the beginning. It the words ‘Io Doubt’ trigger any response in Britain then it’s usually ‘That’s that Daliiornian ska band, isn’t it?’ But we have been woeiully wrong it seems. Any confusion ls likely to be cleared up over the next iew months. While Ilo Doubt are, ior the moment, relative unknowns on this side oi the Atlantic they are big cheeses Stateside with sales oi over ilve nrilllon copies oi
their current Tragic Kingdom album. A similar pattern is likely to be established in the lllt with a 300,000 pro-release shipout oi their ‘Don’t Speak’ single pointing towards a top ilve ii not a lumber Dne hit.
‘Don’t Speak’ is actually something of the odd one out on the naglc Kingdom album in that it’s quite a soit ballad whereas the majority oi the rest oi llo Doubt’s stuii is a lot more bouncy. ‘In the States we were iortunate enough to have three singles prior to ‘Don’t Speak’ so the majority oi our American audience realise that we don’t have a lot oi songs like that,’ explains Kanal. ‘lt’s one side oi the band and it is an important side oi the band but when they come out to the shows they’ll get the tall plcture.’
So, what is the iull picture? ‘I would lust say that we are a rock band who incorporate a lot oi diiierent styles into the music. There is a ska element, there is a reggae element, a souliul element. We have the horn.’ Pardon? ‘We always have the horn section when we tour. We lust Incorporate
No Doubt won’t be strangers ior long
every single style you can possibly think oi.’ (Jonathan Trew) Ilo Doubt play "WWII, Wed 12 Feb.
38 The List 7-20 Feb I997