ush for life
Sweeping strings, waves of emotion, heartfelt confessions. Must be the new Bathers' album. Words: Brian Donaldson
Some people really don’t like The Bathers. They have been viewed as over wrought. over literate and over rated. Others see Chris Thomson as an honest artist. letting his heart do the writing and consistently providing the kind of record which attracts only the tnost devoted fan and an inevitably mixed press reaction.
That may he set to change as the hand set out on tour with Ke/vt'ngt'm'e Baby. The Bathers‘ fifth album which has received almost unified media praise and. aided by a collective finger-crossing exercise. should reach a wider appeal than previotts releases. ‘1 think there‘s a central core of eccentrics who‘ve liked everything.‘ believes Thomson. ‘The first album. Unusual Places To Die. was quite poppy and those who liked that were kind of blown out of the water by the next one. Sweet Deceit. With Marina (The Bathers‘ current record company) were doing more mature work. it has some of the mystery and depth of Sweet Deceit but it’s also polished enough to be accessible to a wider market.‘
While Su't’t’l Ut’t‘t’il did well in Scotland. Island records. who had released the album. were never going to see til-like returns on their investment. As corporate concern grew at The Bathers' lack of superstardom. Thomson needed fresh and enthusiastic backing for his work. It came in the form of Hamburg-based Marina Records. a company led by two journalists who interviewed Thomson in l‘)‘)() with more than a passing interest in his output. A year later. Thomson read an ad for a new (ierman record
Lush and raw at the same time, Kelvingrove Baby deals with the big emotional traumas of life and puts strings on them.
The Bathers’ Chris Thomson: Mr Melancholy
label. had a hunch about who it was and eventually the twain met.
Ke/vitigtm'e Baby is his third album on Marina and the feeling is that this might just be the one to elevate the band's status. ‘The phrase i like at the moment is just wanting to be “part of the dialogue". not anything to do with massive sales or anything.‘ insists Thomson. ‘l definitely don’t seek platinum albums on my walls but you don’t want to be some obscure thing selling a few thousand copies worldwide.‘
Somewhere in between. perhaps‘.’ ‘Something like the Divine (‘omedy where there is a certain similarity to the niche we‘re in — a more aesthetic approach to rock 'n roll.‘
This album‘s approach to rock ‘n’ roll is in the same spirit as previous Bathers‘ outings but Thomson has pulled out all the stops to pull in a wider audience. Lush and raw at the same time. lx’elvt'nemve Ila/7y deals with the big emotional traumas of life and puts strings on them. Did fans will recognise it without feeling betrayed and new fans will take it to heart.
A running theme of 'l‘homson’s work is love and how you get it. lose it and sometimes get it back again. The sweeping orchestration and 'l‘homson's lyrics appear to come straight outta the left hand side of his chest. ‘()byiously you react to places and people and expand on that.‘ insists Thomson. ‘Say you’re wandering about a liuropean city at night. you get a fantastic feeling which you may not feel the next morning btit you try to write songs that free/c that half hour. I wouldn‘t pretend to be walking about feeling those emotions all the time. I'd be swamped by it. but if you do feel them then why deny it and. for me. it‘s quite good fodder for the creative process.
Stirling: Castle, Fri 18 Apr. Glasgow: Tron Theatre, Sun 20 Apr. East Kilbride: Arts Centre, Fri 25 Apr. Edinburgh: Traverse Theatre, Mon 28 Apr.
preview MUSIC Bigmouth
Brightening the dark corners of the fortnight, here’s more star quotes.
’Once you get all that shit up out of your path, you walk a straight path, man. You never fall inside the devil's trap, know what I'm saying, and stab your brother in the back. We all agreed the first time one of us get to doing something like that, that his ass got to go.’ Ghostface of the Wu-Tang Clan explains something. What exactly is a bit more difficult to fathom.
'l'm yet to find me, I'm yet to find a constant there, so the idea of being lost from mankind, of being lost within your own dreams, being lost in the mountains and the sea and all you’ve got is the sound of yourself. It might be really beautiful.’
Cast’s John Power, who seems to have become very adept at spouting horse shit lately, unleashes another steaming pile.
’It’s like killing things. You can get into it after a while. The first thing you kill, you feel bad about it. But then after that you get a real bloodlust for it.’
The Longpigs’ Crisp/n ’Mad Dog’ Hunt, writer of tender love songs like ’On and on’, sees red.
’You want three lots of ketchup with your chicken and chips don’t you? And you don’t want to pay five pence each for them either.’
3 Colours Red man Pete Vuckovic tells us what life is all about.
’lt's full of shit and you always wind up naked in somebody’s pool out of your head and you realise it's time to go home.’
Fluffy give us their take on LA.
’We're not exactly fashion conscious are we? We play football in whatever we wear and then we just go on stage. In fact, I even put dirty clothes on before I go on stage because I don't want to fuck up all me stuff. After you dive into that pit, that’s it, they're fucked, ripped to shreds.’
Peel’s Gary Stringer explains the etiquette of dressing for the mosh pit.
18 Apr -1 May 1997 THE “ST 57