ROCK 3 Colours Red Glasgow: Garage, Tue 6 May
The rock 'n' roll life, eh — faster than a Ronnie O'Sullivan 147 break. Here’s Chris McCormack, guitarist and co-songwriter with 3 Colours Red, straight off the plane from LA. A phone call to The List, three hours shut-eye, then it's into the centre of London to launch debut album Pure.
let lag just isn‘t in the 3CR dictionary. An overflow of energy drives them through back-to-back tours and brims over in their singalong, bouncealong singles. While the rest of Britpop treads water in the 605, 3 Colours Red pick influences from their own living memories, from the tail end of the 705 onwards. On the bill with the Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park one day, sharing the stage with Britain's bright young things on the NME's Bratbus Tour the next.
’The whole vibe of that Pistols gig was more like a festival than supporting a twenty-year down- the-line punk band,’ says McCormack, hinting that that's where the 1977 comparisons end. ’The Pistols and The Clash were great rock bands; after the songs, it was the lyrics and the attitude that were punk. We‘ve definitely got the energy of punk, but we haven’t got the same fuck-the-government morals.’
Spike-haired McCormack is the one who brings the punk edge to the music; singer and bass player Pete Vuckovic has rockier leanings. Together, their writing talents have made a sizeable dent in the charts with single ‘Nuclear Holiday', and have created an album that‘s like a carnival parade of big guitars and tunes so infectious they should carry a government health warning.
‘From the studios to the gigs, it‘s just the way we are,‘ says McCormack. ‘Honest music — go in there, play it, that’s what it is. You don't try to sample things or make
3 Colours Red: Honest music
it sound better than it should or smooth out the production with posh reverbs. It's all pretty dry and in- your-face, this album.’
Funny, then, that such lack of pretension should sit behind a band name lifted from the best in European arthouse cinema. ‘We didn’t know anything about the film,’ insists McCormack. 'Bands always get pigeon- holed because of their name, and we came up with other names that were either rock or indie or metal, but we didn't want to be obvious. 3 Colours Red was the perfect name just to say, "Right, what kind of music do you think we are?". People probably thought we were a fucking boy band.’
Yeah, well, we‘ll just take that and party. (Alan Morrison)
I Pure is out on Creation on Mon 72 May.
FOLK Peat Bog Faeries
Glasgow: Mayfest Club, Fri 16 May; Edinburgh: Eden at La Belle Angele, Thurs 16 May.
Something’s happening in Skye. Strange sounds are emanating from the isle Ambient textures and traditional- sounding tunes are being stretched over multicultural layers of sound. Experts have tracked down the source of the sound to the lair of The Peatbog Faeries which has been echoing to their
Peat Bog Faeries: shifting peat and feet eponymous debut album and increasingly Visible live work. Think of Shooglenifty wrth bagpipes and you’ll get the idea, no Outrageoust fast flying fingerwork - more dug-in grooves, funky bass, and laid-back rhythms. Drummer lain Copeland, who runs the Glasgow Ramshorn Jazz events and plays jazz With the likes of Kevin McKenzie, now contributes his acCurate stickwork to what has, over quite a few years and about two dozen personnel changes, evolved from a cheap and cheerful acoustic ceilidh outfit
playing round the Misty Island, to Greentrax recording artists selling albums world-Wide.
Piper and whistle player Peter Morrison, who’s written some beauties on the album, reveals the genesis of the band's name: ’One night in the early days, some of the guys had had a quue a few drinks in Harris, and deCided to help an old lady get her peats in. They got carried away and did the next door neighbour's as well. Next day the locals were talking about peatbog faeries. lt stuck."
Does he feel that being based in Skye is a handicap? ’No. All in all, it’s a benefit. We’re not naive, and we get to the cities often enough to hear what’s gorng on. We also hear a lot of music on the radio. But living up here gives us plenty of time to develop the music, take it our own way, and write new stuff. We’ve got loads of new material, and I suppose it’s movrng further out. It seems to be the case now, not just wrth us, that traditional music is movmg towards a groove thing. It depends on the members of the band and their influences. As everyone’s experience comes out in the music, it changes. We’re probably moving away from folk, just as lain is movrng more into it.’ (Norman Chalmers)
Glasgow: King Tut’s, Sat 18 May.
Jai is 23, he comes from Yeovil in the West Country and he sings like a moody angel, all sighing falsetto and swings and soul. You might have seen him on the National Lottery a couple of weeks back, smooth looking chap, smart suit, tidy hair. He gets compared to George Michael a lot and he’s getting a bit pissed off with that because, apart from the fact that the two of them are white and sing soulfully, they have little in common.
Jai’s first demo tape was snapped up by M & (3 Records and his first two singles ’Don’t Give Me Away’ and ’l Believe’ have made him some new friends on account of their intriguing mix of vaguely dubby dance and jazz inflections. It’s a poppy, commercial sound that every now and then hints at the dancefloor without quite stepping on to it.
’When I was younger I used to go to the clubs that Massive Attack used to DJ at,’ explains Jai. ’I picked up their vibe as well as the soul stuff that l was brought up on by my parents.’
Not content with being influenced by his parents’ tastes, the young Jai went one step, and one generation further than most and picked up some hints and tips from his grandfather. ‘My grandfather, who came from Glasgow coincidentally, used to play the keyboards and I would sing along to old Stax numbers. What I do now is much the same, it’s music that doesn't have an age group, it appeals to all ages,’ reckons Jai.
He’s got an album called Heaven which comes out in June. There’s a song on the album called ’You Split Me’ and, like all the best songs, it’s all about love gone awry and a woman who done Jai wrong. Now that pop fame is beginning to bite, the man must be inundated with offers?
'Not really,’ he laughs. ’People seem to be intimidated by the fact that I’m the singer in the band. The others seem to get more interest.’
Even the drummer? ’Even the drummer,’ says Jai. Aaah. (Jonathan Trew)
lai's got his eye on you
245 May i997 THE usr 47