Brendan Power

Plays the music from Riverdance (Greentrax) *‘kir *

The young blues-based New Zealander has been opening people’s ears to the potential of the under-valued harmonica, playing with everyone from Sting to Ray Charles, but it’s his innovative approach to traditional Irish music on the ’harp’ that has shaken not a few preconceptions. He’s been a stanturn, playing in the British Riverdance show for some time now (well, it's a reliable wage), and here unites some of the orchestra’s members, in conjunction with other top instrumentalists, in a new take on Bill Whelan’s Grammy-winning music. Less dance-driven, more laid back, very well and cleanly played, and in places (the pedal distortion on the moothie in ’Caoineadh Chu Chulainn’) downright dangerous. (NC)


The Noble Trousers (Hypertension) 1k * *

Caledon's singer, Davy Steele, has also just released a ’solo’ album, Chasing Shadows, on the same label, and though all the band members sing, Caledon’s muscle lies mainly in the instrumental tracks. Born out of Clan Alba, the seven members create a very big sound, using Steele’s bouzouki, Deaf Shepherd’s great young piper Rory Campbell, harp duo Sileas, Eilidh Shaw's fiddle, Mike Travis on drums and percussion and bassist Greg Borland. The playing is of a uniformly high standard throughout, and the final track, the pibroch ’Lament for the Children’, is moving and beautiful, the best ever attempt to orchestrate the classical bagpipe form. (NC)

Ruben Gonzalez

Introducing . . . (World Circuit) ***t

A sparkling debut album as a leader from this Cuban pianist, but if that suggests a talented newcomer making his first mark, then the truth is qune the opposne. Gonzalez is 78 years old and a respected band player in Cuba, but this was his first ever opportunity to record under his own name and arose Out of his involvement With the Simultaneously released Afro-Cuban All Stars A Toda Cuba Le Gusta (World‘

' Circuit) The veteran pianist is a vibrant,

joyous performer, and both albums are brim-full of exuberant, evocative music (KM)

Gidon Kremer

Homage a Piazzolla (Nonesuch) i: a: * ‘k

The dark, sultry, eroticised world of tango-master Astor Piazzolla is still best sampled Via his own aching accordion, but these arrangements, for Virtuoso violinist Gidon Kremer and a variety of chamber groups, have their own validity. Kremer and his collaborators have managed to retain a remarkable amount of the authentic feel and simmering passion of the music in the ten settings of compositions by Piazzolla, plus a piece in homage by Jerzy Peterburshsky. (KM)

The Mutton Birds

Envy Of Angels (Virgin) ink **

Kiwi lo-fi, anyone? Named after a variety of Antarctic seagull, these four native New Zealanders, now UK- based, turn out a beguiling line in brooding jangly ballads, stirringly awash with thwarted yearning, heartfelt melodies, twice-shy evasiveness and majestically plangent guitars. Fronted by the mordantly talented, plaintive-voiced Don McGlashan, whose evocative, uneasily ambivalent lyrics provide the songs with their dark, distinctive edge, they conjure frequent but never overpowering echoes of Neil Young, The Byrds, REM, even Radiohead, occasionally cutting loose with a burst of hard 'n’ fast aggression (’April’, 'Inside My Skin'), and creating, in ’Come Around', four minutes of timeless gtiitar-pop perfection. (SW)


No Habla Espanol (Simpleton Records) * * * air

Belfast combo With an Ash connection, Griswold make music for dressing up and jumping in puddles to. lnfiniter more punk rock than yer 3 Colours Red. (RE)

Jackie On Acid

More Like Television

(Blue Rose) **

Yank rockerama produced by the Winsome SteVie Mack of That Petrol Emotion non-fame. He ought to know better. This is like Smashing Pumpkins off aCld. Nice cabbage green vinyl though. (RE)

Radio Sweethearts

Rambling lvlan

(Shoeshine Records) 1r * t it it

A Hank Williams classic reworked by Glasgow’s finest exponents of new country. If Link Wray recorded the soundtrack to a Coen brothers' movie, well, it w0uld probably sound nothing like this. (RE)

Hanson: prepare for a long summer

No Man

Dry Cleaning Ray

(3rd Stone) * it

Sulky effort wrth a promisineg quirky production stymied by a Tears For Fears chorus and guitar histrionics that would have Eddie Van Halen splitting his bestest spandex trews with mirth. (RE)

Geiger Babies Ride (68) bur

Cute go-faster pop causing one to wonder what Lush are up to. Geiger Babies paddle happily in the same pool

‘4 fl" '1' ‘. '2‘ . V «1‘33" i m' -'

“'13 ‘..‘. 3’3 '1 .v v: '~ ‘1

record reviews MUSIC

as London’s single girls despite some perilous Kula Shaker moments. (RE)


Fledgling Operator

(lndustrious Records) ink

Cod psychedelia from Out Of My Hair singer with ever so crazy name deluding himself he’s, like, really out there, man. This wouldn’t cut it as a Super Furry Animals 8 side. (RE)


Ihop (Beggars Banquet) * * ~k * ‘k

'Is there a doctor in the house of pancakes?’ inquires Dean ’Galaxy 500’ Wareham. The opening line of a hum dinger that finds the Velvets mud wrestling with James Brown over the best bits of The Breeders’ ’Cannonball’. (RE)

0P8 (featuring Lisa Germano) Sand (V2) * ***

A Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra number so sublime as to be off limits to most mortals, but Lisa Germano (the cerebral person's Tori Amos) and pals do it no shame. (RE)


Jim Byers, Norman Chalmers, Roger Evans, Kenny Mathieson, Deidre Molloy, Alan Morrison, Fiona Shepherd, Stella Whitehead.

STAR RATINGS * it it 1k ii Outstanding i t it * Recommended * t * Worth a try it * 80-50 at Poor

A . * ‘v‘ . .h to N v‘r Q‘ ‘5'" ~.dp 5.9%.. “y?!

j '9.“ a go...) , 31‘ in). k; klf‘ii y.“ _.,-.. t I'. , ,. _

SINGLE bur ow co 1 /CD 2 /7"



27 Jun—10 Jul 1997 THE UST43