Having earned a crust or two by providing inspiration and vibes in the studio for U2’s Pop album, Glaswegian DJ Bernstein is punting his own Polydor LP Turn The Dark Off, which has been greeted with a fair-to-middling critical reception.
Putting a finger exactly on what Edinburgh's Huckleberry do is a bit tricky. It’s rootsy sometimes and frantic most of the time. The occasional sea shanty seems to raise its head, as does a dollop of knees-up ska. Whatever, their two EPs 'Halo Jones' and ’Idiot Listening’ were well received and a new single is due out next January, followed by an album. Until then, a European tour beckons.
Musically, they are quite unlike anything else coming out of Scotland. The supersmooth Karelia honed their early raucous sound to produce something that wouldn’t be out of place soundtracking an Agatha Christie film adaptation full of tea dances and flapper girls. Their debut album released earlier this year even boasted the cinematic title Divorce At High Noon. Further recorded material is some way down the line, but idiosyncratic gigs are still in abundance.
The singer-songwriter IS taking a breather from her musical career to take college courses in computing and social sciences. She hasn’t left singing behind, though, writing ’a shitload' of songs and planning her fourth album, which should appear in October 98. This November, she's playing some dates up north at gallery openings for an Irish/Colombian artist.
The appropriately-named Leopards are a snarling trio With their claws out. Mainman Mick Slaven was a gUitar-for-hire round Glasgow (and still is), working With the likes of Ricky Ross and Paul Quinn, but wanting to play something altogether more dangerous. Fusing punk and surf guitar traditions, The Leopards spit out two-minute diatribes fuelled by Slaven's distinctively Visceral playing. We still await their album With salivation, but in the meantime there's a recent contribution to the Creeping Bent singles club to be gomg on With.
This former Altered Images member is now Mr Clare Grogan, but professionally he’s far better renowned for his production work. The first Black Grape album put his name on the map, and he followed it up with an album for the then-unknown Space. Other high- profile pr0jects include the terrific Hanson album and Stateside work With Jon Bon Jow, who rang Stephen‘s mum, a long-time fan, to Wish her happy birthday. Lironi is also the musician behind The Revolutionary Corps Of Teenage Jesus whose first release was a version of SuiCide's ‘Frankie Teardrop' and whose second single ’Protection Rat' featured none other than Alan Vega on vocals.
This all-girl quartet first came to local prominence at the time of the Riot Grrrl emergence and even Supported. and played onstage With, their spiritual grandmas The Raincoats when they gigged briefly round the country. Their debt to the original punk girl groups is still enormOus, but their SOund has developed and Io-fi ineptitude has been left behind, to be replaced by sharp dressmg, support slots to the vibed—up Make-Up and the LP Maid To Minx. They could eat Alanis for breakfast.
Things may not quite yet be turning Japanese for the Edinburgh five-piece but their fascination with all things Far Eastern and their short, snappy punk-pop
numbers alerted the attention of the southern bigwigs. Mercury were first to speed in to seal a deal. Their first single for the major label ’On The Soft' has just been released. And they use an oboe. And they sing 'na-na-na-nanana’ to excellent effect.
When not shmoozing at Number 10 or making the pilgrimage to lbrox to watch his team the Blue Meanies, Creation boss McGee is the Yoda of indie cool. His first success came with The Jesus And Mary Chain, whom he championed with commendable mischief. He stuck by Primal Scream when they looked a lost cause, and he pretty much invented Oasis. Then he signed 3 Colours Red. Doh!
McKay has recorded under a number of aliases and is the creator of the deep jazzy dance label Muzique Tropique, which he also takes as his production name. His new label Glasgow Underground champions the best dance music coming out of the city. He is a highly respected journalist and also promotes club nights and DJs himself.
Not anywhere near as gentle as the super furry animal they are named after, Mogwai have progressed from earbleeding riff-fest to combining pacific washes of sonorous guitars . . . with
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SOUND GUIDE TO SCOTLAND
earbleeding riff-fest. Some of their recent efforts have sounded suspiciously close to the spectre of shoegazing, except not even bothering with the mumbled vocals at all. However they seem to be making friends wherever they go, including Chemikal Underground, a label with impeccable taste, which is releasing their LP.
Mount Vernon Arts Lab
Along with Future Pilot AKA, Mount Vernon Arts Lab represent the new kitsch electronica that’s (sort of) sweeping the bedrooms of the nation. Drew Mulholland is the man with the musical plan, and his releases so far on his own Via Satellite label have sounded like a cross between Joe Meek and Rob Grainer's Stereophonic Workshop (which produced all the wibbly noises for Doctor Who). In the last few months, he's ventured out to play a few gigs, resurrecting that under-used instrument the theremin in the process.
The band being called the godfathers of Glasgow's indie music scene have a new album out on 7 Oct. See preview, page 43.
Increasing interest in the band means that ’the slight prospect of success has reared its head'. Their album The Strange Undem/or/d Of The Tall Poppies is being
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Magicdrive: dead ’ard even when on the soft
26 Sep—9 Oct 1997 THE U811?