The Good Sons Glasgow: King Tuts, Thu 16 Oct; Eduunugh2UquklRoonm,Sat18
The Good Sons: wines, lines and good times
‘I always try and amid the word "Country",’ says Michael Weston King, songwriter and lead vocalist of The Good Sons, by way of attempting to sum up what his band are about, ’it can sometimes be a bit of a kiss of death.’
That said, those who know their c0untry music are likely to be impressed when they consider that turning up briefly on their first album, Singing The Glory Down, was none other than the late, great and much lamented Texan singer songwriter, Townes Van Zandt. In fact, anyone who caught either of Van Zandt's last two shows in Glasgow at King Tuts or the Renfrew Ferry would have seen The Good Sons providing support — so, if
you can judge a band by the company they keep, King’s group are worthy of some respect.
A four-piece with roots in Lancashire, The Good Sons formed in the early part of 1994; King and bass player Sean McFretridge having already put out two albums as the Stormkeepers, while guitarist Phil Abram and drummer Ben Jackson served time in a previous life as part of the not- particularly-well-remembered Mirrors Over Kiev.
Although they take their name from a Nick Cave album (and, indeed, have covered Cave's ’Straight To You’ on their limited edition, strongly acoustic, second LP), the Good Sons aren’t playing Oasis to the Bad Seeds' Beatles. ’It’s not necessarily his songs,’ the singer says. ’I think we’re more influenced by what the Bad Seeds are all about, they way they look and everything. They’re probably the coolest band around since The Clash.' In fact, more apt reference pomts would be the bands of the modern, left-field country scene such as Wilco, The Jayhawks and Sparklehorse.
On the eve of the release of their third album. Wines, Lines 81 Valentines, I ask King if the fact that, ouISide of musician's circles, someone as great as Townes Van Zandt died Without the recognition that was his due, has ever made him question the point of it all. ’Well, I suppose,’ he says, ’but it all depends on what you want. You don’t have to sell as many records as Oasis' Can we get an Amen at the back? (Damien Love)
I Wines, Lines & Valentines is out now on Glitterhouse records.
CLASSICAL Georgian Concert Society
Edinburgh: The Playfair Library, Old College, Sat II Oct.
Entering its 21st season this winter, the Georgian Concert Society marks its special milestone in appropriate celebratory style Six concerts, featuring starry period performance groups such as The Tallis Scholars and Fretwork, get off to an especially Virtuousic start with guest artistes MUSica Antigua chln, whose Edinburgh date is then only UK appearance this year
Reflecting on the origins of the Society, ls'lusic al Director Noel O’Regan explains, ’It started With early keyboard specialists Michael Chihhett and Lucy Carolan, who put on a series of concerts at The Georgian House in Charlotte Square, hence the name The aims then were thr- same as now to proVide period conceits on period instruments in periorl venues.’
The success the Society enjoys now in attracting large audiences was eVident even in those early days As O'Regan explains, 'The Georgian House got too small and after trying out one or two other venues, the Society settled at St Cec‘ilia’s Hall in the Cowgate.’
Git/mg credence to the saying that history repeats itself, the Georgians have now outgrown St Ce: Hut". and although it continues, foi the moment, to serve as the i’)( us of the series, two
. new venues come into play this
44 THE LIST 10 Oct 523 Oct 1997
Musica Antiqua Koln: Bach specialists
season, St Cuthbert's Church Will host a Renaissance Christmas With The Tallis Scholars and the Playfair Library of Edinburgh University's Old College is the venue for MuSica Antigua Kc)ln. 'It's one of Edinburgh’s finest rooms,’ says O'Regan, 'It's very high and long, \'-/Ilh a good, resonant acoustic for strings '
Seating around 400, the Playfair Library should prove ideal for lvlusica Antigua Kc')ln, one of Europe’s most well known early music groups 'They are renowned,’ says O'Regan, ’for their performances and recordings of JS Bach and it is With The Art of Fugue that the season Will commence There could hardly be a more fitting work to get it off the ground, as over recent years at least one concert each season has been devoted to the music of Bach.’ (Carol Main)
The Eternal Flame
If you thought Mike Scott was settling down as an acoustic singer-songwriter, think again. His new album, Still Burning, sees him rocking harder than ever. Words: Alastair Mabbott
It may well be true that on one endlessly dark night of the spiritual trek which is his corporeal eXistence, Mike Scott was posed the question 'What is the sound of one slate cleanmg?’ And the eager disciple may indeed have (quite reasonably, if you think about it) piped up, ’Ooh, I know that one. It's Bring ’Em All In, my first solo album, still available at all good record shops '
Or perhaps I made it all up It matters not The fact is that, With his Waterboys past now firmly behind him, thanks to that fine acoustic Journal of an album, he's cranked tip his amp and turned out a follow-up, Still Burning, that’s as loud and feisty as anything he's done before That's not to say it doesn’t contain lots of allegorical references to dark sides and inner children. But no one (in his right mind, anyway) complained about the metaphorical content of the blues, With its hellhounds and crossroads What the hell, there's more substance to these Scott-penned tracks than your average Oasis song, anyway
’I go where the music wants to go,’ 'he tells me, ’ancl I try not to think about it too much. Almost all my life, I’ve been playing band-sized music For once, I did a one—man album and then snapped back to what I was domg before. I think the sound is different ~ I don't think it sounds like any of my preVious "eras", if you like, btit I don't think it's a strange thing for me to go
lyl ‘ S I
Mike Scott: solo man plays the not so blues
back to working with a band.’
After being away from London and rock for so long, though, Scott — who is a kind of roving ambassador for the Findhorn Foundation — felt that he might not be the best judge of his own career at that point in time. Enter Creation Records supremo Alan McGee. McGee had loved Bring ’Em All /n, and struck Scott as a kindred spirit, so the singer invited him back to listen to demos after a gig. He ended up dispensing advice, selecting songs, choosing the running order and sleeve photo . . and all for an artist who wasn’t even on his label. So is he still a guiding light?
Scott chuckles. ’He is and he isn’t. He thinks my next thing should be "Strawberry Man", but my manager and I have chosen "Rare, Precious And Gone", so we’re not taking Alan’s advice on this one!’
No one complained about the metaphorical content of the blues, with its hellhounds and crossroads. What the hell, there’s more substance to these Scott-penned tracks than your average Oasis song, anyway.
But, despite the growing confidence in his solo career, over Scott's shoulder, lurks the ghost of his old band. A compilation of unreleased material, The Secret Life Of The Waterboys, appeared three years ago, and now he‘s drOpping hints that there may be another on the way.
’I have about two CDs worth of Fisherman’s Blues outtakes which are pretty much ready for release. Nobody knows how good The Waterboys were, because this stuff never came out. There were very good reasons at the time for not putting it out — maybe it wasn’t the way I envrsaged the song or maybe I wasn’t happy with the lyrics or something -- but they're not good reasons now. Ten years later, they all sound mind-blowmg.’
Mike Scott plays The Garage. Glasgow on Tue 14 and Wed 15.