Edinburgh: Usher Hall, Sat 15 Nov ink
50 is this what music will sound like in the 21st century? Certainly Bjork seems to have assimilated most of the music trends which are floating about the ether at the end of the 20th century. There are bouts of minimalism here, a spot of drum ’n' bass there, dashes of pop sensibility every now and then but, above all, a sense of other worldliness.
This concert sounds like the soundtrack to a futuristic film noir made by aliens. Musically, nothing happens quite where you expect it to. 'Uncertainty excites me' sings Bjork, but does it excite everybody else to the same extent? Bjork's material tends towards the personal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that except when it tips over into self-indulgence and quite often this evening, Bjork seems so far gone into her own little world that one suspects she would be having just as much fun if the audience weren't there. If you can't tune into her wavelength or enter her world, then it is all a bit meaningless.
That's not to say that Bjork doesn't put on an amazing display of vocal acrobatics. In fact. she has one of the most distinctive voices around; yet this evening it seems to be at odds with the music which surrounds it. There is no band, at least not in the traditional rock sense of a band. Instead there is a string octet and two sound engineers who manufacture an extensive array of beats, bleeps and whistles from their banks of electronic hardware. It's a brave attempt to get down to some serious mixing and matching of genres but, unfortunately. it doesn't work. This concert didn’t know whether it wanted to be an avant-garde vocal recital, a rock gig or a club night and as a result it fell between all
Bjork: biting off a bit more than even she can chew
The only time the evening really kicked off was with the final three songs of the set. 'Violently Happy’ was unleashed to a heavy four to the floor dance rhythm which had the audience ripping out the seating and making bonfires in the aisles of the Usher Hall. Or at least getting to their feet and jiving in the aisles. The next two numbers were overlaid with hard industrial slabs of beats which would have been more at home in clubland than the Usher Hall, and Bjork’s voice was not so much the main focus as a component part of the overall sound. Had the entire concert been like this it would have been outstanding; as it was, it was pulled in too many directions to go anywhere. (Jonathan Trew)
Dust Junkys: get your fix now
and shuffle closer, and the Dust Junkys
adept, but lead guitarist Sam Brox stands out as particularly talented. Together with Lockett, he holds the framework of the songs together. However, like the other band members, he is not adverse to rocking out in a somewhat extreme fashion, with Brox breaking three strings during the course of the set.
The camaraderie between the band is obvious throughout the show, both in their constant banter and in their musical collaboration. So while much of their set involves all of them making as much noise as possible, there are also moments when their individual talents are showcased. Drummer Mykey Wilson stages a rhythm
Glasgow: Cathouse, Sun 9 Nov it‘k'k The Dust Junkys are easily one of the most endearing bands I have seen play in a long time. Shambling onstage to the strains of the JBs' ’Blow Your Head' they then refuse to play until the crowd comes closer to the stage. When most of the audience remain clustered at the bar, frontman Nicky Lockett, formerly known as MC Tunes, wheedles, ’C’mon, please don't make me look bad.’ At this the punters laugh
50 THE LIST 21 Nov—4 Dec 1997
kick into their own particular fusion of rock and hip hop. Rock and hip hop don't always make for a successful partnership — Credit To The Nation anyone? — but the Dust Junkys make a far better job of marrying their disparate musical influences. Add in emerging elements of ska and soul and the Dust Junkys would seem to have bred a winner.
The line up behind Nicky Lockett consists of a DJ, a drummer, a bassist, and a lead guitarist. All are musically
breakdown in the middle of one of the closing songs, and when Lockett gets up to freestyle the audience is left in no doubt that his rhyme does indeed still bite. Bassist Steve OJ. grooves across the stage in his bare feet, pausing only when he treads on broken glass. Such hiccups only seem to make the Dust Junkys more likeable, and by the time they leave the stage the audience seems glad that they agreed to move closer. (Sarah Lowndes)
Glasgow: King Tut's, Sun 16 Nov ink
A recalcitrant Napalm Death tribute band hijacked by the Beastie Boys and featuring a man on guitar who looks like one of those mo-hawked cyber- punks that always turned up in all the Sci-Fi urban hell movies that were so popular in the 805. That’ll be Bedlam- A-Go-Go then. So, if that sounds like your idea of a big night out, then tonight, King Tut's was the place to be. Pregnant mothers, Belle And Sebastian fans and Belle And Sebastian fans’ pregnant mothers would probably have been better off staying at home, slumped in front of Heartbeat. 'Cos Bedlam-A—Go-Go ROCK. Hard. Really. The moustachioed thunder of Metallica is reduced to the God-bothered tut- tuttings of a tetchy Salvation Army band when faced with the sonic onslaught of these guys.
Which is odd, because their press blurb would lead the unwary punter to expect some sort of frazzled funk outfit somewhere in the general vicinity of the Dust Junkys and Black Grape, boasting as it does of a strong Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield influence. Hmmm. Well, maybe this correspondent just hasn’t heard that ill- fated late 70s collaboration album which consisted entirely of Curtis and Stevie yammering incoherently inside a cavernous oil drum as The Clash beat seven shades of shit out of it with over- sized metallic oars. Of course, that would have been genius and acres more fun than the ho-hum rap/rock crossover of BAGG (though the blissed out dude who skanked incessantly through their entire set would doubtless disagree).
The band aren’t bad exactly, it's just that the Lo-Fidelity All-Stars and Bentley Rhythm Ace, bands who inhabit a similar scuzzy rockin' and rollin’ big beat landscape, do this sorta thing with gallons more spunk and humour. Those in the know call it skunk rock for some reason. Tonight, a little more funk and a lot less skunk would’ve been preferred.
Bedlam-A-Go-Go: completely mad, of course
STAR RATINGS * e at i: it Unmissable * is it it Very good it * it Worth a shot it a: Below average it You've been warned