Spiritualizod confirmed asmFlux festival returns

The arrival of a new music element at the Edinburgh Festival has been judged a success, and its organisers are planning more intriguing pairings. Words: Jonathan Trew

SPIRITUALIZED ARE THE first band to confirm that they will be taking part in Flux, the new music strand of the Edinburgh Festival which is to return for its second year this August.

Launched last year under the leadership of co- directors Alex Poots and David Sefton, Flux was a bid to fill what they saw as a gap in the festival where contemporary music should be.

Poots and Sefton argued that while Festival-goers were well served by both classical and traditional music, the world's largest arts festival wasn't really representing the wealth of new talent around in terms of rock, pop and contemporary composing.

Flux was designed to demonstrate the point of fusion between theses genres. Acts last year included collaborations between Michael Nyman and The Divine Comedy, Andy Sheppard and Jazz Jamaica as well as performances from avant-garde Germans Faust and Glasgow’s Teenage Fanclub.

Most of the events were extremely successful and Flux sold 10,000 tickets, balanced the books financially and also fulfilled the other objectives which the organisers had set for themselves.

‘What we achieved was to plug the gap for new music at the Edinburgh Festival,’ explained Poots. 'A lot of people were sceptical about our chances of making it work and I think that we put their minds to rest.

'Each event will have something special about it, whether it’s a collaboration between big name artists, someone who hasn’t performed in Scotland for a long time or an old legend who’s making a rare appearance/Mex Poots, Flux

'We just broke even last year but Flux will never make money. It's a catalyst for experimenting with new forms and ideas. It was also important to show that there is a place for new music presented in an

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Spiritualized: planning a collaboration for Edinburgh's Flux festival

intelligent way at the world's biggest arts festival and that people wanted to see it,’ he added.

Last year Flux was held in the 600—capacity venue Jaffacake. This year the events are to spread out and three weekends' worth of programming is also booked into the lOOO-capacity Queen’s Hall ’Flux has expanded considerably,’ commented Poots. 'This time around we are putting on shows in two spaces. The fact that the Queen's Hall wanted us there is a testament to JUSI how far we've come in a year.’

This year the intention is that Flux \Nlll comprise sixteen nights of concerts running Friday ill-Saturday 29 August.

Most of the artists have yet to be confirmed but Jason Pierce of Spiritualized has said that they will be performing a collaborative piece.

’Each event Will have something special about it, whether it’s a collaboration between big name artists, someone who hasn’t performed in Scotland for a long time or an old legend who’s making a rare appearance,’ said Poots, who is also a producer for the Barbican as well as programming music for the Harbourside Centre in Bristol.

'We intend to maintain the Scottish flavour and there will be double bills and triple bills like last year's gig with Urusei Yatsura, Mogwai and The Delgadoes,’ he explained.

’Even if we only get half of what we are going for it Will still be pretty memorable.’

And finally. . . Celtic’s Wim cleans up - then clears out

THERE'S ONE THING about devoting your life to the Celtic cause - it's never dull. After months of nerve- splitting play on the field when the title was there for the taking, then off in another direction then back again and so on and on, a tortuous victory over St Johnstone meant Rangers' grip was finally over. The next logical move, according to chairman Fergus McCann, is for manager Wim Jansen to pursue other interests. Soon we'll see the inevitable fan revolt and, perhaps more serious, some of the players heading off, too. Though, the worst thing about the situation is all those inspired ‘Paradise Lost’ headlines we'll have to endure over the summer.

POOR OLD QUEEN LIZ. After being painted by doodler Robert Wraith in flattering soft focus - which merely served to heighten her wrinkles - she suffered a further setback with


the news that she is too old to open the Scottish Parliament. At 72, she is deemed too doddery to say a few words and cut a metaphorical ribbon at next year’s formal opening in Edinburgh. ‘We can’t have her spending a large chunk of her time running around opening everything,‘ quoth an aide whilst preparing the regal cocoa. Absolutely not. After all, she's got so much else to do.

AND NOT ALL was as it appeared in Birmingham the other night. Hardly a rare occurrence, you may think. Yet, the nation and the rest of Europe seemed aghast when Israel came out on top in this year's beanfeast of bobbins that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Two factors were particularly novel: the realisation that Israel is in Europe where did the Eurovision committee learn geography? - and secondly the torch that many a hetero-bloke was grasping for the lovely winner Dana International was somewhat

Fergus McCann: hoop-la

GLASGOW'S IMAGE AS a city of openness has taken a sound thrashing. The city's councillors and biblical types opted to veto plans by London's Erotica Ltd to hold a 'sex show' at the SECC. The event was allegedly aimed at the 'wealthy club set' and not the 'dirty mac brigade' but that didn't help. All most perplexing for the organisers who came here because they had heard Glasgow councillors were bang keen on sleazy antics and getting into bed with each other for short term personal gain.

AND AS THE anniversary of Di's demise approaches all too speedily, there is yet more controversy crashing about everyone's heads with plans for a six mile walk along the funeral procession route being arranged for charity. Constitutional historian Lord Blake has called the idea, which has received Liz's blessing, 'absolutely absurd’. What's his problem? Maybe he thinks the next British Grand Prix would be a better setting for a tribute. (Brian Donaldson)

14—28 May 1998 THE usr 21