live review


Kenickie Glasgow: King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Fri 29 May 7* a: ir Reports of comedy being the new rock 'n' roll are greatly exaggerated, but tonight glamour grrrls Kenickie prefer to purr punchlines than flash their punk credentials.

The entrance says it all. Marie, Lauren and Emmy-Kate stroll on in black outfits that might as well have ‘Look, sophisticated new direction' written across them in glitter, and slide into a leisurely a cappella version of ’Come Out 2Nite'. On record it's a vodka- breathing, big-booted beast, but here, complete with a self-conscious Supremes-style dance routine, it's like the Ronettes crashing the high- school prom with a quart of illicit Bacardi and the hope of a drunken snog. Gobs are smacked and gasts flabbered all round.

Kenickie, y’see, are showcasing a new look, a new sound and a whole new mindset. They satirised the Io-fi scene in 'Punka' (notably absent tonight) and everyone figured they were, hey, punkas. So, kicking Mr Satire in his sneering crotch, they’ve squeezed into Molotov cocktail frocks and written a whole bunch of softer, more introspective songs.

Which is cool, but the kids wanna party like it’s 1998. They bought tickets on the strict understanding that it would be an opportunity to cut loose. This time next year, the same group of people are going to be yelling for these songs and singing every word, but, for now, Kenickie must settle for appreciation rather than adoration.

The brilliant single 'I Would Fix You' is tossed out early, but it's rather perfunctory and the band don't seem entirely enamoured of it. They're even less into the final, punk version of 'Come Out 2Nite' which comes across as more of a sop to a pogo-starved crowd than

.. '.' " '2 _r is


Kenickie: Johnny Vegas fronting the Sh

an encore.

Luckily, in Lauren Laverne, Kenickie have the funniest person in pop next to Jarvis Cocker. Writing the gags down is pointless, it's all in the wry Northern delivery. Imagine Johnny Vegas fronting the Shangri-Las and you're on the right track.

It's Lauren's winning way that saves this gig from being new material purgatory and makes it a warm, intimate get-together. Emmy-Kate gets out her trumpet for ’The 411' and things go all acoustic for the eye- scratchingly ace '605 Bitch', but Lauren dishes the dirt on Tim Vincent's curly eyelashes so we're happy to applaud and cheer anything.

A partial success snatched from the jaws of defeat. It's the way she tells them. (Peter Ross)

i . ROCK

Six By Seven: numbers don't add up

really ten years ago it came out, that hugely amazing record, unleashed from some relentless static somewhere else and . . . oh, Six By Seven are still playing, and it’s just there, sort of. But thanks for the memory. Elsewhere they employ a stacatto rising crescendo development, and you remind yourself that you haven’t listened to Marquee Moon for a while.

It's much the same thing on record recent single ’Candlelight' finds the Charlatans wooing U2 down the Goth discotheque though tonight, ’Candlelight' is transformed into

Six By Seven

Glasgow: King Tuts, Thu 4 Jun we we Remember the old TV advert for TuneS7 Where the guy With the cold is buying a train ticket for Nottingham, but he's so choked up with red-nosed phlegm he can only pronoonce it 'Dottinckham’7 Six By Seven hail from Dottinckham, and are so choked up With, like, angst-rock five-piece intensity that they can’t pronounce anything between songs. Not so much as a 'danck you', for the better part of the night, if you please. Which is good, because if they talk between songs it

only means the whole thing will drag on for that much longer.

This is not to say that Six By Seven are bad. It's just that, for the moment, anyway let's not forget they’re still at a fairly early stage of their development when you look at Six By Seven, all you can see is a schematic for a band, all you can hear are echoes of other bands.

So, there's Morphinesque saxophone. So, when they start up with a layered, pounding, one-chord grind, you suddenly find yourself thinking about how fantastic the Band Of Susans‘ ’Hope Against Hope’ is, and was it

something bigger and looking more likely to catch fire. Here, and on a few other occasions, Six By Seven hint at something waiting to be found, a sort of huge, slow, raging melancholy, like lonely sailor-s drowning in nuclear submarines or something. For the most

part, though . . . that bloke doesn't half sound like Robert Smith sometimes. (Damien Love) STAR RATINGS

* t t t * Unmissable

nut Very ood

mu Wort ashot

* * Below average

it You've been warned

live review MUSIC

OPERA La Traviata

Glasgow: Theatre Royal, Sat 23 May *****

Opera buff, opera Virgin and even those somewhere iii-between should not miss Scottish Opera's La Traviata. Seen prewously in 1989 and then again in 1996, Nuria Espert’s production is as fresh as ever and completely deserves its immense popularity. Now directed by Peter Watson, this La Traviata retains Espert’s sure touch and manages to extract even more pOignantly the bitter- sweet emotions of the piece. Beautiful to look at, stunningly sung and acted, and Wllll wonderful, rich iiiuslc, it really cannot fail to please

Based On Dumas' play La Dame Aux Camel/as, Verdi's opera takes place in 19th century Paris, with the central character, Violetta, a cOurtesan suffering from consumption She falls in love With Alfredo, whose father cannot cope with his son haVing a relationship with such a woman. Persuaded to give up Alfredo for the family honour, Violetta's heartache brings on more serious illness.

As Violetta the 'traViata’ of the title, translated as ’the woman gone astray' Claire Rutter is on superb form. A (Ontract principal With Scottish Opera rather than an imported international star, Rutter also sang the role two years ago. This time, musmally and dramatically, the feelings and tenSions seem better placed, and the certain, tragic ending never far away from the superficially happy whirlwmd of parties and socialising.

In Austrian tenor Nikolai Schukoff, Scottish Opera has found an ideal Alfredo, his well controlled and focused voice complementing Rutter at every turn. Particularly outstanding is Richard Zeller, whose lyrical bass was consistently sensitive “I his portrayal of Alfredo's father, revealing a small- minded, rather unintelligent character who is b0und by society's constraints, but human enough to realise that maybe this is erng

In their newly opened up Theatre Royal pit, the orchestra, \Vllll the company's Music Director Richard Armstrong c0nducting, captured the spirit of the piece right from its opening bars. The chorus too showed a ,iustified confidence that flowed through the opera as easily as the wine at Violetta’s parties (Carol Main)

I Also at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on Tue 76, Thu 78 and Sat 20 Jun.

Doomed lovers: Nikolai Andrei Schukoff

and Claire Rutter in La Traviata

11—25 Jun 1998 THE UST 49