ROCK Astrid The lines are being drawn, but no one has yet made the first move in the battle over who has best claim to the name Astrid. Will it be the punchy male beat combo from Lewis or the female singer- songwriter from Shetland who until recently fronted Goya Dress? Our money’s on the latter, since Astrid (Williamson) is actually her real name and because her solo debut, Boy For You, released next month, looks set to eclipse her under- achieving former trio by miles.
The transition from band to solo artist may look obvious in retrospect, but it was, according to the singer, 'a slow process‘ that gathered momentum when the group went to record the follow-up to Goya Dress’s debut, Rooms, with Malcolm Burn, a long-time Daniel Lanois collaborator. 'In some ways I think I got a peak performance out of Malcolm,’ ponders Astrid. Although bandmates Terry de Castro and Simon Pearson play on the record, around 90% of it ended up being performed by her and
Astrid: slipped out of her Goya Dress into solo splendour
Burn. By the time it was finished, she was Astrid, solo artist.
’The whole thing I actually found quite painful, because deep down I may have thought it was inevitable that ultimately I would become a solo artist. But I think I was the most incapable of accepting it. Terry and Simon, very graciously, were more understanding of the inevitability of that than me.‘
Later, she muses, 'Maybe I was hiding behind the camaraderie of the band to the detriment of revealing something that was important.’
Coming out from behind those defences may prove to be the wisest thing Astrid ever did. Boy For You is blessed with far greater focus than Rooms, and she thinks it benefited from the ‘Caribbean voodoo/
Catholic fairy-light sensuality' that surrounded them in New Orleans during the recording sessions. And considering how Goya Dress was, which was very slow and difficult and never seemed to get off the grcund,‘ Astrid is quite taken aback by how smoothly things are starting to move for her now. But whatever happens, she's far more relaxed about her fate. ‘Having achieved so little with something that I cared so deeply about, I'm far more able to accept whatever happens with this.’
As she mentions that her new band is the remnants of Strangelove, minus departed singer Patrick, Astrid starts to giggle. ’I’m just thinking,‘ she says, ’I should have invited Astrid to be my backing band.’
(Alastair Mabbott) I 80y For YOu IS out on Nude on Mon IO Aug
IMPROVISATION Tony Bevan
Edinburgh: Henry's Cellar Bar, Sun 12 Jul; Glasgow: 13th Note Cafe, Mon 13 Jul.
40 THE LIST 9—23 Jul I998
For Tony Bevan, big is beautiful when it comes to saxophones. Bevan plays soprano and tenor, but has also added the rare bass saxophone to his armoury. That massrve horn is an impressive sight as well as sound, and his open-minded approach to it is rooted in the arcane, experimental world of free improwsation
Bevan’s interest in that area began very early, and his experiments in adventurous listening were given added impetus by the presence of Lol Coxhill in his home town of Aylesbury (’Lol gave me my first saxophone lesson'). He established a reputation on the improvisation Circun, working with the likes of guitarist Derek Bailey, pianist Steve Beresford, and singer Phil Minton, as well as leading his own bands. The bass saxophone arrived when a change was forced upon his established threesome.
’I had a trio with Paul Rogers on bass and Steve Noble on percussion, then Paul decided to go off and live in Paris. Now Paul is not an eaSy player
to rust replace, and it was while I was wondering what the hell to do for a tour I had coming up with Phil Miriton that the thought of bass sax occured to me,’ explains Bevan 'I don't use it leSl as a bass instrument, thouth for me, it is another saxOphone voice, and it's a wonderful iristrurrieiit in its own right, With fantastic overtone effects '
Bevan will be bringing both tenor and bass for his Scottish dates, where he already has a connection. His most recent album, Twisters, was released on the Glasgow-based Scatter label, and they will be promoting a new monthly improvrsed ITIUSIC gig at The 13th Note Cafe in Glasgow, which Bevan will launch. But hang on — what's this bit in the CV about Teletubbies7
'Yeah, I filmed a bit about bass sax for the programme, but I'm not sure they Will use it now I like the idea that I can say I’ve played wrth Derek Bailey and Teletubbies, though!’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Bigmouth ’ The wit and the shit from the stars.
'I like soul, I like country, I like
music from glamorous places
where music is in the blood. Unfortunately I come from Essex so you do have to make believe a bit — if I was completely honest I’d write about sitting on my lardy arse watching Jerry Springer.'
Darren Hay/nan t1eret/re/ ei/‘liins
now [ICCtj'SVlV is the iritttner tat
Invent/on : 'Once I had this big lump of hash i that I made a cake with, put it in
the cupboard and went to the pub. I come back pissed and my ex-wife goes, “The vicar‘s here”. I did a double take and I go to my ex— wife, "Fuckin' hell, he's gonna die. I’ve put about two ounces of dope in that cake.” He starts to break into this horrendous sweat and turn green and wobble all over the place.’
’One lump or tin/c)!" new meaning when the war visits Ozzy Osbourne 5 for tea
’I was always looking to get married. Once, I was doing a commercial with Tina Turner in the south of France and I had the top suite of the Carlton Hotel and l was flying birds in from everywhere and shagging them. I was so fucking unhappy.’
Rod Stewart gives a frank/y unconvrncrng d/sp/ay of reconstructed Ina/e Sl/lCC’f/l'y’
'We’re like, or would like to be, the bloke who comes from a very posh public school and becomes a successful producer of porn movies and sticks his finger up at those taking the piss.’
Justin Currie draws a tenuous link between pop, porn and pub/it: school's ‘l've never understood why people fancied someone like Leonardo DiCaprio. To me that's like eating Wotsits when you can have a big bowl of octopus in ink.’
Cerys Matthews of Catatonia rornpares DiCaprio to cheesy crisps So who’s a big bowl of octopus in ini’t ? And why is it preferable to Wotsits?
fake. tin a Lynn/e