If you're not stuck in Glasgow or Edinburgh for the second half of October, try the ABERDEEN ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL, north-east Scotland's funky feast of arts and entertainments. Below, we recommend a few reasons why it's worth taking the road. Ecizec by Andrew Burnet.
ABERDEEN ALTERNATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL
Faithless came together as a band over three years ago, though Svengali songwriter Rollo had worked with keyboard-player Sister Bliss before that. Rollo and Bliss made up the formidable studio brain of the band; they were joined by 41-year-old MC Maxi Jazz, Jamie Catto, described as ‘the hippy from Faithless‘ and, more recently, by guitarist Dave Randall.
Best of the Fest: Faithless
Their first album, Reverence suprised everyone, not least themselves. Despite being on a proper independent label and thus lacking the money to blow on promotion, it went gold in 22 countries and sold over a million copies. Faithless followed this effort with a 25-countries-in- eighteen-months style of touring — during which they won a European Grammy award for Best Live Dance Show, coming in ahead of The Prodigy and The Fugees.
Their second album, Sunday 8pm was released last month and looks set to do just as well, entering the charts at Number Six, and months of promotional tours have been booked on the back of it.
Having toured together for so long, their initial excitement - evident on Reverence - has matured somewhat. The Faithless biography states 'If Reverence was the representation of their meeting, then Sunday 8pm is the result of their unification. It is the sound of them having lived in each others‘ pockets.’
It reads like PR puff, but this suggestion is met with a rebuke. ‘Oh no, I wrote that,’ says Catto. ‘lt‘s entirely accurate. We didn‘t know each other at all back then.‘
It seems now they do, although the more grown-up sound of Sunday 8pm hasn‘t completely satisfied some critics, who still brand their music as ‘disposable house‘. Of more interest to the audience who’ll see them in Aberdeen: how do they work together on stage now?
'Oh, on stage it‘s fantastic, awesome,’ says Catto. ‘We can afford to be more experimental and so we are. Really, you have to come and see it.‘ (Simone Baird) 92¢ 933 e t"e : H5: 3" Se" ‘8 0:1.
NOW IN ITS SlX'l‘liliN'l‘ll Yl-LAR. Aberdeen Alternalixe l‘estixal is a high point in north-east Scotl;iltd\ cultural year.
Running ’I‘htirsda) 15 to Satui'da} 2-1 October. it brings \arious major names to the cit). as uell as ottering a plattorm to local pertormers. both protessional and amateur. There is also a circuit ot c‘ttlllllllllltl} \enues. to \thich certain shou s tour.
These are iiol comprehensix e listings. but a selection oi highlights. I‘or turthcr details. or to order a cop} ot the brochure. contact the
I’estnal ()ttice Isce right 1.
Rock & Pop
Club Lithium Sui l7 ()c1. .\ltisic llall. Spin. £5. Abei'deen's neu independent record label Lithium presents tour ot the eighteen acts \\ ho appear on its sampler disc Rm! ()1 The ('11).
Stereophonics Thu 22 ()ct. .\lusic llall. doors open 7pm. L") plus booking tee. S()I.I) ()l'l. It ticket sales are an}thing to go b}. the Welsh pt)\\Cl'-pt)p trio ha\e as man} tollouers in the north-east as the} haw elseuhere in Scotland.
Bernard Butler Sui 2-1 Oct. .\lusic Hall. doors open 8.30pm. LS + booking tee in ad\ance: U) + booking ice on the door. l‘oi'mer Suede axeman Butler has taken a new \eil Young-ish direction; and gained a big lollott ing
\\ itli his debut solo album People .Ilnl'i' ()II.
Dance Music Faithless Sun IS ()ct. \liisic IItlII. Hﬁllptll. LII). SL‘L‘ tibin e.
La Bottine Souriante Sui l7 ()ct. Music Hall. Spin. L'lll lL'S t. (‘elebrated ja/x/salsa/ ('ajun nine-piece from Quebec. \\ itb a t\\e1\e-_\‘ear pedigree in crossox er Vibes. Vieja Trova Santiaguera l"ri l(i ()ct. .\Itisic Hall. 8pm. ill) iLS l. "l‘he (irandtathers ()t Salsa' the old bo_\s trom ('uba are among the most respected and seducti\e ot ageing gt‘titHL‘l'S. ott'ei'ing humour. hai‘iiionies and dance.
Steven Berkoff: Villain! 'I'ue 21)()ct. IIis .\lajest} ‘s 'I‘heatre. Spin. L'lll £15 lL'S U31. l’oxtert'ul. arch and irresistibl} tunn}. Berkott~ takes a lo\ ing and Iasci\ iotis [ran] through Shakespeare's nastiest characters.
A Soldier’s Song “ed 31 ()ct. Lemon Tree. Spin. £71951. (in) .\lasterson performs an energetic and surprisingl)
tunn} stage \et'sion ot‘ Ken I.uko\\ iak's book about the I-‘alklaiids \tar.
Ken Campbell: Theatre Stories Sui 24 Oct. Bt'lIIizlllII) intelligent and barel) sane. the manerick monologuist casts his laby‘inthine mind back
in er tom decades of theatrical experiment.
The Happy Gang: Castaway Island Tue 20 ()ct. IIis Majest} ‘s 'l‘heatre. 2.30pm. L4 (under-2s tree). Seaside trolics from the gleesome threesome.
Jacques Loussier .\1on It) ()ct. lIis Majest} 's 'I‘beatre. Spin. L'lt) L15 (LS £131. The \\t)t'ItI-citlss pianist. best knoun tor bringing a ja/I sensibilit} to Bach and \'i\aldi. turns his hand to French composer Iirik Satie.
Lyric Quartet: The Cosmos (‘imdra} Hall. Spm. £11 (£9). The Scottish premiere of this next piece b) (iax in Br}ars; pills \utt‘ks I1} Siltisltlktn icIt. \}iti;iii and Martin Butler.
Celtic & Traditional Musm
Eliza Carthy & Saul Rose iii 16 ()c1. Lemon Tree. Spin. £7 (£5). Jtist 32. \ irtuoso tiddler lili/a (‘ath) is taking the folk \xorld b} storm. 'I'onight. she is joined by iiielodeon pla) er Saul Rose. \\ ho also p|a_\ s on her neu album. Rt't/ Rm: Lunasa Sat 17 ()ct. Stakis (ii) IIaIl. Spin. LS iLbi. .\ llL‘\\ collecti\ e ot~ Ireland‘s leading traditional musicians. all with an impressne pedigree.
Jenny Eclair Mon It) ()ct. Lemon Tree. 9.30pm. th). :\tter acclaimed shim s in lidinburgh. coined) ‘s tamnrite fi'mnii' tiituli’ hits to“ it.
Ben Elton 'I‘hu 22 ()ci. IIis Majest} 's 'I‘heatre. Spin.
1; l 2.50 £32. With a tic“ nmel just out. the little teller \\ ith the big talent is back.
For general enquiries contact
Festival Office 15/17 Belmont Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JR, 01224 635822.
Website http://space.dia|.pipex.co m/abfest
Tickets are available for all shows from
Aberdeen Box Office Music Hall Union Street, 01224 641122/01224 620011. And for selected shows from I 1-Up Records 17 Belmont Street, 01224 642662.
Special deals Available from the Festival Office or Aberdeen Box Office
Friends Of The Festival A scheme offering priority booking and concession rates. Price: £10.
Club Passes Free access to the Festival Club at the Lemon Tree every night. Price: £30 (£25).
Beach Ballroom Beach Boulevard. Booking: 01224 635822.
The Blue Lamp 121 Gallowgate, 01224 647472.
Cowdray Hall Schoolhill, 01224 646333.
His Majesty's Theatre Rosemount Viaduct, 01224 637788.
The Lemon Tree West North Street, 01224 642230.
° Music Hall Union Street,
01224 641 122/01224 620011.
Stakis City Hotel 43—45 Market Street, 01224 582255.
Travel 8: - accommodation
For assistance contact Aberdeen & Grampian Tourist Board 01330 825917.
Lemon Tree Every night 10pm-2am. £5—£7. End the day with a drink and a soupcon of laid-back entertainment, including comedy and music. There's something different every night. A few highlights are given above; others include salsa band Sonora La Calle and porky Irish comic Martin BigPig (Fri 16); traditional music and dance from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe‘s Black Spear (Sat 17) and demon Cajun accordionist Eddie LeJeune (Wed 21).
87—22 Oct 1998 THE LIST 89