live reviews


NME Carling Premier Tour we Glasgow: QM Union, Sun 10 Jan

As it's usually the first gig of any note at the start of each year, there are always high hopes for the NME Carling Premier tour. Designed to show off the most promising, rising talent, the event peps up the traditionally bleak musical month of January and signals a return to real life after the Christmas bloat.

So it's a bit of a kick in the cojones when the Llama Farmers get things off to a lame start. A baffling mix of monster mosh riffs punctuated with wishy washy, shoe-gazing interludes, it’s difficult to listen to without the phrase ’50 what?’ involuntarily forming in the mind. It doesn't help that the band seem as bored as the audience for most of the set.

Delakota up the ante by bounding on stage looking as though they've just come from an extended Hogmanay orgy and they want to continue it at the QM. Frontman Cass Elliot resembles the wild-eyed, party animal twin brother of Crispin ’Kula Shaker' Mills, a kind of blitzed Artful Dodger. Not that they sound anything like the joss stick jive of the Shaker. Black Grape crossed with the stoned groove of Alabama 3 is a closer cousin to their schtick and very infectious it is too.

Of course, it’s ldlewild that a large proportion of the audience are waiting for and the place goes appropriately bananaswhen they come on. The musical equivalent of Hong Kong Phooey, ldlewild are mild mannered janitors until they find themselves on a stage and they transform into exploding furballs of angular noise. When singer Roddy Woomble isn't screaming into the floor then he has a disconcerting habit of staring at the audience without actually seeing anything. Or


Ricky Ross: still finding his feet in the beat?



ldlewiij in rare calm mode

rather he's seeing something that other people can't. It's as though he’s shell-shocked. Which is much the same way that the audience felt by the time they finish. The fact that a technical glitche makes Woomble inaudible for a couple of songs does little to minimise the trauma.

The men from UNKLE round off the night in the form of James Lavelle and the Scratch Perverts, all arriving to the strains of the Star Wars theme tune. Following a kick-ass, punk rock band with an atmospheric scratch and mix set seems a little odd but the fortunate few who aren't too jammed against their neighbours muster up a shuffle. (Jonathan Trew)

reunion. Their skeletal accompaniment

the rhythm section but never the drama from those Ricky Ross songs where each new note sounds with the graVity of an incoming commandment. He reaches back to their band debut for 'Born In A Storm', 'Eaintown’, ‘che's Great Fears' and ’Dignity', indulges himself in a little storytelling about his father or meeting a drunk on the bus when he was fourteen and pulls out some odd song ch0ices, including one apparently written With


the Scottish Arts Council a very bizarre moment.

But, even though it‘s not a one—pace show Ross and Slaven get down for a

the intention of prising money out of

Ricky Ross

EdinbUrgn:Assembly Rooms if

'I know what you're thinking: Where’s the ieltx theine7' Ricky Ross says a few songs in, perhaps as much to I himself as to the audience. Image and

identity had become a veXing point even before Deacon Blue's split, and appearing under the Celtic Connections banner, as Ricky Ross does tonight, after less than

conspicuous success as a solo artist,

could be interpreted as a desperate scramble to find a wagon to hitch himself to. Or maybe he's realised that, like U2 in the 80s, all the time Deacon Blue thought they were playing rock they were actually being a ’very loud folk band’

As well as Glasgow's gutsiest gunarist, Mick Slaven, he's br0ught with him Lorraine Ivlclntosh and keyboard player James Prime, making this evening a partial Deacon Blue

good thrash now and then ~ there’s a kind of dourness hanging over the proceedings. Ross’s husky v0ice is a limited instrument, far more exposed now than it ever was in Deacon Blue, and he doesn’t seem to know what to do With himself if there isn’t a piano or goitar to hide behind. The unplugged format of the gig has its benefits, none the less perhaps it's an embryonic version of the show in which Ricky Ross will truly discover his voice as a solo artist. (Alastair Mabbott)

is a reminder that you can take away i

live reviews MUSIC


Celtic Connections Round-Up *i air 1%

Scattered over the Celtic Connections stage, Blazing Fiddles are six feisty, youngish Scots fiddlers who do it standing up, have energy a-plenty, a great sense of humour and a cheerfully irreverent approach to traditional music. But that doesn’t mean they play badly quite the opposite. Rough- edged, simply arranged (once you're in, keep playing) with keyboard and gUitar, they play a rake of good tunes, the occasional slow air, and sport a glorious line in stage gear. Criticised, on one of their few outings, for looking like a charity shop, they hired tuxedo’s for this gig, and changed into them half way through, getting the biggest cheer of the night.

Earlier, Triple Harp Bypass had been hyperventilating, as was a good part of the audience at the Festival's ’moothie’ extravaganza, as masters of the mouth organ Brendan Power, Rick Epping and Mick Kinsella blew blues, dance band tunes, old swing band numbers and cheesy waltzes over an appreciative crowd. The celtic connection rested most firmly with native Irishman Kinsella who drove his traditional reels along at a beautiful pace. Elsewhere they conjured up what sounded like a pre-war soundtrack, like one of those Tyrolean harmonica bands in a beer cellar. Epping, an Englishman long exiled in America, whipped out a concertina and played with himself, blowing the harmonica in a harness. All three of them stacked up the harmony in a strange waltz, which Kinsella assured us had come, wholly composed, in a dream to the young female fiddle player in Kila, the band at that very moment getting ready to go on stage down the road.

This ten-strong raggle-taggle outfit are huge in Ireland. in Dublin their fans pack out big venues, and know all the words to their songs (invariably in Irish gaelic). At the Fruitmarket there was on-stage anarchy, keening pipes, floaty flutes, war-like chanting and, everywhere, drums. Bodhrans, shakers, djembes and anything with a skin. All above a sea of dancers. Truly tribal. (Norman Chalmers)

Kila: on-stage anarchy

STAR RATINGS * * it ac if Unmissable * a at * Very ood it in» Wort a shot * 1k Below average at You've been warned

2i Jan-4 lel) l999 THELIST 45