LARRY LEAN IS A GREAT ROCK 'N' ROLL name. It's not quite up there with Rip McSnorter or Izzy Straddlin. but it conveys the same sort of connotations — hunger. keeness. a predatory nature. If you wanted to let your imagination really run riot. then it might bring to mind the gaunt allure of 70s rockers who discovered that certain powders could keep them partying all night. And then never went to bed for the rest of their lives.
All of which makes it a perfect name for the lead singer of Edinburgh band Annie Christian. A lifelong fan of Cuban heels. Lean insists on wearing them at all times and. against all odds. is convinced they‘ll make a comeback. Hollow of check. whip thin and dressed in black. he looks like a walking representation of core rock ‘n‘ roll values.
Apparently. after a particularly enthusiastic
tequila massacre. Lean managed to get himself
thrown out of one of The List‘s Festival parties (and by God. that‘s difficult) for joining another band on stage and providing an impromtu fToorshow. While it‘s not exactly
out on V2. The thirteen tracks are sharp. dramatic and vivid. They demonstrate a
gothic interest in the more louche. dark side of
life. and there is that definite feeling of ‘us against the world' which has been a running theme in music since the time that the first caveman beat out a rhythm on his neighbour‘s skull.
The songs inhabit that half-light world of
late nights. shady goings-on and fleeting. sexually ambiguous encounters. The facts that Lean is a big Suede fan and the band take their name from a suggestive Prince song are further pointers.
‘Our fans are this odd mix of old Joy Division fans. the crowd-surfing Symposium fans and. bizarrely. we also seem to get people who like Marilyn Manson.‘ grins Lean. The Joy Division fans tend to be enraptured by the cover of ‘Transmissiorf which the band often slip into their live set.
‘The first band I was ever in. we just did Joy Division and Cure covers.‘ he confesses. ‘It's a throwback to that. We supported
look. ‘lt's a bit like putting staples in your eyes.’ offers guitarist Chris Adams ruefully.
‘On the final day of the shoot. Andy [Hastings. the drummer] managed to flush one of his lenses down the sink.‘ chortles Lean. ‘Which is why you can only see one side of his face for the rest of the video.‘
Then there was the time when someone set off a pepper spray at one of their gigs and security beat up the offender so badly that the police arrested the bouncer and nearly shut down the concert. ‘lt was like our own mini- Altamont.~ says Lean referring to the infamous Stones' gig where the Hells Angels security killed a fan.
These sort of things keep a hands feet on the ground. although with luck 'Iirilight should help them find a wider audience.
‘At the moment it feels like we’re some kind of underground secret.‘ smiles Lean. ‘Hopefully. Twilight will sell steadily. Not for the money. although obviously that helps. but because we want people to connect to it. We really get into the music on stage and. if the
goings-on and fleeting, sexually ambiguous encounters.
Hammer Of The Gods stuff. it's a promising start: even Keith Moon didn‘t kick off his career by driving the Rolls into the swimming pool.
This is worth mentioning because it all dovetails neatly with Annie Christian‘s debut album. Twilight. which is just about to come
KATE WINSLET SA'I'D
Monaco once and l was a bit worried what Peter Hook would think if he heard it.‘ Obviously. it hasn‘t all been plain sailing. and looking glam can be bloody hard work. The video for their single 'The Other Way' required all band members to wear white
contact lenses for that essential. alien outsider
audience don‘t get it. then we want to know why. because we really work hard at making that connection. That mixed with the Bill Hicks attitude of not giving a fuck. of course.‘
Milight is released by V2 on Mon 8 Feb. Annie Christian play Glasgow's 92 on Sat 20 Feb.
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+18 Feb 1999 THE LIST 13