ROCK Gay Dad Glasgow: King Tut's, Sun 14 Feb.
With the world of pop gripped by a protracted bout of glamour deficit disorder and its shuffling denizens beginning to resemble the cast of Keeping Up Appearances, it’s time to meet Gay Dad; a band barely out of the closet and yet already poised to sucker-punch the pipe 'n' slippers set from their bath chairs.
‘Gay Dad is a wake-up call,’ announces Cliff Jones, the ’Dad’s watchful keeper and, being a former rock writer, a man not averse to the odd spot of hyperbole hockey. 'We've got power, energy, drive and belief and with one fell swoop we will wipe out boy bands and all those who don't care about making a difference.’
Blimey. Talk about talking the talk. But it’s not all chest-beating and cheek-puffery in the ’Dad camp. In fact, the band’s philosophy is one based on the sort of open-minded, all-for-one-and-one-for—all magnanimity that’s rarely seen in today’s egocentric music scene. Each member writes their own parts, contributes to the direction of every song and has equal say in their 'Dad's future. And, believes Cliff, it's a policy essential for the
Gaydad: planning on boy band cull
health of the band. 'Being in the band is like being transported to a higher state where ego is completely forgotten. It’s like a mind-meld, a total fusion of ideas and personalities. Gay Dad is a real symbiotic organism; it’s happier that way.’
And so to the music. Those of you familiar with Radio One’s daytime playlist can't have failed to pick up on 'To Earth With Love', 'Dad‘s ace grab-bag debut that ricochets around Bowie's larder like a plague of leatherette-fixated tsetse flies. Similarly, those of you on speaking terms with TFI Friday will have thus borne witness to the Gay Dad live experience, in which Cliff and co have proceeded to whup some serious glam butt while dressed like survivors from a Def Leppard-based yachting disaster. Cool. But in a world convinced that chow-chopped Foreigner fans Gomez are the future are we ready for such wanton pop bravura?
’l s’pose sometimes the culture isn't quite prepared for what you are and some people just can't get their head around you and we're ready for that. I'm sure some people will hate us. But to be honest, I don't care.‘ asserts the flop-fringed twenty-something. ’All we really wanna do is make great music.‘
Mission accomplished, daddio. (Sarah Dempster)
California Guitar Trio: surfing the Bach beat
Fripp. But they’re still no wiser as to why the three of them should have banded together from out of the hundreds of gUItarists Fripp has tutored.
’I think part of it had to do with our similar interests,’ says Richards, admitting that their actual tastes are very varied. 'It’s one of those things you can’t pin down to see exactly what was behind it, because it worked out so well that there could have been a bit more to it than just that.’
The combination means that their audiences get to enjoy a repertoire that ranges from Bach and Beethoven to the Dick Dale surf classic 'Misirlou',
California Guitar Trio
Edinburgh: Bongo Club, Sun 7 Feb, Canongate Kirk, Tue 9 Feb; Glasgow: Borders Bookshop, Mon 8 Feb.
There's no shortage of acoustic guitar groups in the world, but you’ll never come across another like the California Guitar Trio. Belgian Bert Lams, Japanese Hideyo Moriya and American Paul Richards are all veterans of Crimson King Robert Fripp's intriguing Guitar Craft seminars, continuing the Guitar Craft ethic by using Fripp’s
40 THE UST 4—18 Feb 1999
unique C-to-G tuning and playing With plectrums rather than fingernails. The volume, body and full, ringing effect that comes from splitting the parts between three players could never be duplicated by one classical gUitarist, even using all his fingers.
Central to Fripp’s courses was revivrng the process of handing down a craft and its philosophy through personal contact between master and novuce. He must be proud of the Trio, as the members all devote part of their time to students, teaching them the tuning, posture and attitude they learned from
which Richards feels has as much claim to the concert platform as established composers' works.
'Oh, sure, definitely. Because, for us, they all have a certain purpose in the performance. In live performance, they add a different Quality. If we did a performance only of Bach's fugues, I would certainly enjoy it, but it wouldn't have the same energy as when we're doing "Misirlou" or The Shadows or something like that. The performance changes completer when we play those pieces.’ (Alastair Mabbott)
Cha Cha Cohen Glasgow: King Tut's, Fri 12 Feb.
The latest release on Glasgow's Chemikal Underground Records has a whiff of exotica which you are not going to get from labelmates like Arab Strap or Magoo, lovely as they may be. Encased in a tasteful sleeve of best Catholic iconography, Cha Cha Cohen’s self-titled debut album is as surprising a cocktail of guitars, rhythms and samples as it is possible to get from ex-BOs indie supremos from Leeds.
So who are/is this Cha Cha Cohen? Sleevenotes reveal that one Jacqui Dulany, a US-dwelling Australian, is the chief catalyst but trainspotters may recall the names Keith Gregory and Simon Smith as those of The Wedding Present’s rhythm section.
The band came together when the former Weddoes, now a travelling skifer band, played in Austin, Texas where Jacqui was temporarily living to clear out the New York cobwebs after the demise of her previous band Dustdevils.
'Life took a different turn for a while,’ she recalls. ’I was just concentrating on surviving really. Then I missed playing and Keith said he wanted to do a new band and would I sing for them?’
In the few years the group have been together they have released a few singles preceding this album but activity tends to be limited by the members living arrangements — Jacqui in upstate New York and Keith and Simon in Leeds.
So how often do the band convene?
’About once a year,’ says Jacqui. ’But I like the extremity of that. It makes it more excmng.’
So while other groups are bickering in rehearsal rooms or hanging out together hoping fans will recognise them, JaCQui is either intensiver writing, recording and gigging or living her remote life in the New England sticks where, until recently, she worked in an American Indian casino. She has given that up for her annual Cha Cha Cohen splurge and her first visit to her native Australia in seventeen years. And after that . . . ?
'I'm just open to the future,’ she says. (Fiona Shepherd)
Cha Cha Cohen: wedded to the rhythm