Scottish post-ravers One Dove may be as dead as a dodo, but former singer DOT ALLISON is preparing to fly back into the charts.
Words: Fiona Shepherd
Apart from an appearance in The List’s top ten Scottish sex symbols feature last year. not a lot has been heard of Dot Allison round these parts since the early 905 when her band One Dove propelled the Edinburgh-born singer/songwriter onto Top Of The Pops and into the hearts of lovers of wistful. atmospheric electro pop. Their only album Morning Dove White was a natural successor to Primal Scream’s Screamadelica and a luxuriant predecessor to Portishead’s Dummy. Cultural commentators and pop pundits from John O’Groats to Lands End predicted bug things for One Dove. but-they never realised their potential and inevitably split.
Now.after five years in the wildnerness (or ‘demoing tracks in London’ as it’s known in the music biz’) Allison is back with two solo singles and a forthcoming album. ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ is an excruciatingly-limited edition 7-inch. described by those lucky enough to have got their sticky paws on a copy as ‘the sound of post-acid house Velvets’. The March follow-up. "Mo’ Pop‘. perhaps unsurprisingly. sounds a bit like One Dove. with breathy French intonations from Allison and a lush. romantic lyric and arrangement. Like Gabrielle’s ‘Give Me A Little More Time’. it is a worthy 90$ homage to Phil Spector.
‘lf l’m honest with myself I’ve always wanted to write on my own.’ says Allison. ‘lt’s always been a daunting aspiration that had been kept dormant. l really did want One Dove to work but it just didn’t. The whole writing dynamic had changed and it fractured out into three people writing their own tracks. So I decided to make a clean break now. It was quite a bittersweet time.’
Relocating to London. she spent time in her publishers’ songwriting studio. honing some new material and finally bagging a deal with Heavenly.
‘The only thing that was keeping me sane was the carrot at the end of the stick that I’d be able to do more music,’ she recounts. ‘It was a weird vortex. When I look back I don’t know how I got
88 'l'llELlS‘l’ 18 Feb—4 Mar 1999
‘Being female, with two other guys pe0ple assumed I was singing someone else's songs and that was so frustrating. I remember once at The Arches someone asked if I made the tea in One Dove.’ Dot Allison
Allison's starting to happen: Dot rejoins the pop fray
through that because the writing period was quite disjointed.‘
One of her motivating factors at this time must have been the desire to prove herself as an able songwriter. particularly with the prejudice she felt during her One Dove days.
‘Being female with two other guys. people assumed I was singing someone else‘s songs and that is so frustrating. I don‘t want people thinking I’m just ornamental. I remember once at The Arches somebody saying “what do you do in One Dove — make the tea?" If you're writing and programming that really sticks in your throat because you start wondering if that’s what people really think. A wee gtty gets a sampler and he‘s a boffin genius. A girl gets a sampler and people say “do you not want to write with somebody?” So for me. it‘s about dispelling myths.’
Over three quarters of forthcoming album Afterglow is written by Allison alone but she did bend her self-imposed non~ collaborative rules on a couple of worthwhile occasions. ‘Mo’ Pop‘ was written with Anthony Reynolds of urban romantics Jack. and elsewhere on the album you‘ll see a writing credit for legendary lyricist Hal David. And if Dusty Springfield or Brian Wilson are listening — you‘re next on Dot Allison‘s wish list. Apart from that. it’s her way or the highway.
Tomorrow Never Comes is out now. Mo' Pop is released on Heavenly, Mon 15 Mar. Afterglow follows in May.
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