FILM MUSIC Jerry Goldsmith 8: the RSNO.
Glasgow: Royal Concert Hall, Sat 20 Feb, Edinburgh: Festival Theatre, Sun 28 Feb. A season of Goldsmith scored films is playing at GFT and Edinburgh Filmhouse.
One man is responsible for two of the most disparately evocative pieces of music in history. Jerry Goldsmith wrote the rural hymn of the The Waltons theme some eighteen months before producing the satanic majesty of The Omen soUndtrack. Hard to believe that the same individual could so perfectly encapsulate the lives of God fearing decent folk just prior to proving that the devil has all the best tunes. These classics constitute just two entries in Goldsmith's canon of 17S and counting. He‘s been a composer for 50 of his 70 years and consequently will have a broad repertoire to choose from when taking up the baton to conduct the Royal Scottish National Orchestra this month.
The half century which Goldsmith’s career spans has seen film music move away from being grossly under appreciated — it was even referred to as 'incidental’ - to emerge as a self-sufficient artform. People rush from multiplex to megastore and use music as a way to
Top scorer: Jerry Goldsmith
recapture the sensations experienced in their cinema seat. But the very best practitioners of the art offer something more transcendent than a reminder of a favourite movie. Listen to David Holmes' superfly score for Out Of Sight, Craig Armstrong’s lush romanticism from Romeo & Juliet, or practically anything by Ennio Morricone and be immediately transported to the worlds they create, even if you're unfamiliar with the images the sounds are designed to complement. If you're lucky enough to be in the audience for Jerry Goldsmith’s shows with the RSNO, expect to pay sonically powered visits to the criminal underworlds of Los Angeles (Chinatown, LA Confidential), supernatural suburbia (Poltergeist, Gremlins), or the farthest reaches of outer space (Total Recall, Star Trek).
These high profile concerts convey the final vestige of. legitimacy on film music, and it‘s to be hoped that the small screen genre could undergo a similar re- evaluation. TV themes have received a lot of attention in recent years, although unfortunately it's mainly been from loungecore cheese enthusiasts. An Oscar winning composer leading the RSNO through The Man From Uncle should go some way to rehabilitating the tunes that make your tube worth listening to. (Rob Fraser)
Every fortnight we turn the spotlight on a new act who are doing good stuff. This issue: Looper
Stuart David, bassist in Belle And Sebastian, his wife Wee Karn and brother Ronnie are responsible for the collage of sound and vision that is Looper, the 'visual and literary extravaganza’ which came to fruition at a Glasgow Art School function. It was a gig, Jim, but not as we know it. Stuart had been writing songs and stories for years, while Karn, an ex- Sculpture student, was working in community art and Ronnie was mounting his own photography exhibitions. Looper interlocks all their fields of interest. The latest instalment
Looper: (What's the story) Jackanory?
is a single ’Ballad Of Ray Suzuki’ and an album Up A Tree, 3 mix of spoken word, lo-fi electronica and shuffling beats which sounds like Arab Strap with some Ievity and, elsewhere, like the soundtrack to an Oliver Postgate canoon.
‘The album’s like buying the soundtrack to a film — it’s only half the story. The live show makes up the other half,’ says Stuart.
40 THE usr l8 Feb—4 Mar 1999
Karn agrees, saying her accomp anying films are ’Iike the pictures that would come up in Jackanory.’
So far Stuart’s stories have provided the building blocks - little documentary vignettes as evidenced on the Belle And Sebastian song ’A Century Of EIVis'
’I like to take things straight from life, almost like journalism but more esoteric,’ he says. ’I like Raymond Carver's poetry and Charles Bukowski.
Karn tries to copy the style of Richard and Judy. Her ambition IS to get an interview on Richard and Judy and a room on Changing Rooms.’
3 Ballad Of Ray Suzuki is released on Mon 22 Feb on Jeepster. Up A Tree follows on Mon 8 Mar. Looper play Missing Records, Glasgow, Thu 77 Mar and Avalanche Records, Edinburgh, Fri 72 Mar.
ROCK Gilded Lil Glasgow: The 13th Note, Fri 19 Feb.
You hear a lot of propaganda spouted in the war against musical mediocrity, but Edinburgh five~piece Gilded Lil have enough passion to convince you to lend them an ear. Fuelled by a particularly good practise session the day berfore, bassist Gerry Martin is fired up and ready to evangelise fervently for his band. He reckons they plough a fiercely individual furrow, refusing to ape musical trends or base their sound on any other band.
’What makes us different is that we’re not aiming to sound like anything,’ says Martin. ’At our practise room, you can hear other bands and tell what they’re aiming for. You hear big chord sequences and go "oh yeah, Oasis”, then there’s the Nirvana band. We haven't got this shared idea of how a band should sound so it ends up Spunding completely unique.’
Nevertheless, Martin makes a stab at explaining how the Gilded Lil sound has emerged naturally from the enormously eclectic tastes the different members.
’Mark the drummer is really into funk and Ross (slide guitarist) is playing blues stuff and Malcy (guitarist) is totally into crazy punk quirkiness and I’m really into Public Image so I’m playing huge basslines and Kerry’s really into blues singers. We’re not really anything, we just bring it all out and there it is.' A pause for breath. ’l’m talking quite a lot of shit. I can see vast rolling deserts in my head and I can‘t describe it. I get so worked up about every aspect of Gilded Lil.’
However, Martin's helter skelter enthusiasm is a bit like the band itself. Their blues punk howl comes hurtling out of nowhere and is as mean, low— slung and dirty as you’re going to find east of the Mississippi delta. Over the course of six singles, released over the last eighteen months, including a couple on Glasgow-based independent Bosqu -— ’Throw Your Hands In The Air And Thank God You’ve Got Gilded Lil’ and ’Whang/The Night | Met The King’ -- , they have come across as The Velvet Underground going blues boogie ballistic, as The Cramps fronted by a gallus Janis Joplin and as the only band who might be able to out-chaos Royal Trux. There’s an album in the pipeline which Martin thinks will take Gilded Lil out of muddy waters, but regardless of any refining process, they sound like a band you will want to see live. (Fiona Shepherd)
Eclectic dreamers: Gilded Lil