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Bombay remix

They fled to India to escape a tempestuous media and found themselves in the middle of a life- threatening electrical storm.

KULA SHAKER are back and sparks are sure to fly. Jonathan Trew

You ney er know where a cony'ersation with Kula Shaker is likely to end up. One minute you‘re on a houseboat on a canal in London. the next you're up an Indian mountain with an electrical storm raging around you.

Kula Shaker are a band who just can‘t seem to zty'oid doing things dit'tcrently. Their 1990 debut album It had the audacity to go in at Number One and sell oy'er a million copies. an astonishing achieyement giy‘en that a year pt'ey'tously. they could probably count their tans on the lingers ot' (‘aptain llook.

llaying gone supernoya in the course ot a year. Kula Shaker's star promptly imploded when lead singer (‘rispian Mills got himself into a lot ol' bother with some ill-ady'ised remarks about swastikas. The ensuing shit storm saw the Kula foursome diye tor coy'er and a spot of sell-imposed purdah.

.\lills. drummer l’aul \‘y’interheart and bassist Alon/a Bey'an headed tor India. 'lt had got to be too much about other things and not the music.’ explains Mills. 'lt was like losing touch with the fact that we‘re a band and we had to make another record. We really had to be thinking about the music. so we just stopped ey'ery'thing and cut ottt'sely'es ()ll.‘

And cut themselyes oll they did. courtesy ot' some ineanderinfls around the subcontinent. 'l'rouble was. at one point it seemed as though the band didn‘t need

'We were in such a hurry that we fell into this water and came out covered in leeches. It was disgusting.’ Alonza Bevan

‘2‘ {Ty-21.1. I. Thank U India: Kula Shaker

isolation as much as electrical insulation.

'We were in the south of India and we were on top ol' this mountain.‘ says the ey'er al‘l'able lieyan taking up the story with a chuckle. ‘We could see this electrical storm coming crackling towards us. We looked around and ot' course we were the highest things around so we had to get down trom there sharpish. We were in such a hurry that we tell into this water on the way down. We came out eoyered in leeches. It was disgusting.‘

Possible electrocution and blood—letting aside. the Kulas returned with their karmas recharged and .sL‘l about working on their imtninent second album l’eusunls‘, l’rgs‘ :lm/ Astronauts. .\ briet' period in l..'\ working with legendary producers Rick Rubin and (ieorge Drakoulias led to their top three single

‘Sound Of Drums‘ but they opted to record the rest or

the album back in London on a ltottsel‘oat owned by Pink l‘loyd‘s l)ay'e (iilmour.

‘lt was great t'un although it got a bit di//y' at times.‘ remembers Heyan. ‘lt was an old. late Victorian canal boat and you could look out windows and see the swans going past.'

The litttlsc‘l‘ttgtl damn sight more idyllic than the lake and shake choke ol' i.x\ tltttl sc‘t‘lttt‘tl to still the Kula mindset.

"l‘he first album was a kind ol‘ i'tisli.' says Heyan. "()n this one we‘y'e had time to do things dit't'erently. \Ve'ye got people like (iouri ('houdhury who worked on ‘(ioy'inda' and llarisprasad ('haurasia. the tamous liltlte player. is on this one.‘

’()nce you'ye heard those sounds you can't get them otit oi your system.‘ explains .\lills. "l'hey become part (it the way you want to esprcss yourselt'. It‘s part ol‘ our principles and ideals and part ot' our backgrounds jtist as tour people. It‘s what made us what we are.’

Hi iiit‘

\\ ;l\ ;l

Kula Shaker play Glasgow Barrowland, Sat 13 Mar. Peasants, Pigs And Astronauts is released on Columbia, Mon 8 Mar. See review, page 42.

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THE POWER OF television has been amply demonstrated for Scottish bands recently. Following their shock win in the Best Newcomer category at the Brit Awards and televised acceptance ’speech', Belle And Sebastian are selling an estimated five times as many copies of The Boy With The Arab Strap throughout Britain. in Scotland, where a massive fanbase ensures steady sales, the rise is less dramatic. However, the Virgin Megastore in Glasgow's Argyle Street and HMV in Edinburgh’s Princes Street report that between three and four times as many copies as normal are flying out the shop.

The Delgados have also been basking in the televisual sun. Their recent excellent performance of ’Pull The Wires From The Wall’ on Channel 5's Jack Docherty Show saw the band reunited with John Peel, a guest on the show. The Delgados, who once played at Peel’s wife’s birthday party, featured on the first episode of the DJ's current Channel 4 series, Sound Of The Suburbs.

MORE NEWS ON the Belle And Sebastian front. Pete Waterman's claims that their Brits win was fixed made the front page of The Sun, and The List bears that singer Stuart Murdoch has had the headline screenprinted onto a T—sbirt and is proudly wearing it about town. The boy with the arab strapline, anyone?

GENEVA, WHO ARE currently recording the follow up to 1997's Further album with Howie B, have found their studio invaded by a host famous types. Those dropping in on the sessions include ex-Band guitarist Robbie Robertson, The Bluetones and techno DJ Dave Angel. Bono has heard a tape of the new material and is reported to have been mightily impressed. Look out for a September release.

MTV HAVE JUST launched brand: new, an aptly named series dedicated to freshly minted music ranging from Canibus to Witness. Hosted by Zane Lowe, the show broadcasts twice daily on weekdays ('ttazn & 7pm) and once on Saturdays (midnight) and Sundays (11pm).

Belle And Sebastian: a quick fix?

4- l8 Mar 1999 THE LIST 57