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ROCK The Afghan Whigs

Glasgow: King Tut's Walt Walt Hut, Sat l3 Mar.

There are certain cruel truths that endure however hard you try to will them away: size matters, love hurts and affable bass players aren't as interesting as brooding frontmen. It's a tragic injustice, but most bands consist of one charismatic organ grinder and a handful of rather anonymous monkeys. Courtney Love is Hole, Shirley Manson is Garbage, and, damn it, Greg Dulli is the sick, twisted, sexy heart and soul of The Afghan Whigs. So it’s kind of a let down to get all psyched up to talk Catholic guilt and shock therapy with the man who put the grrr into grunge and the Barry White into white boy rock, only to find yourself in conversation with . . . the bass player. Nice guy and everything, but hell, it’s another of those cruel truths that nice guys tend to pale next to blackhearted rogues.

Still, Greg must be off deflowering virgins, so John Curler is doing the talking. Ordinarily, he is happy to let Dulli occupy the spotlight: 'I prefer it that way. If I didn’t, lwouldn't have started playing the bass. I would've picked something . . . flashier.’

Oh, well. There’s certainly flash-

aplenty to be found on their most recent album 1965, a steamy soul-funk-rock masterpiece that puts a sultry spin on the tortured introspection that has been Dulli’s stock-in-trade for over a decade. It was recorded in New Orleans, and Curler cites the city’s unique atmosphere as the single biggest influence on the album's sound.

Dulli went to New Orleans after a catalogue of health problems and personal disasters that culminated in severe depression and hospitilisation, and there he found the inspiration to get back on track. The band set about recording music that celebrates their frontman’s renewed enthusiasm for life, although Curler concedes

Enigmatic for the people: Trashmonk

58 THE LIST 4 ‘8 Mai i‘ill‘)

(Hannah McGill)


Every fortnight we turn the spotlight on a new act who are doing good stuff. This issue: Trashmonk.

Who? lrasltinztnk T‘l-r- '. lumen

soulleittzt-t =if 1 ‘lt-t l. ...i!":l-"_'o\.'.'es, an Airieru: an en‘izor'e '. .' in The [Dream Atatlt~r'i'r, p'ri,‘ l',’l):*‘: .‘.ho “."ijU‘ff‘lj a ill-h: in: . H " «

{So what’s the story with this Mr Trashmonk? You're never going to believe this ilily.’v‘~. C V

GO on. He left home aged ‘23 to attend the ‘197Olslt-of Wight Festival, hung out wath The lit/ho, Led Zeppelin and The Fat es, went to l!‘.t‘ \.'.'|ll‘. John and Yoko, sang hacking votals for Mair Bolan, formed a band, got signed, got dropped, formed another band, had two hits ‘.'.’llll The Dream At ademy, Wrote a song ‘.‘.’|lll Brian Wilson, fell in love With heroin, got arrested while in Pakistan, tame hack to the UK to work With Pink Floyd, returned to the

Gilded cajun :The Afghan Whigs

that there were moments when it seemed as if the . Whigs' time was up.

’It's looked that way a lot of times,’ he says. 'After Black Love [the beautiful, if unnervingly intense album that preceded 1965] we were basically finished with it. Then we came to our senses.’

It's a blessing that they did. 1965 marries the sexy swagger of the Rolling Stones in their prime to the redemptive glory of gospel, on a Phil Spector scale; and, if you want Dulli's side of the story, be there when the Whigs bring a bit of Louisiana heat to Glasgow.

Himalayas to Me in a monastery

Uh huh. before returning to London's Ladbroke Grove, where he humped snto Creation Retords hoss Alan lleCfi‘C, who rust liannened to be a huge Dream Academy fan {Stiigo' The result Is an LP talled farioea Lisa O'Jt rem/e

Okay, so he's got a tale to tell, but will I like the music? if you're an admirer of the inelant hili; beauty of him l; Drake, Stu; lilC‘, the Beatles l/V/i/te A/mi/ri or Spar‘klt’Plitt-i‘se, you'll love it, well, to death

A bit of a walk on the dark side then? You t()lll(l describe it as elegiat pop for the \‘Joi'ld-weaiy

Huh? Okay, inoi'e clues On the CD sleeve, the man himself nainethetks Jeff But kley and Van l\l()lll\()ll

Cool. Considerath

Not to be confused with . . . The Trash Can Sinatras, The Trashinen, b‘ol) lvulonkheuse, lllt‘l()lll()ll8 lt'lonk, Ian Brown (Rodger Evans)

33:59 Mona Lisa Overdrive is released on Mon 15 Mar on Creation

ROCK 3 Colours Red Glasgow: Garage, Tue 9 Mar.

Sitting on a balcony at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, passing the time between one subtitled epic and the next, the last thing anyone would expect to hear is a blast of punk rock electric gurtar and the opening strains of ’Nuclear Holiday'. But down on the beach, 3 Colours Red were giving their all as the film industry looked on nonplussed.

'lt was surreal, man,’ remembers the band’s guitarist and songwriter, Chris McCormack. 'lt was like some Miami Vice backdrop, absolutely stunning. We’re Jumping arOLind playmg a couple of songs, and loads of people are taking pictures of us as if we were Arnold Schwarzenegger or something.’

But, With a reputation as one of Britain’s hardest-working bands, 3 Colours Red know that such promotional duties are part of the package, even when showcase performances go against their ethics.

'One of the horriblest ones was at a big thing in Marbeila,’ McCormack continues. ’We were playing in a big mud hut to about 500 heads of all the Sony record companies worldwide. Big Cigars, looking like mafia people - it was like something out of James Bond, You feel like you're on trial I mean, that’s not why I started to play guitar You want to play for the kids, get them into :t '

Playing for the kids is exactly what 3 Colours Red are now doing, getting Out among their UK fan-base With a tour to support their secood album, Revo/t Like their debut LP, Pure, it tears along between rock and a hard place, fusmg pOp melodies \Vllh metal dynamics.

'lt's difficult fOi rock bands at the moment,‘ reckons lseroimack. 'The only thing that seems to be selling is shit songs With good-looking singers We always try to he ourselves lf we ever become fashionable, and there's loads of bands who are like us, it'll be because they follow us, not because we follow them '

(Alan l\«lorrisonl

Rouge boy rock: 3 Colours Red