Bay of gigs
Cuban musicians RUBEN GONZALEZ and
: IBRAHIM FERRER were strictly local
; heroes until Ry Cooder came along. f Now they arrive in Glasgow to add a i taste of the Havana to the Big Big
Country festival. =3.‘;.«::s; Kenny Mathieson
From Dix/.y (iillespies fusion of bebop and Cuban rhythms in the 40s to salsa and the sampling generation. (‘uhan music has always been influential
and exciting. The islands political and geographical
' isolation has se\erel_\ limited the number of native
musicians on the international circuit. but that is changing. The most remarkable manifestation of this is the emergence of a generation of veteran musicians. led by the two stars of the (‘uban concert
' which will launch this year’s
old pianist Ruben (ion/ale/
Big Big ('ountry (ilasgow's annual international festixal of .»\IIICt‘icaII;t and roots music.
Sexenty-year-old singer Ibrahim lierrer and h’ll-year- Ibrahim Ferrer
. ma} ha\e their heritage in i Castro's communist state. but they emerged from the shadows thanks to a major American name — Ry
Cooder. London-based record label World Circuit teamed the ('uhan musicians up with the legendary
guitarist for recording sessions in Havana. The ; resulting album. [fl/(’lltl \‘ix/u .S'm-iu/ ("lit/2. became a
surprise best seller in WW». :\s well as (,‘ooder. Ferret ll Ieaturcd a group of world class musicians. including singer ()mara l’ortruondo. (‘the lidith l’ial ol (‘ulxi'i who will also perform at the (ilasgow
(ion/ale/. described by ('oodcr as ‘across
: between ’l‘helonious .\lonk and l’elis the (‘at'. only
became III\til\ ed II] the project by accident. His own
38 THE LIST '- .
‘I'm living the dream of my youth in the body of an old man. I waited a long time and now I want another hit record!’
Bacardi in the saddle: Ibrahim Ferrer
piano had fallen apart. so he took the opportunity to play during a break in the studio. One listen convinced the astonished producer that he must be added to the album. six decades after his start in a very different ethos.
‘In my early days. there was a generation of great pianists. and you had to be able to sight-read any kind of music.‘ says Gonzalez. ‘We’d go into the recording studio or on the radio and play stuff we'd never seen before. It had to be perfect first time. Touring is hard for us now at this age. but in the old days I played in the clubs from nine until four in the morning. All those tunes are still there in my head.‘
Ferrer had been a star in the 50s. but had long since retired from performing when the call came to do the Buena Vista Social Club sessions. The exposure has also reactivated his career.
‘When I was younger. I thought I would travel the world with my music.’ he says. ‘I came to Europe in l‘)()2. then came the Missile Crisis. and I had to stay there until everything settled down. When I got back to Cuba. nothing happened for 35 years. and suddenly this. I‘m living the dream of my youth in the body of an old man. I waited a long time and now I want another hit record!’
The fifth year of Big Big Country boasts a strong and diverse line-up adding up to thirteen performances over eleven days. Highlights include Steve Forbert at The Ferry and a strong triple bill at The Old Fruitmarket. Forbert. who plays folk and blues with a punk rock spirit. started his career opening up for Talking Heads at New York‘s legendary CBGBs in the 70s and has gone on to work with current alt-country stars Wilco. The triple bill features Canadian singer-songwriter Lynn Miles and alt-country sounds from Rosie Flores and The Woodys.
Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez and Ferrer, King's Theatre. Glasgow, Wed 26 May. Big Big Country. various venues, Wed 26 May—Sun 6 Jun. Call 0141 445 5079 for details
News mongened. tittle tattled
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS are expected to play Scottish Homelands on Sat 4 Sep, The List can exclusively reveal. The festival is being billed as ‘Scotland's biggest ever dance event’. but details of location and line-up were unavailable as we went to press. Full details next issue.
THE CHARLATANS. CAST and Beth Orton will play a 9500 capacity show at Glasgow Green on Sat 4 Sep known as ’T he Event In A Tent'. Other bands and 015 are expected to be added to the bill. Gates open at 2pm and the first act will be on stage at 4pm. Tickets cost £24. Call 0870 601 0002 or 0141 339 8383.
BASEMENT JAXX ARE the latest high profile name to be confirmed for T in the Park. The critically and popularly acclaimed Brixton production duo join headliner Jeff Mills. Richie Hawtin, Pressure Funk, Luke Slater and DJ Sneak in the Slam Tent on Sat 10 Jul. Fatboy Slim will headline the Slam Tent on Sun 11 Jul. He joins Carl Cox, Green Velvet, Marco Carola. Cassius, Ian Pooley, DJ Harri. Freddy Fresh and The Roots.
THE BETA BAND have had the release date of their eponymous debut album put back a week until Mon 21 Jun. The band were forced to return to the studio to re-record the ten minute track 'T he Hard One' which featured a sample from Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart’. The track's writer. Jim Steinman, refused the use of his song as he has plans to use the original himself in the near future. The band had already mastered the album by the time Steinman put a block on the sample. The List has heard the controversial track and can assure readers that it is bonkers.
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO have rescheduled their Glasgow Royal Concert Hall concert for Wed 30 Jun. The band were meant to play on Fri 7 May, but frontman Joseph Shabalala had to fly back to South Africa to be beside his critically ill mother. All tickets already issued are valid for Wed 30 Jun and a full refund is being offered to anyone who cannot make the new date. Tickets are still available for the concert.
The Chemical Brothers