Godspeed You Black Emperor!
Glasgow: 62, Mon 12 Jul.
Canada's beautifully epic
instrumentalists Godspeed You Black Emperor! find themselves in a strange position as they return to these shores. Despite their avowed antipathy to all aspects of the 'music business' and refusal to indulge in any of the usual phony self-mythologising, they've become the unlikely toast of the UK music scene, playing in out-size venues across the country with style-mags touting them as the 'acceptable face of post-rock'. This has inevitably provoked much soul-searching in the Godspeed camp.
’Sometimes the shows are overwhelming,’ explains an unnamed spok’esperson, 'what with the six foot stage and the alienated/alienating audiences. You start this whole rock music process with a healthy distrust of the context and you get hypersensitive sometimes to your own role in the awful ridiculous pigpen. Some nights it is a good thing to fork over your money to witness it, other nights you are just some minor version of U fucking 2 with the squat black wedge monitors glaring at you like an accusation or a barrier and ‘you'd rather be at home petting your cat and feeling sorry for yourself . . . Sometimes the venues are like deathcamps.’
It's a crime that some people would see Godspeed's attitude as churlish or overly analytical. In a day when even supposedly 'underground’ bands shamelessly play the corporate game, accepting sponsorships and front cover spreads, it's deeply heartening to know that there are some people who still think that the art stakes are
No sale: Godspeed You Black Emperor
high enough to justify losing sleep over.
'The UK thing is bigger than we're comfortable with, mostly,’ the 'spokesperson' continues. 'lt translates as the undeserved hype followed by the inevitable backlash and in between the same old self-hate, self-
.questioning and confusion. Listen - we should all stop
paying our rent tomorrow and have a meeting somewhere, all the millions of us who lose everyday and know that things are fucked and that mostly we're powerless to change it. Let's do that, let's not talk about rock music anymore, let's ease up on the careless adjectives a little bit, let’s stop talking about the millennium; THE END OF THE WORLD WILL NEVER FUCKING COMEI' (David Keenan)
L a. .. ,fs'-
Majestic: the opening of the Queen's Hall in 1979
and perform. What's been around tends to come around, and it is somewhat ironic that currently the SCO again finds itself in a similar position, havmg been so Successful in the Queen's Hall that it has now outgrown it. 'They really flourished here,’ says Beth Cavanagh, who was appointed General Manager of the Hall in April. '50 has the BT Scottish Ensemble, and it's been a close development between us.’ It is, however, not a development which has stopped there. The diversin of what goes on under the Hall's ever extending roof is wrde. ‘There's a variety of schools and community groups, which bring a complete mixture of people, and our own education programme has been going since 1994,’ Beth Cavanagh explains.
CLASSICAL Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
It is impossible to imagine Scotland's musical life without it, but twenty years ago, Edinburgh's Queen's Hall was yet another of the city’s elegant church buildings which had fallen into disuse. Now celebrating its twentieth
"3‘4 TllE LIST 8-22 Jul 1999
birthday, having been opened in July 1979 by the person who gave it her name, the Queen's Hall is a vital part of the cultural landscape.
Twenty years ago, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra — which, in common with what is now the BT Scottish Ensemble, had been formed from the Scottish Philharmonic Trust — needed a home to rehearse, record
There is also comedy, traditional mUSIC and jazz, not to mention weddings and conferences. 'We’re really proud of the fact that we do everything from meetings to parties and high brow art to rock concens.‘ (Carol Main)
2% Further information about events, including full Edinburgh Festival programme, is available from The Queen’s Hall on 0737 668 3456
Musical news, feuds and rumours
WORKSHY — SORRY, ENIGMATIC — local legends V-Twin may finally have got it together. A sweet soul single, 'Thank You Baby', is set for release in August, with an accompanying video that's bound to attract attention. It reportedly involves a swimming pool and a number of girls in nurses’ uniforms: but since it was directed by a certain Brit Award winning church janitor of impeccable reputation, it's sure to be in the best possible taste.
RUMOUR FROM ACROSS THE pond has it that Pavement have split up. Furthermore, their last album, Terror Twilight, was only completed to fulfil contractual obligations. This means that their last round of interviews was riddled with lies, and we are very disappointed in them.
VOTING IN THE MUSIC of the Millennium poll closes on 31 Jul. Run by Channel 4, HMV and Classic FM, it's the biggest ever survey of the country's musical taste. To ensure diversity and challenge the supremacy of Celine Dion and Paul McCartney, you really should make the effort on behalf of someone really weird and obscure. Pick up a voting form at HMV or visit the website at www.motm.co.uk.
REJOICE, FANS OF GLOOM, nasty women and bodily fluids! Arab Strap are putting the finishing touches (gropes? slaps?) to a third album, their first for Go! Beat records. A single called ‘Cherubs' will be out in September, when the band will also embark on a UK tour, visiting Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms on 28 Sep and the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow on 29 Sep.
ARE YOU A STUDENT? Do you play in a band? Are you any good? If so, send a demo tape with lots of crackle and a badly felt-tipped cover (probably) to the National Student Music Awards, PO Box 3744, Poole, BH12 5Y8. You will almost certainly win and become terribly famous.
Jason MacPailxof V-Twin awaits his bedbath