record reviews

ROCK/POP Royal Trux

Veterans of Disorder (Domino)

*** at at

Royal Trux are so cool. Not only do the core members live in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere with a collection of night-vision goggles, they also make the best rock 'n’ roll in the world, bar none. Veterans of Disorder continues in the vein established on their last long player, ‘Accelerator’, with husky vocals and tortured guitars battling against a peculiarly loose~but-tight rhythm section, all to gob-smacking effect. This record, like everything Royal Trux have released since they toned down the smack-addled noise, makes you want to take drugs, have sex and form a band. All at the same time. (JM)


Simple Pleasure (Island) * it * ink Be reasonable: demand the impossible. A Situationist slogan, an ideal for living and just what we've come to expect from the ’Sticks. If they've recorded one note that wasn’t magnanimous in its beauty, I’ve yet to hear it. Rumour was that this, their fourth album proper, had a poppier, even Motown-y sound yeah, if the Supremes sang ’Baby Love Is A Dog From Hell And Has Anyone Seen My Cigarettes?’ Okay, there's a little more oomph, Leonard Cohen by way of Al Green, a soupcon of soul, as the colour girls go do-doo- doo; but essentially this is another Tindersticks LP. And you can’t ask for more than that. (RE)


Used To Be (B-Spoke) **~k it

Name any musical style and you can bet your ass its influence can be heard in Used To Be. Their sound is swing- based with a strong reggae undercurrent, and lead vocalist Tricia Thom has the kind of voice that is just crying out for a smoky nightclub and a sparkly dress. Particular stand-outs on this, their debut album, are the title track, and torch song extraordinaire ’When The Right Things Go Wrong'. Turn the lights down, get out your old love letters and sob your way through this beautiful, haunting album from the soon-to~be-huge Bespoke. (KK)

Quasi Field Studies (Domino) ***

At first listen, it is tempting to dismiss Field Studies as yet another slice of inoffensive yank angst. After a couple of plays, however, it is difficult not to get hooked on the luscious harmonies, and pleasant dustings of theremin thanks largely to standouts like 'Me & My Head’. Admittedly, Quasi are not alone on the American indie scene in clashing Beach Boys pleasantries with general unhappiness, but they have the decency to do their thing with a high degree of skill. Not a ground- breaking record, then, but by no means your typical ’My Therapist Suggested I Write A Song’ weepy hokum. (JM)

The Divine Comedy A Secret History (Setanta)w~k*~k

The secret's out: Neil Hannon

It must be one of the worst pop music things that can happen. You get established enough to merit a Best Of. You sift through your archives. You put together your proudest moments. The resulting compilation simply highlights the fact that you are - in your own words ’Going Downhill Fast'.

There are gems on here that remind us why we've tolerated Neil Harmon's whole novelty-snob-pop shtick for such a long time; the irresistably bouncy singles ’Something For The Weekend’ and ’Becoming More Like Alfie', and the old stuff with its unashamedly Nymanesque orchestration and endearingly moody lyrics. But the recent work is cringeworthy; ’National Express’ was horrid self-parody, that drum & bass-meets-Noel Coward effort should never have seen the light of day, ’Generation Sex’ stinks and the two brand new songs are distinctly undistinguished. More effort required, little man. We liked you better back when you were self-important enough to pinch your lyrics off Wordsworth. (HM)


Saint-Saens Violin Concertos (Hyperion) *~k**

This disc featuring the BBC $50 and Martyn Brabbins was recorded in Edinburgh's Greyfriars Kirk, and launches Hyperion’s The Romantic Violin Concerto series. Like their acclaimed The Romantic Piano Concerto series, it will focus on neglected or underplayed repertoire of that period. The soloist in Saint-Saens's three concertos for violin (the last is the best known) is the stylish young Frenchman, Philippe Graffin, who consistently achieves the required combination of thoughtful lyricism and raffish swagger in these works. The orchestral playing is superb, underlining yet again how good an orchestra this is, and the balance between soloist and ensemble is pleasingly natural. (KM)


Rodger Evans, Kirsty Knaggs, Kenny Mathieson, Hannah McGill, Jack Mottram

STAR RATINGS ***** Unmissable *** at Very ood «kink W0 3 shot Hz Below average it You've been warned

rock & pop


Gigs are listed by date. then by ci . Performances will be listed, provi ed that details reach our offices at least eight days before publication. Rock and pop listings compiled by Fiona Shepherd (Glasgow) and Rodger Evans (Edinburgh).


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I Tom Hingley, Ewan McFarlane and Olympia King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, St Vincent Street, 221 5279. 8.30pm. £5 plus booking fee. Former members of lnspiral Carpets don’t retire, they just return to haunt your nightmares about the width of those flares you wore in 1989. First Clint Boon and now singer Tom Hingley are back on the scene, as it were. I Set Against, Divide and Co~Exist The 13th Note Cafe, King Street, 553 1638. 8pm. Thrash metal triple bill.

I Summersalt Nice ’n’ Sleazy, Sauchiehall Street, 333 9637. 9 m.

I Kinder, Zebedee Numchuc . Fuel and Surround Strawberry Fields, Oswald Street, 221 7871. 9pm. £3.

I Hypnogenic and Human Law The Darkroom, Strathclyde University Union, John Street, 567 5023. 9pm. Free. Students and guests.

I Stuart Wilson Kilkennys, John Street, 552 3505. 9pm. Free.

I Jam Session Samuel Dow’s, Nithsdale Road, 423 0107. 8.30pm. Free.


I Andy Neate Common Grounds, 2/3 North Bank Street, 226 1416. 7.30pm. Free.

I The Prodigals Finnegan’s Wake, Victoria Street, 226 3816. 8pm. Free. I John Burgess's Contemporary Jazz Trio Jazz Joint, 8 Morrison Street, 221 1288. 10pm—5am. £4/£3. Top quality contemporary jazz from the Joe Henderson stable.

I Cat Scratch Fever Whistle Binkies, Niddry Street, 557 5114. 11pm. Free.

rock & pop MUSIC

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issue's best gigs.


Baustelle: Adventures In German Electronica Demanding stuff, this; but the real cutting-edge is never for the faint-hearted. The CCA welcomes a diverse programme of sonic experimenteers including the magnificent To Rococo Rot, and Pole (pictured). See main preview. Glasgow: CCA. Fri 3-Sat 77 Sep.


SIeater-Kinneyl‘l’ he Yummy Fur Three- piece US chick rockers make a welcome return to these shores supported by Glasgow’s finest exponents of bonkers art-rock. Glasgow: 73th Note Club, Tue 37 Aug.

Nimbus Unnaturally cheerful jazz-funk collective, still lifting spirits in their own inimitable way, still denied the glory they deserve. Glasgow: Cottiers Theatre, Wed 7 Sep.


Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra Highly acclaimed young players, doing their thing for the British Festival of Youth Orchestras. Glasgow: RSAMD, Mon 30 Aug.

I Joby Talbot Flux and Edinburgh International Film Festival, Lumiere Cinema, Royal Museum, Chambers Street, 247 4219. 7.30pm and 10.30pm. £11.50. A live score composed by The Divine Comedy’s Joby Talbot will be played by the Matrix Ensemble, accompanying a screening of The

Lod er, Hitchcock’s classic silent thriller. I T e Children The Bongo Club, 14 New Street, 558 7604. 10.25pm—5am. £5. Blues rock.

I AC Acoustics, Tin Comic and Vera Cruise Main Point, Cas Rock, West Port, 229 4341. 9pm. £5/£4. AC Acoustics do their indefatigable rock thing, which surely one day the world will wake up to. And Tin Comic are, well, animated.

Continued over page

No smoke without fire: Tindersticks play Flux at The Queens Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 30 Aug

26 Aug—9 Sep 1999 THE usr 96