Edinburgh: Liquid Room, Mon 21 Feb.
To many, The Bluetones will forever be the epitome of the 'dependable' in-at-number-1S WMCIB (white middle-class indie band). Unfairly lumped in with the earthenware likes of Shed 7 et al, the 'Tones have, in fact, always evinced a brittle, bookish air entirely at odds with the laddism of their mono-browed compadres.
Front ‘Tone Mark Morriss is all too aware of the misconceptions surrounding the band. ’I think it's up to us to address the reason why people misunderstand us. There's no smoke without fire. We’re a little backward in coming forwards, we're not really self-promoting guys. We enjoy making music and performing, but we’re not comfortable with adopting a personality and selling ourselves. I think the old cliche 'let the music do the talking' really does hold true with us. It’s true to say that there are certain bands who we get compared to, and it's not always very flattering, so it's up to us to change those perceptions. We’re 85% of the way there with the new record.’
Released in May on their own Superior Quality Recordings label, Science And Nature is the band's third album and a record which, according to Morriss, could
Personality crisis: The Bluetones
surprise their dissenters. ’The album‘s very broad in its themes,’ he explains. 'It was written over quite a long space of time. Lyrically it's not just focused on a couple of subjects, it covers creation, murder, death, disease, TV, ghosts and there's even the occasional romantic ballad.’
The album is prefaced this month by 'Keep The Home Fires Burning', a rather spiffy single which includes bonus track 'Armageddon (Outta Here)’ featuring Goons-style tomfoolery from egg-shaped comedian Matt Lucas. The latter is an aural masterpiece which will also feature on the band’s forthcoming album of B-sides and rarities scheduled for release sometime next year. As well as vague plans to venture into video/screenplay writing ('There’s a script gathering dust in my loft at the moment about an old people's home where a new and radical nurse comes in and changes their lives'), Morriss hopes to further shock the nay-sayers with the band's forthcoming live shenanigans. ’Visually we may well be a bit more flamboyant in the future. The ideas we've got for the tour and videos are quite extravagant. We want a bit more freedom, a bit more performance and pantomime.’
The "lanes are back in blue; shufer along to the Liquid Room and witness their far from slight return.
preview Personal stereo
This issue: Kirsty MacColI. She might have known a bloke that worked down the drip shop who swore he was Elvis, but now he appears to be doing the samba - MacColI has reinvented herself with a little bit of Latin American magic on her new album Tropical Brainstorm.
Name an album that’s an unrecognised classic.
Lust For Life by Iggy Pop, but l'm not sure how unrecognised a classic it is.
Which artist or record first made you want to make music? ’Good Vibrations’ by The Beach Boys.
Name a song you wish you'd written. ’Waterloo Sunset’ by The Kinks - it’s a great little story and is so simple, but still really fabulous.
Name a song you're glad you never wrote. 'Shaduppa Ya Face’ by Joe Dolce.
Who was the first pop star you had a crush on? 'Rockin' Robin' era Michael Jackson.
What song makes you cry?
Most songs make me cry if l'm pissed. But ‘Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me‘ by The Smiths still does the job.
Name a gig that changed your life.
I think playing in Los Angeles at a place called The Troubadour in about 1993. It was so great and I finally felt like I had moved on a whole lot.
Name a non-musical influence on your music.
Everything is an influence on my music I suppose, but travelling has made a marked difference on what my music sounds like now.
Who would be on your dream Top of the Pops?
The Smiths, early Beach Boys, Tito Puente, Stevie Wonder (lnnervisions era) Bob Marley and David Bowie, with Smashy and Nicey compering.
What do you play as an aid to seduction?
JAZZ Herb Geller and Brian KeHock
Glasgow: Henry Wood Hall, Thu 17 Feta; Edinburgh: Queen's Hall, Fri 18 Fe .
Keyed up: Brian Kellock
Brian Kellock's long awaited debut trio album, Something’s Got To Give (Caber Music), was sub-titled Portraits Of Fred Astaire, and featured his interpretations of ten tunes associated with the legendary dancer. Now, the pianist is about to feature with the veteran American saxophonist Herb Geller on a new album entitled Hollywood Portraits, inspired by famous screen goddesses, including Mae West, Grace Kelly, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe and several more. You could be forgiven for thinking that his obsession with Hollywood is threatening to get out of hand, but all is not quite as it seems.
'I am obsessed with Hollywood, actually, but this isn't my idea - the project is Herb's. I played with him when he was here for a gig we did with Scott Hamilton and Guy Barker a couple of years ago, and out of that we had the chance to do a duo gig at The Tron, when it still had music. That went really well, and Alastair Robertson suggested we do a record for his label.’
Robertson runs the internationally- distributed HEP Records from Edinburgh, and has already issued an album by Geller. The duo’s disc should be released to coincrde with their short tour this month, and marks another chapter in the saxophonist’s recently forged relationship with Scotland. Gellar made his name on the West Coast scene in the 505, but has been resident in Germany for many years. Kellock found his lyrical approach to the horn a pleasing experience.
'I found him very easy to play with. His lines are really logical, and at times it's almost like playing with a singer, in terms of the way he leaves the breath points and pauses. It was very much a two-way communication as well, rather than just me accompanying him.’ Kellock is getting plenty of practice accompanying an actual singer at the moment, in his other current duo commitment with Tarn White, but the pianist will also link up with saxophonist Bob Rockwell for a one-off duet gig at The Jazz Trane in late March. (Kenny Mathieson)
I don’t like to reveal my trade secrets.
What do you sing in the shower? Fountains Of Wayne. Great pop songs with great lyrics for beltin' out.
n Kirsty MacCo/l’s album Tropical Brainstorm is out on Mon 13 Mar and is preceded by a single ’Mambo De Luna’ on Mon 6 Mar.
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