Three times acclaimed in the Brit awards,
' is stomping into Glasgow for a sell-out gig, spreading his own mixed-up brand of sexuality, abandonment and confusion
on the way.
‘-.‘-/orc's: Tobias HoiIIFA & Hannah McGill
14 THE “ST '6 if, 2908
DURING THE MAKING OF HIS ALBUM MIDNITE VULTURES, BECK DECLARED THAT ITS RELEASE vvould be comparable to an orgasm. Now. if you're an All Saint. or Andreas Johnson. or a member of Five. it‘s part of your job description to be sexy. But there's another set of artists — Macy (iray. Polly Harvey. Nick Cave. Beck himself »— vvho arouse discomfort by being attractive in a vague. unsettling. unexpected vvay. They‘re unlikely to sell their torsos to glossy magazine centrefolds. but they‘ve got an idiosyncratic appeal that’s more subtle and povverful than straightforvvard prettiness. Wasn’t it Baudelaire who said ugly could be beautiful. but pretty never could'.’
Beck certainly knovvs a lot about unconventional attractiveness. Lascivious behaviour too. Jtist clock that banana! So did Mu/uiu' l'u/turvs give him the orgasmic kick he vvas looking for‘.’ ‘I don‘t knovv.‘ says the diminutive 29-year-old in his trademark slacker dravvl. 'lt vvas probably a little bit more exciting then. After that it was another ten months of beating the horse . . .'
His vvork on the album was a bout of (almost) solitary indulgence that paid off. Multu'tc \il/fllIY’S is a throbbing hybrid of old—skool funk. sleazy soul and brittle electronica that got the critics as excited as the libidinous oddballs vvho populate his songs. and it finished the century in style. The album title is Beck's farevvell to the 90s. ‘lt‘s almost as if WW) has been one long. prolonged 12 ()‘Clock.’ he says. ':\nd the vultures are just the last animals at the end of the game. picking tip the trash and the pieces.’
It's not the first time Beck has picked over his ovvn past: Mutations. the dovvnbeat predecessor to Mir/trite Vll/IIHI‘S. consisted partly of songs vvritten years before. The current album. tin/um Vultures. by contrast. was begun from scratch. 'This vvas a different process and approach.. he explains. ‘lt’s more like saying “this one’s going to be 1-12 beats per minute" and everything after that is change. coincidence. accident. discovery. possibility?