rou< _ Fiddler's Bid Edinburgh: Queens Hall, Thu 20 Apr.
Two years ago, nearly 200 crammed into the old folk club venue above Edinburgh’s Cafe Royal, and caught a young band making waves far from their Shetland home. It remains to be seen whether there will be any more elbow room in the Capital's Queen's Hall this month when Fiddler’s Bid return after a warming stint at Florida’s Disney World.
Chris Stout, one of the four up- front fiddlers, admits that while the seven-strong band only meets up about four times a year to play short tours, it takes little rehearsal to bring the group back to its startling, dynamic togetherness. 'It does seem that we’ve always been together,’ says Stout. 'The core of us met at school — that was just four fiddles and a piano - and it was a few years later that we added the electric bass and guitar, they add so much punch to the sound.’
Coming from the eclectic soup that is the current Shetland music scene, the band's attitude is unsurprising, but Stout emphasises that the band members all share a love of the old island fiddle tunes. 'Our current album Hamnataing is about a third traditional. In fact, one of the tracks
we left unaccompanied - just the fiddles. But a lot of the old tunes do suit our style of accompaniment quite well, and then we try to vary things as much as possible — we all contribute, either by digging up rare tunes, putting together sets or by writing our own distinctive stuff, which goes through a let's-try-it-and-see process. We're very much a musical democracy.’ Unlike, say, Blazing Fiddles, which is a great showcase for individual fiddlers, trios and duos, Fiddler's Bid go for a big
With his RSAMD training in violin and composition, Stout has become more interested in harmony, and some of the arrangements of their slower tunes have
Edinburgh: various venues, Fri lA—Sun I6Apr.
Sandwiched neatly between the Soundcheck and freeradiCAAals events
; in Glasgow, Jazz Now! is an Edinburgh-
; based mini-festival which arms to 2 present a wide-ranging snapshot of 7 what IS happening across the Scottish ; jazz scene. Gigs take place at The
i Traverse, the Jazz Joint and Club Nego,
and if most of the artists Will be familiar
i to jazz fans in these parts, one new
‘Playing solo in this way is terrifying and exciting at the same time'
'We're very much a musical democracy'
beautifully knitted, interwoven fiddle lines. Having said that though, an average 'Bid set is more akin to a having a North Atlantic gale howl from the stage. Keeping the lads in check, however, is the one female, and only non-Shetlander in the band. As well as playing keyboard, Catriona McKay has a tremendous, expressive style on the Scottish harp — as Stout recognises ‘Catriona came in when we found ourselves without a pianist. I’d known her from the RSAMD - we were both
doing the music course. We did one gig and she just
name imported for the occaSion is Brazrlian pianist Christianna Neves, a friend of bassist Mario Caribe, who WI“ be featured on Sunday night at Club Nego.
Elsewhere, the programme throws up some intrigumg combinations, including an afternoon concert on Saturday featuring guitarist and poet Don Paterson and a yet-to-be-revealed guest, on a dOuble bill with the excellent Trio AAB. Pianist Paul Harrison has been tipped as a man to watch for a couple of years now, and his current trio wrth .laiio Caribe and drummer Paddy
became a member. She opened up all sorts of possibilities. She's opened up the band.’ (Norman Chalmers)
Flaherty wrll launch their excellent debut album Nemesis in the early evening
concert at the Traverse on Sunday, in a 3
bill shared With The John Burgess Quartet.
Sunday night at the Traverse will also provrde a taste of the kind of solo saxophone performance which Tommy Smith Will be touring later this year, courtesy of his recent Creative Scotland award. Smith Will interact with both prepared sounds (including poetry) and a real-time digital delay in a project which he intends to tour around the remoter parts of Scotland, which rarely experience live jazz.
'Playing solo in this way is terrifying and exciting at the same time,’ says Smith. ’The technology can overcome the technical limitations of the saxophone when it comes to playing harmonic clusters or counterpomt, and it lets me add additional dimensions to the concert that would not be possible just with the instruments. For the tour, I’d like to try to incorporate different local sounds and assooations into each programme, and I’m also looking at the pOSSibilities of dOing it in surround- sound.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
, See jazz listings for full programme details.
ELECTRONIC Chicane Glasgow: The Barrowland, Sun 23 Apr.
’lt’s a weird thing reaching number one,’ says Nick Bracegirdle who records as Chicane. ’It always seemed like an unreachable thing.’ And what was your response when you found out? ’Cracked open the bubbly.’ Natch. Chicane’s swirling, down-tempo lbizan summer dance music is almost a genre unto itself. His first single 'Offshore’ has been licensed to an enormous number of albums (try over 130), TV ads and program trailers Since its release in 1996. It’s one of those tunes that you might not recognise the name of, but a couple of bars in and
you're humming along. Things were a ; little bit quiet until last year's summer
release of ’Saltwater’, snapped up by
every major (and most minor) dance
album of the season. It was the first single of Chicane's second album, Behind The Sun, and it sat happily in the charts at number six. Then word got around that the next single featured none other than Canadian bleached blonde crooner Bryan Adams. And the result — ’Don’t Give Up’ — went to the top.
’I got away with murder,’ admits Chicane of his collaboration With Adams. 'I mean, the cool press would love to slaughter it, but people like it. We released 1000 white labels and didn’t credit him, everyone loved it, so what can they do now? He’s an interesting breath of fresh air, and it’s nice to freak people out, it’s fun. But rock, dance, pop — it‘s all music, innit?’
He plans, after reaching number one, to get over the feeling of ’done that, what now?', by pushing the album as a whole and his live gigs. ’There’s a seven or eight piece band, so there’s lots gorng on,’ explains Chicane. ’And it’s very visual. We wanted to do it properly, not just play a couple of tapes and dance around like monkeys. It's got to be a proper translation of the studio work by a band.
’In fact, I'm trying to break out of the i
whole dance mould. Playing live IS what I want to be doing now.’ (Simone Baird)
'lt’s nice to freak people out, it's fun. But rock, dance, pop — it's all music, innit?’ Chicane on Bryan Adams
13—27 Apr 2000 THE LIST 45