live reviews

HIP HOP Souls Of Mischief

Glasgow: The Arches, Sun 9Apr. a: a.

Souls of Mischief’s mania for collaboration means it's been difficult to keep track of them. Although they have two albums on Jive Records to their name, since 1998 Souls of Mischief have devoted much of their energies to establishing their own label, Hiero lmperium. Under the umbrella title of the Hieroglyphics, which includes the likes of Del The Funky Homosapien, they released the Third Eye Vision album to kickstart their new business venture.

After all that altruism, you would think that this short but extremely welcome tour of Europe would be their chance to grab a bit of the limelight for a while. However, they are so dedicated to the common Hiero good, that they are making this short stop in Glasgow as much a promotion for the new Del The Funky Homosapien album (out this week) as it is for the first Souls of Mischief album due for release on their own label soon.

It’s a good job they are such gluttons for collective creativity because they really had to work with a meagre crowd on a Sunday night in Glasgow. Although many more people saw them the previous night at Scratch through in Edinburgh, this performance was an equal triumph. As they take the stage, A-plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai take a glance in near admiration at

Gluttons for collective creativity: Souls Of Mischief

how empty the cavernous Arches can really look. It only lasts a split second though before they jump into a performance of almost boundless energy. Obviously, Souls of Mischief being the serial collaborators that they are, they triumph by drawing on the vocal support of the ridiculously up-for-it squad of young hip-hop kids in attendance.

Despite hailing from America's West Coast, Souls of Mischief have nothing in common with the recognised West Coast Sound. They win out not by bludgeoning their crowd with South Central gangsta beats and tales of street vengeance, but by coaxing them with laidback tunes and scratches, having so much fun and being stunning lyricists. For as the Souls rap, particularly through an extended section of freestyling, you realise that for all the DJ talent there is in this country, a great MC is something we rarely get a chance to see performing. And here are four of them.

Opio comes across as the group’s philosophical cornerstone, while Tajai is all athletic energy, both as he basketballs his way round the stage and after the show as he flogs tapes to shouting people who don't appear to speak the same language as him. With additional sly Observances from the almost horizontally laidback A- Plus and Phesto, Souls of Mischief achieve a balance and confident identity to their music gained from doing it the hard way. It’s only the names that might confuse you. (Tim Abrahams)

ROCK/POP 5 Night Stand Final Edinburgh: Liquid Room, Mon 3Apr.

Scott from I Am A Scientist

46 THE UST 13—27 Apr 2000

’Music isn’t a competition,’ declares Vic Galloway, Radio One DJ and master of ceremonies for the evening, which seems a strange statement to make at the final of the LiqUid Room’s battle of the bands competition, but there you go. He has a pOint though, as the four bands on show tonight are so disparate in style as to be Virtually incomparable.

First on are Obaben, With their strummy dextrous mayhem. There is a definite Hispanic influence to the Ooaben SOund, one which seems almost unnaturally groovesome to Scottish ears, but they give their curious ethnic folk plenty of welly on stage, and the floppy-haired Singer certainly knows how to belt Out a tune.

Next up are the fantastically unpredictable Khaya. Tonight sees them at their best and worst, With some excellent shouty punk on the one hand, and an aborted shambles of a tune on the other. At least singer Dan is honest enough to own up to the fuck up, and the band finish in style with the no-nonsense Fall-esque racket of ‘Music Journalism Is For


The ten (count 'em) members of Bombskare then stomp their way through a snappy set of ska tunes, bringing some much-needed fun to the evening. Everyone on stage looks like they’re having the best time of their lives, and although hardly original, the shouty bits, brilliant horn section and running on the spot antics make Bombskare a highly entertaining act to watch.

Last on are the wonderfully named I Am SCientist. Playing the American post-grunge card to perfection, these fOur lads manage to walk the tightrope of melody and gurtar noise With some skill. Starting with the blinding ’Cancer Stick', they proceed to career their way through a handful of impressively powerful rock’n'roll tunes, remaining nonchalantly cool throughout.

So it's over to the Judges behind the bullet-proof glass, and they opt by a gnat’s hoo-ha for I Am SCientist, who get a trip to the Big Apple for their troubles. Who says being competitive doesn't pay off.7 (Doug Johnstonei

LOCAL LIVE Telstar Ponies Edinburgh: Café Royal, Thu 30 Mar.

With House Of Dubois promoting tonight, you know you’re in for something at worst entertaining, at best sublime. Glaswegian art-rock veterans Telstar Ponies start slowly but gradually edge themselves into the latter category with their blend of avant-garde noise and traditional folk. The band start with the funereal ’Song Of Ansuz’ in front of a sparse, chin—stroking crowd, but gradually pick up the pace as they settle into the cosy living-room surroundings of the Cafe Royal. Chain-smoking her way through the set, the singer's voice soars above these woeful tales of love lost, creating some truly touching moments. As the band end on their knees in a mess of noise, they all look genuinely exhausted by the whole cathartic process.

(Doug Johnstone)

Salako/Barrichello Edinburgh: CasRock, Sat 8 Apr.

Barrichello are an unprepossessing threesome, but for all their awkwardness, they have an interesting if totally unformed sound. Their songs are tinged with the sort of acoustic angst for summers long gone, a sound of The Jam circa ’English Rose’. Sound problems made

3 their set a bit of a start stop affair but

there is definite promise in dem strings.

It was Salako though that showed how it should be done. After a few words on the previous night’s somewhat lacklustre Glasgow audience, they treated us to a selection of sublime guitar-led tunes, the highlight of which had to be perfect renditions of the ’Hull City Tiger’ and the anthemic ’Multiplicity', they almost had them dancing in the moat. (Paul Dale)

Eva Glasgow: King Tut's, Thu 23 Mar.

. W:th only a handful of gigs under

their belt, Eva are one of the most interesting new bands emerging from the Glasgow underground. This five- piece had a hard night ahead of them from the beginning by the fact that there wasn't much soundcheck available for them, but struggling through, they still managed to attract an impresswe audience and play a strong set. A few technical hitches such as Jenny’s Violin disappearing from the rest of the SOLmd w ere unfortunate, especzally as the vzolin lS a particularly strong attraction, Their harmonies were beautiful but the calmness and melancholy that is associated wzth their demo was lost in "The Big Country The brg endlng is impressive though and gave them the power to rock, normally inhibited by the slowness of their songs.

(Keren McKeani

w'"’STARWR'AtiN‘Gs”" " ' " "


Very ood

Wort i a shot

Below average You've been warned