Edinburgh: The Venue, Thu 4 May *ﬁ'ﬁt‘k
If Toots Hibbert (of Toots And The Maytals fame) was the Rude Boy’s Otis Redding, then Horace Andy was the Rasta Smoky Robinson and Marvin Gaye rolled into one. For almost 30 years now. Andy has been an unassuming but quietly revolutionary figure in Jamaican music, his strange, warbling tenor inimitable yet hugely influential in equal measure. Here in the UK however, he's best known to music lovers for forging a highly successful relationship with Massive Attack, lending his ethereal tones to some of the Bristol based head nodder's finest moments.
Although he's toured with Daddy G and friends, he rarely performs solo gigs in Britain, so The Venue is understandably packed with punters eager to catch a glimpse of one of the true greats in action. From the moment he strolls on, it's obvious we’re dealing with a class act. Backed by a low-key semi-acoustic band (who still manage to pack a surprising amount of muscle), the first thing that strikes you is the voice; it's still a revelation. Untainted by the years, it's almost childlike at times, simultaneously sweet and smooth, rich and muscular. And it’s the voice that saves much of the material from his most recent release, Living In The Flood, material which takes up a hefty chunk of the first half of the performance. If truth be told, it's pleasant enough but largely uninspiring compared to his earlier work or the Massive Attack collaborations, although, like the cliche goes, he could sing the contents of the phone directory and it would sound inspirational.
When he chooses to delve into his back catalogue with a sublime 'Money Money' and 'Fever’, The Venue erupts in collective ecstasy; albeit in a rather polite, reverential fashion. In fact, a large section of the crowd here tonight
You get the feeling that if Horace A
A lukewarm reception for the bluster of The Animalhouse
ndy were to break wind, the crowd would applaud then weep with gratitude
is almost over reverential and seems to have undergone a complete irony bypass. You get the feeling that if Andy were to break wind, they’d applaud then weep with gratitude. What is it with ageing reggae legends and the white, middle class 'roots’ contingent? Cynical as it might sound, I find myself barely able to stifle my giggles when Andy's between song patter is interrupted by impassioned cries of, "Roots!" and "lriel" all delivered in impeccable Stockbridge accents. At one point (and I swear this is true) one boisterously plummy voice yells, “Free the weed!", and no one laughs. Have these people never heard of Ali G? Still, Andy maintains a genial, avuncular presence throughout and the audience, dope smoking Trustafarians and all, finally get a chance to see and hear a true star and all round inspiration to us all. (Neil Ferguson)
like they’ve just tossed them together one after the other. A bit like ending up with a tray full of scones, when you set out to make a Passion cake.
Musically, they’re sound. Hard slabs of rock, spliced astutely wrth electro interludes, put you in mind of a ballsy Space, Without the cheek and on-stage charisma. In Williams, they’ve someone with the potential to take on the ’head man’ mantle full-scale, but, live at least, his impact is somewhat watered down. Ditto Mark Gardner’s voice. His impressive range is sorely under-flexed, and more often than not left flagging behind his blustery side-kick.
Former Ride drummer Loz Colbert
ROCK/ POP The Animalhouse Glasgow, King Tut's, Sun 7 May we
You’d be right in thinking that The Animalhouse have the inside track on ’breaking‘, considering the wealth of past experience shared by the five piece collective. Fronted by ex-Ride singer/guitarist Mark Gardner and Sam Williams, the man responsible for producing Supergrass’ debut album I Should Coco, they’ve got all the ’been there, done that’ you'd need to go one
further this time around.
And no one’s saying that’s necessarily a good thing when it comes to playing before a handful of at best mildly interested punters, mid way through a tour of the UK.
Not even a slot on TF1 Friday a couple of weeks back playing current singée ’Small’, and a fair few outings in Steve Lamacq land, could whip up anything more than a mediocre reception for the Oxford five-piece. And it needn’t be that way. You see, all the ingredients are there, but they sound
was man of the match, galvanising ’Essence' (where Gardner also reminded us what he can do vocally) and 'Animal’ With his beefy patterns, while the oddly-bopping bassist Harri Teah looked so serious at times that you’d have sworn she was one of Robert Palmer's dead-pan lipstick ladies.
l-laving sold 5000 copies of ’Animal’ H) .‘det‘; in half an hour, The Arnmalhouse are forging ahead on foreign soil. But it might take them just a little longer here (Paul English)
live reviews MUSIC
Carol Laula Glasgow: King Tut’s, Fri 28 Apr.
’This guitar is feeling a little pre- menstrual tonight,’ purred Carol Laula, three songs into her warmly received one-off King Tut's gig. Such an admission might normally have had half the audience heading for the bar/exit. But tonight they stuck around. They knew that angst — whether pre- menstrual or otherwise — is something that Laula renders enjoyable. Tonight, the Paisley singer-songwriter has the audience eating out of her hand, as she blustered her way through a typically fervent set, backed up (and, sadly, occasionally drowned out) by her eager backing trio.
Laula's voice has to be one of the most dynamic of any Scottish female singer who ever dared pick up a guitar. Almost without trying, she had the crowd coursing along on a rockabilly- tinged caffeine free-frenzy during ’Stars With My Coffee’, before winding them down with a simply beautiful version of Dave Swarbrick’s ’White Dress’, which was so touching, some of the guys probably felt pre—menstrual too. (Paul English)
Dieselbone Edinburgh: Cas Rock, Sun 23 Apr.
Dieselbone rock, and they know it. Before the first song is even halfway through, the lead vocalist and guitarist is on his knees playing in true stadium rock fashion. Unfortunately, this is no stadium, it’s the Cas Rock, and his posturings don’t have quite the intended effect. Still, top marks for enthusiasm, and he certainly has enough talent to back it up. His voice is really something special, and the vocals bedome the main focus of their sound. However, the efforts of the rest of the band should not be dismissed; a talented bunch of musicians all, with a great line in guitar-driven power-pop. Those boys will go far. (Kirsty Knaggs)
Glasgow: Nice ’n’ Sleazy, Fri 5 May. OK, I have to give them credit for coming such a long way in such a short time but this was not a particularly inspiring gig. The poster advertising them says ’Three wee girls and one wee boy’ (curious that there is no description of the music). The sound was not in their favour, although other bands on the same bill managed to work with it, the girls struggled to produce reasonable sounds. In their defense there were some great Sonic Youth style ideas trying to fight their way through and a few wee gems did emerge from the set but the lack of stage presence tended to hinder their battle, leaving just a faint glimmer of hope. (Keren McKean)
11—25 May 2000 THE “ST 51