Glasgow: King Tut's, Thu IS Jun; Edinburgh: The Liquid Room, Fri 16 Jun.
Professional curmudgeon or prole art threat genius? ParanOid, grouchy and hilarious, The List finds The Fall’s Mark E Smith liVing up (and downi to his reputation, despite the best efforts of his sister Caroline
The List: The philosophy behind The Fall always seems to have been 'Keep movrng, keep dorng it ’
Mark E. Smith: Is this The List7 The ratings inaga/ine7 Yeah, that's the basis.
TL: You've said you find musicians unfathomable What's the mystery7 MES: Where did you read that7 On the Internet7 Unfathomable7 So are yOu On the Internet a lot7 Do you get excited about it7
TL: Not really Do y0u7
MES: Mind yocir own business Hold on CAROLINE, HAVE YOU GOT A CIGARETTE7 I'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH
THIS FUCKING BASTARD ASKING ME QUESTIONS' Ahahahaha' Did yOU hear that7 Ahahahaha' GIVE Ile A CIGARETTE, CAROLINE, BEFORE THIS FUCKING BASTARD GETS HIS HEAD KICKED lN' So what else have you found Out on the Internet7 Okay, WHEN WAS | BORN7 (Adopts sgueaky v0icei Was I born in 19597 Sorry, I've got to be
nice, my Sister says TL: Is there a new LP in the offing7
MES: You’re so fucking clever, get on the Internet and find
TL: How did yOur collaboration with Elastica come about7 MES: What, Africa7 Sorry, cock Iny phone's a bit clickey TL: You once said 'I've still got a sOund in my head that I
want to get ’ Are you any closer to it7
MES: Yeah, I’m trying this week Hahahahahl No (adopts serious voicei, l'm domg the new LP I'm working hard on it It socinds really fucking good actually I'm trying to do what I did with The Marshall Surte, a three-sided LP Only this one's
going to be a four-sided LP TL: A double LP7
MES: Yeah but it's gomg to be good so don't \.".‘c)r'ry about it
Glasgow: Cottier Theatre, Fri 9 Jun; Arran Folk Festival, Sat IO Jun.
Named after a band of iiiinstrels who wandered the Highlands and Islands in times past, exchanging music for
hospitality and, it’s told, too often insinuating themselves on reluctant hosts the three women and three men in Cliar are like their namesakes only in music and geography House- trained and civilised » two of them are BBC producers the six all live in the Highlands or Islands, and remain committed to the traditional music and songs of Gaeldom
52 THE “ST 8- 22 in. 2000
‘This Charming Man’ was clearly not written about Mark E. Smith
TL: Is it true The Fall once nearly signed to Ivlotown7
MES: You're IUSi talking about gossip
TL: People are interested in gossip
MES: It doesn't interest me Ask me a fucking question or piss offI Are all your questions Just what you've read on the Internet7 They're not go:ng (illy‘c'viiOfE’
TL: What do you want me to ask you about7
MES: YOu're jUSI fucking pissed off because you live in
Edinburgh You're a fucking fat sack aren't you7 Ask me
more questions, you lazy bastard' Hurry up'
TL: You've been described as a 'deranged Percy Sugden' MES: Where did you read that7 TL: On the Internet
MES: Can't you think anything out of your own mind7
TL: If you want to say anything about the LP, about the gig,
MES: Alright So we will be smashing That's all I've got to
TL: Okay, cheers for your time, Mark MES: You take care now Ta-r'a
The group's eponymous first album was recently released on the Skye- based Ivlacmeanmna label, adding another top-class album to what has become, over the iast few years, an astonishing outpouring of Gaelic. recorded music, from unacc‘ompanied song to kitchen piping, and from cheesy pop celtic to acid croft dance fusion CIiar's approach is unashamedly on the side of traditional song, all six members sing three are respected, award-winning vocalists their voices combining to produce one of the most beautiful sounds in 21st century Scotland
With ex-Wolfstone Cha/ Stewart's
IRodger Evans/lylark E Sillliili
acoustic gutav underpinning Bruce lylacGi'egor's ricn:y-toi‘-ed f:oclie, ano yOung Ingrici Henderson's sure touc" on piano and snia'! harp, there is no lack of driving itstruntental music MacGregor also revealing a strong compositional talent in tunes like the slow air The Nameless C/an but it's the singing and singers that are most impressive, and moving Mary Ann Kennedy, who also plays clarsach, comes from the renowned Glasgow- Gaelic Campbell fainly of singers She's JOIYIOU 2n the group by her ra'ey- heard cousin Maggie MacDonald, and the much-loved voice, impeccable phrasing and professionalism of Skye's A"t"ur Cormack, v.ho t'eels that (liar's old and lesscv—knovx‘ songs need only to be simply arranged and sung well to remain contemporary and there's no need for giriii‘iic ks
‘We made a consc :ous (rec 'sion not to go down the modern roaci,' explains McCormack ‘None of us play that sort of music anyway, but as it turned out, the album's selling \'.e|I We had been a bit anxious about it as lib ."-()t exactly new or innovative he laughs, ‘I mean, don't use bongo drums ' (Norman Chalmersl
EXPERIMENTAL/POP Label Profile: Geographic
Glasgow is already a city With an UTIUSUaHy high number of high-calibre independents, from Cliemikal Underground to Glasgow Underground The latest is Geographic, run by Stephen MacRobbie and Katrina Wilson of The Pastels through Domino Records. ’Domino had been saying for a long time that if I wanted to release records, they \rVOLIId give me an imprint,’ explains MacRobbie. 'So once I met Maher Shalal Hash Baz, I felt really inspired, Most groups these days seem to be post-something With Maher it felt like being right in there at the start of something incredible and new, and It's JUSi grown out of that '
Maher Shalal Hash Baz are unlikely to be familiar to all but the most devoted collector of obsccirities The band formed in the mid-80s, in part as a response to frontman Tori Kudo's activrties in the Eastern ASIa Anti- Japanese Armed Front. The core of the group are now based in rural Japan, and earn a crust making pottery
This biographical detail proVides a clue to the Maher SOUle mysterious but familiar, gripping but soothing, Virtuoso but inept, just what you'd expect from a revolutionary turned potter In more concrete terms, their songs combine Spaghetti Western guitar, colliery band brass and Pink Floyd grandiosity, often at the same time
‘In a way, Tori Kudo is completely Visionary,' continues MacRobbie ‘A more mundane group might think "we’ll combine Aphex Twin and Mogwai and see what happens" Kudo is more like “I'm going to combine a really deep colocir of blue with an intense orange and see what happens" They JLISI see things in a completely different way '
In addition to the Maher Shalal Hash Ba/ retrospective long player From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt), Geographic are set to release material from the similarly visionary Bill Wells, horizontal, weepy folk from International Airport and Leeds four-piece Empress These groups might seem to have little in common, but all fit the Geographic ethos As lylacRobbie puts it 'I hope we can be really Lincompromising, and put out great music I want people to feel that with Geographic, there's a chance to make a small contribution towards an alternative soc‘iety' (Jack MottramI
Maher Sha/a/ Hash Ba/ sing/e Unknown Happiness’ is out now
it ~ fit;
Revolutionary, visionary, potter: Tori Kudo of Maher Shalal Hash Baz