ROCK/POP Superstar Phat Dat (Camp Fabulous)
Superstar emerged from the ashes of seminal Glaswegian guitarniks BMX Bandits in the early nineties when singer, songwriter and main Superstar bloke, Joe McAlindon, sent a ‘one song rattly tape' to Alan McGee who in return sent him three grand to go away and make an album. The result was the debut Superstar record, ambitiously titled Greatest Hits Vol. One.
That was in 1992, but legal wrangles with various record companies led to their follow-up, the well-received Palm Tree, only appearing in 1998. Further legal trouble has meant that the release of their third album, Phat Dat, has been repeatedly delayed, but is finally seeing the light of day this month, and a highly impressive record it is too. A sumptuous mix of guitar tunes and ballads, the striking feature throughout is McAlindon's voice, at times painfully emotive and strikingly powerful.
But what about that weird album title? McAlindon explains: ’lt’s named after a piece of work by an artist called Jim Lambie who does all our record sleeves — it’s just a cool name, you know? Someone told me it means "successful" in Cantonese but that was our manager so don’t quote me on that.’
While waiting for the album to come out, McAlindon has been working on film scores and also organising an unusual club in Glasgow called, unsurprisingly, Phat Dat. ‘lt’s in a glasshouse in Queen’s Park,’ he explains, ’which is full of palm trees, iguanas and snakes.’
As well as Superstar playing a different set each time, there’s also going to be a host of guest DJs and bands playing. Keen to avoid it becoming a place for his ’Glasgow music mafia mates’, McAlindon promises something different. One of the first guest DJs is novelist Alan Warner, shining light in the Scottish literary world. Other people lined up to play are Robin Guthrie of The Cocteau Twins, Shack and, bizarrely, Big
The multi-faceted, multi-talented Malinky
Superstar: guaranteed to no' be shite
Norm from Cheers. As McAlindon cheerin plugs it: ’lt’ll no' be shite. I wanted to put that on the posters but I wasn’t allowed.’
If the thought of Big Norm DJing in a glasshouse in Queen’s Park isn't daft enough, just picture McAlindon's face when he heard Scottish ‘legend’ Rod Stewart’s version of his song, ’Superstar'. ’It was half eight in the morning and I was hungover,’ he says. ’I just took the cassette out the tape player and threw it in the bin, it totally freaked me out. I might do a cover of ’Hot Legs’ to get him back.’
With the band planning live dates in August and September, McAlindon has a word of recommendation for the Superstar live experience. ’The one thing I can guarantee is it’ll no' be shite,’ he says with a laugh. (Doug Johnstone)
Phat Dat is out IO ju/y on Camp Fabulous.
Penman's women's singing group at ALP. But these traditional songs (ontinue to endure betause they are still relevant They're meaningful, beautiful and powerful and they sort of (hanged my life'
Karine's own songwriting skills are obVious on Malinky's album, and will soon be heard on Hard Wire, the imminent first album by MacAlias, her harmony vo(al duo With fellow Edinburgh songwriter Gill Bowman Produced by Rab Noakes, the stellar session musos intlude Noakes himself, Davey Paton and harmonica ate Fraser Spiers, all of whom, Karine feels, ‘were
Malinky Edinburgh: Folk Club, Wed 12 Jul.
With a recent debut album on Greentrax, a support slot for the Boys Of The Lough at last months Killin, and gigs lined up at Cambridge, Sidmouth, and Denmark's Tonder folk festivals, Malinky are dOing 'as well as we ever (Ould have expected' according to vocalist Karine Polwart, one of two strong singers in the young all-a(ousti( hand.
It's only a few years sinre Karine
46 THE "ST 6 20 Jul 2000
started singing Scots ballads With the (apital's Adult Learning Projert, but it's ()bVious to anyone With ears that she's a natural. Well, maybe not anyone, as she relates. 'I wasn’t thought of as a singer at s(h()ol. People expett a (ertain sort of vome, one that's gone to lessons, a sweet one. Well, I think you (an have a V()i(e trained out of you I like telling a story in a song, and I've always been into pop and (ountry musi( the stuff I'm now known best for is not what I was singing when l was younger but I’d never heard the ballads until I went along to fileen
brilliant, very (ool And just right for all our sort of songs, whi(li have this Country/folk Americana feel Very different from the other hands I'm involved With ’
Yes, the other bands. As if two aren't enough, Karine is now hard at work rehearsing her new role as lead vo(alist of the internationally barnstorniing Battlefield Band, whose tours she fits into an intreasingly (omplitated diary, explaining 'I really want to perform Some people don't, they just like to sing But l love perfoi'ming'
A Perfect Circle Glasgow: The Garage, 16 Jul.
A Perfett Cirtle is the new (ollaboration between Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan, and while the former is a relative unknown, the latter Will be known to many as the lead singer With US ro(k band Tool. The pair have in fatt been working together for many years but it was only in 1999, during the recording of Tool's Aenima album, that Maynard heard some of Howerdel's musi( and was so impressed he suggested working together. By this point Howerdel had written the musi(, Maynard wrote the words and added the vo(a| harmonies to go With it, It was then up to PM Lenthantin, Josh Freese and lroy Leeuwen to add drums, bass and keyboards. HaVirig worked previously With bands su(h as Failure, Nine |n(h Nails, Guns’n'Roses and Devo, the guintet pooled their experiemes and ideas and A Perfect Circle were born.
Their first album Mer de Norris was released in June and it is tempting to draw (omparisons With Tools work as there are undoubtedly some similarities Attording to Howerdel however, these similarities are mainly due to the influen(e that Tool’s musi( has had on him over the years, alongside other bands like The Cure, The new musi( (ertainly has a t‘()(k element to it but it also has it’s own lTiOldlKliOly feel whi(h flows through the dark, slightly avant garde sound made up of heavy bass, distinttive guitar lines and Maynard's haunting vorals.
Their new single ’Judith’ is the first single to be released from the album and is the one \Vlll(ll stands out, The musi(, \Vll|(ll has a strong ro(k feel, was written in ten hours whereas the words and melodies took a great deal longer to (omplete allowmg Maynard to do the musi( justite With his distinr tive vo(als.
A(<ording to A Perfe<t Circle the band has been born out of the desire to explore and develop ideas and influences through musm \VlllCll is apparently not restri(ted by boundaries and so (reating musi( that is about moments of inspiration, expression and passion, although they do admit it isn't for everyone At least they are honest. iJane Hamiltoni I Mer de Noms is' out now, the single ’luo'ith’ is released 10 Jul both on Virgin.
Rock with a compelling, dark edge: the sound of A Perfect Circle