Big Big World
Various venues, Glasgow, Thu 12 Oct—Sat 4 Nov.
Big Big World proudly proclaims itself Glasgow’s International Festival of World Music, and if much of it does not fall into a conventional notion of ‘world music’, that is not going to cause any concern to its director, Billy Kelly. As with his Big Big Country festival, Kelly is happy to cast a very wide net, and if it catches a few strange fish in the process, so be it. Kelly’s open-minded approach was honed at Mayfest, and has been expanded in these festivals. They reflect his belief that it is indeed a big, big musical world out there, and trivialities like genre categories should not be allowed to get in the way of a quality gig. While Big Big
World has its fair share of the kind 7 f,“ ,5 of ethnic music we would normally "‘1' _ ’1‘ associate with the world music label 4' ‘ a '1‘ Z.
(and that is really no more than a
marketing wheeze anyway), it also
dips into folk, blues, jazz, country, rock and reggae with a carefree disdain for boundaries.
Thus, if you are so-minded, you can take in the Indian classical music of tabla master Vijay Kangutkar and the dub poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson on the same evening, or toss a coin between the Buddhist chant of Lama Gyurme with pianist Jean-Phillippe Rykiel or singer-songwriter lain Matthews, once of Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort.
That diversity is a keynote in a programme which explores a truly global reach. From Africa come Amampondo, in an exciting collaboration with saxophonist Alan Skidmore. The rich Cuban tradition is represented by singer Pablo Milanes and violinist Omar Puente and Raices Cubanos, both in association with the Glasgow-CUBA Festival.
Brazilian singer Monica Vasconcelos adds her own touch of exotic Latin colour to proceedings, while Yat- Kha bring a radically contrasting vocal approach from
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Kimmo and the devil have all the best tunes
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Story songs of everyday life and dreams from Slaid Cleaves
the republic of Tuva. The region's remarkable throat- singing has been popularised by the great Huun Huur Tu in recent times, and Yat-Kha belong in that tradition.
For those with less exotic tastes, the festival features a handful of American artists, including singer Maria Muldaur, the superb contemporary blues music of the great Taj Mahal and Kelly Joe Phelps (arguably the most exciting new blues talent around), and country-roots singers Slaid Cleaves and Lynn Miles.
Talent from closer to home includes singer Eric Bogle, born in Scotland but long resident in Australia, and two great Irish artists, singer Paul Brady and accordion wiz Sharon Shannon, whose own eclectic approach constitutes a mini-world music festival in itself. In a different vein, Yes drummer Bill Bruford leads the latest version of his excellent jazz-fusion outfit Earthworks, while Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush celebrate a rich and fiery blend of Jewish and Arabic music.
intended to be But beautiful, too
’I use electronic effects, but I do everything live It's hard to do good seguences live, but I do, so that the audience can see where the music comes from I may use up to 25 effects sometimes yOu'll hear one of me, sometimes twenty' And that includes vocal sOurids, he has a mic taped to his head For percussion, he bashes the box ’Ten years ago I was getting bored I don’t like the idea of dorng the same thing every night 7- and I started hitting the bellows I got great bass sounds So every day, when | go to my rehearsal room, I'm looking for new sounds '
Kimmo admits to no musical
Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Wed ll Oct; Arches, Glasgow, Thu l2 Oct.
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48 THE LIST 3 '8' 0".
but the musical direction he's taken since leavmg Helsinki Conservatory is anything but folksy
He plays some odd instruments the trombone, the mouth organ, and the mbira, the African thumb piano but he revels in the possibilities of the big bellows "The main reason I play the accordion is to do and express things that people have not done or heard before,’ he says Imagine Jin‘rny Shand on acid, tripping out with Aleister C TOY/IN] At times it's really hellish, and
boondaries, he also performs in an avant-garde rock outfit, and in an improwsing duo with French percussionist Eric Empahard And soon he'll perform his own symphony, with accordion, and a Helsinki Orchestra But go see him solo As two young guys said after Kimmo's performance in Belfast last week ’Fuck' That was the best musical experience we ever had ' And they turned up in Dublin to see it again the next night
Separating the pap from the pop, The List gives its tip top from the underground. This Week: Nerve What have you got for us this week then, Mr Up-and-Coming Music Specialist? Nothing less than the very finest punky, poppy, spunky, spotty, snotty, perky rock ’n’ roll to come out of Glasgow for a long time. Namely Nerve.
Nerve eh? What's the story with them? Three yOung laddies from the West Coast (of Scotland that is), Nerve have been blazing a pretty impressive trail across the UK over the last year, plying their trade in no- nonsense melodic punk rock, and gaining themselves guite a reputation into the bargain.
So they're a bit like Green Day and The Bloodhound Gang then? Less of the insults, yOu. Actually, it's strange you should mention Green Day, ’cos Nerve are apparently the favourite band of none other than Billy Joe Green Day himself. But don't hold that against them.
But should we, The List reading public, love ‘em? Yup. Nerve mix crunchy nut gtiitar riffs wrth bubblegum sweet melodies to create a very promising racket indeed. Evidence please, mister. Well, there's the new mini-album, Sin/imming With Sharks, which ranges from the angsty shouty opener 'What More Do You Want From Me?’ to the happy shouty ’Soho Disco', and all shouty pOints in between.
Pretty one-dimensional then? Not at all. Singer Jim Henery has obvrously had a troubled past (the album endorses both the Samaritans and Childline for 'personal reasons’i, and manages to get across that depth of emotion despite the two- minute breakneck song format.
So when can we see ’em then? A band keen to gig ’til they drop, they’re playing Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Glasgow in the next week before supporting Florida punksters Nutrajet on their UK tOur.
Anything else we need to know? They do a spectacularly good cover of Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl' which lasts about a minute.
Sweeeeet. iDoug Johnstone‘
varrn/n/ng With Sharks is out now Nerve p/ay Behind The Wa//, Fa/k/rk, Thu 5 Oct, The Path, Kirkc‘a/dy, Fri 6 Oct, Cat/rouse, Glasgow, Sun 8 Oct, Venue, Edinburgh, Wed I Nov, King Tut’s, G/asgovv, Sat 4 Nov.