Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Mon 30 Oct.
‘There is no group more mythical than Faust,’ said 'Saint' Julian Cope and the legendary Krautrockers' forthcoming British tour bears this out. It‘s a live re- interpretation of the soundtrack of the classic horror movie Nosferatu. 'From time to time the movie is the leader . . . Faust is a moving organism. . . it is a challenge to survive,’ says Hans Joachim lrmler, Faust musician and long-time member in his richly broken English. Passionate, funny and open, lrmler quickly makes you realise why these musical refugees inspire such devotion from their intimate coterie of fans.
Faust were formed in Wumme, Germany in 1971 by lrmler and five other avant garde musicians. Although their beginnings coincided with prog rock legends like Magma, Yes and ELP, their eponymously titled first album certainly set them out way beyond the zeitgeist. Constructed as a collage, the music placed an emphasis on interesting sounds rather than obvious melodies or rhythms, shifting rapidly through a succession of short segments. Almost before the listener had time to work out what was going on, the band had shifted on to something else. Hugely influential, Faust have nevertheless always been commercial poison to any
A slight return for The Go-Betweens
ROCK/POP The Go-Betweens
resemblance to the gaudy 80s
Get your teeth into a bit of Faust
record company that took them on, so now they release their own material.
With a different line-up, how would lrmler describe the Faust sound to a new generation? ‘It's organic, normally created in the minute that it appears and created by everyone in the room, all bringing a small part of themselves to it. I don't like the word improvisation too much because it means you follow a line casually but we don’t do that. We like to catch people inside with the power of music itself.’
It would be easy to dismiss this as a case of semantic pretension over skilled musicianship. If only Faust's music wasn't so bewilderingly good. Even their working practises inspire awe. ’Once a year we meet in "Nowhere Land” [a secret studio by Lake Constance in south Germany] and rehearse for about ten days non-stop.’
Pagan, autocratic and wonderfully self-defining over 30 years, Faust are still one of the ultimate live bands, and well-deserving of re-assessment. 'We like to have it loud from time to time but it should also be dynamic,’ says lrmler ‘We like to go down to a pulse point where there is nothing and then go from this like a racing car. I hope that everyone will enjoy it and have the patience to really relax and go into the material and have the power to stand it.’ Sell your soul and buy a ticket to see Faust for an experience you will never, ever forget. (Paul Dale)
After Forster and lvchennan split the band they pursued respected but fairly negligible solo careers. Yet they remained close friends, even dOing occaSional acoustic Go-Betweens shows together, and it was only after last year's rapturous t0ur promoting a Best Of compilation that they wanted to make The Friends Of Rachel Worth. Recorded with mutual friends Sleater- Kinney in Portland, Oregon, and with eduipment loaned from Pavement, this is quintessential Go-Betweens made bigger and wider by modern studios and reunion eXCitement, With the masterful sweep of Magic In Here’ and
King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sun 22 Oct. ’Everybody keeps mentioning Belle and Sebastian,’ says The Go-Betweens Robert Forster, ’but I can’t see it. Still, I do feel that we fit into today’s mUSlC scene a lot more. Back in the 805, there weren’t many like us.’
With The Go-Betweens releasing their first album in twelve years, The Friends Of Rachel Worth, songsmiths Robert Forster and Grant lvchennan are banking on everyone finally catching up. Prior to their split in 1989, this Australian Outfit were a marginal yet essential presence. They bore no
mainstream or its Gothic and ’industrial’ alternatives, preferring instead to fashion a literate, intelligent and above all romantic impulse to acoustic guitar pop. With arty and angular albums SUCh as Before Hollywood and Spring Hill Fare, and later a lush and sweeter take on introspective folk pop with Liberty Belle and 76 Lover’s Lane, the acclaim was huge but the commericial success always proved illusive. ’All that‘s been overdone,’ huffs McLennan, ‘given that we never sold a record, I’m still amazed that we got to make so many of them.’
the swooningly gorgeOus ’In My Life’, this is Robert and Grant rediscovmg how to make knotted guitars sound like sighing heartache once more For many, they will always be without peers, ’We didn’t want to make a retro SOunding record,’ says Forster langUIdly. 'What I like ab0ut it IS that It socinds big and full. You see I never bought into the idea that we were senSitive guitar types. There‘s a lot of experimentation and innovation in there. We’ve always been a high Wire band.’ (Neil Davenport)
m The Friends Of Rachel Worth is out now on Circus Records.
ROC K/ POP The Waterboys Barrowland, Glasgow, Mon 23 Oct.
’I dug being fvlike Scott,’ says the man himself — which is Just as well really — ’but the world knows my musm as the Waterboys.’ Well, maybe not the world, but there’s no doubt that Scott's latest album, A Rock in the Weary Land, hasn’t Suffered from being released under the Waterboys banner, nor from Scott’s decision to take the band on the road for one last chorus of ’Old England'. Except this is no nostalgia trip, there are no old faces on show, ’and we won’t be playing "Old England".’
Typical. Scott always has been a contrary fellow; this time he’s surrounded himself With some hip boffins to create the first record of the rest of his life. While he still talks fondly about ’plugging an electric guitar into an amplifier and making some n0ise,’ the new album has more subtle charms, displaying a creeping, ingratiating quality, studded With weird and wonderful SOund effects, that slowly reels the listener in. It’s gOing to be tough to play live.
’If we were trying to replicate the album it would be very tricky, but I like the Bob Dylan approach where yOu’re constantly changing things,’ he says. You have been warned. But, Scott doesn’t have Quite the same scorched earth approach to his past as Mr Zimmerman. His five-man line-up of guitar, bass, two keyboards and drums Will be accommodating some of the more misty eyed fans. ’Oh, we'll be playing songs from all the old albums,’ he promises. ’I am consciOus of the body of work.’
He certainly IS. Scheduled for release next year are the out-takes from the mammoth Fisherman’s Blues seSSions from the mid-805, which Scott claims 'could have been a quadruple album - there were six different verSions of the same song and I Just got lost. He is also planning to hook up with some of the old faces. ’I played some gigs With Steve Wickham (ex-’Boys fiddlerl in Ireland, and hopefully he’ll come aboard With me and AntO (Thistlethwaite — original memberl when the release happens.’
But enough of Such folk-filled fancy. Scott is posmvely salivating at the prospect of a rock ’n' roll not at the Barrowland, a venue he conSiders almost sacred. ’lt’s Such a special atmosphere, It’s like a part of the spirit of every gig that's ever performed there hangs in the place. I’ve played it a few times and it’s always brilliant ' lGraeme Thonisoni E A Rock In The Weary Land is out now on Geffen. The title track IS released as a single on Mon 76 Oct.
Mike Scott gets contrary
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