Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Sat 13 Apr
Ben Ottewell of Gomez is feeling content. After the phenomenal success of the band’s debut, Bring It On, and the warm welcome that Liquid Skin received on its release, the boys are back, thriving on the gutsy roots they’re known for and experimenting with loops on new album In Our Gun. Last year, the band took a break from the limelight and the UK altogether. Now, they’re refreshed, rested, and completely out of touch. ‘Well, I’ve been hanging around in New Zealand and Australia so I don’t know what’s going on but it all sounds quite exciting.’
Their return to the fray, ‘Shot Shot’ may have confused devotees with its stripped down guitar sound, but the free jazz horn section and laid-back chorus are sweet respite in an epoch of scruffy angular rock.
In Our Gun is most definitely not ‘it’ music. Passionate and imaginative? Hell, yes. ‘We’re very pleased with the album, ‘Shot Shot’ was the first good thing we recorded after being away so we used up all our pent up energy on it that we’d been storing up from sitting on our arses for ages.’
Whatever the reaction to new material, fans can always be sure
that when they’re listening to Gomez, it's Gomez that they hear, as they produce every album themselves. This band also stands out from its peers in its deliberate lack of frontman or leader. Whoever writes the song sings it. Does this make for a stronger relationship within the band? ‘Yeah I think it does. The fact that there’s not one singer/ songwriter within the band works to our advantage, there’s not as much ego going around.’ This leads to a
Gomez give it another shot
more diverse sound and in return attracts a more diverse fanbase. ‘We really don’t know who our fans are. With a band like the Strokes it’s very easy to see who their fans would be but with us there’s no set group of people and that’s really good.’
Ottewell appears genuinely excited about bringing their music to the masses. They may not be hip enough to feed the hype-hungry, but miscellaneous others can prepare to be impressed. (Camilla Pia)
RSNO/ PARAGON ENSEMBLE
RSNO: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 11 Apr; Paragon Ensemble: the Hub, Edinburgh, Mon 22 Apr; the Arches, Glasgow, Tue 23 Apr
The muSic of Mark-Anthony Turnage is little known in Scotland. but if one of his biggest fans. conductor Garry Walker. has anything to do With it — and he does — that situation is about to change. With Walker currently holding the roles of associate conductor of the RSNO and artistic director of Paragon Ensemble. it is perhaps no surprise to find both of these groups programming Turnage's music under Walker's baton.
'lt's unbelievable that his music is not heard more' says Walker. ‘There's no reason for it being like that — it's simply that we need to hear more contemporary music. Partly. it may be because there has been a trend to promote Scottish composers. but I just think that Turnage is great. His music is enormously approachable.‘ First off is the RSNO and a huge Symphonic work entitled Drowned Out. It is teamed up with Britten's Four Sea Inter/udes from Peter Grimes. which also has a preoccupation with death. ‘lt‘s very noisy‘ explains Walker. 'and written for a massive orchestra.‘ The piece, which IS about someone who imagines he is drowning. but actually really is drowning. came about through Turnage's four year stint as composer in association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the heady days of Sir Simon Rattle.
At the other end of the scale is Paragon's jazz ensemble who play Release. and the more conventional octet fer The Silence. which Walker is n particularly keen should be heard more. ‘Turnage's mUSIC is always beautifully crafted.‘ says Walker. ‘lt has an exceptional sense of structure and form. It‘s very Simple to understand at a first hearing With strong influences from rock and jazz.' He may be such a supporter of Turnage's music as to hail him ‘the Britten of Our time'. (Carol Main)
Mark-Anthony Turnage in
52 THE LIST 1 1—28 Apr 2002
FOLK/ JAZZ/ POP COTTIER THEATRE 10TH BIRTHDAY Cottier, Glasgow, Sat 13-Fri 19 Apr
Ten years on. and the old church that became the Cottier Theatre is now imbedded in the life of Glasgow's West End. And it‘s not just the busy bar or the leafy outdoor tables. No: the Cottier equals culture. be it drama. popular touring shows. exhibitions. comedy or music of all sons . . . well. probably not heavy metal; it is. after all. an arts centre.
To celebrate the refurbished building's first decade. the Cottier is having an extended birthday party. presenting an eclectic mix of music for the ears and the feet — or in Salsa Celtica’s case. for the hips.
Just back from Singapore. the boys are bringing their plethora of pipes. percussion and brass to create a smoochy Cottier ceilidh. their kind of Highland HavanaEdinburgh reedsman-extraordinaire Dick Lee arrives next day with his clarinets. saxes and recorders. and a few of his musical pals.
The final birthday bash features the moody grooves of Skye's Peatbog Faeries — one of the few bands to successfully deal with the inherent perils of folk/rock fusion. The Peatbog bagpipes. whistles and fiddle are wholesomer underpinned by tasty. inventive harmony and rhythm work. propelled by a quality drummer.
But you'll have to move fast to get tickets for the penultimate ‘Madness and Mayhem‘ event. starring Michael Marra. The superlative songwriter was last at the Cottier filming a Burns-Night Special and looks forward to returning. But he points out: ‘It may be mayhem and madness. but I‘ll be there without a band. It'll be just me and the piano. — a solo show.‘
He will, however. be bringing new songs. A live album High Sobriety is ready to go. and the keel has been laid for the next again album, for which he has written upwards of thirty songs. ‘I'Il do some at the Cottier'. he promises. ‘lt's a great place for a solo performance; it's full of character.‘
The Peatbogs go west
ROCK SIX BY SEVEN
' King Tut’s, Glasgow,
Sun 14 Apr
Six By Seven are a huge band. Literally in the case of gigantic singer and goitarist Chris Olley. but also in terms of the band's humungous. monolithic. rock sound. Their third album, The Way / Feel Today. rips the air out of your lungs as it races past your ears fuelled in equal parts by rage and love. It's one of
the best records released in Christ knows how long.
So if you're wondering why yOu've never heard Of Six By Seven before. hell, you're not alone. So is Chris Olley. 'l'm sick of reading reviews that say.
“this band shOuId be
much bigger than they
are" or "go out and
fucking suppert them" or "they're one of the best live bands in the UK". he
Big is beautiful
Not that he's particularly bothered in that respect. ‘lt's just because we haven't got an image'. he continues. 'When we started we just thought tuck we're not interested in all that and right then we shot ourselves in the foot. We could have done it like the Manics. I suppose?
But w0u|d he like to be where the Manics are now? ‘No', he replies like it's the dumbest question in the world. 'Not at all.‘
This lack of image has lead to much confLiSion amongst reviewers. Live. Six By Seven are jaw— droppingly intense. that intensity often seeing them wrongly branded as a bunch of dOur bastards. An accusation Olley refutes. 'lf yOu read the Iyrics.they're actually quite uplifting.‘
At the risk of incurring Olley's wrath let us point out. this band should be much bigger than they are. They are one of the best live bands in the UK. Go Out and fucking Support them.