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ELMER BERNSTEIN & THE RSNO Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Fri 10 May
They may not know it, but regular visitors to Parkhead are big fans of Elmer Bernstein. Picture the scene. Celtic striker, Henrik Larsson approaches the goal, plants the ball in the back of the net, the crowd goes wild and . . . the instantly recognisable strains of The Magnificent Seven fill the stadium.
We can expect a similar (though slightly more reserved) scene at the Royal Concert Hall this weekend, when one of the most prolific film composers of the 20th century lifts the lid on his vast canon of works. Five years after his 75th birthday concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bernstein is once again flying over from California to take the podium. A man of such talent must have his pick of the world’s orchestras, so what draws him to Glasgow? ‘Well, firstly they play beautifully,’ says Bernstein. ‘Also, they’re so good natured. It’s always difficult for an orchestra when a stranger suddenly appears, and they’re doing unfamiliar music. The first thing I played with them was the score for To Kill A Mockingbird, which we recorded. And it was like driving a car: they were with me from the first minute; it was
astonishing. Tthey’re world class.’
High praise indeed, coming from a man who has written over 200 film scores, won two Golden Globes, an Emmy, an Academy
Award and has a star on Hollywood
Boulevard. But despite the impressive roll call
of achievement, this friendly octogenarian welcomes each award as graciously as the last.
‘Oh they’re all gratefully received,’ he assures. ‘Because with this kind of work you’re writing in a studio, not going out and performing before an audience where the response is immediate. It’s lonely work and it’s very
rewarding when people notice it.’
With a portfolio that includes scores for True Grit, The Ten Commandments, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Grifters, My Left Foot and comedies such as Airplane! and Trading Places, Bernstein has worked with some of Hollywood’s finest. Choosing which projects to accept
to undertake three shows
supporting Arab Strap around Scotland as part of the tripTych festival. The wisdom of my decision to go on any more excursions with Malcolm and Aidan should really have been questioned considering the outcome of some of our previous adventures. I once went to Portugal with them as their ‘guitar tech’ — despite being barely able to tune my own guitar — and it came to pass that 20,000 festival goers (they were on between James and Ocean Colour Scene) heard a slightly more discordant Strap than usual. All concerned were suitably unimpressed and l was never hired again.
Then, there was Aberdeen. The last time the Strap played there I was
I spent the last week bracing myself
Bernstein is no stranger to paradise
can’t have been easy. ‘Well the criteria changed depending on where l was in my creative life,’ says Bernstein. ‘In the beginning I was pleased to be asked to do anything, but in more recent times, the criteria is
the filmmakers: are they people I enjoy working with?’
This week Stuart finds himself in the back of a transit van with Arab Strap. Christ help him . . .
an innocent bystander at an awkward and random affair which culminated in Aidan telling the audience the reasons why they wouldn’t be back and Malcolm chastising a cheeky audience member after the gig in a markedly more physical manner. I would not have believed anyone had they told me I‘d be back a few years later as their fucking support act. Perhaps it’s true what scientists say about abuses of the body and memory loss. This Aberdeen show went off without incident and Arab Strap were tremendous. And on the way home Malcolm introduced me to the new Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle. Mmmmmmm.
Saturday in my surrogate home of Edinburgh was a much more subdued affair. Apart from everyone feeling
Ever regretted taking something on? ‘Oh very often,’ he laughs. ‘I learned a long time ago that a script isn’t necessarily an indication of what the end result will be like. So these days I insist on seeing the film first.’
pish from the night before, there was no bar, and the subdued audience made it feel a bit like we were sitting an exam. Watching Malc and Aidan wince while playing certain songs in the presence of their mothers was highly amusing though.
As the weekend drew to a close in Glasgow, my only real misgiving was that I'd missed a number of tremendous shows while supporting the Strap: Phillip Glass, Smog and Ritchie Hawtin for starters. Well, actually there was something that irked me about the whole event and Scottish culture in general: the omnipresence of the red Tennent's logo on just about everything. While corporate subsidy can be beneficial to culture, you have to ask if their own gains are greater than the financial assistance they provide.
Anyway, enough moaning. I can recommend the new Mum single and the forthcoming Sonic Youth album Murray Street: a surprising summer classic. I’m going to Brazil next week so I'm sure I‘ll have something interesting to write about. I might bring some weans back to sprite up our national fitba’ team while I’m at it.
All the is, /i sand/ sin the wog erfuigwor/d 09/9 music
SLIPKNOT, THE STROKES, the Prodigy, Pulp, the White Stripes (pictured), Spiritualized, Jane’s Addiction, the Offspring and Feeder are among the first names announced for Gig on the Green in Glasgow on 24 and 25 August. Tickets are on sale early June. See news for
the full story.
OXFAM HAVF OPENED Glasgow's first charity iniisic store at 171 Byres Road. The shop Will stock all musical
genres. selling vinyl. CDs. tapes. videos. posters. This is the second after a store opened in Ffdinlxirgli's Stockbridge in February this year
IGGY POP FANS SHOULD note that his show at the Barrowland has been moved from 16 to 17 July.
DAVID (SHAY HAS ANNOUNCEV D
a second night at Glasgow's SECC on :3 December. His first on 2 Deceiiiper is already sold
Stripes on the Green
YOU’VE HAD TRIPTYCH, you’ve bought tickets for T in the Park and Gig on the Green seems ages away, so what will sustain your weak and feeble frame in- between? The Rush is one suggestion. A new festival in Edinburgh for Edinburgh (their claim, but don’t let that put any wandering Weegies off), the Rush showcases the wealth of talent that abounds in the capital.
Organised by eight independent organisations who run events all year in Edinburgh, acts like ballboy, DJ Craig Smith and veteran punks the Lurkers are among the acts appearing. See next issue for full details.
MORE /\DDlll()NS l() llll l in the l’aik line up this issue: the Dandy \Nailiols. (Ioopei leinple Clause, Dot Alison. Air, Doves. (Zoiiieliiis. Kid (‘ialaliad
and l eaves.
:‘ .‘.% MA. .‘
.‘ THE LIST 47