ROCK THE FLAMING LIPS Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 2 Jul
It’s been two and half years since the Flaming Lip’s The Soft Bulletin rightly topped virtually every end of year poll. That must cause a band to worry about how the hell they’re going to follow such a glorious, adventurous and downright successful album, right? They must have felt the pressure, right? Think again.
‘No,’ says the band’s immensely likeable and slightly insane singer Wayne Coyne, ‘I wish I did though. I wish I could say I woke up and took ten hits of acid and shaved my body and went to Alaska and had to hole up for a year and a half, but no. Actually it was just the opposite, I felt relieved. I realised people liked it and l was really encouraged by that, I really felt that people were rooting for us.’
Well that’s because we were rooting for them. After umpteen years of wonderfully experimental but somewhat unhinged guitar rock craziness, the American trio had
produced an awesome, cohesive record of real depth
and vision. And now it’s time for another. Next month it?’
sees the release of Toshimi Battles the Pink Robots, an equally dumbfounding record still firmly rooted in psychedelic pop and moving wonkiness.
The band were working on two other records while recording it, a soundtrack to a friend’s documentary on redneck fishermen (‘sophisticated country music’) and sounds for the band’s own film project, Christmas on Mars (‘soaring, space science, religious cathedralness’), both of which apparently influenced Toshimi . . ..
‘We had this juxtaposition of sound, strange acoustic rock meets spacey electronica,’ says Coyne. ‘lt’s like a Kris Kristofferson storytelling thing mixed with this cosmic Carl Sagan background. We’re the Kenny
ur return to the UK couldn’t have
been timed worse. The omens were there, constant world war two references in the English gutter press, Dimbleby salivating, street parties, Cliff Richard. I had walked straight into the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. Even coverage of the World Cup was tainted with constant royalist cross- referencing. Aside from the opportunity to give the Sex Pistols another three pounds of my money (like they need it) there was absolutely no redeeming feature in celebrating 50 years of the Queens reign. And then came the concert . . .
What an odious sight to behold. Rock'n’roll, an art form traditionally synonymous with rebellion, counter culture, disobedience and free thinking, on its knees in tribute to the most hated symbolic figures of
Stuart is sent reeling by revolting regal rollicking but revels in real rock royalty.
mainstream imperialist rule. the queen of England. It really is a sickening sight to see these pathetic old bastards — most of whom haven’t shifted a record without a greatest hits sticker since I’ve been alive - queuing up to pay tribute to the parasitic old wretch. In a week where converting a dodgy penalty is an act deemed worthy of a knighthood it seems all too clear why these fossils are willing to squander all the credibility and respect they have accumulated in return for a worldwide TV audience and a place on the honours list. Brian May: wanker. Paul McCartney: cuntbag. Cliff Richard: Cliff Richard. Die now you bunch of cancerous fucks. There. glad I got that of my chest.
While these cultural atrocities were being committed in London, I was in Edinburgh’s Liquid Room watching a
Every gig is your life presented back to you, 50 minutes at a time Rogers of outer space. That sounds horrible, doesn’t
Thank Christ the record sounds nothing like he describes it. Never ones to ignore the live side of things, the ’Lips’ last UK gigs were an incredible mix of cabaret, rock and heartbreaking, emotive intensity, a deliberate mix that is due to be repeated this time.
‘Things can be light and things can be heavy,’ Coyne says, ‘and I like to give a variety of stuff instead of either being a joke or being dead serious the whole time. It’s just an extension of the way that we all are, I think most well rounded humans are the same. So every gig is basically your life presented back to you, 50 minutes at a time.’
What a strange, strange life. (Doug Johnstone)
All the submissions, admI'SSIons and transmissions from the wonderful world of music
SCOTLAND’S TOP JAZZMAN Tommy Smith, is launching a new elite youth jazz orchestra, and is looking for applications from the best young (under 25) Scottish musicians around. Tommy wants likely candidates to send him a five-minute cassette, mini disc, CD or DAT by 30 June, with auditions to follow. Send to: Tommy Smith, PO Box 3743, Lanark, ML11 9WD.
ADDITIONS TO THE BILL FOR Gig on the Green include the Streets. Corndershop. Gemma Hayes and Bitty Clyro on Saturday and the Stereo MCs. Reindeer Section and the Vines on Sunday. GOTG tickets are being kept at the dis00unted price of 955 instead of 5265 until the end of June so get 'em QLiiCk.
GOTG are also searching for new local bands to play at the festival. Interested acts should send demos to their local radio station who will nominate a pair of bands from each region. Send them to: Scott Shaw. Forth One. FOrth HOuse. BOx 271. Forth Street. Edinburgh Or ROSS MC Fayden. Clyde One. Clydebank Business Park. Glasgow.
real living legend: Arthur Lee of Love. I My expectations for this show weren’t ’ the highest, quite a few ‘geniuses’ that I’ve seen live years past their prime have been sad, embarrassing affairs. Also considering that Arthur Lee is straight out the penitentiary and famously radio rental. there were , definite grounds for concern. In a time ‘ when Bernard Sumner can’t play without an autocue what chance Arthur Lee? What followed was one of the finest performances I’ve ever witnessed. He is one of the truest punks alive today. His voice never faltered and he even picked up a six- string for ‘Aloneagain Or’. All in all, a triumph. Go and see him when he returns. That read worryingly like a review. Shit.
Other highlights for me have included two shows by laptop child prodigy turned rapper Cex from Baltimore. Since our Rock Action label had licensed his last record from Kid 606’s Tigerbeat label, I was helping out with the shows and putting Ryan
Blak Twang gets festive
THE FINAL ACTS FOR T IN the Park have been confirmed. The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Polyphonic Spree play Saturday while the Shining play on Sunday. T ON THE FRINGE HAS A number of names confirmed for August including: Natalie Imbruglia. Corn Exchange. 13 August; Mull Histoucal SOCiety. Queens Hall, 27 August; the SOunds of Simon 8. Garfunkel. Liquid Room, 41 August: and Blak Twang ipicturedl . Liquid Room. ‘1 August.
(as you might have guessed. Cex isn’t his real name) up for the night. Whilst trying to avoid punting our own wares I can say that he was very entertaining. mannered and eccentric. A fine boy.
THE SMART ONES AMONG you with an ear for new music should have a peek at Scotland’s newest web-site dedicated to unsigned music at http://www.elevation station.net/.
l’i‘ Jim—.1 J... 2002 THE LIST 41