POP BOBBY CONN Barfly, Glasgow, Tue 2 Jul
The rock’n’roll preacher and most perfect pop star on the planet is here to save your souls. He’s done with the antichrist declarations on 1998’s superb Rise Up! album and has gone on to make a bona fide madcap masterpiece, The Golden Age, a thrilling mix of the best and most bizarre bits of everything you have ever heard. It has Bowie running through its veins, Lou Reed at its heart and draped in Bee Gees pop attire it boogies to bossanova beats and skirts around ghostly gospel and string quartets while taking a sideswipe at the ‘retardedness of American culture’. Cue Conn; creative genius and caustic social commentator, ‘I always wanted to make a record ,. a. a; «5 where it was one band but it Bobby Conn ﬁnally comes out sounded like a compilation album
and I think I’ve done that. The lyrics are about dealing with adolescence personally and the state of social adolescence that America is trapped in, where the teenager is the ideal for everyone. I like to make the personal the political and vice versa.’
Conn makes no bones about his political feelings. His ‘continuous cash flow system’ seminars encouraged people to accumulate so much debt that the ‘pig system of oppression’ would self- destruct. ‘The little girl that we are staying with is two and a half years old and whenever you ask her how much candy she wants she always goes, ‘too much, too much’. So the instinct is there early. When I walk down the street I see the horror of the advanced state of western society and just laugh at the surreal acid trip of our civilization. Like, when are we all getting the chip installed that keeps track of our credits and debits and decides when we’re going to pee in the morning?’
So is he looking fovward to spreading the word at the newly converted Barfly (full marks to globalisation irony spotters)? ‘Oh yes, I like to think of it as if you went to see ELO or one of those arena type bands in someone’s living room and it was good! Like if you could take all that overblown, posturing and bring it to a human scale where you could feel the energy from it and you’re not 20,000 yards away. I think we’re going for the tennis look this time because it’s getting too hot to wear the plastic,’ he adds. ‘I don’t believe that there should be a line between the stage and the audience so I spend a lot of time out and about; hugging people, holding their hands and stealing their drinks. Basically my music is like fungus, it grows on you.’ To resist it would be foolish. (Camilla Pia)
or his shell (suit)
ROCK THE VINES QMU, Glasgow, Mon 24 Jun
The weight of expectation can be a terrible thing. After one Top 40 Single. the Vines are already being t0uted as the guitai band of the year. Admittedly. the single was ‘Highly EVOIved'. a chaotic. grinding riinty-t’our second rock stomp that's been backed up by an Incendiary performance on Later and a whole lot of column inches. but y0u have to Question the substance behind the hype. A lot of people have a lot of money invested in the Vines. They need to Succeed.
Luckily. the public seem pretty keen too. They were originally booked to play King Tut's. but a speedy sell out has seen the gig relocated to the OMU. Live. the Vines are an interesting paradox. Lead singer and songwriter Craig Nicholls has in the past suggested that he'd rather fans watch a tape of their performance instead of reggae and. according to Nicholls. anti seemingly rather unhappy dragging them out on tour. But they've enough material for inuiVidual. For the rest of us. that onstage he is a passionate, edgy another release already. might suggest he needs a good frontman of unquestioned The Vines will stand or fall on cup of tea and a nice girl to talk to commitment. Nicholls' talents. The NMF has rather than the (ltllltétlldf‘) of
Its not creepy, its the feelgood hit of the summer
Their uneven debut. High/y already set him up as the next Kurt international superstardom. but Evo/ved lout on 8 Junei fuses punk Cobain. on the apparent basis that the Vines have already stepped rock and melancholy indie WIIII he's an obsessive. eccentric ihe onto that rollersoaster. Watch moments of pure psychedelia and has a fast food and dope fetish; them ride it. iJaines Smartl
42 THE LIST I”, ,ltii‘. -'. .iii 2’28?
RSAMD SUMMERFEST RSAMD, Glasgow, Mon 24-Fri28 Jun
Whatever the weather tells us. the RSAMD says its summer. And they have their own festival of muSic to prove it. Entitled Summerfest. the series of five lunchtime concerts is now a regular feature of life at the Royal Scottish Academy of MUSIC and Drama and takes its title from being the last event to happen in summer term.
Conceived as a showcase for the multitudinous combined talents of students and staff. Summerfest also brings a huge variety of artists together for the purpose of entertaining the audiences who have supported them throughout the year. Even the director of the School of Drama takes to the stage to sing. Contemporary music — notably a celebration of the music of Thomas Wilson. who died last year — sits alongside Scottish traditional music. which in turn is iuxtaposed with poets William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
1 .. . Lucy Taylor goes solo for summer
According to mezzo Lucy Taylor. who is a soloist in the Wilson tribute and part of A Summer Schubertiade. ‘It's all a real mixture of repertoire and a very nice thing to happen at the end of the year. when exams. assessment i_)erforma.inc(-)s and all the formal stuff is over.‘ Although penormance is an integral part of RSAMD studies. there are no regular OppOl'lLllllthS for teachers and pupils to perform together. ‘l'm working with Jack Keaney. who is an accompaniment teacher' says Taylor. ‘and I definitely gain from the expertise of someone who has been in the profession a long time but sometimes it can be quite daunting for staff to perform in the context of the institution where they are normally teaching'
Taylor's main contribution is Thomas Wilson's song cycle The l/‘/i//oii/ Branches. a piece which was written in 19813. "The poetry is almost like an operatic scena in itself," she explains. 'lt's from the Chinese T'ang dynasty and is about an unhappy love affair. It's interesting that the story is told from the woman's perspective. but set by a man. It's a contemporary piece. but totally accessible. with some veiy strong imagery in the piano part and atmospheric directness in the stoiy |ine.' (Carol Main)