POP ROGER MCGUINN
Cottier theatre, Glasgow, Mon 8 Jul
Forget the verbal euphemism or the Viz twin-some of Melly and Irrelevant, the name Roger is pure rock’n’roll. It conveys nothing but the best in vibrations: Roger, Rodger, Roget. . . each oscillating like an ocelot on a hot tin roof.
Skeptical? Ask a guru.
Jim McGuinn did. The front man with premier LA folk rockers, the Byrds, wished to chime better with the universe. So 35 years ago he consulted an Indonesian wise man who suggested a name-change. A shortlist of ten beginning with ‘R’ was drawn up. But was he really prepared to become a Rocket or Ramjet?
‘I was just eccentric enough to do that,’ he says. ‘But I’m really glad it came out Roger. I can go to the bank and not be laughed at.’
More name-dropping: Miles Davis made the phone call that landed the Byrds their ﬁrst record deal, Tony Blair is a big fan (that’s fan, reader, fan) and Bob Dylan paid McGuinn the ultimate compliment via ‘The Ballad of Easy Rider’.
‘They screened the ﬁlm for him in New York,’ he says. ‘And he wrote
The original big Byrd
down some verses on a cocktail napkin, gave it to Peter Fonda and said: “Here, give this to McGuinn, he’ll know what to do”. I gave him a co-credit and he called me up at three in the morning and said: “What is
this? I don’t need the money, take my name offa there”.’
The Byrds have inspired many a Scottish band, from Orange Juice and Primal Scream to Teenage Fanclub and Travis. McGuinn himself was inﬂuenced by folk, the Beatles, sci-ﬁ, his spell as a jobbing writer at the Brill building - monument of American popular songsmithery - and the beats.
‘I wore black turtle necks and shades at night . . . I met Ginsberg after the Byrds when Dylan would bring him round to the house and we’d all sit around ringing cymbals,’ he laughs.
At some point McGuinn intends to publish his take on the Byrds. First he must ﬁnd an American publisher with a good litigation lawyer. In the meantime he is rightly proud of a Grammy nomination for the Folk Den project (his labour of love to preserve the tradition of the American folk song) and dismissive of
David Crosby’s designs to reunite the surviving Byrds.
‘l'd like to leave it as a fond memory,’ he says. ‘Not go out there and trot it around as some oldies act.’
TEUCHTER TUNES NORTHERN ODYSSEY Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sun 7 Jul
Want to know what Inverness stands for? OK. Try this in the accent: ‘lt's Not Very Exciting Right Nuff. Even Saturday/ Sunday.‘
True. but as the newly-minted city bids to become European City of Culture 2008. some of its citizens are on the road. proving the old saw wrong. Northern Odyssey is the umbrella name for a Scottish tOur by two of the
happening yOung Highland bands. the country-rockin' Lush Rollers and the hyperactive folk/funk fusionists in Croft No Five. They’ve also tucked Bongo Club regular DJ Dolphin Boy under their brolly. as Crofter John Somerville explains: ‘The central belt's a big one. So many bands. so much music. But there's a lot of new music coming out round Inverness now. and to get it promoted we've put the tour together ourselves. We wanted the Lush Rollers because we think they're great. They have fantastic four-part harmony vocals; they can be guite mellow. but have a hard rock edge and they have really intelligent lyrics. It all contrasts
Croft No Five prove its not always grim up north
really well with our groove-based all-instrumental stuff.‘
Newcastle and coals come to mind when you discover that the Lush are highly thought of over in the States after their recent visit to the SXSW Music Festival. Texas USA and are soon to be winging it back over to Nashville.
Croft No Five‘s recent appearance on 8803 Blue Peter is another notch up their visibility stakes. as was their successful showcase early this year in New York when the band was described as ‘fascinating or terrifying. or both'.
‘Attention All Personnel remains the band's first and only album. and I asked John if their second is imminent and if the band's mission statement had changed. ‘We are looking to do another album. but we want to get it right. So we're in no hurry. And Our music has changed. but not essentially. We're a lot more confident. We've really improved Our stagecraft. We use vocals more. but it's not singing so it‘s dance music for a start. but then part of it is the c:ubby thing and then there's jazz as well.‘
HE D4 Barfly, Glasgow, Thu 4 Jul; Venue, Edinburgh, Fri 5 Jul
You've jumped around to the Strokes. You‘ve gone daft for the White Stripes. You've laughed at the Hives. Now. while a quinzillion wannabe garage rock revivalists scrape together opportunistic records on the back of current trends. please make room in your filthy, greaSy heart for just one more gut-wrenchingly brilliant and genuine garage band: the D4. You won't regret it. Really.
Hailing from the North Shore area of Auckland. New Zealand. here come the 04 — Dion. Jimmy. Vaughn and Beaver (he's the drummer. natch) — to rock your world. Their debut album. 6Twenty is an absolute blast of booze-drenched mayhem. matched possibly only by the Bellrays' recent effort for sheer bloody-nosed. adrenaline-soaked. punk rock style and utterly uncontrived. non-ironic. joyOtlS celebration of both kinds of music: rock and roll.
Three Kiwis and a Beaver
The band's recent single and their album's opening track says it all. ‘Rock'n'Roll Motherfucker" races by in a blur of early AC/DC sleaziness and MCS rabble rousing. somehow staggering arOund your stereo but managing to stay on its feet and never spilling a drop of its pint. And the other eleven songs are just as bloody great. The DA might wearing matching outfits. but they're a damn sight more kick-ass than the Hives. They might beat Crap put their instruments. but they're more fun than the White Stripes. And they've got choruses to make the Strokes weep into their cocktails. Check 'em out. if for no other reason than to pick up a claSSy ‘Rock'n‘RolI Motherfucker' T-shirt.
I The Glasgow show is the Lists inaugural Hit List Night at Bait/y where we jom forces to bring you the finest. new bands around. Keep an eye Out for more shows soon.
.1—18 Ju. 201).). THE LIST 57