Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Wed 18 Sep; Barrowland, Glasgow, Thu 19 Sep
Skye Edwards sounds like a woman with something on her mind. Distracted and in rather adverse circumstances, she lets slip a vision of Morcheeba’s future which seems peppered with euphemistic music biz shorthand for ‘we don’t know how much longer we’ll be about’. See what you think: ‘Once we’d finished mixing the album, Paul said he’d like to take a five-year break. I think it’s because of musical differences between him and Ross - Paul’s more into beats and hip-hop, and Ross is a psychedelic rocker. So I thought that would be a great opportunity for me to go and do my own thing . . .’
Now, phrases like ‘five year break’ and ‘musical differences’ might well be manna to detractors who’ve written Morcheeba off as a coffee-table soul snack. But anyone who rightly regards their output (especially 1998’s second album Big Calm, through 2000’s Fragments of Freedom and this year’s Charango) as the substantial musical feast that it is will no doubt be hoping that reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated.
Yet it’s still been a surprisingly good innings for a band that met by chance at a party. Stood up by her
mate one evening in 1993, then- bedroom songwriter Edwards was forced to make conversation with the DJ and his brother, a certain Paul and Ross Godfrey, and ‘ended up trying to sell them my drumkit, because I was living in a one- bedroom flat and too embarrassed to play them in case I annoyed the
neighbours.’ And the rest is history.
From early days, then, as a studio-only band winning a record deal on the back of their first demo ‘Trigger Hippie’, to touring the world in promotion of Charango (which features the talents of Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner and Slick
From big calm to Argos madness
Rick), it’s been a long road for the threesome - and maybe the bandwagon will continue to roll on down it, after all.
‘We’ve just signed for our seventh album,’ reveals Edwards, ‘so we’re contracted for three more, but we just think it would be good for our sanity to take a break from each other.’
So what’s bugging Edwards today? ‘You’ll have to forgive me, I’m in Argos with the kids looking for Thunderbirds! We were meant to be home ages ago.’ Motherhood, it’s the new rock’n’roll, you know. (David Pollock)
ROCK GARY NUMAN QMU, Glasgow, Thu 19 Sep
Dearly beloved. we will gather at said venue to praise the life and works of one Gary Numan. father of nu wave before those silly new romantics came along and spelt it properly. and grandfather of nu metal before those pesky middle-class kids hi~jacked the term and diluted its aesthetic.
You might think this is just nu speak. but a survey of the facts attests to Gary’s Influential stature in the modern music world.
Fact: ‘Cai's' if; pernaps the most recognisable syntbpop songs of all time. and W618 instrumental in opening up the nu wave land the new waver of music to the world in 1979. and'Are Friends Electric?‘ is still one of the best synthpop songs ever written.
Fact: Trent Re/nor Marilyn Manson and Fear Fact0ry owe their dues to Gary, and paid him back by Invigorating his career Wllil a spate of covers and collaborations; in turn. Gary's acclaimed 1999 album Pure was darker and more raw than anything his contemporaries c0u|d ever offer — an industrial-gothic nightmare that would have nu metal kids screaming into their WAP phones for a lift home from mummy.
Album number 18 (that's 18) is on the way. but if you're uninitiated you've got 17 others to catch up on. Then you too shall be at \. one With Numan. ‘ Go forth in black. (Jan F Zeschky)
I "‘ \‘
Still the Nu-Man
44 THE LIST 2 “i set, may
CLASSICAL DOUBLE BASS WEEKEND RSAMD, Glasgow, Fri 13 and Sat 14 Sep; BBC Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 18 Sep
It you managed to catch the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra or the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester at this year's Edinburgh International Festival. you would see in an instant how these orchestras give pride of place to the double bass. Around a dozen of them were perched in a long line above all the other players. More usually squashed in somewhere between a wall and a bank of cellos. the gentle giant of the string section is rarely given such prominence. Helping to put the bass more properly in the limelight is the Scottish Bass Trust. who m0unt a whole weekend of concerts and workshops dedicated to the instrument.
‘Basically what we do'. says organiser Jennifer Sharp. ‘is to put on workshops for students and bring international soloists to Scotland to play and to inspire.‘ Among those coming to Glasgow this year is the dazzlingly inspirational Duncan McTier. who is soloist with the BBC SSO in Robin Holloway's Double Bass Concerto and. a few days later. in the world premiere of a new concerto by Gavrn Bryars. ‘We started around ten years ago.‘ says Sharp ‘and as well as trying to raise the profile of the bass. we‘re giving people the opponunity to hear it played well. as yOu don't often hear it on its own.‘
Compared to. say. a woodwind instrument in a neat case. a double bass is a rather awkwardly-shaped instrument to cart around and parents often need extra persuasion from their offspring to prowde the necessary early support. 'But it's Such a versatile instrument' says Sharp. 'and when bass players from all over the world get together. it's just great fun.‘ (Carol Main)
FIVE REASONS TO GO SEE . . .
1. To see the inventors of nu metal ply their trade. They have to hold their hands up as the band that ushered in this new wave of metal acts that are now littering the shelves of local record shops and have taken over the minds of Britain's youth, causing mass outbreaks of band T—shirts, spiky hair and make-up in the under 18s. But we do have to blame them for Limp Bizkit. who they signed. But without their mix of industrial metal and rap as seen on debut album Korn. Papa Roach. Slipknot and Linkin Park just wouldn't be who they are today 2. Experience the darker side of an already pitch black genre. Lead singer Jonathan Davis used to work in a morgue (and enjoyed it), was abused as a child and bullied at school for liking Duran Duran. All of which has provided plenty of fuel for his ebony-hued lyrics. Remember this is a man who's opening a museum dedicated to serial killers in his native LA. Pick up latest albumUntouchab/es, which cost 84 million to produce. for further examples. 3. See how metal should be done, no messing. If you want brutal. dystopian unadulterated heaviness Korn are your band. Their lyrics aren’t the only black- hearted aspect of Korn: there‘s the juddering bass of 'Fieldy'. the syncopated drumming of David Silveria. and the heavy rifforama of guitarists James 'Munkey' Shaffer and Brian ‘Head' Welch. 4. Watch Davis get back to his Scottish roots. lts surely one of the strangest sights in the world we call rock, when Davies strides on with bagpipes. Not an ideal marriage in many peoples eyes but somehow it works, well his grandmother is of “Scottish descent' and taught him as a nipper. 5. Pay yOur respects. With the show falling on 11 September expect some sort of commemoration . . . even metallers have hearts. (Henry Northmore)
SECC, Glasgow, Wed 77 Sep