BIG BIG WORLD
Various venues, Glasgow, 23 Oct-3 Nov
Cuba comes to Glasgow this month - and the promise is that this will be a far richer and more varied musical feast than the menu familiar from the Buena Vista Social Club. This is the first time the city’s annual Si Cuba event has joined forces with the Big Big World festival, and the sounds of the Americas, Africa and Europe will be jostling with a planeload of musical talent from the island whose music has almost become synonymous with the world music brand.
Festival director Billy Kelly - who himself has enjoyed huge success promoting some of the Buena Vista stars in Scotland - admits that that groundbreaking album’s popularity has proved something of a double- edged sword. ‘As someone who loves the music, I have to say it has slightly overshadowed what happens with other musicians,’ he says. ‘Cuba is a lot more than just Buena Vista and what it does.’
Ample proof of this will be arriving here in the form of Tchaikovsky Conservatory scholar and Cuban classical pianist Jorge Luis Prats, as well as the wonderful singer/ songwriter Yusa, whose winning blend of Havana street sounds and modern pop influences is a world
EXPOSURE BRENDAN BENSON
Meanwhile, back in Detroit . . .
away from the nostalgic formula which has become so ubiquitous. Cuban influences on other musical traditions will also be heard from groups as distinct as Senegal’s legendary Orchestra Baobab and London’s Snowboy and the Latin Section. And if it sometimes seems as if Fidel Castro is running a programme to publicise an annual quota of previously obscure citizens, the latest arrives in the form of Polo Montanez (an unsuspecting Iumberjack until spotted singing in a countryside restaurant three years ago).
Big Big World has established an admirable blend of the popular and the adventurous over the years, and
Wood-be musical sensation Polo Montanez
the next two weeks will bring us some intriguing talents from traditions far beyond Castro’s country. If Nickel Creek represent the user-friendly rump of the current bluegrass wave, the Israeli singer Hadara is an entirely new musical phenomenon, with a combination of musical styles which is threatening to make her Jerusalem’s first singer-songwriter star. Add a duo of Senegalese kora and Swedish fiddle, blues veteran Odetta, Colombian family troupe Toto La Mompasina and the explosive ‘TropiPunk’ of Mexico City’s Los de Abajo and there should be quite enough to deliver an adventure which takes the most demanding listener beyond the familiar. (Ninian Dunnett)
DUNEDIN CONSORT University Chapel, Glasgow, Thu 17 Oct;
Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, Fri 18 Oct
For the first time in its SIX year eXistence. the Dunedin Consort launches a winter season that can be heard in its entirety whether you live in Glasgow or EdlﬂOU’gh or. for that matter. Aberdeen. 'All four programmes will happen in the Glasgow University Chapel says Ben Parry. the Conson's music director. 'It's a great acoustic for us and we're esoeCially pleased that we'll give Our annual performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion in Glasgow for the first time.“
Although the group's collaborations with the BT Scottish Ensemble and the SCO have been sell-outs. their own promotions have fared miserably in terms of audience
He’s a lover not a fighter
Pretend Jack White Honey. l'm home. Nearly finished the new album recorded on a shoestring so more money for us and the “:4 kids. Alt/E's not found out about yet. Oh and the drums need oc'r‘g.
Fictional Meg That's nice dear. little Tim can do it after d-nner. Oh and Brendan called round.
PJW Ah, this City's finest songwriter - well, apart from me of course! I really thOught he'o ht it big when One Miss/ssrppi came cut back in 96.
FM Weii, the last one didn't get the coverage it deserved but I think he": make it with Lana/cc. all those Summery chOruses and witty g:rl tropole lyrics. written. p‘ayed and produced all by himself with a little help from that nice onap Jason Falkner. PJW Yes I know that Meg. he is my friend. Now that he's moved back to Detroit we can do some more ac0ustic sessions together.
FM We.i no more a|'-n:ght benders. Last time you were Ir‘ Lorden yOu pasted on playing old blues songs with him. in that kebab shop. Soooooo embarrassing.
PJW I couldn't have him upstaging me. His scld-out Camden g g rocked harder than any of these nu-garage offs'noo 5 inspired.
FM Oh Jack, ne'd never do that . . . istares longineg at a photo of her and Bei‘son and signs. iCainilla Piai
I Brendan Benson ,c/ays Barf/y. G/asgow on 26 October: Lapa/CO is Out now on ‘/2.
numbers. 'Glasgow is a really difficult nut to crack — sometimes we would have just 30 people.‘ says Parry. 'It's possibly to do with the inconsistency of dates. so now we're putt-ng all of Our eggs in One basket and it's going to sound great.'
There is genuine desire to enc0urage yOung people. ‘Children can go to Our concerts for free.‘ says Parry. ‘We want them to come and they deserve to hear the muSic we pedorm.’ Among that mUSlC this season is a new commission. The People '3 Mass. which combines the w0rk of six different Scottish-based composers. but first off is a programme celebrating the glories of the English Renaissance. ‘People love madngals.‘ says Parry. 'They are wonderfully crafted and when — like the motets we're also doing — they are sung one v0ice to a part. they are just absolutely magical.‘ iCarol Mainl
The Consort smarten up for Glasgow
Barrowland, Glasgow, Tue 29 Oct
Y0uth is wasted on the yOung. they say. Try telling that to Fugazi. No respecters of Father Time. the Washington hardcore outfit are putting on shows that are still as incendiary. pummelling and relentless as when they started Out back in 1987.
For those not in the know. the band are fronted by singer and guitarist lan MacKaye. something of a legendary figure in the American punk and hardcore world. MacKaye was responSible for coining the term ‘straignt edge' to indicate an abstemious attitude to booze and drugs. as well as advocating anti- establishment politics and a generally c0unter-cultural stance.
As well as being a kick-ass hardcore purveyor. MacKaye is a One-man Crusade against multi-national globalisation. and Still runs his own fiercely independent record label. Dischord. which he established in 1980 to reiease records by his then band. Minor Threat.
It's difficult to exaggerate the influence MacKaye — first in Minor Threat and subseQuently in FugaZi — has had on underground gUitar muSic across the world over the last 20 years. The missing link between the 70s punk scene and every muSCular guitar band today. Fugazi are a beacon in the dark and their latest album. The Argument. shox'rs that their light has r‘ot diminished over the years.
And that's even more apparent when you see Fugazi Iive. Ai-resomely tight and aggressive. it IS almost unbelievable that the four guys on stage are In their late-30s or early-410s
inevitably. the Fugazi gig has SOmetning 0‘ an air of reverence about it. every little hardcore punk kid turning up to pay homage to the ma" who started it all. But don't let that put you off. it’s st'll a damn fine night but and a thoroughly rookiiig experience. «Doug Johnstonei
‘ 13‘ Oct 23:32 THE LIST 45