There’s nothing like the sound of a young man whining mournfully to the melancholy strains of an acoustic
guitar. Or is there? Your instant guide to 2lst century singer/songwriters Words: Mark Robertson
‘1 J .
The bloke who was
I I ’ . -_ f “7.,
DAMO GOUGH Badly Drawn Boy, the
The tempestuous Noo
The young Canadian
he looks like . . .
offspring of Rod Hull and Penelope Keith.
of Florence & Dougal from The Magic Roundabout.
of Tony Adams and Morticia Addams.
tryst between Johnny Vegas and Kelly Osbourne.
AKA [in] the Verve. other cat in the hat. Yawk troubadour. pretender. Furnier: the old school classic.
YOU know him. Lou Reed Bruce Bob Dylan Arthur Lee Erm . . . Nicky Wire?
he’s the new . . . Springsteen
wait a minme, yeah, The illegitimate The progeny The secret love child The result of a drunken The illicit spawn of
Beelzebub and Joan Collins.
What’s that album he’s been harping on about again?
His second long- playing platter since the Verve messin imploded: Human Conditions (Hut). Ashcroft claims to have another completed already, set for release next
n I); Y 3m 1‘: B if ;-'
Album number two- and-a-half is Have you Fed the Fish? (XL) after the much lauded The Hour of Bewi/derbeast and soundtrack to About a Boy.
After 2000’s Gold, Ryan cranked out another four albums, among them an alleged cover of the debut LP by the Strokes. Demolition (Lost Highway) is a compilation of the highlights (sans Strokes covers).
Cobblestone Runway (Nettwerk) is his sixth album but first to really get the big push over here, the hope being this is the one that will break big after considerable success back home in the ol’ US of A.
Dragontown (Eagle) is Cooper’s 24th album and contains more of his trademark gore- splattered anthems. And make sure you get the kids round the gramophone for the sensitively titled ‘Can’t Sleep Clowns will Eat Me’.
Yeah, yeah, but is he actually any good?
A certain spark has eluded Ashcroft’s solo work — call it hunger, regained sanity, whatever — but when on form (as he is now) he can generate a wave of emotive noise to floor all comers. See single ‘Check the Meaning’ for proof.
Those drawn to the dark, warm places Gough inhabited on his debut will not be disappointed with the new one. A blend of eclectic arrangements, endearing songs and stupid song titles to rival even crazy old Mr Cooper.
A precocious talent whose arsey, boastful witterings are offset by some staggering tunes and — like Gough - unpredictable on-stage habns.
There’s a decidedly understated feel to the Canuck crooner's countryish tunes and an odd English twang to his weary tones. This is compliment, not a criticism, by the way.
To be fair, Alice’s real appeal lies with the stage show. His earth- moving music dates from his prime-rib recording years in the 705 (see Killer and Billion Dollar Babies for that) rather than the gristlier joints of more recent times.
Rock star credentials?
Did a bunk with the wife of Jason Pierce from Spiritualized.
Was so jaked at the Mercury Music awards he lost his winner’s cheque for £20,000.
Cucked out a heckler for shouting requests for ‘Summer of 69’ — a Bryan Adams’ song.
Erm...hehasa saucy sounding name? Like a porno blacksmith?
He invented the glam lark. The Manics, Axl Rose, Muse . . . they’re all his fault.
What you might not know is . . .
Oasis dedicated ‘Cast No Shadow’ to the ‘genius of Richard Ashcroft’.
Owns a pair of Mark E Smith’s false teeth. He left them in his car one night. He didn’t know Gough but mistook his car for a taxi and demanded that he ‘take me to Stockport’. So he did. And Smith’s teeth fell out.
Ryan’s ex-girlfriends include Winona Ryder, Alanis Morissette and of course Beth Orton. Slapper that he is.
Sexsmith’s celebrity fans include Elton John, Elvis Costello and Rod Stewart - Rod Stewart even covered one of his songs (‘Secret Heart’). Best keep that quiet though.
He owns his own Bar- B-Q restaurant in his home-town in Ohio and is a very, very fine golfer.
Where can I see them for myself?
Barrowland, Glasgow, Sun 24 Nov and Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Mon 25 Nov.
Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 23 Nov.
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 24 Nov.
King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 27 Nov.
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Fri 22 Nov.
Rock of ages
18 THE LIST 14—28 Nov 2002