If the Scottish parliament had a house band it would be the Delgados. Actually, scratch that idea: they’re far too good to play for that bunch of chancers. But I’m nominating them to write the Scotland’s Euro 2004 song. If we quality. If.

Because the Glasgow-based four-piece are everything a Scottish band should be in the 21 st century: emotional, self- effacing, funny, talented, ambitious, sensitive and moving. And they like a bevvy too.

Their latest record, Hate, was one of the albums of last year, a seemingly effortless blend of skewed orchestral pop and sombre, melancholic ideas that went straight for the heartstrings and tugged till they snapped. Not always an easy listen, but always a rewarding one.

‘We are sombre, that’s just what we’re like,‘ says Alun Woodward, who shares guitar and vocal duties in the band with Emma Pollock. “We cannae be anything else, it’s difficult to jump up and go “love is all you need” or whatever when you don’t actually feel it.’

The Delgados run their own successful independent record label, Chemikal Underground, but have been accused in the past of being unambitious, shuffling indie also-rans. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and Woodward reckons they have a mission to bring intelligent music back into the mainstream in spite of the latest Fame Popstar Academy Idol Manufactured Rivals Heat Magazine-sponsored debacle.

‘This is a big thing for me,’ says Woodward, warming to the topic. ‘I think modern music is quickly slipping off the edge. Lyrically there’s so little out there that’s actually commenting on people’s lives. I think it’s become banal and I think it’s important that people write songs about real things, about big things.’

As if to prove his point/blow his point out of the water (delete as applicable) he then reveals that his last two


The Delgados remain still despite the disappearance of the photographer

musical purchases were Cat Stevens and System of a Down. But as one of the four people responsible for running the label that has brought us Mogwai, Arab Strap and Bis in the past, he has an obvious love of new music and is constantly on the lookout for surprising new sounds.

‘There are a few demos I’ve been sent by young bands recently that I think are amazing,’ he says. ‘I probably listen to them at home more than anything else.’

Despite occasionally miserablist moments, Woodward and the rest of the band realise the privilege of their position, and are never allowed to wallow in their misery for long.

‘I periodically moan and whinge,’ says Woodward, ‘and my girlfriend says to me: “Look at what you do for a fucking living - you write songs, it’s your biggest passion, and you record and perform them.” She’s got a point.’ (Doug Johnstone)

t was while watching the new

Pastel and Pavement: indie folk heroes past, present and future

the telly) downstairs in SleaZies with them (they were as big sports fans as they were indie dorksl and letting Bob Nastanovic Join us onstage in New York on a second drumkit to frankly hilariously bad results spring to mind. I suppose as with a lot of things in life I never thought ab0ut how great they were till they weren't there anymore. As things weirdly come around ScotttSpiral Stairsl's new band Preston School of

Pavement DVD The Slow Century

that I got hit by an almighty wave of nostalgia and fondness for the band. Apart from all their records. which are all tremendous in their own right, it's the times that Mogwai played with Pavement and hung out with them that really stay With me. Not that anyone bar us should really be that thankful. but Pavement had a majOr effect in Mogwai ever getting anywhere. I remember buying the rolls in the morning when I answered phones at my mum's doctors surgery and reading something unbelievably flattering that Stephen Malkmus said about us in Melody Maker (remember that tome?) and

thinking it was the greatest thing ever. In The Slow Century it becomes apparent those were the kind of props that Sonic Youth had in turn given Pavement early on and that in a way makes it even more special. For their sins. Pavement took us on their US tOur in 1997 which was amazing for us because we'd never thought we’d ever play in America. never mind get to see one of our laVOurite bands every night. The best thing ab0ut touring with Pavement was watching the audience while they played. I don't think I've ever known a band that audiences loved so much. It was really special to watch. Other occasions like watching Scotland beat England at Wembley (on

Industry opened for Mogwai in San Francisco. They're all making muSic (apart from Bob. who never really did he owns racehorses) and are still great folks. I just miss Pavement.

From indie superstars in America to Scotland own indie mogul turned media darling Stephen Pastel. In recent months Stephen has not only been ‘spotted strolling down the Byres Road' in the showbiz page of the Record but also 'chilled' with Beverly Lyon. as reported in her column in the Evening Times. What the fuck is going on. Stephen? What's next? ‘Pastel dating Zoe Ball' on the cover of The Sun? The horror!

44 THE LIST (30 Jan 11$ Feb 2003


Surface noise

All the coalition, indecision and wars of attrition in the wonderful world of music

NOT CONTENT WITH FILLING multiplexes. Eminem has now entered into a bit of stadium filling with a masswe live show at Hampden Park. Glasgow on 2/. June. Tickets go on sale from 9am on Saturday 1 February. priced .930 and WIN be available from 0870 169 0100 and all Ticketmaster Outlets. including Virgin. Tickets Scotland and \.'i.".'»"i‘.’.SCOIIE‘tnd.lleCllTlEtSlCT.C().tlk HOME TO SUCH DANCE music luminaries as Fatboy Slim, Skint Records are celebrating the release of their We are Skint DVD collection with a couple of screenings of their videos, with everything from the genius of Spike Jonze to promos so bad they’ve never been shown in public before at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh, 15 February and GFT, Glasgow, 16 February. See film section for times and booking details.

lT HAPPENS TO US ALL eventually the neighbours complain. yOur parents gel irate so it's time to more out of the family garage With your ‘pioneering and experimental rock band and find a proper place to praCIice and record. The smart among you max. do well to take note of the Lighthouse. a new venture in Edinburgh's GrantOn area. Opening on 8 February it holds eight fully equipped rehearsal rooms and WI” have recording facilities to suit everyone from the frugal to the flush. Call 0131 551 55788 for more details.

ON THE CUSP OF SPAWNING their second album, Ether Song, erstwhile acoustic songstrels Turin Brakes play a special show on 15 February at an undisclosed Edinburgh location. The JD Event is a special show sponsored by Jack Daniel’s where fans get more than just a intimate invite-only gig but also the opportunity to hang out with them afterwards with numerous JD and Cokes and unruly table-football matches proposed. See page 54 for full details of how to get yer sweaty mits on some tickets.