Medium 21

Come here my precious. get up on my charabang. let us go to Cardiff: you know. Tiger Bay Shirley and Tom will be there. Well actually they won‘t but Johnny Boy will, which is great. because ‘Johnny Boy Theme“ (Boobytrap O... ) sounds like St Etienne pushing a drum kit out of the side of a camper van, in a lustful and elegiac way of course.

Look over there there's Moka Singing 'Time will Tell' (Moka O. ). Hasn't it got a nice poppy riff? Although those vocals need a bit of work back to yOur bedrooms boyos. This is Betws-y-Coed. the home of Melys. I must say I like their new single. '80 Good' (Sylem .00 ) catchy little thing it is. Love duets. me; the male one SOUndS like Trevor Horn and reminds me of the time I was still able to get one of those.

Excuse me Slr where are you going? You want to go to Liverpool you say? Fancy a bit of The Basement do yOu? Not my thing. judging from 'fvtedicine Day“ (Deltasonic 0000 ). all that sub Dylan and the Band folk quirkiness. Prefer Kling Klang myself $0und Welsh don't they. What a tune is ‘Heavydale' (Rock Action 0000 ): reminds me of the time me and Jon Anderson of Yes had an orgy with a Moog organ and a Timpani accordion.

Okay. listen up: just to warn you I'm going to get hysterical if anyone else leaves the bus. St David only knows what I'll do I may even put on The Darkness. vainglorious they are. Have yOu heard 'Get yOur Hands off my Woman' (Dusty O... ) it's great you know. reminds me of the time that one armed drummer from Def Leppard tried to beat me to death with that cockatoo that used to be on Playschool.

Okay now. can we just have a quick w0rd about what's available from the trolley. I only have a limited selection of 12in vinyl today. but can i recommend DJ Gregory's ‘Soldiers' (Africanism COO )? It's a bit of an odd piece of electronica. but I do feel he is trying to blend tribal beats with the military quick step which is obviously to be encouraged. Also I have Chris Carter's 'ESP/Ladybird' (T CR .00 ). plenty of chunky breakbeats in there for those yOung noise terrorists among you.

We will shonly be arriving at Knotty Ash Services. where you will allowed to take a short urination and tea break. Knotty Ash was a fav0ured stop of Ken Dodd and his Diddy men and was also once (allegedly) visited by a marvellous rock band called Medium 21 whose new single ‘Daybreak v Pride' (Temptation 0000 ) is a wonderful hurtling suicide note of a song. They drink from the same furry cup as the Cooper Temple Clause but the lead singer's vocals are truly unique. You will notice that l have stuck a sticker onto this CD. should you wish to buy it. that says Single of the Fortnight. which is exactly the amount of time it will take all you good people to get home . . . (Paul Dale)

106 THE LIST 13—27 Feb 2003

fish/tea FANCLUB

Four thousand seven hundred and sixty six seconds: a shortcut to Teenage Fanclub f;

‘Twenty-one tracks of Teenage Fanclub? Nope. sorry. I‘ll never manage to get through all that.‘ That was my first reaction to this retrospective package from the original Glasgow fabulous. But how wrong can you be? If there was ever a record designed to make you go, ‘oh yeah. I forgot about that

one, oh yeah its brilliant', then it’s this.

Perhaps they aren’t quite ‘rock'n’roll' enough for some but in 14 years, Teenage Fanclub have never quite received the hyperbolic press adulation they deserve. Maybe too many hacks were propping up the bar during their performance. awaiting the arrival of Menswear, Kula Shaker or some other

bunch of worthless fannies (pun fully intended).

From Big Star-aping rollicks (God, how they must tire of being called ‘shambling’) to finely honed, guitar pop perfection, this is the sound of progress. Marvel at Norman Blake struggling to sing low enough during the wondrous ‘Everything Flows'. Then meander contentedly through ‘Starsign’. ‘What You Do to Me', ‘Sparky's Dream', ‘About You’, ‘Your Love is the Place Where I Come From‘ . . . all

certifiable gems.

Proving that despite all this retroactive action, the future is still rosy for the Fannies - there’s even three new tracks here. Norman Blake's ‘Did I Say‘ is the highlight of the trio, a joyous celebration of all things Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, a delicate sliver of warm pop waiting along in the breeze. Was it not for the contemptible pop market, Blake, McGinley and

Love could be the CSN&Y of their generation.

Sure, there’s some tunes they left out of here but that’s the hook - it gives you an excuse to go revisit those original

albums then, doesn’t it? (Mark Robertson)

Al Hudson and the Soul Partners' killer 'Spread Love' (recently covered by Lennie Fontana). the Detroit Emeralds infectious "Set it Out'. Caesar Frazier's optimistic 'Another Life‘. the Rance Allen Group's gospel drenched 'Ring my Bell' . . . there's not a dull moment here.

Think late 70s hedonism rolled into one huge. sl‘iimmering disco ball. Perfect.

(Andrew Richardson)



Bass maestro Christian McBride is much in demand in many contexts. but has faVOured something of a quion-oriented direction on his own discs. and this polished effort is no exception to that rule. His dazzling quartet features Ron Blake on saxophones and Geoffrey Keexer on piano. With Terreon Gully on drums. They

work through a bright and attractive set of original tunes in a range of styles. and close With a version of Joe ZaWinul's classic 'Boogie Woogie Walt/I It might come up a little too slick for some tastes. but it's hard to fault for musicianship or creative input.

(Kenny Mathieson)


ED HARCOURT From Every Sphere (Heavenly) COO

Four words: Badly Drawn Ryan Adams. Don‘t get me wrong. Ed Harcourt is a prodigious talent and the world is a better place for haVing him in it. But From E very Sphere is an unfoCussed. scattershot ramble of a rec0rd. With flashes of the man's genius here and there but ultimately tOO much meandering from pillar to post to ever settle and become properly engaging.

Every DOSSIUB Singerly songwriterly style is in eVidence. from bluesy

garage rock to soft piano ballad to lo-ti pop. but the overall effect is somehow tintlerWhelming. Harcourt's undoubted talent needs more direction to be triin effective.

(Doug Johnstonei


DIRTY THREE She has No Strings Apollo

(Bella Union) 0..

'DII\I VI in“ f \ .9

‘Dirty' is the Operative word f0r this tenth anniversary recording. Raw. dingy and dispirited. With uncomfortable. abraSive fiddle scraping over haphazard drumming and gUitar. much of this album prOVides a seasonable s0undtrack to a dreich Scottish Winter. Which ain't necessarily a DOSitive thing. partiCUIarly when the relentlessly slow. sombre sound starts killing Off yOur endorphins one by one. Nine-minute opener ‘Alice Wading' (which Ingmar Bergman might

consider tlf;|ll(; to £t(;f1()flij)£tli,’ the cit-(lift. to his latest iaiii soaked inasteipiecei sets the generally iiiotiiiitiil tiiiie. ‘.'/liii if:lllj)()l'i'il",‘ respite (Iff'l‘.'|ll(] when the three break into an (.‘ll‘:i'(](,'ilf. knees upon 'No Stranger Than Ihat' Happy days

(Alii'lli Hadehtfei

ilifliltUNlCA PHI) ERLEND DYE Unrest

(Source: 0..

Oye is from the Norwegian band King". of Convenience. who won a limited. effusive follownig With their 2001 album Oiiiet is the New Loud. The big joke With his solo album is that this Smiths-loving. forest-dwelling minimalist has made an electronic pop album while travelling to various Cities to soak up musical influences. Crazy. man. but the joke lasts abOut three songs before you want to knock his milk bottle glasses off his nodding head. (Paul Dale;