1HDli’. F’C’M MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 5 Apr
Colin Maclntyre looks slightly dislocated on the cover of his new album, his expression midway between fixity and bemusement. ‘l,’ it says, ‘am a bit different.‘ His band's two albums have ploughed a similar furrow, purveying pop that‘s hardly revolutionary but still possess a certain quirkiness and a very British eccentricity. It's there in the band name, it’s there in the songtitles (would Oasis have ever put out a track called ‘Pigeon Fancier by Correspondence’?) and it's there in the ticking brain of Maclntyre himself. a man who, in the flesh, is as ordinary and as well mannered as you‘d expect a bloke from a small island with slightly greying hair and a pretty decent job to be.
Maclntyre effectively is Mull Historical Society - he writes the songs, he plays almost all the instruments when the band are recording and is the live lynchpin. He’s not your average pop star either; he hardly listens to music, admitting, at a push, to having enjoyed the last Johnny Cash record. He trained for Queen’s Park, is onto his second novel (there are no current plans for publication), claims his last video was inspired by Rent-a-Ghost and, famously, is actually from Mull.
‘lt’s a nice little island,‘ he says, ‘very picturesque, and it’s got a big community spirit. It was great to grow up in - I played football in the summer and in the winter I did music because it was just so dark and wet. My uncle had 3 covers band and I sat in his garage with a couple of my cousins playing and it became quite an obsession for me - you don't have a cinema there, and there weren’t any record shops then. There were many
nights of power cuts with candles, and no clothes and sheep, of course.’ He chuckles. ‘But I guess that‘s for a different type of magazine.‘
His second album, Us, is an accomplished, melodic record that veers from pop/punk (‘Live Like the Automatics') through the gospel-tinged indie of single ‘The Final Arrears’ to the mid-paced whimsy of ‘Minister for Genetics and Insurance MP’. Maclntyre is a dab hand at writing catchy
One man is an island
pop, although live the band are a rockier proposition. ‘I love doing intimate gigs,’ says Maclntyre, ‘but the bigger the place the more buzz you get. You can only perform when you get something from the crowd and when they know the music it's just such a different feeling. I‘m a studio boffin, I like getting music exactly as I want it, but live you realise you really have to reinterpret it. It's rawer and it's more direct.’ (James Smart)
DUOUD AND LO’JO Queen‘s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 4 Apr; the Arches, Glasgow. Sun 13 Apr
Paris has long-fostered musical crossovers. and one of the latest fusions to come Out of its scene is DuOud — a collabOration between two oud lNorth African lutei players. Jean-Pierre Smadj and Melidi Haddab. ‘I grew up in Tunisia and Melidi was born in Algeria.’ says Smad]. ‘In my childhood listened to the music of n‘y parents — all the great singers form the Arabic c0untries. When I arrived in France it was the 70s and l was My parents were listening to s0u| muSic and jazz. I heard so many things' Their lT‘USIC IS a mixing of all these sounds with the extra dimension of electronica — the legaCy of an 808 908 yOuth. 'When drum 8. bass arrived in France I fell in love with it. so I tried to mix this with what I did belOre - jazz and oriental melodies' says Smadi. The result
is an exhilarating rush of plucking. strumming, traditional sOunds and electronic beats. bringing together different worlds to make
They are iomed for the Queens Hall gig by fellow French group Lo'Jo (there must be SOmething about bi-syllabic names over Inerel who have grown like a juicy ripe tomato from the Sunshine and son of the Love Valley. The music collective let their free sprits run ab0ut With a gypsy-like feel to the fiddle playing and some fine Celtic ensemble singing.
Keep listening: DuOud are ever- changing. Smadi tells me their next protect involves them indulging in some heaw metal. ‘We have a protect which is to do one half of an album with very traditional things and the other half of the album as heavy metal but With oud because we are in love with heavy metal.’ Their capaCity for being in love knows no botinds and it sends other hearts pelinding too. tRuth Hedges‘i
No man army DuOud
FOLK MEN OF STEEL Pleasance, Edinburgh, Wed 9 Apr
'Dan Crary.' says Scots gUitar star Tony McManus. ‘is an apostle of the steel- string guitar' Just to underline his respect, he adds: ‘And a colossus of the bluegrass guitar.' In Men of Steel, McManus gets to play alongside the veteran American, and two more masters of the ac0ustic instrument ~ Italy's Beppe Gambetta and Canada's Don Ross.
'Dan and Beppe have been touring the States as a duo for some years, and Europe too. Don Ross is a wonderful player, With a strong picking style. There's nothing prissy about it. And I've been drawn in as the ‘Celtic' bit' A live album of their first and. as yet. only gig — in Stayton, Oregon — is scheduled for release later this year. but individual commitments mean that they can only get together for occaSional gigs and don't yet have a group photo.
'We do have a hefty US t0ur next Spring. so we have plenty of time to get that organrsed.‘ adds Tony. ‘But we're looking forward to the gigs over here, including one in Italy. Beppe grew up there, in Genoa. where they have their own language — he's a bit like an Italian Gael. He has a background in clasSical and old Italian muSic. then developed an obsession With American bluegrass: he arrived in the States With no English, and JUSI plunged straight in. travelling all over researching. meeting all the players and playing his own material. In MoS he‘s even got me singing backing vocals in Genovese!‘
'There are songs. and we play in various combinations. but it's very mucn an instrument-specific concert. We do a fair amount of improvismg and extended jams. and we might get down and get into an old bluegrass chestnut. but it's all about the guitar. We all represent guitar makers — Dan's got Taylors. I'm playing guitars made in Australia by Melville — so its a son of showcase for the instrument. which is actually hitting a new golden age. You know, I heard recently that acoustic guitar sales have been gomg through the roof." Like the Pleasance applause. no doubt. lNorman Chalmerst
International iron brow
27 Mar—’ ’3 AU 2003 THE LIST 43