There will never be another like her, especially not from Wales. Cerys Matthews was too open as she pointlessly allowed her soul to be dragged over the heated rocks of press speculation, while little Miss Charlotte Church seems to be going out with the brother of that geezer from the Streets. Can you imagine the Dame doing something like that? Not that Shirley is renowned for her fantastic taste in men, or a particularly happy life for that matter, but she is a goddess and one of the most unique voices of her generation. And at an alarmingly well preserved 66, she is coming back to us - Tom Jones be praised!

Born in January 1937 in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, Shirley was the youngest of seven children. Her parents - a Nigerian sailor and an English woman - divorced before she was three-years-old. but the divided family managed to stay close. It was at family reunions, when she sang duets with her brother, that Shirley first realised she had a voice of such filthy power. Later gigs in working-men’s clubs led to work in comedian Al


A dame of two halves

Read’s 1955/56 revue show. By 1957 she had a top ten hit for Phillips called ‘The Banana Boat Song’. And then the number one hits started rolling in: ‘As I Love You' (1959), ‘Reach for the Stars'/’Climb Every Mountain’ (1961) and of course ‘Goldfinger’ in 1965. Her voice, at once brassy, sexy and absurdly distinctive, has since graced many collaborations, some legendary (like with Nelson Riddle - their live and recorded work together is still an industry bench mark), some profane (her work with Yello and Chris Rea) and some iconic (Propellerheads).

From a life mired by tragedy (her first husband Kenneth Hume and her daughter Samantha both committed suicide) Bassey has risen to be that breed

apart: the tragic songstress, put upon by idiotic male managers and fools. Even if this isn’t quite true, her fans to think it. She lives alone now, in Switzerland, with the photos of her beloved grandchildren. In a recent interview with Dutch magazine Privé she acknowledged that the more successful she became, the worse her private life got. It is the classic diva quandary: a woman is steeped in brilliance but has to pay a price privately. The guess is that these sort of shows will became less and less frequent so the Dame can bring a semblance of happiness into her last couple of decades. So kill, maim or steal to get a ticket for this show - Bassey may not have as many come backs as you might think.

(Paul Dale)

ust over a month into our low J and home seems but a distant

memory. I won't be frequenting the Sunny streets of Leith until after Glastonbury and by that time I expect there to be at least one Starbucks and a Peckham's to have opened if the rapid ‘gentrification' continues at its present rate.

Touring Europe has been pleasantly improved by the introduction of the single currency. Being weighed down by a variety or wonhless coins with whichever monarch's puss on it was an utter pain that is thankfully over. If only the powers that be in here in Britain would get wise to this and get the Queen's kipper off of our money. Shopping w0uld cost less and we


Mogwal do their hit for European relations

w0uldn't be 00nstantly reminded of the royalist regime that we are plagued by while buying Our daily necessities. Anti-royal witterings apart. t0uring life has been remarkably easy going (famous last w0rds I'm sure) where the most Surreal moment has been havmg to play after Sonic Youth at Barcelona's Primavera festival. HaVing grown up watching Sonic Y0uth's seminal The Year Punk Broke dOCUmentary. it was strange and scary to then follow them. especially as they were on amazing form. They played a new song (from a split with Erase Errata) alongSide fam0us tracks like ‘Brother James' and 'Mote'. As soon as we got on stage it started pishing with rain in a Scottish stylee but thankfully the demented Spanish hordes

stuck around for our shenanigans. The free back-stage bar was also transformed into a mini Nice'n'Sleazy. complete With Steve Dreads poiiring pints for a very familiar looking clientele. Scottish people and free bars are a terrifying combination. believe me. Meanwhile. France-bashing has of late become an almost global spOrt which. as a paCifist, I haven't felt particularly inclined to iom in With . . . until now. I'm not pissed off that they didn't want to ]Olll the war against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction ihave they been found yet. inCidentally’2i but I am With their pOintless and draconian volume limits. French law has dictated that mu3ic cannot be played above lOSdb. but any s0und-person WI“ tell y0u that this is barely l0uder than a snare drum. Since Our band averages a good bit above this I'm sure you can imagine how unhappy this makes us. 800. say we. Boo. boo. boo to yOur noise limits. Anyway. apologies for the rambling nature of this correspondence but I've been a bus\,' bOy attempting to convince fOreigners to buy Our album.

44 THE LIST 5—19 June 2003


Surface noise

A// the rave ups. shake downs and turn arounds in the wonderful world of nit/Sic

HOT ON THE HEELS OF Belle and Sebastian‘s charity endeavours earlier last month, Travis. Teenage Fanclub and ldlewild are to be the stars of a second bash this month with another Concert for Africa. Regular Music, The Sunday Herald and the charity Concern have got together for a special one-off at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 22 June. The B&S show raised over £50,000 for relief work in Africa and this is expected to raise even more. Tickets are available now priced from £18.50 on 0131 2281155.


ANYTHING THE ROCK KIDS can do the jazzers can do too, it would seem, as Edinburgh Jazz Festival unveils its 25th programme. Wynton Marsalis, Scott Hamilton, Chris Barber, Humphrey Lyttelton, Jamie Cullum, Barbara Morrison and Sherman Robertson are among the names appearing this year, which will feature over 90 concerts in the ten days from 25 July-3 August. Tickets are available now on 0131 467 5200; see www.jazz music.co.uk for more info. (LUNfiFi/«i’ul 21' OHS 9." fi' ’3’) ." ‘3’,',f’.2'1:,;;i:’:', ’. '1;:.’I: ' {H "Jr/1") ’2‘:€: (, I}; 4"}

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