BIG BIG WORLD
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 27 Oct
Glasgow’s multiculturalism gets a big shot in the arm this month as musicians and singers wing in for the annual Big Big World and Si Cuba! festivals. Spread over city centre venues including the Tron, Arches and Royal Concert Hall, the concerts and dances bring rare but accessible, high quality music and performances from Africa, Asia, South America, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Oh, and Ireland.
But if one concert can represent the simultaneous integration and meltdown implicit in the ’world music’ tag it’s the astonishingly dynamic pairing of US virtuoso guitarist and ethnomuso par excellence, Bob Brozman, with the unique Rene Lacaille - singer, guitar and accordion master from the tiny francophone island of La
Reunion in the Indian Ocean. Talking from his Helsinki hotel room, Brozman (who has collaborated in full-CD recordings with dozens of international musicians over the last decade) remembers his first encounter with Lacaille's music. ‘I heard a recording in Quebec,’ he laughs. ‘I was scared. It is intense, complex music. And
the rhythms turn right over.’
Then fate stepped in. ‘It was a real coincidence,’ Brozman insists. ‘But a three-week residency came up, and I went out to La Reunion.’ The result was DigDig, the celebrated album that burns together the African/Arab/Indian and French roots of Lacaille’s Réunionnais music with Brozman’s chords, harmonies and string timbres derived from Caribbean,
Bobbing around in an ocean of inspiration
styles, smiles at comparisons to Ry Cooder’s cultural excursions. ‘Yeah,’ he muses. “Well, I do it a little differently. I don’t turn up with an entourage and frighten people ‘cos I’m famous. This way you find yourself in a lot of places that others wouldn’t.
‘l'm sort of non-imperialist, musically. My real diploma
is in Africa, where there are so many languages that to
play with someone you have to make eye contact. And you can see it, feel it, when he’s saying to himself “this guy gets this stuff.” You see, I separate the world into two rhythms. North and south. In the north, it's the down-beat. In the south, it’s the off-beat, the rhythm of the colonised. The north are the colonisers - they love marches. And there’s a straight line through marches-
Japanese/Okinawan, American roots blues, and Hawaiian guitar styles.
Brozman, who studied ethnomusicology at Washington University (and is working on a field study of the traditional string music of Papua New Guinea for Sydney University) is an expert on Hawaiian music and a brilliant exponent of the ‘slack string’ and slide guitar
polkas-disco to all the modern commercial crap. But not Reunion music. It layers up the rhythms and then displaces the whole thing. And Rene is such a charismatic performer. When he suddenly stands up, most of the women in the audience stand up as well. He must be the sexiest guy over 50 in the world.’
when I read that Thom Yorke tr<)h‘ Radiohead feels physically sick when he plays his old songs. Eh, why does ne still play them then? Wouldn't he rather spare his anguish by playing sri‘aller shows and playing whatex'er he
You’re rich, famous and part of a successful rock band, so what the bloody hell have you
nd so we return from another tOur haying left North America With a slightly higher percentage
of tinitus cases and slightly emptier record shops. We returned to the land of deep fried pizza wrth only the latest musrc press to tend our fuzzy post-tOur heads. Among SLlCh random information that Adam Ant is to re-rec0rd ‘Stand and Deliver" for charity with the reVised title of 'Save the Gorilla' (PLEASE let it be true!) it also seems that my beloved Cure have made the remarkable lump from cultural Iepers to hipster namecheckees in a matter of months. It might well be something to do with the blatant (but well done) Cure-isms of
got to moan about?
NYC's Interpol and Rapture but it's nonetheless tremendOus to see them back on the radar after such a period of under-appreCiation. Hopefully their new material WI“ live up tO their current state of re-appraisal.
It was also interesting to read of the Strokes' 'year of hell' in Q. What is it wrth over-privileged people in bands that leads them to feel that their lives are somehow Cursed? Maybe I'm missmg something but seeing your incredibly derivative band sell millions of copies and travelling the wOrld to omnipresent adulation and acclaim would be seen as a posmve experience and not one to gurn abOut. I was edually perplexed
wanted? He can't need the money. It all seems Quite odd.
That said. there's every chance that his werds were contorted by a ‘.‘./'?T(I‘I who never got round to asking anything of note and realised too late that his story was lacking. Even then. it does always seem to be the posher musiCians who moan about these things. I certainly don't recall the Happy Mondays ever whining into a dictaphone about the rigOLirs of towing. but that's because they were haying a good time. This is something far too many people in bands seen: to forget: that is actually the pernt of being in a band.
If they wanted an eXistence of suffering they should hate looked for work in other fields. feel incredibly lucky to make a living doing what I love and feel perplexed when others dent.
All the screening, preening and inbetweeni'ng in the wonderful world of music
THOSE IN SEARCH OF thKETS
fOr the MTV Awards ceremony WI“ have to start trawling through eBay as the event is now totally sold out. Be happy in the knowledge. however. that we will have ?00 tickets for the Princes Street Gardens event to give away next iSSue.
STILL REELING FROM THE
news that Eric Clapton is coming to play in Glasgow next year’? Well, try and console yourself with the news that US prog punk magicians the Mars Volta play Glasgow’s OMU on 19 November and everyone’s favourite antique agit-vagabonds Primal Scream do their greatest hits set at Carling Academy on 17 January. Look out too for a last minute show from Black Eyed Peas at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on 12 November. JOINING FORCES FOR A ONE-OFF pop scrum are diminutive comeback king Mark Owen and former Hear'Say strumpet Kym Marsh, who are doing a free gig at an undisclosed Scottish venue on Wednesday 22 October. VISit www.clydet .com Or wvnvfonhonecom for more information on how to get tickets. WAY BACK IN APRIL THREE teams were given a camera each and sent out to record the highlights of the tripTych festival. The resulting documentaries are to be screened this month, at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Wednesday 15 October at 9pm, the Filmhouse, Edinburgh on Wednesday 5 November at 8pm and at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Wednesday 12 November at 8pm. See the individual venues in the Film section for full ticket details.
WIN MOGWAI STUFF!
We have a pair of tickets for Mogwai's Barrowland show on Sunday 19 October as well as a T- shirt and a copy of the new album. Happy Songs for Happy PeOp/e, to give away to one lucky reader. Just send y0ur name and a contact telephone number by email only this time to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 3pm on Fri 17 Oct. Usual List rules apply.
'6-41. Oct 27/: THE LIST 45