REMEMBERING SHAKTI Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 2 Nov
Hot on the heels of Trilok Gurtu’s world-jazz fusion comes the latest version of Remembering Shakti, with founder members John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain still ﬁrmly in place. McLaughlin was riding high with the Mahavishnu Orchestra when he formed Shakti in 1975. The combination of a British jazz-rock guitarist with North Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, violinist L Shankar and ghatam player TH ‘Wkku’ Vinayakram is now regarded as a classic, but, as McLaughlin recalled, it took time to be accepted.
‘When I formed Shakti, it was dimly viewed. Here I was coming out of Mahavishnu, a very powerful electric band, and suddenly I’m sitting on a carpet playing acoustic with Indian musicians. Everyone thought I flipped out. It was not well received at all by the record company or my agent and manager. Artistically, I thought it was wonderful, but they all thought I was a bit mad.’
Shakti made three albums for Columbia before disbanding in 1978, and reunited briefly in India in 1984. By the time of their next reunion in 1997, with ﬂautist Hariprasad Chaurasia taking the place of L Shanker, the music scene had shifted
We provide you with more new names to drop loudly in your local indie rock gastropub. This issue: former Braniac and Blonde Redhead dude JOHN SCHMERSAL
with his new outfit ENON.
considerably, and audiences were much more tuned in to the kind of cross-cultural fusion that perplexed their record company and many of McLaughlin’s fans two decades earlier.
The subsequent live album, Remember Shakti, did very well, and the group found themselves in demand for subsequent tours.
‘The record was an afterthought. I thought recording a gig would be a nice souvenir for us, but it turned out very well, and Verve were brave enough to put out a whole evening’s
FOLK CARRYING STEAM FESTIVAL The Pleasance, Edinburgh, Fri 7-Sun 9 Nov
You’ve said the tracks on your last album, High Society,
had a selfish theme. Is there any theme to your latest, Hocus Pocus? Yeah, they are similar albums in a way. High Soc/ety had selfishness as the theme. the selfishness of upper classes. but Hocus Pocus is more just about illusion or deception — pulling the wool over peOples eyes. which we've
experienced a lot of in America.
Do you get annoyed with Enon regularly being compared to your previous bands? l think it is misleading. I see a lot of reviews saying ‘this song is so Blonde Redhead'. but I don't think we SOund anything like Blonde Redhead. I think it's some lazy dude that didn't listen to the record. I see that more than I see Brainiac. although I don't think we SOUnd like Brainiac either. It really tweaks Toko [Enon bassist] Out because she wasn't even
on any Blonde Redhead albums.
Enon gigs are always very lively events, you’re very animated on stage - it’s not all staring at your shoes. Sometimes I‘ll go Out into the audience and sometimes people enjoy it. some seem confused by it. and sometimes yOu can tell they don't dig it at all. For me to watch a show. I have to see something happening. I love the interaction With the audience. you get a c0uple of rabble-reusers and that 's always good for a gig because it makes the gig its own thing and separates it a bit. otherWise you‘re just playing your set. iCarolyn Raei
I Enon play Nice 'N'S/eazy '3. Glasgow. Fri 7 Nov.
Hamish Henderson. one of the greatest Scotsmen of the 20th century. died last year and Edinburgh Folk Club. an institution he was instrumental in founding, is having its second Carrying Stream Festival in his honour.
Memory man Zakir Hussain
performance as a double CD. I was very happy about that, because it’s a beautiful record.’
Shakti have continued to tour as Remembering Shakti more or less annually since 1999, with Selvaganesh Vinayakram (the son of Vikku Vinayakram) and U Srinivas joining McLaughlin and Hussain in the line- up. They issued two more live albums, The Believer and Saturday Night in Bombay, in that form, and it will be that version of the band which visits Edinburgh for the first time.
Martin Carthy lets off steam
Poet. polymath. soldier. SOCialist and academic. but above all a true friend of the Scottish people. Hamish's great work was to open the door to the nation's near-forgotten treasure house of song. music and story. and help forge Scotland's contemporary identity.
Brought up in post—First World War Perthshire. Hamish was infused with the mystery of traditional song from an early age. remembering: 'My mother could sing in Gaelic. Scots and French — French because she had been a nurse in the First World War. One of my earliest memories is of her marching through the house singing "The Mz.irseillaise'. At the age of seven, | asked her about a song she was singing. We had a book of songs in the house. I asked her where that song was in the book. She said: "Some of the songs we sing are not in books." That started me off as a folklorist and collector.’
Songs he collected. musicians he encouraged (in Edinburgh pub Sandy Bell's. the ex—offiCio rest-room of the School of Scottish). folklorists and friends. from England's Manin Carthy to Ireland's Keyin Burke. veteran reVivalists like Sheena Wellington to yOung kids on the block Fine Friday. will all be there over the three nights and days of concerts. conversation and carousmg. (Norman Chalmers)
DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS
1 The Dexy’s Midnight Runners were the greatest band to come out of the whole Mesopotamian mess of 19808 pop. Kevin Rowland's fusion of roaring brass-driven northern soul with insanely intense lyrics was truly original. The man was such a brilliant. vicious autocrat that he used to make the first incarnation of Dexy's (1980—82) play their instruments so hard that their lips would bleed. His was the vision of the possessed.
2 Don’t Stand Me Down. the Dexy's last album proper from 1985 is a bona fida overlooked classic whose time has not yet come. It is a muso favourite but the public — then, as now — refused to bite despite Alan McGee’s lavish re-issue a few years ago.
3 Kevin Rowland is difficult and troubled but he has great taste in clothes. if you have had the misfortune of reading any of the recent interviews with Rowland you will know that he thinks the press are basically pond life and in part responsible for the fact that Dexy's are not still ruling the world. But boy. can he dress like a prince. His new look is 1930's French gangster chic created by Mark Powell, his Soho tailor.
4 Rowland has taken enough stick. Years of self-abuse and psychoanalysis have taken their toll on Rowland — he even tried to relaunch himself a few years in transvestite garb and was booed off every stage he trod on. But with the release of a rather magnificent best of collection. Let '3 Make This Precious. this may be his moment.
5 Let’s Make This Precious. This is Rowland‘s third attempt to reform Dexy's. even though he denies this. if it all goes pear shaped. it may just be the last. so just in case. catch while you can. (Paul Dale)
I Dexy's Midnight Runners play the Pavilion, Glasgow, Mon 3 Oct.
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30 Oct—13 Nov 2003 THE LIST 49