lnstal 03, the Arches, Glasgow, Sun 23 Nov
B’dum, b’dum? At the risk of sounding humdrum, never were a band more appositer named than the Boredoms, the Japanese noise collective who play alongside countrymen Merzbow and Ryoji Ikeda at this year’s lnstal 03 ‘brave new music all-dayer. Coming hot on the heels of Glasgow shows by Melt Banana and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, the Dundee invasion by Acid Mothers Temple and Ruins, and a Stirling appearance from Ghost, the land of the rising sun’s underground, it seems, is getting . louder by the day. Madness is in the eYe of the beholder
Formed in Osaka, the Boredoms have been around in one form or another since 1986, when Yamatsuka Eye’s love of hardcore noise required a group format to unleash the full violent bombast his Hanatarash performance project could never quite access. With sidemen, women, and even children at one point - in the shape of manager Junko’s baby - in place, more than a decade of aural mayhem ensued. The sheer trouser- ﬂapping volume of their live shows alienated trendies riding whatever scene that was going spare, but captivated those brave enough to weather the storm. Said storm included sounds emanating from synths mounted on pizza boxes. B’dum, b’dum? Not likely.
The Boredoms’ virus duly spread, and an exceedingly well connected fanbase grew. They released records on the fiber-cool Shimmy Disc label. Perry Farrell invited his new favourite band aboard 1995’s Lollapalooza tour, avant jazz maverick John Zorn performed duets with Eye, and Sonic Youth programmed them into the inaugural 2002 Los Angeles leg of All Tomorrow’s Parties.
Somewhere along the way, the Boredoms splintered into ear-splitting fragments, and a new concept, christened Voordoms, was born. Three drummers, including the long-serving ATI, who once left his stool due to a debilitating illness, but is now fit’n’working again, pound out their quasi-tribal voodoo. B’dum, b’dum, the rhythmic skitters go. B’dum, b’dum. On hyperactive electronics and turntables, Chairman of the Bored, Eye, who these days styles himself as Yamataka eYe, becomes the pop-eyed centre of a shamanic spectacle that’s possessed with the lightning rod extremities of 3 Joseph Beuys action.
For all BoredomsNoordoms unfettered chaos is a reaction to the conformist regimentation of their immediate hi-tech homegrown society, and without ever acting dumb, there’s something exceedingly funny inherent in the band. Indeed, eYe says they’re only ever ‘77% serious’.
So what, amidst all the sound and thunder, signifying something and nothing, makes the all seeing eYe bored?
‘BOREDOM IS MYSTERIOUS,’ he says. ‘Just come and experience Boredoms by yourself.’
Knockout. B’dum b’dum. (Neil Cooper)
play together lately. lain's been up to his neck producing albums. and playing in the States. Blazing Fiddles are towing a lot. When I get time off. rather than set off somewhere again, I'd rather go fishing. But we are putting a proper tour together for the two of us. next year. It's for a different audience. Most peeple today want their music big. glitzy and fast — like the Blazers. but we've always enjoyed playing the way we learned to play when we were young and growing up in Moidart and Ardnamurchan.‘
MacFarlane learned to play at lain Mac Farlane’s gone Fishin’ his father's knee. and later in weekend dance bands (with
FOLK flute player (ex-Ossian and legendary West Highland
FIDDLE 2003 B, - , -.» , ~ . .‘
Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, attlefield Band) lain MacDonald. musiCIans Farquar MacBaeand
Fri 21_Sun 23 Nov Their debut album First Harvest. Fergie MacDonald). At the time recorded in their native Lochaber, MacDonald was a few miles away
Non-stop music is the order of was one of the albums of the over the hills in Glenuig. one of
the day. and night. when year. and celebrates the timeless three brothers who were later to
Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms art of traditional instrumental galvanise the staid Scottish piping
hosts Fiddle 2003. Scotland's playing — no tricks. no scene. ‘We just clicked.'
annual Fiddle Fest. Recitals. showmanship. just perfect pace MacFarlane remembers. ‘We trust
concerts. workshops. and phrasing. Plus superb each other’s music — and a lot of masterclasses and ceilidhs run technique. it's down to Iain. He's a great from Friday evening to Sunday's Talking from the south of listener. But we've always played closing afternoon event, which England. in the middle of a sell- because we really enjoy it. And this year celebrates one of out Blazing Fiddles tour. we're absolutely delighted at the Scotland's great duos — fiddler MacFarlane admitted: ‘We way it's turned out.‘
lain MacFarlane and piper and haven't had much of a chance to (Norman Chalmers)
1 . As founder of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, Farrar can fairly claim — however reluctantly — to be one of the main movers behind the entire 19905 alt.country movement. ‘It's great that people want to follow what you do. The other side of the coin is it's not always good to be put in a little box. and the overall impression is that people kind of like you to stay in that box.’
2. Farrar has been breaking out of his little box with a new album, Terroir Blues. which has attracted as much acclaim as anything since his early career. ‘You’ve got to follow inspiration wherever it comes from. and l was going for a different mood, a different texture than some of the stuff I‘ve done in the past — more fluid. and eliminating some of the blank spaces between the songs.‘ 3. The American possesses one of the most magnificently weary voices in music. ‘I never really think about the voice too much in there. It allows me to hit enough notes for a three-chord song. so I guess it's all right.‘
4. The self-produced Terroir Blues reveals Farrar taking complete control of his music for the first time, releasing the album on his own label. ‘There’s definitely a sense of empowerment there - I think everybody should do that at some point. and hopefully this will allow me to put out more records than I would on somebody else's Iabel.‘
5. With a buzz about the new album, Farrar is working unusually hard on the circuit. following a three-month American tour with the European jaunt that brings him to Scotland for a rare appearance with fellow alt.countryman Peter Bruntnell's band. ‘I'm pretty happy with the way things are now. When you're finishing in the studio you can't wait to get out on the road . . . ‘ (Ninian Dunnett)
I Jay Farrar p/ays Queen '3 Hail, Edinburgh Fri 74 Nov and King Tut's, Glasgow. Sat 75 Nov.
iii-~27 Nov .9003 THE LIST 47