ALTCOUNTRY ' THE SADIES Venue, Edinburgh, Sat 13 Dec
Whoever said Americana was supposed to be fun? Keep it to yourself, then, but among the heavy hearts and weary souls of the alt. country generation, there’s a red-hot Canadian band whose playful exuberance simply sparkles.
With a song book that ranges from old-time country and bluegrass through a heady dose of psychedelic atmospherics to the echoing guitar twangs and Wild Frontier chord changes of 505 and 605 Western movies, the Sadies draw on influences diverse enough to challenge the marketing label-makers.
‘Somebody said it’s “the Byrds meet Ennio Morricone”, but to me that’s complete blasphemy,’ says Dallas Good, the Toronto foursome’s self-effacing front man. ‘We’re not breaking new ground, we’re just part of the cyclical thing, and I don’t think it’s fair to fans of those great heroes to say that we’re the Second Coming.’
The band’s recent third album, Stories Often Told, gives a good taste of the Sadies’ range and craft, and above all the drive instilled by a life pleasing crowds. The band have been on the road ‘virtually non-stop’ since 1997, racking up in excess of 200 concerts a year since their first tour, supporting Neko Case (‘That was a bit of a suicide run. She was completely unknown, and we were even less known,’ says Good.)
But this musical graft is in the blood. Dallas and his brother and bandmate Travis are the sons of Bruce Good, who (with his own brother) has led acclaimed Canadian bluegrass band the Good
The Sadies react accordingly to another of The Llst’s ‘hilarious’ Canadian jokes
Brothers since the 19703. And for this trip to Scotland, the Good young boys are bringing the folks. With six musicians on stage, Bruce will play autoharp, and Scots-born Margaret - who appears on all the Sadies’ records, and who will be taking the chance to visit her Aberdeen birthplace - will sing.
‘We’ve both toured with our father’s band, and he’s going to be touring with us, so this is a little different,’ says Dallas. ‘But I’m really excited to have them with us. We’re all very close, and its going to be so much fun.’
Just keep that last word under your stetsons, everybody. (Ninian Dunnett)
Off to get the Christmas turkey - Turbonegro style
ROCK TURBONEGRO Garage, Glasgow, Thu 11 Dec
How could you make the Darkness dafter? Maybe if there were six of them. And they were Norwegian. And cross-dressers. And if they had albums called Ass Cobra and Scandinavian Leather and a song called 'I Got
Erection‘. Yeah, that w0uld do it.
A legend in denim, Iippy and weird headgear, the veteran schlock-cock rockers formed in Oslo in the late 803, and spent the next ten years amazing small crowds around the world and garnering praise from the famous likes of Dave Grohl. the Beastie Boys and the mighty Metallica. After a brief hiatus due to booze. smack and mental problems (naturally). they're back and of higher profile than ever. Riding the
same wave of popularity as the Darkness at the moment. Turbonegro are revelling in every throbbing, glistening. sweaty minute Of it.
‘lt's amazing actually.‘ says the band's bonkers frontman Hank von Helvete. ‘We saw there was a demand for us to come back. but we have grown so very out of proponion that it's very good. very funny.‘
And as far as Herr von Helvete is concerned. dumb-assed rock is here to stay.
‘There's a new generation of kids now that are not into going to raves and house parties, but want to see a good old rock'n'roll show. and to be a fan of a cool rock'n'roll band. And when that's back with the kids. anything can happen.‘
It's time. indeed. to give in to the smell of Scandinawan leather. (Doug Johnstone)
56 THE LIST 1 1 Dec 2003—8 Jan 200/.
FESTIVE ROCK WE BELIEVE IN FATHER XMAS III Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Thu 18 Dec
As much a part of the festive season as bah-humbuggery. this year sees the third incarnation of We Believe in Father Christmas. a traditional gathering of Scotland's finest unsigned indie rock outfits. all girding their loms as they attempt yuletide cover versions. wear silly hats and drink eggnog till they're all eggnogged out of their indie eggnoggins. Probably.
The brainchild of Edinburgh's excellent apocalyptic rock goblins the Silver Pill. this year WBIFC puts on its best bill yet. There's the gentle genius of the Zephyrs. the monster cockular rock of Raar. the tuneful mayhem of Degrassr the angular intelligence of X-Tigers and. of c0urse. the Pill themselves. all of which adds up to a very merry Christmas. thank you very much. But don't take our word for it. Here's what the organisers say:
'In these troubled times. we feel it is important to broadcast a message of belief unto all.‘ say the Pill. ‘Christmas is a time to put aside your big sticks and chibs. y0ur spud guns. nunchakas. spiky ball on chain things. and planks. and embrace y0ur fellow man, woman and beast. With rock on our side we will prevail. Sweet Jesus Mother of Fuck. have yourself a merry one.‘
And so say all of us. (Doug Johnstonel
The ad for the position of Satan’s little helper got a great response