Never a Dulli moment
Greg Dulli, the mastermind behind the seminal Afghan Whigs, is back as the TWILIGHT SINGERS, and he’s still got soul. Words: Doug Johnstone
reg Dulli is the coolest tnan in the world. liact.
l’roof‘.’ Here's a line from his press release:
‘lie‘s heen hotly-slammed hy Tony (‘urtis over a tequila-filled Iiastcr egg and sang a karaoke duet with the late I)odi l-‘ayedf liis former hand. the Afghan Whigs. were the hest and most underrated hand of. well. eyer. That's another fact. For those readers still in haggy. skatehoarding short pants. here’s a hrief history.
Seattle. 1990. (irunge. You might haye heard of
some hloke (‘ohain and his hand. \Vhile Niryana were grunge‘s ltimherjack-shirted figureheads. there were loads of other hands plugging away at it. A lot of them were shite. Afghan Whigs w eren‘t they were genius.
ltnhuing the raw pttnk anger of grunge with a loye of pure soul music. the Whigs produced. over ten years. half a dozen alhtttns that defied description. a body of work that saw the hand hecoming eyer more sophisticated hoth musically and lyrically. These were records that dealt with the big stuff
loye. death. guilt. hearthreak. lust. pain and did so with an honesty and hrilliance that was truly jaw-dropping.
Then they split. lt catne as such a shock to Dulli. who was htisy planning the next record. that it knocked him for six.
‘.»\fter the Whigs hroke tip I just drifted away from playing for a while.‘ he says. in what is the most charming and friendly American drawl imaginahle. ‘l hought a bar in l..-\. the Shortstop. and I was managing the har for a while. Shit. I‘d go in there at Want and take phone calls from distrihtttors and open the door for the dcliyery guy. Then I rememhered that I played intisic too. so 1 got hack into that.’
Thank fuck he did. Because these days he has promoted his former side project. the Twilight Singers. to his main hand. and they are awesome. The second Twilight Singers alhum. lf/ui'A/u'i'i'y lie/Iv. was
40 THE LIST 1’. 3-»:
‘THE SELF-EXIT IS FASCINATING TO ME, AS DEATH IS PART OF LIFE'
the hest alhum of last year. It went completely unnoticed. (it) out and huy it. .\'ow. It is a sumptuous. lush record with moments of pure. soulful joy. httt it's also dark as hell. something influenced by the death of Dulli‘s close friend. film director Ted Demme. from a heart attack.
“You know we had dinner the day hefore he died.’ says Dulli. 'I mean here today. gone tomorrow indeed. It really reminded me that your friends are your friends. and you hetter let ‘em know you love 'ctn eyery day.‘
l)u|li’s life and career have heen stalked hy death. He was good friends with lilliott Smith (who he
firme helieyes was murdered). and a number of
other rock'n‘roll Iigures who went hefore their time.
‘l‘ye watched a lot of my contemporaries go that wayf he says. ‘I knew Kurt (‘ohain and I knew Layne Staley lAlice in (‘hains singer found dead from a drug oyerdosel. Death and the self-exit are always fascinating to the. hecause death is part of life. It’s the end. granted. hut that's still a part. The end of a hook is still part of the hook.‘
Don‘t go thinking that Dulli is some Leonard (‘ohen type. mind. Afghan Whigs‘ shows were renowned as gloriously uplifting celehrations of rock’n'roll. music to party to. laugh to. cry to and. most importantly. shake your sexy ass to. The same can now he said of the Twilight Singers. only Ittol'e so. \Vho the hell else could coyet‘ Kate Bush. ()utkast and .Iolm (‘oltrane in the same set‘.’ No one. that‘s who.
‘By the time we get to (ilasgow we‘ll he a fucking rock'n’roll machine. man.' he says. cackling. ‘So just pack that room ftill of rock'n’roll lovers and we‘ll hlow the roof off that motherfucker.‘
King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sat 31 Jan.
All the puff adders, gall bladders and rope ladders in the wonderful world of music
IT SEEMS TO BE THE FASHION to make impromptu announcements for gigs while on stage. First Bowie and the Darkness did it for T in the Park this year (as did REM last year, the cheeky buggers) but Metallica also made public their intentions to head to Glasgow this summer. Singer James Hetfield revealed they would play a Scottish leg of the Download festival (which took place last year at rock’s spiritual home, Castle Donnington) on 2 June. While a full announcement for the show has not yet been made, the band’s website confirmed their tour, stating that Slipknot will be the opening act on the dates.
IN ADDITION TO RICHARD Armstrong getting a knighthood for his services to music in the new year's honows Iist. Scottish Opera has been nominated for a prestigious Seuth Bank Show Award for its productIOns ot Wagner's Ring Cycle. Tune into the South Bank Show Awards on ITV1 on Sunday 25 January to find out how it fared.
SOMETHING NEW AND WORTH attention in Glasgow is the launch of the Fallen Angels Club at the Edge on Thursday 5 February. This monthly night brings together folk, country and melodic pop with the excellent Fran Schoppler Band, Tom Clelland and the Vagabonds’ Sandy Watson forming the opening line-up. See rock listings for more details.
THE SEASON FOR GIVING GIFTS may be over for now but Our generosity knows no betinds. Next issae we bring yoo a tree enhanced CD entitled Bar Frikki: The Sessions. The disc showcases some of the finest niuSicaI talents from Iceland including Sigur ROS. Emiliana Torrini and Minus (whose live show is preVIewed in this iss‘ue on page 44). The enhanced portion of the CD is a Visitors gurde to Iceland. givung essential insight to all the island has to offer. Look out to." it in the issoe Out Thursday 5 February.