AND THE FIRE ENGINES Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Sat 24 Jan

When former alumni of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band reconvened last year at All Tomorrow’s Parties’ annual left-field musical extravaganza, their headlining set of blisteringly skew-whiff boogie was rudely interrupted by the insistent whoop of an over-sensitive fire alarm at Pontin’s holiday camp. Was it a hex, one wondered, from a disapproving Captain, perturbed by his former compadres’ apparent hijack of his most maverick and influential oeuvre? Whatever, no emergency services were called, and no-one fried.

Nine months on, the Magic Band have hit the road, and the Fire Engines have finally arrived. Now all the young pups who think the Rapture and last year’s already over-exposed next best thing Franz Ferdinand just invented frantic indie squalling on the NME tour should pay attention.

Because way back in the pre-MTV, pre-punk-funk tribute band dark ages, the Fire Engines were the

most energetic, effervescent, electric and elastic of propositions to come a-hollering out of their

blue-rinsed Edinburgh home.

Now, 23 years on (and on), they’re back to rake over the hot ash debris in a one-night stand supporting the very same Magic Band they so adored. Fairytales, it seems, do come true.

Born in the flames of the Clash’s White Riot tour, Davey Henderson, Murray Slade, Graham Main and Russell Burn took Beefheart, Television and the Fall as their template, then pumped it up into the ultimate art-pop release made in their own image. Which was hot, sweaty and of and for

the moment.

Live Fire Engines shows caterwauled their way

()tl llC CONNLCIIONS EST Arches, Glasgow, Sun 1 Feb



_. - 3 ..

Queer as Swedish folk

EST ltho Eshjorn Svonsson ~l’no) pop up on this yoar's Colttc Connocttons htll and. although thoy don't soon] to fit strtctly Into tho folk music catogory, tho fostlval has a long tradition of loaturtng Nordic ntuslc. OK. It's usually at loast nominally rootod Ill folk music. and [ST aro vory much a ja// outtlt, but thoro Is a flavour of Indigonous folk Influoncos runntng through thotr \.r"/orl<.

‘A lot of pooplo say our ntustc sounds Swodlsh hut It's

42 ,1" -'l _I .31] ('w' :

vory hard for tho to say \.r'./hat that moans] says Svonsson. ‘I don't roally know what It Is. apart from tho fact that wo aro Swodlsh. /\t ono tnno I had tho tooling that I didn't llko Swodlsh folk music. hut tho rnoro l was In contact with It. tho ntoro | roaltsod that It was hoautllul music. I got to llko It rnoro and ntoro. and was doflnltoly tntluoncod hy lt.’

lho trio of pianist Svonsson. l); sslst [)an Borglund and drurnrnor Magnus ()stront roloasod tholr latost alhunt. Sovon [Days of/a/hng, last yoar. Thoy havo hoon a hot ttont on tho Puropoan ja// scono stnco thoy hroko htg With Good N/g/tf StI/Io Soho “12000. that 'ovorntght' succoss roprosontod otght yoars of hard work. and thoy havo ovory roason to onjoy tholr curront status.

‘Wo all tool It ls Important to tako this chanco to do ovorythtng wo can with tho trlo. Pooplo usod to talk to us about haying tho chanco ol a ltlotuno. hut wo tool that Is what wo havo rlght now. l'ho succoss wo havo ts tantastlc. All of us had rock bands and othor groups whrlo wo woro young ~ wo thought that would ho tho way to hocorno succosstul. Instoad. It has conto through ja//. so now wo thunk lot's tnako suro wo kooj) It going." lKonny Mathloson)

The Fire Engines show some ‘skin’ while the Magic Band do more than replicate

home in less than 15 gloriously slapdash minutes. Thang’, and made it better and a billion zillion Time was of the essence, which was what made them essential.

To whit: the Fire Engines only ever made four records, including Lubricate Your Living Room, a mini-album of ‘background music for active people’. They also made ‘Candyskin’, which, with its raga strings and primitive, bare-bones singalong, was when the Fire Engines stopped being spunky and started being seminal.

They played a live soundtrack to a Fringe play ‘Why Does the Pope Not Come to Glasgow?’ Actors included Russell’s brother Tam Dean Burn and not yet ex-MSP Lloyd Quinan. They recorded Heaven 17’s ‘We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove

miles faster - than the original.

The Fire Engines fizzed, they popped, they crashed, they burned, and they probably still don’t know ‘Candyskin’ was just hailed as one of the coolest records ever made.

The Fire Engines’ debut single that so set the world on fire was called ‘Get Up and Use Me’. The first words anyone ever heard a Fire Engine utter and mutter came following its over-anxious arbiters’ stutteringly botched intro.

‘Just keep going,’ implores a voice. Three years later, the Pope went to Glasgow. Even the Captain himself couldn’t fault that sort of foresight.

(Neil Cooper)

RO'CJK MINUS Deathkill 400 @ the Barfly, Glasgow, Sat 31 Jan

Sooton‘lxr‘ r‘ Ro,k;axk. 'lno Azr‘.'.'a‘.(:-s Fostr.'ai ts hoconwng tho most fun but oxoot‘sr.o to nrootct l..".ti."(} tror‘os ill tho n‘urk', ‘.'.v'orld of tho Indooondont. lhts ma." t'to “coo-st oano unoro W o." t'no Radio >- chun‘s of tho Yoan Yoan Yoalts -- ‘.'.v'no a'n‘cst hao us co": "cod t'tat Potor (Bahnoi and tho Curo .'.’()tl|(l ho 2001's n‘ost l"‘[)(1r'.£l"l"{t'l‘(}(I"(?(IKt;.Allt‘fXST. Porhaos tho ‘act that MllttlS'l)l‘()'l()t1lt(2(}(l n‘oo- nooso ‘.'.'oro put/ant; o" nort‘o turf gavo thorr sucl‘ um: and such otlo. Or :t n‘.gnt ho t>o< fhotr llll‘(} has (:omo.

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l'. .s a (:urn‘u:lgoonlg. ronattal to tho urctatos of scono oz'xnorshtt). ' ou glvo 'tio huttortitos and l):uo‘n:rds.' growls Kru't‘n‘z ovor oxhtlaratmg hardcoro r=tfago on 'Boys of ‘."‘./rntor'. 'Bo ft‘, own t)t‘0t;".(}l Bo In, own son,' ho It‘ststs o". tho Motor'hoad s'.'.'aggo" o‘ ".".’ho's lloho'. l" thot' stnguIar aporo.’ (:h thog. o‘.'.'o a gr‘oator doht of att.tuoo to Inotr ttttort; ‘(ll()f§‘:.'lt(3."{ill(2 lcolandtc antocodonts tno Suga<:ul;os than to tholr ohxnous n‘us.(:at Influoncos. Mtnus n‘atntalr‘ thozr DUN!) lll tho way all tl‘o host motal hands do: ‘.‘.’I°.’l an ltttl)(}l‘()Il'£tl)l-IE arr of gran‘plnoss ratl‘or than grandstanulng can‘t). A good Intro to tho hand is :no mm aloun‘ A Europoan UHKN? ta snist roloaso unit." Sun/ass hanu l-axo/ roioasod on Nou'xcastlohasou (:han‘oton of notso Captagns of llt(luf§‘(',.

Glasgox': Ill Jamar). l'tto solo Scottlsh gtg on tnotr natlonal toar rt‘akos tho port'oct lrgo £l(l(lltl()". to [)oatt‘mst .1000 a club 'ttght lt‘()(l(}i!0(l on Punk lrao In Brighton. and lvchoo's Doat." Dtsco :v‘ 1 ondon. Pv'on‘otor anu rostuont Doathkal DJ. C l()"lf3 Party. snoorstands tho :n‘portanoo of hnngtng togothor two n‘ustc and cut: ntgi‘t: ‘Son‘ottn‘os you r‘ax'o to n‘ako pooplo approclato ||\.'(Z' n‘uslo' v'T-n‘ Abrahan‘s I Mxnws appoar on a froo CD g/von (t‘.‘/(.’}.’ ‘.‘.//!/7 Tho Us! on T/ra :3 for).

It’s pronounced Me-noose in case you are wondering