PBOG POP SCISSOR SISTERS School Of Art, Glasgow, Fri 13 Feb; Venue, Edinburgh, Sat 14 Feb
Pillaging the back catalogue of Dave Gilmour and the wardrobe of Julian Clary
If you haven’t heard the delicious bravado of Scissor Sisters’ genre-bending crossover hit ‘Comfortably Numb’ as yet, what have you been doing with your life? A cover of one of the only worthwhile tunes on Pink Floyd’s flatulent The Wall album (anti-muso controversy alert), it takes the original round the back of a provincial nightclub by the bins, and does rude things to it courtesy of a style that can best be described as Sylvester meets the Bee Gees in an early 90s rave-house void. It’s utterly brilliant, in other words.
For those still uneducated, one look at the picture accompanying this piece should tell you all you need to know about the peacock-strutting New York fivesome. Brave, bold and entirely unafraid to dress like pricks, the Sisters of Scissor know that great music I no shame I guaranteed pop timelessness.
‘Yes, our style’s calculated,’ affirms the brash, talkative and disarmineg charming Ana Matronic, ‘but we enjoy the idea of being entertainers and being a little glamorous. A lot of music lately has been very absorbed with being taken seriously, with being painfully, stripped-bare earnest.
‘There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s also something to be said for having a really good time and putting on a great show. We will go out dressed like we do on stage, but I don’t wake up in the morning and put the stuff on - it’s kind of like a ritual, putting the garb on as you pump yourself up to go on stage. We just dig fantasy, and we wanna take people somewhere, have them feel like all their senses have been .
. . massaged, if you like!’
Primarily a collaboration between band members Baby Daddy and the squeaky-voiced Jake Shears, then, isn’t ‘Comfortably Numb’ a rather odd choice of disco floor-filler? ‘Well, I wouldn’t say we’re that genre-specific,’ counters Ana, ‘I think my own label would be prog pop. But, yeah, there are a lot of similarities between early-70$ prog and late-70s disco . . . I think. Hell yeah, in fact, Pink Floyd wrote some
great disco tracks!’
Purists - back in your box. For this liberty and many more are already the Scissors’ to take. Hopefully they're just one more nail in the coffin of pop music that never learned to have fun. (David Pollock)
ROBIN WILLIAMSON AND JOHN RENBOURN Edinburgh Folk Club, Wed 11 Feb; Renfrew Ferry, Glasgow, Thu 12 Feb
Renbourn picks a winner
It you ren‘en‘ber the (30s. so the story goes. you weren't there. Well. those two were there. did it. inspired the T-sbirts. and st"; have their wits very much about t“(3r". RGDbOUrr‘, was one o‘ a sn‘ai. group (including Davey Grahari‘ and Bert Janschi who took the
48 THE LIS‘I' 5; 19 t (2:: your:
steel-string acoustic guitar into new dimensions of fingerpicked (:on‘plexrty. then co-‘ounded the orzgutal Ja/x. folk fUSIUY‘ Pentangle \‘JIll‘ Jansch and the glacial vocalist Jagui lvlcShee. But as \i‘v'illran‘son who. with Mike Heron. founded the internationally successful Incredible String Band. and who has llilT‘Sle rust turned (.30 years old. says: ‘We can‘t go back. we're not the same. You want to keep n‘oving into something new.‘ And he adds. cftaracteristically: ‘l've DOCOH‘O very interested an eternity'
Among the many roads travelled by the songwriter guztarist. harp player. storyteller and whistle player :and. in truth. he plays do/ens of other ll‘f§°.~'tll‘.‘(3lll8i includes recording for the prestigious .Ja/x. New Music label ECM.
‘A few years ago we made a couple of albun‘s with some great ll‘LlS'CEéll‘S from “‘0 ECM stable that were to a large extent lll‘lXOVESGd.‘ says Willan‘scn. We used poetry — some Dylan Thomas. Walt Whitman — but it was very free form A
cOuple of my songs. Some tales with sax. some harp. Really enjoyable. in fact Bina [his wife. singer and percussionist] and I regularly play Our 'Spirit of Life' seasonal concerts in interesting venues round the country — churches. old halls and so on. but we still occasionally get together with the ECM guys for some gigs.‘
He's quite happy. though. not being in a band and admits: ‘I have to say that I do like touring — but in a simple way. two or three at most.‘ Hence the forthcoming tourette in Scotland. Both long-term resrdents of the Scottish Borders. Benb0urn and Williamson have over the years knocked around in various musical ways. and have some old sets up their sleeves.
'We will dust off a few things but we'll play mostly new Stuff. together and solo.‘ he says. 'lt'll be vaguely celtic. JaZZy. ragtime and old-timey Airerican. And l'm going to play the fiddle. Now that's something I've been really enJOying lately.“ iNornfan Chalmers)
. . . worry so much and get out and rock!
1 The Distillers Walking the tenuous line between coat—tail rider and wilful pioneer. Brody Dalle remains on the latter side of the R'n'R playground. Dalle is a young woman who has torn up punk rock and now sports it. with panda eye make up to match. as a strategically torn-up Misfits T—shirt. 2 A Perfect Circle Beginning as a soundcheck indulgence for Tool guitar techie Billy Howerdel. APC has developed into a full-blown band. It‘s based around Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan up front and augmented by the guitar skills of former Smashing Pumpkins dude James lha. Mostly. it’s about taking the testosterone out of rock and replacing it with tension and expression.
3 Auf Der Maur Talking, as we weren't. of survivors, Melissa Auf Der Maur (pictured) survived years in bands with egomaniac donkeys like Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) and Courtney Love (Hole). Scarred but unabashed. she thrusts her own hybrid take on moody. swaggering alt.rock on us as special guest to A Perfect Circle. 4 El Hombre Tajaedo and Fuck-Off Machete OK. OK. this isn't rock in the overwrought American guise — this is rock Glasgow style. That means not filing off the rough edges and stuffing it full of unpredictable twists and turns like El Hombre. F-OM are a trio. featuring former Ganger marauder Natasha Noramly, who do all the brilliant bits of Sonic Youth, Tortoise and PJ Harvey that you can't play as background at dinner parties.
5 The Magnificent: The boastful moniker is one now being justified: bad-assed Moog abusers who sound rockier than most rock bands. Their new album is out now and is nothing short of tremendous. And if all this sound like too much, go see Simple Kid. He's like if Badly Drawn Boy did beatboxing in a dufflecoat instead of Springsteen impersonations. (Mark Robertson) I See Rock 8. Pop listings for full details of all shows.