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coverpic flag Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 20 - 06/10/98

Scottish Pride
Music to listen to after Scotland's departure from France 98  

The Scots are a sporting nation, in case you'd failed to notice, believing our proud record as #1 for heart disease in the Western World. It's our musicians who carry off a clean-living image which the rest of the nation can follow if they wish. Of course it's World Cup time again, so it's perhaps appropriate that Scotland's self-styled Number One fan, Rod Stewart, has a new record out. Covers all, the track which has attracted most attention has been his version of Oasis' Cigarettes and Alcohol, mainly due to Stewart's insistence that he "couldn't give a fuck" what the Gallacher brothers make of his version. Rod also tackles a few new tracks penned by the likes of Graham Parker and Nick Lowe, gets away, just, with a version of Skunk Anansie's Weak which was of course designed to be sung by a member of the opposite sex, plus, tracks originally done by fellow Scots (i.e. those with Scottish parents) Mike Scott, Primal Scream and Superstar.

Speaking of cover versions, and indeed football, Edinburgh's premier samba-punk band Bloco Vomit are about to launch their LP Never Mind the Bossa Nova. It's surely no coincidence that a band playing covers of punk classics by the likes of the Pistols, & Clash, but in a salsa-stylee, should launch their LP on the 10th of June, same day as the Scotland - Brazil game (and same day as the launch of this review! - editor's note).

One band obsessed with another sport this month (cycling, trivia fans) will be the hardest working band in Scotland - the Delgados. Not because they gig incessantly, or release records every second week (that's Dawn of the Replicants - I Smell Voodoo out now!), but because in addition to their usual band duties they also run Chemikal Underground records which has released acclaimed records by the likes of Mogwai and Arab Strap. For once they look after themselves this week and put out their own second album, Peleton. It sees the band having moved forward from their debut Domestiques, augmenting their feisty sound with strings and woodwind. From the massively fertile Scottish scene, it's a big tribute to the band that they have produced the best LP to come from north of the border this year so far.

Its's been a very good few months for Scottish releases, Arab Strap brought out Philophobia (top 40) while there's a new Mogwai release due in a couple of weeks, though one track on their Fuck the Curfew e.p. has been canned due to the non-clearance of a sample from a NFL broadcast. Meanwhile, at the other end of Glasgow, Creeping Bent released the second Adventures In Stereo album (more Spectory and less acoustic, less lo-fi than their first album, but just as good) while they also put out the Nectarine No. 9 album which is an amazing mix of experimentation and pop.

Sean Dickson left the Soup Dragons quite a while ago, and has progressed considerably since then, his new band is the High Fidelity and their single Come Again is a BIG BIG sound, a bit Bolanesque to these ears, which can be no bad thing.

Sushil Dade has gone in what must be the opposite direction with Future Pilot AKA, as he incorporates quite a few sounds from his Indian roots, but the sound still has distuinctly Western overtones, perhaps because we all borrow so much from Eastern cultures. Their single Hurricane Fighter Plane is a cover of an old Red Crayola song and features a vocal by Steven Pastel, while the b-side is a new track which collaborates with Andy Wetherall/the 2 Lone Swordsmen.

Other releases planned are a single (though already deemed too long for the charts) from Macrocosmica - Space Geek is another blast of metal grunge and punk colliding (and woe betide anyone who gets in the way), plus Scotland's answer to Pavement (their words, not mine) - Hefner, whose Love Will Destroy Us In The End will surely be the single to break them through from relative obscurity.

Finally, and steering away from music slightly, Hefner's labelmate Luke Sutherland, lately of Long Fin Killie, will be completing a single with Ruth Emond (who did vocals on the Hollywood Gem single) under the name of Bows, but it's a different direction for Luke at present as he promotes his first novel. Entitled Jelly Roll, its a semi-autobiographical piece about a jazz band who embark on an ill-fated tour of the Scottish Highlands - the non-autobiographical part being that it's set in the 1950's. Hear samples of this and other new releases (in particular, Adventures in Stereo and the High-Fidelity) at the jockrock site.

Copyright © 1998 Stuart McHugh e-mail address

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