Saturday, March 14, 2015
Last week we had the pleasure of seeing in Glasgow one of the central figures of the No Wave movement of the late '70s, James Chance, who along with his Contortions played a gig in one of the cities finest little venues, Stereo. Led by vocalist/saxophonist Chance, they played a set that combined the improvisational free jazz of Ornette Coleman with some jagged, angular funk riffs that were straight out of James Brown. There were also some parts that reminded of Gang Of Four and Pere Ubu, with Chance throwing some very interesting shapes throughout. One of the most unique sounds I have encountered live, this was evidence, if any was needed, that white men can play funk music and that the spirit of the hardest working man in show business lives on in James Chance. Highlights included a blistering version of Gil Scott Heron's Home Is Where The Hatred Is, which although far removed from the original manged to retain the sincerity of one of Heron's finest tunes. There are not many artists left out there quite like James Chance which is all the more reason we should cherish them.