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Country'n'Techno

ONE DOVE perfectly sum up the New Eclecticism - they're a dance band who love C&W. This is why they are now poised to make the world's first country'n'techno record. PAUL MATHUR meets Glasgow's finest trancegeetar band. Stetson and heir: TOM SHEEHAN

Real life tears your hair and heart out. MUSIC isn't everything, but it goes some way towards making things better, towards colouring in even the bleakest of spirits. And occasionally it has you soaring. While it's possible to pin moments ot salvation, of enrichment to specific groups (my life would certainly have been duller without The Clash, The Teardrop Explodes, New Order, 10,000 Maniacs, Flowered Up, Primal Scream and, most recen~y, Madder Rose and Oasis) itwould be foolish to deny the importance of great big chunks of club culture. Clubs like Delirium, Shoom, Boy's Own and love Ranch in london and Hacienda in Manchester.
And I'm not alone. There's a whole generation out there open-minded enough to realise that rock's roar AND the social seduction of the club experience are not necessarily mutually exclusive. We can weep to "Beautiful John" and burn to Bandulu. There's space for both.
If there's one group that personifies this broadness of intent, it's One Dove. Wrapping a classic songwriting mentality around a crisp understanding of the cathartic power than comes from waving your arms in the air at four in the morning, they've consisten~y enchanted those of us who have no truck with blinkers. And finally, they've repaid our faith.
1993 saw their record company finally overcome legal wrangles and release their sta~ing debut album. More importanly, the album, some attendant singles and a few stunning live performances attracted an audience that seemed to have far more understanding than the record company itself of what One Dove are about. Rock, dance, country, trance, One Dove are all and nothing of these. Their greatest strength is precisely that they don't fit.
1994 sees a single, 'Why Don't You Take Me" , the last that will be taken from their album, and the imminent conquering of America. They've already made in roads into the Stateside psyche and the hottest poster in New York currently bears their name (along with the inevitable quote from your fun-loving Melody Maker that reads: "One Dove. . . One F***ing Band). The good times have just begun.

ON a Reeting visit to Scotland, One Dove's Dot Allison and Jim McKinven decide that maybe things are going to be all right after all.
"The delay with the album really knocked us back," admits Jim. "I remember one night in the studio in Glasgow when Andy Weatherall brought the last mix of the last song and we sat there with the champagne and the drugs knowing we'd made this great record. Then we had to wait for a year before it finally came out. In that time everyone had got tapes of it and talked about it, but the actual thing hadn't been released. That night in Glasgow was probably the happiest of my life. We thought we could do anything, take on the world. Then by the time the record came out, it was all a bitofan anti-climax. We've been spending all the time since trying to get that original feeling back and I think we finally have. "
"There seemed to me so much time recently," says Dot, "when we'd wake up convinced that it was all going to fall apart at any minute. Right now, though, I think we're really optimistic about it all. It's nice to be able to think, 'Yeah, we were right'."
The One Dove album, "Morning Dove White", was, when originally conceived, a perfect soundtrack to the contemporary club experience. By the time it was released, however, it seemed out of kilter, a lime uncomfortable in a world taken over by the ferocious quest for ever harder beats.
"I think it's all to do with whatever is currently the drug of choice in clubs," propounds Jim. ''The music we were making on the album came out of, and suited, Ecstasy. There were lots of melodies, sounds coming from all over the place. Right now people are doing a lot of coke and the music played in clubs seems to reRect that. It's very aggressive, relentless."
"I can appreciate that tribal thing," says Dot, "but I don't really get absorbed in it. It's melodies that give me goosebumps on the back of my neck. We've always been more interested in writing songs, in acting as a vector for the audience's response. We want people to actually get something out of what we do."
Did they feel like they'd missed the boat? "Sometimes," says Jim, "but I'm glad that we didn't just take the easy way out. It would have been so easy for us to have spent last year taking round a DA T and a couple of Weatherall mixes, getting 800 a night just getting sucked into the whole clulb PA thing. We decided instead that we wanted to do something different, so we tried do something more original within a gig format. Sometimes it completely bewildered people and sometimes it worked, I'm glad we did it."

SO am I. One Dove shows like their spaced-out, sexy performances with The Sandals and their searing "secret" gig at Camden's Falcon proved that the symbiotic relationship between rock and dance could still be explored with panache. That they did it without too much preconceived intent makes it all the more admirable.
Yet, as One Dove readily admit, they did do it with a lime help from their friend. "Probably the most important thing in the development of One Dove," says Jim, "was meeting Andy Weatherall. He's got the same ideas as us, he likes the same records and he made us understand that we could do anything we wanted. I'm sure that if we hadn't met him we wouldn't be doing what we're doing now. I can't imagine ever working with anyone else outside the group except him." One Dove also admit that they never had any exact idea of what they wanted to be, simply that they wanted somehow to communicate their love of music, whatever the genre.
"I remember the first time I heard [Donna Summer's] 'I Feel love'," says Jim, "and it just blew me away, changed the way I thought about music completely. I'd like to be able to make records that could do that for someone else. We haven't done our best stuff yet. There's a lot more to come."
This year nothing can stop them. Get higher.
'Why Don't You Take Me' is out now on Boy's Own

Originally appeared in Melody Maker January 22, 1994. Copyright Copyright, Melody Maker All Rights Reserved.

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