Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shoegazing special part 2

Slowdive (left) - great fringe action
Listening to (and Youtubing) Ride the other day got Hot Lunch all shoegazey and since then the flour and food splattered speakers of the Hot Lunch kitchen stereo have been put to a test of Titanic proportions with extraordinary amounts of reverb, floppy fringes and assorted old cassette compilations all vying for aural attention. If Alan McGee called over to collect a few royalties he'd be going home armed with enough dough to buy a sliced pan.

The teatowels were removed from their pins to soak up a few tears when Slowdive evoked beautiful long drives to Galway and around Connemara, and magical, mystical nights in a charming kip of a house in Wellpark. Slowdive were a band I managed to miss twice when I had a clearcut chance to see them, and boy do I regret it. They toured with Ride in '92 too, what a gig that would have been... Anyway, there's a couple of live shows recorded for posterity here There was a cracking American site up a few years ago that was full of unreleased and rare stuff but it's, eh, gone.

After the release of the compilation "Catch the Breeze" in 2004, all of Slowdive's studio albums - "Just For a Day!, "Souvlaki" and "Pygmalio" - were reissued in 2005 with a raft of extra tracks etc. They're well worth picking up somewhere or other.

After Slowdive, a few of them got together as Mojave 3 who have released five fine albums on 4AD, whilst solo-wise Nick Halstead released one of the finest singer/songwriter albums with 2001's "Sleeping on Roads", again released on 4AD. It's an awesome disc with "See You on Rooftops" the nearest thing you'll ever get to folky showgazing. If you find it anywhere, do not hesitate in picking it up. He has a couple of tracks, including "...Rooftops", up on his myspace He toured Ireland back in 2001, but he didn't get very far as a certain person in MCD at the time was looking for outragous guarantees to put him on. He's touring again this summer, so hopefully we'll see another solo album soon. It'll be hard to top the sublime "Sleeping on Roads".

Swervedriver were another good Creation band from back in the day (before McGee's egomania and Oasis came in a destroyed the label). They never attained the greatness of Ride, Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine, but they had their moments, especially on debut album "Raise" and it's follow-up "Mezcal Head". Rather nicely for the fans, Swervedriver have made the choice cuts from hundreds of bootlegs available on their website, with the album running orders faithfully reproduced albeit in live form. You can download them from here The band has reformed for a tour this year, hopefully it'll swing by Ireland though that's highly unlikely...

Some of their solo and side-project stuff since their first split has been good, particularly the Toshack Highway spin-off which featured Sophia and God Machine stalworth Robin Proper-Shepard on a couple of tracks. Their best bits can be found on 'Everyday, Rock'n'Roll Is Saving My Life Vol. 2'


mp3hugger said...

Slowdive, ahhh swoon.

david said...

great post....
as for swervedriver. We are already working on an irish date for our ac30 night. i shall keep you posted.