Posts Tagged ‘My Bloody Valentine’

features, Gallery, music

Not just My Bloody Valentine – Eight original Shoegazing bands who need reviving

By Stefano on February 5th, 2013

mbvLike most music obsessives from time to time I have wondered what it must have been like to be there at a pivotal moment in music history. You know, like avoiding the sweat dripping off the ceiling while the Fab Four hone their post-Hamburg rock and roll in The Cavern. Or watching the light show and Syd Barrett in psychedelic melt down mode at the UFO. Or even hanging with the art school punks at CBGBs as they watched as Blondie’s pop moves took New York’s indie screen global.

The nearest I ever got to a seismic pop moment was in a small and sweaty basement room bizarrely sited on Oxford Street by Tottenham Court Road tube. For there in 1991, the club, known as the Syndrome, became the meeting place for the main movers of the London wing of British indie, some of whom would go on to create some incredible music.

Energised by both the danceable grooves coming out of Manchester and the visceral punky thrills of grunge jetting in from America’s North West coast, the likes of Blur, Ride, Lush, Moose and many others began to fashion a musical response that kept the energy of punk but , how shall we put this, was a little more cerebral. And the music these middle class punks played (for many of the bands were from the posher parts of London and the South East) became known as shoegazing (after some of the musician’s habits of looking at their feet while messing with effects pedals).

As well as absorbing the primitive, yet arty sounds of bands like Dinosaur Junior and Sonic Youth, the Shoegazers were almost all highly influenced by the feedback drenched howl of My Bloody Valentine. Many bands also kept the melodic obsession of the C86 bands in creating sweet, often catchy tunes that they buried under howls of effects and white noise.

Shoegazing, just like The Syndrome, didn’t last too long, but for a couple of the bands it was a springboard to better things. Sadly though most of them didn’t see the musical tidal wave of Brit Pop coming and the music press quickly lost interest in shy, retiring musicians from Surrey and turned their attention to boisterous Beatles-obsessed northerners. In fact almost all of them were history by the mid -90. Except that is in the US where a couple of bands from a city on the nation’s West coast kept the genre alive.

So with My Bloody Valentine releasing their first album in twenty or so years there is no better time to go back and revisit some of the less well known protagonists of the Shoegazing (a term which not surprisingly almost all the bands associated with it hated) era. There are profiles of eight bands and you can hear them, along with some fellow travellers in the Spotify playlist.

* The most under rated 80s indie bands here

* Under rated British 90s indie bands

Moose

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Picture 4 of 8

These days Moose are best known for the fact that it was at one of their gigs that the Steve Sutherland came up with the moniker The Scene That Celebrates Itself to highlight that so many people from rival bands were hanging out at each other’s gigs. Mind you the members of their sibling shoegazer bands had good taste too. Moose were exceptional and their failure to attract a wider audience for their music is one of the big mysteries of 90s indie. Early tracks like Jack were full of layered MBV style guitars and effects but boasted melodies that were constantly surprising and often took turns in completely unexpected directions. By the time they’d recorded the superb ballad, This River Never Will Run Dry, it was clear that the band had outgrown the narrow confines of the movement and were heading towards the more acoustic gothic territory occupied by bands like The Tindersticks. A series of superb albums followed of which the best XYZ, channels the likes of Tim Buckley, Fred Neil, Tim Hardin and other Americana pioneers at a time when very few Brits knew anything of their music. A very under-rated band



features, music

REVIEW: My Bloody Valentine @ Electric Brixton (27/01/13)

By Gerald Lynch on January 28th, 2013

It’s been five years since I last saw My Bloody Valentine live, and I’ve only just managed to recover the last fragments of earplug mined from my brain after surviving their sonic assault at Camden’s Roundhouse back in 2008.

Their 2013 return to the UK sees volume levels remain the same (watching MBV is like picking a fight with a 747 in a wind tunnel and losing, as I tweeted last night), but the setlist is a little different; there’s a new album on the way, more than 21 years since the launch of their seminal Loveless record. And tonight’s gig marks the debut of a few cuts from it.

Kevin Shields and co kick off with new number ‘Rough Song’, and for a band whose signature live attack is dished out with serrated guitars, the presence of a keyboard is a little unnerving. It’s a poppy number that recalls ‘When You Sleep’, suggesting the new album may have a fair whack of tunes as well as ethereal dreamscapes. It brings with it a tease from the usually-silent Shields, mumbling to a persistent heckler that the new album’s release could be as close as “two or three days”. What with Shields’ trademark tardy perfectionism, we wouldn’t start holding our breath just yet, but considering the album was apparently mastered back in December anything is possible.

Anything, that is, than being able to decipher a tune tonight. Even by MBV’s aggressive standards, something’s a bit off. The PA at Electric Brixton is overwhelmed by the band, with vocals (traditionally low in the mix for MBV by default) lost in the squall. You don’t expect subtlety from Shields’ screeching riffs and Debbie Googe’s bass pummelling, but even Shields finds it necessary to cut off ‘To Here Knows When’ halfway through.

At their most aurally-unapologetic however with ‘Feed Me With You Kiss’ and the closing 10 minute white noise endurance test of ‘You Made Me Realise’, the night hits a sadomasochistic state of nirvana, a blissful sonic-sucker punch to see the punters off into the night with a smile on their faces and bloody tissues in their ears.

Here’s a selection of choice Twitter commentary on the gig from last night:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Accessories, Luggage & Travel

Flaunt your impeccable music taste on the bus with classic album TravelTunes Oyster Card wallets – Manics, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream and more!

By Gerald Lynch on September 19th, 2012

My Bloody Valentine - "Loveless" TravelTunes wallet

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Picture 1 of 9

We’ve already lost the ability to promote our reading habits on the bust thanks to coverless-Kindles (maybe for the best if you’re a Fifty Shades fan…), and there’s nothing more obnoxious than blasting out your favourite tunes through a smartphone loudspeaker.

The true gent flaunts his impeccable taste in more subtle ways. When it comes to music, how about these classic album themed Oyster Card/credit card wallets from TravelTunes.

There are nine up for grabs; Kasabian’s “Kasabian“, Leftfield’s “Leftism“, Manic Street Preachers’ “Everything Must Go“, Mark Ronson’s “Version“, My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless“, Oasis’s “Definitely Maybe“, Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica“, Teenage Fanclub’s “Bandwagonesque” and the first self-titled album from The Stone Roses.

Not only do you get the wallet, but for £5.99 you get a digital download of the associated album to go with it.

To give the collection a look, check out our gallery above, and then click here to order.




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