Posts Tagged ‘Creation Records’

The band Slowdive were formed in Reading, by Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell in October 1989. The two long-term school-friends sang and played guitar, and had been friends since they were 6 years old. At a Sunday youth group, they began making music in an indie pop band called the Pumpkin Fairies, with bassist Mike Cottle and drummer Adrian Sell. But when the Fairies disbanded, Slowdive formed in October 1989, the name, Slowdive, coming from a dream Neil Halstead once had. According to an interview in Alternative Press, he dreamt of two words, Slowdive and Slowburn. At first they were a highly derivative My Bloody Valentine/Sonic Youth clone, but even their first demo reveals a better understanding of controlled noise than most of their contemporaries. In their defence the ‘demo’ was really just them recording for fun, and it wasn’t until early in 1990 that the band became Slowdive proper with their own ideas. The band also included drummer Adrian Sell and Sell’s friend, bassist Nick Chaplin. A third guitarist named Christian Savill, was a major change was the addition of third guitarist, previously of local act Eternal. “We advertised for a female guitarist, but only Christian replied. He writes a sweet letter though, he said he’d wear a dress if neccesary”. The songs on the second demo show a leap forward, while previously they headed towards a climax of noise, ‘Avalyn’ was a gentle steady flow of nearly white noise. It’s this demo, passed on by another Reading act, Swervedriver, that brought Slowdive onto Creation Records and became the first single, as attempts to recreate the atmosphere in a more expensive studio failed. He was subsequently recruited and The name “Slowdive” was inspired by two events: a dream Chaplin experienced, and a conversation he had with Goswell, who suggested “Slowdive”, the name of a single by one of her favourite bands, Siouxsie and the Banshees.


Problamaticaly between recording the demo and signing to Creation their drummer left for University, and they were forced to draft in a replacement. He didn’t share the same aims and tastes as the group, and they didn’t really get on with him, making time on the road a little uncomfortable. More importantly “He had a shaggy perm, he looked like Jon Bon Jovi” so he was replaced by the bowl-cutted Simon Scott, of the sadly deceased Charlottes. Simon later left Slowdive on good terms in February-March 1994 to continue his career in jazzy circles and was replaced by “the immensely handsome and talented” Ian MacCutcheon before they went on their 1994 north american tour, which they paid for themselves since SBK Records, their U.S. distributor, who had promised them an extensive tour, went out of business.

My Bloody Valentine have been directly relevant to their use of guitar sound. The Cocteau Twins and The Byrds were big influences too. They worry about the build them up/knock them down syndrome, complaining that the British press expect revelations with the first record, while bands like the Cocteau’s & MBV have taken years to achieve the respect they have. The problem has probably been caused by the string of excellent debuts by Pale Saints, Ride, Bleach and Slowdive themselves creating an expectation that the best music will come from previously unknown bands. Slowdive have been perhaps particularly lucky with Melody Maker giving them single of the week for all their releases during 1991, and a reviewer at NME giving them the same accolade as he felt the review printed the previous week was unfair.

Slowdive was the first band featured by Creation on IRC on february 2nd 1995. In one of Slowdive’s newsletters, they wrote about a planned cover of Galaxie 500’s “Fourth of July” for a tribute album, that was going to be released by Elefant Records in Spain. To my knowledge, the album was unfortunately never released, and probably never will be, at least not including Slowdive, beacuse the band was dropped by Creation shortly after the release of Pygmalion, April 1995.

This affected the release of Pygmalion in the U.S. and the band started to look for a new label. Rumors said that Rachel and Neil sent a demo to 4AD, which got a positive reaction from the label. And that happened to be the truth. Rachel, Ian and Neil formed the band Mojave 3 and were signed to 4AD in the summer of 1995 (for that story, please check the Mojave 3 Discography). Rachel Goswell said: “After that (“Pygmalion”), Slowdive didn’t so much split as take a shift in direction, one that a couple of the other members weren’t comfortable with. It didn’t seem right to carry on with the same name, we needed to get a fresh start and all the pieces fell into place for us to get one.”.

The band quickly recorded a demo and several months later played their first show. Steve Walters, head of A&R at EMI, had attended the show. Afterward, he approached Savill and requested one of their demos. Slowdive then signed to Creation Records . The average age of the band was only 19 at the time. Sell felt things were progressing too fast and left for university after being in the band for about six months.

A self-titled EP was released in November 1990 and received  great praise from music critics. Slowdive  their original demo; the band had preferred the older recordings after feeling disillusioned with their studio craft. In a glowing recommendation, NME staff member Simon Williams wrote “Slowdive have banished the barrier restricting creativity… When they really relax, Slowdive can make Cocteau Twins sound like Mudhoney”. Melody Maker awarded the EP its “Single of the Week” award, an accolade the band’s next two EPs received.

Drummer Neil Carter joined from fellow Reading band the Colour Mary in time to play on the “Morningrise” EP, but left prior to its release in February 1991. Simon Scott took over on drums after his previous group, an alternative rock band called the Charlottes, broke up. The “Holding Our Breath” EP followed in June 1991, while the single “Catch the Breeze” topped the UK Indie Charts.

JUST FOR A DAY (2020 reissue)

“Just for a Day” (1991–1992)

By mid-1991, Slowdive had been tagged a “shoegazing” band and part of “the scene that celebrates itself” by the British media. The term shoegazer was applied to bands that followed My Bloody Valentine’s example of abrasive guitars and ethereal vocals, while “the scene” represented these like-minded groups.  Slowdive toured with other shoegazing bands through summer of 1991. The British music press became increasingly derisive of shoegazing as the Britpop and grunge movements came underway.

Production on Slowdive’s debut commenced shortly after Halstead convinced Alan McGee, head of Creation Records, that the band had enough songs written for a full-length album. Slowdive actually did not. The group began hurriedly writing songs in the studio. Experimentation with sounds and cannabis occurred during the process. Halstead drew lyrical inspiration from the abstract nature of the music. He recounted, “[We] went into a studio for six weeks and had no songs at the start and at the end we had an album”.

Their debut, “Just for a Day” was released in the September 1991.  NME gave the record a positive review, but most of the press generally disliked the album as the backlash against shoegazing began. As writer Peter Buckley put it, the album was “dismissed as dreary and lacking in ideas”. This backlash worsened when critics re-evaluated shoegazing after the release of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless in November 1991.

Slowdive’s US label SBK Records planned to release Just for a Day at the beginning of the year, but not before initiating a viral marketing campaign. The band’s name was stenciled outside MTV and radio stations in New York. Fans stencilled their heads when Slowdive played in Manhattan. The campaign caused some controversy when a statue celebrating the end of slavery was unveiled and had the word “Slowdive” stencilled on it.


“Souvlaki” (1992–1994)

While they toured in early 1992 to support “Blue Day”is a compilation album by the shoegaze band Slowdive.  It was originally released in 1992 and compiles the first three slowdive eps: slowdive (missing the track “avalyn ii”), morningrise (in its entirety), and holding our breath (missing the syd barrett cover “Golden Hair” as well as “Catch the Breeze”, which appeared on their first full- length ‘Just For A Day‘.

A re-release of their early EP material, the band began writing songs for a follow-up album, but the negative coverage Slowdive received in the press affected their song writing. “[It] did affect us as we were all teenagers at the time”, said Scott in a 2009 interview, “[We] couldn’t understand why people were so outraged by our sound that they had to tell the NME or whoever that they wanted us dead!.

blue day (2020 REISSUE)

“Blue Day” (1992)

Approximately 40 songs were recorded and re-recorded as the group became very self-conscious of their writing and how it might be received. When McGee listened to the new material, he subsequently dismissed it, stating, “They’re all shit”. The band discarded all the music and started over. In a 2009 interview, Halstead vividly recalled the incident: “I remember going to start the record in a studio in Bath. Spiritualized had just been there and left a huge Scalextrix in the live room. I remember thinking this was the height of indulgence! Ironically we scrapped everything we recorded…we had to start the record again back in Oxfordshire.

The band wrote a letter to ambient visionary Brian Eno and requested he produce their second album. Eno responded and told them he liked their music, but wanted to collaborate not produce. Halstead later called the recording session “one of the most surreal stoned experiences of [his] life”. “The first thing he did when he walked into the studio was to rip the clock off the wall and put it by the mixing desk”, Halstead remembered. “He then said ‘Okay, you’re going to play the guitar and I’m going to record it. I don’t care what you are going to play, just play something.'” Two songs from the collaboration appeared on the ensuing album: “Sing”, which was co-written with Eno, and “Here She Comes”, where Eno played keyboards.

Creation Records wanted Slowdive to produce a commercial sounding album. Halstead agreed: “We wanted to make a ‘pop’ record but it took a while to record”. At one point, Halstead suddenly left in summer 1992, seeking seclusion in a Welsh cottage. Savill, Chaplin and Scott were left in a recording studio in Weston-super-Mare, and while waiting for Halstead’s return, recorded some “joke songs”. To their misfortune, McGee acquired them and became despondent, by which time Halstead had arrived with new music, including “Dagger” and “40 Days.”

The band named their second album “Souvlaki” after a skit performed by the Jerky Boys, an American comedy duo that recorded prank phone calls.

Souvlaki was released in May 1993 alongside the Outside Your Room EP, a few months after Suede released their popular debut and the Britpop movement had began. Critical reaction, as with their previous album, was generally negative. NME writer John Mulvey. Said despite noting their dated and “unfulfilling” sound, he did call it an “exemplary product”.

Slowdive booked a tour with fellow shoegazers Catherine Wheel for a tour of the United States, only to find SBK Records had pushed the album’s US release date back eight months. The band recorded an EP, titled 5 EP, and started a modest tour through Europe with dream pop band Cranes. Scott was unhappy with the gap between releases and quit the band in 1994.

PYGMALION (2020 reissue)

“Pygmalion” (1994–1995)

Scott was replaced on drums by Ian McCutcheon. By the recording of their final album, Pygmalion, Halstead had moved Slowdive away from the dreamy guitar sound and warm yet solemn tone of earlier releases to a newer, more minimalist extreme.

Slowdive were dropped by Creation a week after the release of Pygmalion (as were Swervedriver not long after). After a Slowdive Twitter account and website were launched in January 2014,

when Slowdive disbanded in 1995 music fans widely associated it with the demise of the shoegaze genre. Their last sign of life was “Pygmalion” (before they reunited in 2014) and it was, after just for a day and souvlaki a totally different and more abstract album. where the band attempted to put more song structures in place on souvlaki, they began to incorporate more elements of ambient electronica on pygmalion. tracks like “blue skied an’ clear” and “crazy for you” demonstrate that the songs are still there, somewhere — they’re just buried under more abstract sounds than before.

it was announced that Slowdive had reformed to play the 2014 Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona and Porto. In January 2017, Slowdive released “Star Roving”, their first single in 22 years, on Dead Oceans.] Their fourth, self-titled album, was released in May 2017, preceded by another single, “Sugar for the Pill”.


“Morningrise” (2020 reissue)

The English shoegaze band slowdive were formed in 1989 “Morningrise” might be the best shoegaze song of all time, and together with “She Calls” and “Losing Today” it is part of the wonderful Morningrise EP. The title track elevates the pop spirit with wonderful guitar cascades. The melody escaping the chorus is then just heart-opening.

Morningrise will be available as a limited edition of 4000 individually numbered copies on smoke-coloured vinyl. it includes an insert with the Slowdive catalogue.

HOLDING OUR BREATH (2020 reissue)

“Holding Our Breath” (2020 reissue)

Holding Our Breath is undoubtably Slowdive’s best ep, featuring some of their best pre-Souvlaki recordings including “Catch The Breeze”, “Shine” and their cover of Syd Barrett’s “Golden Hair”. the finale is “Albatross”. this uses atmospherics in a dark and haunting way, which contrasts the rest of the ep which is dreamy and floaty.

Slowdive EP (rsd 20)

“Slowdive” EP (released 2020)

A self-titled ep was released in november 1990 and received praise from music critics. Slowdive was actually their original demo; the band had preferred the older recordings after feeling disillusioned with their studio craft. nme staff member Simon Williams wrote “Slowdive have banished the barrier restricting creativity… when they really relax, Slowdive can make Cocteau Twins sound like Mudhoney”.

Melody Maker awarded the ep its “single of the week” award. this year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Slowdive. a limited 30th Anniversary edition is available on record store day. only 4000 individually numbered copies on green & black marbled (transparent green, clear & black mixed) vinyl are pressed.


“Slowdive” Released 2020

an immediately enthralling set – 22 years on, the classic 90s shoegazers have crafted a tight and intricate album of immersive melodies and hazy dreaminess.

A “comeback record” has become such a derogatory term suggesting the music contained within is solely for the nostalgic die-hard fans who would salivate over any old dross churned out by said returning band. in truth, this is all too often the case. imagine our joy, then, when we heard Slowdive’s 1st output since 1995’s ‘Pygmalion’ (their 3rd studio album) and realised that these sonic pathfinders have avoided every pitfall and shortcut that a reforming band with an expectant and dedicated fanbase could have made.

We should really have taken their signing to the Dead Oceans label (much adored by us residents) as an indication that this was going to be something a bit special. Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead work in perfect harmony with the rest of the band to extract the most from every guitar chime, every brushed drum, every vocal harmony, every drawn out note, composing a generously textured, cerebral experience.

Their sound is distinctly “Slowdive” but their 4th record explores the wide open spaces that surround the genre which has previously defined (and possibly even confined) them. by allowing themselves the space to stretch out and breathe, they reach apexes of post-rock, refined pop, neo-classical and even talk talk-esque jazzy explorations, all of which build into a phenomenal set. the level of intricate detailing here is reminiscent of low’s approach to creating a sphere of sound which completely envelops you.

‘Slomo’ re-acquaints us and settles us in, only to be followed by their most direct “pop”-song ever in the shape of the outstanding ‘Star Roving’. later, ‘Sugar For The Pill’ and ‘No Longer Making Time’ is the direction that the xx so should have headed in after their debut and the record closes out on the astonishingly delicate & affecting sparsity of ‘Falling Ashes’, which is essentially carried by 4 single piano notes on a constant loop.

It’s a record that has taken us all by surprise, pulling us back for repeated listens, whatever our mood. if only all comeback records were this worthwhile.

“A majestic return that doesn’t just fill in the gaps, but points unflinchingly towards future horizons” – drowned in sound

Band Members:
Neil Halstead – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Rachel Goswell – vocals, guitar, keyboards, tambourine
Nick Chaplin – bass
Christian Savill – guitar
Simon Scott – drums – vocals, guitar, keyboards

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and text

Originally released in 1999, “My Beauty” was the second solo album from Dexys/Dexys Midnight Runners’ lead singer Kevin Rowland. The album was mostly unfairly received by critics at the time, but in the years since has come to enjoy cult status. This reissue is the first time “My Beauty” has been available on vinyl and on CD with its originally intended track-listing.

“My Beauty” comprises twelve cover songs, personally chosen by Kevin and adapted to make the lyrics more directly reflective of his life. The result was an autobiographical concept record about his battle and recovery from addiction, and his own struggle with self-esteem, exemplified by his incredible version of George Benson / Whitney Houston classic ‘The Greatest Love Of All’.

Kevin’s choice of style for this record was men’s dresses – in stark contrast to the prevailing mood in the late 1990s of British lad rock. The cover design was a radical look for the time – silk dresses, stockings and make up, not cross-dressing but a look that was undoubtedly feminine.  The album was released on Oasis’ label Creation, after Kevin was signed by Alan McGee (who loved Kevin’s new look and labelled it “punk rock”). However, “My Beauty” was to be the last record released before Creation folded and the chaos that surrounded the label meant they hadn’t secured approval for the cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road’. Despite its flowing, elegant music, the album was viciously savaged by most critics, with some focussing on Kevin’s choice of attire rather than the quality of the music.

Now in 2020, on the album’s 21st birthday, the world has changed and it’s high time to re-evaluate this modern masterpiece. Only ever previously released on CD, “My Beauty” has been remastered by original co-producer (with Dexys stalwart Jim Paterson) Pete Schwier and Marco Migliari. Two new videos have been filmed. The first – for ‘Rag Doll’ – is mimed by a young man in make-up, dressed in a gender fluid way. It’s a look that has become rightly incorporated into modern society, and by the end of the video, it’s revealed the man is Kevin’s grandson Roo, importantly closing the circle on what has been a painful experience for Kevin.

Over time, some music critics have re-evaluated “My Beauty” as a lost classic. Kevin has lived through all of this, and it was a painful experience to be outcast and dismissed. Now that attitudes have changed, hopefully the music can finally reach the audience it deserves and Kevin can tell his story.

Kevin Rowland’s brand new video for his interpretation of Rag Doll. Taken from the forthcoming reissue of My Beauty, out September 2020 on Cherry Red Records. Video directed by Jack Satchell. Original VHS footage of Concrete and Clay video kindly supplied by Daniel Cooke.

First time on vinyl for this long-overlooked classic and is a Limited Edition pressing on baby pink vinyl.

The telescopes altered perception orbit014lp 5023693101415

Not previously released on vinyl The Telescopes are an English noise, space rock, dream pop and psychedelic band, formed in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie, and drawing influence from artists such as Suicide, The Velvet Underground and The 13th Floor Elevators. They have a total of eleven released albums including their debut, Taste, released in 1989. ‘Altered Perception’ collects 15 of their most intricate workings from their first two albums with the odd rarity and b-side thrown in for good measure. Never before released on vinyl but now re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Street Studio especially for vinyl release for Record Store Day 2020.

The Telescopes are the brainchild of Stephen Lawrie and Jo Doran. Formed in 1986 in Burton-On-Trent and initially a five piece, their earliest live performances drew comparisons with the likes of The Stooges, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, right down to Doran and fellow guitarist Dave Fitzgerald’s insistence on facing their amps rather than the audience while a gnarled hail of feedback and distortion erupted all around them.

With the inevitable swarm of record labels chasing their every move, The Telescopes put out their first three singles and debut album ‘Taste’ on the Cheree label. Nevertheless, bad luck seemed to follow the band from this point onwards as Cheree’s subsequent closure saw the band sign to What Goes On, only for them to see another label go bankrupt months later. Eventually they ended up at their spiritual home, Creation Records, and after three well received singles and the release of their second eponymously-titled album, everything seemed to be coming up roses. Sadly, a couple of blokes going by the name of Gallagher were lurking in the shadows with other ideas, and this coinciding with the already phenomenal expenditure of My Bloody Valentine‘s still-born follow-up to ‘Loveless’ meant a cull was inevitable – of which the Telescopes were one of its many victims.

Opener ‘The Perfect Needle’ mixes tremelo, heavy distortion and an obtrusive violin as Lawrie opines “…and it hurts too much to be where you are” in a melancholic drawl that pre-dates the likes of The Verve by a good four years. ‘Sadness Pale’ and ‘Violence’ meanwhile are psychedelic dirge-like entities that resonate within their own quagmires similar to the early workings of Spacemen 3 or even Mudhoney .

What set the Telescopes apart from their contemporaries at the time such as Ride, Slowdive and the Boo Radleys, and still does today, is that they were never too afraid to take a risk. With the word “conform” seemingly absent from Lawrie and Doran’s vocabulary, they bent the rules a little with their second album and fuzz pedals and feedback disappeared faster than you can say ‘And’ – the closing track on here, incidentally. ‘You Set My Soul’ sounds like Primal Scream engaging in a freeform jazz jam with John Lee Hooker and Daevid Allen while ‘All A Dreams’ is ethereal, winsome psychedelic pop at its best – ‘Pet Sounds’ made by its respective owners, if you must.

‘Altered Perception’ offers a remarkable insight into how a band defined their own legendary status by simply changing everything about their sound just as the pigeons were about to slip them into any of their aforementioned holes, whether that be the ones marked “shoegazing”, “psyche-rock”, “baggy” or “indie pop”. As a history lesson in the development of sounds that your A&R man will tell you are just WRONG for this record, boys, ‘Altered Perception’ is up there with ‘Psycho Candy’, ‘Loveless’ and ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’. If you’re just curious and want to know where the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Mogwai and yes, Radiohead got many of their ideas from, then you simply have to own this album.

‘Altered Perception’ could be seen as Lawrie and Doran’s way of setting the record straight. Having spent several years trying to gain full control to the rights of their back catalogue, this album collects 15 of their most intricate workings from their first two albums with the odd rarity and b-side thrown in for good measure.

Purple coloured heavyweight 180 gram audiophile double vinyl LP

recordstore day

The JASMINE MINKS, the first band to be signed to Alan McGee’s fledging Creation Records label back in 1984, they have announced their new 7” single on blue vinyl, to be released via A Turntable Friend Records. The line-up is the same as on the very first recordings with Jim Shepherd, Martin Keena, Walter ‘Wattie’ Duncan, Tom Reid and the former Television Personalities keyboardist Dave Musker and Tom Reid . The sound of this double A-side is as good as if the band had recorded them at the peak of their popularity some 30 years ago.

Back into mighty fine form, the legendary Jasmine Minks return to the scene with two new tracks, captured on vinyl as it should be. First one is “Step by Step”, it is backed with “Gravity”. Engineered and mixed by Pat Collier. The double A-side 7″ on very limited blue vinyl in a thick cardboard sleeve is released on March 22nd.

The Jasmine Minks have been strongholds in the British music scene since forming in 1983 in Aberdeen. Stereo Embers Magazine notes that they are “one of the most venerated indie rock bands of their era… their work is both timeless and canonical. Led by the positively ageless vocals of Jim Shepherd, the Jasmine Minks sound as vital as ever..

Image result for pete astor

The first two 45s by The Loft had gone down a storm in the music press. Creation Records thought they were onto a good thing with The Loft. The four piece’s first two singles – “Why Does The Rain” and “Up The Hill and Down The Slope” in late 1984 and early 1985 had picked up a fair amount of critical acclaim and sold reasonably well for a purely indie-based label.  Theirs was the sort of music that had mainstream radio chart potential.

But The Loft called it a day in mid 1985 and out of the ashes emerged The Weather Prophets just under a year later with Pete Astor (vocals/guitar) and Dave Morgan (drums) joined by Oisin Little (guitar) and David Goulding (bass).

The debut single, “Almost Prayed”, wasn’t all that far removed from the sound of The Loft and by the end of the year a second single and a German import LP that had come out on an overseas imprint of Rough Trade Records had seen many tip them for great things in 1987.

But by now Alan McGhee had been given money by Warner Brothers to form a new label which he named Elevation Records and its first releases involved The Weather Prophets – two singles (one of which was a re-recording of The Loft’s debut 45) and an album.  But pop music and critical acclaim have always had a fickle relationship and those who had supported the band through the Creation years were disparaging with the Elevation releases although musically there wasn’t much between them.

The band went back to Creation in 1988 and released two more singles and an album which was a little bit rockier than previous efforts but still success eluded them. The band broke up in late 1988 at which point Pete Astor pursued a solo career and Messrs Morgan and Goulding became part of a new alt/country group called The Rockingirds.

The Weather Prophets are still fondly remembered and regarded as one of the ‘should’ve been’ bands of the era and so it is no surprise that they were included on the CD86 double CD. The song was one of the b-sides on their 12″ debut single for Creation back in may 1986:-

The actual single itself is a belter:-

Peter Astor’s previous band, the Loft, was a Creation Records labelmate of Felt and sounded like it, but with the Weather Prophets he smoothed the edges to create a more commercial, if somewhat generic, guitar pop style that lives on through groups such as Brideshead and Northern Portrait. Mayflower doesn’t have an abundance of individual character, but the songs and performances are excellent, even though the album didn’t achieve it’s hoped-for mainstream success. “Almost Prayed,” from the group’s first single, and new songs such as “Can’t Keep My Mind Off You” and “She Comes from the Rain” are full of hooky, jangly goodness.

from: “Mayflower” (1987)

On this day in 1990, Oxford, England shoegazers Ride unleashed their debut album, “Nowhere”, at the height of shoegaze, and it still stands up as one of the genre’s defining works.  The word “shoegaze”  became one of my favorite musical styles. Nowhere” is the debut album by Ride, released 15th October 1990. Rolling Stone called the album “a masterpiece”,one of [shoegazing’s] enduring moments”. Ride had released three EPs, Ride, Play, and Fall, prior to the release of “Nowhere”  .

Before the ear-splitting beauty of My Bloody Valentine, the sugary noise-pop of The Jesus and Mary Chain or the washed-out soundscapes of Slowdive,

“Vapour Trail,” though this string-filled ballad wasn’t quite full-on shoegaze like the remainder of the record, its swirling, transcendent energy and chiming 12-string guitars left me wanting more. I previously knew of the band’s co-lead singer and guitarist Andy Bell as the bassist in Oasis, but after I heard him sing on “Vapour Trail” with soft-hearted conviction, At the time theybecame my new favorite band—Ride.

The opening track, “Seagull,” I was met by a guitar assault, an unrelenting drone-like groove, breakneck drums and the harmonized co-lead vocals of Mark Gardener and Bell. Sure,  This LP made me completely rethink the capabilities of musical transcendence.

I’d been exposed to uplifting romanticism and isolating sadness colliding in the same song before with artists like The Smiths and The Cure, but never with such extreme poles as Ride. On the eight tracks of “Nowhere”, Ride fired a distorted wash of piercing guitars, Loz Colbert’s vigorous percussion, bassist Steve Queralt’s clamoring melodies and Gardener and Bell’s angelic vocal harmonies. Songs shift from the soft wisp of “Dreams Burn Down” and “Vapour Trail” to the chugging chaos of “Decay” and “Kaleidoscope,” but more often than not, they incorporate both delicate allure and fierce annihilation within the same song.

Ride are a musical contradiction, and the best shoegaze music excels at contradiction. One of the things that kept pulling me back to Ride’s “Nowhere” and the rest of their discography and separated them from other shoegaze bands I love—was their refusal to obscure their harmonious vocals. If you were to transcribe the lyrics of bands like Cocteau Twins or My Bloody Valentine, you’d probably get a different set of words with each attempt due to their washed out sound mix. But with Ride, they preserved their distorted onslaught of instrumentals while allowing their shimmery pop vocals a la The Byrds or Teenage Fanclub to remain fully audible. Its opening cut, “Seagull,” is a stunning exploration of strung-out guitar notes and elongated vocal textures; a mission statement, for what would be one of shoegaze’s most pristine moments. “Definitions confine thoughts, they are a myth” Mark Gardener muses, The Songs like “Seagull” and “Polar Bear” display the perfect fusion of Gardener and Bell’s vocals with their discernible Oxford tongue and even those turned off by their wall of sound would admit to being charmed by their vocal match made in heaven.

The discourse around shoegaze seems mostly to be structured around a Holy Trinity dynamic, with Slowdive, Ride and My Bloody Valentine making up the trio of essential bands within the genre. Ride, though, were never quite as exclusive to reverb and hushed vocals as the other two, tailing off into Britpop, the total opposite of shoegaze, territory far too often to be considered their greatest. “Nowhere”, though, was arguably the highlight of their discography—a cohesively immersive, stunningly crafted shoegaze coup.

For a brief moment in 1990, Ride defied definition—crafting one of the most mind-bending and utterly stunning records of the era. Leaving “Nowhere” out of any record collection is totally inexcusable.

I’ve since come to know and love the overwhelming disarray of My Bloody Valentine, the hypnotic spirituality of early Verve, the sprightly, quiet firestorm of Lush and the intricate shoegaze-pop of DIIV, but it all began with Ride’s Nowhere. I’m not sure I would be able to come to grips with the harsh underbelly of bands like those along with the ambient work of Grouper or the atmospheric dream-pop of Galaxie 500 if it weren’t for the noisy, divine abyss of shoegaze via Ride’s Nowhere. I view Ride and Nowhere as the essential connecting tissue between the jangle pop of The Stone Roses, the dream-pop of The Ocean Blue, the discordant haze of My Bloody Valentine and the machine-like krautrock of Toy.

Velvet Crush’s first and best album was mistakenly lumped in with the then-predominant shoegazer aesthetic upon its release in 1991, thanks to its British release on the shoegazer-central Creation label and the occasional washes of sparkly electric feedback and creamy-smooth harmonies that settle over some of the songs.

Reissue of the album debut by Velvet Crush LP from 1991, originally released on Creation Records. Recorded & Mixed on 8 Tracks by power pop legend Matthew Sweet, Princeton, New Jersey 1990-91. Produced by Matthew Sweet And Velvet Crush. 

From the liner notes by Ric Menck:
Paul, Jeffrey and I worked out the songs together at our rehearsal space in Providence, Rhode Island. Someone would come in with the germ of an idea and we’d figure out the arrangement together. When we came up with at least three or four decent tunes we’d hop in the van and drive to Matthew’s. Once there, we set up in his living room facing one another, and it usually took two or three takes to capture a performance. Matthew overdubbed his lead guitar bits later. In all, we recorded the entire record in three quick weekend sessions”. 


In the Presence of Greatness sounds like Big Star’s #1 Record updated for a new decade. The general air of mildly anguished wistfulness is the same, as are the jangly guitars and high harmonies, but Velvet Crush plays with a post-punk sprightliness and a less overtly British Invasion-inspired melodic sense.

Releases October 5th, 2018

Paul Chastain: Bass & Vocals
Ric Menck: drums
Jeffrey Underhill: Guitar
Matthew Sweet Guitar & Harmony Vocals


The Telescopes were founded in England in 1987 by chief member Stephen Lawrie and released several recordings in the late 1980s but it is in 1990, when the band signed to legendary label Creation, that they hit their stride and helped to define a decade of UK rock music. Fusing elements of psychedelia with noise-rock, and dreamy pop, The Telescopes were near the forefront of the early shoegaze scene and hugely influential on the next wave of early 1990s Brit-pop. This crucial collection complies all 4 of their 12″ singles on Creation as well as a 1991 John Peel session and other bonus tracks.

2LP – Double Numbered 180 Gram Vinyl with a deluxe double sided poster insert.

bundle website image.jpg

Teenage Fanclub are putting out five new vinyl reissues. These reissues cover the Creation era,  the first pressings of these will each come with a special seven-inch single that offers two tracks from a selection of rarities, picked by the band. These are all new to vinyl with one track previously unreleased.

For fans of cult Scottish band will be able to get their hands on new pressings of 1991’s Bandwagonesque, 1993’s Thirteen, 1995’s Grand Prix, 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain, and 2000’s Howdy!. They will be packaged in faithful reproductions of the original vinyl artwork and available on heavyweight 180g single vinyl, released on 10th August by Sony Music.

According to a press release, each album will come with a bonus 7″ single containing rarities, B-sides, and previously unreleased tracks selected by the band.

Each album has been remastered from the original tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London under the guidance of the band, and will be packaged in a faithful re-production of the original vinyl artwork. Each LP will be pressed on 180gsm black vinyl.


All records are out via the band’s official website on August 10th.

TFC 2018 Poster.jpg

Teenage Fanclub have confirmed a series of live shows where the set list will linger on songs from their Creation era. The ‘Songs From Teenage Fanclub’ tour will see them play songs from 91-93 on ‘Night 1’, from 94-97 on ‘Night 2’ and from 98-00 on ‘Night 3’.

5 / 6 / 7 Manchester Academy 3
9 / 10 / 11 Birmingham Institute
13 / 14 / 15 London Electric Ballroom


For 30 years, The Telescopes have existed on the outskirts of the U.K. pop scene, in a host of different forms. Founded by primary member Stephen Lawrie in 1987 as a way to channel his love for such American underground icons like 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvet Underground, and Suicide, the band has since inhabited the worlds of noise, shoegaze, Britpop, and space rock without disappearing too far into any one of them. Rather, Lawrie has preferred to stitch all of them together into a kind of dreamcoat that’s wholly unique. Their eponymous second LP, released on Creation Records in 1992, is a stronger Salvo to Britpop than the records unveiled by Pulp or The Charlatans that year. On their decade-in-the-making follow-up Third Wave, Lawrie immersed himself in jazz and IDM to craft a fitting testament to the endless possibilities for the rock band format in a Kid A afterworld.


Since signing with Hamburg, Germany indie imprint Tapete Records in 2015, Lawrie has returned to his roots in noise and space, building on the sound of the scene he helped spawn, with nods to early Primal Scream and Spacemen 3, and then taking it down darker, more abstract musical paths. For his second Tapete full-length release, As Light Return Lawrie is celebrating three decades in music by tangling up reverb, delay, and echo into some of the most impossible knots he’s crafted yet. It’s a dizzying five-song journey that crescendos with epic 14-minute closer “Handful of Ashes,” where his feedback reaches raga-like levels of abandon thanks to the improvisational craft of his backing group, St Deluxe.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Telescopes,here is the evolution of his underrated and remarkable outfit, whose time to be recognized as one of the quintessential architects of the British experimental rock movement is long overdue.


The Telescopes were among the most innovative and challenging yet successful artists in Creation Records‘ “middle period”, a leading part of the wave of sonic experimenters who included Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, Spectrum and Spiritualized. Towards the end of their time with Creation, they made their most fully realized album yet, “#’ (untitled second). This is the first time this great psychedelic album is being released in the US, and it comes with 3 bonus tracks. “The songs are built on acoustic guitars, then the tricked-out electric guitars are laid on top and garnished with bongos, organs, pianos, and all sorts of classic instruments. Stephen Lawrie’s vocals are restrained and semi-emotional and female backing vocals add a touch of sweetness


thank beautifulnoise