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January 28, 2014 5:40 PM   Subscribe

After two decades of absence, Slowdive have reunited, and announced that they will play the Primavera festival in Barcelona. In an interview with The Quietus, Neil Halstead hinted that there might also be new material forthcoming.

Slowdive formed in the late 1980s in the Thames Valley music scene, playing a sort of guitar-effects-heavy aethereal music which would become known as shoegaze. Signing to Creation (also the home label of My Bloody Valentine, who returned last year), they released three albums, Just For A Day, Souvlaki and the somewhat sparser Pygmalion, before disbanding after being dropped in 1995. The two vocalists, Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, then went on to form an alt.country/folk-styled band, Mojave 3, who signed to 4AD, before separating. Since then, Halstead has pursued a career as a folky troubador; over the years, while he would play acoustic versions of Slowdive songs like Dagger, whenever interviewers brought up the possibility of a Slowdive reunion or a return to the style he started out in, he initially rejected the idea, though his attitude to it seemed to soften more recently. Last year's surprise album by Black Hearted Brother, a music project involving Halstead, his producer and former collaborator Mark Van Hoen (of Seefeel) which was very much not in a folk vein, may have been a foreshadowing of this, as was the creation of a Slowdive Twitter account, which appeared last year though remained quiet until a few weeks ago.
posted by acb (21 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
One of the best shows I ever saw was Slowdive playing with Ride (then touring Going Blank Again) in May of 1992 in a bowling alley/bar/concert venue in Omaha, Nebraska.

I greet this reunion with much enthusiastic love.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:47 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


Oddly, just today an ex-bandmate of mine mentioned that a friend of his had been married to Rachel Goswell for a time in the nineties. I doubt I have thought about Slowdive even once in the last fifteen years and then they show up on my computer screen twice in three hours. Hunh.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:00 PM on January 28


Per a comment on my friend's Facebook post by a Creation records employee, there's more to be announced tomorrow. I'm guessing more tour dates, including US.

I saw their first US show in NYC. Skipped the Ride tour to see Velocity Girl in Boston, which actually worked out well.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:01 PM on January 28


I wish I could find a particular version of "Joy" on a CD, but it is either on the LP Hide Yer Eyes or on the CDr Live At Espace Ornano 1992 Live From Paris Les Inrockuptibles or perhaps on I Saw The Sun, which is yet another bootleg.
posted by adipocere at 6:03 PM on January 28


In my crowd (early 90s version), slowdive became our term for the slow comedown from tripping on chemicals. Acid, ecstasy, mushrooms -- nothing sealed the deal like a few tokes of good weed and some appropriately slow and spacious music, with Slowdive always a solid choice.

Never did see them live but I recall that Ride-Slowdive bill coming to Vancouver in 1992 with a third band on the bill -- The Boo Radleys. I don't have many regrets in my life, but missing that show is definitely one of them.
posted by philip-random at 6:07 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Never did see them live but I recall that Ride-Slowdive bill coming to Vancouver in 1992 with a third band on the bill -- The Boo Radleys. I don't have many regrets in my life, but missing that show is definitely one of them.

I wasn't within 1,000 miles of Vancouver in 1992, and now I regret missing that show.
posted by scody at 6:15 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I, too, saw Slowdive play supporting Ride, in 1991 or 1992 at Rock City in Nottingham. I also saw the Boo Radleys play in a couple of small East Midland venues around the same time. This is the music that I spent my formative years (18-22) with and whilst I now don't listen to it all the time, but when I do it does bring back some fantastic memories. Nice post, thanks.
posted by jontyjago at 6:29 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


This is wonderful news! I know some friends of mine who are going to be very happy.
posted by arcticseal at 6:33 PM on January 28


Skipped the Ride tour to see Velocity Girl in Boston, which actually worked out well

No. What you did was bad and wrong and you need to admit that.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:58 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


Oh fuck yes.
posted by R. Schlock at 7:40 PM on January 28


I think there is a pretty natural course that people take when their band breaks up, starting from a strong need to make a new identity and do something different, often with a strong antipathy to the idea of ever reuniting, and gradually softening to an openness to consider it. Sometimes the money helps too.....a few dollars in the bank makes middle age a lot more pleasant. A lot of people like to sneer at that, but I won't: for the most part, older artists have paid plenty of dues living hand-to-mouth.
posted by thelonius at 7:49 PM on January 28


Wish I had the money to go to Primavera Sound Fest. Awesome lineup.
posted by gucci mane at 9:37 PM on January 28


Nu-Gaze.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:52 PM on January 28


It would be great if they released some mojave material like their second and third albums, heck even their first. I just hope if they do release new slowdive stuff, it's much better than what the pixies have released with their two new ep's.
posted by locidot at 12:04 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


They're also playing in London on 19 March; 20 years after their previous gig in Toronto.

Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am. I wonder how quickly this one will sell out.
posted by acb at 3:13 AM on January 29


Also, Rachel Goswell's previous news appearance. Involves cats.
posted by acb at 3:16 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I'm really torn on this. On one hand, i would most definitely go if they came to my city.

On the other hand, i'm still burned by how mediocre or hit or miss the MBV reunion show in the second half of last year was. And it was a lot of money too, like $55. They kept drifting out of time with each other, and the show just kinda lost momentum about halfway through.

For about two songs, it was perfect though. It just had the perfect energy. And that was almost enough for me.

This of course started a dick measuring contest amongst people i know "They were better in 2007" "yea, but that wasn't nearly as good as they were in the mid 90s"
posted by emptythought at 4:48 AM on January 29


Well, it's as close as we're going to get to time-travelling back to the Kilburn National Ballroom in 1991. And unless they cock it up badly, IMHO, it'll be worth seeing.

Now, how about a Field Mice reunion to coincide with the Sarah Records book, the Sarah Records documentary and/or the 20th anniversary of A Day For Destroying? Bonus points for staging it on Thekla in Bristol.
posted by acb at 5:19 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


[robocop] We killed you. We killed you! [/robocop]
Shit, now I'm depressed about the Robocop remake too.
posted by fullerine at 6:13 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I never got into Slowdive, but I have friends who are so excited about this. Now I'm going to have to check them out.
posted by immlass at 8:34 AM on January 29


re: MBV

"They were better in 2007" "yea, but that wasn't nearly as good as they were in the mid 90s"

They will never be better than they were in 1992, because nothing could be, the integrity of the planet's electromagnetic equilibrium being at risk and thus they have since been forced by agents of the Illuminati to alter their EQ settings. It's true. I read about it once.
posted by philip-random at 10:28 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


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