6/26/14

Slowdive at Roskilde Festival!


Well, this made my day. Slowdive are replacing Chromeo at this year's Roskilde Festival. Too bad Chromeo had to cancel but what a replacement!

We got our Roskilde tickets half a year ago and while the program has been unfolding over the last couple of months a lot of good stuff has definitely emerged but there have also been some notable omissions. I had been hoping that the program would include the recently reunited Slowdive who began playing live shows again earlier this year after a 20 year break, but as the festival approached and the complete program was announced I sort of let it go. Which is why this is extra great news.

Slowdive were among the very best of the so-called shoegaze bands of the late 80's and early 90's. Centered around the songwriting, guitar playing and singing duo of Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell. My personal top 3 of shoegaze albums from that era would be My Bloody Valentine's Loveless (1991), Slowdive's Souvlaki (1993) and Ride's Nowhere (1990).

And yes: as soon as we include dream pop and noise rock and neo-psychedelia the list would obviously have to be longer and include albums by Cocteau Twins, Spacemen 3, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth etc. but the above list is "strictly shoegaze".
 By shoegaze I mean "classic pop songwriting enveloped in hazy guitar studio sonics". Or something like that. Slowdive definitely knew their sonics. They even collaborated with Brian Eno on a couple of Souvlaki songs. Their last album Pygmalion (1995) is Neil Halstead's experimental venture into ambient/abstract territory. Also a great, great album.

It should be noted that the Slowdive peeps haven't been inactive over the last two decades. After the demise of Slowdive they formed the equally brilliant and more country/americana tinged Mojave 3 which is more or less the same bunch of people.

Roskilde Festival has a great track record for shoegaze reunions as My Bloody Valentine played an absolutely mind-blowing show there in 2008. Seems only fitting that Slowdive get their turn now. They're playing late Saturday night. It's going to be a dreamy affair!




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