Entries tagged with: Slowdive
Neil & Rachel @ Cecil Sharp House last week (via Sonic Cathedral)
"We're still all friends who talk, and there have been some offers we've discussed," Halstead confirms. "Everyone is up for doing it. It's just a case of whether we would. The question is what is the point? Why would we do it? Because it's kind of an exercise of nostalgia?Neil Halstead performed two career-spanning sets last week (October 23 & 24) at London's Cecil Sharp House. He brought out his former Slowdive / Mojave 3 partner, Rachel Goswell, for a number of songs, and it was the first time they'd performed together since 2006. That set was mostly Mojave 3 songs but they did do acoustic versions of Slowdive's "Alison" and "40 Days." There's videos of those, plus a few of the Mojave 3 numbers, below.
"But it would be nice to play together again. That part of it is really cool: getting up with those guys again. We were at school together, so it's not just about music for us, it's also about friendship as well. I guess it's always in the cards. No one has said they wouldn't do it." - [Exclaim!]
As the above interview states, Halstead says none of his old Slowdive bandmates are against getting back together if they can think of a good reason to do it. There are a couple more practical hurdles. "I can't even remember the guitar tunings on most of those songs. I never play them," he told Exclaim. "But it would undoubtedly be a real buzz to do them again. I just don't know. It's a weird thing doing reunions."
Meanwhile, Halstead's new "loud" group, Black Hearted Brother, released their debut album, Stars Are Our Home, back in October and you can stream a few tracks from that below. They band just released a video for "My Baby Just Sailed Away" which is recommended viewing for anyone looking to hold onto the Halloween vibes a little longer. Watch it, along with the live video of Neil & Rachel performing last week, below...
by Bill Pearis
Rachel & Neil w/ Slowdive
After focusing on his acoustic guitar (and touring with Jack Johnson) for a while, Neil Halstead has been getting back into his shoegaze side this year. Black Hearted Brother, his new band with Seefeel's Mark Van Hoen, will release their debut album, Stars Are Our Home, on October 22 and it's easily the noisiest thing he's done since Slowdive broke up in 1995. We already posted "(I Don't Mean To) Wonder" and the band have since released a second track from the album, "This is How it Feels." You can stream that below.
Meanwhile, and this is pretty exciting, Hallstead will be performing two shows at London's Cecil Sharp House on October 23 & 24 that will feature a full band and material from throughout his career. One of the special guests at the shows is Rachel Goswell who was his bandmate, singing for Slowdive and Mojave 3. The two haven't performed together in nearly a decade. For those who can't make it to those shows, they are being recorded for a live album, so look out for that. And maybe they'll say, "That was fun, we should do more."
New BHB song stream below...
by Bill Pearis
Every time I write about something related to '90s-era shoegaze (be it Medicine, Kitchens of Distinction most recently) someone usually comments "where's the Slowdive reunion?" While I have no information on that, for those who hope that guitarist Neil Halstead would stop making hushed folk (lovely as it is) and palling around with Jack Johnson, and instead plug back in and make some noise -- you're in luck (though he's probably still hanging with Jack).
Black Hearted Brother is a new project comprised of Halstead, onetime Seefeel member Mark Van Hoen (who also records as Locust, not to be confused with The Locust), and Nick Holton of Coley Park. The trio will release their debut album, Stars Are Our Home, on October 22 via Slumberland Records. It is, to quote Halstead, "a lot of very long and indulgent space rawk." He further adds:
The idea was to just make a record that was in some ways 'unedited,' to not worry about a particular sound or style, but to just go with the flow. We all make quite focused records individually so, as Mark says, it's our 'guilty pleasures' album.Nothing guilty about the first released track from the album, "(I Don't Mean To) Wonder," whose roaring guitar sound can be traced back to Slowdive's 1994 album, Souvlaki.
Album cover art and song stream below...
BEAUTIFUL NOISE is an in-depth exploration of a music movement in the late 20th century, a fascinating period when some innovative musicians mixed guitar noise into conventional pop song structures while maintaining a philosophy of letting the music speak for itself.Legendary shoegaze/dream pop bands My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and The Jesus and Mary Chain are subject of new documentary, Beautiful Noise, who have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money for the film to be distributed in film festivals and released on DVD/Blu-Ray (via Pitchfork). In addition to those three bands, the film will feature interviews with/appearances by members of other shoegaze pioneers like Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Curve, Swervedriver, Medicine, Pale Saints, and more, plus appearances by Wayne Coyne, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, and Robert Smith, and performance videos (and some interviews) with current bands like Sigur Ros, M83, A Place to Bury Strangers, Grouper, Serena Maneesh, and others. The Kickstarter campaign has reached just over $17,000 of its $75,000 goal as of this post, and is open until December 15. More info and rewards details at the documentary's Kickstarter project page.
Although many of the people interviewed are notoriously press shy they have opened up about their music and experiences from over 20 years ago; how they defied the rules and became sonic innovators that have inspired so many.
Currently the documentary is in the final stages for worldwide release, and we need your help to raise the $75,000 to pay for limited run licensing and finishing costs to distribute in Film Festivals and on DVD/Blu-Ray.
This documentary will finally be released only if the fans of this music believe in this project and contribute.
This comes shortly after the news that My Bloody Valentine plans to release an album by the end of the year.
Campaign video below...
Slowdive back in the '90s
Shoegaze nerds, time to get stoked.
"There's a chance that we'll get back together... It's definitely possible at some point." Halstead added that the band [Slowdive] never swore off a reformation. "No one has ever really said, 'I never want to do it.' We've never really talked about it much."Who will step up to the plate? And why haven't Ride or Pale Saints jumped into the ring?
Though Slowdive haven't performed or recorded together in its complete lineup since penning their final album, 1995's Pygmalion, Halstead maintains that they've all kept in touch and remain on good terms. "We haven't been in the same room together for a really long time," he said, "We're all in contact through email. We sort of have these email conversations and we're all friendly, but we haven't actually been together as the whole Slowdive unit in years, unfortunately."
What will it take for the UK shoegaze pioneers, then, to finally reunite? "Just shitloads of money, you know" Halstead said, laughing. "It's crazy how in vogue it is for bands to get back together these days. It's almost like you're not allowed not to get back together. So, I'm sure that we will get back together -- because we won't be allowed not to." -[MTV Hive]
In the meantime, you can pester Neil Halstead in person at a set of US tour dates scheduled in Sept/Oct. Look for Halstead to hit NYC twice in that timeframe: Oct 4 at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard in Manhattan) and Oct 5 at Union Hall (tickets). The shows are in support of Halstead's latest solo venture, Palindrome Hunches, due on 9/11.
All tour dates and song stream from Neil's new album are below.
For staunch fans of his music in the early 1990s, Halstead's transformation might seem like treason. Slowdive, after all, were a fiercely alternative group of teenagers from Reading, and the only people in their school, to Halstead's knowledge, to know who the Smiths were. Thrown out of home at 16 by his father, he lived in a small flat behind a snooker hall and worked in a burger bar, finding escape in bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. After signing with Alan McGee, Slowdive's three EPs and three albums became underground classics, although the band were mocked mercilessly for being middle-class mopers, staring at their distortion pedals rather than engaging with the audience. Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers famously said he hated Slowdive "more than Hitler", but only in recent years has shoegazing undergone a revival, and has Halstead's reputation been salvaged.Neil Halstead is going on a tour in March. That includes a March 27th show at Union Hall in Brooklyn (tickets) and one the next day at Joe's Pub (tickets). All dates below...
Halstead blames timing. "The criticism of bands like us was class-led, weirdly, perhaps because of what else was happening in music at the time. Grunge came about a few years after we started, which was blue-collar, and then the Mancunian thing with the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays was obviously working class." He shakes his head, tiny dots of Guinness sparkling in his moustache. "We went to a comprehensive! Middle-class bands in America were never knocked - it didn't happen to the Lemonheads or Dinosaur Jnr, bands I also loved. [The Guardian]
by BrooklynVegan Mike
"There isn't any artistic integrity in just getting the band back together
and playing the old songs."
Neil Halstead, as a co-founder of Slowdive, was one of the architects of shoegazer, a genre that has seen a revival as of late with the reformation of My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver. In 1995, most of Slowdive morphed into Mojave 3 and has since been making beautiful countrified dream-pop. Halstead also mellows things out more on his solo records. His sophomore release Oh! Mighty Engine dropped last week on Jack Johnson's label Brushfire Records. He is also currently on tour with Jack. (yeah, we know).
This Sunday he opens the third day of the All Points West festival in Jersey City - the same day Jack closes. You can also catch Neil one day earlier at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. We caught up with Neil after he opened the second day of the Osheaga Festival in Montreal on Monday. We discussed tour mate Jack Johnson, a Slowdive reunion, and the re-emergence of shoegazer.
You've played a lot of festivals in your twenty year career. How does it feel to open a festival?
Neil: It's a dubious honor, isn't it? [laughs]. I would trade in the honor for a few more people. But the people were really nice. Very sweet. We enjoyed it.
You've been opening for Jack Johnson on his tour. How has that been?...