It’s just been announced that seminal shoegazers Lush are to reform for two gigs at London’s Roundhouse on May 6-7 next year.
Before all that there will be reissued albums, b-side box sets and myriad features in every music publication under the sun about how it just “felt right to do it now”.
For one, we can’t be more excited.
Whether it’s the veritable shoegaze greatness of tracks like the drippy ‘Desire Lines‘ or the racy ‘Superblast!‘, or the Britpop crossover of later singles like ‘Ladykillers‘, Miki Berenyi’s gang have always been ones to add a fresh twist on pop music in an inventive way.
Throw in Elastica’s Justin Welch on drums (Lush’s original drummer Chris Acland tragically died in 1996, leading to their initial split), and you have the recipe for quite a scintillating return.
It got us thinking: with a reformation culture in full swing, which bands from the shoegazing era would we like to see back in some of our favourite venues?
Of course, My Bloody Valentine are going strong, Ride are back touring again, Slowdive got things together a couple of years ago and Swervedriver are happily back to releasing new albums. So who’s left?
Here are five shoegaze bands we’re crossing our fingers for a reunion.
Pale Saints formed in 1987 in Leeds, and their early releases saw the band take shape as a pretty straightforward jangle-pop group influenced by Primal Scream’s early incarnation. Noisier influences would creep in around the time of 1990’s The Comfort of Madness, and a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Kinky Love’ would go on to give the band a minor hit single as part of Flesh Balloon EP, reaching a modest no. 72 in the singles chart.
Three out of the four founding members continue to make music to this day, and Ashley Horner is a Newcastle based film producer. After the band’s initial disbandment in 1996, we’d say it’s high time for a 20th anniversary reunion.
Moose formed in London in 1990 and took their unusual monosyllabic moniker from the nickname of guitarist K.J. “Moose” McKillop. Only ever releasing a handful of EPs and full length albums, Moose became the very definition of a cult band, with records continually selling few copies despite a strong critical response.
They took an extended break from music following the release of their third album Live a Little Love a Lot, and returned five years later with the release of High Ball Me!, an album that had largely been recorded a few years before, while the members were unsure where to take the band next.
So, they’ve reformed once before, who’s saying they can’t do it again?
Catherine Wheel hail from the hotbed of shoegaze lineage that is… erm, Great Yarmouth?
The best thing to come out of Great Yarmouth since Jason Statham (look it up), Catherine Wheel are probably the most well-remembered band on our list. While they only occupied the shoegazing spectrum of music for a short time towards the beginning of their career – they later ventured into harder rock styles and even metal, perhaps something to do with frontman Rob Dickinson being the cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson – it’s for this period that they are most fondly remembered.
With their latter material handing them arguably more success in the US than their native UK, a reformation could well prove lucrative on both sides of the pond.
They’re technically still not even broken up, instead preferring to label the 15-year absence from the music game an “ongoing indefinite hiatus”. We’d wager it’d only take a few phone calls.
Kitchens of Distinction
Their home decor flavoured moniker hints at a band whose shoegaze credentials are slightly more subdued than others on our list, and you’d be right.
Kitchens of Distinction presented a jangle-pop influenced sound more in keeping with some of REM or The Cure’s late-80s output, but nonetheless had some great sweeping pop songs buried under reverb and guitar noise at their peak, and would fit in brilliantly among the current crop of reforming bands.
Formed in Tooting, South London in 1986, the band released four studio albums and a handful of singles and EPs over their ten-year career before disbanding in 1996. The trio did actually reunite for a comeback album in 2013, although the world hasn’t heard much from them since.
The only American band on our list, Drop Nineteens hailed from Boston, a veritable smorgasbord of indie-rock talent.
That smorgasbord gave us such bands as the Pixies, and just like them, Drop Nineteens seemed to accrue more success in the UK than in their native US, first gaining recognition as an unsigned band, off the back of their first two 8-track demos.
During the band’s short, four-year career, they embarked on extensive tours across England, Europe, and North America, were frequent guests on John Peels radio show, and played a number of high profile music festivals including Reading. Artistic differences saw the line-up of members change radically in just that short four-year period, and eventually led to the band’s 1995 demise.
So it’s unlikely we could ever see the Boston band getting back together, but our fingers are still crossed.