Alex Harford Photography & Travel


Slowdive at The Village Underground, London

Rachel Goswell

Early in the 2000s I remember making a wishlist of 90s bands I'd love to see live - all bands that had split. It was only a list of 7 but when Ultrasound reformed a couple of years ago, what seemed like an impossibility when I made the list seemed quite probable as only 2 bands were yet to return - Slowdive and Symposium.

Slowdive were by far the most mythical of the 7; their music seemingly existing in an otherworldly dreamland, a near-perfect album in Souvlaki, plus the fact they only existed when I was a child (before I even knew music existed outside of popular TV and daytime radio). Information wasn't ubiquitous back in 2000 and all I had to go on alongside my CDs was probably an Allmusic biography and a page on the Creation Records website.

Neil Halstead

When I heard Slowdive were to reform I can't remember being as excited about anything musical ever. The morning tickets for this Village Underground gig went on sale I sat with three different ticketing websites open along with a phone on hold to another one of them. Seetickets was sold out as soon as I pressed refresh, another vendor had gone too, and Dash Tickets came up with an error as I submitted my order. Back to the phone and - "Who?" - the sales guy said when I asked for Slowdive. Naturally I was disgusted with him, and then it seemed to take forever for him to check..."sold out" he said. But there was still time - I pressed refresh on Dash Tickets and my order went through!

Nick Chaplin and Simon ScottNick Chaplin on bass and Simon Scott on drums

And finally a mini gig review - it passed by in a flash; it was almost like a dream as an errant crowd surfer woke me from my ear-busting refreshing slumber towards the end of encore Alison, and I wondered where the time had gone. There were a couple of disappointments - I couldn't hear Neil Halstead's or Rachel Goswell's vocals at times (maybe due to my position under the P.A.) so Machine Gun and When the Sun Hits didn't sound quite as brilliant as they should have done. But the fact the gig passed by so quickly speaks for itself and I don't think I've ever felt so fortunate to see a band live. Surprise highlights included a Souvlaki-esque version of Crazy For You (I think - something from Pygmalion anyway) and Golden Hair.

I haven't planned a 2014 holiday yet so I'm eyeing up the list of festivals Slowdive are playing across Europe...

Rachel Goswell and Christian SavillNeil HalsteadNick ChaplinRachel Goswell and Christian Savill

The venue is cool too - the old underground carriages on the roof now serve as studios.

The Village Underground venue, Shoreditch, London


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