This evening, I went along to the Mark Gardiner show at the Empress. I never was a Ride fan back in the day (I picked up Going Blank Again and another one some years ago, but they didn't really grab me; then again, Slowdive were the only shoegazer band that I really got into, unless you count Lush and the Cocteau Twins and such as "shoegazer", but I digress), though what I saw was quite passable, as far as guys playing acoustic 12-string guitars and singing went; he has decent chord progressions and a fairly good voice. The venue was packed with coolsie types and aging indiekids from way back; I saw one chap in an old Chapterhouse T-shirt, which was rather cool.
To Mark Gardiner's credit, he recognised that his fans came to hear Ride songs and played a good number of them, often rousing wild applause with the opening chords. Now, had Neil Halstead done something like that when he toured here in 2002, rather than disowning the corpus of works most people there were undoubtedly hoping against hope to hear, that would have been excellent. An acoustic version of Alison or Catch The Breeze wouldn't have gone at all amiss. But I digress.
Anyway, he strummed a 12-string guitar, and a second guitarist played notes on another acoustic guitar; in that way, it was not unlike an I Want A Hovercraft gig, only with fewer pedals. The main concession to shoegazer was a delay pedal which came in in some songs.
Still, it would have been good just to hear the songs in whatever form he could play them on acoustic; tell me you wouldn't have found the opening notes of, say, Souvlaki Space Station, stirring, even on an acoustic guitar.
hmmmm... dunno. i'd only want to hear them if they were feasible on acoustic, that big wall of sound, the enveloping blankets of guitar that was slowdive... how that would work on acoustic i can't say... mojave3 do dagger occasionally, but that's about it. neil's moved on, although from what i read there are some slowdive reissues on the way...
I'm not sure I'd call it "moving on", which implies an element of progress. Slowdive made music which was lush and intricate and one could lose oneself in; then Neil threw all that away and went on to make music that could have come from any busker at a railway station.
Find me a busker who sounds like Neil Halstead and plays compositions of the same calibre and I'll take you out to dinner at the Sofitel and throw in a movie afterwards...
Oh Andrew, really... that is a bit harsh. Mojave3 have made some truly wonderful music. I love their albums every bit as much as "Souvlaki" and "Pygmalion".
May I commend to you... "Spoon and Rafter", one of my favourite albums of last year.
Ride's first proper album, Nowhere, is proper shoegazey pie - try 'Vapour Trail'. Mark Gardner's voice got a lot of criticism at the time, with cruel words like 'bucket' and 'dishcloth' being used.
After that they disowned their lovely guitar textures in favour of 'proper songs' and I lost interest. Then Andy Bell joined Oasis. Traitors!