Sunday, April 13th, 2003
In A Different Place
I hope it’s not a sign of old age that I’m attending shows by artists who are touring to support a best-of compilation. Case in point – Ride. It’s been seven years since they released a note of new music (last year’s one-off 30-minute reunion jam notwithstanding) and since then they’ve been the subjects of a box set and magazine covers as the early 90s shoegaze scene undergoes a critical reapprisal 10 years after the fact. Mark, who has been pretty much off the scene for the last few years, undertook this solo acoustic tour to promote the North American release of OX4 – The Best Of Ride and to road-test some of the material from his new solo album, out late this year or early next. Toronto has always been kind to bands with British passports, and a crowd of a few hundred punters showed up to cheer him on and relive their halcyon days from a decade ago. The man himself is pretty much unrecgnizable from his last appearance in the Big Smoke – gone is the long shaggy hair in favor of a close cropped do, and most were uncertain it was him who walked out onstage until he said hello.
The voice, however, is the same. Strong and soft, faintly lisping and note-on. Obviously the best response came for the classic material like “Vapour Trail” and “Twisterella”, and while the audience listened politely to his new material (pleasant but unremarkable), they were there to hear the hits (relatively speaking). Drawing mainly from the Smile EPs, Nowhere and Going Blank Again, Carnival Of Light got only a single sample and Tarantula was, thankfully, completely ignored. Not surprising since it was mostly Andy Bell’s album, but also because it was utter shit.
All in all, the next best thing to seeing Ride live, something I never got to do. And while it may have just been a single man up there with a 12-string acoustic, in my head I heard the walls of guitars and it was glorious. A few pics here.
Afterwards, I met up with Kate and went to the Honeybunch show at Jonny Dovercourt’s living room. Honeybunch is the current project of Jeffery Underhill, who played guitar on the first few Velvet Crush records, as well as sang on the first 6ths record and played guitar on the last Pernice Brothers album. In this instance, they were a VERY quiet duo, classical guitar and keyboards, nothing miced. They played some very pretty pop tunes, but I was pretty beat by that point and it damn near put me to sleep.
They had switched slots with Brad and Clay (it’s a little weird for me to refer to Lake Holiday in the third person!) so it was up to the boyz to wake me up, and they did rock the house in a very quiet/loud kinda way. You can only generate so much volume using a cardboard guitar case for a kick drum, but it was alright. They ran through a half-dozen of our songs, and I have to say, I was impressed how good they sounded. I guess in rehearsals I’m concentrating too much on what I’m playing to really listen, but being in the audience on this instance was pretty eye-opening. The enthusiastic response from everyone else, and I’ll assume it was sincere since we didn’t know everyone there, was heartening. No question, we have to line up some gigs. The fact that the performance was in the living room of the guy who runs Wavelength won’t hurt.
Another beautiful day out today. Going to go to the Portastatic instore at Soundscapes at 5. Maybe I should sit down and do some practicing… I’m feeling sort of inspired, for some reason.
np – Spoon / Kill The Moonlight