Those of us dedicated to this “beautiful noise” period of music had just experienced The Jesus and Mary Chain playing here, and now we had a whole year to look forward to this.
Sometime after tickets for the initial Terminal 5 show was put on sale for the 14th, a second show was added for the day before in Brooklyn at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, giving fans a choice of venues that suited them best. Although many no doubt went to both performances, attending their first NYC show in 20 years on September 13 created an additional level of historical importance.
Social Media anticipation continued to build, as planned gatherings with like-minded friends were hatched for some pre-show revelry.
Once the band hit the stage everyone in the audience were immediately transformed back to the golden era of heavy, hyper dreamy music. The "beautiful noise" once more.
Opening with one of their most popular and recognizable songs in “De-Luxe,” the intro chords initially build at a slower tempo than the studio version, before bass and drums enter the mix bringing everything up to speed and the audience now fully engaged.
Although we've gotten to know Phil King over the years as a touring member of The Jesus and Mary Chain, (and who is also featured in a very popular in-depth interview and career profile here on this site) he correctly stepped out of that support role to resume his rightful place as a full partner in Lush.
The live show was all one could have hoped for. One brilliant explosion of light and sound after another.
The central focus is as it always has been - the persona of Miki Eleonora Berenyi.
She effortlessly commanded the stage with charm (bantering with the audience on a few occasions) while going about the task of executing a set drawing heavily from their first two 4AD albums and early EP’s with a smattering from their later, crossover-to-Britpop hits.
Emma Anderson continues to provides essential harmony vocals and precise guitar melodies behind Miki’s shimmering 12 string chords.
Veteran drummer Justin Welch (a founding member of Elastica) masterfully delivered on all percussion duties.
A reverential moment occurred when the band played “Lost Boy” – a track from their recently released new EP “Blind Spot” live for the first time. Dedicating it to founding member/original drummer Chris Acland, whose 1996 suicide led to the eventual dissolution of the band at that time, Miki’s lyrics express the heartbreak of that loss.
Free roaming the venue, previous viewing locations (with fellow concert mates in full view) made for interesting images.
Perhaps its due to all the new bands that emulate and try to sound like them, but the music of Lush seems to have a timeless quality to it.
Listen to how their live sound fills up this high ceiling venue, allowing for both the songs intricacies and ambient overtones.
The full Setlist played
With significant debuts and milestones achieved.
One of these can certainly be helpful in gaining access to opportunities.
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With this North American leg of their tour now completed, the band have three major dates remaining in November playing the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavic, the Rolling Stone Weekender Festival in Germany before ending the month at the Academy in Manchester, UK.
Find out anything else about Lush here
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Long-time friends of this site Mark Crozer and the Rels have released a brand new 10 track album titled “Sunny Side Down.” Recorded at Mitch Easter's studio in North Carolina (where Mitch engineered and co-produced with the band) the legendary Lets Active frontman who also produced R.E.M.’s early breakthrough albums has captured Mark and The Rels at their best.
There is an honest “live” quality to the recordings that allows the songs shine through. What you don’t get is artificial studio trickery or ridiculous autotune. The current pop airways are currently full of that (unfortunately) and it’s truly a breath of fresh air to hear something as true and organic as this. That said the sound quality is perfect and the songwriting superb. This is the true definition of “indie” (independently released) music.
An eerie mood is set within the pop confines of opening track “Haunted Head.” Though the 1-2, 1-2 chord progression moves things along with a mid-tempo pace, a disquieting sentiment shimmers within the sound. Describing those sleepless moments that “keeps me awake with thoughts and emotions” the memorable hook high-point “oh I think it’s alive” turns apprehension into beauty.
Although “Toxic Town” establishes a quicker stride, the overall wistful atmosphere evokes first-wave British invasion classics like Chad and Jeremy’s "A Summer Song" and “I Go to Pieces” by Peter and Gordon. The universal tale is told of desiring to leave a soul-stifling town that can only offer “sad memories and shells of burnt out factories.” The chorus provides emotional uplift via beautiful chord structure and lyrical hope indicating the “light beyond” and now being “a perfect day to make a getaway.”
The introspective disposition on “Corners Of Your Mind” pair gently strummed guitar against dramatic deep hall drum accents. “Glide like a bluebird climbing high, searching for sunshine” provide lyrical gravitas to a poetic daydream. With the full band joining in, familiar Crozer themes of “redemption” are revisited and how “life can take you way beyond” the limitations you put on yourself.
There are many more equally wonderful tracks on this record, all well worth checking out. Find out how to digitally acquire this as well as everything else from Mark and the Rels current catalog here.
An ultra-limited edition vinyl version of “Sunny Side Down” is in the works and will be released by Planting Seeds Records (PSR093). Keep an eye on their official site (and their Facebook, Twitter pages, etc) for more detailed information.
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Previous features on this site about Mark Crozer and the Rels:
Bubblegum Track and Live Show Review
Late September Features: Mark Crozer and The Rels, etc.
Mark Crozer and the Rels - Album Review
International Jetsetters - Heart Is Black – Album Review
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Previous features on this site about Planting Seeds Records:
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