Monday, September 07, 2009
Just The Weight Of The Water
Blasting out Slowdive's 'Machine Gun' really fucking loud while on gruelling, unremitting hold to the National Insurance Contributions Helpline For The Self-Employed, I looked up the numerous and touchingly pollyannaish interpretations of the song's impenetrable, delay and flanger-soaked lyrics. I once interviewed Neil Halstead; he couldn't remember them. (I have now had the pleasure of playing shows with him; naturally, he still can't remember). I briefly met Rachel Goswell while interviewing Mr. Halstead; she couldn't remember. And if 'Machine Gun' is a challenge, try 'Souvlaki Space Station'. Slowdive are clearly very strong candidates for Band Holding The Most Unequal UK Music Press Villification To Enduring Fan-Adoration Ratio, awarding them a perversely righteous honour. They deserve more. Director Greg Araki is a massive fan; he has used their music on his films throughout two decades, from his underground days pioneering the New Queer Cinema to his mature work such as the astonishing 'Mysterious Skin'. The excellent Morr Music released 'Blue Skied an' Clear', an interpretative tribute album of Slowdive 'covers'. Writer and promoter Nat Cramp champions them; his Sonic Cathedral is subtitled 'The Night That Celebrates Itself', knowingly co-opting a tired old press criticism of the shoegazing 'scene'. And obviously, for what it's worth, I love them too. Slowdive were treated so unfairly and viciously by the UK music press that it hurts. But the young generation of fans have grown up and are settling old scores on the band's behalf. And we will win you know.