Slowdive, The Forum, review: Shoegazers push their live sound even further

Slowdive's songs feel wholly undated -even fresh

Alison King
Monday 22 December 2014 16:18
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Seven months since their London reunion shows and the 90's shoegaze outfit have pushed their live sound even further: tightening up on their fuzzy guitar effects and blissed-out hazes while proving more confident to be back onstage.

While fellow noisemakers Loop and My Bloody Valentine pummel audiences into submission with sheer volume, Slowdive use a more nuanced approach as Neil Halstead leads the band into the trippy oscillations of guitar-delays.

Tonight's set is comprised heavily of picks from their first two albums: 1991’s Just for a Day and 1993’s Souvlaki, with two songs from the third and final album, 1995’s Pygmalion.

Opening single, "Slowdive," moves smoothly into "Avalyn" and the band rarely speak as they maintain the balance of tension between their grinding three-guitar wall of noise.

Singer and guitarist, Rachel Goswell still hits the effervescent highs on “Machine Gun” and "Catch The Breeze" while songs from Pygmalion are sumptuous, radically modernised renditions of the original's skeletal ambience.

Cascading electronics on "Crazy for You" are transformed into distorted guitars and work well against the snappier versions of Souvlaki's "Alison" and "When The Sun Hits".

As Slowdive have carefully fine-tuned their legacy to make their songs feel wholly undated -even fresh- it propels the temptation to believe the rumours of a fourth record.

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