Slowdive Live at the Commodore Ballroom

Wednesday 25th, October 2017 / 09:23
by Jeevin Johal

Photo by Sammich Leung

Commodore Ballroom
October 23, 2017

The reunion album and subsequent tour can be a dangerous game. Sure it’s a fun way to get the old crew back together, rehash old ideas and maybe introduce some new ones, but it doesn’t always work out for the best. For UK shoegazers Slowdive who recently reunited a few years back, playing the old hits was getting tiring. So after a 22-year hiatus between albums, they finally released their stellar 2017 self-titled album, Slowdive, challenging the stigma that the reunion album often sucks.

Slowdive’s new tunes embrace the same ethereal qualities and atmospheric soundscapes that helped them standout among the plethora of UK bands being signed in the nineties. Tracks like “Slomo,” and Sugar for a Pill” melded eloquently among older songs in the setlist, almost to the point that if you didn’t know them too well, you might not be able to differentiate in what era each song was conceived. Of course classics like “Souvlaki Space Station” and “When the Sun Hits” received the wildest response, but the new songs were equally lauded.

Photo by Sammich Leung

With deep bass grooves and steady drum beats at the nucleus of their melodies, Slowdive construct an ever-expanding orb of sound, sprinkling astral guitar rhythms and fragile vocal harmonies in the mix, to form pulsating songs that send you on an interstellar trip around the moon. “Catch the Breeze” rattled the bones, and “Machine Gun” made your chest pound as frantic strobe lights heightened the experience even further.

With singers Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead dabbling in other side projects, it’s tough to say whether Slowdive will ever get back in the studio again, or even experience the same level of alchemy heard on their latest release. For whatever reasons Slowdive chose to return to the game, the wait was well worth it. Their discography, legacy and live show remain praised.