Tag Archives: Rachel Goswell

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Slowdive Look Toward Their Past and the Future at Union Transfer

November 16th, 2017

Slowdive – Union Transfer – November 15, 2017

(Photos: Silvia Saponaro)


Perhaps there’s no better description of Slowdive than the one on their Twitter page: “Formed in 1989 in the Depths of Reading, UK. We like noisy guitars and cool pedals.” In two sentences, the band captures their long history and general musical aesthetic. The latter, while evident on their earlier records, is revived on their most recent release, Slowdive. The album is their first in 22 years, and it gives new material to their devoted fan base while making a pitch for another generation of listeners in 2017. Both crowds came out on Tuesday night at Union Transfer for a packed, sold-out performance.

Being there, the most immediate sensory impression was total visual immersion in a carefully planned light show. Lamps, strobes or a background video—and in some cases, all three—accompanied each song. Sometimes it was overtly synched with the music, like the loop of a white pill rotating in space for “Sugar for the Pill.” Other times, it was an all-out assault of brightness and backlighting. This, paired with the band’s all black clothing, made the experience of seeing Slowdive a deeper exploration of their sound and mood.

Looking around at the audience, both young and old stared at the stage, smiling, or taking a break from the visuals, closed their eyes and moved their heads with the music. Plainly, they sounded great. The vocal interplay between Rachel Goswel and Neil Halstead came through clearly and beautifully, the two voices sounding as good as their earlier work. It was a night to both bask in the nostalgia of an earlier sound and celebrate the return of the noisy band from the depths of Reading. —Jared Levy | @Playtonic

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Slowdive – Terminal 5 – November 12, 2017

November 13th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Slowdive Are Back with Their First New Album in Twenty-Two Years

November 10th, 2017

Shoegaze pioneers Slowdive—now Rachel Goswell (vocals, guitar and keys), Neil Halstead (vocals, guitar and keys), Nick Chaplin (bass), Christian Savill (guitar) and Simon Scott (drums)—formed in Reading, in South East England, back in ’89. They’d go on to employ what AllMusic calls “atmospheric harmonies, rippling processed guitars and an ambient production sensibility” in releasing three beloved albums, Just for a Day (stream it below), Souvlaki (stream it below) and Pygmalion (stream it below), between 1991 and 1995. But afterward, with Britpop on the rise, Slowdive (above, performing “No Longer Making Time” live in studio for KCRW FM) took a break with members engaging in an assortment of musical endeavors. But a few years ago, a rumbling began: a world tour in 2014 followed by working on new material in 2016. And this May, the band put out a self-titled LP (stream it below) on Dead Oceans. “It’s strange to call Slowdive a comeback album, because it seems so sure of itself. Instead, it feels like a completely logical next step in their discography,” according to Consequence of Sound. “The record fits snugly inside the band’s canon, so much so that it makes the 22 years since Pygmalion all the more difficult to believe.” And per PopMatters, “Beneath all the stylish and escapist waves of sound and texture, there is a profoundly human core waiting to be sought out and unearthed.” Make your weekend last a little longer when Slowdive return to New York City to play Terminal 5 on Sunday night. L.A. noise-pop outfit Cherry Glazerr open the show.




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Slowdive – Brooklyn Steel – May 8, 2017

May 9th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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Shoegaze Pioneers Slowdive Reunited and Sounding Fresh

October 27th, 2014

Slowdive – Terminal 5 – October 25, 2014

Slowdive – Terminal 5 – October 25, 2014
The first of many shoegaze moments occurred near the beginning of Slowdive’s sold-out Terminal 5 show on Saturday night. The group—pioneers of a sound that combines loud, fuzzy guitars and ethereal vocals, now emulated by a plethora of contemporary bands—recently reunited after disbanding in the mid-’90s. While strobe lights flickered around them, Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell began to sing “Catch the Breeze” from 1991’s Just for a Day. As the song progressed, all band members (minus the drummer) were focused intently on their guitars, bass and effects pedals, necks craned downward, rocking gently back and forth amid the dreamy chords—the classic shoegaze stance and sound.

As Slowdive played precise and lovely versions of crowd favorites like “Crazy for You,” “Machine Gun” and “Souvlaki Space Station,” they cycled through an impressive lineup of guitars, even taking a moment to give a nod of appreciation to their guitar tech, a constant onstage presence between songs, swapping and receiving and replacing armfuls of guitars. To their credit, for a band with such intricate guitar arrangements and dynamics, Slowdive’s songs sounded bright and clean, never muddy or muddled, often classic shoegaze stumbling blocks.

“This is a pop song, kind of,” proclaimed Halstead before the band played what may have been the night’s crowd favorite, “Alison.” Indeed, a catchy song on the surface with moderately morose lyrics, it’s a prime example of Slowdive’s signature subtle hypnotic power, a sound that was exhilarating to experience live. By giving us a taste of their classic shoegaze, Slowdive managed to also feel completely modern and fresh—a very successful reunion indeed. —Alena Kastin

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com