RIDE: DANFORTH MUSIC HALL, 06/02/2015
Time to dispatch another edition of Reunited Weekly, this week’s headline belongs to Ride. The Oxford quartet, who’s initial run lasted between 1988 to 1996, has always been one of those bands targeted for a high profile reunion and lo and behold it’s finally come to pass! As has been the case with many other reunion acts in recent years, the offer from the Coachella Festival (amongst many others) proved to be the catalyst in getting the band back together. The group came to prominence in 1990 along side other bands (such as Lush, Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine) as part of a scene labeled “shoegaze” by the English music press and would go on to release four records before their demise. Ride’s songwriters: guitarists and vocalists Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, have played in various other bands in the time since the breakup, with Bell’s time in Oasis and its off-shoot Beady Eye being the most high profile of the bunch. Drummer Loz Colbert and bass player Steve Queralt have been out of music in recent years.
Though Ride has four albums to their name, the bulk of the most memorable material and certainly the great majority of the reunion setlist has come from the first two records, Nowhere and Going Blank Again. Playing in front of a giant backdrop that spelled out their name, the Oxford foursome made instant friends with their playing of the Going Blank Again standout single “Leave Them All Behind.” “Twisterella”, “Mouse Trap” and “0x4” were all vintage performances from Going Blank Again, while “Vapour Trail”, “Dreams Burn Down” and “Taste” were the choice cuts from Nowhere.
There was also a visit to more obscure songs, such as Carnival of Light’s “Black Nite Crash” and the Smile EP’s “Chelsea Girl” and “Drive Blind.” The one misstep of the evening was an encore that featured a somewhat unnecessary cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog?”
It is debatable what kind of future there is for Ride; is this a one shot deal for nostalgic fans and an economic opportunity for the former buzz band, or is this the start of a meaningful second act? Either way, few could argue that the Ride of 2015 was any less of a live force than they were in 1992!
- Johnny Hooper