Wednesday, October 1

Anniversary - Version Two

Depending on which version of the story you ascribe to (1987 vs. 1988)... it was 20 years ago this month.

Step back to October 1988. A date of some note as the leaves fall through the swirls of cooling breezes.

Only a few short months have passed. It was about a year ago in amongst the taverns, gig joints and college halls where an idea took root, sprouted and blossomed so that a new band was born. A friend of one member came up with a name for the new band, therefore adopted was the title: "Lush."

Bet you could never have guessed what I was talking about all along, could you?

The new band made up of college chums Emma, Miki and Chris with another recruit, Meriel, as the vocalist practice away in Miki's bedroom. They practice for months. 1987 becomes 1988. Practice continues. Only, there was something missing.

Steve, the founding bassist:
"I was sitting in the college canteen one day, and they sidled up to me, really embarrassed. They said can you play bass? I said, no. They said, great, can you learn in six weeks?

"I went down to an audition at this place behind the Holloway Road,' he continues. 'They were possibly the worst group I'd ever seen in my life. It was an absolute cacophony. The songs were really simple and had titles like 'Female Hybrid', 'See-Saw' and 'He's A Bastard'. I thought, yeah, I can play bass to this."

The urgency to recruit Steve was due to an impending gig at the Camden Falcon on 6th March 1988!

Now, let me stop and clarify where I'm heading with this. There are quotable dates a'plenty to back up a 1987 formation for the band. The 1988 birthdate has been come into play due in part to confusion, and part ignorance by journalists. So now lets pick up from that first gig - after they began playing dates and recorded the now-famous 4-track demo. It's at this time a turning point occurred. That's when Meriel Barnham left the band. It's October. And now Lush needed to audition for new lead vocalist.

Lets roll some of that footage from the John Wiederhorn interview, please:
"...We've had bad experiences with them in the past," says Berenyi.

The experiences she's referring to occurred in October of 1988. Less than a year into the band's career. After the departure of former vocalist Meriel Barham (now with Pale Saints). "It was so awful. We auditioned like 30 people and it was a complete nightmare. Either they couldn't sing at all, or else they were really strange... That's when everybody decided I would have to sing."

So Miki moved up to fill the vacancy in addition to her guitarist role. And Lush v.2, the band as the public knows it was birthed. Anyway, that's my take on it. But it doesn't really matter anyway, does it? Unless you're someone like me who's trying to get all his facts straight before posting what was to be a short blurb to the web.

So give or take a year regardless, the band had quite a bit of work that lay ahead yet before they'd begin to temper into the musicians their growing followers knew and loved. Lush were still young, not too terribly experienced for the most part and at times intimidated. Chris on his drums was the old-timer here, and his abilities had much to do with boosting their sound up to the next level, perhaps their confidence too. They persevered through the adversity, stayed focused and the idea grew into something alive and real.

Saturday, September 13

Phil on Tour with the J&MC

Phil's current band, live at Oyafestivalen, Oslo, 10th August 2007.
This is doubley nostaligic for me since I listened to a very young Mary Chain all so many years ago... and it's good to see Phil playing again!

The Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey live Oslo 2007

The Jesus & Mary Chain - All Things Must Pass live Oslo 2007

The Jesus & Mary Chain - You Trip Me Up live Oslo 2007

Sunday, July 27

Phil Interviewed on Von Pip Musical Express

Von Pip has an insightful/rivetting/ fascinationg new interview with Phil just recently posted on the Musical Express site:
Ace of Bass - Phil King Interview

Friday, July 18

Sing-Sing - The Marquee 4th Nov 05 - Feels Like Summer

Video is something less than ummmm, ideal. If you're squint enough you can pretend that you see Emma's silhouette in this live performance by Sing-Sing. The audio isn't at all half bad though ;)

"De•Luxe" Featured on Rock Band 2

What's more surprising? The people behind the newest Rock Band video game have picked our very own Lush to be among one of the iconic artists on their next release...

No, that would have been an all too obvious shortcoming if Lush hadn't been included! What's more unexpected to me is that the nod was given to the dreamy-yet-driven 'De•Luxe' (my fave) over the popular appeal of 'Ladykillers' as a playable track in the new video games Rock Band 2 and Rock Band Unplugged.

If you check out some gamer reaction, the inclusion of Lush has been notably well received: "Rock Band" To Breed A Whole New Batch Of Riot Grrrls (Maybe)
And mind you, this is the original track, not some cheap attempt to cash-in with a cover version. What's really intriguing is the opportunity of exposer to a fresh audience. The majority of gamers who'll be playing Rock Band would have been too young to even remember Lush. Just think of the possibilities.

Its taken a decade for some recognition that has been long over-due. But good things will happen, all in due time... ;)

July 2009 update----------

'Sweetness and Light' is now available as a playable track for Rock Band 2, downloadable from the developer.

"Sweetness and Light" -
  • 21/07/2009
  • 45.45 MB

Tuesday, June 10

Do You Know What Day It Is? Emma's B-Day!

On this day in 1967

Emma Anderson was Born —

Happy Birthday Emma!

Friday, April 25

The Lush Taxi

In 1994, to promote the release of of Lush's newest album Split, the record company obtained a car and transformed it into the "Lush taxi" after a visit to the paint shop. The idea was the band perhaps fictionally drove around for various public appearances in it. Plus the taxi made a spiffy photo prop as well :)

Emma: "Oh yeah, yeah, we've got a Lush taxi now!"
Tell us about the taxi.
Miki: "Well we're not paying for it, for a start. That's the major decision... A Big red thing with lemons on it, and casters on it.
In the style of the album cover?
Miki: "Yes, it's great. We went out in it yesterday, got picked up for free when we fancy it."
And you can have it for a year?
Emma: "Six months..."
Miki: "I think we only get it for beer, then whoever comes out next on 4AD will have the pleasure of owning it after that."

Another interviewer asks about the car...

Emma: "It's a Lush taxi. You know the cars around London, all over? Well we've got a Lush one...You'll see it around maybe. It's going to pick up, you know...Joe Public as well."
Miki: So if you see the Lush taxi, you know, get in, and pay your money, and the bloke who drives it is called Mike. So say Hello Mike!"
He doesn't talk about the weather and bringing back corporal punishment, does he?
Miki: "No, I think he likes Frank Black and Snuff. That's about all you'll listen to from him."

Tuesday, April 1

Another Lush Page on Facebook

Lush and Miki Berenyi
"When it rains, it pours..." and we have another new Lush-related page to fan on the social network site Facebook. This page was created by the good people at

Tuesday, March 18

It's Miki's Birthday!

It's that time again...
Happy Birthday to Miki
You're gonna have a Good Time
Happy Birthday to You!

Thursday, March 6

The First Gig - Camden Falcon - March 6, 1988

Steve Rippon is hastely added to the Lush line-up just in time for the band's first gig at the Camden Falcon on 6th March 1988, supporting the Rosehips. The night passed as smoothly as could be expected.

With that first show under their belt, the band branches out to play other venues on the London toilet circuit.

Wednesday, March 5

Be a Miki Fan on Facebook!

Miki Berenyi Fans
a new fan page created by Andy Von Pip of the Von Pip Musical Express
Now live on Facebook you can show your support of the best band in the universe, become a fan of Miki's on the growing social network site.

This new page is a wonderful example that 10 years later, the Lush fans are still around, they are still excited and eager to follow the band they love, and that they are here to stay!

Sunday, March 2

Lush's First Nine : As a Five Piece

Sometimes it's easy to overlook the career Lush had as a Five Piece, after all, it was short-lived. But they did put on quite a few shows, learning how to play and laying down the framework to build upon.

So, without further to-do, here's the complete list of Lush's first nine gigs, all as a 5-piece band (or rather learning to be a band) with Meriel at lead vocals, Emma and Miki on guitars (w/ Miki doing backing vocals), Steve on bass and Chris at drums.

  1. Mar 06, 88 Camden, Falcon - first ever gig
  2. Mar 19, 88 Camden, Falcon
  3. Jun 04, 88 Fullham, Greyhound
  4. Jun 12, 88 Brixton, Canterbury Ams (Arms?)
  5. Jun 19, 88 Ealing, Collage of Higher Education
  6. Jun 22, 88 Finsbury Park, The George Robey
  7. Jun 25, 88 Hammersmith, The Clarendon
  8. ??? ??, 88 unknown gig
  9. Jul 22, 88 Camden, Falcon

Following this gig the band didn't perform again until October 9. It's most likely that at this time Meriel left for Pale Saints and Miki moved over to fill the position, and performing from now on as a four piece. Think of it as a system upgrade from from Lush 1.0 to Lush 2.0. The old Lush was done, a new one begun.

We do have their first demo recordings from that period, but how I wish one photo existed from those first nine!

Fan Club Obscura

Been up to no good again, digging through the ancient historys and recordings of the legend of Lush. I've really been hoping to turn up with enough for a decent post, I guess. So what is my topic this time? It would be concerning the fan club. Yes, there was a Lush fan club back in the day, unbeknownst to me in my isolated little world on the other side of the world (why are such things kept so hush-hush?). I would have dearly loved to have gotten wind of it back then, let me tell you... I did count myself lucky just to live in a town which had several thriving indie label/import shops.

Anyhoos, Bill's Light from a Dead Star site – the Holy Grail of all Lush websites – has as much dirt on this secret society as one can hope to dig... here's a link: We Love Lush was a fan mailing from November 1993, created by the band while they were holed up in Norway while working on the mixing of the yet to be released Split album. Everybody's seen the cartoon of the band from the cover, but the contents are equally intriguing: a lengthy hand written note and lyrics of ALL the current songs. I Especially like Phil's carefully detailed Lush Family Tree – truley fabtabulous stuff!

This mailing also contained the now famous flexi-disk with the tracks "Rupert the Bear" and the "Lit Up" demo, plus a holiday postcard (All links take you directly to Bill's site).

Now, a real prize find of some Lush obscura would be an old copy of "Alphabet Soup," pre-Lush Emma's music fanzine :D

Saturday, February 23

Time to Move On

Feb 23, 1998 - Ten years ago came the official and inevitable announcement. Indeed Lush already had outlived most all of their contemporaries. For a decade their music never faultered as it remained on the leading edge, perhaps too much so for the tastes of some. For the band it was always about living Life, for all it's pitfalls and spectacular glories. Life fed the soul of the music which they made. It had been almost a year and a half since the tragic, shocking loss of drummer Chris Acland, which had brought all Lush endeavors to a sudden and complete halt.

Miki: "For me personally, it was Chris's death, and Chris's death only that finished Lush. I enjoyed being in the band immensely, I'm glad I did it. But that really was a full stop, his personality was such a major part of the band."

Lush was done. Now it was confirmed that it was time for those who remained to move on and make a new life.


23 February, 1998
Ten years ago today, after a year of mourning the loss of drummer Chris Acland, the remaining members of Lush officially declare their breakup and that the band will play no more.

Tuesday, February 19

Miki Berenyi Post Lush on Spencer And The Cannibals

Oh Miki! It is SO good to see you again after all this time... I miss your face!!! :D

This is a documentary on another band which is only worth viewing since it happens to featuring Miki and Mr. John Peel. Awesome! Thanks Andy!!

Lush "Ciao!" Live in S.F.

Live at The Fillmore, San Francisco, California, September 7, 1996

I have the unofficial VHS video of this live performance, produced under the title "Complete Lush." Yes, I admit it, I actually own a bootleg of live Lush *gasp* I would glady, EAGERLY prefer to shell-out for any official video. Perhaps I'd even consider offering up an expendable arm and a leg *hint to the companies* But after all these years I'm beginning to lose hope that this will ever happen.

Anyway.... Here's the set list:
  1. Heavenly Nobodies
  2. Childcatcher
  3. Lit Up
  4. 500
  5. Single Girl
  6. Downer
  7. Kiss Chase
  8. Deluxe
  9. Light From A Dead Star
  10. Last Night
  11. Hypocrite
  12. Runaway
  13. For Love
  14. Ladykillers
  15. Ciao! (with Jarvis)
  16. Sweetness And Light

In the video there are some lively exchanges Miki has with the crowds, and a lovely bit in honor of Chris's birthday (the day before Your's Truely). Chris is surprised, all smiles and maybe a bit embarrassed by taking the spotlight.

Bittersweet really, in a month it would all be over...