Monday, December 19
Founding bassist Steve Rippon plays his final show with LUSH. The band performs for the last time in 1991 at London's ULU along with Ride.
So this is the year of 1991. Lush has put on 55 shows on three tours, playing all across London, Europe, and overseas to the U.S. and Japan. They've been back to the recording studio and have given us the Black Spring (Nothing Natural in the US) EP plus an LP of new material (their first full studio album) is well on the way. And with Steve bidding a fond farewell departure, there's changes a-foot with a new bass guitarist soon to be surfacing in the band.
And thus for a moment we can dot the last period at the end of this busy, hectic, crazy year for the band called Lush. The following New Year of 1992 promises to carry-over some of that and quite a bit more...
Saturday, November 19
Friday, November 4
"[Lush have] been the big noise in the press for about a year now, though their particular bubbles beginning to show signs of deflating."There goes another faction of the music press, building-up then writing off the band once again.
"They're widely acclaimed as both precursors to and leading lights of The Scene That Celebrates Itself, though their particular combination of intricate vocal harmonies, angry guitars, mobile bass, and adaptable time signatures transcends such a limiting categorisation."
Following are some very abbreviated excerpts
The band currently (early October) are promoting their new Black Spring EP with a mini-tour of London and working on a forthcoming LP, which they've been recording and mixing this Autumn for release in the New year... all that's left now is for producer Robin Guthrie to come back from holiday to finish the mixing.
"Because were such crap musicians," laughs Emma.
While working with Robin Guthrie on the new LP, Chris wasn't allowed to touch his new Yamaha drum kit. "I hated it, but I'm really pleased with the end results." says Chris. Instead of his own, Chris basically played on a Simmons kit wired up to change the fills, then re-done on Octopads. He says it divides his play into five different processes which for him doesn't seem natural, but the end result sounds like a really good drum kit.
With the new LP, Lush's repetoire is up to 21 songs, 17 of which are played for live shows.
Thursday, November 3
Twenty very short years ago...
On Sunday the 3rd, at 7:30pm Up The Junction TV filmed LUSH performing at the Junction on Clifton Road in Cambridge, England to be broadcast in February the next year. Recording the same night as the band were Banderas, Bassomatic and Yes No People and hosted by Rowland Rivron. Tickets to get in are only £1!
These video captures are taken from the show (look for more come next February). And since one is not enough, here is another, older YouTube video from the same Up The Junction programme.
Monday, October 31
Lush was reborn in October 1988, with Miki taking the vacated lead vocal spot. And according to at least one source, Lush was originally formed on Halloween night of 1988, in London, England (*please see note below!). For today I'm referencing this alternate view to give full play to the whole Lush 'mythology' and for adding a bit fun for the holiday occasion ;)
Later on the band would eventually play a gig on an October 31st date. In 1990 they performed at Birmingham's Institute of Art and Design. Never again would Lush do another Halloween gig after this performance - coincidence? We may never know!
On several occasions the band members dressed up in costume (even at one time raiding a Hollywood costume shop in 1991)... which just so happens to be a very popular custom typically observed only for Halloween!
In 1992 Lush's first full length "proper" album was titled "Spooky".... though the whole wasn't entirely spooky in nature!
While staying in Normandy for the mixing of the album Split in 1994, some band members reported strange goings-on while holed-up at their secluded - and haunted - chateau. Chris felt his bed abruptly moved back one night. Phil too had a strange experience here. "[I dreamt that] I was in a red cathedral, and there was this red room in this huge church..." It wasn't until after relating the dream to their producer that Phil learned that "there used to be a church on the grounds where the chateau was, and one day there was a massacre in a big red room there." The band's mysterious connection to the nether realms deepens!
So what more is there to add but Lush's own music itself, last but not least. Hauntingly beautiful, for the Halloween holiday I offer you:
Lush's Most Haunted Mix!
- I Have the Moon - Amazon Preview
- When I Die - Amazon Preview
- Invisible Man - Amazon Preview
- Ocean - Amazon Preview
- Undertow [Spooky remix] - Amazon Preview (Spooky remix version n/a)
* There is no record of a Halloween gig in '88 on Miki's own exhaustive show listing, though she admits she may have missed one or few. It's near certain that the band had their very first gig in March 1988, having just filled the bass spot with Steve in the nick of time. Chris was on drums, Emma and Miki both backing vocals/guitar and Merial Barham on lead vocals. Personally I think a bit of confusion is responsible for the Halloween '88 date, even an '87 date when the very beginnings of the band were forming in the Fall of that year would make more sense. Also see one of my older post, Lush v.2.0.
Saturday, October 29
The 29th of October. The Pyramids Centre. 100's of screaming kids. LUSH is there to play. With the opening acts of Passing Clouds and Gallon Drunk.
And what was one gig-goer's overall impressions of this show? Have a read:
1988-1993: School Days Revisited Part 2 @ I Found This Voice In My Record Collection
To be fair, the writer is a follower of Gallon Drunk and not so much a part of the shoegaze scene. But I did have a laff at the observation he made concerning the growing LUSH phenomenon:
"Around this time, it's not unusual to see members of Obituary or Napalm Death wearing Lush shirts, and I genuinely think this is less an attempt to show how musically open-minded they are and more a way of publicly declaring their love for Ms Berenyi."That's rock and roll for you.
And so the Black Spring tour begins to wrap up and draw to a close. One more show to put on to be broadcast on the telly. Then the pedals are packed, the drum kit stowed and the guitars put in their cases. The "live" band has matured. The fans and critics are taking notice. The outlook is looking upbeat. Yet things are changing. Founding bassist Steve will be leaving and a replacement must be found, soon. There's a full album to complete and a world tour coming in the new year.
Friday, October 28
Tonight's LUSH show is happening at Fox's in Wolverhampton. And Gallon Drunk is the opening act.
Lush has just a few more live gigs left on the Black Spring tour. Then its a brief break before facing the heavy schedule ahead to promote a new full-length album. Stay tuned!
Thursday, October 27
It's Sunday, the 27th of the month. For the price of a £6.00 ticket you could attend tonight's LUSH gig at Bierkeller in Bristol. Doors open at 8:00pm so no excuse for being late. The opening act is none other than Gallon Drunk.
Light From A Dead Star has shared a small advert for this show - have a look:
Wednesday, October 26
The noteworthy musical mag NME devotes yet another article (Oct. 26, '91) to the very lurvely LUSH for the second time in as many weeks. This time its an in-depth, behind-the-scenes, one-on-four think-piece searching for what makes the band tick, titled "Tubular Belles."
And it goes something like this:
NME: ". . .Why do you like yourselves?"(as in Lush's music)
Chris : ". . .Personally I like it because I'm involved in it but if I wasn't in Lush I wonder if I'd be into it!"
NME: "If you weren't in Lush, would you play your records to do the washing up to?"
Chris: "Uh. . ."
Chris: "Well you get up in the morning and you play records that lift you up and on an evening you play something that is. . . moody. . ."
Emma: "SHAT AP, CHRIS! JUST SHAT AP!"
Chris: "Well, you do. . ."
Tuesday, October 25
Monday, October 24
The Black Spring tour relentlessly hammers on without let up! Throngs of the devoted rush to see Miki, Emma, Chris and Steve performing live at venues all across the United Kingdom. And now it's the town of Sheffield's turn.
Tonight LUSH plays Sheffield University. The opening act is Gallon Drunk.
Incidentally, you may or not be wondering who exactly are the London primal-swamp-rock-retro band Gallon Drunk anyways? To answer that very question, I give you this link to their official website: Gallon Drunk - Biography
Sunday, October 23
Its LUSH at the UMIST in Manchester. And the opening act of Gallon Drunk repeats once again tonight.
Apologies are in order here for things becoming a rather bit monotonous for the moment - there are no gig photos, raving reviews, captivating and insightful articles or little-known backstage stories to discuss. Nor are there any shocking eyewitness accounts and no witty quotes that I'm aware of. No crowd-trampled poster, no crumpled ticket stub, no small vial of Chris's sweat collected at this time to liven our nightly gig anniversary post. Not even a claim from some lucky bloke who has never again washed their forearm after submitting it for autographing by both Miki and Emma some twenty years ago. How sad...
But if somehow I could obtain one or more such details referred to above, now would be the ideal time to share them! (hinthint)
Saturday, October 22
Friday, October 21
They're back in the UK and on tour for their newly released ep Black Spring. LUSH plays Bradford University of Queensbury, with Gallon Drunk as the opening act.
For the remainder of the month its Lush live every night!
Wednesday, October 19
And at the top of the NME cover is this chilling teaser: "LUSH SPLIT"...
Inside the yellow pages the real reality is revealed to Lush followers - LUSH bassist Steve Rippon will be leaving the band.
So the band isn't breaking up. Relief! But Steve's departure is a sad announcement during these upbeat days. Fear not followers - plans are that a replacement will be found soon while Steve continues playing on the current British tour until Christmas before departing.
Steve is one of the founding members of the band, dating back to 1987-88 (there's some conflict as to the actual date). His decision came about due to personal reasons.
The new year will be a monumental one for all band members. Besides recording their first "proper" full-length album in 1992, there is a heavier tour schedule, which will again take Lush overseas to the US, Japan and first-time stops to Australia. These were the tipping factors in Steve's decision that now was an appropriate time to bow-out.
Steve is a decent bloke, a quiet individual who, when he first signed-up, had little reason for expectations that his life could be reshaped so drastically. It is also felt the tour would put a great strain on his relationship to his girlfriend. He made the right choice at the right time for all involved.
Steve's split comes amicably among all members as being the best choice.
Be prepared Lush fans... Lush 2.0 will be repackaged as a new version sometime around the '92 New Year.
One of my favorite quotes from Steve is of his recounting of how he came to be part of the band:
"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."
I've always appreciated the band mates' unpolished commentary about themselves. How I miss that today.
LUSH makes it two-for-two, playing Les Inrockuptibles this time in Paris, supporting the release of their Black Spring ep. The bands Blur and Pulp return as the openers for the show.
According to Bill's site, a direct live recording (as in 'not taped from within the audience') of this performance was made.
Tuesday, October 18
After a brief break, LUSH launch across the English Channel to play Les Inrockuptibles at Lilles for a double-nighter in France in support of their Black Spring tour. The bands Blur and Pulp are the two opening acts.
Thanks to Bill's site, we know that video exists of this performance, as well as the night's setlist:
LUSH : 10.18.91
- Nothing Natural
- For Love
- Sweetness And Light
- Baby Talk
- Leaves Me Cold
Wednesday, October 12
LUSH takes to the stage at the New Cross Venue in London, the last stop of the four-nighter London gig during their Black Spring tour. The accompanying acts are Shelleyann Orphan an Heide Berry.
And now, for a limited time only (I always wanted to say that), I'm offering my personal commemorative tour poster for the Lush Over London blitz as a free download to you, the reader. I hope you'll enjoy it as you listen to your favorite band! Incidentally the background of photo used is by Joe Dilworth of Time Out magazine, and shows Lush outside Emma's old home, Trellick Tower.
Now, back to show in New Cross...
Thanks to some reader-submitted material at Light From A Dead Star we know that a bootleg tape recording of the show was issued. We have the set list (below) and we also know that various indie heads of state (Boris Williams - drummer for The Cure, Debbie Smith - guitarist for Curve) were in the audience.
LUSH - 12.10.91
- God's Gift
- Nothing Natural
- For Love
- Second Sight
- Baby Talk
- Sweetness & Light
Tuesday, October 11
LUSH plays Mile End, London at Queens Mary College, the third and eastern leg in their North-South-East-West four-nighter tour of London, part of the Black Spring tour. They are joined by bands Spirea X and Rockinbirds.
A review in Select magazine declares that "Right from the first song the harmonies were dead centre and the guitars were in your bedroom making tracks for your pillow. Hey! They can play!" in reference to how far they had improved and tightened up as a live band.
On the new "exciting" songs (just released on the Black Spring ep and their up-coming first full-length album) the reviewer adds "...the excellence of those songs proves that The Year of Living Drunkenly was not entirely wasted." No explanation needed for that reference ;)
According to Neil of Neil's Lush Video Page, a video recording was made of the show. He has listed the night's set list as follows:
LUSH - 11.10.1991
- God's Gift
- Nothing Natural
- For Love
- Sweetness And Light
- Leaves Me Cold
PS. I always especially love pics of Miki with her Gibson ES-335 Sunburst, like the shot above. Besides the obvious influence it imparted to Lush's sound - the instrument has a sweet, acoustic tone, and is one of the most versatile guitars you can find - it's perhaps the prettiest axe of the 12-string arsenal.
Monday, October 10
Lush Rocks London!! Its the second of four nights for the Black Spring tour to hit London, North London Polytechnic to be more precise. Once again they are joined by fellow bands (is "fellow" the correct term?), this time its Soul Family and Sensation.
And, as promised, here's more live performance photography by the gifted Mr. Tom Poston...
Miki Berenyi - North London Polytechnic, October 10, 1991
Emma Anderson - North London Polytechnic, October 10, 1991
Sunday, October 9
Lush takes on Powys Square Tabernacle in London along with Gallon Drunk and Stereo Lab. Originally the band were to play Kensington Imperial College before changing venues due to the fact that Imperial insisted that the show be open to students only... boooo!
Fortunately for us photographer Tom Poston is there to capture the moment! Tom has long shared many shots from his career through his own personal site on Flickr.com. But I've been holding back on this wonderful treasure trove of images especially for marking the Black Spring tour's anniversary, appropriately enough. I'm kind of sneaky that way :P
So what are you going to do? You'll be checking back here again tomorrow because there just might be the slightest possibility of some more of Tom's stunningly vivid Lush photos celebrated here, that's what.
Doesn't Miki and Emma look amazing, drenched in the colorful light beams swirling all around? ...just like their music that night must have been.
Emma Anderson, originally uploaded by Tom Poston.
Emma Anderson - Powis Square Tabernacle, October 9, 1991, by photographer Tom Poston
Lush - London, October 1991, originally uploaded by Tom Poston.
Miki Berenyi - The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London, October 9, 1991, by photographer Tom Poston
Saturday, October 8
Tonight Lush play their second "warm up" performance of their Black Spring tour at Irish Centre in Northhampton, once again with the accompanying act Gallon Drunk.
Friday, October 7
If you've read the previous post (as I know you should have) you already know that todays the anniversary of the release of the Black Spring EP in the UK. By this time Lush was established as a "shoegaze" icon but more importantly they were established in the hearts and minds of their growing fan base.
Where were you when Black Spring came out? I was a music geek, constantly on the look out for new music, new bands and developing my tastes beyond punk, finding treasure troves in the offerings from the indie labels, especially 4AD. The Throwing Muses, the Shop Assistants and the Primitives were among my personal faves at the time I first heard the music of Lush. And I was eagerly looking for, no, scratch that... more like extemely intent without resting until finally laying my hands on a copy of the new Black Spring at my local import records shop as soon as the EP became available in my neck of the US.
LUSH : Black Spring
Label: 4AD – BAD 1016 CD
Format: CD, Single
Released: 07 October 1991
1 Nothing Natural 5:58 >Listen @ Amazon.com
2 Fallin' In Love written by: Dennis Wilson (2) 2:43 >Listen @ Amazon.com
3 God's Gift written by: Berenyi 4:12 >Listen @ Amazon.com
4 Monochrome 5:08 >Listen @ Amazon.com
Bass: Steve Rippon
Drums: Chris Acland
Guitar, Vocals: Emma Anderson, Miki Berenyi
Written By: Anderson (tracks: 1, 3, 4)
Producer, Engineer: Robin Guthrie
Engineer [Assistant]: Mitsuo Tate
Photography: Jim Friedman
Design: Vaughan Oliver
Recorded at September Sound, London, August 1991.
Purchase Black Spring (CD or Digital) at Amazon.com
Lush launch their Black Spring Tour! Why do they launch a tour, you may ask? Because, also twenty years ago on today's date, Lush release a new EP produced by Robin Guthrie, titled "Black Spring" with the tracks Nothing Natural and God's Gift and a cover of the Beach Boy's Dennis Wilson's "Fallin' in Love", and Monochrome. Until now none of the band's new original songs have been played live.
To get things rolling Lush warm up with their first show of the tour at Lancashire's Colne Municiple Hall, joined by bands Gallon Drunk (remember the line Miki used on the signed copy of a Black Spring ep, from my last post?) and Nature Things.
View the Black Spring tour dates poster from Light From A Dead Star.org
In addition to the warm up gigs: Colne (October 7), and Northhampton's Irish Centre (8) there will be four upcoming London shows: Powys Square (9), Holloway Rd. (10), Mike End (11), New Cross (12).
Next up, two French shows: Lille, France (18), Paris, France (19)
Following this there will be gigs in: Bradford University (October 21), Glasgow Mayfair (22), Manchester UMIST (23), Sheffield University (24), Colchester Essex University (25), Cambridge Junction (26), Bristol Bierkeller (27), Woverhampton Fox's (28) and Portsmouth Polytechnic (29).
Tuesday, September 27
Once again, thank you Phil, thank you Emma, and thank you Miki. You are always going to rock-on in the hearts of your followers!
Just a note - I have no connection to this auction at all and make no claims that you or any one else should rush to ebay.com and buy it... just sharing it here for the obvious reasons.
LUSH NOTHING NATURAL FULLY HAND SIGNED UK 7" INDIE 4AD
Vinyl 7-inch single, Fully hand signed by the entire band back in 1991 in Cardiff.
Buy It Now for GBP 55.00/US $85.51
It's Tea Time back in November of 1990, a very limited French publication featuring our fave band Lush in super-saturated tones on the cover!
This particular issue was being offered up for auction on ebay.com recently.
The first example is a solo shot of a black-rooted, flamy red-haired Miki onstage! This nice catch was taken at Toad's Place, New Haven, Connecticut in August of 1996. Photographer John Anthony Wilcox, a Lush fan, witnessed the band live a number of times... lucky guy!
Miki Berenyi Of Lush - Wilcox660 on deviantART
Next in line is a fifteen photo set taken by Steve Latham during a June 6th 1996 performance. The shots feature the entire band, jamming it out at Waterplace Park, Providence, Rhode Island!
And after enjoying the rich imagery of Phil, Emma, Miki and Chris, do what I did and let Mr. Latham know what you think...
Steve Latham Photography:
Lush - Waterplace Park - 6-6-96
Sunday, September 18
September 18, 1996, Lush performs at the Shinjuku Liquid Room, Tokyo, Japan. This was to be the final live performance... yet for fifteen years onward now the band still lives on in the hearts and minds of a strong following!
Up on YouTube, you can view the videotaped performance of Single Girl (Live) from this very gig (which so happened to be shared here in a earlier post).
Be sure to pour over ALL the Tokyo show's vivid imagery by photographer Takamori Fukuda/Brownhat over on Bill's paramount Lush site lightfromadeadstar.org.
And as if that's not enough (because it isn't really, now, is it?!) there's this gem just in from lushlive.com
Now available - The LAST Lush show, performed 15 years ago today in Tokyo is available for free download! Don't forget to also get the artwork at the site www.lushlive.com
Wednesday, September 7
Thursday, September 1
In the September issue of the Tottenham Spurs fan magazine "The Spur" (Number 24) there's a special item attached - the Lilies flexi.
The Lilies are a one-time supergroup whose members include Miki and Chris, who just so happened to be rabid fans of the Spurs football team.
I've posted about the flexi before - if you'd like, you can view my original post right over here. But why redirect you when I can repost it the story in it's entirety below?
An indie rock band formed in 1991 as a one-time collaboration between members of the bands Cocteau Twins, Lush and Moose.
And here's what the the Lillies were about - a recording with the very memorable little title:
"And David Seaman Won't Be Very Happy About That"
Although originally from the Lake District, Chris was a keen Tottenham Hotspurs football fan. Miki was a huge fan as well, and the Lillies' 3-1 trouncing of local rivals Arsenal in the 1991 FA Cup semi-finals was an occasioned to be celebrated. So how do musicians best express their praise of such a victory? They co-create a specially recorded track aptly and humorously entitled 'And David Seaman Will Be Very Disappointed About That', and have it pressed-up on a flexidisc to be glued to issue 24 of 'The Spur', a football fanzine. The sound bites used throughout the song deal with a goal Gary Lineker scored for the Spurs against Arsenal.
Joining forces with Kevin McKillop and Russell Yates of Moose and the Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins they became the Lillies - effectively a super-indie rock band. And Simon wrote the song. The lyrics? "Three-one, three-one, three-one!" Miki's sole lyrics, vocalized all the way through.
The track was recorded at the suggestion of The Spur’s editor Stuart Mutler. After rejecting suggestions that they should record a cover version of an old football song, such as "Nice One Cyril", they decided to come up with an original song.
Yates said of the track: “…we’ve all been Spurs fans for years, and for myself making this flexi has probably made me more proud than making any Moose record”