Monday, October 31

Happy Lushoween!

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!
MP3 versions of these tracks may be purchased for download at Lush -

* 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

Portsmouth, UK :: October 29, 1991

Twenty very short years ago...

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

Wolverhampton, UK :: October 28, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

Bristol, UK :: October 27, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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:
Bierkeller Addy

Wednesday, October 26

NME "Tubular Belles" :: October 26, 1991

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. . ."
Emma: "Yeah!"
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. . ."
Chris: "Well, you do. . ."

Cambridge, UK :: October 26, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

LUSH performs at the Junction in Cambridge. The opening act is Gallon Drunk.

Tuesday, October 25

Colchester, UK :: October 25, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

It's October 25th and Colchester is the place to see LUSH perform live - at Essex University to be more precise. Gallon Drunk is the opening act.

Monday, October 24

Sheffield, UK :: October 24, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

Manchester, UK :: October 23, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

Glasgow, UK :: October 22, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

Tonight LUSH plays Mayfair in Glasgow. The opening act is Gallon Drunk. And there you have it.

Friday, October 21

Queensbury, UK :: October 21, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

Steve - A Time to Bow Out

The October 19, 1991 NME is out (twenty years ago, that is)...

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.

Paris, France :: October 19, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

Lille, France :: October 18, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

  • Stray
  • Bitter
  • Breeze
  • Laura
  • Etheriel
  • Scarlet
  • Nothing Natural
  • For Love
  • Covert
  • De-Luxe
  • Downer
  • Sweetness And Light
  • Baby Talk
  • Monochrome
  • Leaves Me Cold

Wednesday, October 12

New Cross, London :: October 12, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

  • Stray
  • Bitter
  • Breeze
  • Laura
  • God's Gift
  • Scarlet
  • Ocean
  • Nothing Natural
  • For Love
  • Covert
  • De-Luxe
  • Second Sight
  • Downer
  • Baby Talk
  • Monochrome
  • Sweetness & Light

Tuesday, October 11

Mile End, London :: October 11, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

Lush at QMC, October 11, 1991, photos by Alastair Indge of Select

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

  • Stray
  • Bitter
  • Breeze
  • Laura
  • God's Gift
  • Scarlet
  • Ocean
  • Nothing Natural
  • For Love
  • Covert
  • De-Luxe
  • Downer
  • Sweetness And Light
  • Monochrome
  • 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

North London Polytechnic :: October 10, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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...

Lush - London, October 1991, originally uploaded by Tom Poston.

Miki Berenyi - North London Polytechnic, October 10, 1991

Emma Anderson, originally uploaded by Tom Poston.

Emma Anderson - North London Polytechnic, October 10, 1991

Sunday, October 9

Powys Square, London :: October 9, 1991

Twenty years ago...

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 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

Northhampton :: October 8, 1991

Twenty short years ago...

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

Black Spring :: October 7, 1991

Twenty years ago today...

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
Country: UK
Released: 07 October 1991

1 Nothing Natural 5:58 >Listen @
2 Fallin' In Love written by: Dennis Wilson (2) 2:43 >Listen @
3 God's Gift written by: Berenyi 4:12 >Listen @
4 Monochrome 5:08 >Listen @

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

Dawn of the Black Spring Tour :: Lancashire :: October 7, 1991

Twenty years ago today something Wonderful happens...

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

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).