Hearing Ride’s seminal tune ‘Leave Them All Behind’ as a fresh-faced late teen made a big impression on me. A sound teeming with psychedelia, indie and the style that became known as shoegaze was a heady mix. Back together after 21 long years, with two fantastic albums in the last two years, I was filled me with anticipatory glee for their return.
Coming onstage to the stomp of opening track ‘R.I.D.E.’ from new album This Is Not A Safe Place, the band then launch into two cuts from the album, with ‘Jump Jet’ especially impressive with its crystalline purity. My nostalgia was complete with a note perfect ‘Leave Them All Behind’, the sound perfectly balanced. The set consisted mainly of songs from the last two albums, and no one was complaining, conveying the strength of these tunes.
Musically the band are tight, and those signature vocal harmonies between Andy Bell and Mark Gardner sore just as beautifully live as on record. Bell has always been a guitarist I’ve admired, and to see him live immediately propelled him much higher in my estimation. Alternating abrasive post punk attack, melodic tonally rich lead lines and psychedelic wall of soundery; it was a shame he wasted his talents playing bass on early Noughties Oasis records.
With closer ‘Seagull’ the opening track from their debut album Nowhere extending with epilepsy-inducing strobe lights, the crowd became more and more animated, witnessing a rejuvenated band at the height of their powers.