It only took them 21 years, but the wait for Ride to return to the Glasgow Barrowland was worth it. Seen as one of the UK’s most influential bands from the Shoegaze scene, Ride were always more than just a shoegaze band, which stood them apart from their peers. Their sound encompassed different styles from psychedelia to garage rock and even pop.
Almost as soon as they split in 1996 fans have campaigned for a reunion and, inspired by the unlikely Stone Roses reunion, it finally happened in 2015. After a show in their home town of Oxford, then a short tour of the USA, the European leg of their tour kicked off in Glasgow at the iconic Barrowland.
Just like the Ride shows of the past it began in dramatic fashion, with the band not taking to the stage until long after the lights went down, the crowd getting more and more frenzied the whole time.
Mouse Trap from second album Going Blank Again was a surprise opener, followed immediately by Chelsea Girl from their debut EP. In fact the whole set, with the exception of one song, was taken from their early EPs and first two albums. Black Nite Crash from their final album Tarantula did feature, but there was nothing at all from Carnival of Light, perhaps not surprising when the band themselves dubbed it ‘Carnival of Shite’!
For a band who hadn’t toured for 21 years it was remarkable that they could play an almost two hour set with the same energy as they did in their heyday. Loz Colbert was an unstoppable force on drums, Steve Queralt on bass was the usual quiet man, but a driving force, and dual front men Andy Bell and Mark Gardener took turns at both creating a magical atmosphere and knocking the life out of their guitars. No more did the guitars get a beating than during Seagull, the opening track from their debut album Nowhere. This was also the point where the famously chaotic Barrowland crowd lived up to its reputation. I’ve posted a clip of this song as an illustration of how difficult it can be to hold a camera bang in the middle of ‘The Barras’.
The only gripe for me was the lack of Nowhere, the bands most ‘shoegaze-y’ song, but they more than made up for it with a glorious Chrome Waves and an epic version of Drive Blind, which ended the main set.
The encore included early track Like a Daydream and ended with biggest hit Leave Them All Behind, another epic, which pretty much sums up the whole show.
I don’t know what the future holds for Ride, but hopefully it won’t be another 21 years before we see them again.
Cool Your Boots
Black Nite Crash
Dreams Burn Down
Time of Her Time
Like a Daydream
Leave Them All Behind
Full video of Dreams Burn Down, from debut album Nowhere:
Partial video of Seagull, a good insight into what it’s like in the middle of a Barrowland crowd!
I was lucky enough to catch Ride in San Diego earlier this year. We stayed at the hotel they played at, I was able to watch them work out Nowhere during the soundcheck, then they opened with a 16 minute version of it. Truly epic!