Wednesday 23rd May, 2018
I had already been to 2 gigs and had 2 job interviews this week and it was only Wednesday. The day I left my current employment. How to celebrate? With a trip to Reading to see Ride play a festival warm up gig of course. I would have preferred to have been in London to see Gaz Coombes again, but Tom loves Ride and I love Tom.
We met up with some of his Ride buddies in the pub and it is probably best that Brian’s pink hair dye story stays there! Suffice to say they were a nice bunch of guys who nerded out over vinyl and between them had seen Ride a scary amount of times.
The venue was very odd, clearly more used as a nightclub and for tribute bands or naff pop reunions. We were issued with a permanent marker cross on the hand and a stamp both of which proved very hard to remove. The floor was sticky. Really sticky. The low barrier was useful for leaning on though and the atmosphere was ok. I guess I’ve been in worse places.
There was no support, this was simply a warm up for Ride before heading to a couple of festivals. One of which, Common People, I shall be at on Sunday. I have to confess that since seeing Ride last November with Tom I haven’t really listened to their stuff so most of the songs remained mysteries to me! I recognised some of the tracks from the previous gig, including Pulsar which is probably my favourite of theirs. The sound mix was again difficult. I know this is shoegazer music and the vocals are supposed to be mumbly but I do want to be able to hear the singer sing and speak. Mark’s vocal mix was again so low as to make him unintelligible, which isn’t the case for Andy who I could understand so I’ve no idea what was going on with that. It was pretty easy to see and hear Loz’s great drumming as he was up on a raised plinth at the back and was spotlit to deservedly show him off. On bass, Steve, was also actually lit (quite unusual for a bassist, if anyone is to hide in a band it is usually them) and provided solid support.
I really enjoyed seeing Tom and Brian cutting loose on the front row. There was embarrassing dancing and everything. I fully understand that level of passion, commitment and love of music. This just wasn’t the right band for me to be lost in.
I enjoyed this gig, I just didn’t love it. Gigs are about so much more than the music, they are about what you bring in with you and I was already very tired and overwhelmed from it being such a big week.
There seems to be something about Ride’s music that allows a certain kind of man to connect to his feelings and express them. That is what music is about, after all, and I of all people know how important that can be. This just wasn’t for me. It’s still good music, produced by talented people who want to connect with their audience. And they do. I’m just not one of their number. Apolgies to Tom and the Ride Ubers but it would be dull if we all liked all the same things! I’m going back to my eostetic music on the fringes.