Ride, Bring The ‘Nowhere’ 30th Anniversary Show, To The Ritz, Manchester UK. 28/4/22

 

 

WORDS AND IMAGES BY PAUL EVANS

 

‘Ride’s “Nowhere” is perhaps shamefully overlooked. In my mind its beautiful melodies drenched in celestial waves of distortion and feedback’

 

Released a year earlier than My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless” and Primal Scream’s Screamedelica, Ride’sNowhere” is perhaps shamefully overlooked in comparison to these two landmark Creation Records albums. In my mind its beautiful melodies drenched in celestial waves of distortion and feedback is undoubtedly equal to Kevin Shield’s and Bobby Gillespie’s masterpieces. In fact, it’s my favourite of the three, so Ride’s penultimate Nowhere 30th Anniversary show should be special tonight.

Manchester has always had a soft spot for Ride and tonight it’s the busiest I’ve seen the Ritz for a long time.  There’s a real sense of anticipation in the varied, packed crowd. Lots of 50-year-olds are reminiscing about the shimmering halcyon days of the past and lots of 20-year-olds are building memories to reminisce about in 30 years’ time. There’s also several respected band members I recognise. Jack and Sachiko from The Dirt and Dave Caldwell from Hazels Maze are here. Bands who both veer towards layered sonics.  Dave tells me he saw Ride play Glasgow the other night and we’re in for a treat.

Tonight’s support comes from Bdrmm and thanks to someone very close, they’re a band I’ve wanted to hear live for a while now. i missed the pit for photo’s, sorry about that.

Bdrmm are sonically parallel to tonight’s headliners their short set is outstanding. ‘Happy’ and the anthemic ‘A Reason To Celebrate’ notably good and remind me of Ride back in the day. Bdrmm are on my bands to watch in 2022 and maybe with a bit of support and a little luck in 30 years we’ll be enjoying their anniversary album tour.

 

 

The majestic strain of This Mortal Coil’s ‘Fyt’ fades and almost unnoticeably in the ‘Nowhere’ blue lights, Andy, Mark, Loz and Steve appear. “Good evening Manchester”, “We’re going to play Nowhere” announces Mark before the 100 mile an hour drums, nomadic traveling bass, volleys of ferocious saw-like guitar and cries of the most beautiful feedback launch album opener Seagull. 

Standing right by the stage I’m mentally blown backwards. Seagull flourishes and mutates into its wonderfully sweet melody before it repeats its spiralling journey and twists into its wah-wah-bathed, hypnotic drum climax.  Andy’s ringing guitars are astounding, Mark bounces and wanders the stage in the blinding strobes and Loz appears to be drumming with eight arms. Huge cheers and raised hands signify the songs end and my words can never do it justice. How can noise be so beautiful, ferocious and melodic all at the same time? What a first song.

Ride’s trademark for me is without the sonics you’re left with glorious, delicate songs. “In a Different Place” a prime example. Poignant “Blowing bubbles lying down waiting for the rain to fall” dances through the layers of Andy’s guitar, the crowd joining in on “And we’re smiling when we’re sleeping”. It’s a thing of pure beauty and as the sounds fall away I’m lost for a minute, close my eyes and think of a very special, very recently lost friend.

 

 

The bands soaring sonics are as good as ever and Mark and Andy alternate vocally or work in vocal parallel with ease. “Polar Bear” explodes in fuzzed tremolo; “Dreams Burn Down” is brutal and yet delicate; “Decay’s” 60s garage guitar hook burns and “Paralysed’s” melancholic 12-string Rickenbacker chimes perfectly.  The crowd rapturously applaud and cheer each closing before the divine, gripping and immense “Vapour Trail’ has them bouncing and singing “First you look so strong then you fade away” and an extended “La, la, la’s”. Spine-tingling.

The feedback-drenched angst of ‘Nowhere’ closes the main set before “Lannoy Point” and “All I Want” from Weather Diaries and the post-punk tension of “Kill Switch” from This Is Not a Safe Place keep the audience captivated in the encore. “OX4” shimmers and shines and is at its intoxicating best, evoking memories of rose-tinted halcyon Manchester days.

“Thanks to Bdrmm”, “They wouldn’t let us get away without playing this. It’s the first time we’ve played it on this tour” states Mark before the crowd erupts as “Twisterella” begins. It’s a blissful performance, no feedback or sonic shimmering just a bouncing crowd and beer and a hoody being thrown in the air. it’s one of the best singles of the 90s for me. Hell, it’s in my top 20 singles of all time. 

 

 

The familiar pulse of “Leave Them All Behind” ends the night, its vocals dancing through the layers of sound. As the song falls away I’m bathed warmly in nostalgia, but also feel I’m on a new Ride wave and tonight, they were on fire.

SETLIST

1/ Seagull

2/ Kaleidoscope

3/ In a Different Place

4/ Polar Bear

5/ Dreams Burn Down

6/ Decay

7/ Paralysed

8/ Vapour Trail

9/ Taste

10/ Here and Now

11/ Nowhere

Encore:

12/ Lannoy Point

13/ All I Want

14/ Twisterella

15/ OX4

16/ Kill Switch

17/ Unfamiliar

18/ Leave Them All Behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've loved music since forever. Graphic designer, photographer and artist at painted.papillon.smile (www.ppsdesign.co.uk)

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