Tape Archive #14: Interview with Neil on Radio 1 on 3 September 1991

This backstage interview was conducted shortly before Slowdive’s set at the Marquee Club on the same date. Lasting just four minutes, it focuses on Neil’s influences, namely The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Cure. Neil also reveals his dislike of “Greatest Hits” albums.

Interview with Neil Halstead on Radio 1 on 3 September 1991

Tape Archive #13: Live at Café Q in Gävle on 9 February 1992

Not many bands play in Gävle, Sweden. Slowdive have yet to return since their one and only visit on 9 February 1992, but at least we have a recording of their performance that day. This recording is special because it captures a very vocal female fan expressing her adoration before many songs (her favourites appear to be Spanish Air and Catch The Breeze). Most Slowdive recordings capture the screams of male fans (many trying to get the attention of Rachel), but this recording shows there were also some hardcore female fans in the early days of the band, even if they might have been hidden away in places such as Gävle.

The recording quality is rather poor, and there are various parts marred by tape speed fluctuations, but they performed a great setlist (including the unreleased gem Silver Screen), and ended the show in a very cool noisy jam.

Slowdive Live at Café Q in Gävle, Sweden on 9 February 1992

Tape Archive #12: Private Interview at Café Q in Gävle, Sweden on 9 February 1992

The below 21 minute recording is one of the more interesting private interviews with Slowdive, conducted about an hour before their gig at the venue. It captures a buoyant, optimistic band full of opinions (and not afraid to share them) coming off the successful release of their first LP. They begin the interview with a short, goofy cover of My Bloody Valentine’s When You Sleep, and proceed to cover topics including details on their formation, their outlook on the UK music scene (including gems like “hey look at my haircut, look at my trousers”), and their opinion on their labelmates. They also reveal they were not too keen on their music videos and discuss their optimism about signing with SBK (their opinion on this record label would soon sour).

Slowdive – Private Interview at Café Q in Gävle on 9 February 1992

“Facto” Demo Clip

The Pygmalion demos were recorded in March 1994, just before the band’s final, pre-reunion, tour dates in Europe and the USA, which took place in April and May of that year. Twelve of these demos were released on a bonus disc for the 2010 reissue of Pygmalion on Cherry Red Records. Unfortunately the song Facto was not included. Below you can listen to a clip of this song from 1:29-2:49 (the total song length is 3:59). I have long wondered if this song was an early version of Rutti, at least lyrically, as they share the same themes of “water” and “light”. For example, Neil sings “it’s the water line” during the chorus in this song (and “in the water line” in the initial verse), which is similar to his Rutti lyric “in the water”. Additionally, Neil sings “in the Northern light” in the initial verse of this song: compare with “there’s still a light outside” in Rutti.

Hopefully this song will be included in a future reissue of Pygmalion, or some other official release.

“Your Sun” demo clip

Slowdive’s last demos were recorded in late 1994. Many of these songs were slightly altered and re-recorded to become part of the first Mojave 3 album, Ask Me Tomorrow, which was released in 1995. A few of them, however, were discarded. Your Sun is one such song. This song has a similar feel to Like Up and I Believe from the I Am The Elephant U Are The Mouse film soundtrack (also recorded in 1994) and would have made a great B-side for a single from Ask Me Tomorrow.

I do not know the full length of Your Sun because my copy of the song is incomplete, cutting off at the 3:13 mark just as in the clip below.

yoursun democlip

Live Song Archive #5: “Some Velvet Morning”

It is unfortunate that, as far as I know, there is no live recording of Some Velvet Morning in front of an audience. Whether they ever played it in front of an audience is unknown to me. However, they did play it at least once during their soundchecks in September 1993. The below recording (at The Venue in London on 3 September 1993) is the only full, extant live recording of this song that I am aware of. All of the other songs played in this soundcheck were also played during the subsequent show, except this one. Perhaps it was cancelled at the last minute? In any case, the song sounds wonderful live, so this is a very valuable recording.

Slowdive – Some Velvet Morning – The Venue, London (Soundcheck) – 3 September 1993

Tape Archive #11: Eternal live at Cartoon’s in Reading in 1990

This recording is something special indeed, as it captures the first and only gig played by Christian Savill’s pre-Slowdive band Eternal (described in detail here).  You can also occasionally hear Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell chatting near the cassette recorder in the audience. I still haven’t been able to find anyone who knows the month or day of this gig. Even the original taper couldn’t remember (I got the tape from him). Of particular historical interest is the last track, which has never been released. Here is the setlist:

Sleep (out of tune, aborted midway)
Take Me Down
Unknown Track

There are some occasional sound defects due to the cassette tape’s age.

Eternal live at Cartoon's in Reading in 1990

Tape Archive #10: Live at Röhre in Stuttgart on 24 October 1993

The recording below is another superb DAT audience recording from their October 1993 tour, similar to Tape Archives #9 and #2. Once again we find added delay effects on Simon’s drums (as mentioned in Tape Archive #9) on Melon Yellow (beginning at 25:35), making it one of the most compelling live performances of this song. However, this time these effects were not added to the drums on Souvlaki Space Station. This recording was made with a Sony ECM959A microphone into a Sony TCD-D3 DAT Walkman (@32khz/12bit).

This is a digital transfer from a DAT clone of the DAT master.

Slowdive live at Röhre in Stuttgart on 24 October 1993