Electrelane tonight. A Female Indie Band from Brighton, who got started in 1998 and went on extended haitus in 2007. Released four studio albums, one compilation, some eight singles and eps and cited a number of eclectic influences into what was a very interesting and engaging band. Very low-key – Feminist without being overt or preachy (the only thing that came close to a political/Feminist statement was a song, The Partisan, which the band played during their US tour around the time of the 2004 Presidential elections).
Their preferred gigs were intimate affairs, with small audiences and usually no more than one encore. Among the bands they cited as major influences were the German prog-band Neu!,along with Stereolab, Sonic Youth and The Velvet Underground.
This session, the only one they did for John Peel, came around the time of their second album, The Power Out, which was their first collaboration with Steve Albini. The result was an album with more vocals and structure and it was critically praised for the complexity of those vocals and overall accessibility of production. Some considered it their closest thing to a pop-album, but it was still very much in the vein of experimentation and a wide range of influences which were such a part of Electrelane’s musical makeup.
The band continued gathering positive reactions, and at the time, just prior to their calling a hiatus, they were opening for Arcade Fire and had performed at most of the summer Festivals in Europe in 2007. Certainly breaking with their earlier tradition of playing to small crowds.
But as the year was drawing to a close, the band issued a statement saying, in effect, that they had decided to take an extended hiatus and would get together again “at some point”.
In 2011 Electrelane resumed activity, doing a tour of several European Summer festivals in 2011. And then commencing a tour of Australia and Japan in 2012. Shortly after that, they issued a statement saying that was it; there were no plans for further recordings or tours.
Maybe it’s for good and maybe it’s for just a while – as with just about everything, you can really never say never and it would be great to see them get back together. I think they had something to say, and I think there are more audiences who could benefit from hearing them.
In the meantime – or until minds change, here is their only session for John Peel, as it was broadcast on January 29, 2004.