The High were one of the go-to bands during my discovery of Madchester in 1989-1990. Along with Stone Roses and The Charlatans, they really epitomized this distinctive sound and, for me, kicked off the 90s in a very good way.
With some 7 singles released between 1990 and 1993 and two albums, beginning with their landmark debut album, Somewhere Soon, The High scored moderate chart success. But why they didn’t achieve the same level of recognition and credit for their pioneering work as Stone Roses or The Charlatans is a mystery – and why they didn’t noticed in the States goes under the heading of Overlooked and Unjustified non-entities. Truly a shame.
I have been trying to locate some live material on the band for quite some time. So when I ran across this session at Granada Studios in 1990, it immediately brought me back to the first time I heard them, and the reason that whole scene renewed my faith in music.
Sadly, the initial tenure of the band didn’t last that long – 1989-1993, before changing tastes and a falling out of favor over Madchester with fans necessitated The High calling it quits, but not before leaving a legacy that begged for reappraisal. But, as luck would have it, The High reunited in 2015, with original members John Matthews and Andy Couzens, and with new members Tony Meehan (bass), Jack Couzens (drums), and Richard Thomas (keyboards). This new incarnation of the band has prompted much of that reappraisal and rediscovery. With Somewhere Soon being reissued including additional material and a new album slated for release this year, the return of The High has been eagerly anticipated by fans who (like me) remember the band the first time around and missed them when they left the scene.
As a reminder of one of the pioneering bands of the Madchester era, here is that session recorded at Granada Studios on July 18, 1990.
Enjoy. And enjoy often.