In lieu of no Glastonbury this year (remember – it happens every other year), a few reminders of what is one of the best festivals in the world for many decades running.
Tonight, it’s Lightning Seeds, recorded during their appearance at the 1998 festival.
The Lightning Seeds are an English alternative rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1989 by Ian Broudie (vocals, guitar, producer), formerly of the band Big in Japan.
Originally a studio-based solo project for Broudie, the Lightning Seeds expanded into a touring band following Jollification (1994). The group experienced commercial success throughout the 1990s and are well known for their single “Three Lions”, a collaboration with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner which reached No. 1 in the UK in 1996 and 1998.
In 1989, Ian Broudie began recording alone under the name “Lightning Seeds”. The name derives from a misheard lyric from Prince’s 1985 hit single “Raspberry Beret” (The rain sounds so cool/When it hits the barn roof/And the horses wonder who you are/Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees). Broudie had previously been a member of the band Care in the mid-1980s, but by 1989 was much better known as a producer for Liverpool-based chart acts, Echo & the Bunnymen, and many other independent labels at the time.
Working as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, Broudie, (in his guise as “The Lightning Seeds”), achieved success with the psychedelic hit “Pure” from the album Cloudcuckooland, which reached the UK Top 20. “Pure” had some success in the United States Billboard Top 40 reaching No. 31. Both “Pure” and “All I Want” also reached the Modern Rock Tracks top 10.
Broudie resumed his production career after the success of the first Lightning Seeds album, but returned to song-writing in 1991 and moved labels from Rough Trade to Virgin. He then resumed his Lightning Seeds recording career, drafting Simon Rogers as his studio partner in terms of production, arrangements, and instrumentation. Rogers, who had also helped with programming on the first Lightning Seeds album, would continue as Broudie’s in-studio partner throughout the rest of the Lightning Seeds’ career.
The album Sense (1992) featured the song “The Life of Riley”, written by Broudie for his son, which reached No. 28 in the UK Singles Chart. An instrumental version of the song later became better known as the BBC TV theme for the “Goal of the Month” competition. The album Sense would mark Broudie’s first Lightning Seeds song-writing collaborations with former Specials singer Terry Hall. The album’s title track “Sense”, co-written with Hall.
In 1997 Lightning Seeds headlined the Hillsborough Justice Concert, which was held at the Liverpool Anfield stadium to raise fund for the families in their struggle for justice.
During this period the band achieved three more UK Top 20 hits, including a cover version of The Turtles “You Showed Me”, which became one of their biggest hits.
1997 gave the Lightning Seeds international exposure with the song “You Showed Me” included on the Austin Powers Soundtrack. The release of Like You Do… and a UK promotional tour followed. In 1998, Broudie reworked and recorded an updated version of their hit football anthem for the FIFA World Cup in France. “Three Lions ’98”, reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart and became the first song to top the charts on two separate occasions with different sets of lyrics. In 1998, The Lightning Seeds also performed on the Main Stage at both the Glastonbury Festival and the V Festival in the UK.
After a six year hiatus, Lightning Seeds reconvened in 2006 and have continued where they left off.
Here’s a reminder and a hint to check them out if/when they come over to this side of the Atlantic. So far, they are booked up until September with UK gigs – but the year is still young. . .sort of.
Crank it up.