The High this weekend. Maybe not a household name here in the U.S. during the 90s, but in their native UK they personified the movement that was known as Madchester.
The High arrived in 1989 while Manchester was in the thrall of ‘Madchester’.
Andy Couzens, John Mathews, Simon Davis and Chris Goodwin decided a melodic guitar based sound was the direction they wanted to move into.
Ex Hacienda and Stone Roses manager Howard Jones and Legendary producer Martin Hannett were drafted in on management. Both of whom had worked with Andy Couzens during his time in The Stone Roses.
Early recording sessions produced a three track demo including “this is my world”, “up and down” and “a minor turn” resulting in every major record company rushing to see the bands first gig at The Ritz in Manchester (supporting The Inspiral Carpets).
The band signed to London Records in 1990.
London records, afraid of Martins Hannetts erratic behavior called in John Williams to co- produce The Debut Album “Somwhere Soon” at Richard Bransons Manor Studio in Oxford, resulting in an album of rare Quality and clarity.
From the album three singles “up and down”; “take your time” and “box set go”, all became NME singles of the week and a sold out tour of the UK and Europe was to follow.
The press was properly enthusiastic and here’s an example of NME and Sounds had to say about them:
The NME said of The High:
“The High have got charisma, suss and world weariness all tied up in one and they write the most blissful, sun kissed individual pop songs”
Sounds said of Somewhere Soon:
“it is a work of art that contains only three words: short, simple and timeless. The High are one of those bands that’ve somehow slipped into times slipstream.”
The first incarnation of The High broke up in 1993 – but a new version formed in 2015 and has surfaced with a few personnel changes.
In case you missed them the first time around – here’s your chance to hear what they were up to in 1990. Recorded in Paris for, it’s believed, Radio France International.
Crank up it – it’s the Weekend, ya know!