Ride – in concert at Le Transbordeur – Lyon, France – November 24, 1994 – Band Soundboard –
Ride in concert to end the week. Recorded live at Le Transbordeur in Lyon, France on November 24, 1994.
If you spent more than an hour in the 90s and were keeping your eye on what was going on in the UK at the time, Ride figured prominently. They came to embody the Shoegaze genre, but more than that, they added a dimension and a sense of overpowering elation with just about every note they produced.
They were an influential band during the period of the early 90’s – their debut album Nowhere has been characterized as a “masterpiece” as well as one of s”hoegazing’s most enduring moments”.
Andy Bell and Mark Gardener had been to Cheney School in Oxford, appearing in the school’s musical theatre productions, and in October 1988, they moved to Banbury to do Foundation Studies in Art & Design at North Oxfordshire College and the Oxfordshire School of Art & Design. There they met Laurence Colbert and Steve Queralt. Queralt, who also went to Cheney School, was recruited from the local Our Price record shop where he worked as a singles buyer (although Bell and Queralt had already played together in an obscure reggae/pop band called “Big Spiderback”). After considering various names, the band settled for ‘Ride’, with its evocation of travel, and after the ride cymbal. Bell has cited a performance by The Smiths as the inspiration for forming a band. The band formed in the summer of 1988 and played their first gig as Ride for the College’s Christmas Party towards the end of the year. While still at Banbury, the band produced a demo tape, recorded in Queralt’s bedroom and hallway, including the tracks “Chelsea Girl” and “Drive Blind”. Queralt and his record shop boss and future Ride manager Dave Newton had started a live music night in Oxford called Local Support, and it was due to a cancellation by another band that Ride got their first proper gig at one of these nights. Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain heard a copy of the demo that was in the possession of the DJ Gary Crowley, and this led to interest from former Mary Chain manager Alan McGee. After the band supported the Soup Dragons in 1989, McGee signed them to his Creation Records label.
Ride released three EPs between January and September 1990, entitled Ride, Play and Fall. All three EPs made it into the UK top 75, with Play and Fall reaching the top 40. Ride’s top-75 placing was a first for Creation Records. The first two EPs were released together as Smile in the USA in July 1990 (and later released in the UK in 1992), while the Fall EP was incorporated into the CD version of their first album, Nowhere, released in October 1990. The band were often labelled as part of the “shoegazing” scene, but the band rejected this, Bell stating “my first reaction was like, this is another boring tag. These days…that’s pretty much still my reaction”. Gardener said of the band’s influences “We liked the noisy bands of the time. When we were at art college we went to see My Bloody Valentine, House of Love, Stone Roses and Sonic Youth. I think these all had a lot of influence on us in the early days as they were great gigs”.
Since breaking up in 1996, Ride got back together for a one-off in 2001 and decided to put it all back together in 2014 and released their sixth studio album in 2019. Some things are just meant to last.
Dive back to 1996 and crank this one up and get ready for the weekend.
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