Ride @ The Foundry, Sheffield, UK | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, August 9th, 2020  

Ride at The Foundry, Sheffield, UK, November 30th, 2019

Dec 10, 2019
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While the decrease in revenue from physical sales coupled with the miniscule payments afforded by streaming services such as Spotify possibly led to a number of high profile reunions in recent years, some were strictly driven by a case of unfinished business.

Take Ride for instance, one third of the hallowed holy trinity of shoegaze alongside My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. Having split in 1996 after putting out two universally acclaimed albums followed by a couple that weren't so well received. It's been a long healing process to get to where they are now, but if the fruits of their most recent endeavours are anything to go by, one that's been worth the arduous journey.



If 2017's Weather Diaries laid the foundations, then this year's follow-up This Is Not A Safe Place firmly re-established Ride as a creative force to be reckoned with. While unmistakeably retaining many of the key characteristics that augmented the band's earlier recordings; Mark Gardener and Andy Bell's luscious harmonies, Loz Colbert's powerhouse performances behind the kit, incisive melodies mostly driven by Steve Queralt's thundering basslines; This Is Not A Safe Place also embraces the future. Erol Alkan's role as producer undoubtedly had a part to play in that, but ultimately the four band members appetite to make a record that would stand proudly alongside their most revered works provided the main inspiration.

So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that eight of the twelve songs from their new record feature prominently in this evening's set. What's even more telling is how vital they sound. With some bands who've reformed and placed the token new song into their live set it's been obvious. But with Ride the This Is Not A Safe Place material gives the show a new lease of life, with the band clearly enjoying themselves in such intimate (by their usual standards) surroundings.

Ultimately, this transcends itself onto the audience out front who mouth back the words to openers "Jump Jet" and "Future Love" as if they were age old singalongs rather than recently released compositions from just three months ago. The arrival of the band's biggest and only top ten single to date "Leave Them All Behind" is understandably devoured insatiably, as is a rare outing for "Unfamiliar" off 1991's Today Forever EP.



But it's the newer material Under the Radar is particularly excited to hear this evening, and none of it disappoints. The midpoint triumvirate of "Fifteen Minutes", "Dial Up" and "Repetition" firmly illustrates how confident Ride are in delivering these songs to an equally receptive audience. Even when they do bring out some of their older material towards the back end of the set there's a revitalised energy to the likes of "OX4" and "Drive Blind" with another new number, the pulsating "Kill Switch" sandwiched accordingly between them.

Debut album Nowhere is revisited as the poignant "In A Different Place" and customary "Vapour Trail" brings the first set to a close, while "Seagull" is despatched in an encore, which also includes anthemic newbie "In This Room".

It wouldn't be fair to end this review without mentioning tonight's opening act, The Soft Cavalry. Playing a six-song set comprised entirely of material from their excellent self-titled debut, which also came out at the back end of summer. They straddle the fine line between Black Mountain/Lightning Dust's psychedelic folk and the less grandiose elements of The National. Essentially the brainchild of husband and wife duo Steve Clarke and Rachel Goswell and featuring Ride's Steve Queralt on bass for this tour. Singles "Bulletproof" and "Dive" bringing an uplifting air to proceedings in contrast to the sombre but beautiful "Spiders" while epic set closer "The Ever Turning Wheel" and its heady wall of sound provides a secure bridge between support and headliners.

The Soft Cavalry

The Soft Cavalry

With both bands on top of their games and Ride sounding as good as they ever have, Saturday nights don't come any better than this. 




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