10 Best
RIDE Lead Press Shot Credit Cal Mc Intyre smaller
15.02.2024, Words by Paul Benney

The 10 Best Shoegaze Classics, according to Ride

"Eyes shut, heads down, totally locked into another plane"

Made up of guitarist/vocalists Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, alongside drummer Laurence “Loz” Colbert and bassist Steve Queralt, Ride were formed in Oxford in 1988; four friends rooted in art-school aesthetics who combined 60s guitar-pop sensibilities with avalanches of noise and driving rhythms. It was a recalibration of indie-rock that would come to be defined as ‘shoegaze’ and with their seminal 1990 debut 'Nowhere' came a run of critical and commercial success that eventually hit the skids in 1996, with intra-band turmoil prompting them to call it a day.

They reformed in 2014, finding a global scene full of bands indebted to Ride and their peers (Tame Impala, Beach House et al), and after a successful tour went into the studio with legendary producer Erol Alkan to create the critically acclaimed 'Weather Diaries' and follow up 'This Is Not A Safe Place'. Now in 2024, shoegaze is one of music’s fastest growing genres, having picked up a new wave of Gen-Z fans via TikTok, with artists such as DIIV and bdrmm converting millions of views into impressive streaming numbers and ticket sales. A quarter of a century since originally forming and with a new generation discovering their music, new album 'Interplay' (the band's seventh) finds Ride hitting new creative heights and stronger than ever.

Ride today unveil new single ‘Last Frontier,’ the second offering from the new album, out 29th March. The Oxford four piece also this week revealed plans for a run of UK and Ireland Tour Dates, which will see them play 16 cities throughout September 2024, including Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and London’s iconic Roundhouse. Before then they will be heading to the USA and Canada for 11 dates in May. 

To celebrate the new single, and in advance of the album release and tour, Ride's bass player Steve Queralt chooses his ten favourite shoegaze classics.

1. Cocteau Twins - 'Kookaburra'

"For me, shoegaze began with the Cocteau Twins. Massive reverbs, chorus, delay, and undecipherable lyrics set the template for the rest of us. This track is from a an E.P. called 'Aikea Guinea' and sees them starting to develop a sound away from their harsher, goth-ier beginnings. Having said that, 'Treasure' remains their finest album in my opinion."

2. Spacemen 3 - 'Mary Anne'

"Spacemen 3 were a really important band for us along with Loop, who were both so good at the wall of noise psychedelic repetition thing. I was lucky enough to see both bands play many times and they never failed to completely blow me away. The sheer hypnotic power of their sound was all-encompassing and almost like the audience and band were completely oblivious of each other. Eyes shut, heads down, totally locked into another plane."

3. My Bloody Valentine - 'Slow'

"Taken from the 'You Made me Realise' EP 'Slow' has the perfect bass sound which despite my trying have never managed to get anywhere emulating it. Most people talk about 'Loveless' as the defining shoegaze album but for me 'Isn’t Anything' and the EPs released around the same time were so much better. But, they’re still one of the most important and influential bands to have ever existed and I will always look forward with much excitement to what Kevin releases next."

4. Pale Saints - 'Language of Flowers'

"I loved Pale Saints so much and was such a fan that I persuaded the rest of the band to cover one of their songs 'Sight of You' for a Peel session we did in 1990. This track 'Language of Flowers' is taken from their faultless debut album 'The Comfort of Madness' which had a massive influence on the way I approached my bass-lines at the time. I still regularly soundcheck with this song. It’s just so satisfying to play."

5. Kitchens of Distinction - 'The 3rd Time we Opened the Capsule'

"The Kitchens are so underrated and often forgotten about when people talk about early shoegaze bands. This track appeared on their debut album 'Love is Hell' featuring some classic 'gazy' guitar sounds. It’s a great track and a fine album."

6. Felt - 'Primitive Painters'

"Not strictly shoegaze but the song had a big influence on our band. Produced by Robin Guthrie it could be argued that some of the guitar sounds and the massive whirling Hammond puts it in the ballpark though. I’m sure Felt would disagree. Shoegaze wasn’t something you would have wanted to be associated with when the term was first used in the early 90s."

7. House of Love - 'Touch Me'

"The House of Love were one of the best live bands around at the time and their album of the same name was on repeat in the Ride camp from the moment it came out. This track has a great tremolo guitar driving through the first part of the song until all of a sudden about halfway through it explodes into a massive euphoric screaming guitar solo. One of the many highlights on a near-perfect album."

8. Lush - 'Etheriel'

"I was working in a record shop unpacking the new releases when this came out. I immediately put it straight onto the decks where it stayed on repeat for the rest of the week. In 1990 Ride did a co-headline tour with Lush in America and this track always takes me back there. Although noise was a big part of what we did, songs and melody were key to our approach as well. Lush had a great gift for a tune and their songs were always perfectly structured."

9. Ultra Vivid Scene - 'The Mercy Seat'

"Shoegaze was typically a British thing when it started so it was a surprise when New Yorker Kurt Ralske turned up with this epic on Snub TV. It’s predominantly all about the hypnotic drums and bass but has a lovely Velvet Underground style guitar drone holding it all together. It’s firmly at the noisier end of the shoegaze spectrum quite a long way from the more ethereal sounds of someone like Slowdive and the Cocteau Twins."

10. Slowdive - 'Avalyn II'

"It’s not possible to do a shoegaze list without Slowdive featuring somewhere. They probably suffered the most at the hands of the British music press who desperately wanted to flush shoegaze away. However, they have certainly gained their revenge and are now more successful than they have ever been creating perfect unfiltered pure shoegaze records. Although the genre is less defined today with dream pop, noise, and electronica all falling under the tag, Slowdive have stayed faithful to the original style and sound. To anyone asking what shoegaze is, here’s an 8-minute answer."

Listen to new single 'Last Frontier' via your preferred platform here or check out the visualiser on YouTube below:

New album 'Interplay' is out March 29th and you can pre-order it here.

'Interplay' tracklist:

1. Peace Sign
2. Last Frontier
3. Light in a Quiet Room
4. Monaco
5. I Came to See the Wreck
6. Stay Free
7. Last Night I Came Somewhere to Dream
8. Sunrise Chaser
9. Midnight Rider
10. Portland Rocks
11. Essaouira
12. Yesterday is Just a Song

The band play the following dates and tickets go on sale on Friday February 16th at 10am UK time here.

Ride UK & IRE Tour Dates

Mon 02 Sep 2024 - UK - Belfast - LimelightTue

03 Sep 2024 - Ireland - Dublin - 3Olympia

Wed 04 Sep 2024 - Ireland - Cork - Cyprus Avenue

Fri 06 Sep 2024 - UK - Sheffield - Leadmill

Sat 07 Sep 2024 - UK - Newcastle - Boilershop

Sun 08 Sep 2024 - UK - Glasgow - SWG 3 TV Studio

Tue 10 Sep 2024 - UK - Liverpool - Furnace

Thu 12 Sep 2024 - UK - Leeds - Leeds Beckett SU

Fri 13 Sep 2024 - UK - Manchester - New Century

Sat 14 Sep 2024 - UK - Bristol - SWX

Mon 16 Sep 2024 - UK - Falmouth - Princess Pavilions

Tue 17 Sep 2024 - UK - Portsmouth - Guildhall

Wed 18 Sep 2024 - UK - Brighton - Chalk

Fri 20 Sep 2024 - UK - London - Roundhouse

Sat 21 Sep 2024 - UK - Wolverhampton - Wulfrun Halls

Sun 22 Sep 2024 - UK - Cambridge - Junction

Ride North America Tour Dates

Sat 11 May 2024 - USA - Boston - Big night live

Mon 13 May 2024 - Canada - Montreal - Fairmount

Tues 14 May 2024 - Canada - Toronto - Concert Hall

Weds 15 May 2024 - USA - Detroit - Majestic

Thurs 16 May 2024 - USA - Chicago - Metro

Fri 17 May 2024 - USA - Minneapolis - Fine Line

Sun 19 May 2024 - USA - Englewood - Gothic Theatre

Weds 22 May 2024 - USA - Vancouver - Commodore

Thurs 23 May 2024 - USA - Portland - Mission Theater

Sat 25 May 2024 - USA - Seattle - Showbox

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