Review: Slowdive at The Danforth Music Hall (Friday May 5, 2017)

ATP Iceland Festival 2014

With Brian Eno’s ‘Deep Blue Day’ setting the stage, The Danforth Music Hall felt like it was set for a neon forest filled with ambient light just as Slowdive quietly took the stage cheeky smiles in tow. 

“Today is our record release day,  we are all very relieved it is finally out there,” said vocalist Rachel Goswell proudly before commencing an evening full of reverb for a once shoe gazey now 40 something audience.

‘Alison’, ‘Sugar for the Pill’, ‘She Calls’ and ‘Machine Gun’ punctuated the air.  A heckler demanding songs be played at his beckoning was quietly shut down and called a ‘pillock’ by Goswell at the midpoint.  Keeping it real.  The polite Toronto audience didn’t dare encourage the heckler.  Moving on, just as Slowdive did with a stiff upper lip and a knowing glance to one another. 

Feeling the ghosts of Cocteau Twins and Sonic Youth in the air, Simon Scott on drums, Neil Halstead on vocals and guitar, Nick Chaplin on bass and Christian Savill on guitar curated a set which was cohesive and deafening. 

Closing one’s eyes you could still easily conjure up teenage bed sprawling anthems washing over you much like they did at the Danforth Music Hall on Friday night.  Ambiance.  Reflection.  Quiet resolutions to oneself.  Glancing over at my audience members, the vibe was all about soaking up a live space that perhaps the next time we breathe in the tone of our own lives will be a tad different.

New songs included ‘Slomo’ which was just as beautifully stitched songs from their early work.   Souvlaki’s ‘40 Days’ made an appearance and provided a book end to Slowdive’s newer fare.  ‘Souvlaki Space Station’ was an excellent reminder that picking up Slowdive’s latest “Dead Oceans” not only honours the legacy of their life work to date but gifts the listener with a treat to tide you over until we meet Slowdive again.


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