Ride: (from left to right) Andy Bell. Loz Colbert, Steve Oueralt and Mark Gardener
Ride On Time
With their third album the Oxford boys have finally lived up to the stuff and nonsense of music press hype — even if they have found a
future in the past. Craig
here are we going tomorrow‘." asks Mark Gardener. Nowhere] says Andy Bell. ‘Nowherc. But after that we‘re going to Manchester. Stockport. Stoke ‘Aren‘t we doing anything tomorrow‘." Gardener asks again. the picture of puppy-dog puzzlcment. ‘.\'o.‘ ‘Aw. I thought we were doing something tomorrow . . .’ he trails off. ‘Aw. right.‘
THE PROMOTIONAL TRAle a bugger. llit— and-run visits to the ‘provinccs‘. turning in four radio interviews. possibly a couple of acoustic sessions. probably a few press interviews. In Scotland it‘s even worse —- southern-domiciled bands are expected to traverse Glasgow. Edinburgh. Dundee and. ooh. Galashiels. In a day. And remain pinky and perky throughout. good little pop stars who will chirpily. gladly. plug their upcoming single. album. tour. split. box set. reformation and suicide. So. Here it is: Ride have a new single out. the third from their third album. the trailer for their upcoming tour. So. There it was. Oh — all are magic and Ride are fab. Sorry. Forgot the thumbs-up adjectives.
14 The List 9—22 September l‘)‘)4
McLean finds out why.
Mark (singer). Andy (guitarist) and Craig (journalist) can‘t be bothered with all this. Mark would rather sleep. He's been up all night. having dropped an li at the Notting Hill Carnival yesterday and slammed his skull tojunglc sound systems for the next sixteen hours. Andy would rather eat his wholesome wholefood lunch in the bowels of the niccy-nice Edinburgh restaurant. (‘raig would rather just listen to Ride's record. ('arm'ral (2/ Light. and not try wheedle info about its genesis from its two main progenitors. llcy-ho though. 'l‘hcm‘s the breaks.
Carnival 0/ Light. unlike its two predecessors. is great. Ride‘s 1991 eponymous debut was recorded. released and fussed-over in the red-hot crucible of media adulation for these four fey. fringed teenagers from Oxford. Songs
hid behind washes of guitars and walls of
effects. Occasionally there would be the kernel of a cool song lurking in the undergrowth. But mostly there wouldn‘t be. It‘s follow-up. 1992’s (iamg Blank Again. was. titularly speaking. a wry stab at those who would lump Ride in with all the dimwitted make-weights who constituted the grimly grey shocgazing sccnc. Thing was. the music therein was as vague and obtuse as
ever. The egg was on Ride’s face.
Come summer 1994. however. the yolk is on us. Carnival Of Light is a glorious trip. Like fellow Creationites The Boo Radleys. third album-time has seen Ride strip away all faddish affectation. dip into their record collections. nick the best bits. and use them as a springboard for a record where the whole far outweighs the sum of the appropriated parts. Talent borrows. genius says there‘s always been a Stones/Byrds/Beach Boys element to their music.
‘When we came to the third album we knew we couldn‘t do anything halfway this time.’ says Andy Bell. the main architect of an album that he is loathe to call ‘hippy’ or ‘psychedelic’ but obviously. happily. it is. ‘This time it had to be something that was
‘All the way.‘ mumbles Mark Gardener through a mouthful of (sugar-free) chocolate gateau.
‘All the way.‘ rejoins Bell. ‘Or none of the way. But not half way. On the second album we had a lot of ideas that were quite weird and strange and original and we didn’t really use them because that was all the ones that we forgot about. But this time those were the ideas that we really worked on.‘
‘Those “ideas” seem to be ‘good songs”.‘ I venture. but only to myself. several hours later. Not that it’s a problem when the influences are woven so well into a brighter. fresher sound. but those ‘good songs’ seem to stem in a large part from other people‘s songs.
‘I always admit where I get my ideas from.‘ shrugs Bell. ‘If someone asks me I always tell ‘em.’
Okay. Tell me then.
The grinding riff-monster intro to ‘Moonlight Medicine‘. the first song on the album.
‘Wejust got that Zeppelin feel from jamming in the studio. it just got more and more intense.’
The epic sprawl of ‘Birdman‘.
‘I got some lyrics off of Dr John. That's one of the more original ones.’
‘Rolling Thunder'. instrumental?
‘That‘s from a Jimmy Page instrumental.’
The new single and delirious album-closer. ‘I Don’t Know Where It Comes From"?
‘That‘s from a John Lennon song. the chorus
the falling. trippy
is. And the choir is from the Stones’ ‘You Can Always Get What You Want"? ‘Yeah. But people make a lot ofthat and it’s not really a very big part ofthe song. I thought they’d make much more of the chorus melody
LIKE BOBBY GlLLESPlE. VilllflCd for being 100 much of a music fan. Ride have been reborn to the sound of their glorious musical heritage. Bell wanted Carnival Of Light to be like The Byrds’ untitled album. the one Roger McGuinn planned in 1970 to be a ‘history of music — from early American folk songs through to futuristic synth music’. He never made it. and neither have Ride. But at least. at last. they’re looking further afield than their own feet.
‘Yeah.’ grins Andy Bell. ‘you’ve got to be used before you start using.‘
‘Hey.’ grins Mark Gardener. ‘it’s a journey. man.’
Yeah. and this trendy veggie cavern must be a Little Chef. Long may Ride ride. U
Ride play Barrow/(aids. Glasgow, Sat 17 Sept.