Comprised of Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence “Loz” Colbert and Steve Queralt, the Oxford, UK-based quartet RIDE are considered by critics and fans to be among the originators of the shoegaze sound – despite the fact that reportedly the band hated the term “shoegaze.” After releasing four albums and a number of EPs, the Oxford-based quartet split up in 1996, and interestingly, despite the fact that they haven’t released new material in almost 20 years, the quartet has managed to be among a handful of shoegazer bands that have remained remarkably relevant, including the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Stone Roses, The Verve (who have been tragically overlooked here in the States) and a few others. In the case of RIDE, a number of contemporary bands have cited them as a major influence including blogosphere darlings Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Panda Bear and others, which brought newfound attention and fans to a band that had been broken up longer than the time they had actually spent together. And as a result, there has been an increasing demand for a reunion show; in fact, reportedly, the members of Radiohead had desperately begged the members of RIDE to play an opening reunion set as early as 2001 – the band declined. So for both newfound and long-time fans, the possibility of a RIDE reunion show, let alone a reunion tour, seemed impossible.
Last November, RIDE fans were surprised to hear that the band would be reuniting and embarking on their first world tour in 20 years to support to re-issue of the OX4 box set. Already, the quartet have played a homecoming show in their native Oxford, sets at the Primavera Sound Festival in Porto, Portugal – and before they were to play at Coachella, they stopped by KCRW’s Morning Becomes Electric to play some of their most beloved material, and for a brief interview about how the tour came about and if there are any plans for new material. From the two sets RIDE plays, it should be obvious that the almost two decades apart hasn’t mattered much, as the band sounds as though the creative chemistry and simpatico have remained as strong as ever. And just as important, that there’s a reason why they’ve remained as beloved and as influential as ever – their sound manages to walk a tightrope between ethereal and muscular, trippy and downright swampy and possesses a swooning Romanticism, hidden by a particularly British detachment.
Throughout the year, RIDE will be making several stops in New York during two lengthy North American legs of their tour, and it’ll include the following:
June 1 – Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 4 – Terminal 5
September 21 and 22 – Irving Plaza
From the live footage on KCRW, their NYC area dates will be must sees.