REVIEW: Ride @ O2 Academy, Newcastle (18.10.15) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With the other two components of shoegaze’s holy trinity, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, having already hit the comeback circuit, the news of Ride’s return to live duty nineteen years after their original split was no great surprise.

What has proven a welcome surprise though is the genuine enthusiasm that their return has generated, not just amongst fans but evidently amongst the band as well. For their first full UK tour since reuniting, they’ve been playing a generous two-set performance that combines an opening set of assorted favourites with a second set of their first (and best) album Nowhere in full.

It may largely be an older crowd at the Academy tonight – and Mark Gardener’s rather unfortunate touting of a fedora is testament indeed to the passing of time – but the cobwebs are blown away quickly enough by the ambitious opening choice of the eight-minute calling card Leave Them All Behind. Mixing a generous helping of tracks from Going Blank Again with a few earlier numbers, the first half is a fine performance itself, but unsurprisingly it’s the Nowhere set where take-off really takes place.

Having made the most of modern technology to expand on the noise and layering of the original album, tonight’s performance remarkably surpasses the original album in depth and drama: Dreams Burn Down is a colossus here, while the Andy Bell sung Vapour Trail remains their finest moment. Encoring with a deafening Drive Blind, Ride have returned to bring  the shoegaze revival full circle in suitably enveloping and euphoric fashion.

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