Spiritualized Electric Mainlines
Carling Academy, Glasgow, Mon 23 Apr
‘Edinburgh was the best show I’ve ever done,’ said Jason Pierce, the heart and soul of Spiritualized, in Word magazine recently. ‘People stood up to clap. Ten minutes later they were still clapping. The band were crying, I was crying.’ That was him talking about the only other Scottish date of the Spiritualized Electric Mainlines project to date, at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall last year. It all sounds kinda transcendental, which is really no surprise when you consider Pierce’s CV.
Pierce was, of course, one third of Spacemen 3 in the 80s, one of the most underrated bands ever and also the indirect inventors of post-rock. They came, they released some stunning, classic records with titles like The Perfect Prescription and Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To, then, as might have been foreshadowed, he and Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember split amidst chemical recriminations.
Fortunately some Spacemen 3 classics are promised at this acoustic-come-orchestral re-imagining, along with many of Pierce’s Spiritualized standards. Shoe-horned into a dark room at the end of the Britpop corridor in the late 90s, Spiritualized thrived, largely thanks to the magnificent Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space. Perhaps, though, Spiritualized’s monolithic but inward-looking sound was never meant for the mass market. Far better, perhaps, to hear it in a situation like this, stripped bare before the faithful.
Oh, and one new development, Pierce spent three weeks in hospital with pneumonia in 2005, and nearly died. Twice. So if ever there was a gig to take a hanky to . . .