This year has featured many highly anticipated shows such as the recent appearances of bands long since absent from performing – Pavement, Swans, Hoodoo Gurus, Teenage Fanclub, Vasalines, Atari Teenage Riot, Faster Pussycat, Dean Wareham playing Galaxie 500, just to name a few. Of all of these notable and long since seldom seen, the announced tour that got me most lathered in anticipation was the recent two night NYC stand of Chapterhouse. The initial May dates of the US tour were pushed to September, adding a bit of unnecessary drama. With many bands from the UK and Europe finding it increasingly difficult to tour the US, the prospect of this Chapterhouse tour getting hamstrung was always a real concern.
Chapterhouse certainly are among the most criminally overlooked bands to come out of the UK in the early 90’s. If not familiar with them, Chapterhouse are in the My Bloody Valentine noisy psychedelic dream-pop vein and had a fairly short run with only two albums released along with a few eps and singles. Evidently some lawsuit torpedoed their promising career in the middle of their first US tour. Of course they also had a contract dispute with their label – a nauseatingly common story of bands at the time – which ended with the break up of the band. They went their separate ways musically but stayed friends.
Blood Music, Chapterhouse’s second album has been in my constant rotation since its release some 14 years ago. Somewhat to my dismay, Blood Music has been given a bad rap as being their overproduced bid to gain widespread appeal. This is unfortunate, particularly since its production is stellar and the songs are fantastic. Whatever the case, surprisingly little of the recent set came from this great album, which, all told, is a testament to how great the rest of their catalog is.
As of late, the name Chapterhouse has been cropping up as an influence, and you can hear their sound throughout the many young shoe-gaze revival bands that are out there.
I am a little late, but for the love of god, if this band swings through your town, go and see them.
Download: Chapterhouse – Pearl (Live)
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