But with Ride, MBV, Slowdive, Swervedriver, The Mary Chain and even Loop back from the grave, one piece of the jigsaw was still sorely missed, until recently. That piece was Lush. Like Ride and Slowdive, their sound was very much like your jangly indie-pop dragged into the ethereal by Miki's gorgeous vocals and some of the loveliest reverb-ridden guitar tones in the world. They (like Ride) put out four records between 1989 and 1996, with them starting off at the height of hazy dream-pop abstractness and getting closer and closer to Britpop, although perhaps unlike Ride (sorry) they were one of the indie scene's best bands right til the end, with their final album Lovelife still being bloody good.
Like the Cocteau Twins, a real big influence, as well as Dead Can Dance and Red House Painters (all of whom I also love), they got a deal with 4AD, meaning that they were on one of the greatest labels of all time, and that their sound was represented brilliantly in their Vaughan Oliver designed record sleeves (see right).
A week or so ago, the band announced that, for the first time since the mid-nineties, they'd get back together and play some shows; and as someone who'd been blown away by reformed Ride x 3 and Slowdive, this is a prospect that whet my appetite for some more beautiful noise. So, on a recent uni trip to the Uncut magazine offices, where Phil King - bassist in Lush since '92 - frequents as a freelancer. Having just got back from some Lush-business in New York, I asked Phil a few questions about the ever-so-exciting promise of the band's reformation.
"We've wanted to reform for a few years", Phil said. "It was more that we've all got families and jobs", denying that the Lush reformation was the band's way of riding the crest of the zeitgeit. "And also its 20 years, next year, since we split up, so it's a nice round number". At the moment, Lush have only got June's roundhouse dates chalked up, but King insists that they're just sorting out some more dates for a wider tour, as well as festival appearances.
The biggest revelation of our small conversation was that Lush certainly have a desire to get back in the studio, and put out new material, which is something that MBV did extremely successfully a couple of years back, although you'd maybe like to hope it'll take a bit less than five years of being back together to produce some songs. "If we can find time, we'd certainly like to" says King, which is something which is pretty exciting, especially seeing as the band's members have all stayed in music just a little bit since the band's break up, King especially keeping his noise-cred high being a full time touring member of the Jesus and Mary Chain...
Lush are going to "start rehearsing next week", and I'm fairly sure I won't be the only person really, really excited by this. As a band, their reformation is timely, and whether it's just coincidence that it's at the same time as follow scenesters Slowdive, Ride et al or not, the #1 must see band of 2016 is most certainly Lush.
And with a bit of luck, the #1 must-hear album of 2016 might be by them too...
this band are among those that King says he's been listening to recently so give it a listen
(written by calum cashin)