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Coming Up For Air

Mailing List – Reunion October 2001

Below is an email sent out to all subscribers of the band’s mailing list when the band briefly reunited in 2001 for a tv show.

yesterday’s moment of surreality

So yesterday at the John Henry rehearsal complex in North London, Andy,
Mark, Steve and Loz all turned up, set-up, plugged-in and put together about
an hour’s worth of un-rehearsed sonic jamming to accompany the forthcoming
series of Channel 4’s Pioneers.
The show is about the influence of Sonic Youth and is effectively
“presented” by Andy and Mark. They talk about Sonic Youth’s influence
generally to 90’s music and specifically the influence on the then-fledgling
Ride. As part of the idea for the show, the producer had asked Mark and Andy
to play 10-15 minutes of guitar-based feedback which they wanted to film and
use as a backdrop to the programme. It was Andy’s idea that if he and Mark
were going to get together to talk about Sonic Youth’s influence on Ride
then any “performance” to accompany the programme should feature all 4
ex-Ride members.
Mark flew in from France for the day, Andy delayed his return to Sweden
after the Oasis tour for a day and both Loz and Steve managed to juggle
their existing commitments to make way for the day’s filming.
Everyone arrived about 11 and everything was set-up and ready to roll about
Midday. Once the TV people had sorted their sound and camera positions out,
the band started to work on a loose jam that they’d put together on the
spot. It was a simple recording – one stereo mic for the drums, one bass mic
and one each for Andy’s and Mark’s guitars. No vocals.
It was truly amazing how quickly the whole sound slotted into place, that
old adage about riding a bicycle was never more appropriate.
There was a break while the sound levels and the overall mix were checked:
and also while the lighting team sorted out their part of the equation.
After a spot of lunch the band started playing about 1:30 with the cameras
and the tape rolling until it came to it’s natural conclusion about 2:15.
Mark and Andy then filmed the interview and they all packed up and went
their separate ways – Mark and Andy off to Heathrow for their respective
flights, Steve back to Oxford and Loz back across London.
It was very strange to witness how natural the whole event was and also how
enjoyable and inspirational it was too. They talked about whether to base
the jam on perhaps Grasshopper or even the middle section of Drive Blind but
in the end a completely new piece of music came out of the day.
There will some snaps of the day and maybe some camcorder footage up on the
Ride site in the next couple of weeks or so – don’t touch that dial.

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