July 1986 – Northampton Mercury and Herald

Spacemen In Orbit

Peter and Jason, half of Rugby band Spacemen 3 are in high spirits, and why not. Their first album, “Sound Of Confusion” has been out only a matter of weeks, and is selling far better than they and their record company, Glass, expected.

The album is a step forward to the basics. Some, I have no doubt, would compare it to the noisy parts from the first Velvets offering which have given birth to such interpretations as the Jesus And Mary Chain. But Spacemen 3 seem more real.

They are not attempting to recreate a sound, they are that sound. Whereas many of todays young hopefuls take bands of this era and genre as major influences, the Spacemen take the music that spawned these bands as their influences. And this puts them above the revivalists.

“I guess we are a psychedelic band,” admitted Pete. “There hasn’t been a real one for twenty years. Everyone is dying for another new psychedelic revival. Our music transcends that revival.

“A lot of old sixties hippies like to see us. They see something in us. They get high to the music,” adds Jason. “Kids buy the LP, take it home and their parents listen to it. We don’t understand why!”

“A lot of people think psychedelia is big flares, and Doctor and The Medics, and it’s not,” observed Pete. “Music for the mind! Music for the third eye!

“We like soul music a lot, Otis, Hendrix, RnB, blues, we’re part of that tradition. We are a traditional band.”

But as Jason points out, although the music is very exciting, they are hardly the best performers in the world. “We’re a very boring band to watch.”

A fact which Pete knows well. “We don’t prance about the stage. We just sit down and get right into it. No posing. No smiling at girlfriends. No waving to parents. Sitting is so much more comfortable, relaxing. I can’t play standing up especially as some songs are 15 minutes long. We’d have to stop to shake our hands about to get the blood circulating again.”

Intensity is something they, and their audience thrive on and in, taking one simple guitar chord, and building on it until it can go no further. It’s this intensity which has brought them a large local following, and the affections of the Jazz Butcher who, having as Pete put it “…freaked out at one of our Northampton gigs…” was instrumental in getting them the record deal.

“He came up to us afterwards and said some really embarrassing things. We even got to credit him on the LP sleeve, thanking him for his faith and encouragement.”

Jason: “Up until then we’d been slogging away for three years. We thought no-one liked us.” If you, like Spacemen 3 are very dissatisfied with the state of the current music scene with all its hype, and plastic pop, this band could be what you are looking for. Any last words?

“Yeah!” hums Pete. “Even if you don’t buy our LP, tape it off someone…”

Spacemen 3 make a landing in the town on Friday, July 25, at the Roadmender, then again on August 8 at the Black Lion.

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