6 August 1987 – Rugby Advertiser

They have lift-off!

Mention the name Spacemen 3 and you are likely to get an extreme reaction.

There is little room for middle ground – you either love or loathe them. Sonic, guitarist and occasional vocalist with the band explained: “We’ve got a love/hate relationship with Rugby… Rugby audiences are not very giving.”

This man, along with vocalist and guitarist J., launched Spacemen 3 from Rugby five years ago. They are now on the verge of something which could be very big indeed.

“It’s taken us a long time but we’ve built up a reputation. The press support is now with us…”

Last week the latest 12”, Transparent Radiation, was ‘Sounds’ single of the week but the record has been excluded from the national independent chart because of its 45 minute duration and playing speed.

Currently they are remixing their new album, The Perfect Prescription, at VHF Studios in Arches Lane, Rugby.

Sonic: “Things are coming together quite rapidly. You’ll not see Spacemen 3 in the charts later this year but things are going well for us. We’re never going to be a massively commercial band but it would be nice just to make a living from it.”

Whatever you may think of their music you have to admire the way Spacemen 3 have pulled themselves out of a town with very little music history at all.

To coincide with the release of the new LP they will be touring at both home and abroad, playing to audiences of about 300.

At the centre of previous recordings there has been a conflict which is difficult to accept. The band seem to strive towards unconventionality and originality yet also plunder the past.

From the rough demos of The Perfect Prescription this seems to have been resolved. They have created a fresher new sound which shifts them on to a more challenging and exciting plane.

“We tried to lay down everything we love about music – and try to think of our music as a type of soul food.”

The new songs create their atmosphere in a different way to the furious grind of earlier material. They are equally as hypnotic yet more fragile and subtle.

Yet Sonic is quick to justify the new direction: “This is not simply a mellowing – there are some songs which are more minimal and heavier than on the first album.”

In opposition to the current stagnation of the independent music scene, Spacemen 3 have created a sound which is no longer one of confusion but one all of their own.

They have the insight to avoid simple plagiarism now and their own style is one that has inspired others, especially in Rugby.

Spacemen 3 have already achieved what others only talk about and this may explain any local resentment. But Sonic speaks enthusiastically about the local music scene:

“Things are changing now, with the Blitz as a regular venue… Rugby’s been neglected… it’s good that you (Rugby Advertiser) are doing something.”

Steve Williams

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