Thursday evening at Pohoda will be completed with the legend of shoegaze Slowdive and one of the most abroad successful Slovak bands The Ills. Pitchfork wrote that Slowdive recorded 3 out of the 15 best shoegaze recordings of all time and NME included two of their albums in a similar chart (TOP 10). In 2014, they performed at Barcelonaʼs Primavera after a twenty-year break; fans waited two more years to hear their new song that was released in early January this year. In exactly 100 days they will take care of the magical, dreamlike atmosphere of the opening evening at the 21st Pohoda.
“Emotionally, shoegaze turns its focus inward. The extreme noise eliminates the possibility of socializing while the music is playing, leaving each member of the audience alone with their thoughts. It's music for dreaming,” this is how Pitchfork editors described this genre in the introduction to their choice of The 50 Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time. We do not completely agree with the part regarding the impossible socialization, as evidenced by the concert of one of the most fundamental bands “for dreaming” Slowdive at Pohoda 2017. Slowdive were inspired by the guitars of My Bloody Valentine and the sound of The Cocteau Twins and The Byrds. The band was formed in the late eighties by childhood friends Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell and it was originally named Pumpkin Fairies, but they soon changed their name into Slowdive. Later the band was joined by Christian Savill of the band Eternal: he was the only one to respond to the advertisement in which the band was searching for another female guitarist. Savill wanted to join the band so badly, that he expressed his willingness, if necessary, to wear a dress (which was not necessary). This line-up recorded another demo of which their first single “Avalyn” originated. In November 1990, they released eponymous EP “Slowdive” and earned positive reactions. After half a year, Adrian Sell left the band and was replaced by Neil Carter and shortly afterwards by Simon Scot (after the breakup of his previous band The Charlottes). In February 1991, they released EP “Morningrise” and in June the same year, they had EP “Holding Our Breath”: its single “Catch The Breeze” made it to the top of the UK Indie Chart. Every single released in 1991 was ranked the single of the week by Melody Maker.
In September 1991, they released debut “Just for a Day”, followed by their first US tour (with the band Blur) and European tour in the spring of 1992. In May 1993, they released their most substantial album “Souvlaki”. At the time of release, the reactions of British critics were rather distant from what could be called “positive”. After some time, however, it received the recognition of the most prestigious music portals. According to NME, it is the third, and according to Pitchfork, the second best album of the shoegaze genre, while NME said the albumʼs underestimation by contemporary press was reprehensible. The year 1994 saw the change of the bandʼs drummer, when Scott was replaced by Ian McCutcheon. The sound of the third album “Pygmalion” was, with much more minimalist arrangements, the opposite of their previous work. Shortly after its release, Slowdive split up, with Halstead and Goswell McCutcheon starting the band Mojave 3. On 24 January 2014, they tweeted a link to the bandʼs website slowdiveofficial.com showing a picture with the words "Here She Comes...” (also the name of one of their songs on the album Souvlaki). Four days later they announced that after almost twenty years, they would play a concert at Barcelona's Primavera. They released a new song in 22 years on 12 January 2017. It is called “Roving Star” and it demonstrates that shoegaze did not remained stuck in the first half of the nineties. Pitchfork wrote they distilling elements of their prior selves in a way that recalls without recycling, have stayed true to incandescent form. Soon after the release of the song, the band received top rankings of The Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 Chart of “things most talked about regarding artists and their works.” Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell, Nick Chaplin, Christian Savill, and Simon Scott are coming to perform at Pohoda 2017 one the day before Madridʼs Mad Cool.